Wednesday, April 29, 2009

American Idol Top 5 Results

Before the highly anticipated results of American Idol were to air, the Teleprompter of the President of the United States celebrated 100 days in office by holding yet another prime time press conference. Going against the grain, the Fox network was the only one to not cover it and instead aired an episode of "Lie to Me." Very few people noticed the difference.

Who should have been eliminated (not taking into account the previous misguided "save") : Danny Gokey

Who I predicted would be eliminated: Matt Giraud

Who was eliminated: Matt Giraud

No huge surprise at all as far as the ultimate result, but based on the rest of the show, I can almost hear the gnashing of teeth already. This one probably had something that others were not expecting.

Before we get to that though a couple other quick thoughts-

Simon Cowell actually gave a standing ovation to Taylor Hicks?

A Mansion food fight? Really? A food fight? First Scott MacIntyre misses out on the Paula Abdul choreographed disco dance number and then he misses the chance to be hit in the face with a quadruple chocolate cake. What a shame.

Jamie Foxx, despite not really having anything to do with the Rat Pack, received plaudits for his job as the mentor this week. I have no idea how anybody could listen to that horrific song he sung tonight, but it was nice for Jamie to take some time off from bashing the 16 year old Miley Cyrus and agree to be the mentor. It really did seem like a last minute decision to include him on behalf of Idol though. Maybe they wanted to try to divert some attention away the fact that there are no more black people left on the show. Adding Foxx probably meant they decided to cut the two songs per contestant thing. It would really be something if the kids had all picked and were rehearsing two songs, only to be told to drop one.

So, back to the results... Seacrest seemed to take some enjoyment in the fact that America "did not agree" with Simon this week on who was "brilliant" and who was in "big trouble." So, was that an epic failure on behalf of the nattily dressed Mr. Cowell or did it all work out exactly the way he really planned after all? Hmmm.

I said last night that I really found the show pretty boring but that everyone sang well. Vocally, I liked Danny Gokey this week less than I previously had and for the first time, had him at the bottom of my rankings. But what do I know, because most people seemed to really think he did a great job? Even a lot of Gokey critics said it was the best he has sounded. So, he was declared safe early on and in what looked like a surprise to her, but something that I was quite happy about, so was Allison Iraheta. It was a good birthday week for the oldest and youngest of the contestants.

Before that though, Seacrest had the two of them in one group and Matt Giraud and Kris Allen in another. He then told the highly perceived front runner Adam Lambert to pick the group he belonged with, one of those old Idol tricks. Adam seemed taken aback, but for whatever reason decided to play along and said that based on last night he would stand with Danny and Allison. While Adam did correctly pick who was safe, he also seemed to indicate that he thought he would also be safe. It might have been far more diplomatic for Adam to at least pretend like he thought he would be in the bottom three but then ask Ryan for guidance as to which group he belonged with.

When Seacrest moved Lambert over to Matt/Kris duo, Adam looked pretty surprised when told he was in the bottom three. With the numbers of remaining contestants dwindling, it was the first time for both Kris and Adam in that spot, while Matt was no stranger to the distinction. Also, yes, based on my rankings, I would have had Adam in the bottom three last night. I think Kris was the only one who did not belong there.

I had a strong hunch right away that Kris would be the first sent to safety and that Matt and Adam would be the last two at the end of the show for dramatic reasons. I was also going to pay close attention to see if Seacrest would then immediately announce Matt and Adam as the "bottom two." Then, when he did not, I was of course certain that Matt would be the one voted off, but I thought it was almost a certainty that Kris was the second lowest vote getter and that Adam was merely the third lowest (and also third highest.) However, later on in the show, when speaking to Jamie Foxx, Seacrest did indeed make mention of Matt and Adam as the "Bottom Two." I really wonder if that is accurate or if Seacrest spoke out of turn.

At the end though, Matt was voted off, as I predicted. It was the right outcome next to Adam, but I would not have been able to help not chortling a bit at the repercussions of what would have happened if the previously saved Matt actually knocked off Chosen One Adam. That might have been the most awkward thing for Matt over anything else. He might have then needed Secret Service protection on the tour.

The Final Four are now set, but suddenly, whether Adam was the third lowest or second lowest vote getter, the game seems a little altered now. Think about it; often Bottom Three participant Allison definitely got more votes than Adam. So did Danny of course. This show may not be the runaway that many have been predicting. Could it be that Adam might not even make it to the Finale now? Allison looked pretty taken aback by all the developments, but she ought to really let this all settle in and smile. This is a boost for an underdog perhaps on par with when Rocky Balboa first cut Ivan Drago in Rocky IV.

I can only surmise that overconfidence on behalf of many of Adam's usual power voters was the main reason why he was not one of the two highest vote-getters. I also bet that many of those same people now are claiming that it was all an Idol fraud, and that he was not in the Bottom Three, in spite of what the show said. You can be pretty sure though that those fans of Adam will not be as complacent next week and they will be more fired up than ever to vote for him. Previous winners Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino had all survived Bottom Two finishes in one week and if Adam winds up in the Finale, this could actually work to his benefit by not making it appear that his entire run on the show was such a cakewalk.

Next week, we will have some Rock and Roll, and I am really looking forward to that and mentor Slash. I just wonder how they will define what classifies as "rock." The week would seem to most benefit the voices of Adam and Allison but if they have a loose interpretation as they did on Rock and this very stage in the game last year (in which David Archuleta was perceived as having gotten the better of David Cook, even if that is not exactly how I saw it that particular week), it could actually work to the benefit of Danny and Kris.

Kris and Allison will probably have the most at stake next week, but it is really getting harder to predict things now. Danny is now the only one who has never been in the Bottom Three and he seems to have a loyal base of stealth voters, who tend to not really focus on boosting him or his reputation online. As mentioned, Adam's fans will be heavily mobilized and since there will likely be two songs, he will be able to show off both sides of his musical performance personalities.

Lost in the shuffle of all of this is tonight's eliminated Finalist Matt Giraud. Going into the semifinals, Matt was considered one of the "darkhorses" in the competition before stumbling in that round and having to be advanced through a Wildcard. Then, early on in the Finals, he was quite impressive and was considered a real contender to win the whole thing. As time went on though, he had some uneven performances and seemed to lose his mojo. Of course, America did vote him off in 7th place, but because of the new save rule, Matt managed to last all the way to 5th place.

He is a talented musician and singer, who just was not always on his game on some songs in front of a large audience. Also, I read about him being active back home in Michigan as part of the Big Brother program, so you really have to admire him for that. After the tour, Matt might have a hard time getting signed to a major record company, but he can perhaps go the Indy route and take his chances there. In the meantime, after making the media rounds, Matt will have about two weeks off to take care of getting that mole removed.