Thursday, April 7, 2011

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN LOVE ME AND LEAVE ME TO DIE?  So, I was all set to herald the return of Constantine Maroulis (!!) to American Idol, and focus my comments on the oddness of the Iggy Pop performance -- only the possibly-drunk Michael Buble "Call Me Irresponsible" comes close -- but then came the results.

Bottom 3: Stefano, Jacob, Pia -- and Pia goes home. Several reactions:

#1-#7: Holy shit.
#8: And thank goodness, because I wasn't a fan. Too pageanty, no passion, no edge.
#9: Except I thought that America thought otherwise, and, c'mon, she's better than Stefano and Haley.
#10: But this is what happens when judges don't judge. When you treat everyone as equally awesome, weird results will happen.
#11. This show has eliminated five singers so far. All are women. Explain it, America.
#12. But it was sure nice seeing Constantine again. From younger days ...


  1. Sheila9:15 PM

    I was thinking that Stefano wins the John Stevens Memorial Survivor's Guilt award this year, but Casey should probably feel just as bad - if the judges hadn't used up their save already on him, Pia would have been a lock.

    In one way it's nice that a belter who seemed kind of robotic at times couldn't get by just on glory notes, but it's definitely disheartening to see yet another woman gone. And also, wasn't Carrie Underwood at one time considered a robotic belter? And she turned out okay... here I was thinking Pia might actually have the best shot at the "growth" arc this year. Guess not.

  2. StvMg9:15 PM

    Gotta agree with you on point No 10. Why were the judges so stunned? They only had themselves to blame. If they really thought Pia was that much better than most of the other contestants, why didn't they bother to mention that Wednesday instead of praising everyone? Maybe that will serve as a wakeup call to JLo, as I'm not sure Steven's ever going to bother criticizing anyone. And it also serves them right for using the save so early. 

    So is there ever going to be a female winner ever again? And will any of the remaining contestants ever follow the judges' advice the rest of the season after Pia gets voted out the first week she avoids a ballad?

    Of course, I didn't feel quite as bad about Pia's exit when she followed it up by delivering far and away her weakest vocal of the season, though it certainly was understandable given the circumstances.

    It sure appears I was way off the mark when I said Scotty was the only contestant left who had more marketability than Pia. If Pia had star potential, I'm guessing she would have lasted at least four weeks longer than she did. But I think this does solidify Scotty as even more of a front-runner. 

  3. Never in the Bottom 3: Scotty, Lauren, James. 

  4. While the lack of judging may be a factor, I think you can also point to the withering of the Idol "voting audience" to the core loons -- tween girls and bored housewives -- who vote for "cute guys".  Singing talent was never really considered by Idol's core voters... and after 10 seasons, all that's left are the core voters.  There isn't a sanity check anymore -- and I wouldn't be surprised if the addition of Facebook voting has exacerbated the problem.

    Basically, until Idol clamps down on votes-per-method (sacrificing weekly "record vote totals" in the process), this will continue to happen.  I suspect Lauren and Haley realize they're on thin ice.  And I suspect the producers realize they've lost control. 

    You have to wonder if Simon Cowell will make note of this and implement vote-limiting on X-Factor this fall.

  5. Jessica10:36 PM

    That's it. even though it takes AGES to vote online I will max it out next week, 25 for Lauren and 25 for Haley on principle of womanhood alone. Unless one of the boys is amazing, then he gets 1 vote.

  6. I didn't really think that it was far off from her regular comfort zone.  It was more up-tempo, and she moved around the stage more, but it was still a lot of "find a spot on the floor, plant both heels down, and belt out."  

  7. I pretty much agree with everything that Adam said, although perhaps a few fewer holy shits.  I'd have dropkicked Stefano (no better song choices, but worse execution) and Jacob (ditto) before her, and probably Paul, as well.  But I didn't really see her going much later than top 6 unless she pulled out some surprises in the next couple of weeks.

    Team Lauren, y'all.  Even if she is annoying at times.  Well, often.

  8. Also, while I may have underestimated James I'm still comfortable with the tiers.

  9. kevbo nobo7:05 AM

    As well you should.  They are a constant.  Also, does the massacree of female idols have anything to do with the tween girl voting block?  They do seem to obsees on the cute boy idols and carry them a bit long.

  10. JustJoan8:45 AM

    When JLo was all sputtery and "I'm angry" I just wanted to reach through my TV screen and slap her silly.  She has spent so much time extolling the perfection of her pet Stefano that any surprise over Pia's loss is simply mystifying.  I'm not a Pia fan, but it is clear that she can sing rings around Stefano.  And she has a much better chance of being a marketable recording star, which was always Simon's yardstick.  Put me down in the "judges aren't judging" column for sure.

  11. Jenn.8:59 AM

    Another way of thinking of it was that there have been six people voted out so far, and four of the six were of the "belt out a diva song" genre.  Only Naima and Casey were not.  If you consider the six knocked out along with the two who were in the bottom three with Pia this week, you've got a total of six singers who were in the "belt out a diva song" genre.  If you look at the three who have never been in trouble (Scotty, Lauren, and James)---they're not.  Maybe voters are just tired of the "old American Idol" style.  

  12. Watchman9:15 AM

    I'd love to hook the "shocked" and "angry" judges up with some truth serum and see exactly who they think should have gone home last night.  They didn't seem very happy about Jacob being in the bottom three either (especially Randy).  If all the children are above average, how will anyone ever go home? 

  13. I'd like for someone to do Actual Journalism to figure out who's voting on Idol and why. These theories about teenage girls, while possible, are also more than a bit sexist. Which is not to say they're impossible.

