American Idol Is Scott Borchetta Picking the Winner?

What happened to America’s vote? This week we went from a Top 10 to a Top 8. I hate the double elimination. Contestants leave too quickly and we don’t get enough chances to hear them sing. I REALLY HATE that the vote is no longer in the control of the viewers. Here are your bottom three, but the judges/producers get to decide which ones actually leave. What?!! Why?!! Why? Because this season of American Idol seems like it’s the let’s pay Scott Borchetta back for his support of this show and let him select who he wants to sign to his record label. I really think Idol is ending this year not because of low ratings, but because there are no record labels who want to be forced to sign whoever the viewers pick. It’s been a losing proposition for the record labels the past few seasons, hasn’t it?

As I suspected, Avalon and Olivia were vulnerable this week. But the producers knew exactly who was in the bottom 3 right after the vote, so they had all week to decide who they wanted to stay and who they wanted to leave. They influence the contestants’ choice of songs accordingly. I read that Olivia Rox wanted to sing the emotional ballad Killing Me Softly, but was encouraged to sing something upbeat. Then when the judges are “deciding” who to keep, they criticize Olivia for not singing something with emotional lyrics. Do you see what they did there? C’mon, it’s not like the judges are really deciding right then. For whatever reason, they didn’t want Olivia to continue, so they took the opportunity to get her out of the competition. I don’t believe they want Avalon either, but they must have thought this might be their only chance to get Olivia out of the way – remember, they can see the vote totals so they have an idea of how things will be going. I think Olivia and Avalon are both great and these are just my opinions of how the show works. What do you think? Do you agree?

This week, I bet the show would most like to see Lee and Avalon leave. I think the Bottom Three will be Lee, Avalon and Sonika. Hmmm…what would be a theme that would disadvantage the two singers who are most comfortable singing current hits (i.e., Lee and Avalon)? Maybe this week’s theme: The American Idol Songbook – the most performed songs in Idol history. Yep, it sounds like it would hurt Lee and Avalon and favor Sonika, doesn’t it?  Of course since Avalon sang for her life so well last week, it’s also possible that she got enough votes to avoid Bottom Three. Dalton had an off week and if he happens to end up in the bottom, say bye-bye to whoever is standing next to him, cause he’s not going anywhere.

I’m not excited by this week’s theme and hearing songs we’ve heard a zillion times, but at least it’s a theme. In the earlier seasons, most of the really unique cover versions of songs were a result of the contestant having to fit into one of the themes (for example, what will the rocker sing on r&b night?). Now it seems to be change up the song just for the sake of changing up the song, J Lo always asking for the contestants to “wow” them. I liked when the contestants had to use strategy to pick the right song that fit the theme and best showcased their talents. Now it seems the strategy is all on the part of the producers and Scott Borchetta, in their efforts to get their choice signed to his record label.

 

 

 

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Kelly Clarkson Comes Home to American Idol

A moment like this. Kelly Clarkson sure knows how to give us American Idol moments. On Thursday night, Kelly came home to the show that started her career. She was spectacular in every way. Her comments to the contestants were spot on and actually could be helpful to them (unlike the canned comments we often hear). Kelly was the judge that we have been missing for these past seasons. It was so fun to see her at the judges’ table. But it makes you wonder how much better the past few seasons could have been had Kelly been at that table.

After La’Porsha sang so amazingly, I thought “I wonder if Kelly wants to sing after that performance”. Ha! Kelly Clarkson has no fear! She got up there majorly preggers and killed  her song. She killed it! Piece by Piece was a heartbreaker. She proved that she is the greatest Idol of them all. And quite frankly, she also proved that the best bookend to Kelly Clarkson is none other than KELLY CLARKSON herself.

But alas, we are still searching for a bookend winner for Season 15 and there are some good choices. Standouts were La’Porsha, Dalton, Trent, Sonika and MacKenzie. I thought the weakest performances were given by Gianna and Tristan, but I think the viewers may send Gianna and Lee home. I think Olivia and Avalon are vulnerable. I hope Olivia is not hurt by having sung first (a notoriously tough position) and Avalon could be hurt by her lack of connection to her song. I like both Olivia and Avalon and want them to make it through. Let’s hope their fan bases came out to vote.

