This year's champ was Lee DeWyze and although I would have preferred Crystal Bowersox, I wasn't really that excited by either one. In fact, none of the twelve finalist this season were particularly strong, memorable or imaginative. I think this was emphasized by this episode being the lowest rated season closer in the history of the program.
I think the problem is that because everybody has watched the show and know what to do and what not to do that they all wind up playing it safe. . . too safe. They're to the point were they are afraid to take any musical chances, like picking songs that haven't been done to death on previous seasons and trying something a little more challenging. The fear of being voted off has made most of the contestants uninteresting. The only person this season who was fearless and stayed true to who she is throughout was Crystal but although she is very talented, I'm not sure how successful of a recording artist she will be. She lacks, just like the many of these other wannabe "artists", that certain je ne sais quoi to help her stand out in a very crowded music field.
Here I am. . . sounding like Simon Cowell, who is going to be greatly missed. He may not have any tact but he was the only one of the judges keeping it real. I have no suggestions for a replacement for Mr. Cowell but it definitely needs to be somebody with more depth than Randy Jackson and more bite (and musical background) than Ellen.
In regards to the show, I thought the musical tribute to Simon Cowell with all the previous "Idol" winners and contestants was very nice. The new song that Christina Aguilera performed was an odd choice but she sang it well. Although for some reason it just comes across as a little sad when they pair the "Idol" contestants with artists whose glory years are behind them but it's still great to see people like Hall & Oates, Chicago and Alanis Morissette.
For me, watching Janet Jackson perform was certainly a highlight of the show although I'm not so sure she was actually singing "live" but who cares? It was good to see her, she looked great and she was entertaining.
Here are some tunes from previous "Idol" winners. Enjoy: