Thursday, May 14, 2009

American Idol: Top 3 elimination

I was too busy watching "Lost" last night to so much as glance at "American Idol," but I know who was eliminated, and who's in the final two. If you want a recap of what happened, go read Fienberg, but after the jump, I'll offer up some quick thoughts on the result, and where I think the Top 2 stand...

So, Danny Gokey goes home, and Adam and Kris are our final two. That seems right to me. While Danny looked like the obvious frontrunner back in the semi-finals -- he had the double backstory (dead wife, plus the friendship with Jamar), the love of the judges, and a killer voice -- he never really evolved, never surprised, never delivered the kind of show-stopping performance that both Adam and Kris provided from time to time, and he seemed least connected to contemporary pop music. Like I said last night, he was a younger, somewhat better Taylor Hicks, and we know how Taylor's career has worked out.

As for the finale, I really have no idea who should be favored. Adam is the more vocally talented, and more memorable contestant, but he's incredibly polarizing, and the finale is the first time people can really vote against you if they don't like you. I could easily see a lot of Danny's vote going to Kris, as well as the votes of anybody who's still watching at this point but is tired of both Adam and the constant worship of him by the judges and his fans. And to get back to that final Danny point, Kris seems the most suited to actually be on the radio and have a pop music career in 2009. I'm not saying that Adam can't; just that much of what he's done on the show this season also shows little resemblance to what's happening today on the charts.

In terms of the story of this season, Adam's the obvious choice for who should win, but I really think it's too close to call, and might even want to call Kris the favorite.

What do you think? You happy with the final two? Who do you think's gonna take the crown next week?

24 comments:

K J Gillenwater said...

Okay, I only fastforwarded through this elimination, so i didn't see it for myself...but I read online that Katy Perry came out with a cape emblazoned with Adam's name. Um, what? What kind of crap is that?

The fix is in.

Go Kris!!!

Jaynee said...

I'm a big Kris fan, and have been since he made it to the Top 12. I haven't voted this season at all, but did vote for Kris this week. And I'll be voting for him next week as well. I think he has a GREAT shot to win and it would NOT shock me at all if he did. I'm not anti-Adam (in fact, I downloaded 4-5 of his songs from this season), but I do prefer Kris.

amysusanne said...

Maybe if Katy Perry hadn't completely sucked I would be able to take her opinion as to who I should vote for in this theoretical singing competition a little more seriously.

How do they (and I'm not saying Idol set that up because Perry's perfectly capable of thinking for herself) think that all of this is not hurting their pet contestant? I guess maybe it's so close they figure that there's no point in pretending anymore if it gets Adam a few more votes. At least Simon played it a little more even handed last night. I guess they're seeing that they might just wind up with Kris as their Idol and they've gotta start dealing with it.

JD said...

Although I've been a fan of Kris since the semifinals and Adam can be overrated many nights, I think Adam should be the winner (unless he does something horrible next week for me to cut the cord). I'm hoping there is a backlash against the backlash for Adam because I eventually came around to his talent and enjoyed reading about his likable personality in the recent behind the scenes piece that USA today did on the final 3 contestants.

I'm still a bit shocked that the audience finally put the Go in Gokey though. I'm sure the guys at EW are thrilled.

mrsb said...

I'm a big fan of Adam, and think that he deserves the win. He's been the most consistently entertaining through the show.

But I think Kris actually has a better chance of winning. He's definitely more sellable, and probably has more of a mass appeal to voters.

I'm sure there are plenty of people that are sick of the hype that has been thrust on Adam that will vote against him.

I still hope Adam wins, though :O)

maura said...

There won't be a meltdown in my house if Adam wins, but I would love to see Kris take it, if only because I'm tired of hearing that no one can beat Adam. I don't think either one actually needs the win. They've both proven themselves to be very talented. Whatever happens with their careers will happen regardless of who comes in first.

Does anyone actually give a damn about who Katy Perry supports?

Steven said...

