Saturday, March 13, 2010

‘American Idol 9′ – Final thoughts on the Top 16 results show

Thursday’s Idol results show surprised a lot of people and generated a whole lot of media buzz. Certainly, the eliminations seemed random, and were completely unwarranted, but as I watched the show, I began to feel strangely prescient since I had actually predicted three of the four – Alex, Todrick, and Lilly (based on the previous week, I thought Lacey would be gone) in my two pre-performance entries on

Todrick was the first one of my picks to go out, and I wasn’t surprised at all. That one was pretty much a no-brainer. When it came down to Andrew and Alex, I squirmed a little when Alex got the boot. I had picked him because I thought he would be competing for votes with Tim Urban, who had the extra added support of Vote for the Worst. And I was right. But I did feel badly for Alex, though, because he was clearly not expecting this outcome and it should have been Aaron who went home.

As the show wound down, I realized the last two standing were going to be Katie and Lilly. I took a quick look at what I’d written earlier in the week for and suddenly felt a bit ill! Here’s what I wrote:

Poor Lilly having run into the unstoppable force that is Crystal Bowersox this season! She could have been this season’s leading oddball/indie performer, but Crystal has that spot locked up. And, with Siobhan taking the other oddball spot, that leaves no room for Lilly, unfortunately. I would rather see Lilly than Didi, but I don’t think that’s the way it’s going to shake out. Tradition overrules non-conventionalism at this point. Sorry Lilly!

And that’s exactly what happened. I’m not happy I was right, trust me. But it just goes to show you how much of a popularity contest this show really is. Lilly over Katie? Really?

Lilly’s reaction to her elimination was refreshing in that she didn’t try to pretend it was all right with her. She knew she had done better overall during the live performance shows than Katie, Paige, Lacey, Didi, and even Katelyn. Katie certainly knew it and from the look on Crystal’s face, she was thinking the same thing.

Someone told me they saw Crystal say “WTF” after Katelyn was eliminated. I guess this would explain her unenthusiastic response to being in the Top 12 herself. Certainly, losing her friend Lilly was a major bummer going forward.

The thing is American Idol is not now nor has it ever really been solely about singing ability. What it about is how well people can relate to the contestants and how big a fan base develops early on. People like Crystal who are outstanding from the start don’t have to worry a whole lot, but if a person is less popular, no matter how great a performer he or she may be, they can lose out to someone a whole lot less worthy. That’s just the way it is.

So we move forward. This week, the contestants will butcher sing the music of the Rolling Stones. Alex was planning on doing “19th Nervous Breakdown.” Too bad we’ll be missing that!

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