Friday, April 8, 2011

'American Idol 10' - The morning after

Stefano Langone looks stunned as Pia is eliminated from 'Idol' (Photo courtesy MJ's Big Blog)
After Pia's shocking elimination Thursday night, one thing is certain. This season sure has us talking about 'Idol' again! And, while her elimination took most viewers by surprise, a lot of people feel that while Pia has amazing vocal ability, she simply wasn't entertaining enough to engage viewers and earn votes. Or maybe people simply felt she was so safe they didn't need to vote for her. Whatever the case, she's gone and the 'Idol' world is abuzz.

How did this happen? I think one explanation is the show's voting demographic. Judging from the people in the audience and those who attend the Idols Live shows, those who are most engaged in this show and who do the majority of  voting seem to be tween and teen girls, and women over forty. As we've seen since Season 7, this demographic supports young men (usually with guitars) and a pretty girl with a good voice doesn't stand a chance. You gotta wonder if even someone like Carrie Underwood could have won this year! If you think Pia lacked stage presence, just look at some of Carrie's 'Idol' performances!  No disrespect to Carrie, who has become an excellent performer, but her 'Idol' performances make Pia look like Taylor Hicks in comparison!

In the end, 'Idol' is about entertainment and Pia just wasn't all that entertaining. Great vocals, super looks, but no real charisma. Paul may sing as though he's just taken a whiff of helium and Jacob may be completely over the top, but they have stage presence and charisma and you don't forget them five minutes after they stop singing.  I would pay to see Jacob in concert, but Pia, I don't think so.

We've seen shocking eliminations in the past, but ultimately, success isn't dependent on where a person places on 'Idol.' Just ask Chris Daughtry, Adam Lambert, Kellie Pickler, and Jennifer Hudson. Even Mandisa, who finished ninth her season, has found success in Christian music and Chris Sligh, who finished tenth, has had a song he co-wrote top the charts.

If you've got "it," being on 'Idol' is a means to an end. Pia has made some important connections during her stay on the show and after their shameless pandering to her over the course of the competition, the judges should use their influence to help her. If she's destined for stardom, it will happen. If not, she'll become another footnote in 'Idol' history, the shocking bootee who fades into the sunset.

I actually feel sorry for Stefano. The expression on his face said it all. He knew, as did everyone watching, that it should have been him going home. Last night he Tweeted, "All I can say is it wasn't right. And anyone that thinks they have a clue on how I feel or what I'm going thru as a PERSON, has NO idea..."  Actually, there are a few people out there who have an idea how you feel. I bet Katharine McPhee, who was in the bottom two with Chris Daughtry the night he was eliminated, can relate. Or how about John Stevens, who looked the same way each week he survived his 'Idol' ordeal? Even Scott Savol who beat out Constantine would have had to admit there was a moment when he was a stunned as Stefano appeared to be last night. 

In the end, this won't have any impact on the outcome. Pia was not going to win. If any of the girls has a shot it's Lauren, and even she is dicey at this point. I think it'll be two guys in the finale, probably James and Scotty. I wouldn't have predicted this a few weeks ago, but Scotty has the tweens in a tizzy and the older women feeling all motherly. Scotty may well win the whole shebang. 

Next week is "Music From the Movies" and Kelly Clarkson will sing with Jason Aldean on results night. My only hope is that no one sings "Against All Odds!"

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