Pia Toscano: Strictly Middle of the Pack Reports TMZ

UPDATE: You won’t find it on their front page or in their American Idol category, but here’s a TMZ report declaring Scott and Lauren the front-runners. Maybe Nigel has last approval and told Harvey to take it down. Check it out.

Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina have been the top vote getters … so we’re told. And, we’re told James Durbin is consistently scoring in the top three. Two other contestants have also fared well in the voting — Jacob Lusk and Casey Abrams.

As for Pia Toscano … our sources say — based on the voting — she never stood a chance of winning. Pia placed in the murky middle until she was booted off.

But don’t feel too bad for Pia — We’re told it’s a “certainty” she will sign a deal with Interscope Records.

Looks like those names in the posted report (below) were more than speculation… Oh Nigel. You are so funny.

***

Check it out, TPTB really want to get the message out that Pia wasn’t a front runner, as they’ve sent a missive to their “messenger boy” Harvey Levin at TMZ!

Pia Toscano never had a chance of winning “American Idol” — this according to well-placed sources connected with the production.

We’re told before Pia was booted, America’s votes put her in the murky middle — she was never near the top of the heap. As one “A.I.” spy put it, “It was only a matter of time before Pia was kicked off. She was never going to win.”

I have to wonder if the names are more than speculation. Instead of sending one of the judges out on the talk show circuit to pimp certain contestants, Nigel drops a few “frontrunners” to TMZ:

And, our spies say, there are 5 remaining contestants who are “fairly consistently placing in the top 4.” Our sources would not reveal who they are, but we have an educated guess as to 3 of them — Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and James Durbin. As for the remaining 2, we’re guessing Jacob Lusk and Casey Abrams.

Jimmy is going to record an album full of ballads with Pia?  If this is true, good luck selling that shiz:

As for Pia, don’t feel bad. We’re told the rumored record deal she has with Interscope Records is more than a rumor. We’re told it’s a “certainty” Pia will sign. And something else — Jimmy Iovine will ignore the judges, who wanted Pia to sing some up-tempo songs. Jimmy, we’re told, will go strictly for ballads.

  • koshka

    Jimmy is going to record an album full of ballads with Pia? If this is true, good luck selling that shiz:

    Oh Pia.. if you were only a little 10 year old girl, you could throw in some christmas songs and you’d pull a platinum album. LOL

  • Landmd

    I know they are trying to keep her name out there. I hope they don’t start making people not care before she even puts any music on the market. All ballads? yuck guess they are going to try the Susan Bolye marketing?

  • jhgebel

    Of course the voting results would place her in the middle of the fucking pack! (1) Shes a girl (2) She Pretty (3) She can sing.

    This quote sums it all up:

    “When it comes down to it, the reality is that
    50 percent of the audience is little teenage girls.
    And once they get a crush, we’re done. ”
    — Naima Adedapo —

    Limit the Votes, then talk to TMZ Dumbasses!

  • musicality

    I’m really getting to dislike American Manipulation….I mean American Idol and Nigel. I’m tired of the constant manipulation from the show. That last picture that was posted a couple of days ago of the final 8 I had a strong feeling they placed Scotty, Lauren and James on the couch together for a reason and the others were crowded around them. 1st place will be Scotty, 2nd Lauren and 3rd James. Scotty and Lauren are the most marketable and James…well James…what do you do with his style of music? The average viewer of AI is 45 years old and female. Not likely to go running out and buying a heavy metal CD.

  • windmills

    One angle that’s going to be interesting is if Pia gets signed and then how she sells and how that may or may not reflect on AI voters. If a guy wins AI and Pia does well then that reinforces the notion that AI voters will always favor guys and there’ll be questions about whether AI voters are out of touch. I think those questions are already there anyway with the dominance of male HAC pop/rock guys lately and that’s a problem for AI. I expect AI to go all out with the LaurenA pimpage to prove a female can win.

    TMZ is all over AI and Pia this week.

    I was reading an article at Deadline.com about how Hugh Grant taped a conversation he had with a former UK tabloid reporter who turned into a whistleblower about the whole tapped celebrity phones scandal. I haven’t read the whole article Hugh Grant transcribed but Rupert Murdoch’s name came up as somebody who was paying an actress (Nicole Kidman) millions to star in something but also paying a tabloid reporter a certain amount of $$ to invade her privacy to sell papers. It fits the TMZ/AI scene too IMO.

    EDIT: Here’s some of Hugh Grant’s article for the New Statesman

  • mmb

    Sounds about right to me. Not surprising that pia was middle of pack. She is a female, from NYC, singing ballads. Tho surprising she went out 9 th instead of 6 or 7, I just never thought she could win. The NYC may ultimately have hurt her more than the extra x chromosome. Those names also are prolly pretty accurate re eventual top 5- altho it wouldn’t shock me if someone else snuck in

    As for the rumored Pia ballad cd/ep, maybe Jimmy is trying to appeal to the Subo/evancho market. There does seem to be a market for CDs from reality show ballad singing stars. We have a middle aged cat lady and a child having success- why not a hot 20- something?

  • Landmd

    The average viewer of AI is 45 years old and female. Not likely to go running out and buying a heavy metal CD

    I’m not 45 few more years, but Heavy metal was popular when I was a teen.

  • tinawina

    Oh My God. Let it go, TPTB. Next I expect a blimp with “Pia was a a loser” emblazoned on the side flying in the downtown of every major US city.

    They must really think they are getting bad press or something. Did the audience polling come back bad? Goodness.

  • Mary102

    Ok, first off, WTF with this oh so obvious cozing up to TMZ stuff? Geez, Nigel, you’re really throwing in everything and the kitchen sink to make sure S10 is in the media. (rolls eyes)

    As for Pia doing the balllad route – a lordy – big mistake. First, bad timing. If she goes that route – go the full on Subo and release a christmas album in late November.

    Second, she is no Subo, and doesn’t have the Subo story. Marketing a 22 yr old gorgeous girl that way is just stupid. But, if they really do go this route, maybe Iovine and his team did some market research and found Pia doesn’t have the full on pop appeal to compete with the likes of current pop divas, and so this route just makes more sense. Plus, it is the identity she created for herself on idol, so it’s the identity most people associate with her. IDK.

  • lucy

    Oh Pia.. if you were only a little 10 year old girl, you could throw in some christmas songs and you’d pull a platinum album. LOL

    Maybe she could dye some strands of her hair gray and get a bunch of cats. That could work, too.

    I would think that whatever Iovine is about to do, it’ll be because he figures he can make the most fast bucks off of it.

    As for Nigel and company letting this go — Well, now that they see themselves as being in a war with Simon and X Factor, I doubt that they’ll ever let *anything* go. The pr blitzes of various kinds are only just beginning, I’ll bet.

  • chicksineggz

    Wait, what? Pia can sing stuff other than ballads. Seriously. I don’t know why she only sang ballads on the show, but she definitely has what it takes to be a viable recording artist.

    “When it comes down to it, the reality is that
    50 percent of the audience is little teenage girls.
    And once they get a crush, we’re done. ”
    — Naima Adedapo —

    Lolz. Where did she get that statistic from? The average age of AI watchers is like .. 45 or something.

    Wait, how can there be 5 contestants that consistently place in the top 4? O_o

  • Mary102

    well James…what do you do with his style of music? The average viewer of AI is 45 years old and female. Not likely to go running out and buying a heavy metal CD.

    I think James should front a band post-AI – maybe go much harder rock than Cook or Daughtry. I can’t see him as a solo artist. He’s not HAC rock, and he’s not at all pop.

    I personally always wondered about tptb love of James tbh. He’s good for the show, flashy, interesting, strong performer, but post-AI I think he is one of the harder niches to fill.

  • Trina

    Ok Nigel we get it, she never had a chance of winning. Now STFU. They asked Pia on Good Day NY about these claims and if it hurt her and she didn’t didn’t deny it. Talk about keep kicking someone it.

    Meh even if James got far enough that they HAD to sign him no way will Jimmy make him record a metal CD. Ryan Tedder is probably on speed-dial *snort*

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Ok, first off, WTF with this oh so obvious cozing up to TMZ stuff? Geez, Nigel, you’re really throwing in everything and the kitchen sink to make sure S10 is in the media. (rolls eyes)

    Yep. Idol has definitely made a deal with TMZ for publicity for the show and the contestants. Interesting that they are again emphasizing that Pia wasn’t a front runner (vote-wise), and that Iovine is going to ignore the judges’ advice and have Pia record ballads. Also, TMZ has the scoop on Pia’s relationship with Mark Ballas and is publicizing that. I wonder how Pia feels about that (not that she has any choice)?

  • tinawina

    Our sources would not reveal who they are, but we have an educated guess as to 3 of them — Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and James Durbin. As for the remaining 2, we’re guessing Jacob Lusk and Casey Abrams.

    Interesting… 4 were majorly pimped since auditions, 1 since Hollywood week.

    Maybe when the playing field is so even, things like that become even more important. What Not To Sing’s post-Pia essay implied that in an even playing field, the slight male bias in the show that has always been there becomes more pronounced. That could also be true of pimpage.

    I think James should front a band post-AI – maybe go much harder rock than Cook or Daughtry. I can’t see him as a solo artist. He’s not HAC rock, and he’s not at all pop.

    ITA. He’s made for loud asshole rock, everything else will come off fake.

  • J9BT

    If it’s true that Pia was “middle of the pack” before her ouster, then she must have lost a lot of votes last week to become the absolute bottom of the group. I think some (perhaps many) people felt she was safe and voted for someone they were more worried about (maybe Paul who was in the B3 the week before?).

    I also think Pia is more popular than the votes suggest. She was my husband’s favorite, and he has never (and will never) take the time to vote. With the statistics we have on who votes, my guess is there are a lot of men who won’t vote, and who probably loved Pia. Also, several Hollywood folks were vocal about Pia being voted off, so she was obviously a favorite of theirs. Do Hollywood types spend the time to vote?

    I think Pia could have a very successful career because she has the entire package, and is quite capable of singing uptempo, current music – not just ballads (too bad she didn’t show that).

  • lucy

    ITA. He’s made for loud asshole rock, everything else will come off fake.

    Yes, and since rock — especially loud rock — has a well-established anti-Idol bias, apparently, will anything he does get played on the radio? As others have said, I really wonder why they’re so hyped on him, given what a tough sell he seems to be post-Idol, genre-wise.

    If Iovine is so smart, and since they are spending so much effort — it seems — pushing these kids into songs produced in what they think are the greatest way, I don’t get why they didn’t push Pia, for example, to contemporize what she was doing. (And why they seem to have pushed Stefano as far as possible into the also-not-contemporary lounge lizard direction, also, for example?) What’s the point of all that producing and prodding if they aren’t going to teach the contestants about being currently marketable? Or do Iovine and company not actually know what is currently marketable? I really don’t get what they’re doing, at all.

    Seems to me that you get marketable either by fitting right into the current style *or* by being very much yourself and so great that you create a new current style. But even though they seem to be trying like crazy to mold these kids, they don’t seem to be encouraging them in either of those directions, as far as I can see.

  • tinawina

    Yes, and since rock — especially loud rock — has a well-established anti-Idol bias, apparently, will anything he does get played on the radio?

    Nope. And that is the problem with James right there. But that is for the pros to worry about, I guess.

  • Mary102

    As others have said, I really wonder why they’re so hyped on him, given what a tough sell he seems to be post-Idol, genre-wise.

    I’m wondering if James is kinda like Casey this year – both make for great tv, and so are being hyped, pimped, and otherwise saved because of it, but aren’t exactly the pets of Interscope in terms of who they want to sign.

    In James’s case, I do think he’s naturally quite popular (right up there with Scotty imo), so if he places really high tptb will probably give him a deal and try to figure something out from there, marketing wise.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Oh My God. Let it go, TPTB. Next I expect a blimp with “Pia was a a loser” emblazoned on the side flying in the downtown of every major US city.

    They must really think they are getting bad press or something. Did the audience polling come back bad? Goodness.

    Nigel will protect that “integrity” of the show above all else.

  • Incipit

    They ‘are’ beating this poor deceased equine with a heavy stick – and contradicting themselves in the process – if ‘anyone can win’ at this point, but Pia was ‘never going to win’, then WTF?

    I guess if retreads of ballads already done on Idol (except for one song) were all she was ever going to be allowed to sing – then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I was interested enough in the tone of her voice to hope she would try something fresh..and I think that would have given her a fighting chance…’if’ she knew how to interpret a song, make it feel personal. That was what I never saw.

    But, didn’t happen – and wasn’t going to this week either. “Somewhere” from West Side Story was just used on that dance show last night – a romantic ‘ballad’. Pia singing that tomorrow tonight wouldn’t have been any sort of a revelation either.

    Eh. She lost my attention two weeks ago. I wish her well in the industry, and hope she has a good supply of shark repellant.

    TPTB can go off the defensive any time…it’s so gauche, it’s uncomfortable.

    IMO. Of Course.

  • springboard

    If it’s true that Pia was “middle of the pack” before her ouster, then she must have lost a lot of votes last week to become the absolute bottom of the group.

    I think that many people were waiting for her to sing an up-tempo, but turned away when she did it but did it badly.

  • Q3

    Everything online indicates that the tween girls are voting heavily for Scott — not James. And since he could pick up a lot of older Idol voters who like Country music — I think he is likely to make it to the final.

    Regarding Pia — I think that Adult Pop is the only viable commercial route for her — and that means ballads. With the right songs and producer, and good TV promo, she could sell 100K to 200K units and actually make UMG some money. If they get lucky and have an AC radio hit in there, she could sell even more.

    Plus, if you look at her pre-Idol videos, she is pretty good live (that did not come through on Idol). I can see her opening for someone major on tour and building an audience.

    In any case, I hope it is true that they are leaving her in the Adult Pop/Contemporary ballad space — versus trying to repackage her into a pop princess.

    ETA: I love the “shark repellent” comment — best thing I have read here in weeks.

    I for one am not sure that ballad = “not fresh”. Sinead O’Connor sang mostly ballads and they pushed lots of boundaries. (Not saying that is what Pia will do, just that ballads can be enlightening, new and even revolutionary. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a ballad.)

  • koshka

    I personally always wondered about tptb love of James tbh. He’s good for the show, flashy, interesting, strong performer, but post-AI I think he is one of the harder niches to fill.

