"Special Roundtable" -
Gordon: This is Gordon Pepper, and welcome to a special
American Idol Roundtable. We are joined by Jason Block,
Joe Van Ginkel and Travis Schario as we discuss the
breaking news and how this impacts American Idol.
Jason: Good evening Gordon.
Gordon: The news, in case you don't know, is that Mario
Vasquez has quit American Idol for personal reasons.
Jason: According to the Drudge Report...he did not want
to be tied to the "exclusive contract".
Gordon: I would think that there has to be more than
that. These people are told over and over again about
that exclusivity, and Mario had to have known that when
he hits the Final 12, if he was to continue, that he
would have to deal with that exclusivity. I think there
has to be another reason -something we may not know yet,
but we will in the next couple of days.
Jason: Just trying to get the news out there, Mr.
Gordon: I think we hit the tip of the iceberg, I also
think that there's more
iceberg that we haven't hit yet.
Jason: I think there is a Titanic sized iceberg. I think
this story may have
Gordon: I agree. First of all - and the most important
question - how does
this affect the show?
Jason: The ratings will INCREASE. People will want to
see why and what happened, and then settle back to their
normal blockbuster zone.
Travis: But, as soon as the news is out, ET, Access, and
all the other entertainment shows will report it. So
wouldn't it stand to reason that THEIR ratings will
Joe: But it also means that the show has lost a bit of
musical talent. So the quality might suffer.
Gordon: That leads me to the next question - do you
think that the person who quit tonight was the person
who was going to win American Idol?
Jason: He would have been up there. But Anwar now is the
lock. It's his to lose.
Joe: Probably not. Most people are betting on Anwar
Robinson. I for one, like Anthony Fedorov.
Gordon: I don't think Anwar is a lock by any means. I
think he has the advantage, but I don't think he is a
lock. No one who was a 'Lock' going into
American Idol has ever won it AI1 - Tamyra Gray - out in
the Final 4. AI2 -Clay Aiken - out in the Finals. AI3 -
Latoya London - out in the Final 4. I still think it's
very up in the air as to who wins this.
Joe: Isn't it always?
Travis: At this point, I'd say everyone has a 1 in 12
shot of winning.
Gordon: Mario's loss is the gain of the person who
American Idol reinstated, and that person is...Nikko
Smith, who apparently got the second lowest number of
votes. Is this delaying the inevitable and will Nikko be
bounced in the first round? Or will he be spared and
will someone else be going in his place?
Jason: Nikko is gone.
Joe: Not necessarily. It took three rounds to eliminate
him in the first place. Too bad it couldn't have Amanda
that replaced Mario. ;P
Jason: Yes...but he is the smallest fish in the biggest
Gordon: I think he is safe for 2 reasons. #1 - I think
that everyone who may have not voted for him because
they thought he was safe will definitely vote for him
because they know he is in trouble, and...#2, even more
importantly, even a 6th place Nikko is better than 4 of
the women, and it wouldn't surprise me if the bottom
three next week are all females.
Jason: That is probably true. The women are the weaker
sex talent wise this year. I don't think you will see a
woman in the top 4.
Gordon: I think there will be 1 woman in the Final 4.
Joe: Underwood. No question.
Gordon: Jessica Sierra or Carrie Underwood - but one of
those two will carry the country vote to the Top 4.
Nadia Turner could be a dark horse, but she will have to
really up her game.
Jason: I think though that the men are MUCH better this
Gordon: I agree. With Mario leaving, does this help
clear out the path for Anwar Robinson?
Jason: He just rocketed into 1st. To put it in NASCAR
terms. Someone crashed...and he avoided it.
Gordon: How far can Nikko Smith go in this competition?
Joe: Hard to say at this point. Let's see how he does
this next week.
Gordon: I agree. With that, any final thoughts?
Jason: Tuesday night will be fun to watch, and now the
story gets real interesting.
Gordon: I think that this only makes Idol more of an
open playing field and although Idol loses some depth,
it gains a new storyline and a very interesting new hero
in the form of Nikko Smith.
Travis: To quote Dan Rather, "Courage."
Jason: It's going to be fun... no matter what.
Gordon: With that, we end this truncated edition of the
Idol Roundtable. Thanks again to Jason Block, Travis
Schario and Joe Van Ginkel.
Jason: Good night.
Travis: Pleasure being around!
Gordon: This is Gordon Pepper, saying good night - and
may all of your idol
memories be good ones.