Playing the Game
- March 18
As you know, this week starts the week that I start
drafting the Safe Trouble Out individual American Idol
singer charts. Before we go into that, lets add into
the mix two factors that will be prevalent into this
years strategies factors that were not there that
much in the earlier years of the competition.
The first factor is that the level of sophistication in
the contestants. Even before the competition started,
the producers said that there was a breed of
competitiveness in this years group that wasnt there
in previous years. The producers were right on the
money, as we see exactly what this years crop will do
to get some extra votes. Break up with the girlfriend?
No problem. Create a different persona for yourself?
Sure. Although the winner will be determined by talent
over substance, every vote helps, and anything that may
bring a contestant another week of survival is always an
regardless of where those votes come from. This is
where we get the new second factor the Anti-Idol.
Though there are websites that are trying to capitalize
on that genre, the genre has always been there. You can
trace it back all the way to American Idol 1, where
Nikki McKibbin got all the way to the final 3.
Continuing through the years and even through
different shows (Rob the Austrian in Cupid, anyone?),
keeping the so-called anti contestants has always been
a tradition. The difference this year is that some of
those efforts have been galvanized, which makes getting
a fan base an even bigger priority.
Lets quickly look at who is where, genre-wise
R&B Mandisa, Lisa, Paris
Country Kellie. Bucky, Taylor
Male Pop Elliott, Ace, Kevin
Female Pop Katharine
Looking at the genre breakdown, its not hard to see why
Lisa and Ace were in the bottom three. Its not that
they werent good, its that their genre is
oversaturated and some people there need to be weeded
out. That being said, according to the Chaos Theory,
those people who supported them will be coming in in
droves to make sure that they dont wind up again in the
So what does that mean to everyone else? Thats what
this column is about.
only thing thats worse than bad singing is unmemorable
singing. Unfortunately, you hit both cycles you not
only havent sang anything to give us a reason to vote
for you, the one time that you needed to pull out the
stops, you forgot the lyrics. Sorry darling, but your
exodus in week 1 was more than warranted. You leaving
helps 2 people out big time
one of them. Any more white female non-country singers
left? Nope. Katharine is going to get a chunk of
Melissas vote, and should she stay strong on the
vocals, she has nothing to worry about for the next
month and a half.
the other person. As Katharine is safe because theres
no more female pop singers, Chris is safe because there
are no more rockers. Hes got the Bo Bice vote nailed
down, but if he wants to think about winning this thing,
he should start expanding himself out. Can he do some
R&B or country? Something he should think about
Those are the only 2 people that are truly safe this
week. Everyone else has some sort of issue that they may
have to deal with. The biggest one genre overcrowding
done a great job in the past few weeks showing off your
vocal range in country, and one of the things that is to
your advantage is that you can rock as well. I suggest
you do something rockish this week, because not only can
you compete against Chris a little, but you can also try
to steal some votes from the now-departed Melissa.
a beautiful voice that you have. You need to keep it up
this week, because Lisa in the bottom three is going to
signal some vote shifting. Just subtly remind everyone
why people, when they vote for Lisa, shouldnt be
hear that wake-up call? That was for you. I think your
fans show up this week, because I know you can pull out
a slam bang performance, but you absolutely can not
afford a rotten singing effort now not with Mandisa
and Paris both very capable singers in your genre.
are in a spot this week, because I think that most of
those votes on a Chaos Factor switch arent going to
come from Mandisa they are going to be siphoned from
you. This could be a very early showdown between the two
of you and you better be there to answer the bell,
because the loser between the two of you will end up in
the bottom three or worse.
we all know that you are not Little Miss Innocent. The
good news is that the info has not hit the mainstream.
The bad news is that your bad notes and lyric mangling
has and Carrie Underwood you are not. Still, you are
in good shape should you actually nail down a song
you really need to start thinking about doing.
are finally getting out of your shell at a good time.
You need to step up the talent game, especially because
you do not have the advantage of charisma (and what WAS
up with that hair? Yikes). You need to keep showcasing
that talent, because I fear that one spot in the bottom
three will be between you, Kellie and
I said it. You have a great voice, but you also have
zero charisma or personality. You need to get some very
quickly, or you need to deliver your best song of the
competition, because the voice this year is not enough.
Aces fans will have incentive to keep him around
because he was in the bottom three last week. Kevin has
the Anti-Idol vote in his corner. You have the vote
you see where Im getting at here?
of the boos resonating when they saw you in the bottom
three is proof enough that you wont be staying there
for too long. That being said, a bad effort on Tuesday
will result in you not staying too long on the show. You
need to give us a performance of what got you to the Top
12 to begin with, because you right now are the
anti-Elliott. The charisma is there, but that wont be
enough not with all of the powerhouse voices. If you
do not improve the vocals, the next time you fall in the
bottom three will be your last.
Mr. Squishy. Where do we start? You clearly have the
anti-idol vote, but its not going to be enough this
year. The fact that you went after a judge is bad
enough, but the worst news for you was seeing Ace in the
bottom three. Whos votes will Ace be siphoning off of?
Yours. In an already crowded male pop group (and with
Katharine being able to eat some of those votes as
well), you need to pray that you get what Scott Savol
got last year a lot of help (especially from Elliott
or Ace), as there was always someone who did
disastrously worse than he did on a week by week basis.
Quite frankly, you need that, because if you dont get
it, youre leaving on Wednesday.
Assuming that everyone sings like they have been, I
predict that we will be seeing three new Idolers in the
bottom three. Those three will be Paris, Bucky and
Kevin, with the Simon-basher getting squished. Of course
last year, someone managed to wreck the theory by
singing so badly that they got booted. Well see what
form holds up this year.
Gordon Pepper placed second in GSNN Idol to JD
Hernandez. E-mail him at
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