    I think they’ll start throwing him under the bus in a few week. UMG will do whatever they can so they don’t have to mass market metal music.

  • LK3

    And, our spies say, there are 5 remaining contestants who are “fairly consistently placing in the top 4.” Our sources would not reveal who they are, but we have an educated guess as to 3 of them — Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and James Durbin. As for the remaining 2, we’re guessing Jacob Lusk and Casey Abrams.

    But really, who is to say who is getting the most votes? Everyone thought Pia was near the top each week, and that turned out to not be the case. Also, Paul & Haley could be in that top 5 who are constantly changing.

    I would assume that Scotty is at or near the top each week, but as for the others, it really is anyone’s guess.

    I think they’re all pretty much equally popular with viewers. They seem like a pretty affable and even dorky bunch of kids. We all saw them on stage last week, dorky-dancing at the end of Weds show, they all show some character and all seem likable enough. Some viewers could be voting for more than one of them & the votes could be fairly close each week.

  • bjames

    The thing about Pia is that she could have grown and gained some steam in the coming weeks. I doubt contestants like Kris Allen, Syesha Mercado, Vonzell Solomon, maybe Jordin Sparks, etc, were in the top during the first few weeks either.

  • J9BT

    springboard says:
    04/12/2011 at 10:09 am
    If it’s true that Pia was “middle of the pack” before her ouster, then she must have lost a lot of votes last week to become the absolute bottom of the group.

    I think that many people were waiting for her to sing an up-tempo, but turned away when she did it but did it badly.

    I think her vocals on the Tina Turner song were excellent, but the performance was lacking. I don’t think her vocals turned people away last week.

  • Mary102

    Q3 – I can see your point, I can definitely see her doing well in that niche. And it does seem to fit her personality better – there’s a reason she always sang ballads on the show – that was obviously part of her identity and comfort zone. If they tried to make her Kesha (or something less extreme lol) I could see it falling as flat as trying to make Jordin a pop star. It just doesn’t ring true or excite new fans.

  • 1wildegirl

    if ‘anyone can win’ at this point, but Pia was ‘never going to win’, then WTF?

    THIS! WORD! I’m getting whiplash from all this talk and back talk. Dear Uncle Nigel, just stop talking. Because if you’re telling me that Pia was never going to win Idol, I have to ask: How do you know this? Could she not have had a performance that blew people away and voted for her? Or was she not who you “deemed” the winner?

    Wait and see, I’m gonna bet that for all the Scotty talk, it will be Lauren Alaina. Didn’t Uncle Nigel and Steven already ordained it so? Not that I don’t like Lauren, but it’s ridiculous the manipulation. (I know, ridiculous that I still question it after all this time. :roll:)

  • J9BT

    bjames says:
    04/12/2011 at 10:12 am
    The thing about Pia is that she could have grown and gained some steam in the coming weeks. I doubt contestants like Kris Allen, Syesha Mercado, Vonzell Solomon, maybe Jordin Sparks, etc, were in the top during the first few weeks either.

    That’s quite a variety of contestants you’ve mentioned! Actually, Syesha was a B3 dweller for quite some time, but I disagree about Kris Allen and Jordin. I think both were in the top but no one realized it until later in the competition (and neither got much pimping along the way).

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    I see this TMZ story as a power struggle between Nigel and Jimmy.

    To me, it reads as if Nigel is telling Jimmy he’s full of crap. “Hey, you want to sign her? Well nah, nah, she was only mid pack!” “The judges said she shouldn’t sing ballads and now you want to make an album full of them? Moron!”

    I do give them credit. It will make next week’s show more interesting to see the drama.

    1) Stefano has to be about ready to crack, maybe he will do it on air?
    2) The judges might start ripping everyone a new one just because the media says their useless.
    3) Jimmy may be pissy because of this Nigel throw down.

    Pia was a frontrunner from the media standpoint regardless of what the AI votes were. I hope Pia can take this in stride. She didn’t do anything wrong. She got voted off and now Jimmy wants to make a record with her. Big deal.

  • Mary102

    bjames says:
    04/12/2011 at 10:12 am
    The thing about Pia is that she could have grown and gained some steam in the coming weeks. I doubt contestants like Kris Allen, Syesha Mercado, Vonzell Solomon, maybe Jordin Sparks, etc, were in the top during the first few weeks either.

    But see, we were already at Top 9, and had seen so much of the same from her, even after the judges told her to mix it up. At this point in the game, we had already seen different flavors from the likes of, well, Kris at least, lol.

  • koshka

    I think her vocals on the Tina Turner song were excellent, but the performance was lacking. I don’t think her vocals turned people away last week.

    She really missed her opportunity in the early rounds. She didn’t capitalize on those really loose theme weeks. By the time the show started implementing tighter themes, I think she was cornered in with the song choices.

  • claudette

    I think it’s smart to put out ballads. I’ve always said it was too hard for Idol to get a pop star. The average age is 45 for Idol viewers, and I think ballads are appealing to people of ALL ages. Most importantly, SHE loves to sing ballads. I think you need to be who you were in Idol to be successful.

    Also, older people love metal and rock. Remember they grew up from the 60’s to the 90’s before the boy bands and pop as we know it. If Adam had gone rock I think he would have appealed to a lot more post Idol people.

    As to middle of the pack, one could easily see she wasn’t connecting to a wide audience. The feelings were all over the internet. She can do the glory note. But people felt she recorded well, and the albums that are selling from reality shows are the subo type and I think Pia will just fine doing those.

    Lauren has been the one that can do pop – country pop. She is young like pop loves, and she really does appeal to the tween set. They can relate to her. She can initially get away with fun, upbeat pop songs that get people off their feet. I love her beautiful voice. And in a few years, once established she can move towards a more Taylor Swift (She’s 21). She has the potential to have the longest career.

    I think Lauren’s been the least pimp since Hollywood than any of them. She’s never gotten the pimp peices like the wrestling bit with Pia, James and Paul. She’s never gone last, never the highights in group songs like Pia and James.

  • tinawina

    Also, Paul & Haley could be in that top 5 who are constantly changing.

    Good point. Is there any consensus on that building from our desperate attempts at data gathering? ITunes comments, twitter followers, etc? I’ll take anything at this point. LOL

  • musicality

    The problem they’ll also have with James is his voice isn’t suited for anything but heavy metal. When he slows it down all the flaws come out. I know studios can fix that but then he just becomes another autotuned studio creation. His type of music isn’t current. I can see him fronting a band and going in that direction like Daughtry. But then again Daughtry is better than James. He hits the notes and his music is adult contemporary. James is a hit or miss.

    Right now as it stands if I was to download a song (and I’ll vouch for a lot of college age in the east) it would be Lauren (if she was styled right). People down South would go for Scotty.

  • lucy

    The thing about Pia is that she could have grown and gained some steam in the coming weeks. I doubt contestants like Kris Allen, Syesha Mercado, Vonzell Solomon, maybe Jordin Sparks, etc, were in the top during the first few weeks either.

    Yeah, but who can tell who exactly has this capability? It *could* be true of a lot of people, including Pia, who go early. But we’ll never know, because they went early.

    Meanwhile, some people stick around — perhaps because they’re getting some votes on that basis — and then the great transformation never occurs.

    Pia came off as already so polished and competent that I’m sure she never got any of the appealing-underdog-that-I’ll-root-for votes, the way some of those others, like Kris and Jordin and Vonzell, who all had some kind of hesitation and rough edges and unpolishedness early on, may have.

    And, in fact, for Pia to show some kind of magical transformation, rather than improving she would have had to change her approach to songs, sing different kinds of songs in a different way, wouldn’t she? Because she was already good enough — excellent vocalist, very polished, seemed extremely professional already, not like some raggedy-edged raw-talent as Vonzell was, for example — so she would have needed to show something new. I suspect that’s a dicier kind of transformation to show and to get votes for.

  • springboard

    The thing about Pia is that she could have grown and gained some steam in the coming weeks. I doubt contestants like Kris Allen, Syesha Mercado, Vonzell Solomon, maybe Jordin Sparks, etc, were in the top during the first few weeks either.

    But then, may be Thia or Naima could have done the same, and the contestant who would have been evicted instead of her will do it better than she would have.

  • mmb

    I think we are starting to see Nigel and tptb start to move away from the “they are all great and anyone can win” meme to the “we have audience favorites/ star potential contestants who are most likely to win”. I think they want to start building up the potential top finishers. I’m sure the criticism that there is no breakout star yet hasnt gone unnoticed and now they want to create a breakout star ( or two) from the remaining contestsnts

  • 1wildegirl

    Isn’t it interesting that now it’s all “Oh, the blogs/media were the ones who had her as a frontrunner.” Have all the Idol experts been this wrong about a contestant?

    And I’m amazed that for some “middle of the pack” contestant there has been this much discussion about her leaving…if she wasn’t that popular? Something just doesn’t add up, imo.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    And something else — Jimmy Iovine will ignore the judges, who wanted Pia to sing some up-tempo songs. Jimmy, we’re told, will go strictly for ballads.

    I call bullshit.

    1. A well-constructed album contains a variety of moods and tempos. Even heavy metal albums don’t bang at the same pace and intensity for 10 songs.

    2. What’s getting on the radio these days is up-tempo. Toscano isn’t a Susan Boyle novelty with an unusual sound and compelling backstory. She’s a pleasantly talented, conventionally attractive, and gracious woman with great pipes. She will need radio play to sell music in any quantity.

    We’ve now reached the point at which “floating a trial balloon” has become “throwing shit at the PR fan to see what sticks where.” Meh.

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    Isn’t it interesting that now it’s all “Oh, the blogs/media were the ones who had her as a frontrunner.” Have all the Idol experts been this wrong about a contestant?

    For me, the media is looking at the race more objectively than AI voters. I think Pia was always considered a front runner, although maybe not THE front runner, based on her talent. It’s been discussed that it is very difficult for a woman to win AI, but I think many thought Pia would be in the top 4.

  • halo9125

    Yeah yeah yeah Nigel we get it- she was never going to win, she was mid pack, she was never a front runner, blah blah blah.

    Me thinks Nigel doth protest too much- the Pia machine is already taking on a life of its own- does he think this is going to make it go away- sounds more like he is adding fuel to the fire.

  • http://www.amadcow2.com amadcow2

    Wow, this really is unprecedented hype. Me thinks thou does protest too much Uncle Nigel.

    Pia was playing a tried and true Idol strategy — Sing just good enough not to get eliminated each week. It was NOT a front runner strategy. She was never a front runner. She had the most potential, given her talent and movie star good looks.

    What Pia didn’t count on was the fact that this year the over production of each contestant pushed the differences into a narrow band. Everyone needs to swing for the fences and exploit whatever voting base they have in order to have an advantage, but, the smallest misstep will result in B3 or even elimination.

    Pia lost because she didn’t understand the changes in Idol this season. She should have learned from the Casey elim-save that nobody could play it safe.

    Nigel is spinning this HARD. Why? I think that he knows that Pia was a favorite, but he also knows the broken voting mechanic, so he’s playing it both ways; throwing Pia under the bus while she’s also getting more promotion than any 9th place Idol.

  • damo

    I think that Jimmy is right in his marketing of Pia. Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle have both been releasing albums full of ballads and they have had a lot of success.

    As far as TPTB, they continue to dig their hole deeper. Why would they continue to comment on a contestant that was already eliminated? It gives the impression that the rest of the contestants are really not that talented.

  • Nina1

    Wait and see, I’m gonna bet that for all the Scotty talk, it will be Lauren Alaina.

    If so, she had better have a moment. Fast. She has been losing ground the past two weeks – and I am a fan of her voice.

    I figured P would do a ballad or ballads. Jimmy is “riding the horse in the direction it is going.” I think P will be more successful peddling to middle America than the youth market. But this reeks of Subo, who had a whole underdog thing going for her; people rooted for her success. P is no one’s idea of oppressed.

  • lucy

    And I’m amazed that for some “middle of the pack” contestant there has been this much discussion about her leaving…if she wasn’t that popular? Something just doesn’t add up, imo.

    Oh, I don’t know. Kristy Lee Cook and Jennifer Hudson and Michael Johns, for example, occasioned a lot of discussion when they left — and they were middle of the pack, too, apparently! …

    Plus, there’s the rumor about her actually getting signed to a record deal, and that relates to the new mystery of how 19 is relating to Universal, after all these years with Sony, when we kind of felt we knew something about what was going on. So I think that’s a big factor sparking the discussion, and that goes way beyond Pia herself. Similarly, the question of — Can she become a music star without placing near the top, and what does it actually take to become a music star today? — also figures in. Another big mystery that goes way beyond just Pia.

    The thing about Pia is that she has at least some parts of the “package” at very high levels. You can’t deny that she’s a very accomplished and talented vocalist, is very pretty, and has a lot of polish, and isn’t a confused teenager any more. So it seems mysterious that she would leave so early, given the fervor of some of her fans. But if the voting really is fairly close, then I don’t think it’s very mysterious at all. She’s really good in some ways, but didn’t grab a lot of people in other, equally important ways, and she’s female, so I, for one, was always baffled by the number of people here who seemed to think she was a shoo-in for a top finish.

  • lucy

    What Pia didn’t count on was the fact that this year the over production of each contestant pushed the differences into a narrow band. Everyone needs to swing for the fences and exploit whatever voting base they have in order to have an advantage, but, the smallest misstep will result in B3 or even elimination.

    Exactly right, I think.

  • koshka

    Also, older people love metal and rock. Remember they grew up from the 60?s to the 90?s before the boy bands and pop as we know it.

    The question is… do they buy the music now or do they skew towards other music such as HAC? And how do they find their music? I can’t use myself because I listen to all kinds of music & my radio choice is CHR, alternative and HAC/CHR stations.

    I grew up listening to rock, but I don’t buy rock that sounds anything like music from the 70 to the 90’s, I want updated music. James is like anyone else on the show, including Pia (which is why she was voted off the island), you’ve got to sing music as close as possible to the type of music you wish to produce post show. Both Pia and James have bypassed opportunities to show a range of their capabilities & will pay for it in the end by not being very marketable from UMGs perspective. This is assuming that UMG turns Pia into a ballad queen. To me, it will mean they are in it for the quick buck with everyone. I somehow doubt they are all that interested in working with the artist & 19 to turn any of the idols into long term artists.

