The best moment of the American Idol 10 finale came at the end, when newly crowned winner Scotty McCreery basically stopped singing to hug his family members; dissed Jack Black, who wanted a hug; and then finished his song in a shower of confetti by collapsing dramatically on the stage and, when he stood up, opening his mouth to catch confetti in it.
That was a surprising and amusing moment in a season that had relatively little of either. Afterwards, “Danny Gokey” started trending on Twitter, which is about all you need to know about season 10.
Scotty, 17, is the second country singer to win the show, and the fourth male in a row to win. But his victory over Lauren Alaina, 16, is the least surprising Idol finale result ever, and the “world record” 122+ million votes were probably mostly for him–Seacrest didn’t even suggest it was close. (Side note: The record-setting votes this season seemed at odds with the general lack of buzz about this season and its contestants, never mind the fewer number of people who tuned in Tuesday night compared to the same episode last year. I wonder if the percentage of votes that come in via text–which is easier to do than calling, especially if you power text–has artificially inflated the number of votes.)
The final 126 minutes–it came in on time, since it was scheduled to go until 10:07, though those extra seven minutes were completely unnecessary–were full of predictable filler, although thankfully, not too many tired bits like the fake awards (although really, who was memorable enough to bring back?). You can relive the minute-by-minute boredom in the live blog.
Besides some clip packages, it was mostly performances, some more awful than others. Beyonce performed twice just to fill time; Lil Jon came out ahead of TLC, minus the L; and James Durbin performing with Judas Priest, for which James wore an outfit that seemed like it came from a collision of The Village People with a chandelier. Tim McGraw and Scotty performed, while Carrie Underwood and Lauren did a duet; both just served to highlight how underwhelming the two finalists are as performers, even if they have good voices. And both Steven Tyler and J Lo took the stage, although J Lo joined her husband Mark Anthony as a silent, ass-shaking dancer to his Spanish-language song.
Not even Lady Gaga, wearing some crazy sequined shit, could rescue the show, as she was confined to the top of her own personal Aggro Crag, at least until she fell into a Double Dare-style pit of foam bricks. It was the perfect metaphor for this season: a lot of talent but little surprise falling off its pedestal but not getting hurt.