Wednesday, March 31, 2010

American Idol: Top 10 results

Quick "American Idol" results spoilers coming up just as soon as I point out that, again, an overly-padded show wound up running past 10 o'clock, which means anyone who DVR'ed won't know if the judges bothered to use their stupid Save...

So, Katie Stevens, Tim Urban and Did Benami were the bottom three, Katie was sent to safety first, and the voters sent Didi home. She did a very strong reprise of her "Rhiannon" from the semi-finals, but the judges sure weren't going to use the Save on someone who's just been kind of hanging on since the semi-finals began.

I liked Didi a lot in Hollywood, and while she wasn't the best of this season's doll-voiced singers (that would be Lilly), she was still distinctive enough that I'd have liked to see her go longer - and certainly longer than the likes of Tim.

Meanwhile, for all of the talk that this would be a season for the ladies, we've had women eliminated every single week of the finals. We haven't had an all-female final 2 since Fantasia and Diana in season 3, and we haven't had a woman in the finale at all since Jordin Sparks won it three seasons ago. Is that just a fluke, or a sign that the "Idol" audience is trending towards people who will throw more support behind the guys, all things being equal? And if the latter, I'd say the odds of a Crystal/Siobhan finale (which weren't that great to begin with, given Siobhan's polarizing nature and recent struggles) just got lower.

What did everybody else think? And how was the results show (which I didn't put on for good until Diddy turned up) overall?


Tyler said...

I would rather see one less Ford or Remember the Titans commercial and actually see before my recording ends the only reason I am watching the show in the first place: the results.

ghoti said...

I couldn't believe how nervous Diddy seemed when he was done with his performance. He was shaking like a leaf and was having trouble walking and talking.

Even a seasoned performer can get that shaky, weak-kneed feeling - especially if they haven't been in front of an audience for a while, but it's Diddy!

I thought admitting he was nervous really highlighted how hard it is to perform in front of such a large audience every week.

Diddy is more Tim than Crystal as an artist. He gets by on personality and lots and lots of help. I can't imagine how nerve-wracking it must be to get out there every week when you are not an international icon. It was a nice moment.

Jake Guzman said...

Maybe that God awful countdown clock during last night's "Lost" would be put to better use during this show so they might actually get out on time for once.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

There will never be another female winner on this show unless they change the voting rules. Too many teenybopper girls are power-texting for their faves, which is the only possible explanation for the continued existence of Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly on my television screen.

Unknown said...

Scott is right!

Allie said...

The voting system gets worse and wrose. Terrible or dull singers with puppy-dog- eyes and every bad singing cliche in the book. Gahhh.

Didi's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" wasn't great which is almost criminal for such a wonderful song. But I think I would have picked Urban to stop torturing me and leave. What a royal mess.

On the plus side, "Modern Family" was wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Scott. Crystal is going to look like the surefire winner right up until the finale when all the girls will line up for Casey James 9I am betting, at any rate) who will fall off into oblivion like most past winners.

I am also wondering if the alleged "red state American" vote is a factor. I would guess it would be dead set against magnus since she is so weird, but would they think Crystal is too much of a hippie chick to support?

Anonymous said...

I started off the season wanting a female vs. female final, presumably with some assortment of Didi, Katelyn, Crystal or Siobhan (sorry - do not share the Lilly love), because the women were clearly stronger. After Katelyn failed to move on and Didi started to be far less than what I expected (and far more of an emotional mess), I was left with Crystal vs. Siobhan.

For the moment, though, I am prefering Crystal vs. Lee with Siobhan in third. I think Lee's been pretty consistently good (semis, despite picking Hinder and Fireflies) to excellent (this week). I've checked out his recordings (past and on Idol) and the voice is great. He has to work on the confidence issue, but I think he can much like he worked on the pitch issues.

Anyway, any configuration of Siobhan, Crystal, and Lee would work but I think Crystal needs to win to salvage the season.

Anonymous said...

The two biggest voting blocs for American Idol are tweenage girls and older women. So the male dominance is no fluke.

themightypuck said...

Getting angry about American Idol voting results is pretty much insane.

Unknown said...

I'm not sure Crystal can really win the whole thing unless she busts out the keytar.

Anonymous said...

Scott is right.

When people try to analyze this show and who stays based on talent or fairness (and we all do it), it doesn't work. You have to think to yourself, "How are 12-year-old girls going to vote?" That will usually tell you who will stay or who will go. It's the same reason that only "safe" non-threatening women have ever won here (remember the Carrie Underwood from Idol was more of a singing robot than whatever many years of working out and video shoots have turned her into).

The judges/producers have been trying to make it a Siobhan/Crystal thing, but honestly I'm not sure Siobhan has the chops to pull that off. Crystal does, but she may get beaten by someone the voters find more cute and cuddly.