For now, I’ll content myself by listening to the triumphant Kelly Clarkson. It would be great if she remained on the show the rest of the season. Kelly – Don’t You Wanna Stay? Don’t You Wanna Stay – Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson

 

American Idol Ch-Ch Changes

Turn and face the strange. Changes are happening at American Idol. After announcing that the Top 10 would be split between 8 judges’ picks and only 2 audience wildcards, the show has done a turn-around. Now the judges will select 4 of the Top 10 and the other 6 will be selected by the viewers!

I’m really pleased by this because it at least takes us closer to the original format. The whole fun of the show is the audience getting to vote for their favorites. The cynic in me says that the show must be pretty confident about their 4 judges’ picks and that they figure they are safe to make this change to please the viewers. The show will also get the chance to see just how popular certain people are and if the audience ends up voting in all the WGWGs for example, the show can say “hey, that’s what the viewers wanted”.

It feels like the show will want to put through Dalton, La’Porsha, Tristan and maybe Trent. I think Mackenzie should be in that group too but I can also see them letting the audience decide whether it prefers Mackenzie or Thomas. Similarly, the audience can decide if it wants Jeneve or Jenn. Olivia or Avalon. Sonika or Gianna. You get the idea.

Let’s see what happens with the first 4 picks and wildcard performances. I am much more excited about this week’s shows now. Thank you, American Idol for getting back to basics.

 

 

 

American Idol Semifinals Let’s Get to the Voting Already

Ugh. Not being able to vote in the American Idol Semifinals really makes a difference. It’s just not as fun. And it makes everything look so phony baloney and staged.

I thought I would prefer this second group of contestants but I found last week’s show to be more entertaining. This week my favorites were Olivia Rox and Trent Harmon.

It’s tough to predict what the show plans to do but I’ll guess the ones going through are Dalton (d’uh), Trent, Olivia, Tristan, Lee, CJ and maybe Jenn. I hope they give Jenn another chance but they may think she’s too out there and be worried she’d make it on the wildcard. But if it’s not Jenn, then I’m not sure who it would be. I like Adam Lasher a lot but the show doesn’t seem to like him. They weren’t encouraging to Shelbie or Manny. And Kory – hmm, they don’t seem to think he has the wow factor. So that brings us to Amelia and it comes down to whether they want a quirky girl or a very young quirky girl. Since they already have a very young quirky girl in Jeneve, I think that tilts it towards Jenn.

One more thing: if neither Adam Lasher nor Kory Wheeler makes it through, then none of Haley Reinhart’s duet partners would make it. We all remember how much the show likes to dump on the talented Haley Reinhart, don’t we? Just sayin’.

 

 

 

American Idol Solo Round and Round We Go

Ohhhh, too many favorites this season. The solo rounds gave us performances from a fair number of contestants (hey, they only had an hour). And there was a lot to like. I kept saying “oh, I forgot about him” and “yeah, I like her too” throughout. When we got glimpses of the three rooms, I realized how many more unseen contestants are ones I like. This is going to be a tough elimination tonight as they bring the group down to 24. Particularly amongst the girls if they plan to make it even.

Loved MacKenzie Bourg and Olivia Rox’s original songs. Still liking the country girls, Emily Brooke and Shelbie Z and I found myself rooting for Malie Delgado. And there are of course all the others I’ve liked all along, there is a good deal of talent. When I try to pick just 24, I go round and round, it’s not going to be an easy cut.

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Photo Credit American Idol/Fox

The sad note tonight was seeing John Wayne Schulz go home. I was very surprised. He seemed like a great choice for Top 24. Keith muttered “what’s missing?” after he sang and I thought “nothing really”, but I guess the judges disagreed. His version of The Dance can be heard at his website JohnWayneSchulz so that’s what we’ve got to hang on to for now.

Who didn’t we see? Quite a lot of people but here are some I really wished we had seen last night:

Jenna Renae, Adam Lasher, Lindita Halimi, Jordyn Simone, Collette Lush – we haven’t seen enough of any of them. There are others I would have liked to have heard (Trent, La’Porsha) but at least we’ve seen a lot of them so far. I had no idea Issac Cole was still there and even Amelia Eisenhauer (who looked like a producer favorite) has been scarce.

Let’s see how it goes tonight!