Friday, April 13, 2012

American Idol Top 7 "Shocker"

Article first published as American Idol Top 7 "Shocker" on Technorati.

So, big news last night on Idol.  Jessica Sanchez, an obvious judge favorite was nearly sent home.  After receiving the lowest number of votes, the judges cut her off while she "sang for her life" and used their only save of the season.  My question is this:  Are we really so shocked by this outcome?

Anyone who has watched American Idol these 11 seasons as I so faithfully have will attest to the fact that this ALWAYS happens EVERY season. Maybe not this early, but it happens.  The way I see it, it's a formula.  The judges, these three in particular, rally behind their favorite contestants and shower them week after week with praise.  They bound out of their chairs as if catapulted to deliver repeated, often unwarranted, standing ovations.  When overused, the standing O certainly loses its punch.  The constant on-their-feet applause leaves me pining for the days of Simon Cowell.  Likewise, they are often rendered speechless by the contestants they deem less worthy and offer meaningless morsels of appreciation such as "You look beautiful tonight."  The audience gets complacent and/or lazy and doesn't vote as as much as they used to for the "apparent" leaders.  Also, fans of the underdog come out in full-force and power vote for the save.  The fact that Joshua Ledet, the absolute clear favorite, was also in the bottom three tells me that this is likely the case.

But I have another theory that is likely to be less popular.  Jessica Sanchez simply doesn't connect with the audience.  Admittedly, I had tears in my eyes when she sang I Will Always Love You in the Top 12 show.  That performance was flawless.  But so is that song.  And in my opinion, she did very little to stray from Whitney Houston's interpretation and arrangement.  For a 17-year-old, or at any age for that matter, she is a technically superior singer.  She is truly gifted, and there is no denying it.  Still, I feel a disconnect when she sings and haven't voted for her since that first week.  Her performances don't touch me the way some others do.  Could it be that I'm not the only voter who senses this?

I feel that Steven Tyler's statement, "We are going to use our Judges' Save tonight" was premature.  Elise Testone was also in the bottom three and has been there off and on since week one.  To save her would have been utterly foolish.  I actually don't disagree with using the save for Jessica.  They have to use it before the Top 5 anyway.  Up until last night, I would have assumed that she would at least make it to the Final 3.  I certainly would have used it if Joshua had been the one receiving the lowest votes.  But now, two contestants will go home next week.

If I may now indulge the reader in the contestant whom I felt was most worthy of a standing ovation last Wednesday....Colton Dixon.  His performance of Love the Way You Lie had me on the edge of my seat and left me with chills.
This poor guy has never received the ultimate price of seeing the judges on their feet.  He has received abundant praise, but geez...throw the kid a bone!  And more importantly, send the message to the voters that you feel this guy could win it.

I think that Holly Cavanaugh and Elise Testone will go home next week, or at least they should. Anything other than that outcome will prove the judges' save was costly.


  1. I love Colton too. My favorite was his version of Piano Man! I think the whole thing is a set up honestly to drum up more viewers, so PR, and more voters.

    1. This happens to me most every season on Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. I develop a crush. Typically, the recipient is at least 10-15 years younger than I.

  2. Beth is right on. I have watched every season, but have fallen off voting as of the last few years. But I'll vote this week because Joshua is my favorite and should win it all.

  3. I miss Simon, too. I miss those days when it was so hard to get his approval and yet when somebody does get it, it feels so good and so well deserved. I do agree with the judge's save, however. It would have been a waste to see Jessica though. As for Colton, I hope he doesn't become disheartened even if he doesn't get a standing ovation. His music has real emotion that connects well, one that is authentic and sincere. I really appreciate that whenever I listen to his music.


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