Oh, and the pacing of the show is just dreadful. I understand stringing people along, but man...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think that Big Mike is a little too chubby to be a personal trainer? He doesn't look all that different from Rubin, who I thought sounded pretty good.

Anonymous said...

I really think '' has an impact on Tim's ability to stay. He has been consistently awful week to week. said...

I'm done after Simon leaves. What reason would there be for viewers to stay tuned in? Everything else has been a mess - and I've watched since Season 1!

I'm so bummed that Didi got the boot. She was easily in the top 3 in terms of quality - and the TOP one in terms of marketability.

Let me know what you think of my recap:

Alan Sepinwall said...

Vote for the Worst has no power, and certainly not now that we're in the finals. Too much past evidence of this.

Occam's Razor: Tim is a cute boy, a lot of "Idol" viewers are young girls who power-text... res ipsa loquitor.

Hyde said...

@ghoti: Diddy is a seasoned recording artist, but live performance has never been his thing. He's a studio guy, pretty much.

I think one thing we are seeing with the results this season is the effect of the much later timing of Hollywood week. In the past, Hollywood had always taken place in the fall, so the producers could get a much better handle on who the true contenders were, and adjust the early shows of the season accordingly. But this season, Hollywood was taking place as the early audition weeks were airing, so there was more guesswork involved.

For example, had Hollywood taken place at its usual time, I can see where the producers might have realized that their designated "ingenue," Katie Stevens, was in fact not as good as Katelyn Epperly, and they might have chosen to give Katelyn the bigger promotional push. Ditto for Didi vs. Lilly Scott, whose audition we didn't see at all.

We already know it's not impossible to overcome being ignored in the auditions/Hollywood, but you have to be really strong. Losing Lilly, Alex Lambert at al. has made for weaker shows, but I don't think we lost anyone who might have won the season or anything.

Bucky Sanchez said...

Seriously Alan? Are you asking if guys have an advantage over woman? DUR! The voting base is predominantly tweenage girls. Every year cute boys go farther than competent girls. A Tim Urban beats out a Didi every single time. And most of the time if the voices are equal, the guy is going to prevail. The only times a girl ends up winning is when she is head and shoulders better than everyone else or if she can connect with either the tween girls herself or enough other people to overcome the tween girl army (if enough even exist). It just cracks me up to hear you week after week try to make sense of AI voting as if it was actually being voted on actually by all segments of the country. Wasting a lot of time trying to figure out the mindsets of 12 year old girls voting 10,000 times a night.

Jamie said...

did anyone else think Tim was about to start a fight with the judges, especially Cara, and Andrew was calmind him down so he didn't explode??

Anonymous said...

"It's the same reason that only "safe" non-threatening women have ever won"

Wins the thread. This is SOOOOOO true. Guys have the upperhand unless theres a really good non-threatening girl who is clearly better than everyone else.

If I were to handicap it right now, I'd put Casey & Lee as the favorites to win. I see absolutely no way in hell that Siobhan can win. Whoever said that the red states are going to find her too weird and different hit the nail on the head. Also Crystal even though she is clearly the best, i dont think tween girls like her nearly enough. Not her or her type of music. I also think she is a bit too honest and real (qualities I love btw) for middle America. They are going to ultimately find her rude and not down home enough. Especially when compared to a Casey James.

Also totally agree with people saying that the power-texting tween girls are basically 90% of the vote. Tweeny bopper girls and middle american grandmas. That is your AI voting formula. If a contestant doesnt win over tween girls or conservatives, they ain't winning. Simple as that.

The show would never in a million years do it. But the only way to fix voting (to an extent) would be to limit voting to one vote per phone #. And if you REALLY wanted to fix the nonense, you'd have people vote for who should go home. In that case there is no good people getting lost in the shuffle due to not having a strong fan base. It basically takes most of the fan base mentality out of the equation. Whoever was the worst would almost always go home. But you can forget that. Because AI wants the tweeny boppers voting 5,000 times a night for Tim Urban.

Anonymous said...

Right now I am seeing a Big Mike, Casey, Lee Top 3 with Crystal in 4th. I think it will be hard for her to overcome the teen/middle America/older women vote which tends toward cute and fun loving guys.

Luckily, I also think that it would be better for her career to not win AI. The winners career is too confined and controlled for her to succeed as the type of music she wants to do. It's a great platform for her to get her name out there and if an upset like Daughtry happens with her like I think it will, I see her going on to a good career like him after Idol.

Ryan C. Finley said...

I know it would never happen, but I'd prefer to see the voting work like in SYTYCD or Rock Star. The bottom three vote getters are in "danger" and the judges decide who should go.

A pipe dream, I know.

Jake in Rhode Island said...

