Wednesday, April 08, 2009

American Idol Top 8 Results

Who should have been eliminated: Matt Giraud

Who I predicted would be eliminated: Matt Giraud (extremely low confidence on that)

Who was eliminated: Scott MacIntyre

The most certain thing about this week of American Idol is that my ears heard completely different things during both the Giraud and MacIntyre performances compared to just about everyone else.

Idol junkies have become quite familiar with the Dial Idol website, which makes predictions based on some sort of scientific formula involving the number of busy signals. Based on their formula last night, only Adam Lambert was certain to be safe. In fact, in a surprise to me, Kris Allen was at the very bottom and many expected that he could be in real danger of being eliminated tonight.

However, in a bit of a blow to the overall reliability of Dial Idol, Kris was not even in the Bottom Three. Instead, the trio was composed of two people I did predict would be there; Lil Rounds and Anoop Desai, as well as Scott.

It was Lil's first trip to the silver stools, but she was the first one sent to safety. Later on, Seacrest informed us that out of 34 million votes, only 30,000 separated the bottom two of Anoop and Scott. My initial thought of course was that the Democrats figured out a way to steal this one too.

Before the final announcement was made, Scott had a bit of a goofy smile on his face, but Anoop looked majorly pissed off once again, as if he were convinced that he would be at the bottom and have to "sing for his life." When Seacrest announced it was Scott, did appear that Anoop looked genuinely surprised. Personally, I was a bit agnostic about this final match up. Frankly, I was just relieved that Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen were both safe. For some odd reason, in my rankings last night, I decided that Scott was just narrowly a little better than Anoop. Despite that, there is absolutely no doubt though that throughout the entire competition, Anoop has been much better than Scott and is the better singer. So, while my formula for last night alone would have had Anoop leaving instead of Scott, I do not know if that result really would have made me happy.

Scott was given a chance to reprise Survivor's "The Search Is Over" in order to take part in the complete facade that the judges might save him. He had to do it without his familiar piano or the electric guitar as he used last night. Without the guitar, it might have come across as less awkward. Vocally though, it was about the same as last night, or maybe even a bit worse on one bum high note. Personally, I still sort of liked it, while realizing that there are hundreds of singers who could have done it better. I think it just has to be because I have disliked every song Scott has done thus far until last night and that is what threw me off into thinking it was better than it was. I am sure that those who thought Scott was terrible last night will not have changed their minds. I did not think he would even be in the bottom three, but apparently America did decide that it was worse than they thought and no amount of sympathy or support from the "Worsters", who have now seen their pick leave the last two weeks.

While Scott was singing, the judges were in the midst of another of their fake conversations as to if he were worthy of saving. As I expected they would try to do on the show, a debate ensued after the performance was over, with Simon announcing that the total was two in favor of the save and two opposed. Still though, they continued to pretend to haggle in oddly silent ways, while Scott unfortunately felt the need to verbally do a little pleading on his own behalf, as if it could have made any difference. But with just enough time left for the "Home Sweet Home" video montage to Scott to air without the show running over time, Scott was told it was the end for him.

Once again, I do not know the theme for next week, but Anoop should certainly be concerned. He has seen much of his previous fan base go off to Matt and/or Kris. For the second straight week, he was in the bottom two, and was only narrowly saved from the bottom this week, even though he received much better comments from the judges and demonstrated much less arrogance than the week before. For him, it is going to take some amazing performances or some serious stumbles by others to stick around for more than a week or so at most. There is also bad news for Lil, who while safe this evening, has now broken the Bottom Three Seal. Perhaps, her racial background will allow her to do what other singers such as Syesha Mercado have done in the past in regards to making multiple trips to the bottom three and surviving. There has always been an African-American female R&B type singer in the Top 4 in every season of Idol. Lil though seems to really be getting worse as this competition is going on. The pressure on her must be great, but she is not giving great performances and is also even sounding pretty bad on the group numbers. Barring a very strong performance, she can expect to at least be in the bottom three every week for now on until she goes. Every eliminated contestant she outlasts will make the math tougher for Lil.

Looking at things in a broader sense, I think this season is unfolding pretty much as could be expected, with the exception of the early ouster of Alexis Grace. The other five booted finalists were pretty much not on par vocally with those that remain. Three weeks ago, I said if there was any Idol justice, the next three to go (and open up the tour shows) would be a combination of Scott, Michael Sarver, and Megan Joy. That is indeed what has happened. I also said then that there were seven singers who a case could be made for as far as if they either could or should win the whole thing. Those are the seven that are now left. Let's not forget though just how over the top the pimping of the front-runners by the judges and producers seems to be this year though. They really seem intent on a Danny Gokey vs. Adam Lambert Finale (with Adam winning) and are willing to try to manipulate things in that regard.

In closing, anyone who watches this show ought to give a heck of a lot of credit to Scott MacIntyre, for the challenges he has overcome in his life and what he demonstrated on this show. He may not be the best undiscovered talent in America, but he is an impressive man nonetheless. I read somewhere that his sister, who is also visually impaired, and has frequently been seen in the audience, is scheduled for a kidney transplant in about a week or so. I also read that Scott had the same operation about a year and a half ago. I have no way of confirming that information, but if that is true, it just has to make one respect Scott even more and wish his family the best. In a sense, it is good that he will have the opportunity to be with his family at this time if that is indeed what is going on with his sister.

So, farewell to Scott, who joins a growing list of Arizonans who failed in their bid to be the American Idol. That list is almost as long as failed Arizona politicians who tried to be elected President. Maybe one day, Jordin Sparks, who I believe to be a good Republican, can claim both honors.