I haven’t been able to religiously watch this year’s American Idol season due to my hectic work schedule but I’m kept updated through Facebook and Twitter thanks to friends who are avid fans of the show.
When I got an invite to watch the finale episode in one of Greenbelt 3’s cinemas, I thought it would be a one-of-a-kind experience to be with more than a hundred people when the winner is announced so I joined early risers and went to Makati at 7AM early this morning.
I got there while the replay of the previous night’s show was being flashed on the big screen courtesy of Greenwich, Star World, and Dream Satellite TV. My friends and I lined up first to get a hearty breakfast of pizza, pasta, and fries from the Greenwich booth outside. At around 8AM, the finale show started airing. I was entertained by most of the musical numbers although it was painful to watch (and hear) the duet between Joshua Ledet and Fantasia Barrino (what the heck was she wearing?!) . As my seatmate said, “I didn’t understand a word! All I heard was huwarrgh, huwarrgh, huwarrgh!” LOL
Like most of those who watched, I'm sure you also went "Awww!" when Ace Young proposed marriage to Diana DiGarmo in front of the whole world. For those who don't know, the two were former contestants of the competition and it's lovely to see their engagement happen on the AI stage.
It was nice to see JLo and Aerosmith perform but, aside from the announcement of winner per se, I guess everyone would agree that the highlight of the show would be the duet between Jennifer Holliday and Jessica Sanchez. When Jennifer started making all those faces, I instantly recalled seeing her on several episodes of Ally McBeal years ago because her character there was a choir soloist with unforgettable facial expressions whenever she sings.
I didn’t expect that Jennifer’s style got worse. Her facial contortions were scarier this time around. At one point, I felt sorry for Jessica for being forced to look at someone who seemed about to eat her alive and who appeared to be threatening her to make a mistake and let the other singer remain the star of the moment. Jessica held her own beautifully and once again proved how exceptionally gifted she is.
A few hours later, I found myself laughing at the creative captions Filipinos posted on screen caps/photos of the two while singing. We have such a great sense of humor!
Deep inside, I knew Jessica would not win not because she lacks talent, but because she doesn’t have American blood. The show is called American Idol after all. When Philip Philips was finally announced as the winner, a hush fell on the crowd inside the whole cinema. It took a several seconds before conversations started again. I realized that, collectively, we all felt that acute sense of disappointment after hoping that, maybe this time around, one of our own would win such a prestigious title.
Philip is also talented, no doubt about that. I wish him well and I’m sure he’ll have a lot going for him in the future. Still, we all know that Jessica will definitely be going places. As proven in past AI seasons, many members of the Top 12 also made it big in the music scene and Jessica has a better than average chance of shining more in the days to come.
Since this morning, fans around the world have been saying, Philip is the American, Jessica is the Idol. I couldn’t agree more.