Thursday, May 25, 2006

TV Overdose: Two Big Finales, One Night

The TV season is over -- but it sure went out with a bang Wednesday night. The two-hour "Lost" season ender was riveting (although I know plenty of you are probably pissed that the show has now created a whole new set of questions), while the "American Idol" finale was the best one Fox has done yet. For God's sake, Prince performed! Prince!

First, "American Idol." Indeed, I was in the audience at the Kodak Theatre and got to see the festivities live and up close. More importantly, I got to see David Hasselhoff live and up close. He seems to get crazier with age, yes? The tan, the glasses... my only regret was not jumping up fast enough to shake his hand (and perhaps tell him how much I enjoy his music video to "Hooked on a Feeling," now playing on You Tube. Seriously, if you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor.)

Past "Idol" series finales have been padded and padded again with extras that prolonged the final winner reveal. This year, though, the producers got wise and perhaps took a page from shows like the Grammys: Stick to the music. It helps that, as "Idol" continues to become an ever-larger phenomenon, big-time artists are suddenly willing to appear on the show.

Mary J. Blige dueting with Elliott Yamin on "One" was one of the true highlights. Mary J's really been milking her version of "One," appearing just last week at ABC's upfronts singing the exact same song.

On the flip side... oh, Meat Loaf. Your leering duet with Kat McPhee was starting to really creep me out.

Chris Daughtry singing with Live was an expected touch -- while the show opened strong with Paris Bennett dueting with Al Jarreau. Paris truly should have been in the finals.

I was emailing with a Fox exec (what? Yes, I know, it's obnoxious.) during the show, and he kept promising a big surprise. Clay Aiken came on. Dude, the surprise better not be Clay Aik... whoa, what's up with his hair?! Dionne Warwick showed up and sang while accompanied by her old pal Burt Bacharach. Nice retro touch, but the surprise has got to be more than that. Then Prince showed up.

Hot damn. That's strong. Prince sang two new songs, didn't duet with any of the "Idol" contestants... and then earned even more of my undying respect by completely dissing Ryan Seacrest. (Seacrest came over to shake Prince's hand -- but Prince turned and exited the stage before the host had a chance. Love it!) Apparently Prince only confirmed late Tuesday night, and was a last-minute addition.

In the end, although I was rooting for Paris or even Elliott to make it to the end, in the faceoff between Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee, I was rooting for Mr. Soul Patrol. Yes, partly because Blogger Baby made the pick, and a Taylor win would push Evan to 9-0. (Which he now is!) But McPhee didn't show enough personality for me to understand what she's all about.

The time came: To no one's surprise, Taylor's name was read... and he performed that terrible, terrible single he first sang Tuesday night.

Ho! Ho! Ho! No, this isn't my real beard.

How good was "Lost"?! We found out how the plane crashed... what happens when the numbers aren't typed in on the hatch computer... that Henry Gale appears to be the leader of the Others, who have another nickname: "The Hostiles." That Libby gave her late husband's boat to Desmond -- yet another similarity. That the Others/Hostiles didn't really want Hurley. That remains of a freaky four-toed statue exists somewhere near the north part of the island. That Desmond accidentally killed his hatchmate.

And, in the weirdest twist of them all, that Desmond's ex-flame appears to be searching the world for him, hiring scientists somewhere up north to keep track of electromagnetic pulses around the globe.

OK, but I still don't get how they scored an ultra-new, circa 2000/2001 washer/dryer in the hatch --yet they can't get a modern laptop computer down there.

Hey! A boat! We're saved! Wait a sec... it's that guy Desmond. Never mind.

I'm thrilled that they shook things up.. next season could be very different. Your thoughts?

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