May 23 Review | Season 5 Index

American Idol Season 5 (2006)

May 24 - I made it through the rain...barely (Season Finale)

I think I know why Idol couldn't hire good songwriters for the coronation songs this year.  They were too busy paying for the rights to perform Fleetwood Mac and U2 songs.  And where did it get them?


With few exceptions, I was alternately snoring and cringing in horror through this finale.  Those group numbers?  Boring as fat-free American cheese.  Wolfgang Puck trying to teach Kellie about escargot and lobsters?  Funny for two seconds.  The "duets" that the top five did with the guest artists?  Mostly hideous.  The "Golden Idol Awards" that Ryan passed out?  Lame, with the exception of honoring Elliott's mother, who truly did deserve to be recognized for her support of her son.

But I need to write some sort of recap/review.  So, er, where do I begin?

Group numbers first, since I'm otherwise likely to forget to remember them (tm Carrie Underwood): The guys were boring.  The girls were boring.  The only brilliant thing about the "I Made It Through the Rain" opener with Carrie was the blinding white clothes everyone was wearing.  The Burt Bacharach medley had some okay performances (Ace & Melissa on "The Look of Love," Lisa on "Alfie," and Elliott on "A House is not a Home"), but why was this necessary?  Dionne Warwick looked like she was on Whitney's drugs, and I never ever want to hear "That's What Friends Are For" again.  If I do, I will hurl things.  And what the heck was that horrendous note she hit at the end?  My cat could do better than that.  Sheesh.

The Golden Idol Awards: A lame excuse to make fun of the auditionees some more.  Best thing about them was having Clay come on to sing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" with his supposed lookalike and fan, Michael Sandecki.  I miss Clay's voice, but the man needs to cut his hair.  The early 60s Beatle mop-top look just doesn't work.

The top five contestants singing duets with their "idols": With the exception of Mary J. Blige, all the guest artists for these segments were awful.  Were they just told to make the Idol contestants sound good?  Al Jarreau looked and sounded old and tired next to Paris.  The competing vibratos when Chris sang with Live was enough to make my head spin.  Thank goodness Chris didn't try to match that guy's falsetto, or I think my brain would have imploded.  Katharine gets the award for the best save of the night, because my response to Meat Loaf on "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" was, "When I see you like this, I think no one should touch you like that."  What ten keys was that man singing in, anyway?  Horrible, horrible.  And Mary J. just turned her performance with Elliott into a performance that was all about her.  No, Elliott is no Bono, but good grief, woman, when you sing U2's "One" you can at least pretend to respect the guy standing next to you.  Toni Braxton and Taylor had the potential to have the best duet, but Toni's microphone was turned down too low.  She does, however, get the cheeky award for pulling Taylor's hand over to her hip.  I think that was the first time he's looked embarrassed on this show.

Carrie Underwood's "Don't Forget to Remember Me": I wish I liked country music, because that song didn't seem that bad.  But I don't, so...

Prince: American Idol will point to this moment from now on to justify their existence, because when you get someone on the show who is the caliber of Prince (and whether one likes his music or detests it, most people agree that he is a brilliant musician), then you know you've arrived.  Or you'll at least think so.  People say that "real musicians" wouldn't appear on this show, but His Purpleness showed up to sing two very funky songs off his latest CD.  Selling out?  Nope.  A marketing ploy?  Definitely.  He's not stupid - he knows how many people watch this show.  And I say there's nothing wrong with him being there, because it was a helluva better performance than anything else we've seen this year, and it made suffering through the previous two hours worth it.  He also gets the award for the best snub of the evening, when Ryan walks over to him and he just turns and walks off the stage.  Heh.  Take that, smarm boy.

Announcing the winner: So anticlimactic, because everyone including Kat knew that Taylor would win.  I think Taylor is the first winner in the history of the show, though, not to start blubbering while he's singing the crappy coronation song.  In fact, he hates this song so much that he just stops singing it for a while to give kudos to the Soul Patrol, the house band, and his fellow contestants.  And I thank him for that, because I really did not want to suffer through any more of that song than I had to.  Bleh.  And then he disappears in a dazzling pyrotechnic display, a cascade of confetti, and a pile-on of all his fellow contestants.  Woo!

So there you have it, folks.  Idol is over for one more year.  We can all have our lives back now.  At least until next January.  In the meantime, I think I'll go catch up on my sleep...

Oh, wait.  I already did.

Review 2006 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail

May 23 Review | Season 5 Index