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And the winner of American Idol is…nah, I won’t give it away until after the jump for those of you who decided to watch Law and Order: SVU (and by “you” I mean me) and save the Idol recap for later.  I actually learned who won right before I started watching.  Thanks DVR and internet.  It’s down to Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips.  Who will it be?  Let’s find out in what may be the most anticlimactic AI finale EVER.  At least that lead in was dramatic, right?   The final twelve perform, and blah, blah, filler, blah.  Really do we need two more hours of Idol after two hours of Idol last night?

After the initial hoopla performance, the judges and Ryan Seacrest are introduced.  Ryan and his bump-it recap the prior evening, making a two hour finale seem like just minutes with his suave style…in just a short two hours, we will have a new American Idol.  He meets with the finalists, and Jessica admits she managed two hours of sleep before her big night.  Smug Phil slept for nine hours.  I want to reach through my television and smack him.  I can’t remember the last time I slept for nine hours straight…and I need it.  I need it bad, people.

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Phillip performs with John Foggerty.  I love some CCR.  Phil should be super excited about this opportunity.  John, not so much.  It’s a great performance, although I can’t understand a word Phillip sings.  Perhaps I like CCR too much that I am not holding Phillip accountable.  What does it matter?  The votes have already been tallied, so I”ll just enjoy Have You Ever Seen the Rain.    Phil does a mediocre job of introducing Bad Moon Rising.   John carries it, but again, what does it matter?  It’s like my iTunes are storming the Idol stage.

We are treated to a funny/sad montage of those singers who try out but only make it on screen so we can laugh.  Y’all know you only watch the beginning of Idol to see the insanity of horrific singers.  There is footage of Steven Tyler trying to mount a jet.  Good times.  Fox decides to pour some salt in the wounds of the most recent cast-off Joshua Ledet by making him perform Elton John’s Take Me to the Pilot.  Joining him onstage is an unrecognizeable Fantasia Barrino.  Lose that wig, sweetheart.  I really have a hard time watching…I recognize the voice, but the face, hair, and body are foreign.  It’s almost like a cartoon.  Could I have accidentally switched the channel to Nick at Nite?

Ryan and Jimmy join the judges to spread some praise.  There is a hysterical montage about Jimmy’s relationship with the judges.  Jimmy has no filter, and he clearly has no clue what Jennifer Lopez’s actual name is…perhaps that is why she’s undecided as to whether to return next season.  JLo is laughing slash horrified to see the footage.  The top twelve ladies perform, and I’ll admit, they make me excited about the AI tour…not that I’ll ever go see it.  Wait, is that Chaka Khan?  That’s pretty awesome.

American Idol wastes some time reminding the viewers of the final two’s pasts.  They discuss their mentors, and their mentors are thrilled to get some screen time.  Ford allowed the final Idols to invite them to the finale.  Aww, product placement!  Their mentors are both teary as they receive new Fords.  A new Ford Fusion is then bestowed upon Jessica and Phillip.  No shocker there.  Seriously, is this what we’re watching?  Oprah’s Favorite Things?  This show could be an hour, easy.

Rhianna performs in what has to be a light show that rivals Disney’s fireworks display.  The girl can dance and rock an inappropriate style bra-ballgown combination.  Recently voted off Skylar Laine is brought back to perform one of Reba McIntyre’s songs with…Reba.  I think I’d come back for that too.  Turn on the radio, peeps.  Because there are two hours to fill, we are forced to watch a hilarious montage of Steven and his pet sloth.  I wish I could make this stuff up, for real.  There are a couple of senior citizens making out as well as a faux zebra.  Poor Randy Jackson is forced to give the tour of Steven’s lair to a bunch of Playboy wannabes.

Jessica performs I Will Always Love You.  I am going to get some hate in the comments section, but I’m ready.  She doesn’t do Whitney Houston justice…or Dolly Parton for that matter.  She’s a great singer, but you don’t sing Whitney unless you can nail it.  And I don’t think she did.  Speaking of not nailing it, the former male contestants tackle Neil Diamond.  Yikes.  Did I drink bitter juice for dinner?  My apologies.  Stop with the Niel Diamond!  Please!  I love him…but not this “tribute.”  Of course, Mr. Diamond has to negate my former comments and join this cluster on stage for Sweet Caroline.  Heck, he’s not even singing…he’s got a pseudo rap kicking.  American Idol has single handedly ruined all my middle school mix tapes with this overly long finale.

Randy is teased for his long running phrase of “you could sing the phone book.”  Way to go, Randy.  Now the show feels the need to waste more time by actually SINGING THE PHONE BOOK.  Gracious.  Ryan then bestows upon Randy a beautifully wrapped phone book. Jennifer Lopez takes the stage, but not before Ryan can tout the movies, voice overs, new singles, cosmetic meccas , and llama rescues in which she’s involved.  I am actually impressed.  Her performance is reminiscent of the first time I saw her perform (not live, but God I wish) at the Grammys, when my sarcastic self was wondering why some major movie star felt the need to be a pop star.  Pick a genre, I thought.  As much as I hate to admit it, she’s got mad talent.

Ryan introduces the Idol alum in the audience.  We’ve got Lauren Alaina (LOVE!) and Taylor Hicks…who is thanking his lucky stars that once a year this show makes him relevant.  He’s presh though.  Call me THicks.  The first Idol couple, Ace and Diana DeGarmo are called to the stage.  If there is a planned proposal, I am changing the channel and y’all can recap the rest of this shiz yourselves.  Wow.  Could this be any more scripted?  She is so not at all surprised.  If my job didn’t depend on this, I’d turn off the TV and make good on my previous sentence’s promise.  What’s next, an Idol wedding?  Cut your hair before the ceremony, Ace.  Please.  Another voted-off-too-soon Hollie Cavanaugh returns to sing after that milestone.  Geez.  A stunning Jordan Sparks joins her…because we need star power right about now, even though Hollie can hold her own.

Ryan lays the ground work for a Bee Gees montage to pay tribute to Robin Gibb.  My musician friend Spencer is cringing as I get teary to How Deep Is Your Love as I always force him to play it…and he performs a good six nights a week.  That can certainly wear on a person.  Sorry for the sidebar…Joshua Ledet rocks it.  Sorry America, but y’all voted him off too soon!   Jessica gets the extreme privilege of dueting I’m Not Going with Jennifer Holiday.  I was expecting JHud, but this is just as good.  Steven Tyler and Aerosmith round out the evening’s way too long and drawn out performances.  They did great.  Who am I kidding?  By this point I was just fast-forwarding to the winner.  Sorry.

Jessica and Phillip take the stage for a final time to duet my favorite middle school slow dance anthem Up Where We Belong.  I’m also simultaneously reliving a Days of Our Lives wedding that this song played a part in…

Finally (finally, finally, finally) Ryan is ready to give up on the two hour ridiculousness and announce a winner.  There was world record voting, y’all….when is there not?  The final contestants give their final thanks…and the winner is announced.   Doug Dougerston  Steve Mc Stevenson Ingrid Von Ingridstein Phillip Phillips is crowned the next American Idol.  And good-night, dear readers.  I cannot watch another second.  :)

DID PHILLIP PHILLIPS HAVE YOUR VOTE?  COMMENTS ON THE TWO FREAKIN’ HOUR FINALE?

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