This year, American Idol fielded its most talented finalists — as a whole — of any other year.

The final show, last night, was a wonderful surprise. I had considered taking a pass because my favorite kids weren’t in the finale, but I’m glad I watched the show, one of the best entertainment/music shows I’ve ever seen on TV.

Besides featuring the top thirteen kids, with great music and choreography for two hours, cameo appearances by big-time stars added a Las Vegian quality to the show. They presented the gamut, from Lady Gaga to Tony Bennett, Bono to Tim McGraw, Jack Black to Carrie Underwood, Gladys Knight to Tom Jones and yes, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez as well.

Though the best didn’t win, and a young male singer with a guitar would become the next Idol, as usual, most of the kids were superbly talented and should move on to successful careers in entertainment.

The very best, in my opinion, were:

* Pia Toscano – Poise, beauty, and a powerful voice

* James Durbin – Heavy Rock is not my favorite, but this fellow has a wide range of talent

* Haley Reinhart – Oozes with showgirl qualities and wide vocal range

* Casey Abrams – Show biz is flowing through his veins, an entertainer besides a versatile singer

We’re all happy for Scotty McCreery. He’s got a superb country style and will go far. It’s nice to see a sensitive and deserving person begin a meteoric rise to stardom.

If you didn’t see it, you missed a great show.

Click here: Scotty McCreery Wins ‘American Idol’ Season 10