5.21.2010

Why they lost.

ALERT! ALERT! American Idol post. :-)

I'm going to detail why each finalist, up to this week, did not succeed in taking the Idol crown.

12. Lacey Brown - I admire her tenacity, but though her voice was quirky, in the end it simply was not strong enough. No matter what, an Idol winner has to have a seriously strong voice, and she was never going to add that to her resume. Plus, her song choices were kinda bunk.

11. Paige Miles - every few years Simon has a moment of clarity, and I agree with him that she had one of the best voices in the competition. It's usually not good, however, to audition for the show because your co-workers want you to, or your mom, or whoever. You have to go in with a plan, and Paige simply didn't have one. In addition, she often looked dazed, as though she still wasn't sure where she was. And nerves were a problem also.

10. Didi Benami - my official favorite; she wasn't my typical fave, with obvious good looks and a heavy emotional side. But her super-sweet personality, killer voice, and strong stance against judge ridiculosity won me over. However, in this field of contestants, one true misstep was one too many. She took an excellent song choice and performed it as though a fourth member of the Dreams, complete with big curls and glittery gown. That simply wasn't her style. She should have gone acoustic and melancholy, and if unsure of the guitar work allowed, simply had guitarists join her onstage. I was broken to see her go, but at least there was one other person who I liked very well.

9. Andrew Garcia - his pretty awesome take on "Straight Up" during Hollywood week haunted him every week of live competition until he finally, I think, just gave up trying to please the judges. I think that in the end Andrew just wasn't as creative as we wanted him to be, and some very random missteps ("You Give Me Something," "Heard It Through the Grapevine") only added to the lackluster-ness of it all. Very sad. Of course, it would have helped just a bit if the judges didn't insist on actually reminding him of "Straight Up" during every single critique.

8. Katie Stevens - another one of the top voices. Yet strangely, she was far better during the audition rounds than live. She does have a short history of pageants, and that perhaps lent to her performances feeling less than organic. She never really felt the groove, never really let the audience close to her. The facade never cracked. It's hard for someone to gain voter sympathy that way. And so, they stopped caring. I would like to note that I think it's freaking awesome she can speak Portuguese.



7. Tim Urban - was never supposed to be here. After a Top 24 contestant was disqualified, the judges brought Tim back, and immediately - and I mean immediately - regretted it. I had to mute his performance of "Apologize," and I've never done that before. After that, Tim stuck to performances that did not challenge him in any way. Which inevitably became boring. I'm a big believer that no amount of looks can keep anyone interested if there isn't anything else going on, however I have to think that a large portion of his votes for a long time were because of just that, his looks. What else did he have, besides an annoying tendency to laugh off relevant critiques, and the audacity in the first place to think he would ever deserve to be an American Idol?

6. Siobhan Magnus - when your signature move is entitled The Scream, something is wrong. It was a terrible gimmick that I noted time and again would create backlash against her, and of course I was right. You just can't hit a triple high C every week regardless of whether you're singing "Paint It Black," "Superstition," or "Suspicious Minds." A perfect example of another contestant who just didn't know how to play the game - but thought she did. She thought her ugly outfits and insistence on artistic ambiguity would rally people around her, and for much too long, it did, but surely not for the reasons she thought. She was eliminated after receiving the pimp spot, a pretty hard thing to do. But not when you're a screamer.

5. Aaron Kelly - in the end, Aaron didn't have anything that no one else had, except for a country style. His voice is beautiful and mature for his age, but at the same time because of his age he just didn't play the game very well. Several weeks in a row of performances at the same decibal and tempo meant he became boring quickly. Still, Top 5 is a great finish and shows that a ton of people liked him very much.

4. Michael Lynche - for me, there just was never anything special about Big Mike. A competent voice but a bit thin, lacking in uniqueness or character. In a cast full of introverts his personality stood out for sure, but that's not enough. However, he's another one of those contestants who inexplicably gets enough votes each week for far too long (think Scott Savol) - and he managed to stay strong even after being eliminated (and subsequently Saved - ugh). Michael lost because eventually it became obvious that in the Top 4, he was finally out of his league.

3. Casey James - trying to stay succinct, I think Casey stopped doing what was working best for him, which was rocking out. After "Jealous Guy" - the only Moment of the season - the judges tried to steer him in a ballad direction, which still seems shady to me. Casey's talent just explodes when he jams, and I think the judges saw how much potential he had and tried to choke it. And in a large way, they succeeded. This was never more evident than when the judges picked John Mayer's "Daughters" for him to sing during Top 3 week. It was beautiful - but only exciting to those who know what to truly listen for. Casey's light was snuffed out, a terrible thing to witness, and I pray for the best for him because his musicianship is unparalleled by anyone in the history of this show.

So next week is Finale Week. Lee DeWyze or Crystal Bowersox FTW.

If Crystal loses, it will be another case of Melinda Doolittle Syndrome, from which Danny Gokey also suffered last year - being so good from the very beginning that there was nowhere to go from there, and honestly she wasn't terribly inventive throughout the season. Also, Lee now officially has the judges' backing for the win, along with a visible season-long confidence course and super-sparkly blue eyes.

If Lee loses, it will be because Crystal gained so many fans from the start that even someone rising up to overtake her will not have been enough in the end. Also, he does have a pitch problem.

I personally am kinda rooting for Lee now. :)

4 comments:

Diana Mieczan said...

I do too...I think he should win...:)
Cant wait to see what will happen:)
Great post my dear!
Kisses and Happy Friday:)

JP said...

Yeah I think it's a toss up between them...

This week Lee was definitely better... but over all I think Crystal has been...

I think it'll just come down to what they do on Tuesday... Usually that's not how it works...

Saphron said...

OMG, yay, Idol friends!! :-)

I agree, JP, usually it's not such a toss-up between the top 2.

Liz said...

Mostly I agree with everything you have said here.
You are very perceptive, with a good ear and know
how to put all this into words when the rest of us can not. I do like to give Mike more kudo's just for the feeling he leaves me with. My personal favorite is
Crystal but I think Lee better suits the Idol mold.
Either way they are both talented. And you are so
right on about Casey. I hope he makes
a rockin out lbum. His guitar playing is up there
with some who are already stars. Thank you.
I enjoyed reading this.