American Idol: Episode 15 of Season Nine

2/26/2010 Posted by Admin

American Idol: Episode 15 of Season Nine

That’s Who’s Getting Sent Home?!

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

Apparently, the blizzard that hit New York City was not the only thing that caught me terribly off guard on Thursday night. In the live results show, perhaps the most painfully drawn out and awkward hour of television each week, I found myself stunned by the first four "American Idol" contestants to be sent home.

Janell Wheeler and Ashley Rodriguez, two female contestants I have always enjoyed and written positively about, have sung their final song. This just baffles me. While neither of the two gave their best performances this week, they certainly did not give the two worst of the night, and I don’t think either deserved being sent home so early. I thought both would pull through and persevere, since I thought both were more likable than they apparently were, which just goes to show how much likability matters in this competition. I felt Haeley Vaughn was terrible, but I’ve always stressed how likable (to others) she ultimately is. And Lacey Brown, the person I thought would be at the very bottom, seems to have a lot of people pulling for her as well, since her performance was the worst of the night.

I’m impressed, however, that Paige Miles made it to see another week. Despite a great performance, she was an unknown to "Idol" faithfuls this season. But perhaps the publicity she had garnered in being a mystery worked to her advantage--she had a clear slate and plenty of buzz, two things that ultimately are very helpful in the contest.

As for the guys, I am only sort of surprised. Joe Munoz was on my list of “people who could go home” solely because of the little attention and buzz that he had. He never really had a package, the public never saw an emotional story, and there was little to no emotional connection with him. Despite a good performance--one of the better ones of the night--he wasn’t the best, and that’s probably what did him in. And while I had pegged him as having a semi “David Archuleta” vibe, I feel that Aaron Kelly ultimately has a better voice and can better appeal to the younger set.

My shock is in the departure of Tyler Grady. I liked him, and I’ve liked him since the first time I saw him. Maybe the '70s hippie revival vibe is more irrelevant than I would’ve expected or even hoped. People were expecting him to stick around, solely because of his potential to be a “heartthrob” this season, and I personally felt that would carry him through for a few more weeks. Ultimately, that didn’t work, and a contestant I feel had extreme potential to sing, grow and adapt to the various themes that Idol will throw his way is going home far too prematurely.

If anything, Thursday showed us that no one is safe, and that contestants better be on their A game next week--and pick songs that they actually can do justice to.

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