Did anyone happen to see the finale of “American Idol” last week?



As a finale went – well, it went. I thought the entire spectacle was contrived, on the whole boring, way too long and tedious. The only amazing part of the two-hour show was to see how many famous singers they managed to get on stage without the aid of a wheelchair or walker.

Did anyone happen to see the finale of “American Idol” last week?

As a finale went – well, it went. I thought the entire spectacle was contrived, on the whole boring, way too long and tedious. The only amazing part of the two-hour show was to see how many famous singers they managed to get on stage without the aid of a wheelchair or walker.

Neil Diamond I will confess looked extremely dapper and John Fogerty looked pretty good, but both sounded a bit like a strangled cat. Jennifer Holliday came out and belted a convincing “And I’m Telling You,” but I was wondering where Jennifer Hudson was – being an Idol alum as she is. Only Reba looked and sounded fab.

To top it all off, not only were the singers trotted out seemingly atop a mover’s dolly, the women’s costuming in two notable cases were truly astonishing.

Now I’m a big girl. I make no bones about it – as quite frankly they’re all a bit difficult to find in my case. I know they’re there, as they hold me generally in the direction of erect, but you’d have to do some pretty serious prodding to find them.  

However, with the joy of liberation coming with the advancement of age, I know my limits when it comes to exterior cladding.

Long gone are the days of the sleeveless top. I think the last time I went out bare-armed was when the Beatles recorded Abbey Road, but I can’t swear to it. No, if the sleeves are not at least three quarters, the shirt’s not on. Literally.  

Being blessed with the Dear Big Bum, as my brother so helpfully points out, shorts are an anathema to me, and I will not willingly flash my knees at anyone. It makes it all very sweat-inducing on the golf course, slogging round in long pants let me tell you. But unless someone plays a very dirty trick on me upon my demise and decks me out against my will in my coffin, you won’t find me in anything above the ankle.

I only don a swimsuit if I am planning on getting very wet, and even when I do, a sarong covers a goodly portion of me when I’m out of the water.

And here we were at the Idol finale, watching two singers with limitless resources available to them in the wardrobe department, who should’ve known a whole lot better.  

First was Fantasia, a former Idol winner. She was wearing a onesie that was so tight I could make out her appendix scar. I’m sure the designer intended the subtle slit up the outer sides of both legs as a little fascinator, but the fascination turned to horror when the slit enlarged to the point of turning into a gaping maw, stretched so tight was the fabric. It looked a little like the wags behind the scenes decided to see what a burst sausage looked like.

Top that all off with a long – and I mean long – straight black wig, she looked for all the world something straight out of a Freddie Kruger movie.

Then we had Chaka Khan, of ’70s fame. Chaka is six months older than me, so I know of what I speak. According to the New York Times headline “Chaka Khan wows in body-hugging catsuit.” Wow is not quite the word that would immediately spring to mind. “Struth” certainly leaped into my head and out of my mouth, as did “Good Lord” and “what the?”

Sir mentioned that in her heyday, her voice could shatter glass. This particular night, the vision of her in a brown sparkly body suit had our windows all aquiver.

I could detect a theme from the wardrobe department – yet another sausage or exploding bratwurst graced the stage. Mutton dressed up as lamb is never a good look, ladies, and you even gave sheep a bad name.

Every love handle, spare tire, granny panty line, wart and mole was presented to us on a platter.

It was all I could do to shut up my reactions long enough to hear the singing. If these two women, dressed as they were, took a quick trip into the local super center, they both would have made the “Girls of Walmart” photo albums doing the email rounds.

On the contrary, in the finale of “Dancing with the Stars,” we had a couple of big goils out on the dance floor – Gladys Knight and Sherri Shepherd. Both looked wonderful, both were dressed to enhance and flatter, and at no time did either of us feel the need to groan.

I’m no clothes horse, believe me, but I do believe that a little dignity goes an awfully long way. I will very happily schlep around the housing wearing heaven only knows what, given the limits noted above, but if I have to go out, I at least do so appropriately covered. After all, I don’t want anyone to lose their lunch on account of me at the grocery store.

“Clean up on Aisle 6!”