American Idol" took over two hours to reveal the Season 11 winner as eternal frontrunner Phillip Phillips. While Jessica Sanchez impressively shook the rafters with Jennifer Holliday, and Shannon Magrane surprised us with her vocal power and clarity, the finale had way more misfires than hits this year. Here are the Top 10 moments that made us cringe:"
10. No awards will be given for the sound on the "American Idol" finale. During several performances, the instruments drowned out the main singers causing their vocals to sound weak and ineffective. Though Skylar Laine and Reba McEntire managed some lovely harmonies amidst the deafening band noise, the bliss was broken by bland backing vocals that kept interjecting loudly over the country duo.
9. Everyone needs to stop pretending they're Whitney Houston, particularly when it comes to her signature song, the Dolly Parton-penned classic "I Will Always Love You." "American Idol" finalist Jessica has a gorgeous voice, but no 16-year-old can bring the emotions and vocal richness that is required to do this song justice.
8. "American Idol" meant well with their tribute to the late Robin Gibb. The top guys did their best with the Bee Gees medley, and Joshua Ledet showed restraint until the end of "To Love Somebody." Unfortunately the harmonizing went way off, leading to several cringe-worthy, cacophonous moments.
7. Speaking of bad harmonizing, the "American Idol" finale had way too many medleys. Smashing a group of performers with widely varying styles and vocal ranges together turned into a rushed and awkward mess, never mind the barely learned choreography. There was also the aura of desperation, as the voted-off singers tried to make one final impression on viewers by belting as hard as they could and mugging for the camera.
6. As well as the "American Idol" crown, Phillip Phillips could have taken home the award for worst harmonizing. Throughout the season he struggled the most with duets; his limited range usually preventing him from keeping up with his partner. Tonight his straining vocals clashed badly with his distinguished guest star, John Fogerty. This time he heard it himself, and started backing away from the microphone, letting Fogerty do his thing with the melody.
5. It's the pinnacle of hypocrisy to have Jennifer Lopez sitting at the "American Idol" judges table lecturing talented singers on their vocal range and emotional connections to songs. Donning her Fly Girl gear and dancing away to auto-tuned numbers with three-word choruses, J-Lo sadly proved to the contestants that nothing she instructs them on is necessary for a successful musical career.
4. It is unbelievable that no one backstage at "American Idol" told former winner Fantasia Barrino that her sequined catsuit was not flattering from any angle. A good vocal performance might have overshadowed the fashion faux pas, but sadly, she and Joshua turned their duet into a tuneless scream-fest. The noise was so bad, "AI" actually cut abruptly to commercial before they were finished.
3. Bad fashion seemed to be catchy as Chaka Khan stripped down to another unattractive catsuit during her number. She also appeared to be practically carried down the "American Idol" steps by her male dancer entourage, and as she wailed away with the girl contestants on "I'm Every Woman," it didn't seem entirely certain that she wouldn't just wander off-stage and disappear. Chaka deserves respect for her musical legacy, but this was not one of her shining moments.
2. There isn't a lot on TV for families to watch these days, and many of them tune in to music shows like "American Idol" as their best bet for PG-rated entertainment. Rihanna thankfully toned down her usually more graphic performance, but "AI" made up for it with a segment on judge Steven Tyler. Aside from the creepy PDA with his pet sloth, the video also featured make-out sessions and a team of Playboy bunny servants making the whole scene cringe-worthy and totally inappropriate.
1. Shameless product promotion and "American Idol" go hand in hand these days, but the "spontaneous" marriage proposal between contestant alumni Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo takes the cake. Kneeling down before issuing his dramatic declaration of love, Young actually added an advertisement for the jeweler responsible for the ring. This may be a new low for the FOX reality show.
What do you think, "American Idol" fans? Which finale moments made you cringe the most?
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