For two long, bloated hours on Monday night, Americans sat on the edges of their couches to find out who was going to win the first season of ABC's rebooted "American Idol." Along the way, Jimmy Kimmel showed up with former contestant Sanjaya Malakar in two and promised an even bigger trip down memory lane during his show. He absolutely delivered.
Once the confetti had fallen and we'd all learned that we were going to probably live to see another day thanks to our local news team, it was time for the big reveal. And it turns out Sanjaya -- along with his "crying girl" fan -- was just the tip of the iceberg of "Idol" alums Kimmel had corralled for a "We Are the World"-style reunion performance.
Redubbed "Where Are We Now?" the performance forced even long-time fans to reach deep into their memory banks (or just use Google) to try and remember a time when we really cared about each and every one of these people. The song delivered on the promise of its title, too, as we learned plenty about where each of our favorites has been since the "Idol" light abandoned them.
The performance included Malakar, William Hung, Antonella Barba, Chewbacca Girl, Kevin Covais, Haley Reinhart, Scott MacIntyre, "General" Larry Platt and Reynaldo Lapuz.
The song opened with powerful lyrics to show how excited they were to get Kimmel's call: "There comes a time, when you get a special call / The first call for some of us in years / There's a show that wants us to sing on live TV / Even though it's not 2003 / We have come so far, so many ups and downs / since the night we took our final bow / But now we're back to answer the biggest question of all / O where O where are we now?"
We learned that Hung is a corporate singer (and he's single, ladies!), while Malakar is a bartender. Hailey Reinhart has a song on a national commercial and Kevin Covais had a part in "Transformers 4," so some of them are still making their mark.
Later in the song, and from a second sound booth, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks showed up to wonder what the hell they were doing there, with a verse all to themselves. Finally, one of the original judges, Randy Jackson, heaped praise upon them from the sound booth before running off when a technician realized his headphones weren't even plugged in.
This was a laugh riot for long-time fans of "American Idol," but had to have had younger viewers asking a completely different question: "Who are these people?"