Wednesday, May 06, 2009

American Idol- Top 4 Results

Who should have been eliminated: Danny Gokey

Who I predicted would be eliminated: Kris Allen

Who was eliminated: Allison Iraheta

Somebody get Norm Coleman's lawyers on the phone because I want to take this (bleep) to court! (If Allison wound up getting bleeped on the broadcast tonight, I might as well do the same thing.) I am definitely bummed by the injustice, cruelty, and stupidity at these results, but I really feel for "Conservative Democrat", the most frequent commenter on this blog who will now have to wait at least one more year for Idol to have it's first ever Hispanic winner.

I think Allison was easily the best last night and Gokey was easily the worst. Upon further reflection, my somewhat harsh comments about his performance of "Dream On" were darn right generous. It was hideous. There has not been a scream so misguided since Howard Dean in Iowa. No wonder Idol State Manager Debbie fell 20 feet off the staircase; she probably was listening to Danny rehearse. I suppose there is a good reason why Danny was endorsed this week by Vote For The Worst. He certainly lived up to it. Since we do not know where the top three finished compared to each other, we can only wonder if that might have played a role in saving him. I suspect probably not though. Last night, about ten minutes before the phone lines closed, the results on Dial Idol inspired me to do something I only rarely do. I picked up a phone for Allison and hit redial several times. I did not get one busy signal.

As mentioned last night, I feared it would come down to Allison and Kris for elimination tonight. Looking back on this season, amid all the early buzz and pimping in regards to both Adam and Danny (as well as some others) I think back to that second semifinal group, where two little known contenders came on back to back to sing "Alone" and "Man In The Mirror." Most Idol junkies really had no idea who these Allison and Kris people even were at that point, and even after their performances and advancement into the Finals, few gave them much of a shot in lasting very long. There was something though about those performances that stuck with me though and from that point on, I have pretty much been rooting for both of them. While I sometimes was overly enthusiastic about Kris's performances in the Finals, he has been extremely good and I am glad he has made it this far, against the odds. As for Allison, I do not think she ever had a bad performance. It is to the disservice of Idol fans and the country itself (taking this really seriously now, huh?) that she will not be around next week. Still though, after numerous trips to the bottom three previously, it is somewhat comforting to know that she hung on as long as she did.

Last night, during the performances, the judges, especially Simon (but not excluding the others) sent a very large bus barrelling down the Idol stage in an attempt to run over Kris Allen. They failed. However, a somewhat smaller bus was also dispatched to try to run down Allison, and that is what worked. I can only surmise that they really want the long talked about Danny vs. Adam finale, both because of the polarizing cultural issues which would surround it, but also because they think that Danny would be easy pickings for Adam, their true Chosen One, to defeat. At this point, I still believe that Danny is actually the only one that Adam might be able to defeat in the final two. People either love him or seemingly hate him, and he is probably the only one who could come across as more polarizing than Adam. So, I guess they did not want to take any chances.

Kris had a tough night last night with the judges comments and appeared a little bit down by it all. Others have commented that during his duet with Gokey (who I had thought sounded somewhat decent in that portion of the evening), Danny had tried to overshadow Kris and did not act in a duet teamwork sort of way, and that is what might have first pissed Kris off. I did actually detect some frostiness between the two of them this evening. Very interesting. (I also think I might have noticed that during Allison's great sing-off, when she was down by the judges' table, that she avoided any contact with Simon.)

So, after being jerked around last night, Seacrest was the first to announce that Kris was safe. Kris then proceeded to look shocked and then got sort of emotional. We did not see what Simon's reaction looked like. Upon hearing that Kris had made the Top Three, my initial reaction was to be happy, but then almost instantly I knew that Allison would be the one to go, and that this would not be a real happy ending. All those who have been hoping to "Put the Go in Gokey" would be disappointed.

During the show, I started to think of all the other singers who finished in fourth place on this show who were deserving of not being eliminated at that points; names like Tamyra Gray, LaToya London, Chris Daughtry, and LaKisha Jones. You can now add Allison Iraheta to those who finished just off the proverbial medal stand. I have a feeling though that she is young enough and gifted enough to wind up with a more successful career than any of those mentioned, and also more than anyone who might win this particular season. I will be rooting her on.

Now, it is on to Idol's first ever all male Final Three. Next week, they will have to sing two songs, as opposed to the usual three in this stage in the competition, adding to the absolute ridiculousness of this season. ( I think that David Archuleta would have steamrolled over everyone if he had just waited one more year, but I digress.)

The judges will pick a song for the contestants (perhaps Kara will be left out of the picking this year), and there will certainly be agendas at play there, as they obviously were last season. A big part of the week though for the contestants though will be their "homecomings." If the last few seasons are a guide, those will air on result night, so the accompanying video packages may not be able to sway the voting this week, but could play an interesting political role for the eventual Final Two.

Expect a lot of tears from all three and for the Idol cameras to capture every bit of it. Kris will return to Arkansas, where he probably is the talk of the entire state. Danny will return to Milwaukee (and I am sure his haters will be anticipating an emotional visit to his wife's graveside), but will definitely visit the large church in which he worships and works. That particular church happens to have many members who are African-American and Hispanic, and that could potentially gain Danny some votes if he makes it to the final round.

As for Adam, Seacrest said he would be returning to his hometown of San Diego, and not as was reported a couple weeks back, about the rallies and such being in Los Angeles, where Adam has lived for the past several years. That is interesting. I suppose Adam will visit his old high school, hug a drama teacher, and a large crowd will be there, but the casual viewer may find it tougher to detect a personal connection between those people and Adam, in the town where he has been said to have wanted to get away from. What is the alternative though? Had Adam simply stayed in Hollywood for this portion of his Idol journey, what is it they could have showed him doing? Hanging out with his C-list celebrity friends in the clubs? Reuniting with some drag queens? I am not saying this to be snarky or critical, it just seems that Adam's identity and life before Idol has not exactly been "Middle America." My sense is that Adam is probably a really nice guy, but I think his "Homecoming" could have some peril, not related to his singing abilities. In that regard, the trip to San Diego is probably a good way to limit the "damage."

Let's briefly mention some strategy. After the scare for him two weeks prior, Adam is probably going to have more than enough votes in the next round to make it into the Finale. As mentioned, I think the show really wants him to face off against Gokey. That means that Kris is expected to be the odd man out next week. However, it does not have to be that way. Throughout this entire season, Kris has been a survivor and has confounded those who thought he would be gone a long time ago. It is imperative that those Allison fans out there, who are probably very unlikely to cast their votes for Gokey at this point, vote strategically and do not just gravitate to Adam because he is a "rocker" or that Allison is close to him and they had that whole brother/sister dynamic going on during their duet (and Adam played the game very shrewdly last evening by saying what he did about Allison, realizing he might be able to use her voters.) Instead, those Allison fans, and all the rest of us, who want to stick it to the Powers That Be and their agenda, need to vote for Kris Allen, and make Danny Gokey go away this week.

Not only would an Adam vs. Kris Finale be likely to wind up being more competitive than Adam vs. Danny, and not only would it be more deserving on the merits, it might also continue the unbroken Idol tradition of crowning a competitor from one of the "Red States."

Allen '09!