Not since Kelly Clarkson has my favorite done so well.
Way back when this season I unveiled the Molly DeWolf Swenson Scale of favoritism. A surefire kiss of death named after my favorite contestant of all time. The scale has become a kiss of death because my favorite never wins. Never comes close. Only one favorite has ever accomplished the feat and that was the first season’s winner who appeared long before Molly DeWolf Swenson got punched in the face by Randy Jackson. She also remains the only contestant for whom I’ve ever voted.
That’s why it’s so remarkable that Clark made it all the way until the end of the show before losing. Especially after the early judges’ save he seemed destined to go out early due to a buried performance or one off week just because he was my favorite contestant this year. Amazingly, it took America the entire season to catch up with my curse and finally send him packing when there was no show left to leave.
Of course I would have preferred to see Clark take home the title, but it was never much in the cards for my AM Gold stalwart. As soon as Nick started to turn himself into a hybrid of every lead singer of ever crappy band that’s existed in the last quarter century, it was over. The cute guy with a guitar is back on top after a two year absence in the ‘Idol’ winner’s circle. It’s only fitting that the very archetype that essentially killed this show would win two days after the show’s final season was announced. Especially when he beat one of the most talented performers we’ve seen in the series’ history.
But it wasn’t all bad for Clark. It certainly wasn’t all bad for a Clark fan like me. He got to play with Michael McDonald. The king of yacht rock right there with his heir apparent. Dueling pianos to boot! Just knowing that moment got made is worth dooming Clark into the runner-up spot. That was the solid gold of which I knew Clark was capable since the very beginning.
The rest of the performances ranged from boring to atrocious. Any show that opens with Fallout Boy playing the most obnoxious song of the last decade is already trending downward and it only got worse from there amidst a sea of Pitbulls, Ricky Martins and (gulp) Chris Browns.
It’s hard to point to a bright spot outside of Clark’s duet with McDonald. There was certainly some solid unintentional comedy in whatever number of Jacksons are left trying to sing along with Tyanna and remembering that Addana Duru and Sarina-Joi Crowe once existed as living breathing contestants on this show.
There was also some puzzlement. Such as why in God’s name is Daniel Seavey singing with that band of fifty-year-old men who still refer to themselves with words like new and kids. And why would you keep Nick Fradiani from fulfilling his crap rock destiny by having him sing with crap-country artist Andy Grammer? Shouldn’t there have been a reunion of The Goo Goo Matchbox and the Blowfish?
Oh well. It’s his first taste of being a mis-managed ‘Idol’ winner. Speaking of, nice to see you, Casey Abrams! I forgot you won last year so much that I just called you Casey Abrams instead of Caleb Johnson.
Until next year. This was ‘American Idol’.