Friday, April 8, 2011

American Idol - What Went Wrong and How To Fix It Next Year

This season of Idol may have just crashed and burned and then peed on the smoldering remains.

Most people had been predicting Pia to be in the Final 2 or 3 at least. I thought for sure it’d be Jacob going after he dissed America and sang first, and if not him then perhaps Stefano. Pia…not many saw that coming…not even the Idol Powers That Be.

Most shocking elim EVER. More shocking than Daughtry and Tamyra since they both went home # 4…not # 9. Pia was consistently rated #1 and no lower than #3 by critics and fan polls on multiple sites on the web . This season never really had a clear “front runner,” but Pia was the closest until tonight, which is why it’s probably the most shocking ever. Daughtry was the fav in Season 5, but went 4th. Tamyra also went 4th but Kelly had already become the front runner. Jennifer Hudson was never considered the front runner in Season 3 when she got the boot in 6th place. Pia is the highest ranked (in multiple polls) to go home this early.

I’ve been saying since Tamyra got voted off in Season 1, and even more so since Daughtry got the boot in Season 5 that they ought to have the Bottom 3 sing and the judges pick who goes. Isn’t that how they do it on America’s Got Talent, and XFactor? Heck, it's what they do on Nigel's other show, SYTYCD. I'm betting they will make a rule change next year and do it that way from now on. It would prevent people like Tamyra, Daughtry, Casey and Pia from going home too soon, and prevent people like Sanjaya and Tim Urban from sticking around too long. Heck, implement it in the Top 24 and people like Katelyn & Lilly from Season 9, and Kendra from this season, might actually make the Top 13. It’s a much better option than the one time “Judge’s Save.”

The judges are HIGHLY culpable in this. Before the Top 13, they were doing a pretty good job of offering criticism. Since the Top 13, Steven Tyler just says, "You sang beautiful," or "I have nothing to say." He's been as useless as Ellen last year. Randy sometimes makes comments, but often waaay over praises the singers. J-Lo has offered the most criticisms, but she too has over praised singers. This week NONE of them said ANYTHING. The only negative comments came from J-Lo and Randy to Pia that she needs to work on her performances, and Randy saying that Stefano's started "jerky." They didn't criticize Haley's grating throughout the song, Jacob being off key at the start (which is probably why he removed his ear piece,) and only Randy call out Stefano's weak falsetto at the start of his performance. They NEED to offer criticism to help "guide" the well as the voters. Yes, nobody was terrible, but perhaps real criticism could have helped boot the "right" person, and not Pia.

I've noticed one good thing on Idol which is that they have been putting people from the Bottom one week into the last slots to sing the next week. Good for them to FINALLY try to help out instead of (a) burying them, and (b) pimping the same people over and over with the last slot. Maybe they realized that by doing it with Adam and Crystal that perhaps that is a reason neither won as people resented them being pimped.  Too bad for Stefano though since he was in the bottom 2 weeks ago he sang second to last this week, so next week he'll be singing early and that could very well spell his doom.

You can't blame Vote For The Worst.  When they chose their pick this year, only 1,500 people voted.  If all of those are just 1 people (and nobody voted, cleared their cache and then voted again) even if all of them voted for Paul (unlikely) and they all voted 50 times each (even more unlikely) that's not really enough impact to affect a competition with 50 million votes cast.  VFTW is a crock, and they know it.  That's why they picked Paul over Ashthon.  They stated that they didn't want "the worst," but someone who would stick around.

Also, I think it's time to give up on Dial Idol.  They measure busy signals.  AI now takes votes online, so those aren't factored in.  In the Top 24, they had Ashthon with the most votes.  She only got in as a Wild Card pick, and then went out first.  This week, they had Pia in the Top 3.  Dial Idol is irrelevant.

The first 4 people to go this season were all women of color. I had worried that if Jacob went, since he's the last person of color left, that there would be an outcry. Instead, it'll be an outcry about women not being able to win this show anymore.

There is a theory that women aren’t voting for women on Idol. Last week Pia looked stunning after the makeover, and there was some concern that could it turn off some women voters due to jealousy. That wasn’t my opinion, but it's based on comments I’ve seen elsewhere. Over at, the woman who recaps Idol even mentioned last week that she felt that the Idol stylists had been trying to downplay Pia’s looks because of potential backlash. So now, look at the results just one week later. I don’t want to believe that women wouldn’t vote for Pia because they’re jealous of her looks, and even after last night I don’t want to believe that it’s true. But the theory that the majority of voters are young girls and older women and they (for whatever reason) don’t vote for women especially pretty women is a theory that now just got a boost, right or wrong. It’s too bad because although I'm not sure that I wanted Pia to win based on merit, but it would have been nice if nothing else that just to stifle that argument. Now, I’m afraid that a guy winning again is inevitable.

I wonder how many of all the people that are and will be complaining actually voted for Pia?  Had Pia gone like 3rd or 4th, I don't think the outcry would be as bad. I'm now betting that they adopt the SYTYCD way of voting next year (where the judges pick who goes out of the people in the bottom.) Afterall, that IS Nigel's other show, so it's not like he doesn't know about it!