Does Idol even start until the Final 12? Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the prelims for sure, it’s just there isn’t much to the “contest” part until we get everyone singing on the same night, right? Whatever the case, now is as good a time as any to throw some opinions out on this year’s crop. In the past I have live blogged the performance shows as some sort of pop culture catharsis, but sadly this year I don’t get to see the performances until the next night (There’s this little show named LOST that moved to Tuesday nights that I figured I should pay attention to). So by the time I’m ready to wow you with my insight and predictions the cat firmly has four paws planted outside of the bag. So maybe instead, each Thursday, I will post my thoughts on the standout performances, America’s decision making, and possibly do some overall rankings and predictions on the season.
But before we get to that, is anyone else enamored by Simon’s inability to pronounce the letter g at the end of words? It’s somethink I’ve noticed as he’s helpink the contestestants with there sinkink and everythink, and now I can’t quit thinkink about it.
On to the performances….Big Mike (B+) Could be our darkhorse (more later).
DD (C-) Not long for the competition.
Casey (B) 9th place voice with 6th place appeal.
Lacey (B-) I like her voice, but a B or B- performance almost always goes home (more later)
Garcia (C) Rode his early performance of “Straight Up” into the final twelve, but there doesn’t seem to be too much more to him.
Katie (C-) Wants to put Connecticut on the map, which is good, personally I think all 50 states should be on there. Gone soon.
Tim (D) Worst performance of the night, which = safe for one more week.
Sibhan (A) My personal favorite, it’s like a female Lambert without the creepiness or one trick ponyness
Lee (B+) Jeremy Camp Jr. (heretofore referred to as JCJ) gets my other vote for darkhorse contender.
Paige (B-) Laryngitis eh? Nice.
Aaron (B) My least favorite but was really pretty good this week. He just has a little bit of that Archuletta precociousness to him that annoys me.
Crystal (A) Obviously the early favorite, which likely means 4th place and an amazing career anyway (more later). Simon said she may have been over-thinkink which made me wonder did he mean over-thinging and if so did he have a lisp and meant over-singing? I’m so confused.
America’s decision making:
Wrong choice, but not surprising, call it the curse of the B- (last season’s Top 12 and Top 11 eliminatees got a B- from me the week they went home). In the early stages you simply don’t want to be just south of a good performance. It leaves people with no passion to vote for your amazingness and no urgency to keep you from getting eliminated. If there’s anything my years of obsession with the Idol votes has taught me, it’s that sticking around is all about fanbase development and motivation. Lacey had very little of the former and zero of the later this week.
I’ve decided that there are three Idol archetypes that happen each season. The front runner that gets eliminated too soon, the dark horse that wins, and the polarizer that locks up second. Here are the likely candidates (resisting urge to make obscure LOST reference) for each of the three.
Let’s start with the Front-Runner
This slot has been occupied in the past by Jennifer Hudson (Season 3), Chris Daughtry (5), Melinda Doolittle (6), Brooke White (7), and Danny Gokey (8). Not all of which obviously have gone on to great things, but each were consider very likely to win early in their seasons. This year the obvious pick for front runner is Crystal, and I see no reason for that not to hold.
This is the most consistent and easy to predict of the archetypes. I babbled on incessantly the last two seasons about how Archuletta and Lambert were perfect polarizer picks, meaning they were guaranteed to come in 2nd, because they had the votes to get there but that as other people left, the votes “against” them would continue to pile on to the other remainders. Idol history is littered with the 2nd place polarizers. Before Adam and David there was Blake Lewis (6), Bo Bice (4), and Clay Aiken (2). You could even argue that Diana DiGarmo (3) and Justin Guarini (1) fit the mold (I would argue that Season 3 had no polarizers, but Diana did have her fervent fans and those who hated her). In fact, the only season that seems to completely contradict this theory is season 5 where Taylor Hicks (who should have been a polarizer) somehow managed to hypnotize the entire country into believing he could be a star over Kathrine McPhee. This year’s leading candidate has to be Siobhan, except for one thing, despite Simon’s insistence this week that some would hate her performance. I’m not seeing the backlash this season yet like I did with Archie and Lambchops. Time will tell.
The Dark Horse
This is probably the most important person to identify because it will likely be the winner. Kris Allen, Jordin Sparks, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, even Kelly Clarkson all fit. It’s hard to remember now but these people didn’t catch fire until very near the end which is so important when trying to pick up vote shrapnel from your fallen comrades. The season’s in which we see an early favorite winning (David Cook, Ruben Studdard) are the two seasons it became a two person race almost immediately. Season 2 everyone knew would be Clay or Ruben, and the battle of the Davids dominated season 7 once people realized Brooke just didn’t have the stage presence to pull it off. Point being, if this becomes Crystal vs. Siobhan, the whole dark horse thing goes out the window and the winner will be determined by which of those two ends up more endeared to the audience. But as it is right now, I select Big Mike or JCJ (fine, Lee) to play the spoiler role towards the end game, especially if JCJ can come out of his shell.
Official Week 1 predictions:
1st – Lee
2nd – Siobhan
3rd – Crystal
4th – Big Mike
5th – 12th – The others