Adam has an incredible voice, but his performances lack je ne sais quoi, perhaps sincerity. When he sang "Cryin" on Tuesday, technically his voice was better than Steven Tyler, but the cheesy arrangement and his over the top vocal histrionics made me think of Broadway and not the local shed where Aerosmith is playing.

I guess I am going to fall into the category of voting against Adam rather than for Kris. Kris is an okay singer, but the fawning of the judges over Adam turns my stomach. BTW, Simon is a major buffoon - the only criticism he offered Adam was that Americans might be too stupid or lazy to vote for him.

Anonymous said...

I don't even really watch the show, but for months all anyone has been talking about is Adam Lambert. So I can understand why there would be backlash against him. And I can understand why people love an upset and want to root for the underdog. But if even half of what people say about Adam's talent is true, then it's really unfair for people to vote against him simply because of media hype that he has absolutely nothing to do with. I really hope he wins.

Alan Sepinwall said...

While I think the show itself is in the tank for Adam at this point, I can't blame them for Katy Perry's cape. This is far from the first time that a celebrity guest (mentor or otherwise) has expressed a preference for a particular contestant, and we know by now that celebrities like to make their opinions heard.

Adam said...

The judges were willing to do whatever it took -- including a third straight pimp-slotting for Adam -- to prevent Hokey Gokey (i.e., Taylor Hicks 2.0) from making the finals. They can't have another winner like him with no chance of success in contemporary music.

Did the judges stack the deck? Yes. Do I mind? Not really.

Steve said...

Kris Allan- I don't even think he is a good singer. He has a weak voice, and doesn't hit notes like Danny or Adam. But he's the most commercial. He's the Jason
Mraz/Adam Duritz/Jesse McCartney acoustic guitar playing musician.

The judges go whichever way the
wind blows on whether this is actually a singing competition. If he were on a season that didn't allow instruments, he wouldn't even make the Top 24. He's the good-looking guitar player at the open-mic night that girls love.

amysusanne said...

I doubt the show had anything to do with it at all, so the cape in itself didn't bug me (though I think wearing his name on your clothes is a little different from, say, Natasha Bedingfield gushing about David Archuletta), but it's just another WTF moment for this season. If they'd been a little more subtle these last weeks (or even if the show itself hadn't been annoying and poorly produced) then it would have been a "hey, Katy Perry really likes Adam!" moment, but insead it was just a total "are you kidding me?" moment. If a neon sign of Adam's name with fireworks shooting out of it had fallen from the rafters I really wouldn't have been surprised by it.

I have to agree that voting against someone isn't something I'm into, though. I don't really vote, period, but I don't hate Adam (I like him) so voting for Kris to spite him doesn't sit well with me. Otoh, if I voted for Kris I would actually be voting for Kris, so I guess it doesn't matter that much.

LA said...

I've been on the Adam train since I first heard him in tryouts, but I really like Kris, too, and am glad that Kris made the finals over Danny. (Though, honestly, I would have preferred an Allison/Adam showdown.) And how boring would a Kris/Danny finale have been? Almost as bad as the Jordin/Blake finale was.

In the few years I've been watching Idol, Adam is the most exciting contestant I've seen. Not sure if America will backlash against him or not, but I think he's going to have a very successful career regardless.

Anonymous said...

After I quit laughing at the idea that Gokey was better than Hicks. hahaha I thought I would let you know that Yes, I do know how Taylors career is going, He has a successful Broadway show and tour going, his own record label and a great CD. I think he may be one of the busiest around. Keeps us entertained.

Adam said...

No, Taylor Hicks' "successful Broadway show" -- the revival of Grease based off another reality show -- closed down. He's doing a national tour in the pivotal dramatic role of "Teen Angel," because no city can tolerate more than a few days of him. And self-releasing an album is no virtue.

The list of Idol finalists who are busier than Hicks -- starting with Daughtry, Pickler and Yamin from his own season -- is quite long.

Matt said...

To be fair, when Hicks joined the Grease cast on Broadway as Teen Angel, there was a significant and bump in the grosses. Hicks has a fan base, to be sure, but it's not massive.

