I was checking out Ken Barnes’ Idol Meter over at USA Today, and I’m kinda surprised they have Danny Gokey all they way down at #7, only Scott MacIntyre and Megan Corkrey are behind him.
It’s true, between Tuesday’s villain edit of Danny’s video package, and Simon’s “clumsy and amateurish” comment after his performance, TPTB seem to be moving on to a new Chosen One.
They’ve been trying to pimp Matt Giraud to America the past few weeks–giving him the pimp spot one week, and (over)praising his performances and calling him a dark horse and a front runner. But, with Matt’s appearance in the B3 this week (Seacrest’s language was too specific–don’t think they were pulling a fast one), America seems to be saying “No, no no…”
There’s something about Matt that’s not connecting with the audience. He’s not coming across as either humble or accessible, and I think that’s killing him. I actually understand why TPTB view him as a potential winner–his voice records beautifully, and of all the contestants, he’s got the most commercial potential. But in light of America’s resistance, I expect the producers to dial back the praise.
Who will the producers turn to next? Let’s look at the Top 3 contestants in Ken Barns’ Idol Meter.
If Adam Lambert keeps his look and his performances Middle-America safe, he could run away with this thing. More audacious performances like “Ring of Fire”–however awesome–won’t do it for him. Plus, if he can prove to TPTB that he’s got a current sound, he’ll get them on board as well. That’s why this week is crucial for Adam. He needs to put together a performance that’s palatable to the masses, but still unique–but above all current. This week’s theme–#1 downloads–gives him the opportunity to prove that he’s not only one-of-a-kind and mad talented, but that he has the potential to be a viable recording artist as well.
I don’t think Kris Allen can win, but I do think a 5-3 placement is absolutely possible, if he keeps doing what he’s been doing the past couple of weeks–putting together performances that highlight his soulful vocals and sweet personality. Unlike Matt, Kris is coming out of his shell and viewers are responding. At this rate, Kris could outlast the other soul boys, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai and perhaps even Danny Gokey.
Allison Iraheta had an incredible performance last week, but she’s not out of the woods yet. This week, after having the pimp spot, she might perform first–a potential death spot for contestants on shaky ground. Allison has to keep delivering stellar performances and–this is really important–the freaking producers have to get behind her. She deserves it. She outsings most of this bunch–including Lil Rounds who continues to disappoint. With good performances and producer support, Allison could make it to the finals. But, unfortunately, Allison could wind up in the B3 again if she doesn’t deliver the goods and/or gets lukewarm critiques from the judges. If her end-of-show re-cap highlights a weak vocal, she could be in trouble.
That brings me back to Danny Gokey. I can’t help but believe there’s still a ton of support out there for Danny, judges de-pimping and buzz meters be damned. With consistent performances week to week, I don’t think he’s been losing fans. The key is for Danny to pick up new fans as others fall away. If he does, he’ll stay in the race no matter what. If not, he’ll continue to lose steam–possibly not making the Top 5. If his viewer support stagnates, the judges may not even save him from a surprise boot.
The others: Anoop Desai has a shot at winning if he can put together strong, current-sounding performances over the next few weeks. He’s got the buzz and the fan base, all he needs to do is build on it. But his performances have been uneven throughout the competition. Unfortunately Anoop’s problem–lack of a clear artistic identity–can’t be fixed in a week or two. But, with some decent performances, I think Anoop has a shot at the Top 5.
Megan Corkrey is surviving on the hot girl/Worster vote–with an emphasis on hot girl. She’s the Haley Scarnato/Kristy Lee Cook of this bunch. I think she’ll make mid-pack easy. She’ll just keep doing what she’s been doing (clueless, off pitch interpretations of whatever) and she’ll keep gliding along until the vote-splitting leaves behind strong contenders who have gathered enough steam to outlast her. Ditto Scott MacIntyre who I don’t think is picking up new fans week by week either. Like Megan, he’ll eventually be outpaced by others whose fanbases are growing. Scott could be the next one to go.
That leaves Lil Rounds who has not lived up to her early hype. Her past couple of performances were disappointments that even the judges wouldn’t support. Out of 7 seasons, only Season 5 was without an African American R&B singer in the Top 4. Paris Bennett rounded out the Top 5 that year. Could Season 8 buck that trend? Could Lil leave the competition at mid-pack? I think it’s unlikely for two reasons: If Lil is eliminated in the next few weeks, the judges would probably save her. Plus, as the only African American female R&B singer, she’s not splitting votes like the boys are right now. And, as some of the soul boys leave, she could pick up some of their votes. I say she makes the Top 5, no matter what.
So who could win this thing? I think Adam Lambert, and Allison Iraheta–and possibly Danny Gokey, are in the running. I need to change my overall pool pick this weekend. I may take a chance on Adam Lambert, who by the way, when you consider the entire package–stage presence, originality, charisma and vocal skill–has got it going on. At this point, no one can touch him, if you ask me.
A couple of other items: A few articles have been popping up–one from EW’s Ken Tucker who isn’t an Idol fan, and another from the always snarky Lane Brown from New York Magazine’s Vulture blog. Both are in enthusiastic support of the Judges Save, and the resulting “drama” which they find entertaining and hilarious. To which I answer, “What drama?” Thursday night’s contrived playout of the save–complete with a fake judges’ conference and Simon “pretending” they hadn’t made up their minds yet didn’t even fool Michael Sarver. The fake drama is boring as sh*t. I don’t understand why the producers are attempting to manufacture drama when there’s so much real drama to be found as the kids struggle to make it through week to week. Just. Totally. Lame.
Speaking of Michael Sarver. Nicest guy in the world. I think he’s more talented than we’ve seen on the Idol stage, but his lack of experience did him in. It was time for him to go, but I wouldn’t have minded Scott or Megan instead.
And sorry if I can’t get hot and bothered over the lip syncing bru-ha-ha. Although lip syncing the results show group songs is a new development this year, I don’t think using backing tracks is a new thing. The kids have been getting a little technical help for a few years now. Add bad lip syncing to the list of what makes group songs so awesome: Horrible choreography executed horribly, hilarious jazz hands, the kids making rolly-eyes while they perform. What I can’t get on board with is taping the performances ahead of time. That just ruins the spontaneity and the fun. The taped-ahead Motown group sing was ridiculous, hopefully that was a one time thing. I want my pointy pose!