American Idol: Episode 17: The Results

3/04/2010 Posted by Admin

American Idol: Episode 17: The Results

And Then There Were 16

By Catherine Fuentes

Editor's note:
Is Catherine not nailing this? Obviously. She is so spot on, she's so knowledgeable about "Idol," and her writing is so great, we're lucky to have her and her insight.  May she write for us for some time to come! My thanks to you, Catherine.

Finally! America is getting it right!

In Thursday night’s unnecessarily drawn-out results show, my predictions of who would--or who deserved to--get sent home finally started to prove accurate. Jermaine Sellers, John Park, Ashley Delamor and Haeley Vaughn sang their final songs on Thursday, and I honestly think the competition is better off for it.

While minimal publicity may have ultimately hurt Ashley and John over their respective tenures, they plain and simply did not perform all that well this past week, or even last week. John has failed to replicate his earliest audition, and when stacked against the other females, Ashley proved in her swan song that she doesn’t share the vocal power as the others.

However, it’s also possible that the over-exposure of Haeley and Jermaine hurt their chances. In week two, I was already tired of their shticks. I felt that Jermaine had more likeable aspects to his persona, but he just wasn’t performing as well as I wanted him to. Haeley’s performances were just nowhere near what they should be in this competition, and her elimination is the one I feel America really got right this week.

By slimming the competition of four weak links, the bar has also been considerably raised for the remaining 16. Next week is the final week where the competition will be separated by gender. It also should be, from a critical and voting standpoint, the last week where bad performances should be forgiven based on past victories. If someone who performed excellently in auditions and Hollywood week gives a third weak live performance, then something is missing.

Next week should be a wake-up call to the remaining 16. This competition has become stiffer and more serious. They need to be thinking long and hard about their song choice, about the type of artist they see themselves as, and most importantly, they need to have the confidence to get out there and kill whatever song they choose. These are the three things the judges say week after week ad infinitum, and for good reason. Most of the "Idol" missteps this season, and in seasons past, happen because people don’t follow these three golden rules. Taking these rules to heart will translate to safety in the competition.

That being said, I think that five contestants have done enough to basically write their ticket to the Top 12. Crystal Bowersox, Lilly Scott, Andrew Garcia, Casey James and Siobhan Magnus have cemented themselves as incredibly strong performers--and have, without any serious missteps along the way, proved they have true potential. These five deserve to make the Top 12. The remaining seven spots can go to anyone (well, aside from Lacey Brown, whose presence this far into the competition honestly blows my mind)--and I think we’ll see some shocks.

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