I went to Tuesday's American Idol finale at the Kodak theater. I came out thinking I would have called it a draw, but when I watched it on TV, I have to agree with Simon in that Taylor Hicks' last song propelled him to victory over Katharine McPhee.
I ended up sitting in the back of the theater, so at times it was hard to hear. I started out in the third or fourth row initially (I was a seat-filler) and was behind the gorgeous Jennifer Hudson and the happiest man on earth, George Huff. Behind me was Ace Young and his parents. Next to me was Ann Nesby (Paris Bennett's grandmother), and then I got booted from my location when Paris came. She's really cute. I just missed seeing Elliott Yamin. I wanted to see how tall he is. Heh. BTW - speaking of Elliott ... everytime his name was mentioned or his face was on the video board, the crowd went bonkers. He and Chris Daughtry were the most beloved of the booted finalists, by far. If Elliott had made the finals, he totally would have won. Sigh.
Anyway, the acoustics in the back aren't all that great, so when it gets really loud, it's very hard to hear. I missed most of Randy Jackson's comments (I've found that this is a good thing most of the time). And I missed Katharine's miffing of the ending of her coronation song, "My Destiny". She hit those bum notes just as the whole crowd was getting on their feet and cheering for her. It's a shame, too, because she was having a great night up until then (Somewhere Over The Rainbow is just stunning to hear in person), and I also thought she really connected with that song, crappy as it was.
Now Taylor sang the crap out of his crappy song. His opening was weak (and those lyrics are SO DUMB!), but he really let loose at the end and churched it up. It's a testament to him as a performer that he was able to turn that horrible song into something worth listening to. Not that I particularly want to hear it again after the confetti drops and fireworks pop today!
Oh - and a couple of celebrity and ex-Idol sightings: James Van Der Beek and his wife, Stanford from Sex in the City, Justin Guarini, Tori Spelling, Ty Treadway, Anthony Fedorov, Nadia Turner, Tamyra Gray, Mikalah Gordon, George Huff, Jennifer Hudson, Ayla Brown, LaToya London (looking ridiculously gorgeous w/ long hair), Kimberley Locke.