Ford Fiesta & American Idol - Idol Season 9 Finale, Ford Fiesta Just Beginning

(Los Angeles, CA) May 25, 2010 - I believe that something is a buzz over at Ford Motor Company. Though an often used cliche, “I got a new attitude” has a certain relevance when talking about the 2011 Ford Fiesta.  It seems that there’s a certain new attitude about the consumer market and Ford is on fire or should I say “ Fiesta”.

I met with the Ford Team at the Figueroa Hotel in downtown Los Angeles where five vehicles were given to reporters to take on a scavenger hunt throughout the city. Departing the hotel in a fully loaded Fiesta SE, I was impressed by the car’s sporty look and revolutionary technology offerings, but I was downright amazed by just how much fun it was to drive--just ask one of the twelve finalist that got to experience the car.

There’s something to be said about blending in while you’re standing out

Gauging the many features of the car my initial guess was that it easily listed at $25,000, with its cashmere leather seats, voice activated SYNC(r) (which included 911 Assist, VHR, Traffic, Directions, & Information services).  Leather wrapped steering wheel, floor center console and USB, not to mention its overall sporty appearance and many more features that you’ll want to inquire about at the dealer ship.  How could I be so wrong? The car actually ranges from estimated list prices of $13,995 to $15, 795; depending on models and options you’ll probably top out around $18,000.

The first stop was the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art ( MOCA).  We took liberties along the way to demonstrate how artistic our car was, stopping on the streets of LA for impromptu photo shoots. 

Having completed our first task at the MOCA, we moved on to our next destination; the Griffith Park Observatory.  Here we were able to experience the car’s road handling capabilities while going up the winding road to enjoy the spectacular views of LA, (though we sensed that all eyes were on our sporty ride).

Tourist Attraction

After leaving the Griffith Park Observatory, appreciating the down hill road handling capabilities, we were on to our next destination; the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. There’s no denying that we were touring the city in a class act.

Attention to the road

Keeping the No Phone Pledge has been made easy with Ford’s SYNC(r) system. This unique and convenient system allow you keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. The interactive voice system allows you to obtain turn by turn directions, your horoscope, sports, news, or weather. Want to call your best friend, no problem!  Just say the command and the system dials the number from your recorded directory. For moms and dads worrying about their kids being on the phone while driving, this car is for them.  Looking for a place to dine out, just press the button and state your preferences.

Sporty and Classy

It was now time for us to move on to 9000 W Sunset Blvd, home of the ‘ If I Can Dreamstudio. We joined with our fellow reporters for lunch and a brief tour of the facility before returning to the Nokia Center for the day’s main event - the final performance of the American Idol contestants Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze.

From duet to duelers

Our return trip was enhanced by a contest proposed by Ford to see who, within the five vehicles, could get the best gas mileage on our return trip to  Figueroa Hotel from 9000 W. Sunset.  Ah, the true road test of driving skills and attention to managing the car’s fuel efficiency - no easy feat given the California traffic conditions.  My driving partner and I managed to averaging 37.3 miles per gallon on our drive back to the Figueroa Hotel and won the contest! 

Believing in the dream

After all teams returned we were ushered over to Nokia Center to attend the dueling feats of Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze to see which of them would become the next American Idol.  I must say the 7000 fans and the millions around the world were treated to world class talent as the two took to the stage.  Lee came on first singing “ Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel, followed by Crystal singing “ Me and Bobby McGee,” written by Kris Kristofferson.

See and feel the spirit

The singers performed a song picked by producer Simon Full, during the second round.  Lee was assigned REM’s “ Everybody Hurts” and Crystal was assigned “ Black Velvet,” written by Canadian musicians David Tyson and Christopher Ward.  Personally I felt Lee’s performance in this round was outstanding.

Passing through

During the final round the singers performed the song they’ll release as their (winning) single.  Lee sang U2’s “ Beautiful Day.” While not pulling off a 10 from Simon Cowell, he did acknowledge that “this is what this competition is designed for” — a nice, talented guy hoping for a magical break at stardom. “I genuinely wish the best for you.”

Idol finalist Crystal

Crystal sang Patty Griffin‘s “ Up to the Mountain,” in such a stirring and passionate voice that she received nothing but praise from the judges and the audience alike.   “That was incredible — incredible,” said Randy. “You really blossomed,” said Kara, “just with that song.” Then, the highest praise of all, given by Simon.  “By far, the best performance and the song of the night.”  I must say, I have to agree with him.  Since I hadn’t followed American Idol as religiously as some in the audience, I left out commentary on whom I think was the clearer winner, but in my opinion - on this eve - Crystal exhibited a lot more control and comfort on the stage.

The evening ended with Simon delivering his farewell remarks to all his fans.  “This is my final time I’m ever going to judge this show ….” It was evident that he wanted them to show them his very best; I must say America will miss the eloquent way that Simon does sarcasm.

It's all in the attitude

At the conclusion of the show we adjourned to Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill, located at 800 W. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA for cocktails and delicious food fare to recount our day.  What a beauty of a day it was.  My hat goes off to Ford for its recognition that todays consumers want a car with style, grace, and a lil saucy attitude.

I think Kelly Blue Book’s post said it best when they ranked the 2011 Ford Fiesta as the number one coolest car

Learn more here

“Dear Honda Fit: We still really, really like you, and you're still one of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000, but we've met someone better looking, nicer inside and even more fun. The 2011 Ford Fiesta isn't just the best domestic sub-compact of all time (which isn't saying much, frankly), the new kid is already the coolest car in its class.”
Kelly Blue Book

Live the dream

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