American Idol: Did this surprise anyone?

I don't think it came as a surprise to anyone other than 13-year-old teeny boppers that Fantasia won Season 3 of American Idol. Not bad, considering that she barely escaped being voted off halfway through the finals. She is the youngest person to win (she's 19), as well as the third southerner (she's from North Carolina). This was a bland, underwhelming ending to a bland, underwhelming season. I didn't exactly keep it a secret that once George and LaToya were voted off, there wasn't much excitement in it for me anymore. I suppose I might have liked to see Diana win, but I didn't think it was going to happen. Despite all the booing in the audience, I think America takes Simon's comments very seriously when they vote.

Okay, now I will put on my peanut gallery hat and spew forth some choice comments regarding this finale.

1) George, for the love of all that which does not suck, stop singing "Me and Mrs. Jones." For one thing, it's about an extramarital affair -- not an appropriate choice for a self-proclaimed evangelist to sing. Besides, Billy Paul sang that 100 times better than you. You're a great singer, but that's not the right song for you.

2) Matt and Leah, I sincerely hope you are falling on your knees every morning and thanking whatever deity you worship that people who suck at singing as badly as you do can still make it into the Top 12.

3) Ruben, I wasn't rooting for you last year, but I have more and more respect for your singing ability every time I see you perform. You make it look (and sound) easy. Rock on...

4) Kelly strikes me as someone who's about to join Mariah Carey and Britney Spears in the "Most Spectacular Breakdowns in History" hall of fame. Poor girl doesn't seem capable of handling the pressure, even after two years. Scary thing is, she still looks like a former waitress from Texas (which she is).

5) LaToya, you were robbed. Make sure you play your cards right so you can stick it to the rest of the finalists by becoming more successful than all of them.

6) I am tired of repeats. During the results shows, the contestants almost always sing the exact same song snippets they sang the night before. For the finale, Diana and Fantasia sang the sappy song written for the winner (more on that later), plus two others they had already sung in previous shows. That was a mistake. Why do a repeat of something that was your crowning achievement? At best, you'll do no better than last time. At worst, you'll send the message that even your powerhouse performances were more the result of luck than singing skill.

7) Three seasons, three sappy songs for the winners. For once, why can't they write a really good song for the winner, one that you can tap your feet to? Oh, but that wouldn't be pop, now would it? Yeesh...


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