It's the big payoff night for all involved. Either Blake or Jordin will win Idol and both will probably make records in the coming year. Gwen Stephanie finally gets her payoff as well as Kelly Clarkson. Getting their singles out on the most watched show on TV is a pretty good payback. Maybe all the ex-Idols will perform tonight. I know Carrie and Taylor are scheduled. My magic mirror saw Clive Davis and Jerry Springer. Need we say, the audience is varied. There's David Allen Grier. They have so much time to waste. They waste some more on the worst contestant of the year. They forgot to make it funny though.

The top six men show us why they were all sent home early, then Smokey Robinson sings. Why does he look younger than me? He was an older man when I was a teenager. He looks younger than half the men contestants. He is kind enough to sing “Tears of a Clown” and allow the guys to back him up. Smokey can still sing like a youngster. They have used a lot of white suits this season. It must be the in thing or they can't come up with a new idea.

Next is Blake's beatboxing/rap extravaganza with special guest, Doug E. Fresh. Blake gets a chance to show all the moves he didn't get to make this year. What can you say? It was noisy and active.It filled three minutes and made me wonder who Jordin will get to perform with. They keep wasting more time with the worst contestants. It is not worth our time to repeat most of this. It's just bad, not funny. I feel a commercial coming on. Please, something, anything to break the monotony of irritating singing. They are Not Worthy of more airtime. I might take a nap and come back for ending.

Next is the top six girls. They were the best part of the show so I'm glad to see this. Lakisha's big voice makes me happy when I hear it. The ladies' special guest is Gladys Knight. She gets to do her new single too, but pays us back for listening with “Midnight Train to Georgia”. Is Gladys hiding a black eye under that tuft of bang? Lakisha, Gladys, and Melinda are my favorite part of the show so far. I would pay to see those three in concert. The other girls might feel a little left out of this number, but who cares? It was great. The women made the season for me.

It's even payoff for Tony Bennett tonight. He's singing next. I guess he got over his Idol flu and his distaste for Simon enough to reap his reward for his week of mentoring. He's still got style and energy if not perfect pitch, and a great smile to go with it. My magic mirror just spied Justin Guarini and Jennifer Hudson in the audience. Kind of opposite sides of the same story, huh? Next we have to relive more bad contestants. Way too much time is being spent on bad contestants. This show should have been an hour, but we know how much they pad the content. It all adds up to more advertising time and more money. This show is virtual cash cattle ranch. There is more than one cow getting milked.

Next we're treated to Melinda and the gospel segment. I think that is the Winans singing with her. I don't keep up. It was too non-secular for me, but I hoped others enjoyed it. It got a bit loud and churchly. I sometimes watch Bobby Jones when I'm in the mood, but I'm not tonight.

More Ford commercial repeats. With everyone back they can show all the old ones. The two finalists get new Mustangs and a high five. Next up is Carrie Underwood. If anyone took advantage of their Idol status and stayed true to their genre, it was her. She was much more successful than I ever guessed she would be. You can see through her dress tonight. Idolship doesn't come easy. She is singing “Stand by You”, although quite flat in a few places. At least she isn't lip-synching.

Clive Davis is up with all the numbers from all the Idols. Daughtery has been the biggest selling artist of the year. Third place doesn't mean you lost anything. It means you got every chance possible if you have any talent. Clive is commending everyone, the judges, the past contestants, and the songwriters. Someone stop him before he hurts himself. Clive is in his own universe. He is quoting numbers that sound made up. Everyone is a winner. He is giving Carrie some award. I call it stealing thunder. This is tonight's Idol night, not Carrie's. Even she is aware of the awkwardness of the situation. All we want are the final numbers and the confetti to drop. Summer is here. Fish are jumping and Paula is high.

They even brought back Crying Girl and YouKnowWhojaya with Joe Perry, a wind machine, and a heavy dose of cheese . I took a snack and bathroom break. It seemed like a good time. They could group some commercials together and give us a decent break. I missed several things and nothing really. Everyone is playing tonight that could get there. I come back to Green Day singing “Working Class Hero”. Like I said...everyone. Is it over yet? No. Thirty minutes to go of coasting and teasing. I could do one of those twenty minute power naps, but instead I think I'll have a decaf and flick through the channels. Taylor is singing next and this is easy to skip over. After being dissed by Clive Davis and his Daughtery statistics earlier, I bet he'd like to skip his performance too.

Where are Blake and Jordin? There is Jordin and she is singing with Ruben Studdard. That nearly completes the Idol returnees. Everyone wondered where he has been and if he can still sing. They are singing, “You're All I Need”. He and Jordin are good, but not as good as Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrel. Ruben sounds good. He needs a good producer. He hasn't made a great record, yet.

The finale before the finale is Bette Midler. I told you everyone was here. She is singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” and if that's not an Idol type ballad there isn't one. Who doesn't like Bette Midler, besides a few disgruntled television producers and the American viewing audience that did not like her show? Eh. She's a star in at least three other media so who cares? Twelve minutes to go. They have to wrap this up soon.

But no, first we get a Sgt. Peppers tribute with Joe Perry and Kelly Clarkson, It's good, but how does it relate? Kelly is almost doing a Joss Stone impression or vice versa. Maybe they share the same wig or hairdresser? Then Taylor grinds through “A Day in the Life” and I want to hurt them all for messing with what should not be messed with. Next it is Carrie singing “She's Leaving Home”. This is my Idol worst nightmare. It's unholy. Please make them stop. Ruben is singing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and I'm curling into a fetal position. Then to top off my worst musical nightmare, the final twelve mess "With A Little Help from My Friends” and sing the ending like it was up with people. I want this to be over and soon. I don't care who wins. Sacrilege has been committed and my ears and ass are tired. There is one minute left on my clock and still no winner. We are still in commercials. This is not the Academy Awards and there is no excuse for running over. Two minutes over and still in commercial.

Finally it is over. Another record number of votes. 74 million for what it's worth. The new American Idol is Jordin Sparks. Congratulations to all and have a great summer. Anything can happen in Idol and does.