American Idol Final Performances: Caleb should be getting the Season 13 crown Thur…, I mean, Wednesday

Would have been nice to see these two actually compete in the finale, right?

Would have been nice to see these two actually compete in the finale, right?

It’s simply amazing that a network that runs major sporting events has no clue how to run a halfway decent reality show competition.

MISTAKE NO. 1: Idiots who run Fox
There isn’t one reason on this planet that the American Idol final performances should be on Tuesday. Once we hit the Top 13 it was an easy schedule – Wednesday performances, Thursday results. Not hard to forget. It’s scheduled viewing.

So for the biggest night of the season they switch the day of the show? That’s like the NFL having the Super Bowl on a Thursday night.

MISTAKE NO. 2: Idiots who run Idol
The final performances don’t help anyone, at least not with the format of songs they picked today. I have no issues with Simon Fuller picking songs – the man is a god in my book and I thank him every day for giving me a reason to drink on Wednesday nights – because it gives me a chance to hear the Idols competing one last time?

But the other “themes?” Best moment? I can YouTube that shit. And I did. I don’t need to see it again. The “Winner’s Single?” You need to make them compete and it starts by putting them on a level playing field; have them sing the same song and don’t give them crap-ass tunes where one song may be more catchy and that gets votes because, to paraphrase Caleb, voters are retards.

The finale was over after the first round. Geena Gina Jena Irene, bless her heart and soon-to-be-hot self, did an admirably job with the song she was given by Fuller, but Caleb Johnson just crushed his song and with what was coming up next, all Caleb had to to was not Aaron Hernandez anyone on live TV and he was going to win.

I wanted more. I love the competition. I love the strategy behind song choice and song composition and the finale robbed me of it. This was the World Series being decided by a home run derby or the Masters’ winner being chosen on a closest-to-the-pin contest.

If Fox and the American Idol producers are wondering why the ratings are going in the toilet, maybe the ought to take a look at tonight’s abortion of a finale and start there.
On to the performances:


Jena Irene
“Dog Days Are Over,” Florence & the Machine
You know how all us internet experts say Idols should never try Whitney, Celine or Heart unless you’re 100 percent sure you can get those notes?

Well, add Florence – and her Machine – to that list. There isn’t a bigger and better voice on the planet and if you think otherwise, I have to tell you something: you’re an idiot.

It was a decent enough song choice, but good god it showed some flaws in Jena’s voice. She’s just not powerful enough to take it on. She could have made it more her own, but instead she did a karaoke version of it and it sounded, well, karaoke.

The judges’ critiques were typical of Idol; at this point in the show they’re not going to say anything bad. Keith Urban’s a pussy, J-Lo is just so happy and Harry Connick Jr. is sick of looking like a dickhead so he just nods.

Bottom line – that performance would have been mediocre if this was Top 13. Since this was the final, it was bad and definitely not what you need to do if you actually want to win this show.

Caleb Johnson
“Dream On,” Aerosmith
Did Caleb make this song his own?

Hell yeah. Because all Caleb does is rock faces off.

He’s a one trick pony, but Caleb’s trick is pretty friggin’ good. He’s not a genius when it comes to arrangements or music; he’s simply a voice and a damn good. I was sitting on my couch and all I wanted to hear if he was going to chase Steven Tyler’s “I’m-getting-my-nuts-chomped” note, and he did. And he found it. HOLY GOD. As my wife – who laughed at my frustration over Idol’s idiotic schedule change – said about that one note, it was crazy.

There was no reason for the judges to say anything. In fact Caleb’s only mistake was not dropping the mic after singing the last note and walking off the stage, flipping everyone off while Kenny Smith came out of nowhere screaming this:

ROUND 1 RANKS: 1, Caleb. 2, Jena.


Jena Irene
“Can’t Help Falling In Love,” Elvis Presley
This performance was what it was – terrific.

Problem is it does absolutely nothing to help Jena’s cause. We know she can sing this. We know it’s terrific. She’s done it. In the finale, she needs to stand out and for anyone who has been voting, they’re not going to vote for her all of a sudden based on this performance because in all likelihood, they have been for weeks.

Now that said, this performance? Her take on this song? Tears. It’s so good.

It’s the type of performance that would have been brilliant to bang out had it not already been done before.

Caleb Johnson
“Maybe I’m Amazed,” Paul McCartney
Caleb is in a little bit of a different boat.

It was clear after Round 1 – and last week, for that matter – that he’s the favorite to win. This performance wasn’t going to make him win more; it could only hurt. Caleb had to go out and avoid a major mistake; a missed note, forget the words, adding the word retard in the lyrics, doing coke on stage, calling J-Lo a bitch, etc, et al.

There’s no reason to believe he lost ground in that round.

ROUND 2 RANKS: 1, tie because this round is stupid.


Jena Irene
“We Are One”
Again, Jena gets screwed by American Idol’s ineptitude.

It’s horribly unfair for the two singers to sing two different original songs because if one is better than the other it’s going to help that contestant. It’s not like the producers handpicking gems for the contestants they want to go through and making others sing garbage; the Idols can arrange a song any way they want and make it their own. That’s not the case with this original. It sounds the way Fuller wants it to so he can make paper. Dollar, dollar bill y’all.

Jena needed to have a memorable performance to have a chance at beating Caleb. She didn’t. She needed Fantasia’s “Summertime,” David Cook’s “Always Be My Baby” or Phillip Phillips’ “We’ve Got Tonight.” Hell, she might have been better off if her and Caleb had to sing that piece of pop trash to see if she could sound better, a la Season 1 when Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini (thanks Wikipedia for the spellcheck!) sang “A Moment Like This.” Didn’t remember Justin sang it to, did you? He did:

Now that doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as this, does it?

Jena needed to be more Clarkson and have Caleb be Justin – maybe they could do a horrible movie too – but she didn’t get the chance and because of it she doesn’t deserve to win.

Caleb Johnson
“As Long As You Love Me”
Let’s not pretend that Caleb’s song was actually listenable. As a song it’s pretty bad.

Caleb rocked the shit out of it – duh, that’s what he does – but it just isn’t a good song. Whoever wrote it should be fired.

But Caleb performed it well. He’s going to win. But it wasn’t that moment and when they call his name tomorrow night, it won’t be nearly as touching as this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or this:

Done crying yet?

ROUND 3 RANKS: 1, tie because it’s stupid.

Predictions? Caleb deserves to win. He came in ahead and Jena didn’t do anything to prove she deserved it over him. He was the most consistent performer all season and that should count for something. If Jena wins, it’s going to be because she took all of Alex Preston’s teeny-bopper votes so that is definitely in play, but I can’t see how anyone can say with a straight face that Caleb wasn’t the best performer.

We’ll find out tomorrow, but knowing Fox they probably scheduled the results show for sometime in July.


PS Furious that after all the fun I’ve had this season I couldn’t live tweet the fucking final performances. Assholes.