7:10 pm: Due to an agricultural emergency (don’t ask), I’m a little late in liveblogging the “American Idol” finale. That’s what I get for hyping this to you people!

7:11 pm: At any rate, dinner is ready (and a tad burnt), the TV’s on, and we’re ready to go. I haven’t missed a performance yet, but I’m fifteen good minutes late in introducing you to the cast of characters. Screw it; we’ll do it on the fly.

7:14 pm: Good lord, Daddy Clive is picking songs again. Remember that year he picked “Open Arms” for Elliott Yamin and he blew it?

7:15 pm: Who put Andrew Lloyd Webber in charge of the peanut gallery?

7:15 pm: David Cook goes first, singing one of U2’s very best songs, 1987’s landmark smash “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” Not that I’m biased or nothin’, but this dude can sing anything.

7:16 pm: That didn’t blow me away like his version of “Billie Jean” did, but it was solid.

7:17 pm: By the way, A, they’re in the Nokia Theater tonight! Just steps from your house! And you were kvetching last night about not getting to see it live on TV!

7:18 pm: The judges are unanimous; Cook is a genius

7:19 pm: Boy, Daddy Clive really wants David Archuleta to fall on his face, doesn’t he? Saddling that poor kid with “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” after not one but two of the best singers in the free frickin’ world — Elton John and George Michael — have put their indelible stamp on it?!

7:20 pm: OK, that wasn’t that bad.

7:22 pm: OK, judges, it wasn’t orgasmic or anything!

7:23 pm: Simon calls round one for Archie. My take: pretty even, actually. (Which, considering my documented dislike for the kid, isn’t half bad.)

7:24 pm: No way, though, was that better than Archuleta’s take on “Imagine” earlier in the season, guys. Sorry.

7:26 pm: Better late than never, the cast of characters: In this corner, David Archuleta. 17 year old wunderkind, and beneficiary of far more praise than he ever earned for anything he’s sung on this show. For purposes of tonight and tomorrow night, he’ll be known as “Archie.”

7:27 pm: And in that corner, David Cook. 25 year old bartender, accidentally thrust into this season’s rocker slot. He’s got the craziest knack for reinventing super-famous songs into musical events (see: his covers of Jacko’s “Billie Jean” and Mariah’s “Always Be My Baby”). Tonight and tomorrow, he’ll be known as “Jughead.”

7:29 pm: Time for the annual schmaltz-fest known as the “Idol Coronation Track.” This year, it’s “Dream Big.” Gut reaction: Better than last year’s abysmal “This Is My Now” and not quite on the level of “Inside Your Heaven.” Jughead’s turned it into a Sister Hazel-ish rocker, natch.

7:30 pm: Randy: “Dude, you were singin’ your face off!” Umm, yeah!

7:32 pm: Simon throws a wet blanket on the festivities. He’s right, though; put a bow tie on crap, and it’s still crap.

7:33 pm: Seacrest just called him “Archie” too! Is he sneaking peeks at the Buzz on his Blackberry?!

7:35 pm: So, now that we have Archie and Jughead, I guess that means Ryan and Simon get to flip a coin and decide who’s Betty and who’s Veronica.

7:36 pm: Oh, I see, there are two choices for the coronation song. Didn’t catch the name of this one, but Archie’s off to a pitchy start, ne c’est pas?

7:38 pm: “In This Moment.” Yeah, Jughead’s got this round sewn up, hands tied.

7:39 pm: That song was godawful. The judges, of course, are once again hypnotized by Archie’s “talent.”

7:41 pm: Commercial for the new Coldplay single, “Viva La Vida.” Chris Martin lands another snoozefest, ladies and germs!

7:44 pm: Getting a late start really blew the momentum here. I promise this will go much better tomorrow night.

7:45 pm: Round three is contestants’ choice. Jughead’s going for a Collective Soul classic. Isn’t the sight of Daddy Clive and Andy Webber giving these kids advice like watching a team of nuns giving the keynote speech at a prostitute convention?