    Of all the contestants, I can clearly see the type of music Scotty, Lauren and Paul could produce. I can’t say the same about Casey (who has to date bounced around), Haley (same problem as Casey) or James (sounds like a throwback). I only leave out Stefano because he barely warrants a passing thought for me.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    Is there any consensus on that building from our desperate attempts at data gathering? ITunes comments, twitter followers, etc?

    Okay, let’s do Twitter followers. Since I gather new numbers on Wednesday morning, last week’s numbers give a top four of:

    McCreery + Abrams (essentially tied for #1)
    [gap]
    McDonald + Alaina (essentially tied for #3)

    Prior to her departure, Toscano was tied for #5 with Durbin, and the gap between their follower count and McD/A’s was smaller than the gap upward to McC/A’s.

    As always, I’m not sure how much credence to give these numbers, as we’ve now seen two bottom vote-getters come from the top half of the pack (Abrams and Toscano), and Megia was firmly in the middle.

  • bjames

    Pia could do really well with Leona Lewis-type music. Ballads, but current sounding, young ballads. I just hope they get it right.

  • mmb

    Isn’t it interesting that now it’s all “Oh, the blogs/media were the ones who had her as a frontrunner.” Have all the Idol experts been this wrong about a contestant

    Eh, there are always shock boots. Maybe Pia is getting a bit more attention because she went out so early, but there has been plenty of rending of garments and chatter in the past. In fact just last year peeps were screaming about lily Scott, katelyn Epperly and Alex Lambert boots. Alex in particular got a lot of press- petitions for putting him back on the show etc. 19 even stuck him in that house during the idol season. I remember peeps proclaiming he was the most current, would be the most successful etc. If you look at the ten years if the show I don’t think the pia reaction is all that extraordinary. ( and I’m not even including the sturm und drang over the final winner/ runner up results in this equation)

  • windmills

    claudette: Lauren has been the one that can do pop – country pop. She is young like pop loves, and she really does appeal to the tween set. They can relate to her. She can initially get away with fun, upbeat pop songs that get people off their feet. I love her beautiful voice. And in a few years, once established she can move towards a more Taylor Swift (She’s 21). She has the potential to have the longest career.

    I think LaurenA’s most likely to have the most out of the gate success but I actually think Scotty (who’d be more likely to come out of the gates slower) has a better chance at a longer career. But that assumes a lot as far as their growth so it’s really just my gut instinct talking. Neither of them have Nashville really buzzing but it’s really easy to imagine LaurenA finding some fun poppy songs like you’re saying for a debut album that finds its audience. LaurenA’s biggest challenge will be handling the competition emotionally and then handling the stresses of being a newbie in the biz.

    amadcow2: Pia lost because she didn’t understand the changes in Idol this season. She should have learned from the Casey elim-save that nobody could play it safe.

    Nigel is spinning this HARD. Why? I think that he knows that Pia was a favorite, but he also knows the broken voting mechanic, so he’s playing it both ways; throwing Pia under the bus while she’s also getting more promotion than any 9th place Idol

    I competely agree with both these points. The show can’t throw its voters under the bus until they’re rewriting the season’s history to reflect how the real world bought into or didn’t buy into the contestants after the show.

  • Nina1

    “When it comes down to it, the reality is that
    50 percent of the audience is little teenage girls.
    And once they get a crush, we’re done. ”
    — Naima Adedapo —

    What’s up that t’ween and teens spend their week watching reality television. Does no one have homework any more?

  • Mel1

    Were my eyes and ears deceiving me? I could swear Iovine and all the judges thought Pia was really, really great. Many of the contestants got favorable comments, but Pia’s was always a step above everyone else.

  • lucy

    What’s up that t’ween and teens spend their week watching reality television. Does no one have homework any more?

    Don’t get a lot of homework when it’s all about passing a couple of standardized tests.

    Didn’t that study of *college* students that came out last fall find that, on average, they studied five hours a week. … Plenty of time for tv in that schedule!

  • lucy

    Were my eyes and ears deceiving me? I could swear Iovine and all the judges thought Pia was really, really great. Many of the contestants got favorable comments, but Pia’s was always a step above everyone else.

    Well, she’s very very polished, has a consistently very good voice, and was always in control of her vocals, nicely dressed and very pretty, so I don’t know that that’s a surprise.

    I’ll bet that if Simon had been on the show, though, he’d have been ragging her about song choices, singing every song the same way, possibly not being marketable enough based on what she was showing on Idol, not necessarily connecting with the audience enough to ensure a hot career, etc.

    Just because you have all the traits that iovine and the judges clearly — and rightly — admire in Pia doesn’t mean you’re home free when it comes to either getting votes or getting a good career as a marketable artist after the show. Simon was keenly aware of this, but I’m not at all convinced that the current lot of judges even give it a thought, and I have *no* idea what to think about what Iovine is doing.

  • lla2827

    I also think Pia’s best bet is to do more ballad type stuff on her album. I have seen no evidence that Pia can move around much. She just may not have ability in that area. Not everybody can dance or even sort of dance. Not everyone is light on their feet. Not everyone can be taught to dance/move either. Maybe that’s the reason we never saw anything more than a ballad or semi-ballad from her on idol. It could because she would look awkward singing some real uptempo number and not be able to move around well enough to the music. I watched her Grenade performance again-and it was really just a step-touch thing.

    If Pia does a real contemporary hip-hop infused album–she is going to have to tour and do tv appearances to promote it. She is going to move around quite a bit on that stage. I am not sure she is capable of that.

    The women who are doing well now like Gaga, Ke$ha, Rihanna can all shake it on the stage. Not saying I like the kind of music they make–I don’t. But, they have their costume gimmicks, do the sexy shit up there–and can move too. I just don’t see Pia in that light.

    I think Pia has a decent voice–but it’s not very distinctive and she doesn’t know how to interpret a lyric very well. Her voice isn’t as good as say Lea Michele (who doesn’t need auto-tune BTW). Her voice isn’t as good as many Broadway singers. But, she could have success if everything falls the right way for her.

  • SpenserJ

    What’s up that t’ween and teens spend their week watching reality television. Does no one have homework any more?

    My kids are too young to be tweens, but I’d never let them wait until 8 pm to finish their homework :).

    Last week, I was feeling quite a bit of sympathy for Pia. This week, I’m already sick of seeing her. And, she’s apparently dating Mark Ballas, which ewww.

  • Listening

    I think it’s so weird what Nigel is doing revealing how well Pia actually did in the competition. This is the first time he’s ever done that with an outed contestant right?

    I believe Nigel’s just trying to give the indication his Idol is running smoothly unlike Simon Cowell’s American Idol, everything is falling into place the way the public wants no mishaps here.

  • lili_anne7

    There is no doubt in my mind that Scotty, James, and Casey are the top vote getters. What I’m completely clueless about is how Lauren is doing? Is she also in the top, or was she, just like Pia, in “the middle of the pack”? Does that mean we should expect her to leave at Top 5 or Top 6?

  • ri

    I believe Nigel’s just trying to give the indication his Idol is running smoothly unlike Simon Cowell’s American Idol, everything is falling into place the way the public wants no mishaps here.

    yes i think that is definitely the case.

  • just sayin

    And something else — Jimmy Iovine will ignore the judges, who wanted Pia to sing some up-tempo songs. Jimmy, we’re told, will go strictly for ballads.

    This just shows you Jimmy Iovine’s thought process. Why is he allowed to muddy the waters of Idol this season? We are not going to get any “moments” with his print all over these performances. Ugh.

  • tinawina

    There is no doubt in my mind that Scotty, James, and Casey are the top vote getters. What I’m completely clueless about is how Lauren is doing? Is she also in the top, or was she, just like Pia, in “the middle of the pack”?

    I wonder that myself. Lots of people online don’t like her, I think the only reason negative online chatter on her slowed down is because Pia got eliminated.

    But beyond the online chatter stuff, there has not been much solid evidence in any realm that she is a frontrunner. At least Scotty and James regularly turn up at the top of polls like VoteFair and the Itunes stuff – as flawed as those types of things are, at least they do make a showing. Lauren is a mystery to me.

    Okay, let’s do Twitter followers. Since I gather new numbers on Wednesday morning, last week’s numbers give a top four of:

    McCreery + Abrams (essentially tied for #1)
    [gap]
    McDonald + Alaina (essentially tied for #3)

    Thanks! Any news on who’s been gaining the most lately?

  • sr4mjc

    I’ll bet that if Simon had been on the show, though, he’d have been ragging her about song choices, singing every song the same way, possibly not being marketable enough based on what she was showing on Idol, not necessarily connecting with the audience enough to ensure a hot career, etc.

    I don’t know, Simon does love his diva ballad girls like Leona and his tastes run on the old fashioned side.

  • girlygirl

    Got to love the spin. It’s never TPTB’s fault for pimping someone who fails to connect with the voters and gets voted off before TPTB want.

    If Jimmy Iovine really produces an album full of ballads with Pia (I don’t necessarily believe this rumor), in my opinion she isn’t likely to have a great chance of commercial success. He has to realize that ballads are not selling right now — unless you have this crazy backstory you can push — like Susan Boyle or Jackie Evancho. And they don’t get any radio play. Without an interesting backstory to bank on, could Pia be anywhere near as successful as those two if she doesn’t get heard on the radio?

    Now maybe they will be able to come up with one or two modern, hip ballads that will appeal to the public and to radio — that certainly is possible. But a whole album full of them?

  • eyin

    Does that mean we should expect her to leave at Top 5 or Top 6?

    No, we should expect her to leave this week because, yknow, she’s a girl.

    I really don’t care who wins at this point. I kinda just want the season to be over so we can move on to the real world and start the *Pia vs the winner* discussion! LOL.

  • Mary102

    The women who are doing well now like Gaga, Ke$ha, Rihanna can all shake it on the stage. Not saying I like the kind of music they make–I don’t. But, they have their costume gimmicks, do the sexy shit up there–and can move too. I just don’t see Pia in that light.

    I think you over-estimate the importance of moving and dancing well in the pop world. LOL. Some can do both singing and dancing really really well (Beyonce immediately comes to mind), most cannot. The three you name above are pretty pedestrian dancers, tbh – and are often wearing 5 inch heels (like Pia) which doesn’t help. Other than moving up and down stairs, being surrounded by hot dancers, or learning a few pedestrian moves anyone can learn, they don’t have to do much, tbh.

    However, I do agree with you that there is another stiffness to Pia’s style in general that struck me throughout. Take her vs Haley, for instance – the latter was hardly a brilliant mover either, but was much more believable, engaging and lively with her movements. I do think that is a trait Pia will have to do better on. At the very least just to mix things up a bit as a performer.

  • Lisa

    I am in the +45 bracket. I can tell you I listen to a very wide range of music. I don’t buy ‘old rock songs’. That seem’s a bit odd to me to lump us all into one category.

    It’s like saying, ‘older people’ (which I have a problem with the word older) get stuck liking only one type of music. They hit their peak and it’s this or nothing and only downhill from there. Pffttt on that.

    What do I buy? Current music only and I do buy it often.

  • lucy

    I don’t know, Simon does love his diva ballad girls like Leona and his tastes run on the old fashioned side.

    Yeah, I agree that he would have liked her. Still think that he would have ragged her about improvement, though! … He would have been especially anxious to have her do well, I think!

  • SpenserJ

    I don’t know, Simon does love his diva ballad girls like Leona and his tastes run on the old fashioned side.

    I’m fairly confident that if she had made it to the end, Simon would have forced her to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

  • Trina

    The funny thing is when they were going on last year about wanting to find the next Taylor Swift they missed the boat big time, but now I see it in Lauren. With the right material and marketing I think she has tons of potential. I just hope she has a breakout performance soon. I really like her and hope she’s the last girl standing. Just because TMZ is speculating I’m not convinced she’s consistently in the Top 4.

    I think James has done a good job of showing who he is and the kind of artist he wants to be, whether you like it or feel its current is a whole other story..I’ve said from day one he belongs in a band and that’s what I’m hoping he’ll do after AI. Heck I’m only voting for him now because I want him to stick around long enough to get two songs out of him :)

    FTR my 14 year old likes Scotty but she’s not actually voting, my 65 year old mother however LOVES him and votes a lot for him.

  • lucy

    I’m fairly confident that if she had made it to the end, Simon would have forced her to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

    Something tells me he wouldn’t have had to force her! …. Might have had to force her to sit on the floor, though. Not sure I can see her taking to that!

  • Tess

    Does no one have homework any more?

    Back in my day we walked 10 miles to school, uphill both ways, in six feet of freshly fallen snow, while reciting all our lessons in latin…weren’t allowed to watch TV except for Saturday night after taking out baths in the tin tub in the kitchen heated by a word burning stove. Geesh! OK…back to the subject at hand…

    I think Nigel is positively brilliant….and blog writers, AI media writers, and Idol loonies need to genuflect at his alter multi times every day. After the misery that was last season he has gotten many people to “care” about Idol, the show, once again and he has even gotten “talk shows” to devote their “pop culture” time to a show that was pretty much on its last legs in the social consciousness at this time last year.

    I am loving every minute of all the controversy, the grassy knoll theories, and the outrage that has developed. We have seen some really mediocre singers being heralded by some as the second coming and now a somewhat boring girl is about to be saint-tified at the idolette alter without ever singing a note of original music or showing any original talent.

    The idol “world” hasn’t shown so much interest for a really long time….so kudos to everyone for following Nigel’s genius script…the man is worth every damn penny that Simon is paying him!!

  • iluvai

    This Pia hoopla is funny. As for Simon, I think he would have ripped her to shreds, at least to challenge her more .

  • girlygirl

    I’m not sure where Lauren Alaina falls with the viewers. At the beginning of the year she was getting a lot of hate for all the pandering she was doing to the judges, especially Steven Tyler. People found it creepy that she was basically coming on to a man old enough to be her grandfather. But she has gotten away from doing that, so the dislike of her seems to have lessened. I don’t know how strong her voting fanbase is, though — to me, she’s far more Kellie Pickler than Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. I think she should make it safely to the Top 4, but I don’t know if she can win. And post-Idol, I don’t see her being all that successful in the pop market — except age-wise, she really isn’t a Miley Cyrus/Demi Lovato/Selena Gomez type. I think she’d be better off going the country-pop route, trying to make a dent in the country market and then maybe trying to cross over if she gets a song or two that has strong CHR appeal.