Haha. You guys are all nailing it. I watch Idol with my gf, and any time a female performer gets too "sexy", we look at each other and say, "she's gone". Female performers can not in any way be threatening. Far too many women doing the voting. And it isn't just the tween girls. It's the middle aged soccer moms and grandmothers who love the Kevin Covais types so much. Those voting blocks make up for I'd guess 85% of voters. Women are historically not about other women looking hot and sexy. No different than if you are at a bar. Girls inherently do not like other girls who threaten them in any way.

I worry that Crystal's confidence and personality is going to hurt her in that regard. She isn't ultra sexy or anything threatening looks wise. But she's very self-confident and clearly is comfortable with who she is. She isn't following the cutesy, aw shucks, "y'all really like me?" route that past winners like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood followed.

Look for a Casey James/Lee DeWyze final. With Crystal just missing out, and Siobhan going home much too early. The people who said that she probably scares middle America and grandma's said it best. Every time she shows her tattoo, she loses points. Not to mention how weird she is. She also has a bit of Adam Lambert in her. And notice how America responded to him when given the safer choice in Kris Allen.

I really hate the fact that I like a show who's voting system and voters themselves I dislike so much. I hate to admit it, but all it does it reinforces my dislike of dumb kids, insecure women, and uptight conservatives. Sad to admit. But even the worst stereotypes have some truth to them. And AI just makes me hate "America" all the more.

forg/jecoup said...

The X Factor is the better format so I can't wait for that show to start in the U.S

There are more factors to discuss on that show than Idol.

I like Didi, sad to see her go.

A finale without Crystal and/or Siobhan would clearly seal the season's fate as the worst season.

Anonymous said...

for all of the talk that this would be a season for the ladies, we've had women eliminated every single week of the finals.

Where’s that guy who always accused them of rigging the announcement of results in such a way that they alternated which sex would have someone get eliminated each week? (The one who insisted “bottom three” referred to something other than vote totals.)

I am also wondering if the alleged "red state American" vote is a factor. I would guess it would be dead set against magnus since she is so weird, but would they think Crystal is too much of a hippie chick to support?

People for a strong national defense and low taxes don’t like Crystal’s music? Who knew?

The “red” and “blue” analysis is as lazy as it is inaccurate. (States often choose a president from one party, but senators and governors of another – does that affect their Idol voting, or is only presidential voting a factor?)

American Idol is not winner-take-all by state. Also, “red” people live in “blue” states, and vice versa. Besides, on Idol, you can vote many times.

I also think she is a bit too honest and real (qualities I love btw) for middle America.

Because "middle America" hates honesty?

(This red state/middle America nonsense reminds me - I recall there’s a word for ascribing broad characteristics to an entire group of people based on a single attribute, but damn if I can remember what it is.)

Getting angry about American Idol voting results is pretty much insane.

True. The singers who can “sell” their product are going to have careers in music whether they win telephone voting on a TV contest or not. Show-biz is brutal, but being on a show like this gives the contestants the tremendous gift of exposure that other aspiring performers don’t have.

LA said...

IrishDoom - I'm totally with you. But yeah, it's a pipe dream.

That said, I'm not sorry to see DiDi go. Tim and Katie, you're next.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else enjoying the irony that every week, this "Singing Competition" brings in auto-tuned, no(-singing)-talent spectacles as the Thursday night feature acts?

First Ke$ha, then Usher, then whatever Sean Combs was trying to do last night.

Anonymous said...

Vote for the Worst has no power, and certainly not now that we're in the finals. Too much past evidence of this.
I think you are right generally about this, but at the same time, I think it's a little of what Fienberg was talking about a few weeks ago on the podcast, that if the votes are close(which they seem to be with Tim, since he's in the bottom 2 every single week), even if they have barely any power, sometimes that little bump is good enough. Week to week, it's probably not a factor, but with him in the bottom three for what, 5 weeks, I'd hazard a guess that at least once he might have been last by a bit, and they pushed him from last to second to last. Your oft-used Antonella example isn't really fair, of course they aren't some kind of kingmakers that some people want to make them out to be, but if it's razor-thin, they've seemingly shown the ability to put someone over the top. If the margin of the non-bottom 2 people, plus Tim, to the person that finishes dead last is an enormous gap, then you're absolutely right, but I think the voting is more clustered than that.

Maura said...

Jake is Rhode Island said: Girls inherently do not like other girls who threaten them in any way.

Inherently? I think not. I'll buy that 12 year old girls and the grandma type aren't likely to vote for a sex kitten (although that doesn't explain Kat McPhee staying for so long), or someone who's a little strange, but I don't think that has anything to do with nature.

I'm sorry Didi was sent home. First off, Tim is a trainwreck and he needs to go, God bless him. Second, I liked Didi. She struggled a lot, but I think there's some talent there. I don't think she had a chance of winning, but I do believe she deserved to stay longer, especially since she was beat out by Tim. Oy.

Pierre said...

Simon was right when he predicted on Tuesday that Tim was going to stick around. Didi was unfortunate to have a bad performance.