American Idol Top 7 Results: No Surprise
Right around 8:55 PM last night, I found myself shaking my head and laughing a little bit. Perhaps American Idol has lost the ability to shock me anymore. Or maybe last night didn't shock me at all. I'll come back to these thoughts after a quick rundown of the show.
The night starts out with the contestants singing "Raise Your Glass" and it's sort of terrible in a good way. I liked some of the vocals, but the dancing was, well, not so good. I also still have yet to get the image of Phillip and Colton on the couch out of my head, thank you ever so much, American Idol.
There's a forgettable Ford video and some joking around with the contestants about tweets and fan mail. I don't mind filler, but we all know Colton and Hollie aren't going to prom with strangers. Colton will still be on the show, and Hollie...
Hollie and Jessica are up first, and once more, Jimmy pits them against each other. I don't think anyone is comfortable with this, at all. All it does is make Hollie's fans vote for her even more. Ryan splits them up to two sides of the stage.
James Durbin performs his song "Higher than Heaven" next. I'm not a fan of this type of music, but James was always at least entertaining in his season, and he didn't disappoint. I'm not sure about the hair, but he seems to be doing well for himself.
Phillip and Elise are next, and Jimmy talks on and on about being a singer-songwriter versus a technical singer and I sort of scratch my head. The problem I have with Jimmy's critiques of late is how black and white they are in terms of what kind of singers people are, when I think there are more gray areas than that. I do think Phillip and Elise gave the best answers they could when Ryan asked what hey thought. Elise joins Jessica and Phillip joins Hollie.
Jennifer Hudson and Ne-Yo perform "Think Like a Man" next. I'm always amazed at Jennifer's transformation. I wasn't as shocked as everyone else at her elimination back in season 3, because she was all raw talent back then. The performance here was fantastic.
Colton and Joshua are next. Jimmy has nothing but praise for them, and I can't say that he was wrong. Colton joins Phillip and Hollie, while Joshua walks over to Elise and Jessica. Skylar is left on the couches. Jimmy loved her and she is safe. Ryan asks her to choose a group-this tactic has been used for seasons upon seasons-and she sits on the couches. Ryan leads Skylar to Hollie, Phillip and Coloton, as they are all safe.
After last night's performance show, where everyone gave a solid performance, I knew the bottom three could possibly be anyone. I would have been more surprised to see Phillip and Colton in the bottom, but it's still interesting to see Elise, Joshua and Jessica there. Joshua is sent to safety first.
Two notes here: Ryan never said the bottom two were Jessica and Elise, and Steven Tyler pretty much gave the game away when he said there was no way the judges weren't using the save.
Jessica is announced as the bottom vote giver, and the judges save her accordingly. It's all a bit staged to me, although the producers do know the results, so I can't say as I blame them for trying to create a moment.
So. A lot of people are thinking how could this happen, and why am I not surprised, right? Well, I've been watching American Idol since Season 2, and voting patterns are pretty easy to see anymore. At this stage Idol fans are in three groups: casual fans who just like the show, hardcore fans who vote and follow the careers of the contestants, and people who only watch the show for certain contestants. Casual fans tend to vote only in the finale, and the last group only vote for the people who they tune in to watch for. Which means Jessica had to appeal to the hardcore fans.
I think she doesn't get their vote for a lot of reasons. She's so young, she comes across as someone who has nothing else but her singing. She reminds me of Pia a little bit in that she is probably the best singer in the competition, but I don't really know much else about her. If there is one thing American Idol can say about their winners, every one of them has had a likability factor, something other than vocals that people can hang on to and vote for. Jessica hasn't really presented that. I'm not saying that she isn't likable: she seems like a nice kid, but when someone her age says 'I've been working hard all my life' it's a little troubling. So combine that with the fact she performed a relatively unknown song in the middle of the show, that her group had a terrible performance, and that she seemed untouchable, I can see why she didn't get the power votes and ended up in last place. Does it bother me? Sure. But the save guarantees her a couple of more weeks, and I could see Phillip or Colton's fan base getting complacent and one of them going next week. I don't know.
Next week the contestants on American Idol are singing two songs, which is always a great way of showing strength and weakness in singers, so it will be interesting to see how things play out.