Thursday, May 27, 2010
Hey RT! I hope this isn't the last blog just yet! I love the post-season wind-down discussions.
I wish I knew why America gets it so wrong. After watching the snoozefest this season, then seeing some of the booted-early contestants come back as special guests and shine, I have a pretty obvious theory.
I believe Idol decides sometime in the season who they WANT to win. They then employ all the subtle/sledgehammer-to-the-face methods at their disposal to force this outcome. Bottom Three headgames, judges comments, lighting and arrangement, last-minute song choice changes, Performance Order, etc. In doing so, they sabotage some better singers, who simply get in the way of the Chosen One. It's interesting when they assassinate some folks in the 3 or 4 spot, so that TCO can go up against a weaker opponent. The most blatant example of this is the Jordin/Blake debacle. While Blake was entertaining, wasn't he really just more of an amusing novelty? Jordin, on the other hand, was the "right" age to pimp the hell out of, but was she better than Melinda Doolittle? Come on. Melinda was "too old". What happened then was Idol was stuck with a linebacker with a pleasingly bland voice and tried to market her to indifferent teens. The most amazing thing is she never quite goes away, because they pair her with money magnets like the Jonas Brothers and Chris Brown (pre-Rihanna scandal). On her own she'd be an anchor.
Variations on this strategy happened many times. Idol knows they can count on Middle America to vote for the simple-minded choice (the GWB analogy was right on the money) so we wind up with Taylor, Nikki McKibbon, Josh Gracin, Syesha, etc. making it inexplicably far. There's also the "reality show" factor where voters like to see weirdos (and VFTW plays into this) and so you get those outliers. I can think of many bitter singers who get booted early, and as they sing out are clearly thinking of the caterwaulers who survive beyond them. Ashley Rodriguez, this season, looked like she was ready to cut a bitch on her way out.
Seasons 1-4, we agree with your right/wrong take on fickle America.
Season Five is an example of how it should have been Daughtry in the top 2. But Kat McPhee sabotaged herself, IMHO. America could tell she has the personality of a porcupine enema. She has struggled ever since Idol to find a niche, despite forays into several genres. Say what you will about Tay-tay, his album sales are nearly double Katpee's.
Season Six, not only did America get it wrong but it should have been someone outside the top two. Looking back, Season Nine was really Season Six Redux, it was so full of WTF contestants.
Seven was a much better season.
I have to disagree with you on the Cook/Archuleta post-Idol sales record, however:
Cook debut album: sold 1.28 million, ranked #403 on Amazon in "music".
Archuleta debut album: sold 751,000, ranked #1,186 in "music".
Archuleta's Christmas album sold another 211,000.
So, combined sales of Archie's TWO albums have yet to eclipse Cookie's ONE. Granted, Archie has one coming out this year, but these are the stats as of right now.
Eight, a no-brainer. When we saw the Idol Tour last year, it was like the concert was over after Adam performed (they had the Idols appear in the order they were voted off). People actually got up and left, not everyone, but enthusiasm waned in the room. Dr. L said it was like it was backwards: Adam rocked the effing house, then Kris came out and put us all to sleep with a slow bunch of tunes. Not bad, just weak.
So, who's voting? That's the question. I only voted twice this season, once to try and keep Casey in, just because I had come to despise the pimpage of Lee, and again, for Crystal, because I knew she was going to lose. At least I can feel better knowing I voted my ass off both those critical times.
Just like I did with GWB, and with the same shitty result :)
Posted by DrL/K at 4:40 PM