Saturday, April 10, 2010

'American Idol 9' - Should the judges have saved Big Mike?

After the ‘Idol’ judges spared Michael Lynche from being eliminated Wednesday night, the Internet blew up with articles, Tweets, and blog entries talking about this dramatic turn of events. A lot of people feel the judges should have waited to use the save on someone with a better chance of winning, while others felt Michael was save-worthy.

I’m not even going to pretend to be objective when it comes to Michael Lynche. I think he’s been consistent throughout the competition and has had a string of solid performances. He has a great voice, good stage presence, and seems to be a nice guy. I like his neo-soul R&B vibe and the way he is able to change up the material to suit his personal style.

I was not surprised that he ended up with the least amount of votes this week, but I was disappointed. Historically, African-American men have not done very well on the show. Sure, Ruben Studdard won Season 2, but the next best finisher was George Huff, who was fifth on Season 3. Every other black male ‘Idol’ finalist has been 7th or less. This is particularly puzzling in that black male artists are what’s happening when it comes to pop music.

A lot of this has to do with demographics. Apparently, people who enjoy artists like Usher, Chris Brown, Maxwell, and even Kara’s protege Jason Derulo are not watching (or at least not voting). Michael Lynche is at least as good as Derulo.

Obviously, then, I think the judges were correct in saving Michael this week.

But even if you aren’t a fan of Big Mike, saving him this week was good strategy. Let’s assume that Michael had gone home. That would leave only three more weeks where the judges could use the save. There are at least three contestants (Aaron, Andrew, and Tim) who should be going home over the next three weeks. Whether they saved Mike this week or not, Andrew is going home next week. You can bank on that. If they hadn’t saved Mike, they certainly wouldn’t have saved Andrew.

The next week most likely would have been the end of Tim Urban. Now you know they wouldn’t have saved him! That would leave Aaron or possibly Katie as the person eliminated in the Top 6. They might have used the save on either of them, but to what end? So they can go home the next week?

All this is pure speculation, of course. As we have seen in seasons past, anything can happen. It’s all part of the ‘Idol’ game. Still, I doubt we’ll see Crystal, Casey, Lee, or Siobhan as the bootee anytime soon, and really, they are the only ones left who might be considered save-worthy.

This week, the Idols travel to Las Vegas where they’ll meet guest mentor Adam Lambert. There’s no word yet as to what the theme will be, some say Elvis, others world music. There’s also a rumor that a former Idol contestant will sing an Elvis song on the results show. No idea on that one either.

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