Relief. Happiness. Validation. Not only did we get the right winner but we got an incredibly sweet and joyous ending. I admit I got quite a jolt when Kieran dimmed the lights and Ryan announced that My Girl Gabby was not going to be in the Final Twosome which we later learned should have been taken quite literally – literal literally not slang hyperbole literally. I was starting to feel all my worst fears and anger rising as I contemplated the possibility that Caleb was going to be the next American Idol. But when the lights were dimmed for the last time, Ryan announced that Caleb’s girlfriend – uh, what????? – was the winner.
In that moment, I realized that not only did I think My Girl Maddie deserved to win, I also really wanted her to win. As I’ve always said, what I love about Idol is the story arc of zero to hero. Between Gabby and Maddie, Gabby came in with swagger and looking like a star while Maddie came in unsure of herself, looking like someone you’d never notice but with talent that week by week demanded attention. I could have justified a win by My Girl Gabby but I find Maddie’s winning far more satisfying. By the way, Gabby was the betting favorite in Vegas – a fact that I randomly came across.
Rarely have we had an Idolist with as cleverly chosen and broad a body work as Maddie. She announced her uniqueness by auditioning with a song from The Muppet Movie. In Hollywood Week she sang her own original song Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up. In the Top 24 she sang Melanie’s Brand New Key. Who does that? And during the season she was utterly captivating doing songs by Prince, The Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac. Who can do that? It’s downright Adam Lambert-ish!!!
A few thoughts on the show itself. Caleb’s impression of Lionel Ritchie was better than Lionel’s opening performance. Luke’s duet with Gabby was very well done and validated my belief in her. I would rather Gary Clark, Jr. have performed without any of the Idolists and done his outrageous cover of Come Together. The biggest surprise of the night was the Katy Perry-Catie Turner duet which was gorgeous. It’s too bad Catie is so awkward (that sounds harsh but I don’t know what else to call it) because she may have been the best pure singer in the competition. Their duet was almost as good as this:
The ending was touching: Maddie unable to hold it together during her coronation song and having all the Idolists sing along with her. It was a celebration of each other, a celebration of Idol’s successful return and a celebration of Maddie. Somehow it was fitting that Maddie was the catalyst of the celebration while finding a way to not be the center of it.
So now I turn my attention to her post-Idol career. I’m really curious what kind of music she’ll make and how she will be positioned in the market.
And with that, it’s a wrap. Time to turn my attention to The Bachelorette. 🙂
Until the next time, I hope you get to listen to some good music. You can start with this. Prepare yourself first.