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American Idol Finale: Fox

"Though it lacked some of the drama of previous "Idol" finales, in the end, the youngest "Idol" in the show's history justifiably won the day with her consistency, professionalism and, yes, a spark that gave her the edge over the entertaining but gimmicky 25-year-old Lewis." (MTV) "It’s no surprise that the overall weakest top ten in 'Idol' history produced the weakest finale in history. In any other season, Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis might have been lucky to crack the top twelve. But this year, we’re meant to believe that they were the two most talented contestants in the entire country".(National Ledger) "It took a Chihuahua to topple "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul, who broke her nose over the weekend when she fell while trying to avoid stepping on her dog. But it was this year"s treacly coronation song that tripped up "Idol" finalist Blake Lewis just as badly." (Newsday) "While not the strongest Idol ever, she definitely beats out last year's aberration Taylor Hicks and Season 2's ho-hum Ruben Studdard." (Baltimore Sun) "So, OK, maybe just a bit less compelling in the show's sixth incarnation, which saw Melinda Doolittle, a backup singer stepping into the spotlight, sharing that spotlight not only with Jordin and LaKisha Jones, but with a sideshow act known as Sanjaya Malakar." (Philedelphia Daily News) "The whole question of a contest seemed an afterthought: an anticlimactic ending to a season that seemed, at some point, to wear out its welcome." (Boston Globe) "What other show in a four-month season gives its viewers so many story lines to feed on? What other show sees so many twists and so much controversy, uproar and hoopla even in a season roundly criticized as representing a drop in quality?" (LA Times) "But the finale is really all about making America endure two hours (actually, two hours plus about eight minutes) of sometimes amusing, often ridiculous, always ultra-commercial filler before allowing the long, long “Idol” season to end." (Chicago Tribune Blog) "In any case, they were all pretty much boring, boring, boring in 2007 and thus the reason why the viewing numbers have been down as well as the number of votes cast." (Idol Blog) "In the finals Tuesday, the judges said that it was a showdown between the singer (Jordin) and the performer (Blake), but that really wasn't true. The pure singer was Melinda, the pure performer was Blake, and that showdown would have been an interesting battle for Idol's soul. Jordin was the happy medium between the two." (Tuned In Blog) "When it came right down to it, when all 74 million votes were counted and revealed Wednesday night in a heavily padded two-hour exhibition of fleeting greatness… America took the American Idol judges' oft-repeated line to heart: “It's a singing competition.'' (Miami Herald)

Compiled by Alex Weprin