Christina Aguilera, Fantasia Barrino, Alice Cooper, and of course, the Mamasox herself (uber-contestant, Mom of the Year, Best Idol Ever) Crystal Bowersox. Yes, some of our favorite celebrity parents appeared on the American Idol finale tonight. And yet, the night belonged to none of them. It didn’t even belong to winner Lee Dewyze, whose medley with the band Chicago couldn’t possibly have been more lackluster.
The night belonged to Bret Michaels, the rockingest rock star on the stage. Mere days after winning Celebrity Apprentice, and just a week after last landing in the hospital, he received the biggest applause of the night. Honestly, when Casey James started singing Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” no one (NO ONE!) expected Michaels to actually appear and sing with him. Yet lo and behold… and the crowd, and Twittisphere, went bonkers.
Unlike his appearance on the Celebrity Apprentice finale, on the American Idol finale he looked healthy and lively, belting out his lyrics as if he’d never been sick. The fans noticed. Here are some excerpts from Twitter:
@hipcop Brett Michaels Looks Awesome!!
@aliliebs bret-frickin’-michaels. dude just had a stroke & killed it on #idol. winning apprentice made up for rock of love. this makes him my hero.
@MarieSteffi I thought Bret was somehow still not doing well in the hospital so I was like, “This can’t be Bret Michaels..” But then, there he was.
Fans were less thrilled with the overall line-up of guest stars. The wattage was stunning — but oddly aged. Janet Jackson? The Bee Gees? Daryl Hall and John Oates? As @BillWendel tweeted: “what exactly is the demographic for #Idol? So far the average age of the guest performers is older than dirt.”
The main issue is that there were more old guest stars than there was singing by the finalists. When Ryan Seacrest announced, ten minutes before the show ended, “Tonight is about Crystal and Lee,” I had to wonder, “Was it really?”
In the end, the entire two-hour finale was mystifying and thrilling at the same time. And yet, when not reveling in the awesome Bret Michaeldom, I was consumed with Crystal Bowersox. Second place? Who cares. The footage of Crystal at auditions with her son was priceless. She entered the competition because, “My kid deserves a better life than I ever had,” and no matter where she placed, her son will now get that. It’s not about the final prize, but that talent that got her this far. Crystal’s got the pipes and the personality — let’s all help carry her to the finish line.
PHOTO: Vince Bucci/FOX