She is the champion! Kelly wins ''American Idol.'' In a final episode that brought back the 10 finalists, Jessica Shaw says we should all be proud that the most deserving singer won the final vote

By Jessica Shaw
July 04, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
American Idol: Fox
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She is the champion! Kelly wins ”American Idol”

Did you cry? Did you get off your couch and cheer when Kelly Clarkson won? It’s almost impossible to channel my inner beeotch (inner!) and say mean things about the last few minutes of the show. How could you not be moved by her mom weeping or her dad nervously chomping on his gum? How about when her voice broke during ”A Moment Like This”? Or when Christina Christian and Nikki McKibbin had to help her get those last few notes out?

Okay, that last one is bringing up some anger. Why did Nikki have to pipe in and sing the cheesy-but-addictive song off-key? Hard to believe she was actually still in the running a week ago. Seven days without a stylist and a wardrobe advisor and Nikki is back to being a mediocre talent with a really, really bad hair colorist.

As for the 10 finalists, it was fun to see them all back again, in a 14 minutes, 59 seconds of fame kind of way. Sure, their dance moves made the Brady Kids look like Alvin Ailey dancers. Watching the gang back together, I couldn’t help but wonder if we actually voted for Ejay? We voted Tamyra off? Maybe the summer heat was getting to us. Though unbearable at times, the medleys were the perfect way to remind us of who we want to hear from again and who should live forever on a Great Adventure stage, Ejay. Ryan did her best to win our hearts (and other body parts of the young male persuasion) by flopping her mane around and Jim ditched his glasses and invested in 14 bottles of hairgel. A.J. turned the cross into the worst accessory imaginable while R.J. once again made us understand why Simon called him ”average.” When it came down to it, the final two probably should have been Tamyra and Kelly. But Justin (who no doubt will have a career when this is all over) had his moments. And hello, those leather pants. Even the camera operators could barely keep their lenses off his… uh, legs. Major, major bonus points to him for being the classiest loser around by thanking his parents and saying Kelly deserved to win. That’s more than we can say for our winner, who didn’t thank anyone.

As for class, it was seriously missing in that royal box of judges. Why Randy chose to wear an orange pimp hat will forever be as much a conundrum as why Paula thought a negligee was an appropriate finale ensemble. At least we don’t have to see those two for a while. A different rumor flies every day about whether they will be invited back (it seems that Simon is a given, thankfully). Hopefully, Randy will be too busy with ”the likes of Mariah and Whitney” and Paula will be in a public speaking class.

But, of course, it’s all about who we will be hearing from again and that’s the always adorable Kelly Clarkson. Already I’m hearing people say she’ll have to lose five pounds or get a hipper hairdo. Forget that! If we wanted another Christina Aguilera we would have voted through Ryan Starr, or whatever her real name is. As far as this writer is concerned (not to mention the Donald, Jane Kazmareck, Tori Spelling, Jenny McCarthy, and Ice Cube, all of whom weighed in on the finale), Kelly is perfect just the way she is. Hopefully, she enjoyed her moment.

What did you think of the finale?

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
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  • 16
  • 574
  • 06/11/02
  • Simon Fuller
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