In fact, I watched a couple of the audition-round episodes for kicks, 'cause it's always fun to laugh at those half-wits who promise that they "WILL be the NEXT AMERICAN IDOL!" get up there in front of the judges and completely fall flat on their faces.
But somewhere in there, as a result of my busy evening schedule combined with a lack of interest in anyone I had seen through the few early episodes I caught, I stopped watching regularly. Occasionally, when the roomies were watching, I'd tune in, but it always seemed the only guy I ever saw perform was some dude named Anoop. And he didn't exactly rock my world.
However, the odd time, I did catch a glimpse of this one handsome guy, and the little snippets I saw of his performances were always quite good. His name was Kris Allen, and I thought to myself, If I was following Idol more closely, he'd probably be my guy. Even so, I never put him up in the ranks of Chris Daughtry, Greg Neufeld, or the Pigott Brothers - my other Idol faves of the past. After all, some early preliminary research nailed down the fact that the boy was already married, so he lost some of his "magic". A man that young-looking and so adorably cute and boyish shouldn't be already tied down. That's just depressing for we single girls of the world.
Nevertheless, I was pleased when I read an Idol re-cap last week on the 'Net and discovered that Kris had survived another cut and was now in the Top 3. Oh, and that Anoop lad was long gone. It also seemed that this other competitor, Adam Lambert, was the judges' darling, and having never seen him before, I was intrigued to see how he stacked up against Kris.
Suddenly, this week's episode took on new significance for me. Suddenly, I was back in the Idol groove!
Kris had heavy competition this week. As it turns out, Adam Lambert is the 'judges' darling' for good reason. Buddy can siiiiiing. This week, Randy, Kara, Paula and Simon had him perform "One" by U2, and then he himself chose to rock out to Aerosmith's "Cryin'". Yowzers. When he hits those big notes, it's hard not to get the shivers down the spine. I quickly realized why they've been touting him as the front-runner in all the headlines for weeks now.
Then there was Danny Gokey. He reminded me of Steven Page, former Barenaked Lady, in appearances, and I didn't recognize his first song, so I wrote him off quickly. But then, for his second song, he selected "You Are So Beautiful" and re-worked the arrangement - it was pretty cool. And I couldn't deny that he had an amazing voice.
Kris disappointed me with his first performance. The judges handed him "Apologize", and he played it safe behind the piano, and while it was a decent effort, it didn't wow me. Could be because I don't really like that song to begin with. Either way, I was afraid for him.
Then suddenly he stepped out for his second song, and ka-bam - Kris was back, baby! All alone, with his acoustic guitar, performing a bare-bones, gritty, original take on Kanye West's "Heartless". It was awesome. Easily one of my most favourite performances that I've ever seen on any Idol show. I loved it. Loved it. Even better - so did the judges! Not even Simon could say a bad thing about it. He told Kris he had totally altered everything with that one performance.
So last night, I avoided most of the 1-hour results show, tuning in just at the end to find out if Kris made it through or not. If he didn't, then next week's finale really wouldn't hold much interest for me. If he did, though, then everything would be altered for me, too. With Kris Allen in the final, based solely on that Kanye West cover, I would then be highly anticipating the grande finale!
Seacrest had to send somebody back to safety first. Despite Kris' amazing performance, I expected that Adam would be the first person selected for the Final 2, because as much as I love Kris, Adam is, undeniably, the big gun of this competition. So it was with great delight that I watched him officially anoint Kris the first contestant in next weeks finals!! I was absolutely thrilled to know that I have one more week to watch that adorable, sweet face and smooth, sexy voice.
So that left Adam & Danny - one going home, one on the verge of glory. They did the long, prolonged pause and flashed the cameras on the judges' tense faces - could it be? Was it possible that Adam was the one going home???...
And while I'm sure Adam Lambert is still a lock to win the Idol crown, Kris' interpretation of "Heartless" had to have garnered him some new fans. I know it definitely worked on me. Cowell has declared him the dark horse, and they're claiming this could be one of the most intense show-downs in the history of Idol.
It all comes down to next week...