The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Well, it looks like it was well worth American Idol‘s time to come to Louisville last summer.
Kris Allen auditioned in the Derby City, and then much like this year’s Derby winner, Mine That Bird, worked his way through the field and finished first. Some Adam Lambert fans had to be like Jill Baffert, wife of Pioneer of the Nile trainer Bob Baffert, at the Derby saying “Who the (bleep) is that,” as Allen advanced through the competition. His audition barely registered on the Louisville audition episode, and early on, he seemed like one of those competitors who would probably be somewhat anonymously voted off in the winter.
But the dark horse kept his head down, worked on making some terrific music and wound up in the winner’s circle.
Give the man from Conway, Ark., a blanket of roses. He earned it.
Word came out early from the American Idol producers that Louisville had been a good city for the show. Simon Cowell dished out high praise, by his standards, telling Zap2it, “Louisville was good.”
Yes, it would have been nice to have had an actual Kentuckian who auditioned in Louisville in the final 13. That would have made the story of the Bluegrass State’s AI debut complete. But at least we can walk away from Season 8 saying Kentucky can pick a winner.
Some high notes:
- Heckuva a show for taking two hours-plus to tell us a few key words. I thought the return of Norman Gentle was great and the show kept getting better. It seemed Kiss had to be the highlight, and then Queen came out. Good Lord, Adam could front that band . . . As one who enjoys genuine surprise, Kris’ reaction to winning was delightful.
- Catch Adam Sandler’s University of Kentucky shirt in the Funny People commercial?
- Make sure to read Phil Stacey’s final Idol blog for LexGo.
- And take another look at our Louisville audition video, featuring Alexis Grace.
- Yes, Joanne Brokaw, it was the year of the worship leader.
- I was right. Wish I’d done that well at the Derby.
I’m going to take a quick lunch break here to join my fellow entertainment scribes out on a limb and make an American Idol prediction. It is a bit of a limb, because apparently this race is just too close to call. The website Dial Idol even says that, saying only 1.1 percent separates Kris Allen from Adam Lambert in their survey of busy signals for both contestants — a first in the site’s history.
And these are two very different cats, Lambert the flashy SoCal guy with a voice made for Broadway or glam rock and laid-back Midwesterner Kris.
One thing I hate seeing is this being boiled down to a Red State-Blue State thing, the presumption being the more conservative “red staters” will like humble Christian Kris and “blue staters” will like flamboyant Adam. It’s superficial and not fair to either contestant or Americans in general. Need we remind you of Barack Obama’s 2004 Democratic Convention speech. The Red State-Blue State thing is getting old, and it’s a lazy way to think.
Anyway, a matter of musical taste does drive my prediction: Kris Allen will win.
I pick him subscribing to the logic that Danny Gokey voters will naturally gravitate toward Kris. Yes, Gokey was a bit more of a vocal acrobat in an Adam tradition. But his overall vibe tracked much closer to Allen.
And Allen has been building momentum while Lambert has had a fan base for a while. Allen just feels like something of a Mine That Bird of American Idol, coming from the outside to overtake the front-runner at the end. Using that anology, will this be a Kentucky Derby or a Preakness for Allen? Remember, my limb is in the Bluegrass State.
I’d like to see Lambert win, as I have said before. He’s an amazing artist both as a stage presence and a creative force. And in the current pop landscape, Lambert is a true individual. Allen’s growth and artistry — particularly last week’s re-imagining of Kanye West’s Heartless — have been wonderful to watch. Neither of them would be an embarassing winner, but Lambert’s overall talent is still several shades beyond the rest of this year’s competition.
In the grand scheme of things Allen may be better served with the Idol victory, where Adam may do best if he’s a bit more free to chart his own course. And really, considering the Idol will be stuck with that horrendous No Boundaries song Kara DioGuardi co-wrote, the loser may be the real winner.
- For a second opinion, check Phil Stacey’s blog.
May20Filed under: slide shows, Studio Players, Theater; Tagged as: Aubin Munn, Cherie Kiesler, Crystal King, Dearly Beloved, Debbie Sharp, Jamie Wooten, Jason Meenach, Jessie Jones, Jim Wilkeson, Kenny Riffe, Libby Adkins, Nicholas Hope, Robin Dickerson, Sam Moody, Shea Baker, Studio Players, Tonda-Leah Fields
Think your late spring wedding is getting kind of nutty? The Futrelle sisters might make you feel a whole lot better about your circumstances. Estranged sister Honey Raye is back stirring up old tensions, Twink is trying to turn the reception into a pig roast, and Frankie is juggling emotional crises that quickly multiply.
And we haven’t mentioned that Twink is trying to drag her drunk boyfriend to the nuptials because she thinks that’s the key to getting him to pop the question, the mother of the groom is trying to sabotage the ceremony and the bride and groom are MIA.
It could only happen in Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten’s fictional Fayro, Texas. Studio Players present the trio’s Dearly Beloved May 21-June 7 at the Carriage House Theatre on W. Bell Court., directed by Tonda-Leah Fields.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich