Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MY HAPPINESS DEPENDS ON YOU, WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO: Idol results. Comments. Now. My initial reaction was, "hey, isn't this why you have the Idol Immunity?" I was never as gung-ho on Alexis Grace as the Idol Commentariat at large -- while most had her in the final 3-4, I'm still seeing Allison Iraheta as the one in the final three with Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert. But I can certainly concur that (a) it seemed possible for Alexis to make it towards the finals, and (b) there are plenty of folks left who can't -- Sarver, Anoop, Kris, Megan and, presumably, Scott -- unless his numbers are already off the charts, in which case we're doomed. And that's the first thing to be mindful of in evaluating whether the Idol Immunity should have been used -- the judges know the vote totals, and whether someone like Lambert was vulnerable after a performance like Tuesday's. Maybe they recognize his margin for error is such that he will need it after another questionable call, but that he's more worth saving because his upside. . (We now know Allison's vulnerable, and maybe it's being saved for her.)

At the same time, it's hard to imagine someone who could have been saved for more weeks than Alexis -- especially with Motown next week to reboot her fanbase, she could have catapulted into that final five mix (assuming she wasn't borderline in terms of fan support last week as well.) Maybe had folks seen Alexis perform in three weeks' worth of semifinals instead of one, there would have been more built-in loyalty to cover her in a week when she wasn't that bad.

It's hard thinking of someone who could have won this competition going out this early -- Nadia Turner (Final 8, season 4), Mandisa (Final 9, season 5) and Michael Johns (Final 8, season 7) come to mind, but they all not only went out later in the competition than Alexis but also had two extra semifinal performances beforehand on which the audience could evaluate them, making it a somewhat fairer cumulative assessment. So those were a different kind of disappointment, because we knew more of what they were capable of; with Alexis, we're just left to wonder.

My final thought is a repeated one from the comments: if they had switched it up with Adam Lambert singing "Jolene," White Stripes-style and Alexis Grace tackling "Ring of Fire," both of them would have done better, and Michael Sarver would be doing the farewell interviews today. If you're going to attempt Jolene, you do have to bring more to it than Alexis did last night.

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