  14. If that's true, Jacob goes before Stefano, right? 

  15. Yeah, this is where Simon is most missed.  He never would have universally praised performances like that, and booing from the live audience aside, his opinions mattered.  People listened.  Sure, sometimes he eviscerated somebody and actually ended up energizing their voters, but for the most part, if he said someone was in trouble, they were in trouble.  He'd have hated Stefano and Paul this week, I'm sure, and he'd have been underwhelmed by several others. 

    I do think it's unlikely that they'll have another female winner.  I'm not sure that changing the vote rules would even make a difference. 

  16. Mmm.  Often after a shock boot, the perceived weakest singer goes next.  So, I'd think that Stefano is most at risk.  But I'd say that Stefano and Jacob should be prepared.

    I was pondering three categories of singers for this year:

    (1) "Belt out a diva song" singers:
    Ashthon (out); Karen (out); Thia (out); Pia (out); Stefano (bottom 3 twice); Jacob (bottom 3 once)

    (2) "Quirky" and/or "no definable genre" singers:
    Naima (out); Casey (out-but-saved); Haley (bottom 3 twice); Paul (bottom 3 once)

    (3) Identifiable commercial style:
    James (safe); Scotty (safe); Lauren (safe)

    That would explain the pattern, no?  Moreover, I'd suggest that the singers in category (1) compete against each other more than the singers in categories (2) or (3).

  17. Does anyone think this causes any changes in the elimination procedure next year, particularly if the winner puts up Lee DeWyze-sized sales again? I'm not sure they'd limit the number of votes per person because they love talking about all the millions of votes that were cast each week, but why not have the public decide the bottom two each week and then have the judges determine which of the two goes home?

  18. I agree with Jenn. The song was more up tempo, but she still looked dead behind the eyes and robotic. Way to sing those words but not put any emotion behind it. That said, I've never been a fan of the Whitney/Mariah, yelly balladeer. 

  19. Because that's what X Factor does.

    How about this: have the producers work closely with the performers on a weekly basis to improve their skills and make them more appealing to the public. Y'know, what Iovine's team was *supposed* to be doing.<span> </span>

  20. Oops. Didn't realize that's what X Factor was doing.

  21. I agree, I think this is more a case for viewers/voters not loving the "stand in one place, hit glory notes" version of singers anymore. 

    Frankly, Pia was boring as hell as a performer.  Pretty voice, pretty girl, bor-ring.

    Though for the love of Pete I do NOT see what other people see in Haley.  Jacob, sure, I can see where the appeal may be.  Stefano I think is cute non-threatening and probably a nice guy (but otherwise sucky).  But Haley?

    Of course dressing like a Bon Jovi fan circa 1987 last night did not help anything, and I say that having BEEN that Bon Jovi fan in 1987

  22. Fred App1:31 PM

    I think we may be overestimating Simon's power to influence votes. Let's not forget, he was judging when people like Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry went home prematurely; he was judging when non-talents like Jasmine Trias and John Stevens and too many others to name went further than they deserved; and he was judging when Idol crowned a series of mediocre winners stretching from Taylor Hicks to Lee DeWyze.

    In other words, nothing is happening this year in terms of talent and voting that hasn't happened over, say, the last five years.

    That being said, I wouldn't mind seeing some actual judging from the judges and some actual mentoring from the mentors.

  23. Robin1:53 PM

    It really bothers me that the first five finalists voted off were all women. I blogged about this today: what do you think about having two sex-specific judges saves? They've only used them on male contestants so far.

  24. Jenn.1:55 PM

    I have my doubts that putting in place vote limits would work.  My guess is that the power voters would find ways around it. 

  25. Maggie2:34 PM

    Adam - what's it like to be SHOUTED at over Twitter by Nigel (aka Dizzy Feet)? 

    I don't get the judges' "America got it wrong" schtick.  The people get to vote and they decided they didn't like Pia or that they like other people there more than her.  Just because it wasn't who the judges wanted to go (which they did a terrible job telling us), doesn't mean it is wrong. 

  26. Jenn.3:36 PM

    Can we have a quote of the tweet, please?  Pretty please? 

    Ahem.  The boyfriend was a bit grossed out by the decision, but then was pretty amazed to watch the little clip of Pia as a 5-year-old singing Whitney Houston and noting that, well, her singing style (stand still, open mouth wide, belt note) had not changed since then.  Heh.

  27. victoria4:42 PM

    From your lips to Nigel Lythgoe's ears. Stefano terrifies me and I want him gone, like, three weeks ago.

  28. StvMg5:07 PM

    The difference to me is that Daughtry at least finished fourth and Jennifer Hudson was a rather inconsistent Idol performer (I didn't consider her as good as Fantasia or LaToya London that season). I think having someone of this caliber get eliminated this early in the competition is pretty unusual. If she had finished fifth, it wouldn't have surprised me that much. Ninth place surprises me quite a bit.

    I'm not sure Simon would have been so quick to save Casey, and I do think he would have barbecued some of the lesser contestants enough by now that it might have caused a drop in their support.

  29. PiledHighandDeep12:26 PM

    I think JLo's problem with Pia was my problem with her:  she closes her eyes and belts those glory notes, but she never connects with the song.  She's technically very proficient.  But there is no there there.  Like David Archuletta's dead, dead eyes, you don't get the impression that she's connecting with the song, except to perfectly render the notes as written.

    Having said that, it was Stefano's turn to go home weeks ago, and I'm ticked he's hanging on.