Popularity won out over actual vocal talent and performance skills tonight as American Idol said goodbye to one of the Top 10.
I’m not naïve enough to believe that Idol is strictly a talent competition, but occasionally I’m lulled into a comfort zone where I forget. Tonight’s bottom three results rocked me out of that false sense of the right choices being made.
Chikezie was robbed tonight. I will grant you that his performance last night was not his best, but personally I was digging his Luther Vandross vibe. And he can’t always do the bluegrass mix thing to every song.
But the man did do some really original things over the last couple of weeks. He took some big risks – things that other contestants haven’t even ventured – and done them successfully. How could America let this underdog go so early in the game?
Chikezie had real potential. He was the guy with no experience coming into the game and he was making real progress on becoming a star. So he had an off week that was no reason to show him the door. I could have believe Chikezie showing up among the trio in jeopardy just to remind him of what was at stake, but there’s no way he should be saying goodbye.
But I was disappointed in more than Chikezie’s exit; I was shocked by the entire bottom three. Only one of my picks made for the in peril spots made the list and he – Jason Castro – was deemed safe right away.
Sure Syesha Mercado’s rain of ballads is wearing thin, but her performance this week was one of her better ones.
More importantly, who was missing from the Bottom Three that should have been there? Well, we know that Kristy Lee Cook’s patriotic song choice gave her a bye this week. But why wasn’t Ramiele Malubay courting the bottom rung?
She hasn’t done anything to impress me in weeks and last night was no different. In my opinion, she should have left with her buddy Danny Noriega. Exactly what is it about her that the voting public finds so endearing? Her timid cuteness wore off on me five forgettable ballads ago.
And what about David Archuleta? I know he’s a favorite of the judges. But I think it’s becoming clear that while he might have a nice voice, he doesn’t have star power. He’s limited to soft, slow songs. He has very little stage presence and has done nothing truly original.
Then there’s Jason. This guy survived tonight’s threat after openly admitting after his mediocre performance Tuesday that he should have practiced more. Except for his rendition of “Hallelujah” he’s done the same acoustic guitar type song every week. Is he taking this competition seriously? Is he even trying? And why are we giving this guy a free ride.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was very disenchanted with this week’s results.