  • Mel1

    don’t know, Simon does love his diva ballad girls like Leona and his tastes run on the old fashioned side.

    Simon loves his girls (and guys) with big voices, and he sure likes his gorgeous girls. He would have loved Pia.

  • sr4mjc

    I’m fairly confident that if she had made it to the end, Simon would have forced her to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

    LOL, absolutely!

  • Incipit

    “When it comes down to it, the reality is that
    50 percent of the audience is little teenage girls.
    And once they get a crush, we’re done. ”
    — Naima Adedapo —

    50% of the audience? Really?

    I don’t believe this is backed up by the demographics, is it just another one of those memes that “everybody knows” – that isn’t really so – or has there been a sudden tectonic plate shift in the audience – and TPTB finally got their youngsters back??

    Or, does Nigel have a campaign going to canonize P. T. Barnum yet?

    Geebus.

  • rog152

    How can TPTB be happy with another WGWG winning? I really thought we were going to get a real vocalist this year

  • girlygirl

    19 and UMG can hire someone to put together a band for James if he doesn’t already have one. That’s what they did for Adam and Kris — they brought in people to audition and formed a band. I think Daughtry and Cook already their own bands, right? But didn’t they still have to go through auditions to either add band members to the existing group and/or make sure the existing members were good enough to pass muster with the label execs?

    James is likely going to be a niche artist, because he’s not pop and I can’t see him having much interest in trying to go the pop/rock slash Hot AC route. Hopefully he can form a band and then get out on the road to build up enough cred that the public and the radio PDs won’t care that he came off Idol. Carly has been able to do that — although she was likely helped by the fact she joined members of a band who already had had success

  • girlygirl

    rog152

    How are the WGWG winners not “true vocalists?” David Cook and Kris are strong singers, even if they might not have the best technically pure voice or technique. And I’ve noticed a lot of improvement in Lee’s vocals since he won Idol — and his fans are big fans of his voice.

    Secondly, of the remaining contestants, Paul is probably the only one who would be tagged a true “WGWG”. And it’s unlikely — though not impossible — that he’ll end up winning.

  • mickeybordentwo

    I pulled out the Google Buzzometer by typing in the full first and last names of the idolettes, plus Lee and Crystal (so each listing read, for example, “lee dewyze” + “american idol”) to see who ranked where.

    In Google number order (and not bothering here with last names):

    Pia
    Lee
    Casey
    Paul
    Lauren
    Scotty
    James
    Jacob
    Haley
    Stafano
    Crystal

    The biggest gaps (and they were large ones) were between Casey and Paul, and Lauren and Scotty; the closest in numbers were Paul and Lauren.

    I assume Casey got a lot of additional listings because his idol “journey” has thus far been the most dramatic, although I do think it’s possible he got the save because he’d been consistently high in votes except for that one week.

    I also think Paul is a lot more popular than people give him credit for; he’s kind of the contemporary version of an idolette, just as Pia was more of an original version of an idolette.

    I still think Scotty is going to win, but based on today’s readings, no one will care all that much when he does.

  • MaryS-NJ

    I totally believe that Pia was mid-pack. People liked her but liked others better and voted for those. I just can’t believe the extent to which Nigel is spinning this. Either there was way more negative impact in focus groups than they wanted, or spinning it creates contraversy which may cause some fans who’ve lost interest to tune in to see what the big deal it.

    I think that Jimmy is right in his marketing of Pia. Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle have both been releasing albums full of ballads and they have had a lot of success.

    Leona Lewis has a great voice and look but more importantly the support of Simon Cowell and a huge media marketing (hype) machine that made her happen. Even with that, her second album didn’t sell that well in the US which may have something to do the call for more dance pop on her next album (according to something I read… here, I think) instead of ballads. I didn’t watch X-Factor so I don’t know about anything about her performance style.

    Susan Boyle, as others have said, has a “back story” however contrived, gimmicky or made-up it was. Jackie Evancho from AGT had a gimmick; 10 year old opera singer. They have technically good voices but there are much more interesting singers out there (milage varies). My guess is that there will always be a market for well-sung ballads and covers, but there is a limited shelf life on reality show hype. They have to make music that will contine to sell on its own merits.

    So…Pia is as pretty as and arguably is as good a singer as Leona Lewis, but she didn’t have Simon Cowell to mold her into a star. Pia doesn’t have a discernable back story or gimmick like Susan Boyle or Jackie Evancho. She has the “shocking!” boot but that’s got a limited shelf life too.

    She doesn’t have an incredible performance style, doesn’t connect well with the emotion core of whatever she sings (again your milage varies), and doesn’t seem to have much originality, or at least not that he showed on American Idol.

    Apparently some people think Jimmy Iovine is some kind of genius (I have my doubts, we’ll see) and maybe he knows something we don’t, but I think he’s smart enough to see that whatever opportunity he has for Pia needs to happen soon to take advantage of the hype around her elimination.

  • Elliegrll

    I’m not sure where Lauren Alaina falls with the viewers.

    I doubt that anyone could make a correct guess about any of the contestants. A whole lot of people would have said that Pia and Scotty have been the frontrunners all season, and the same is true for Casey, before he was eliminated.

  • Nina1

    Didn’t that study of *college* students that came out last fall find that, on average, they studied five hours a week. … Plenty of time for tv in that schedule!

    I guess we know why there is all that chatter about China out-competing us. Holy moly.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    50% of the audience? Really?

    Maybe the first couple of years, but that hasn’t been true at all in the last few years.

  • lili_anne7

    I pulled out the Google Buzzometer by typing in the full first and last names of the idolettes…..

    I think Paul has been getting a lot of press because of him supposedly dating nikki reed. Casey got some buzz because of his illness and the rumors about him and haley. Scotty not getting much buzz does not surprise me. He’s not that interesting to talk about. I’m surprised Lauren is up there, I haven’t seen many articles about her.

  • Valentin432

    The idol demographics have changed, the vieweship has been going towards older women while the younger demographics are bailing on the show.

    TMZ just put the 3 who haven’t been in the B3 yet as frontrunners, nothing mysterious about that

  • Nina1

    My kids are too young to be tweens, but I’d never let them wait until 8 pm to finish their homework .

    What a good mom. Reality TV is not healthy for children and other living things. I’m not sure it is healthy for old people.

  • Elliegrll

    How can TPTB be happy with another WGWG winning? I really thought we were going to get a real vocalist this year

    Just because someone plays an instrument that doesn’t mean they can’t sing. In fact, for some, their musical background make them better at interpreting lyrics and telling a story than those who are just singers, which is why they often get labeled as being artists. One of the people left who has this gift is Scotty. It’s funny that people don’t call him a WGWG, because he is, and he’s also a great storyteller.

  • gangreen29

    But beyond the online chatter stuff, there has not been much solid evidence in any realm that she is a frontrunner. At least Scotty and James regularly turn up at the top of polls like VoteFair and the Itunes stuff – as flawed as those types of things are, at least they do make a showing. Lauren is a mystery to me.

    Lauren’s fan thread at IDF is triple the post count of the nearest competitor (Scott)

  • songsungblue

    It’s telling that Simon hasn’t even bothered to comment on this. Personally, I think the hoopla is going to work against Pia. She’s now had a few TV appearances and she keeps doing the same thing – the stand straight, lift hand, sing emotionlessly towards the heavens. Heh. Yeah, that’s going to set the world on fire! She makes Kat McPhee look like Lady Gaga, IMO.

    I don’t find those front-runners surprising. People are forgetting that Pia didn’t offer a very important element – the growth arc. She started with her best, and then slipped. That’s part of the lack of investment. Rule #1 of AI: You must grow, and be applauded for your growth.

    As to Naima’s remarks, please. The myth of the voting teen has been squashed long ago. Face it, you were voted off because your fake Jamaican accent was weird to middle America, not because of teenage girl crushes.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Lauren’s fan thread at IDF is triple the post count of the nearest competitor (Scott)

    I had noticed that too. The membership of Idolforums tends to skew younger. I think that Lauren has a lot of tween/teen support.

  • LK3

    Thanks! Any news on who’s been gaining the most lately?

    These numbers are based upon average weekly gains + total to date, from April 5th – 11th:

    Scotty – +3,600 total = (80,539)
    Casey – +2,743 (75,349)
    Paul – +3,094 (67,127)
    Lauren – +2,864 (62,307)
    James – +2,300 (54,897)
    Stefano – +2,355 (49,904)
    Haley – +3,019 (39,618)
    Jacob – +1,669 (31,203)

    eta: added Pia’s as well, her figures shot up from @42,000, which she gained from the 7th – to date:

    +10,403 (104,748)

  • pattycake

    Lisa says:
    04/12/2011 at 11:05 am
    I am in the +45 bracket. I can tell you I listen to a very wide range of music. I don’t buy ‘old rock songs’. That seem’s a bit odd to me to lump us all into one category.

    It’s like saying, ‘older people’ (which I have a problem with the word older) get stuck liking only one type of music. They hit their peak and it’s this or nothing and only downhill from there. Pffttt on that.

    What do I buy? Current music only and I do buy it often.

    I am 26 (on Friday) and I hate top 20 radio hits. Lauren’s voice and personality are as annoying to my senses as top 20 radio, so I think she will have a hit. I don’t think she will win idol. Top two will be Scottie and James (country vs. rock theme) and Scottie will win.
    I have a Boston CD playing as I type this so current pop culture/music is definately not is not my fortay. JMO

  • Elliegrll

    Eh, there are always shock boots. Maybe Pia is getting a bit more attention because she went out so early

    All the media attention is partly due to the show having buzz again, Pia being very pretty, and the shock of her exit, but I think that at this point it is mainly because the 19 PR machine is pushing her out there to be interviewed. They are feeding info. to TMZ to balance things a little bit, so that she won’t overshadow the show, but this is surely part of their plan to market Pia.

    This Pia hoopla is funny. As for Simon, I think he would have ripped her to shreds, at least to challenge her more .

    Nah, he loves big voiced old school ballad singers. The only thing he lives more is black females who sing old gospel sounding r&b songs.

  • girlygirl

    Leona Lewis hasn’t had recent success — at least not here in the States. Her last album didn’t sell well at all here (it has sold 2.6 million worldwide, but last I saw, its US sales were only around 200K) and the top single off it (Happy) only made it to #31 on the BB Hot 100. On her next album, she reportedly is getting away from ballads and going the dance music route.

  • gangreen29

    Nah, he loves big voiced old school ballad singers. The only thing he lives more is black females who sing old gospel sounding r&b songs.

    I know, right lol? Despite Simon’s protest that he wants someone current expect several Pia’s on X-Factor.

  • Mary102

    If so, she had better have a moment. Fast. She has been losing ground the past two weeks – and I am a fan of her voice.

    Lauren irks me because of an inability to connect with the music fully. She takes me out of the moment too much, even when she sings well, by making faces and smiling inappropriately. I’m sure it’s the age thing, but for now it definitely makes her less of an artist and serious contender imo.

  • lucy

    Nah, he loves big voiced old school ballad singers. The only thing he lives more is black females who sing old gospel sounding r&b songs.

    He loves them, but he still pushes them on various points. I don’t remember Simon ever portraying anybody as perfect, and I’m quite sure he wouldn’t have repeatedly called Pia perfect — because he would have been so anxious for her to do well. he would have nagged her about various things, because he nags everybody, and that includes his pets.

    But the current judges totally went the “you are perfection already” angle with Pia (and others). … And I suspect that has at least a little to do with the so-called big flap over her ouster. She got *zero* criticism, basically, except a brief flurry from Randy about going uptempo, after which he was told to hush himself thenceforth. …

    Don’t think the no-criticism route is helping any of these kids.

  • lili_anne7

    Scotty – 3,600 total (80,539)
    Casey – 2,743 (75,349)
    Paul – 3,094 (67,127)
    Lauren – 2,864 (62,307)
    James – 2,300 (54,897)
    Stefano – 2,355 (49,904)
    Haley – 3,019 (39,618)
    Jacob – 1,669 (31,203)

    Wow, If that is boot order, this season will get worse and worse. I can’t imagine a Top 3 consisting of Scotty, Casey, and Paul. If James were to leave at Top 5 before Paul, that would be a major shock.

  • MrDuffin

    Nigel will protect that “integrity” of the show above all else.

    I think it is interesting that TPTB knew that Pia was not going to win. I guess that also means they know who is going to win. There goes that integrity.

  • claudette

    I don’t see the problem with the word “older”. I’m older, and it’s simply a fact that in general, you can say that older people nowadays like a variety of music that is not played on top 40 radio. NOT ALL. But I don’t see a problem saying you don’t just love Miley, Selena, Demi, Katy, Gaga. (ha. I love Gaga to death) Just saying…. I think it’s a PLUS to artists to acknowledge that they are making an album that appeals to people beyond that. I never get why that’s so bad and that Idol success is measured by who gets higher on top 40 radio.

    Country is a great venue. It appeals to people of all ages, and there’s no “time limit” like Pop. (you generally only see younger pop people) Some hate Miley, Selena, Demi, Jonas Brothers….so forth but there is a market for those fun, bop your head songs. That’s great. But just because ballads might add something different that is out there and it might appeal to so called older people is NOT a diss. Is Celine hurting?? No. Is she “uncool” ? Absolutely not. Do you see people of all ages at her concert? Yes. Does she show up at all sorts of awards shows and is welcome by other artists? Yes.

    You can’t get a Gaga or Katy out of Idol. I just don’t see why it is a negative to not compete with her. I’m fine saying I’m older and I don’t like all of Miley (I have liked a couple of her songs). I will also tell you I LOVE Lauren to death and have always voted for her. I think she’s got the most potential of all of them, and I admire her to death for being just who she is as someone who just turned 16 and isn’t some perfect, studied Idol, say the right thing girl. And young girls appreciate that. (I also love Scotty and James for the same reasons and vote for them. I LOVE flawed, authentic people with talent/potential talent) So yes, I vote for her.

  • lucy

    I think it is interesting that TPTB knew that Pia was not going to win. I guess that also means they know who is going to win. There goes that integrity.

