Friday, February 29, 2008

There are no surprises on Idol

There's a funny post from our fellow-Idol blogger, the L.A. Times' Richard Rushfield, where in over-the-top style he laments:

Rarely in the history of competitive singing has the cruel, inexplicable hand of fate struck so mighty and unexpected a blow as it did last night when in one remorseless swoop, it removed both Alaina Whitaker and Alexandrea Lushington from our lives forevermore. ...

But on stage we saw last night that bitter shock as the room realized, with the beheading of Alaina, that on any night, anyone could go. Last week's dismissals were uniformly warranted and not unexpected, their pain thus muted (to all but Ramiele). But to lose two such promising, seemingly sure contenders at once, and so early, seems almost too cruel a blow for an "Idol" connoisseur to bear.
Leaving aside Rushfield's unique way of expressing himself, others on the blogosphere seem genuinely shocked that Alaina was cut--you could even hear Alaina wail on the show last night, "But I can sing!"

Uh... since when did being able to sing prevent someone from getting cut on Idol?

Wasn't Alaina watching the night Jennifer Hudson got the axe, leaving such vocal stalwarts as Jasmine Trias and John Stevens on stage?

Or how about when Mandisa was cut even though Ace Young and Kellie Pickler were still hanging around?

Not that Alaina's in the same class as those two, despite what she--and her mom, did anyone else notice how she was glaring the entire time?!--might think.

If nothing else, American Idol teaches us that being really good at one thing isn't enough in this 21st century world of ours. You need the sizzle as well as the steak to succeed.

And, if you're gonna depend on the whims of the voting public, you should accept there's gonna be some random/seemingly illogical decisions (maybe someone should explain to Alaina about George W. Bush/Al Gore/Florida).

But we put up with it... because sometimes the voting public sees things even brilliant experts don't, and those surprises are the sweetest. Just ask Taylor Hicks... or Barack Obama.

And honestly, I wasn't surprised when Alaina got cut--she's a decent singer, but she's not that good, and there's nothing compelling whatsoever about her.

When it comes to personality, I'm with Eileen--there's something very interesting about Kady, maybe that she's so obviously struggling between being herself and being her version of what a pop star is.

I'd much rather keep her around and see if she can pull out of her slump; like Simon, I think she has the potential to win it all, or at least be there at the end.

Whereas Alaina struck me as just another not-bad young singer.


Anonymous said...

No, you heard it wrong, Eileen -- Alaina was crying, "I can't sing!" meaning she was too overcome with emotion to perform. She did not cry that she "could sing," as in she had actual talent and how could this be happening to me, etc. I just DVR-ed the moment to verify. She cried that she can't sing, she was embarrassed b/c she was crying, then she obviously regained control and was able to do it.

Anonymous said...

ADD TO ABOVE POST: I meant to start, "You heard it wrong, Jamshid," sorry -- I did not realize Eileen was not the blogger. Oops.

Jamshid Mousavinezhad said...

Hmmm, listening to it a few more times, I think you're right--especially since watching Alaina's face, she does seem embarrassed about crying, not angry about losing. Thanks for the catch!

Sunny said...

I love to read Richard, he's fun, and was spot on regarding the ladies' elimination. I thought Alaina and Alexandrea would be in this for a while longer.

There seems to be a change too in the way the contestant's family and friends are reacting than in years past. Previously the fallen Idol's support system present would at least try to smile through their tears, now they stand there and outright glower. Alexandrea's Pop looked downright angry.

Anonymous said...

But we put up with it... because sometimes the voting public sees things even brilliant experts don't, and those surprises are the sweetest. Just ask Taylor Hicks... or Barack Obama.

Well said. Amen!

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