Show Tracker

What you're watching

« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

'American Idol' finale live: Notes from the Nokia

May 21, 2008 |  5:21 pm


Click here to see red carpet arrival photos.

5:00 P.M.: And so it begins. The judges makes their grand entrance to Paula’s and Randy’s tune, "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" playing in the background. Some 7,000 people bark for Randy, and scream for Paula, who stunned in a red gown. Of course, Simon drew the largest cheer.

Then, the two Davids, dressed in white in white and in a boxing stance, came on stage. They shake hands - and here we go! 

5:07 P.M.: With Ryan Seacrest's announcement at the top of the show that one David received 56 percent of the vote while the other got 44 percent, watchers wondered whether they now knew who won.

Is it possible that he would do such a thing?

And is this percentage-giving unprecedented in "Idol" history? We in the Idoldome cannot recall.

5:24 P.M. Mr Heidi Klum got a standing ovation when he entered.

5:30 P.M.: The Nokia is approximately 100,000 times better of a venue to watch a live performance than "Idol's" former finale home, the Kodak. During breaks at the Kodak, the room would die. Die, I say.

One suggestion for future Nokia finales: to keep the crowd awake yet not in a murderous rage, Rickey  Minor and the band could play instead of a comedian riffing.

5:40  P.M.: Jason Castro hung around on stage after he finished his song waving to his fans. The show had moved on to a video montage but Jason took his time heading backstage. Hallelujah!

5:51 P.M.: Sanjaya Malakar is in the house.

5:56 P.M.: It's hard to tell how Bryan Adams was greeted in the room, since we were already standing for the Top 6 men. It seemed like a muted welcome here in the loge. But on the special-guest applause-o-meter, the collective gush over Seal is still No. 1 (see 5:24 p.m.).

6:07 P.M.: Jonas Brothers alert. The Nokia is getting loud and crazy!

6:09 P.M.: Dogs across Los Angeles must be in horrible ear pain from the Nokia squeals.

6:18 P.M.: OMG! The "I Am Your Brother" rehearsal singer is in the house! Is this the BIG star that executive producer Nigel Lythgoe alluded to yesterday? Could there possibly be someone bigger? We'll see. Fans of "I Am Your Brother" can download his performance on iTunes.

6:25 P.M.: Jordin Sparks, the reigning queen of "Idol" -- for 35 more minutes -- took the stage and, awkwardly, did not get a standing ovation. Her efforts to excite the crowd worked better toward the song's end when she appealed directly to the Jonas Brothers squealers.

Also, during commercials there was a mini-drama orchestrated by the comedian about getting some little girl a ticket to enter. We repeat: music during commercials would be just fine!

6:36 P.M.: Carrie Underwood, on the other hand, commanded everyone's attention instantly.

6:42 P.M.: The top six boys are positioning themselves amongst the 'tweens in the pit. Insanity reigned for a moment. But back to normal now.

6:45 P.M.: Countdown to George Michael?

6:55 P.M.: Throughout the entirety of "Praying for Time," Paula Abdul stood.

We will leave it to scholars to debate whether George Michael is in fact the most famous person in the world, or whatever the hype promised. But children did scream "We love you George!" as he left the stage. Which makes us think that between the legalization of gay marriage in California and this performance, May has been a big month for gay people!

7:00 P.M.: David Cook!

7:07 P.M.: Did we just hear Jeff Archuleta say he's taking it to the Convention, or was that in our heads?

7:20 P.M.: Almost half an hour after David won, Cook family members were still at their seats in the Nokia. His brothers were weeping and hugging each other.

7:23 P.M.: David Cook's brother, Andrew, the one who convinced him to try out for "Idol," says "it feels good" to see his brother take it all. Unsure whether he could get in trouble with producers for speaking to the press, Andrew Cook yelled "Whew!" to express his glee. Asked if he was having trouble believing his brother is the new American Idol, Andrew Cook said: "No. Yes. Both."

-By Los Angeles Times Staff Writers Maria Elena Fernandez and Kate Aurthur

Photo courtesy AP/Fox

Can't get enough of 'American Idol'? Join us for a chat at 11:30 a.m. PST.