    Not necessarily. I’m sure that after 10 seasons, they can recognize voting patterns that have never led to a winner.

    Plus, Nigel might have been lying when he said this!

  • tinawina

    Scotty – 3,600 total (80,539)
    Casey – 2,743 (75,349)
    Paul – 3,094 (67,127)
    Lauren – 2,864 (62,307)
    James – 2,300 (54,897)
    Stefano – 2,355 (49,904)
    Haley – 3,019 (39,618)
    Jacob – 1,669 (31,203)

    Interesting to see Scotty, Paul and Haley gaining the fastest this week. I didn’t think Haley’s performance was all that well received even though I personally liked it.

    Lauren’s fan thread at IDF is triple the post count of the nearest competitor (Scott)

    I’m always hesitant with those because it can be the same 20 people posting over and over again. But still, its good to see she has supporters somewhere.

  • tibitibis

    ‘Pia singing strictly ballads’ this is another way from Idol/Nigel to discourage people about the possibility for Pia to be more current and versatile…….they’re taking all they guns to try to put her down lol or at least to put tone down the buzz around her.

  • Trina

    A top 3 containing both Paul and Casey would sure make season 9 a lot less of a joke. It would serve them right for using that save so early.

  • weese

    Haven’t the judges been asking Pia to move and go uptempo for weeks? She has been criticized. Scotty is the one who keeps getting”keep doing what you’re doing” despite being same/same. I assume because he is getting the votes they want him to. I think Stephano gets criticism and lots of effort on the producers part because they want him to do what it takes to move up in the ranks and Jacob doesn’t get much cause they really don’t mind if he leaves soon. I believe there is a strategy here. I don’t know if it is working the way they would like it to. I don’t know if it will have better results than Simons methods but it will be interesting to see how this kinder gentler manipulation plays out.

  • springboard

    Here’s the ITunes ranking (from ratings*stars) on the Thursday after the shows
    Contestant>>Top 12>>Top 11 a>>Top 11 b>>Top9
    Casey . 8 – 8 – 2 – 1
    Haley . 9 – 5 – 1 – 3
    Jacob . 10 – 4 – 10 – 9
    James . 4 – 1 – 6 – 2
    Karen . 11
    Lauren . 6 – 7 – 3 – 7
    Naima . 12 – 11 – 11
    Paul . 3 – 2 – 7 – 5
    Pia . 5 – 6 – 4 – 6
    Scotty . 1 – 3 – 5 – 4
    Stefano . 2 – 10 – 9 – 8
    Thia . 7 – 9 – 8

  • http://www.comcast.net KAT80

    I don’t think Nigel should even be putting out that kind of information unless he is going to put out the numbers for everyone else. I am sure that in previous AI seasons, someone that was in mid-pack at this point in the season could have slowly gained momentum and gone on to win the competition, so how can he say with certainty that Pia would not have won the competition. At this point, he should just be quiet and move on. He is discrediting Pia and I do not think that is fair. If she can maintain her popularity, she should be able to do that and he should just focus on the TV show.

  • LK3

    Interesting to see Scotty, Paul and Haley gaining the fastest this week. I didn’t think Haley’s performance was all that well received even though I personally liked it.

    I haven’t been tracking the followers over the previous weeks, so I wonder if Stefano’s was a big gain due to his B2 placing? Also, James is the 2nd lowest to gain new followers, so I do really wonder how well he is doing in the votes each week? I’ve not totally been on board with him being in the Top 3, I think he’s been one of the middling ones.

  • songsungblue

    Twitter is an indication of very little, IMO. Lee’s twitter fans did not lead to high sales, for example. I love Paul’s twitter feed because he’s funny and informative – and I could see others using his twitter that way. Conversely, even if I was a mega fan of Ashthon, I would kill her twitter because the girl is extremely annoying on that medium. When I looked at Pia’s feed, the most she ever talked about was hair and makeup – scintillating! ;) So yeah. I wouldn’t make twitter any kind of judge.

  • girlygirl

    Here is how the number of ratings on iTunes each has gotten for the studio version of their Top 9 week performances

    Pia 1010
    James 904
    Casey 900
    Haley 801
    Scotty 706
    Paul 550
    Jacob 496
    Lauren 431
    Stefano 394

    now obviously, only a small percentage of people who buy — or even listen — to the track are going to bother to take the time to rate it and/or make a comment about it. But it is interesting to see where Haley and Lauren, are, particularly.

  • Elliegrll

    I don’t think Nigel should even be putting out that kind of information unless he is going to put out the numbers for everyone else. I am sure that in previous AI seasons, someone that was in mid-pack at this point in the season could have slowly gained momentum and gone on to win the competition, so how can he say with certainty that Pia would not have won the competition.

    He can say it because she’s no longer in the competition. It would be wrong to say it about anyone who has not been eliminated.

  • Landmd

    I haven’t been tracking the followers over the previous weeks, so I wonder if Stefano’s was a big gain due to his B2 placing? Also, James is the 2nd lowest to gain new followers, so I do really wonder how well he is doing in the votes each week? I’ve not totally been on board with him being in the Top 3, I think he’s been one of the middling ones.

    Eilonwy has been tracking those numbers in the Wednesday’s numbers threads for a couple of weeks now.

    Twitter is an indication of very little, IMO

    I agree! It is fun to follow it just to see what happens.

  • Trina

    Well yeah I said the other day I believed James is actually not a major fronrunner in the voting just based on the data I looked at it online that’s why I get annoyed everytime people say what a lock he is and guaranteed to be safe. Its all perception because he’s never been in the bottom. The only major force I see is Scotty based on all of that type of online stuff.

    I don’t think Twitter followers tell the full story, I follow some I will never vote for BUT itunes, Last FM, YouYube, that shows a different level of interest.

  • swish5

    “Nah, he loves big voiced old school ballad singers. The only thing he lives more is black females who sing old gospel sounding r&b songs.”

    Why didn’t Simon LOVE Crystal?
    (Please keep this comment about Simon and Crystal)

  • artemis

    I don’t think the number of IDF posts signifies a lot-it just means that a number of Lauren’s fans post there.
    Season 9, Siobhan had more posts than anybody else. Didi had twice as many posts as Crystal. Tim Urban had 4 times as many posts as Crystal. Somehow she managed to get a lot more votes than they did. :)

    ETA Why didn’t Simon love Crystal? He kind of did. When she auditioned he got the biggest grin on his face. He tried to give her helpful advice during the season, warning her that she was being perceived as thinking she already had the competition won, that she wasn’t always connecting with the audience. He thought she had the best performance at the top 2-which of course signaled Lee’s fans that they’d better vote, vote, vote. If he was a judge this season, Pia might have lasted longer, because he wouldn’t have been telling her or anybody else how perfect they were.

  • Grammie Kari

    I am sure that in previous AI seasons, someone that was in mid-pack at this point in the season could have slowly gained momentum and gone on to win the competition, so how can he say with certainty that Pia would not have won the competition.

    I agree! I’m just not buying all this. Pia had the chance to grow and improve as weeks went by. I still think she could have been TOP 3. BTW, did anyone buy Susan Boyle’s album? Did it have rock, Hip Hop, or Rap on it?

    Scotty will probably win when he inherits Lauren’s voters. I prefer James. I knew Jacob was in the bottom two. Nothing like going for DRAMA, huh?

    Nigel, please stop all this; it is tiring.

  • Kirsten

    19 and UMG can hire someone to put together a band for James if he doesn’t already have one. That’s what they did for Adam and Kris — they brought in people to audition and formed a band. I think Daughtry and Cook already their own bands, right? But didn’t they still have to go through auditions to either add band members to the existing group and/or make sure the existing members were good enough to pass muster with the label execs?

    Cookie, Kris and Adam are all solo acts with touring bands (this is typical of all solo artists). Daughtry is actually portrayed as a band.

    Daughtry – cast by the label. They did allow Chris’s old band to audition, but none of them made the cut. They did scrounge up a few guys from North Carolina so that they could claim that Chris might have nodded across the bar to them at one point in his life so that it wasn’t a totally made up band. The band was cast after the debut album was recorded so they contributed in no way to that album (except to have blurred out photos on it).

    Adam – had been in a band with Monte (the guitarist). Monte is an excellent musician, so he may have played on the album, IDK.

    Kris – close friend with his guitarist (who also helped write one of the songs on his debut album).

    Cookie – IIRC, had been in a band with Neil before. I’m hazy on the details.

    So, you get a mix. James will definitely need to be part of a band. Otherwise, he will have no credibility at all given the hard nature of his rock. They will probably use session musicians for the album and then cast a suitable looking band (who are competent with their instruments). Unless they are desperate for credibility, I don’t think the label will take any of his former bandmates. They don’t have the look. I have no idea what they would call this band. Durbin just doesn’t have the vibe of Daughtry. Ironically, I think the touring bands tend to be better because they are mostly hired for their talent. They aren’t supposed to look like hip guys that all would be in a band together.

    I actually think that they would keep Paul with his band (and maybe just sign the band). If last week showed us anything, it showed us that Paul NEEDS a band (not for credibility, but to play off of. James doesn’t need a band to play off of, he needs it for credibility). I think creating a band for him in the AAA market would be suicide, so better to just have him go back with his band that seems competent.

    Casey, Haley, Scotty, Stefano, Jacob and Lauren would all get touring bands who might grow into something a little more (like Carrie’s touring band). Pia could be sent out with a piano or a backing track. Jacob needs a couple of back-up singers.

  • springboard

    Interesting to see Scotty, Paul and Haley gaining the fastest this week. I didn’t think Haley’s performance was all that well received even though I personally liked it.

    Haley has been doing well on Itunes recently. Last week she had the highest ratings of the season by a big margin.

  • girlygirl

    Twitter is interesting as a gauge to see whether they add or lose fans after they are off the show and/or off the tour. The last couple of years it appears that once they are off tour, unless they are signed to major labels and/or have a lot of things going on that the general public is interested in hearing about, the number of twitter followers will drop off. The ones who are signed to the major labels and have music out there, on the other hand, will generally gain new followers. So I don’t know it the current number of twitter followers the S10 contestants have will have much bearing on how successful they are down the road.

  • claudette

    I think it’s possible that Pia’s fan base wasn’t growing and that she wasn’t picking up votes from eliminated contestants or gaining new fans.

    5 frontrunners, to me, means that anything is possible. It’s very plausible that Casey will win. Steven even predicted that at top 13 before all of his pimping (no fault of his). He’s got so much to pull out because he plays so many instruments.

    I’d have Casey at the top along with James if I were doing a power poll. (Paul, Scotty, Lauren somewhere 3 to 5)

  • tinawina

    Twitter is an indication of very little, IMO.

    Yeah, but it makes fun speculation fodder! LOL

    Pia 1010
    James 904
    Casey 900
    Haley 801
    Scotty 706
    Paul 550
    Jacob 496
    Lauren 431
    Stefano 394

    now obviously, only a small percentage of people who buy — or even listen — to the track are going to bother to take the time to rate it and/or make a comment about it. But it is interesting to see where Haley and Lauren, are, particularly.

    Yeah, that is pretty interesting. I actually thought Scotty was fun so I thought more people would have been into his performance. I completely forgot Casey yet he’s right at the top. And Haley! Who knew? That’s like the 3rd or 4th thing I’ve seen her score near the top on.

    I guess this is probably the point where people really start to line up behind a choice. I mean we’ve seen these people perform 6 times each already.

    Where was Pia week to week on these things? Was she hovering in the middle?

  • LK3

    now obviously, only a small percentage of people who buy — or even listen — to the track are going to bother to take the time to rate it and/or make a comment about it. But it is interesting to see where Haley and Lauren, are, particularly.

    I never bother to rate a single or album I buy or listen to on iTunes.

    I will say though, that Paul’s studio recordings have been pretty disappointing, which is down to the crappy production on them, especially compared to say Scotty’s or Haley’s.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    Cookie – IIRC, had been in a band with Neil before. I’m hazy on the details.

    Cook had been in Midwest Kings with Neal Tiemann (now his lead guitarist) and Andy Skib (rhythm guitar, keyboards), but both had to audition. Skib had also helped with production of Cook’s pre-Idol solo album, Analog Heart.

    Bass player Monty Anderson also has a Tulsa tie to Cook — they painted houses together but were not, I think, in the same band. He was a mid-tour replacement for Joey Clement, who’d gotten the gig by auditioning. At this point, the only band member who didn’t know Cook in the past is drummer Kyle Peek.

    The band is known to have played on substantial portions of the new album, so while the marketing for Cook remains ambiguous, functionally, the guys are more than only a touring band.

    As far as using that as a guide for predicting the future of this season’s singers… I’d expect that TPTB would start talking auditions for any backing band for any of the current batch, which would explain why McDonald is so vocal about his.

  • songsungblue

    I will say though, that Paul’s studio recordings have been pretty disappointing, which is down to the crappy production on them, especially compared to say Scotty’s or Haley’s.

    YMMV kind of thing. I’m most excited about Paul’s post show recordings because I think his flair shines through – and Scotty’s production values – Quel Velveeta! I find it hard to believe that anyone will be uber-excited about Haley post show, but I’ve been wrong before. Paul sounds great when he’s at full voice:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-W00inmNKM

  • springboard

    I guess Twitter & iTunes are about as scientific as each other

    No poll or rating is an indicator in itself, but when they all point in the same direction, they probably indicate something. Also, the trend can be useful as it compares the contestant with themselves.

  • LK3

    YMMV kind of thing. I’m most excited about Paul’s post show recordings because I think his flair shines through – and Scotty’s production values – Quel Velveeta! I find it hard to believe that anyone will be uber-excited about Haley post show, but I’ve been wrong before. Paul sounds great when he’s at full voice:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-W00inmNKM

    I was looking forward to Paul’s track last week, and I agree that Paul’s vocals are good, but the production doesn’t seem to work so well.

    I bought both his Grand Mags & Hightide Blue albums, so I know how good he sounds in a studio. Just not as much in Jimmy Iovine’s.

  • emmuzka

    Ok, Pia likes the ballads, but just the ability to sing them flawlessly does not make a legendary diva belter. Pia doens’t have a shtick, no matter that she came from a reality show, she isn’t quirky enough, and I doubts that a voice only can support an artist nowadays.

