CityMama, Bad Kitty, Jill, Lia and I went to the American Idols on Tour concert at HP Pavilion in San Jose last night. Before the show, Jill forced us to make signs at Stefania's house, like a frantic cheerleader before the homecoming pep rally. Jill really knows how to get into the spirit of things, and such is her devotion to Sanjaya. I had plans to throw granny underwear onto the stage with Jill's phone number embroidered on them, but was thwarted by my inability to either do the laundry or go to Target before the show.
After we got to the arena, we stopped off at the TV Guide booth in the lobby and Jill recorded a message to the Idols, while the giant, disembodied head of Kimberly Caldwell looked on. Watch for Jill's question to appear on the TV Guide Channel, right above the day's listings for The Weather Channel. I believe it was something like, "Sanjaya, can I do your hair? I have two girls, so I have experience with unruly manes."
Since the audience was mainly made up of nine year old girls, there were no lines for the bar. This made certain mamas very, very happy. That, plus the amazing array of fried foods available at HP Pavilion, the fact that we had no kids with us, and the anticipation of seeing the top ten American Idol finalists, made for a pretty cheerful group.
Finally, we took our seats, and immediately, our collective dreams of seeing Sanjaya and crew live and in person were fulfilled. Sanjaya took the stage, dressed in a white jacket and red pants, making him look like a Christmas waiter. The ear-piercing screams of 'tween girls filled the auditorium and could be heard as far away as Gilroy and Fremont.
There was a big projection of Sanjaya's amazing "journey" on American Idol, and his poufy hair loomed large over the stage like the Great and Powerful Oz. The clips reminded us of how we watched him grow from goofy, awkward performer to goofy, awkward phenomenon. His voice was actually better in person than on TV. He seems to have grown in confidence. He still needs to work on his showmanship, since he missed his cues on a couple of the group numbers. I'm not sure I'd say I've been converted to a Fanjaya, but the kid kind of grows on you after a while, and like athlete's foot, doesn't seem to ever go away.
Thorughout the night, each of the Idols came out and did solos, there were a number of duets, and some group numbers with three or four people. The divas did a rousing version of "Lady Marmalade" dressed as color-coordinated hookers. We started screeching right along with the 'tweens every time Blake Lewis came out. I'm not sure why, but it seemed like the thing to do. The group song that got the biggest reaction was Navy Phil's somber rendition of
"In the Navy" "America the Beautiful", with Melinda, Lakisha, Gina, and Haley standing by looking like pissed off Girl Scouts.
CityMama gave it the big thumbs-down. It was saccharine beyond all reason, right from the "Up with People" playbook. But hey, this isn't "States Formerly Known as the Soviet Union Idol." The 'tweens went berserk. Finally, a song that third graders know all the words to.
The showstopper was LaKisha Jones singing the Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton number, " I Wiiiiiillllll Allllwaaaaaays Looooooove Yooooooouuuu." She was divalicious, and every note perfection. It looks like she got her teeth fixed and she was looking every inch a star.
My only complaint was not enough Melinda. I mean, you would have thought Jordin won or something. And puh-leeze don't go telling me some ridiculous tale about how Jordin won, because in my reality TV fantasy world, Melinda won, and LaKisha was first runner up.
Near the end, it turned into the "That's So Jordin Show," with Jordin Sparks doing a series of her hits from the show, nearly weeping after every number. She was a bit hoarse, and some of the high notes were pretty sharp. A few were in the key of dog whistle and actually made my fillings vibrate. I could hear Randy Jackson saying, "It was pitchy, dawg." She looked gorgeous, however, and soldiered on, despite the fact that she seemed to be losing her voice.
After Jordin's set, the Idols all returned to the stage for a finale song, and then returned for an encore. For some reason, the encore song was the funereal "This is My Now," perhaps one of the greatest buzz-kills of all time. People started to leave at that point, but many more stayed on to the end.
Overall, I enjoyed the show. The Idols seemed comfortable on stage and seemed to genuinely like each other. They all seem earnest and happy to be there, and don't seem to have developed the arena-sized egos that have befallen some of the past contestants. It was cheesy good fun, and something you could take your kids to and enjoy as a family.
The best part was hanging out with some awesome women bloggers. To think, I get to hang out with these chicks, and hundreds more like them this weekend at BlogHer. That makes me want to shriek like a 'tween at an American Idols concert. They are my American Idols.