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Arts and Entertainment

American Idol: It's Over! (Oh yeah, Jordin Won)

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How would they fill up two hours in the American Idol finale? That was the question on LAist's mind tonight. (And we were particularly bummed since we had to give up the first hour of Lost for this!)

Since the show seemed just as long as the Oscars, it was only fitting that AI had filler like the "Golden Idols" -- awards for the freaks during the early part of the show. Remember the cougar guy from the Valley? Remember that lady in the Big Bird outfit? The Bush Baby? Yeah, the show dragged out their clips again. And a few came back to collect their statues. That kind of crap drives us nuts.

But we watched so you wouldn't have to. So here's how AI killed the rest of the two hours: They trudged out a lot of AI alumni and a few other musical surprises:

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>> Finalists Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis opened with The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There." It was just ehh. But little did we know it was the beginning of Beatles night on Idol.

>> Then the show segued to a Gwen Stefani concert where she sang "4 in the Morning." Was it just us or did it look like she was lip synching?

>> The prodigal idol Kelly Clarkson returned to the AI stage with her new single "Never Again." It was very screechy...we'd rather hear "A Moment Like This" sung by the Bush Baby.

>> The six guy finalists took the stage to sing a doo wop version of "Oooh Baby Baby." And we were reminded how well Chris "Jack Osborne" Sligh can sing.

>> Smokey Robinson then schooled the fellas in a medley on how old school is done.

>> Next up was a Blake Lewis and Doug E. Fresh beatbox battle. Yeah, you read that right Doug E. Fresh! But we'd hate to be in the front row. You know how much spit was flying around?

>> The top six girls sang "I Heard it Thru the Grapevine." And it made us wish to high heaven that LaKisha and Melinda made it to the finals. Especially when they sang on "Midnight Train to Georgia" with Gladys Knight. Ahh-maz-ing.

>> Tony Bennett performed a song, but we missed this...and were too lazy to find it on the DVR after the show.

>> BeBe and CeCe Winans were joined by Melinda on "Hold Up the Light" Or was that the other way around? Melinda sounded great.

>> Carrie Underwood was in good vocal form with a stripped-down, country version of "I'll Stand By You." But what was she wearing? Jeans and a silky, flowing floor-length top? It was the wardrobe reverse-mullet: Party in the front and business in the back.

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>> Next Clive Davis came out to talk about the AI album franchise and presented Carrie with an award recognizing her 6 million albums sold. (Did we hear right that Chris Daughtry has the biggest selling album of the year so far with 2.5 million albums?)

>> The African Children's Choir kids were cute. But we don't know what they sang.

>> Next up was an homage to Sanjaya Malakar who performed with Joe Perry from Aerosmith. He sang "You Really Got Me" -- and he still sucks. That little girl is still crying for him. (She was in the audience at the Kodak).

>> Green Day sang John Lennon's "Working Class Hero." It has such powerful lyrics. But what's Green Day doing on American Idol?

>> Taylor Hicks followed up with some blue-eyed soul with his song "Heaven Knows." He showed off his dancing and harmonica skills. The harp was much better than his Taylor two-step.

>> What are all the girls doing in the little black dresses in the front row? Are they seat fillers?

>> By this point we're getting tired, but we press on. Jordin Sparks and Ruben Studdard sang a good cover of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "You're All I Need to Get By."

>> Then they dragged out Bette Midler to sing "Wind Beneath my Wings." Uhh. Why? Was it just us or did she sound really off? She looked great, though.

>> The AI past winners (except Fantasia) came and sang a Beatles medley next. And we weren't really impressed with any of them: Kelly Clarkson took on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Not to rag on the poor girl again, but she screamed the song and messed up a line. Taylor Hicks' "A Day in the Life Wasn't Much Better." Carrie did ok with "She's Leaving Home." Then Ruben and the top 12 ended the medley with "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." After seeing those average covers, we have an even greater appreciation of the Beatles now than ever before.

>> Finally, after 74 million votes, Ryan Seacrest announced the winner: A teary-eyed Jordin Sparks. Woo hoo.

So, that's all folks. Until next January. We'll need all that time to detox from this hella long season. LAist out.

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)