Michael Slezak
May 26, 2009 AT 03:39 PM EDT

It’s here at last: The five-part Idolatry season finale! Okay, yes, it’s not technically our season finale. (Later this week, we’ll have in-depth interviews with season 8’s top 3 finishers — Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, and Danny Gokey.) But as far as your regularly scheduled Idol deep-dive is concerned, this is it, people! Press play and (hopefully) enjoy as my cohost Kristen Baldwin and I have one final 2009 chat (on camera) about our national obsession America’s favorite TV talent show. Questions on the docket: How did the season finale become a (possible) referendum on (possibly) gay rights? (Or did it at all?) Which piece of advice from Adam Lambert helped semifinalist/Jason Averett crush Jesse Langseth become even cooler during her Hollywood Week run? Who got snubbed hardest in the Idol season-finale extravaganza? (And why do the producers work so hard to spoil our enjoyment of said episode?) What changes would Kristen and I bring to Idol for season 9…if we were limited to one tweak apiece? (And how come neither of us immediately said “Fire Kara!”?) We give you bonus info about several members of the top 13 — yep, we’re spilling dish we gathered when the cameras weren’t rolling — there’s Bonus “Kristen With Glasses,” and phone interviews with semifinalists Jesse Langseth and Ricky Braddy! (UPDATE: Part 5, featuring Mr. Braddy, is now live and streaming! Sorry for the delay!) Oh, and of course, there’s footage of me getting my hair dyed Iraheta Fuchsia. And the countdown to my buzz-cut begins in 5, 4, 3, 2…

More on ‘American Idol’:

Get info on all top 13 contestants at our season 8 cheat sheet

Kris Allen: How can you not love the new American Idol?

‘American Idol’ recap: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark Horse

Photo Gallery: Kris Allen: His ‘American Idol’ Journey

Adam Lambert after the ‘American Idol’ finale: ‘I’m really happy for Kris’

Kris Allen talks Queen, Adam Lambert, and, oh yeah, winning ‘American Idol’

Not buyin’ it, Bikini Girl

Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Queen Latifah talk about performing on the Idol finale

EW.com’s American Idol HQ

‘How old is Rod Stewart?’

‘Idol’: Gay-baiting banter? Again?!

‘Idol’: Season 8’s best and worst fashion

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