Friday, May 06, 2011

American Idol Top 5 Results

Who should have been eliminated: Jacob Lusk
Who I predicted would be eliminated: Jacob Lusk
Who was eliminated: Jacob Lusk

So, all's well that ends well here. Very interesting how suddenly it is the guys who are dropping like flies and that the Final Four is completely gender balanced.

Not many people will be surprised at Jacob's ouster this week. He lasted longer than many expected. I was a bit more surprised by the supposed Bottom Two finish of Lauren Alaina, who I thought had a really strong night. While she was able to prevail over Jacob this week, both in American Idol and in Hell's Kitchen, she seems to be pretty emotionally fragile, and for her sake, I hope it does not harm her in the competition next week.

As for Jacob, he gave some of the best performances among all contestants in my view early in the season, but his style is limited and he became a little bit too boring and predictable. I think I gave him more credit though than those who spend a lot of time commenting about Idol on blogs and the white liberal Idol Media Establishment online who seem to have developed an irrational hatred for him. I totally agree that the comment he made a few weeks about about "America would be too afraid to look at themselves in the mirror" if he were not to garner their votes was horribly off-putting, but even if he did not say it, I think people were going to have issues with him and his personality.

Frequently, the question has been asked of Jacob, "Just who is voting for him?" It's pretty simple and straight forward. African-Americans were voting for him. In American Idol, as in politics, the most viable black candidate is going to get a large bloc of votes for identity reasons. The same is true of course for other races and ethnicities . Also, black Americans are just going to often be more likely to enjoy the musical style of other black contestants on the show. With Jacob now gone, the viewing and voting participation among African-Americans this season is likely to drop. It will be at least one other season before we can see if Idol can produce a credible black singer who is a threat to win the show, as was so prevalent in earlier seasons (which oddly enough seemed to end in 2008, as Barack Obama became his party's standard-bearer.)

I could joke and say that at least Jacob had a much better week than Osama bin Laden, but he really should be proud of himself anyway. As a "college dropout", straight outta Compton, with a somewhat eccentric style, who was definitely not a producer favorite (TMZ published a story about a brief jail stint for Lusk), a fifth place finish looks pretty good. Jacob has talent for live performances and a passion for singing. I do not think he will ever be a big name in the pop world, but could make a nice life for himself in the field of gospel music or Luther Vandross style R&B.

Now that Jacob is leaving to go on his media tour, maybe he will finally get to answer just what he meant in that infamous "Man In the Mirror" soundbite. Did someone make him say that? Did he want a chance to apologize on the Idol airwaves?

He may or may not also be asked another question, of a more personal nature, that I sense he will be reluctant to answer in a way that will satisfy many.

For the remaining contestants it is now on to the Final Four. Whomever advances will get the big Homecoming Visit Spectacular. Will my neighboring town of Wheeling, Illinois (like Mount Prospect last year) be among those to experience the hoopla?