Perhaps in keeping with Scotty McCreery's low-key country demeanor, the two hour and seven minute American Idol Season 10 finale played without tension, drama or surprise.
Ryan Seacrest's announcement of Scotty as the winner at show's end felt anticlimactic. Scotty said "I gotta thank the Lord. He got me here," proceeded to sing his sappy dull single, I Love You This Big, and after sharing how big his love was on that teeny, tiny song, he ate the confetti that fell from the ceiling.
Runnerup Lauren Alaina looked radiant and seemed poised for an upset after handily outperforming Scotty during the finals Tuesday night but a girl isn't going to win Idol until producers change the voting methodology that allows unlimited votes. The young voting demographic that sent 122 million votes into Idol coffers last night will seemingly favor the guy every time.
The only moment of any tension was the morbid fascination we had watching and wondering whether any stunt people or singers would be injured during the Spider-Man performance to keep in line with its Broadway reputation. Alas, the only injury was to Bono and The Edge's reputation as songwriters after their toothless Spider-Man song.
Otherwise, the long finale mostly strayed from the painfully lame sketches of early Idol finales in favor of trotting out a plethora of pop stars young (Lady Gaga) and old (Tom Jones) without any outright disasters but few Idol Moments. Lady Gaga performed her current single Edge of Glory atop a rock cliff and looked as if she stepped off the set of an 80s Motley Crue video. She was in good voice, the song's catchy. Beyonce sang two tuneless songs, one of which had one set of repeated lyrics -- "Make love to me" -- that proved so tedious it was enough to kill any desire you had to take her up on the offer.
Marc Anthony rode his wife J.Lo's coattails -- or would that be tassels? -- to sing on the Idol stage. Shameless. The Idol men spilled cheese all over the place with a medley of Tom Jones hits. Strictly Velveeta. That is, until Jones, 71 in a couple weeks, appeared and showed the boys how it's done. Two-thirds of 90s R&B act TLC turned up and it sounded as if the raspy lead singer swallowed a brick before a rough rendition of their hit, Waterfalls.
Perhaps the most exciting performance belonged to rocker James Durbin who was cast away in fourth place but returned to the finale to sing a medley of Living After Midnight and Breakin' the Law with his idols, Judas Priest and the British metal group's lead singer Rob Halford.
After that thrilling moment early in the night, Idol had nowhere to go and went there slowly. No one seemed too excited with the possible exception of label heads who finally have an Idol twosome with serious marketability. Scotty, 17, will have the entire field of young country traditionalists to himself if he's allowed to remain real country (that sappy duet with Tim McGraw was not a good sign) and Lauren, 16, will fit on the radio right next to her idol, Season 4 winner and all-time most successful Idol champ Carrie Underwood, with whom she sang Before He Cheats tonight.
Did viewers check yes or no for Scotty McCreery as the Season 10 American Idol winner or did Lauren Alaina's gift of a mom song from shrewd producer Jimmy Iovine cut to the hearts of Idol's demographic and ensure she wins the show?
Find out in tonight's 2 hour and 7 minute finale (make sure those DVRs get that added time) and follow @HowardCohen on Twitter for live commentary. Result and review to appear here after the show.