Tuned In

Idol Finale: The Happy Medium

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SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched last night’s American Idol yet, don’t read this. Or listen to the radio, open the paper, talk to your family or go to work.

I’ll confess that I didn’t catch Jordin Sparks’ coronation last night: I was watching Lost (in re which: OMG!, and yes, you’ll get your freaking Lostwatch in the morning, keep hitting refresh!) and Tivo cut off the overrun. Because, you know, 120 minutes was just not enough time to cram in 30 seconds’ worth of drama. But I’m guessing Jordin sang, there were big hugs, the stage glowed like the Ginza and thankful tears streamed down her face to her nose piercing. Tell me if I got any of that wrong.

Anyway, not a lot to add to one of the most foregone conclusions of the 2006-07 TV season. Good for Jordin. She wanted it, she deserved it at least better than Taylor Hicks and I’m sure Clive Davis and company are tickled to have the chance to mold her 17-year-old impressionable lungs.

The only thing I’d add is to expand on my comments last week when Melinda was voted off. It is, in fact, not just a singing competition. But it’s also not not a singing competition. Ideally, Idol voters want someone who combines singing and acting, that is, who belts the notes but also conveys the sentiment of a song and strikes an emotional bond with the audience. Jordin fits the bill, even if she’s no Kelly Clarkson yet. (Speaking of Kelly’s performance: how cool that she’s now Pat Benatar. Whoulda thought?)

In the finals Tuesday, the judges said that it was a showdown between the singer (Jordin) and the performer (Blake), but that really wasn’t true. The pure singer was Melinda, the pure performer was Blake, and that showdown would have been an interesting battle for Idol’s soul. Jordin was the happy medium between the two. And I’m sure she’s an even happier medium now. At least until she sees the songs the Idol scribes cook up for her debut album. Enjoy it while it lasts, J-Sparks.