    The only thing that I see that could make Pia a superstar right now would be a hit soundtrack ballad in some blockbuster movie. She could even make a cameo :)

  • songsungblue

    They tried really, really hard to make Kat McPhee take off. I mean, they pushed. She was everywhere in the media. Bikini photos, gossip columns, you name it. Okay, now she’s got a break with a TV show, but this is years down the line. And I would say that Kat was more beautiful than Pia, and a little more fresh. I couldn’t stand her on the show, but I thought the single she did with Zach Levi [?] was actually pretty good. It didn’t matter, she was just not going to climb the charts.

    If you ask me [and no one has], I think they’re doing a ‘souvenir’ single. See, Nigel will say, she was never going to win, and she’s not a star, and she didn’t sell. That’s far more likely to me. If they do an album, I wish them luck. Pretty girls with pretty voices don’t have much of a shelf life. This isn’t Eva Cassidy we’re talking about here.

  • lla2827

    This isn’t Eva Cassidy we’re talking about here.

    It certainly isn’t Eva Cassidy. She is not in the same freakin universe as Eva C. But, by the press and pundits and everyone else–you would think she was –LOL.

    I don’t know if I put it on here or on Slezak’s blog–but I said that Pia needs to stop listening to Celine and start listening to Eva Cassidy. Maybe she would learn a little about singing with true feeling and emotion as well as how to interpret a lyric (and also everything else about singing).. But, Eva sang like musician–Pia is just a vocalist.

    I think Nigel is behind all this uproar. RATINGS

    All this press about the terrible injustice Pia has faced–her first single should be– Poor, Poor, Pitiful Pia. She has to sing it a little uptempo tho–LOL

  • Kirsten

    The band is known to have played on substantial portions of the new album, so while the marketing for Cook remains ambiguous, functionally, the guys are more than only a touring band.

    Yes. Cook’s band has definitely morphed into more than just a touring band. It is also one of the few (only?) Idol tour bands to have been given a name.

    With many solo acts, the tour band is just a tool that is assembled from appropriate musicians when necessry. Sometimes, like with Carrie and Cook (again, the list is not exhaustive – I only mentioned Carrie before), touring bands can develop into something more.

    Randy has sometimes said “That is a band song” and I think that term is difficult to define (you just kind of know). But there are some types of songs and some genres of music that are better suited to a band vibe. Then, there are other artists/genres/songs for whom the band is there just to play the notes so the focus can be entirely on the soloist. Many songs can cross the divide.

    James sings band songs. Pia sings songs that focus entirely on the soloist. I think everybody else falls somewhere in the spectrum between them.

  • Mary102

    Ok, Pia likes the ballads, but just the ability to sing them flawlessly does not make a legendary diva belter. Pia doens’t have a shtick, no matter that she came from a reality show, she isn’t quirky enough, and I doubts that a voice only can support an artist nowadays.

    For all the technical abillity Pia has, one thing that never impressed me much about her on AI is that she had no distinct color or versatility to her voice – it all just sounded really really good. And there are a lot of just such singers all around the country trying to say, make it on Glee or something.

    A lot of singers out there, talent or otherwise, at least have some interesting textures to their voice (unless you go really autotuned like say Britney, etc.) Well, ok I guess Gaga doesn’t have the most unique voice, but makes up for it in about a million other creative ways that Pia certainly doesn’t have.

    Of course YMMV, but I always have a preference for singers who have very versatile, interesting voices. Pia never struck me as that. Haley is probably the best of the bunch at that now – and she is quite good at it. Lauren is at least better than Pia at it too.

  • standtotheright

    Bass player Monty Anderson also has a Tulsa tie to Cook — they painted houses together but were not, I think, in the same band

    Anderson played bass on some Analog Heart tracks so he probably gigged out with Cook on occasion, too.

    I don’t think the issue with Durbin is whether or not he’s “set up” with a band; it’s whether or not the material resonates with a larger audience. I admit to not having looked up any of his prior performances on YT, but I haven’t heard that much from people who follow him here to suggest that he’s an unmined diamond of hard rock songwriting. That’s the biggest issue. If he can’t write (or work with people who write) the riffs, none of it matters.

  • Lulu2

    TPTB are expletives deleted. In this group, at Top 9, there are lots of people that the public wants to see stay on for awhile longer. Everyone knows by now that Pia was one of the favorites, but people thought she was safe and voted for people they want to see stay on awhile longer. There are people who doubt the honesty of the show ,and I’m one, in that there are many ways to bump off a contestant, even at the voting stage, without violating the show’s own rules. I think it’s even possible that TPTB have taken over dialidol (which said Pia was safe) to get rid of contestants, like Pia, who violate their rules by, for instance, spoiling the songs they intend to sing. Probably, the contestants’ve been told not to do that.

  • songsungblue

    Everyone knows by now that Pia was one of the favorites, but people thought she was safe and voted. THere are people who doubt the honesty of hte shwo and I’m one, in that there are many ways to bump off a contestant, even at the voting stage, without violating the show’s own rules. I think it’s even possible that TPTB have taken over dialidol (which said Pia was safe)to get rid of contestants, like PIa, who violate their rules by, for instance, spoiling the songs they intend to sing. Probably, they’ve been told not to do that.

    Wait, really? So it was a HIT? LOL. There’s such a thing as Occam’s Razor. one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.

    In other words, it’s a simpler explanation that while her voice was admired, she was not a particular favorite, hence, she was voted off.

  • Da 1 N Only

    I think it’s even possible that TPTB have taken over dialidol (which said Pia was safe)to get rid of contestants, like PIa, who violate their rules by, for instance, spoiling the songs they intend to sing. Probably, they’ve been told not to do that.

    Dialidol’s accuracy is dependent on several fans in different states supporting showing support to all of the contestants. There simply are not enough users of dialidol currently to give accurate predictions. No conspiracy there.

  • phil25

    I don’t get this leak. Virtually everyone’s been in the bottom 3. That means everyone but 3 have been in the “murky middle” and I would wager a guess that Lauren’s been in the murky middle a lot as well.

    Regardless, how is this info supposed to help their cause? Isn’t it worse that someone who a lot of the general public thought was one of the best couldn’t get the votes on the show?

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    It’s not really surprising that Pia wasn’t a frontrunner in voting. I mean, it’s clear that idol voters prefer male contestants, singing some kind of rock (classic, alternative), soft rock, pop/rock or some version of country or folk. Pia doesn’t fit neither of these groups, so it was just a matter of time when she would be eliminated. I admit, I was hoping for something new before this season of Idol started and audition rounds seemed kinda promising, but now we pretty much have same old types as always. I like Scotty, Lauren and Haley, but I’m afraid only Scotty has a chance to make it to the finale. I hope he wins this joke of a show.

  • Lulu2

    songsungblue:
    I think the producers have a number of ways of controlling the public vote, from what you see on the air, who they pimp, etc. When the number of votes per voter are unlimited, it is harder to contest the results. The show has become (maybe it always was) a season-long advertisement for the winner’s record, and you can believe that they know who they want to sell. They spend all season selling him. The producers do not care about “artistry” or longterm success, really. That’s too hard to predict lately in the music business. They want the quick bucks. Scotty is country and Jonas-Brothers’ homely, so the little girls will find him safe enough to like and buy his first record, until the next crush comes along.

  • Elliegrll

    They tried really, really hard to make Kat McPhee take off. I mean, they pushed. She was everywhere in the media. Bikini photos, gossip columns, you name it.

    I don’t think they tried too hard. She had all of the things that you mentioned, but there was a rift between Kat and the label, she wanted to do pop/r&b songs, but they just didn’t fit her voice, so she came off looking fake. Also, unlike Pia, Katherine really went overboard in trying to use her attractiveness to get ahead. This worked in getting magazine covers, but not much else.

    It will be interesting to see if the report from TMZ about Jimmie wanting Pia to do ballads is right, or if Pia can pull off pop songs, or will he give her some up to date and up tempo ballads to sing.

  • justshootme

    Regardless, how is this info supposed to help their cause? Isn’t it worse that someone who a lot of the general public thought was one of the best couldn’t get the votes on the show?

    My feelings exactly. I don’t get why they keep pushing this “Pia was never a frontrunner” meme. It just makes the show look more ridiculous. Nigel should drop it.

    And why would anyone take an anonymous TMZ leak for fact anyway?

  • songsungblue

    Yeah, I don’t buy it. I think the biggest moneymaker is the show itself. You know, after the quiz show shenanigans in the 50’s, I seriously doubt that AI is skewing vote totals. There are plenty of under the radar winners they didn’t push – Taylor Hicks, anyone? They would have LOVED Daughtry to win. How about Kris over Adam?

    Personally, I think everything they do is about better television. That’s all. Note that nearly everyone this season is not an embarrassing fail if they win. Even Stefano [gag] can be worked with, and Paul is excellent with his band. So win / win for the producers.

  • Elliegrll

    Regardless, how is this info supposed to help their cause? Isn’t it worse that someone who a lot of the general public thought was one of the best couldn’t get the votes on the show?

    I was just thinking about this. But, looking at it another way, it could mean that voters were willing to give her a chance, maybe because of he outstanding vocals, but she never did anything more to move from the middle of the pack.

  • Elek

    TMZ wouldn’t claim on anything without a basis and one of their bases is practically the poll they run on their site. I remembered looking at it before when Pia was still around and true, she wasn’t on top tier.

    We all know how TMZ runs and I must say that they have been kind to her when she was still competing. All her “kind of mess” started to surface the net only after her elimination.

    TMZ only targets a victim when they think people would be buying it and the reason why they did not pick on Pia was because she does not have that mass appeal.

    TMZ has been hitting on James Durbin and his good friend Stefano Langone since February. Here are the links to those who haven’t read them…

    Scarred ‘Idol’ Contestant — Drunk Driving Victim

    Tourette’s Guy on ‘Idol': I Wrote Songs About ‘Whores’

    MJ Family Offended by ‘A.I.’ Pepsi Moment

    “Idol” Fans — Get Rid of Stefano, Bring Back Pia!

    Fortunately JD’s online fans are not affected by it. In fact, James is the frontrunner in their polls followed closely by Scotty.

    As to Pia’s single or album or anything, I would only believe them once they are already in existence. Since I am one of those that believe that she is not that marketable, my best recommendation for her is to be a part of Glee (or any show with the same kind of market). Once given a likeable role, I am sure she would increase the number of her followers, then, she could make solo recordings that may already find a stronger market.

  • Trina

    And why would anyone take an anonymous TMZ leak for fact anyway?

    Because anyone that has followed TMZ closely over the years has a good idea they’re in bed with TPTB particularly Nigel . There’s a good amount of things that were “leaked to them since around season 7. As if that little visit last week wasnt a big ole clue.

  • pietromatos

    i hope a miracle happen so haley, casey and paul became the top 3 lol. Can’t stand james the 80’s fake rocker wannabe, scotty snooze fest (every week is the same thing …so boring) and lauren with that horrible attitude. I’m all for the underdogs this season.

  • lili_anne7

    A new TMZ article was posted claiming that the two frontrunners in votes are Scotty and Lauren. They also said that James is always in the top 3. Don’t know if this is true though.

    http://www.tmz.com/2011/04/12/american-idol-frontrunner-top-two-contestants-scotty-mccreery-lauren-alaina-winner-vote-off-pia-toscano-welcome/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk3%7C209573

  • MalwareDie

    TMZ should shut up.

  • Trina

    Yes TMZ please shut up. You too Nigel. Watch the three of them end up in the bottom three now as a result of everyone thinking their faves need saving. Oy. SMH.

  • koshka

    Fortunately JD’s online fans are not affected by it. In fact, James is the frontrunner in their polls followed closely by Scotty.

    Fan polls? LOL the only poll that matters at this point is the one you dial into and/or where all standard text messaging fees apply.

  • SpenserJ

    Regardless, how is this info supposed to help their cause? Isn’t it worse that someone who a lot of the general public thought was one of the best couldn’t get the votes on the show?

    I’m not yet convinced that the general public did think she was a frontrunner. I think the general public was having a hard time differentiating the judge’s hyperbole about Pia from the judge’s hyperbole about…. just about everyone else.

    Some media types branded her a frontrunner, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that the actual viewers necessarily agreed. Sure, people were surprised she was ousted so early, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a majority of them thought she was going to make the Top 2.

  • Elek

    And, our spies say, there are 5 remaining contestants who are “fairly consistently placing in the top 4.”

    My guess would be my TOP 4:
    1. James Durbin
    2. Scotty McCreery
    3. Lauren Alaina
    4. Paul McDonald

    Plus
    5. Jacob Lusk

    I believe that James, Lauren and Paul have solid-strong online voters.

  • windmills

    TMZ’s loving them hits!

    Back when I thought Pia would win (OOPS!) I was predicting TPTB would send the bus for Scotty once he made t6 or t5 because they don’t want him winning. I still have a hard time imagining they want a Scotty-LaurenA finale because it’d be too country and not enough contrast in personality (even though Scotty’s more likable), age, where they’re from, or anything else.

    I think they’d favor a LaurenA-James finale more. You get country/pop girl versus rocker boy (a la s4) and they’re also the 2 best singers left in the competition. They’re both polarizing contestants or at least started out that way. I definitely think they want a girl in the finals and probably to win to prove that a girl can still win this.

    I know people are saying Scotty’s the frontrunner and maybe I’m in denial about that. It’s not that I don’t like him because I actually do and he’s the one most likely to make an album I’d buy.

  • koshka

    Oh windmills I can’t agree with you on this one. I think the bus is destined for James or Jacob if either of them get that far. I think they need a successful winner & these 2 are niche performers. We’ll see though TPTB’s choices are dwindling down and not in a great way. I really hope to see some breakout performances in the next few weeks.

  • lili_anne7

    I think they’d favor a LaurenA-James finale more. You get country/pop girl versus rocker boy (a la s4) and they’re also the 2 best singers left in the competition. They’re both polarizing contestants or at least started out that way. I definitely think they want a girl in the finals and probably to win to prove that a girl can still win this.

    I would love a lauren/james finale. ITA that they are the best singers left in the competition. But I do think TPTB love Scotty too much, I could never see them busing him. I posted a new TMZ article earlier where they claimed that Lauren and Scotty are the top vote getters, and James is consistently in the Top 3 as well.

