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TWoP 10: Most Cringe-Inducing Moments of the <i>Idol</I> Finals

This American Idol season is finally winding down, and while we've long since blocked the ridiculous people in the audition rounds, and only vaguely remember the unique spirit of Brett Loewenstern, the majority of the finals are still very fresh in our minds, unfortunately. In honor of the bad times we've all shared together, we managed to narrow down the most despicable things that the judges and finalists had thrust upon us this season.

10. Paul's Happy Prison Song
Johnny Cash wrote the gritty "Folsom Prison Blues" about a man depressed because he was stuck in jail, which Paul McDonald turned it into an upbeat, jaunty song. And throughout his performance, he sported a blinding smile -- even during the "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die" part. Way to connect to the lyrics, buddy. The only remotely redeemable thing about this was that he wasn't wearing that awful flower suit for a change.

9. Smells Like Something
A seminal Nirvana song that pretty much defined a generation, sung in a mediocre gravelly way by Casey Abrams. Not done well, or even done in a passable-if-we-were-drunk-at-karaoke way. If you are going to go on a national television show and try and push the boundaries, actually try and push said boundaries instead of just growling and hoping that Jennifer Lopez tells you that you are sexy.

8. Who Says This Is a Singing Competition?
Somewhere, Simon Cowell was crying when Randy Jackson told James Durbin that it didn't matter if he hit the notes, so long as he could cry on cue. Jennifer Lopez also said the same thing to Jacob Lusk, but Randy made it worse since he's actually been on this show for years and should know what it's supposed to be about.

7. The Man in the Mirror
"If you don't like my singing, then you hate Michael Jackson and you are afraid to look at yourself in the mirror." Um, no, Jacob Lusk, we don't like your over-the-top, off-key theatrics, particularly during this song by the late, great King of Pop, and it has nothing to do with introspection; it has to do with our eardrums. Which were bleeding.

6. Dude, Calm Down
Casey obviously knew that he was a judge favorite, and that even though America was tired of his quirky, desperate attempts to win J.Lo's love, the panel would keep him around. But, still, there's no way he should have been that surprised when he was saved. The judges are morons and were clearly not going to let someone who is prone to frequent stress-induced hospitalizations leave if they had the power to save them. Watching Casey spaz out and nearly have a panic attack on stage in shock was drama-queen annoying and more than a little disingenuous.

5. Boom Goes the Dynamite
Naima decided to tackle the Elton John hit "I'm Still Standing." We didn't think this would appall us, since it's such an innocuous pop song and totally appropriate for this show... until Naima decided to give it a reggae "swag." Yes, really. It actually happened. We were so gobsmacked that we had to watch it again, just to make sure we weren't having some fever-induced hallucination.

4. Gaga Is the Devil
Well, at least she is to Scotty, who was so horrified by her that he couldn't bear to be near her or take her solid advice on how to sing into a microphone so that people could hear him. Again, it's a singing competition, Scotty, not a who-can-be-the-most-cheesy-to-the-cameras competition. But while Scotty doesn't have to agree with Gaga's lifestyle, philosophy or image, watching him kiss his cross after their meeting in order to ward off her gay-friendly vibes or to pray for her immortal soul or whatever he was thinking was really, really uncomfortable.

3. The Evil That Men Do
We know Lauren is a young lady, and that she's very naïve in the ways of the world. It's annoying, but sort of sweet in some ways, we suppose. But when she said she didn't want to sing a Leiber & Stoller song that had her referring to herself as evil because she was concerned that her fans would think she was evil was pretty much the dumbest thing we'd ever heard on this show. Elvis sang that song, and according to Lilo & Stitch, he was a model citizen. People didn't think he was actually evil. We worry for the future of our country's youth.

2. Steven Tyler
So much about the rocker judge has made our skin crawl this season, but if we have to narrow it down, his sexually infused critiques of Haley and Pia were the ones that made us most itchy. And when he talked about Lauren's missing skirt? She's like practically pre-pubescent, and he's at least three times her age. So awkward, and disgusting, to say the very least.

1. America, Fuck Yeah
Scotty is in it to win it, and his manipulative mind decided to sing Alan Jackson's song about 9/11, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," as his inspirational tune, barely over a week after the U.S. finally found and killed Osama bin Laden. That's basically telling viewers who don't vote for you that they are unpatriotic and anti-American. And judging by the fact that he didn't get eliminated, it might just prove to be his winning stroke of genius. Damn. We were hoping that something would wipe that smug look off his face.

What else had you cringing? The judges being upset that Pia was eliminated when they never really indicated that they liked her more than others? The existence of Stefano or Thia as actual finalists? Sound off below.

Watch TWoP's editors discuss the season finales they're actually looking forward to in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable channel:

View more videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com.

What are people saying about your favorite shows and stars right now? Find out with Talk Without Pity, the social media site for real TV fans. See Tweets and Facebook comments in real time and add your own -- all without leaving TWoP. Join the conversation now!

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