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Keep mute handy for ‘Idol’ finale



 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)
Joel Brown New York Times Syndicate

Music vs. music tonight.

At 8 on Fox, it’s the “American Idol” season finale. We’ll find out who America chose, Fantasia Barrino or Diana DeGarmo. Bet the rent on Fantasia. Odds are Ryan Seacrest won’t be allowed to unveil the winner until well into the second hour of the festivities, which means we’ll be forced to listen to each of the dozen finalists sing one more time, including the redheaded kid.

Work that mute button.

Or switch over to CBS. Because at 8, the “39th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards” pops up on the eye network.

It will be hosted by Reba McEntire, and performers will include Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Clint Black, Loretta Lynn and Vince Gill. Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Montgomery Gentry, Kenny Chesney and Uncle Kracker, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss.

Many more more stars — including Penn & Teller, no less — will serve as presenters.

And in a touch that shows just how authentically country that country music is today, the gala will be broadcast from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Highlights

“My Wife and Kids,” ABC at 8: Hourlong episode as Junior and Vanessa announce that they want to have the baby at home with the help of a New Age-y midwife and the rest of the family.

“Law & Order,” NBC at 8: Three repeats fill prime time, as NBC bows before the power of “Idol.”

“Star Trek: Enterprise,” UPN at 8: Archer makes a daring and desperate attempt to disarm the superweapon.

“The Bachelor,” ABC at 9: Postgame special brings on Jesse and Jessica, plus the spurned women, for a little rehash and no doubt a certain amount of bad blood. Yuck.

Family Fare

“The Fairly Odd Parents,” Nick at 8: Timmy’s bike turns bad.

Cable Cast

NBA playoffs, ESPN at 5: Pacers vs. Pistons.

“The Sopranos,” HBO at 9: Repeat of Sunday’s episode, with dangerous decisions for Tony and Adriana. Here’s hoping week after week of simmering tensions will finally reach a boil.

“Bend It Like Beckham” (2002), Cinemax at 10: A teen wants to be a soccer star but has to conceal her efforts from her parents.

“Soul Food,” Showtime at 10: Series finale, “Don’t Think This Hasn’t Been Fabulous,” finds Damon and Teri each at a crossroads and Maxine in the money. Have to admit we lost track of this show over the past year or two, but it was an honorable effort at an African American family drama.

Late Night Talk

“Late Show with David Letterman,” CBS at 11:35: Mandy Moore and musical guests Counting Crows.

“Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” NBC at 11:35: Allison Moorer.

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