  • Elek

    Having read the latest TMZ update, thanks to lili_anne7, I bet that the reason they are putting up those names is for the fans of the others to be more active in saving their favourites.

    I can see more $$$ as Ryan Seacrest will announce that votes this week is once again a record.

  • lucy

    I was predicting TPTB would send the bus for Scotty once he made t6 or t5 because they don’t want him winning. I still have a hard time imagining they want a Scotty-LaurenA finale because it’d be too country

    I’m not so sure they wouldn’t want this. All those country awards shows that keep popping up on television? They get viewers, I think. I can see Idol being kind of happy with the battle of the prince and princess of the new Justin Bieber era in country, actually.

  • justshootme

    I’d be on board for a Scotty/Lauren final 2 and I’m not even a country fan. Probably about zero chance I’d ever buy either of their CD’s tho. I see major flaws in the rest of those remaining. Still think Pia’s their best shot at CHR airplay.

    Everytime I read “AI spies” mentioned, I get a mental image of the old Mad Magazine Spy vs. Spy cartoons. Or possibly Don Adams talking into his shoe.

  • Elek

    I would love a lauren/james finale. ITA that they are the best singers left in the competition. But I do think TPTB love Scotty too much, I could never see them busing him. I posted a new TMZ article earlier where they claimed that Lauren and Scotty are the top vote getters, and James is consistently in the Top 3 as well.

    I am with you about James and Lauren being the best vocalists male and female. But I am rooting for a James-Scotty finale because for me, I find the same gender finale more exciting. If only there is a stronger female finalist remaining (Lauren T, if anyone could still remember her?!?), I really won’t mind a Lauren A-Lauren T duel. (That would be an epic repeat of Season 7, LOL!)

  • Trina

    If there’s any truth to the new article and Jacob is doing well in the votes too I wonder if he actually wasn’t in the bottom 3 last week and if maybe they put him there as a bit of a wrist slap for his douchebag comment.

  • SybilTrelawney

    I refuse to believe that Lusky Stank is consistently in the top 4 or 5 — especially after that ridiculously arrogant statement he made last week.

    I’m not surprised that Pia wasn’t a top vote getter, though I’m still a bit confuzzled about how she ended up dead last.

    If it’s a Lauren and Scotty finale, I’m rooting for Lauren. I can’t believe I just said that. Just shoot me now.

  • Elek

    And talking about male-female finale, it’s always easy to call who will win. Except for the last season, the gap between the winner and the runner-up is pretty obvious. And during Season 3, Fantasia and Diana battling for the crown was as exciting as any of the male-male finales.

  • claudette

    Sounds like the bus is coming for Lauren, Scotty, and James to get people to vote for others. Then you get voter complacency.
    I think they want Casey.

    For me, those three would the best finale. (personally I find the finale with 2 boring while I love top 3 and 4 when they sing twice/do duets). Isn’t gonna matter who wins after top 4.

  • windmills

    koshka: Oh windmills I can’t agree with you on this one. I think the bus is destined for James or Jacob if either of them get that far. I think they need a successful winner & these 2 are niche performers.

    Well but I see LaurenA as more likely to beat James so I don’t think they’d need to bus him? Whereas Scotty’s got the dangerous likability factor that could help him top LaurenA. You’re right about James being niche but he could go niche as the runner up. Jacob I don’t see getting that far.

    But I was obviously wrong about Pia winning so what do I know :P

    lili_anne7: But I do think TPTB love Scotty too much,

    See I don’t think they love him. It goes back to Jimmy Iovine and that 1st session they showed of him and Scotty. Jimmy’s been backtracking since then so maybe you’re right but I think they’re concerned about him running away with this. IMO they think Scotty makes good TV and they want him to make it to a certain point in the competition. But I think they want a winner Interscope would work with, so somebody who’s pop, rock, or urban. Scotty would not be that. He’s a good runner up or 3rd/4th place finisher for them. LaurenA’s somebody they could sign to Interscope and one of Universal’s country labels for dual promotion.

    lucy: I’m not so sure they wouldn’t want this. All those country awards shows that keep popping up on television? They get viewers, I think. I can see Idol being kind of happy with the battle of the prince and princess of the new Justin Bieber era in country, actually.

    They do get ratings but those ratings are lower than what the AI finale usually gets. I always thought TPTB prefer some contrasts to sell their top 2 and get people polarized. LaurenA and Scotty aren’t different enough.

    SpenserJ: Some media types branded her a frontrunner, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that the actual viewers necessarily agreed. Sure, people were surprised she was ousted so early, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a majority of them thought she was going to make the Top 2.

    I feel like most people assumed Pia would make top 4 which is how I think of frontrunner at this point. The judges treated her like a frontrunner. Maybe that perception’s getting played up because of the shock boot but I think the frontrunner perception has more to do with people feeling she had one of the best voices if not the best voice in the competition and not a whole lot to do with her perceived popularity.

  • halo9125

    From the desk of Nigel Lythgoe
    Re: How do you solve a problem like Pia?

    Greetings all. The Pia elimination has become quite the mess, don’t you think? Who would have thought that such an outrage would ensue? Who could have foreseen such a media circus? What’s a Brit to do?

    She’s been a problem since the top 12 girls performed. We barely pimped her at all prior to that. Who would have thought she had a performance like “I’ll Stand By You” in her?

    Fortunately, we were able to get her out before it was too late- after all, she was never going to win anyway (wink wink)- I know this, because I see the voting results each week.

    But now what? People worldwide are outraged- I must admit that this is quite shocking. Now onto damage control. First, let’s let everybody know she was never a front runner. Ooops- that seems to have made it worse. Let’s get that media whore chap Levin to post on TMZ that she was strictly “middle of the pack”. Let’s hope this works- I am out of ideas.

    Please start thinking of additional “leaks” we can make to the media prior to Wednesday night- I do fear the ratings might take a hit.

  • Trina

    Why would they choose Casey over the other three? What quality does he possess that someone like Lauren or Scotty doesn’t? He looks way older than his age, he doesn’t sing current music, he’s not particularly good looking, he’s got health problems and for all the griping about the last winners being a WGWG who hides behind the instrument Casey is not far off from that. I fully get he has passionate fans but from a marketing perspective, well no. I can’t see Jimmy’s crew salivating over him. I’m fairly certain they would like someone that can at least get some current radioplay.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    Casey obviously hasn’t fared too well in the voting… since he was eliminated and then saved. LOL. I’d take everything they are feeding TMZ with a big ole grain of salt.

  • songsungblue

    See, I think Nigel loves every MOMENT of this. You’re not talking about the X Factor right now, are you? ;) And if they wanted to hide her Stand By You performance, why would they stick it in the pimp spot?

    Every year some ‘fave’ gets voted off ‘too early’ and every year the tin foil hats are passed out for the Easter Parade. Heh. If anything, Nigel is getting TMZ to pimp the show by any means possible. Nigel enjoys press. Full spot. He’s a showman, the modern equivalent of PT Barnum.

  • Tony

    Pia was middle of the pack? Well duh. She went out NINTH after a decent performance.

    And Lauren and Scotty are the top 2 vote getters? Well DUH again. I know its going to piss a lot of people off since most are thinking (or hoping) that James will outlast Lauren.

  • springboard

    songsungblue says:
    04/12/2011 at 3:54 pm

    See, I think Nigel loves every MOMENT of this. You’re not talking about the X Factor right now, are you? ;) And if they wanted to hide her Stand By You performance, why would they stick it in the pimp spot?

    Every year some ‘fave’ gets voted off ‘too early’ and every year the tin foil hats are passed out for the Easter Parade. Heh. If anything, Nigel is getting TMZ to pimp the show by any means possible. Nigel enjoys press. Full spot. He’s a showman, the modern equivalent of PT Barnum.

    I think so. It has created buzz around the show and the producers love it.
    It also makes the competition seem unpredictable, and I am not ruling out a third shock eviction before the end.

  • lili_anne7

    And Lauren and Scotty are the top 2 vote getters? Well DUH again. I know its going to piss a lot of people off since most are thinking (or hoping) that James will outlast Lauren.

    I could see James outlasting Lauren. He could get votes from Casey/Paul fans and make it to the finale against Scotty.

  • Trina

    I don’t see too many people saying they want James to outlast Lauren I think some just felt he would since, uh well he has a penis and she doesn’t judging by past years.

  • Nostradamas

    Not

    a

    star

    in

    the

    bunch

  • Lulu2

    Pia has real star potential. SHe needs a manager behind her. Nobody know swhat I’ve seen in this business. You can take kids who can’t act, kids who can’t sing, even with no charisma. Pia has the most star potential of the bunch. And she has talent. AND this is so funny:

    halo9125 says:
    04/12/2011 at 3:48 pm
    From the desk of Nigel Lythgoe
    Re: How do you solve a problem like Pia?

    Greetings all. The Pia elimination has become quite the mess, don’t you think? Who would have thought that such an outrage would ensue? Who could have foreseen such a media circus? What’s a Brit to do?

    She’s been a problem since the top 12 girls performed. We barely pimped her at all prior to that. Who would have thought she had a performance like “I’ll Stand By You” in her?

    Fortunately, we were able to get her out before it was too late- after all, she was never going to win anyway (wink wink)- I know this, because I see the voting results each week.

    But now what? People worldwide are outraged- I must admit that this is quite shocking. Now onto damage control. First, let’s let everybody know she was never a front runner. Ooops- that seems to have made it worse. Let’s get that media whore chap Levin to post on TMZ that she was strictly “middle of the pack”. Let’s hope this works- I am out of ideas.

    Please start thinking of additional “leaks” we can make to the media prior to Wednesday night- I do fear the ratings might take a hit.

  • koshka

    lol ^^^^

    talent yes, star no.

  • Mary102

    Eh, tbh, for all Nigel’s attempts to drum up more interest and hype for S10, I’m suddenly having the opposite feeling.

    Maybe this whole season, especially lately, has just felt like too much piled on – from the over-production on stage, to the pyrotechnics choirs and pro wrestlers, and Stevie Wonder appearances, and dramatic early saves, and shocking exits, and TMZ stories, and everything about this season now being shouted at me, I feel like tptb are making a lot of noise to get the attention, and now it’s just a cacophony that’s making me exhausted and care even less.

    This season has been interesting and fun, to be sure, but I now care even less about who wins, whether it’s Scotty or Lauren or James or Casey. Looking forward to tomorrow, but I’m betting once again I’ll have a good time and then forget about them all once it’s over. At the end of the day, that’s what this season has meant to me.

  • koshka

    If it’s a Lauren and Scotty finale, I’m rooting for Lauren. I can’t believe I just said that. Just shoot me now.

    Me too. I hate country music (sorry fans) and was ready for TMZ smack down with her flirting, now I find myself rooting for her. Its a world turned upside down. Pretty much my selection is the kiss of death for a contestant. BTW where do I send my note of apology to Pia? I’m sure I’m responsible for that. LOL

    Well but I see LaurenA as more likely to beat James so I don’t think they’d need to bus him? Whereas Scotty’s got the dangerous likability factor that could help him top LaurenA.

    Lauren needs to come out much stronger than she has in the last few weeks. I think she can still get to the top 3, although I’m not at all convinced she can take the crown. I’d put my money on Scotty. He has the regional vote and everyone loves a good proud grandma shot. I think the producers are setting him up for the win. Why else would a bunch of bewildered girls rush the stage. (I loved the looks on their face afterwards – good tv)

  • Mtlfan

    Disclosing who are getting the most votes… I call this information BS.
    They never done that on the show and don’t think they will ever do. It would be kind of a buzz killer.
    They only made an exception with Pia with the mid pack thing to calm down some excited fans .

  • SpenserJ

    BTW where do I send my note of apology to Pia? I’m sure I’m responsible for that. LOL

    I heard she’s really pissed at you. Perhaps if you sent her a case of Coke, a Ford Fusion and an AT&T Go Phone, that would help :).

    All of this “Scotty is destined to win” stuff is really starting to make me cry. Mostly because, in the end I’m hoping for an actual show-down with unpredictable results.

  • Mtlfan

    personnally i don’t think that Scotty will look very original after 4-5 weeks of similar kind of performances. I think he has peak by now and will go down.. to which extent?,.. that’s what we’ll see.
    I don’t see him as this year American idol, even though he’s talented; i see him 3rd or 2nd

  • tibitibis

    Scotty Vs Lauren ? well i guess i definately convinced that the season was programmed to go in this way, i don’t buy the Pia never be in the interest of the viewers, i think now that she really became the problem in Nigel’s plan LOL.
    I wonder now at what moment they gonna throw James under the bus, to be able to have the ‘Dream Final’?

    At this point i would love to see a final between Haley and Casey, first i think they have more talent and second to sabotage Nigel’s plans ;)

  • gabriel oak

    If it’s true that Lauren has been among the top vote getters all this time, I really think voters have bad taste. Though I can’t say any of the remaining contestants are that special.

  • kmd

    I think Scotty is kind of overrated and I like some country music. Pia should have stayed longer but I don’t think she is going to be a big star. I still like Casey and James but I would not be surprised if AI does want a Scotty vs Lauren finale.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Pretty sneaky of TMZ to hide this info.

    Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina have been the top vote getters … so we’re told.

    IF this is true, it fits with my initial expectation of a Scotty/Lauren finale, with both getting recording contracts to try to appeal to the young country market. Lauren has the better chance of being a crossover artist. I think that this info may be correct.

  • koshka

    SpenserJ says:
    04/12/2011 at 4:43 pm
    BTW where do I send my note of apology to Pia? I’m sure I’m responsible for that. LOL

    I heard she’s really pissed at you. Perhaps if you sent her a case of Coke, a Ford Fusion and an AT&T Go Phone, that would help .

    Good thought SpencerJ. ;) Truth be told, I’m a pepsi drinker. LOL

    Anyway… I’m sure some BSC fan has already beat me to it with a ‘care package’ for her tour stint. :)

  • GreenHippo

    UGH, for Idol (or I should say Nigel) to get in bed with TMZ is so very desperate (and disgusting)…… so when does “The Voice” start?

  • Elliegrll

    Maybe this whole season, especially lately, has just felt like too much piled on – from the over-production on stage, to the pyrotechnics choirs and pro wrestlers, and Stevie Wonder appearances, and dramatic early saves, and shocking exits, and TMZ stories

    I’ve never had a problem with the product placement, but the weekly EW photo shoots and partnership with TMZ are too much.

