'American Idol' finalists Blake Lewis, Jordin Sparks sing one last time
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/23/2007
It was "The Great Entertainer" versus "The Great Singer" during last night's final sixth season American Idol performance episode, which saw Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks, the season's Top 2 finalists, compete in-front of a studio audience and tens of millions of home viewers live from Hollywood's Kodak Theater.
Both Lewis and Sparks each performed three songs: one they had previously performed during Idol's sixth season; one they had never performed before on the Idol stage; and "This is My Now," a third song that was chosen via American Idol's sixth season songwriting competition. "This is My Now" was written by Scott Krippayne and Jeff Peabody and will also serve as the first single released by Idol's sixth season winner. Krippayne and Peabody also have something in common with Idol 6's Top 2 finalists -- both are from Seattle, which is where both Lewis and Sparks auditioned for Idol.
Song: "You Give Love a Bad Name" (originally performed during the Top 6 performance episode when the finalists were mentored by Jon Bon Jovi while performing Bon Jovi songs) Randy said: (Randy had to wait a few seconds for the live studio audience to stop cheering) "Alright so check it out. I'll give you a 10 out of 10 on the beat-boxing dog. The beat-boxing was hot! You had the triplets going on there with the drum thing. The singing for me was just alright (boos from the audience)." Paula said: "I think you outdid yourself. I think you were far superior to when we were at [CBS Television City, where Idol usually tapes]. I wish I could give you more than a 10... so a 10 plus 10 plus 10." Simon said: "Blake, you're not the best singer in the competition, but you are the best performer I think we've had (cheers from the audience). And somewhere in the middle, I thought the performance was great, the energy amazing... I thought the singing was actually a bit flat in the middle. I think you were shouting (boos). But you know what? I don't think it matters because it was your best performance from a few weeks ago (cheers). Additional Info: Fox aired a coin flip that was taped last week and would determine which of the Top 2 finalists had the choice of deciding if they wanted to sing first or second during the performance episode. Blake won the coin toss and chose to go first... While Idol host Ryan Seacrest was introducing the judges, Simon gestured towards Paula's nose, which was broken when she was trying to avoid stepping on her dog over the weekend. Paula assured the audience and Ryan she was alright, and also said her dog was doing just fine. "So the bitch is okay?" said Ryan, which brought a gasp from the audience...
Song: "Fighter" (by Christina Aguilera, first time Jordin performed it) Randy said: "Check it out, check it out, check it out... This is a very interesting show tonight. (Randy is quieted by more cheers from the audience and a group of fans chanting, 'Jordin! Jordin! Jordin!') Wow... the fans are moving tonight! I love that! This is a very interesting night tonight because I feel we've got the great entertainer versus the great singer... I mean it's that kind of battle. It wasn't your greatest entertainment thing, but your voice, I mean you were stellar. You were brilliant, I mean it sounded amazing." Paula said: "I knew that this was going to be one of the best finales ever and the two of you tonight, right now, opening up the show, proved it. You were stellar. Awesome..." Simon said: "Jordin on a positive note I think it's great you chose a younger song because you are only 17. I thought the vocals actually were a bit shrieky in the middle (boos). What a surprise I'm being booed. I'm going to call Round 1 to Blake." Additional Info: Following Simon's comments, Ryan asked Randy and Paula to also call the first round of performances. Paula commented Ryan's tie was "amazing" and added, "You're not going to get anything out of me!" Randy was a little more well-spoken but not much more straight-forward in his response. "I have to give the edge in performance to Blake, and vocals to Jordin."
Song: "She Will Be Loved" (by Maroon 5, first time Blake performed it) Randy said: "Yo Blake... Yo check it out dog, check it out baby. Great song and a very nice vocal. See I love that... I love just hearing you sing naturally and pure like that. Very nice man, very nice." Paula said: "It's good to have the big number... Stop it Simon! Still, we're in the Kodak Theater and he starts up! The first number's done, you got it out of your way. This really suits you, you really got into the ease of the song. You sounded great." Simon said: "It was good. It was safe. It wasn't as good as the first performance and I actually wouldn't have chosen that song in the final because I don't think it makes that much of an impact (boos)." Additional Info: Following the judges' comments, Ryan revealed Blake had never even watched an American Idol finale before and now he was competing in one. "I feel great," said Blake. "This audience is amazing... I'm having fun."
Song: "A Broken Wing" (originally performed during the Top 7 performance episode when the finalists were mentored by Martina McBride while performing country songs) Randy said: "Yo yo... So check it out. From the first time we saw you in Seattle, I loved you since Day 1 when you auditioned. I still believe you're probably the most talented 17-year-old singer I've ever seen. I mean age ain't really got nothing to do with it. You've got to know tonight... You can blow. That was flawless. That was unbelievable... I think better than the original." Paula said: "Jordin you look adorable, but I've got to tell you, you are a great, great vocal voice tonight. Really, really great. Soaring... Soaring..." Simon said: "Now that was good." Additional Info: Following Jordin's performance, Ryan said, "This is a battle tonight!"
Song: "This is My Now" Randy said: "Alright so listen I know something here. I'm sure this is not the kind of song that probably suits your voice but you know you did a pretty good job with it. It was alright. You don't have to feel that bad about it. It was alright dude. It wasn't great, but it was just alright." Paula said: "Even if it's not the genre of music you like or you enjoy, I think you're a great voice and I think you did a great job on the song." Simon said: "I thought it was all a little off to be honest with you Blake. How did you feel? I mean all the jumping around in the middle... You looked a bit frustrated. It's not a bad song, it's just the type of song you wouldn't normally sing. So I think we have to judge you tonight primarily on your first two performances because there's more than one song in this competition. But I've got to tell you, I've always said there's talent in Seattle, and I was right." Additional Info: Following Simon's comments, Blake told Ryan, "I think that's the first time he lied," a reference to the fact that Simon constantly bashed the talent seen at Idol 6's Seattle auditions. Ryan assured lying was nothing new for Simon... Blake looked visibly frustrated with the song he had just performed, and when Ryan asked him if it was tough, Blake just stood there and didn't answer. "He's biting his tongue," said Ryan.
Song: "This is My Now" Randy said: "So you know what's great about this show? What I love about this show is that it's American Idol: Search for the Next Superstar. It is a singing competition bar-none... It is the best singing competition ever in the history of television. You were the best singer tonight. You deserve it all baby! That was fire right here! That's what it's all about! You are what it's about..." Paula said: "Jordin I said before I didn't know what to say... You frickin' make me proud. But I look over to the left of me and I see your parents. And I see them singing along with you and I see the joy on their faces. You have a lot to be proud of. You are an angel." Simon said: "Jordin last week -- I'm going to be honest with you -- I didn't think you were good enough to make the finals. And I want to say to you publicly now, I was wrong. Because this is, in case we forget sometimes, it is a singing competition and you just wiped the floor with Blake on that song." Additional Info: Following the judges' comments, the live studio audience began its "Jordin! Jordin!" chant again... For their final comments, Randy said he thinks, "Jordin wins tonight;" Paula said "they all end-up winners;" and Simon said the "best individual performance of the night was Blake on the first song, but based on overall singing, Jordin"... The final performance episode of Idol's sixth season concluded with a live performance by former Idol 5 finalist Chris Daughtry's band Daughtry. Quite appropriately, they performed "Home," which served as background music for season six eliminations.