It's here! It only took us 38 episodes, 17 weeks and one Tatiana del Toro, but the "American Idol" finale is just moments away!
Tonight I'm live-blogging from the actual honest-to-Gokey "American Idol" finale - but don't get too excited. I'm not in the auditorium with the judges and the random celebrity guests and the Seacrest. I'm in a "press viewing party" in the basement of the Nokia Theatre, squeezed in between other (sweaty) media outlets and watching the show on a monitor. This is the glamorous underbelly of showbiz, folks, and taking a look around the room, I'd say put the emphasis on belly.
For those of you who need to get caught up to speed on tonight's proceedings, it's Battle Royale between Adam Lambert, a theatrical screaming banshee who revitalized the aging competition with a unique style and a coy/savvy depiction of his sexuality, and Kris Allen, a humble newlywed from Arkansas who started the season as cannon fodder but slowly but surely gathered tons of fans with his boyish good looks, consistent vocals and acoustic interpretations of unexpected pop hits. His greatest achievement thus far? Kicking judge's fave Danny Gokey out of the competition last week.
Each singer will be tackling three songs tonight. One is a repeat from earlier this season (which is never as good as the first time they sang it), one is Simon Fuller's choice (he's the executive producer who also made "Spice World," so perhaps one song will feature the lyrics "Zig-a-zig-ah") and the last one is the coronation song/winner's first single, co-written by 4th-judge/show-ruiner Kara DioGuardi. (I kid, Kara. Can't wait to have you back next season.)
Okay, let's get on with the live-blogging!
7:56 pm - Holy crap you guys, I literally almost missed this. Somehow I got seriously lost in the 4 blocks between my hotel and the Nokia Theatre. I hate cars.
7:59 pm - Sixty seconds away!! (Nice way to plug my 60 Second Recaps, ain't it?)
8:00 pm - Gasp! It's on the monitor but there's no volume! It's mutiny in the press room! GAHHH!!!
8:01 pm - Crisis averted. The audio kicked in just as Kris and Adam were saying "I am the next American Idol" during their auditions. How much you wanna bet they went back and re-taped that yesterday?
8:02 pm - Camryn Manheim alert! She was there last year, too. Her son looks like he's off his meds. It's okay, kid. I'd be jumping up and down like a maniac if I was allowed to be inside the auditorium, too.
8:03 pm - Seacrest called it the battle between "the guy next door and the guyliner." Or he was announcing the name of a porno he was producing.
8:03 pm - Carly Smithson in the audience! Also Casey Carlson! $5 if you remember either of them.
8:04 pm - Seacrest tells America that tomorrow night's results show is gonna go long, so set your DVR's accordingly. They had to add an extra 5 minutes to the show so that Steve Martin could hock his Banjo album. I'm not making that up. Steve Martin is performing tomorrow night.
8:05 pm - Commercial break math quiz. Steve Martin + a banjo - comedy = ???
8:06 pm - And the answer is "something I don't want to see on the 'Idol' finale thank you very much."
8:06 pm - Anyone else notice that Kara got the quietest applause during the intros? If this were the Oscars In Memorium montage, Simon Cowell was Heath Ledger and Kara DioGuardi was the sound recordist for "Ishtar."