  • kmd

    Nigel/AI wanting to be so connected with TMZ is really tacky. So are the EW photo shoots.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Where the plans of AI can go awry is not being able to accurately forecast where the votes from the people who leave will go. I had thought that Pia would get Thia’s votes, but I guess not. It’s a wild card that can mess up the predictions/plans of setting up the finale that AI wants.

    I’ve never had a problem with the product placement, but the weekly EW photo shoots and partnership with TMZ are too much.

    The partnership with TMZ is really over the line, especially if the leak of the Scotty/Lauren/James top three is true.

  • MrDuffin

    lucy says:
    04/12/2011 at 12:06 pm
    I think it is interesting that TPTB knew that Pia was not going to win. I guess that also means they know who is going to win. There goes that integrity.

    Not necessarily. I’m sure that after 10 seasons, they can recognize voting patterns that have never led to a winner.

    Plus, Nigel might have been lying when he said this!

    Nope …..Nigel is not lying. In fact he finally told the truth! He knows who is going to win and the publics votes do not matter. I am sure they are tallied honestly by the accounting company so they can say they are and then they are put in a drawer and ignored. It’s still a fun show to watch but I also like to watch train wecks.

  • merkureye

    Nigel Lythgoe’s asinine comment about Pia being only the middle of the pack and thus not being able to win, merely highlights the flaws of the whole AI voting system. In truth, the voting has been a very unreliable barometer of the singing/talent aspect of the show.

    The talented Casey Abrams was by all rights “voted-off” at #11 except for the save. Obviously, for this to happen, the vote totals for Casey, whom Nigel touts as extremely talented, had to have been in the middle of the pack or lower from Top 13 forward.

    If Casey can effectively be eliminated at #11 one week and now considered a sure-fire Top 3, why does Nigel not believe the same would not have happened for Pia?

    Scotty IS the frontrunner based on votes from the very get-go and, I’m sorry . . . his performances have been very weak. He has a goofy tilted head and a low note at the end of each boring song and he is being heralded as the presumptive American Idol S10. This is America’s Idol?

  • JudyL

    I think tptb are sneaky and even conniving but not to be point where they ignore the votes. I think some of the past winners are evidence of this. They manipulate in some ways such as singing order, lighting, maybe even song choices, etc., but just too many risks involved in voting tampering.

    Personally, while I like the show and have watched all 10 seasons ……I would not watch one more episode if I thought the voting was rigged.

  • halo9125

    If Casey can effectively be eliminated at #11 one week and now considered a sure-fire Top 3, why does Nigel not believe the same would not have happened for Pia?

    Because Nigel said so- so let it be written…so let it be done.

    Nigel is not lying. In fact he finally told the truth! He knows who is going to win and the publics votes do not matter.

    Funny thing is- I was almost starting to believe that people simply did not vote for Pia this week- but the more Nigel opens his mouth, the more I believe how the public votes doesn’t matter. After all- he knows that Scotty and Lauren will be in the top 2? And Casey in 3rd? So I guess the rest of the contestants best pack it up now.

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    I’m not invested in any of the contestants so I find this year extremely entertaining. But I agree with JUDYL, I would not watch if I thought the voting was rigged.

    I don’t like the power text voters because it dilutes the impact of the casual viewers’ vote and so sometimes there is a disconnect between who is considered (by the media and blogs) to be the most talented and who actually wins. But at least every contestant, in theory, has the same shot of getting those power text votes. I can live with a flawed voting system. If the show was truly was rigged, I wouldn’t be interested in watching.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Casey is talented and interesting for the show, but I can’t imagine that AI/Iovine want him to win. He’s too much of a niche artist, and the last couple of weeks, since he’s dialed back his antics, I find his singing pretty ordinary and I think that his confidence has been badly shaken. Lauren’s confidence hasn’t come back yet, and from the clips that they show about her and comments made by Debra Byrd, it sounds like she’s constantly second guessing herself a lot. So far, they have portrayed Scotty as mature beyond his years and confident in who he is as an artist/singer. How close these depictions are to the reality is anyone’s guess, but I still see them setting up Scotty/Lauren for the finale (largely because they think that they can be the most commercially successful).

    ETA:

    After all- he knows that Scotty and Lauren will be in the top 2? And Casey in 3rd?

    In the TMZ update, James is the one who is consistently 3rd.

  • Incipit

    Nigel/AI wanting to be so connected with TMZ is really tacky. So are the EW photo shoots.

    Yes, but Idol always was – though they used to be much more covert about it – and leaked stories they wanted to spread quietly.

    So, who is Simon gonna use for his gossip mag buzzmaker? They need exclusives and scoops and somehow, I’m thinking Star and The Enquirer just don’t have the internet clout.

    Plus, all those Batboy stories – those are important news. Can’t be pre-empting them willy nilly.*snark*

  • claudette

    James is a shoo in to win. He’s been consistently top 3 apparently.

    We’ve had record number of votes, and some say there isn’t a star in the bunch? LOL. Every year, for some, they don’t like somebody and say the same thing. Now, we’ve only had 3 stars (Kelly, Carrie and Daughtry) but plenty have been busy with work.

    James has everything Adam had and much more. He’s got tons of fans. Scotty has a sincere, authentic voice and ability to tell a story. He’s got stage presence and charm. He is only 17 and can work on little stage mannerisms that if you aren’t overly critical of a kid you see the talent past that.

    Lauren is so relateable. Especially to young teens and tweens and moms love her. For example, she just tweeted her pic getting a facial with all this stuff on her face. She’s tweeted her hair in curlers. She laughs at herself. She knows she’s not the skinny perfect Hollywood girl Pia is. She wants to sing fun up beat songs.

    I see tons and tons of potential this year. Paul and his band can have good success. There’s a place for James, Scotty and Lauren. If people thought Adam could be a star, well James can come in and won’t make the same mistakes and I think he’ll be a media darling.

  • Elek

    In the TMZ update, James is the one who is consistently 3rd.

    @fuzzywuzzy:
    Are you that surprised that some people are actually barking at the wrong person(s)? LOL.

  • Elek

    @claudette:
    At last somebody is talking with great sense. Amen to all that you just said!

  • songsungblue

    Maybe it’s me, but I find James impossible to take seriously as a rocker. A rocker at a Disneyland resort, maybe.

  • koshka

    songsungblue says:
    04/12/2011 at 8:13 pm
    Maybe it’s me, but I find James impossible to take seriously as a rocker. A rocker at a Disneyland resort, maybe.

    LOL well the irony is that, that is exactly what will happen if he wins. James will become an AI product. He’ll have his picture taken with a 5 foot mouse & do a Disney parade, he’ll sing for Ford execs & at the Walmart shareholder meeting. This is one of those instances that I say a contestant is better off losing, rather than wining.

  • iluvai

    LOL well the irony is that, that is exactly what will happen if he wins. James will become an AI product. He’ll have his picture taken with a 5 foot mouse & do a Disney parade, he’ll sing for Ford execs & at the Walmart shareholder meeting. This is one of those instances that I say a contestant is better off losing, rather than wining.

    This is one reason I can see Scotty winning. He’d be perfect in this scenario. Actually Lauren too. And Paul with his goofy smile. :)

  • Trina

    Not just the Disney stuff (though as a father of a little boy I would imagine James wouldn’t have issues embracing Disney) but from a rawwk standpoint not the best move. Not to mention the idea of him having to belt out some cheestastic coronation song makes me queezy lol.

  • Shadow_i

    Nigel is just trying to spin this to get the anti Pia people to pipe down – but what really matters is Jimmy Lovine and his producers had their eyes on Pia win or loose, cause they know they can market her and she has the total package, and the sooner they can sign her and get her in the studio the better. All the producers that surrounds Jimmy Lovine like Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jenkins are the hit makers for stars like Beyonce, Rihanna and Jeniffer Lopez – they know what to do with Pia who is pop-soul too.

    Also, James, Pia and Scotty had the busiest boards numbers and that’s usually a clue of front runners. If Pia was really middle of the pack they they would have been making sure to remind people to vote for her, since it was clear they saw her potential. I don’t think Lauren was a front runner with idol fans even though she and Pia are two of my favorites I wanted in top 3 (I find Pia to be the best overall.) I know the producers know Lauren is marketable too though and always pimped her. She’ll probably be runner up and Scott will win. Anyway, what’s important is Pia is gonna be signed to Interscope and work with the likes of Rodney Jenkins and Ryan Tedder to put out music that appeals to the mainstream and international market who who don’t even watch idol. The more contestants that can have success from this season the better for idol’s image

  • karenc

    songsungblue says:
    04/12/2011 at 8:13 pm
    Maybe it’s me, but I find James impossible to take seriously as a rocker. A rocker at a Disneyland resort, maybe.

    I don’t either. He doesn’t seem like an authentic rocker to me at at all. Though I did like last week’s performance, and his Maybe I’m Amazed. Sometimes he seems to use too many rock cliches to me, like the burning piano.

    About Pia, I’m not surprised she wasn’t a frontrunner. I think a big part of the problem with her is doing so many ballads week after week. And when she did do something uptempo, the arrangement sounded very dated. I think the judges had the right advice, and that Jimmy Iovine and the music producers didn’t really help her much by telling her to keep doing ballads. But obviosly, they have ideas for her if they signing her.

    I could see if Scotty and Lauren are the frontrunners, and I think that’s what the producers wanted all along. Almost think sometimes it’s a bit manipulated to get this.

    Overall, I don’t really have a favorite this season, I’m still watching the show and I do enjoy it but I probably won’t be a fan of anyone after the show is over, like I have for the past few years.

  • songsungblue

    Also, James, Pia and Scotty had the busiest boards numbers and that’s usually a clue of front runners. If Pia was really middle of the pack they they would have been making sure to remind people to vote for her, since it was clear they saw her potential.

    Boards = twitter followers. Sanjaya had an incredible amount of postings when he on Idol, and we all know how that worked out.

    Pia is…pop soul? Really? The girl who sang the Celine Dion version of River Deep, Mountain High? LULZ She’s about as soulful as Tim Urban. :)

  • Lovesyesha

    Honestly, idol can say whatever they want, but just because Pia didn’t have the most votes doesn’t mean she didn’t have the most, or close to the most fans. Here are some reasons why she was a frontrunner:

    1. People assumed week after week that she was safe due to consistent and solid performances (and therefore would vote for 2nd or 3rd favs who weren’t such a certainty)
    2. She, even before her elimination, had one of the largest online contingencies (i.e. fb fans/twitter followers/polls, etc.)
    3. On Itunes, the only girls who ever had more reviews than her were Lauren and Haley on Elton John night. Otherwise Pia was the top girl in terms of itunes ratings
    4. There is a real world outside of these blogs, and the average viewer of American Idol is PISSED that Pia was eliminated
    5. I don’t see many little girls texting their fingers off or going online to vote for her, so while she may have had many phone votes, she probably didn’t have as many texts/online votes as others

    Overall, she was most certainly a frontrunner, and if she had lasted last week, regardless of what she sang, she would have sailed through the next few weeks because people would have been scared to lose her. When the season is over, more people will be interested in buying her album than stefano, paul, haley, jacob, james, and casey.

  • Swind

    So now AI let’s us know who has the most votes each week?! It sounds like Season 8 all over again when the “leaked info” came out that Alexis Grace and Lil Rounds were rumored to be shoe ins for the Top 4 by the producers. Look how that turned out.

  • jammasta

    I think a Scott/James finale with Scott winning would be most ideal.

    American Idol will be better to Scott than it will be to James, and James will have more freedom. Scott will have a little less freedom than James, but he’ll benefit much more strongly, I believe. And this way, neither of them gets the cursed 3rd place spot that becomes mostly ignored due to the finale hype.

    Lauren/Casey would be 3rd/4th, not necessarily in that order.

    I think Casey/Lauren would be perfect order. If Lauren gets 3rd, I think she’ll be hit a lot harder than Casey, exposure-wise. I think Casey is more popular, and I think he’s popular enough to be able to stay present through the finale hype.

    Who knows?

  • platoken

    Not

    a

    star

    in

    the

    bunch

    There’s no way of knowing. People didn’t think Carrie would be a star either and look what happened. And people thought Adam would be a megastar and look what happened. Lauren and Scotty have the most star power.

  • woohookitty

    I figured as much. Dial Idol isn’t as reliable as it once was, but Scotty has been up 2 to 1 over 2nd place just about every week

  • lucy

    If Casey can effectively be eliminated at #11 one week and now considered a sure-fire Top 3, why does Nigel not believe the same would not have happened for Pia?

    Because when Casey got advice and suggestions from the judges he tried to follow it? While Pia blithely ignored the advice she received repeatedly?

    just sayin

  • Fullmoon

    There’s no way of knowing. People didn’t think Carrie would be a star either and look what happened. And people thought Adam would be a megastar and look what happened. Lauren and Scotty have the most star power.

    Most people knew Carrie would be a star and it came out true. Not everyone said Adam would be a megastar only that he will be the one to outsell in his season which turned out to be true. It took Carrie several albums to become the huge star she is today so comparing Idols with one album makes no sense.

  • justjude

    I thought there was something wrong with me when I didn’t “get”
    why the judges were giving a standing O to Pia on the first show.
    After a couple more beautiful ballads I got it, and did not really
    like her performances so much anymore. I would say things like
    move /walk/ use your body and face to connect?? She never really did, even though the judges encouraged her to connect with her audience, and just to let go. Pia was so controlled,it was painful. She truely needed to find the emotions of the words and music she was supposed to interpret. But boy could that girl ever deliver the perfect pitch and tone of each ballad and she could climb those notes effortlessly all the way up and she could hold it like the perfect singer she is!
    I believe Pia will put out a beautiful album of beautifully sung
    ballads but if she wants to gain the status of an Icon, she will have to go back and practice in the school of life, and find a way to connect to all the colours of the many human emotions beyond
    just being Perfect, and she will have to learn to use her limbs and posture to further interpret emotions, sometimes evoking
    emotions all the way from miniscule and delicate to outrageous, and even rage.
    I understand she has just started to date Mark Ballas. He could help her dramatically if she understands where she is weak, as he
    is a master of dance and interpretation physically.
    Despite all this, she will still sell a very pretty song in a lovely package.