Ben said...

I had no faith in kris from the get go, but like Alan implied, he grew over the course of the show while Danny remained solid and steady without much of an upswing.

So in the end, not surprised and in fact I predicted it would happen, right down to Kris being saved first to set up the showdown everyone was waiting for.

I have also been saying since the start of the finals that Adam won't win and I'm sticking with it. He has always seemed more adult contemporary/broadway too me than a pop artist.

Anonymous said...

About halfway through the show, I decided they were going to have all three come back for the final next week, so the big shock for me was that they actually sent someone home. Ryan's little tease at the beginning about "If you think you know how this is going to play out you're wrong" suggested another major format change, and I never heard him say that we'd find out who the top 2 were, just that we'd find out who would be competing in the finals next week. So because I had come up with this great idea, I was disappointed, mainly because I was wrong!

That said, I was THRILLED for Kris ... I'm not a Gokey-hater like so many, but I've really come to enjoy Kris's performances, and based on Tuesday night, he definitely deserved to be there over Danny. And while I think Adam probably will win, and I even enjoy his performances, he's not someone whose CD I would buy. For me with him, it's all about the visuals of the performance. I would buy a CD of Kris, and I WILL buy a CD of Alison, because I enjoy their voices even if I'm not looking at my TV screen.

And does it really matter at this point who wins? I think all four of the top finishers have the potential to have great recording careers if they are marketed and managed correctly.

mrsb said...

Personally, I think voting against someone because the show gushed so much over them is as silly as voting for someone because they were gushed so much over. Either way, you've been influenced by the show on how to vote.

How about voting just because you really just like one singer better than the other? And if you don't really like either, just don't bother to vote?

I do think it's been more than a bit unfair how the judges/show has pushed Adam down our throats so hard this season. On the other hand, I just can't help like the guy.

Anonymous said...

This is the finale I've wanted, but Adam should win. Who cares what the judges or Katy Perry or anyone else says- I like Kris, and he's good, but Adam is miles ahead in terms of talent, IMO.

That said, I wouldn't mind it if Kris won, mostly because I expect him too and because I think he needs it more. Adam is already a star and has an impossibly high ceiling whether he wins or not.

amysusanne said...

@maura. It is stupid. I agree. But, there are a lot of vindictive segments of fandom out there who take it personally when their fave has been voted off, so I can totally see them voting against whichever one they hold responsible. As far as the show influencing negative feelings towards Adam, I would like to think that there aren't a lot out there who would vote for Kris because the show seems to want Adam to win, but I have no problem believing that there are a lot of people who like Adam, but are so burnt out on how the show has been run this year wrt him that they just won't pick up the phone. Maybe I'm naive and there are a lot of angry Idol fans out there who want to stick it to them in some way, but I'm more inclined to think that the votes will be affected by the lack of votes.

amysusanne said...

And I realized just as I hit send that that was mrsb I was replying to and not maura. Sorry about that.

Linda said...

I don't know if you can take the show off the hook for the Katy Perry cape.

They certainly control enough to decide whether or not to start with a giant closeup of that cape fanned out to make sure nobody misses it. I thought that was a low moment in a long season full of them, as far as making the show's official position on who should win perfectly clear. They certainly didn't have to show the cape spread out in close-up full view; that's a production choice, and I don't have the slightest doubt that they were happy to pile on, given the "Vote Adam" campaign the show has been running for weeks. If they'd asked Katy Perry her opinion and she'd said Adam, that would have been okay with me, but the cape was tacky, tacky, tacky, as was their decision to linger over it. Once you've had the judges yelling in unison that people should vote for one person over everyone else, I withdraw the benefit of the doubt.

Chrystal K. said...

I did not get to watch the elimination episode this week, but I did watch the competition show. Every time I hear Danny sing a song about love, I literally start to cry, as I can’t help but to think about his tragic loss and what he must be feeling as he sings. I hope everything works out well for him, in his career and in his life.