Real-life stuff interrupted my Idol watching tonight. There’s this little thing called my j-o-b. Ya know–it pays the bills and stuff. An emergency came up and I had to work. Dang. Anyway, a co-worker and I managed to steal away for a bit and caught the last half of the show. I’m going to post a few brief thoughts now, and then a longer re-cap later after I have a chance to watch the entire show.
ETA: Recap edited to add pictures and more information. Also to reflect the fact that Melissa and Bucky were not explcitly referred to as “bottom three”.
Top 16 Results – Here’s your Top 12!
Bo Bice made an appearance to perform his single “The Real Thing” from the “almost” platinum record of the same name. Chris Daughtry, here is your future in AI–singing badly written, horribly produced songs. Seriously, find the best lawyer you can and reconsider that Fuel offer now. Bo does his best to rock up this throwaway bit of pop pap, and it’s useless. And he knows it. But he does his best. He still looks a little worn–I hope he’s recovering well from his recent bout of intestinal troubles. I hope “The Real Thing” does go platinum, so that he eventually gains enough clout to call a few of his own shots on his next record. Honest, I tried to listen to to “The Real Thing”, but each song bled into the next. Even after 3 listens I couldn’t remember any of it.
On with the eliminations.
Kinnik Sky – Kinnik never really stood a chance, though I have to give her props for making it through the entire semi-finals. I’m not even sure what she was doing in the Top 24, because what she was selling, the producers didn’t seem to be buying. A classy, refined R&B singer in the mold of a Latoya London from Season 4, There didn’t seem to be anything she could do to please the judges. Tuesday’s performance had some major pitch problems. That, and the little “pack your bags” speech from Simon did her in. Her singout featured improved vocals and fewer pitch problems. And she gave a sweet speech afterward, thanking her family and friends. Kinnik was a class act, all around.
Will Makar – Tonight, Will’s singout reminded me again what great vocal chops this kid has. In another season, not only would he have made the Top 12, but would have stuck around to tour with the Top 10. And if he had waited a few years to try out, he would have been a force to be reckoned with. I think he was robbed of a spot in the Top 12, but he’s young–delaying the showbiz thang until after he graduates High School is probably a good thing for him in the long run.
Will’s main competition were some of the other teen boys–David Radford and Kevin Covais who, I think, competed for some of the same votes. The consistently negative critiques Will received from Simon and Randy helped seal his fate, I’m afraid. On the other hand, Kevin, a really gutsy, likable kid, had Paula and Randy on his side. When Simon stepped in to criticize him, I think the viewers felt compelled to rescue him. In the end it was Kevin Covais who moved on. Now that Kevin has made the Top 12, my only fear is that this young kid is going to be vilified–especially if he outlasts contestants who are deemed more vocally worthy. Let’s call it John Stevens Redux. I fear for him, seriously.
Ayla Brown – I said in my recap Tuesday night that viewers, irked by Simon’s harsh treatment of Melissa McGhee might be motivated to step up and vote for her, displacing one of the favorites. And it turned out, Both were standing on the seal, but Melissa was in and Ayla Brown was out. If Ayla had sung a ballad, and Simon had been a little kinder to Melissa, those roles may have been reversed. Having said that, I really admire Melissa for fighting so hard for her spot. I think she’s a good singer, and if she had been featured more prominently, I think her entry into the Top 12 would have been easier. Ayla, proved herself a hard worker and a fierce competitor. She picked songs the first two weeks that were perfect for her style and vocal abilities. Unfortunately, she stumbled this week, choosing a song that was outside her comfort zone. The choice resulted in an ordinary, awkward performance that made her vulnerable. Ultimately, though, I think Ayla would have had problems completely shaking off that “perfect little rich girl” image. The audience loves an underdog, and struggling to succeed in boys football notwithstanding, Ayla could never have fit that role. If she had made the Top 12, she would have been picked off early. Though Melissa is in, she will have to continue to fight as the competition becomes even fiercer in the Top 12.
Gedeon McKinney – This boot really disappoints me. I think Gedeon absolutely deserved a spot in the Top 12. Unfortunately, while Gedeon is an extremely talented singer, I don’t think he was able to connect with the audience. Not only did he suffer from an initial lack of screen time–once he was introduced to the viewers, they had a hard time warming up to his peculiar personality. If he had been introduced early and continually featured, I think he would have grown on folks. He sure grew on me. Best of luck to Gedeon–his absence will be a real loss to the Top 12. Like Melissa, Bucky Covington, (who stood on the seal with Gedeon) advanced to the Top 12 despite little screen time and lukewarm support from the judges. Nevertheless, Bucky has been accumulating fans along the way, and whether his fan base is big enough to carry him very far, remains to be seen. If he’s to last past the first couple of weeks, I think Bucky is going to have to step it up a bit–really come out of the box with a “wow” performance in order to broaden his appeal.
Ok, and tell me I was just hallucinating. Those weren’t actually the Brittenum twins sitting in the audience. I mean, the producers wouldn’t reward those asshats with even more Tee Vee time, would they? No, they couldn’t…