7:47 pm: Jughead saves the right hook for the climax? Don’t you love the way he totally gets into it, no matter what he’s singing? Contrast that with Archie, who stands there stone-faced when he performs.

7:48 pm: Jughead’s tearing up. Hey, it worked for Hillary.

7:49 pm: Paula’s babbling about “standing in your truth” or some such nonsense. In case you’re wondering, that’s why she can’t be either Betty or Veronica.

7:51 pm: Simon tells him he should have picked “Billie Jean” or “Hello” to perform again. If Archie sings “Imagine” again, I’m gonna scream.


7:55 pm: Sweet Jesus, Archie’s really singing “Imagine” again.

7:56 pm: Jughead took the high road by picking a new song instead of banking on a guaranteed winner. Don’t be stunned if that loses him this competition.

7:57 pm: Of course the judges love it, again. Gag me with a pitchfork. Seriously.

8:00 pm: Good lord, Ruben’s out to close the show. What rock (boulder?) did they yank him out from under?!

8:03 pm: A formal recap to follow, as soon as I catch my breath and get my mind wrapped around all this data. Stay tuned.

8:34 pm: OK, breath caught and mind clear. Feels like a statistical dead heat to me, which probably equals a stunning victory for Archie (who does absolutely nothing for me, in any capacity). The thing about tonight is, Jughead was only slightly above average tonight — dare I posit that he actually wants to lose this thing? — and that may not be enough. The two were even money after round one, with both of them doing justice to Daddy Clive’s choices (although I could have lived just fine without hearing Archie trying to outdo King George, thank you very much). Jughead pulled ahead in round two (I don’t care what Simon says; “Dream Big” was soooo much better than that crappy song whose name I’ve misplaced again.). And, thanks to Jughead’s boneheaded decision to go with an original (and relatively obscure) song over something he knew he could nail to the wall, Archie came back with a winning cover of “Imagine,” which was no less dynamic than it was the first time he performed it fourteen weeks ago.

More (and clearer) thoughts tomorrow. Thanks for allowing me into your own “Idol” experience; you guys rock!


6 responses to “the “idol” finale:
a brandon’s buzz live blog event (day one)”

  1. the buzz from Mike Walker:

    LOL — grudging praise for D.A. Whatever next? D.A.’s dad turns out to be a decent human being?

  2. the buzz from Mike Walker:

    “This Is My Now” has got to be the worst title for a song in the history of bad song titles.

  3. the buzz from Mike T:

    Great first dive into liveblogging!

  4. the buzz from Sherry Ann:

    OK B, I think that it is funny that if you sit down and type out what you are thinking it is an “event”. Always ever so humble… Just kidding, you know I love you more than my luggage.

  5. the buzz from brandon:

    Hey, don’t hate!

  6. the buzz from A.:

    Well, this was fantastic! Being mindful of sounding too much like Paula Abdul, I have to say congratulations on a terrific first live blog post!

    I knew the live blog was off to a great start as soon as I read the words “agricultural emergency.” While some of us experience traffic delays, others, apparently, have agricultural emergencies! I almost fell off my chair… twice.

    For me, the best performance of the evening was David Cook’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” David Archuleta was fine, but I am neither an Archie-lover nor an Archie-hater.

    A few more minor observations: (1) Why the silly boxing theme at the beginning? (2) Andrew Lloyd Weber is hilarious every time he appears, even if for only a few seconds. (3) Paula Abdul’s comments are even more über-sweet and über-meaningless than I remembered. (4) In addition to Ryan Seacrest stealing “Archie,” Randy Jackson apparently has used a Brandonism as well. (If anyone on AI mentions “ingredients on a can of Alpo,” I will seriously have to investigate it for plagiarism.)

    I am eagerly waiting the second live blog tomorrow night! Keep up the great posts, Brandon!