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More Fun than Donnie & Marie

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LAist would like to admit we were wrong: Tonight, we taped Lost and ended up watching the finale of American Idol -- all two hours and three minutes of it. We got sucked in during the first hour and needed to watch the show to to its cheesy, glorious conclusion with Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks singing "I've Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing. Oh yes, and then Taylor being crowned king at 9:58 PM. Finally.

But this show was different from the milking of the minutes in American Idol years past. The guest stars were off da hook: Mary J. Blige singing "One" with Elliot Yamin; Al Jarreau singing "We're In this Love Together" with Paris Bennett; Chris Daughtry singing with his doppelganger in Live; and Clay Aiken surprising a dorky impersonator/fan were some of the highlights.

Some of the lowlights, but great nonetheless, included the aforementioned Dirty Dancing tune; the duet by Kat and Meatloaf -- yes, you read that -- a Burt Bacharach songfest; Dionne Warwick and a pretty weak performance by Toni Braxton with Taylor helping out.

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Then a final surprise for all the American Idol fans: a two-song set by Prince -- without an Idol in sight. We were amazed -- like the rest of the Kodak audience -- that his Purpleliciousness was performing on freaking American Idol. What was more astonishing was that we really had a great old time watching this spectacle unfold. It was like a high school musical and the Donnie & Marie Show all wrapped into one.

Could we see another AI movie, "From Katharine to Taylor" -- sometime in the near future?

Photo by REUTERS/Chris Pizzello