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Monday, April 7, 2008

I'm so far gone.

American Idol ice cream.

First, I need to mention how sad I was to hear that Charleton Heston passed away. He has always been one of my favorite actors.

On a lighter note, now I've resorted to buying American Idol products. I opted to try this flavor because the thought of banana ice cream was intriguing, but it ended up being quite ordinary. I'm going to buy Cheesecake Diva next.

I haven't resorted to buying one of these t-shirts yet, but I am oh-so close.

Which means its time once again for...

***Begin American Idol mutterings***

Once again, I found myself seething with anger on Tuesday night. Not because of any wrong doing on Jason Castro's behalf. No, my TV Boyfriend came through with his best performance since he's been in the Top 12. It was the performance that he should have delivered the week after "Hallelujah." Unfortunately, it is too late, as it has become evident to me that the show is moving on without him. Plans have been put into motion to end his Idol journey potentially as early as this week, but most likely next week.

In order to win American Idol, you not only need to build a devoted fan base that will vote for you week in and week out, but you also need to attract the casual voter who tends to vote according to more variable factors, like who delivered the best performance or who sang a well known song or who was unfairly humiliated by the judges. I do not think that the show is fixed, but I strongly believe that the producers make purposeful choices that influence the casual vote in such a way as is favorable to the outcome that they want. I submit this as evidence:

#1. Jason went 2nd during Top 10 week. It is a well known fact that the earlier that you perform, the more likely you will end up in the bottom three because people are more likely to forget about you, even if you performed well. Performing last, however, virtually guarantees you safety, because it's the last thing people see before they vote. Jason has never performed last, but he should have performed at least in the last half of the Top 9 show. Instead, he performed fourth.

#2. You could barely hear him over the band. Jason is not a belty kind of singer by any means, but even whispers can be heard if a microphone is turned up enough or if the band plays at a volume that enhances your performance, not dominates it.

#3. The most damning were Simon's comments. Usually, Simon is right on, but every once in awhile he will give a negative comment that just doesn't make any sense. One example would be his criticism of Carly the week she sang "Blackbird." He basically criticized her for singing a song about a blackbird. This week, Simon told Jason that he shouldn't be singing that type of song. But that's the exact kind of song that Jason should be singing and has been singing the entire competition! The comment was just negative for the sake of being negative.

Here's how I see his elimination going down:

This week, the Idols will be performing inspirational songs. Jason will perform during the second half the show, but most likely not last. This will set him up to go first or second during Top 7 week. Kristy Lee will perform early in the show and receive mildly positive comments. She will then be eliminated. Since she is widely considered the weakest contestant, her elimination will not draw away from the warm fuzzy feeling of Idol Gives Back.

Top 7 week is Mariah Carey week. Rumor has it that the Idols will be performing Mariah songs. While this theme is likely a disadvantage to Jason, this theme plays to Syesha's strengths. Although she is not as popular as Jason, I believe the producers want to keep her around because she adds to diversity and is the requisite "diva" singer of the season. Look for her to perform late in the show to rave reviews. Couple this with the recent strong performances on the male side by Michael Johns, and it's bye-bye TV Boyfriend.

It's a shame, because in my mind, Jason is what an "idol" should be. He's good looking, non-threatening yet slightly edgy (the dreads), has a radio friendly voice (His studio recording of "Travelin' Through" is absolutely outstanding and quiets any doubters of his vocal abilities), and from what we've seen, is an affable, yet goofy young guy (Reminiscent of the early Beatles or The Monkees). I'm not responsible for the highest rated show on television, so what do I know.

This week, I also downloaded David Cook's "Little Sparrow" and Brooke White's "Jolene" (I thought her performance was pretty good!). I cannot recommend "Little Sparrow" enough as it is by far my favorite recording from him so far. I like it even better than "Billie Jean." However, Mr. Cook will not get his dirty rocker paws on my votes until Jason rides off into the sunset.

***End American Idol mutterings***

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