by: Mark Gardner Davis
American Idol voters, you stink.
But first, the show.
Opening medely fun, even James did okay on The Letter Im sure Paul found it hard to hold up a fist and scream, Repazent! when they finished the Skynyrd tune.
Id never heard of Constantine Maroulis, who apparently was a season 4 contender, but when the camera moved up on this long haired microphone-gripper with a scarf tied to the mike stand in a shameless smooch to Steven Tyler, my douche bag radar went off like an air raid siren. He sang Unchained Melody, which was already a bit overdone, and he really overdid it; it came out burned on top like a pan of biscuits left in the oven five minutes too long. He seemed like a nice enough guy in the interview, but send me a warning when he approaches the stage next time.
Hey, I didnt know you could say shit on network TV! I guess you can if your name is Iggy Pop. Ive always loved this freak, though Real Wild Child is one of his weaker hit songs. Who knows, maybe hes tired of singing The Passenger.
And then the bottom three.
Jacob, Stefano and Pia. Whats wrong with 2/3 of this picture?
Stefanos had a good run and is certainly better than a lot of the people who’ve gotten cut (but not recently), but Jacob? Pia? They’re both top-echelon. Yeah, Jacobs statement that if he was eliminated it was because America Couldn’t look itself in the mirror was pretty damn pompous, but you expect ego and attitude from people that talented. As long as he belts out the tunes like a champ, its a small crime. And Pia? Really?
And then the judgment came down. Pia is out.
Im glad to see that the judges were all as totally floored by this judgment call as I was when I found out. It wasn’t hard at all to read the WTF? on Randy’s lips, and Jennifer looked like one of her own children had just fallen down a well. Mr. Cool Ryan Sea crest even seemed a bit disturbed. When asked, all three judges responded, well, as they should have. Absolutely confounded. Ms. Toscone herself was very well composed, no tears, all in order like a pro. Im sure the waterworks came later, but she was ready for her final song which she threw down, as always, like a star. After it was over, that camera shot of Jennifer again, hands up, shaking her head in disbelief pretty much said it all.
I don’t live in the U.S. and therefore can’t vote in this contest, so I guess I have an excuse. In the long run, again, it’s just a game show, and of course Pia could have done her career worse than making it into the top nine of a high-profile TV show. She’ll be on the tour and no doubt she, like Scotty, could survive a cut and go one to a very successful career. We shall see.
The results show a few of the flaws in the voting system on this show.
I’ve heard a lot about the cute boy syndrome on the show, where young girls vote for whoever they think is the most dishy male singer. This explains the continued presence of both James and Stefano and to a lesser degree, Paul (who has some modicum of talent). Conversely, the same girls tend to be a bit catty with the female singers, so maybe someone like Pia, who is astonishingly beautiful and talented, is a bit too much competition for the little Heathers out there. The cushiony Lauren is maybe more acceptable but then there’s Haley, so I dunno. Not a perfect theory.
Scotty, Lauren and Paul may have an extra layer of protection around them because they’re southerners. We have constituted a disproportionate number of Idol winners, because we tend to support our own and because, well, we take music seriously because it’s something we’re just damn good at. Deal with it, United Statesians.
I’d like to think it’s because of his talent, but maybe Jacob is now benefitting from being the only black contender left. It didn’t keep him out of the bottom three this week, however.
It hurts, though, to see such a talent step off the stage, but that’s what’s always going on here.
Pia darling? I’m a big fan. You’ve got tremendous charisma onstage, you’re beyond gorgeous and your voice makes me happy to be alive. You’re a star, baby. Don’t stop singing, whatever you do.
So it’s eight now.
American Idol voters? I beg you; next week SEND JAMES DURBIN HOME.
He has worn out his welcome for this international viewer.