You have to know how to play the American Idol game in order to be successful with it.
And a big part of that game happens in the opening weeks. I think contestants are finally starting to realize it. It’s not enough to be a good singer. And you can’t go all goofy and not have the singing chops to back it up.
(Unless you’re bikini girl. She was good for a gag early one, but she should never have made it past her first audition in Hollywood. Thankfully, that horror was dispensed with on Day Two. Quelle surprise.)
The point is, you need to make a name for yourself at your first appearance. Get the producers and editors interested in you. Make sure you’re a person of interest to follow during Hollywood Hell Week. Part of that can be mitigated now by the protracted Hollywood Week shows, but still — look at the memorable personalities you saw in last week’s two shows. How many of them weren’t featured during the audition episodes to begin with? And how many of those who weren’t featured will get the fan votes necessary to make it to the Top 12? We’re starting with an enormous group of 36 contestants this year. America can only vote so often, even with unlimited voting. You need to capture their heart instantly or else you’ll get swept up and spit out.
If that means acting like a complete diva in Hollywood to get the guy with the camera to shine his LED light at you while chasing you across the hotel, then that’s what you’ve got to do. If it comes naturally, you’re in luck.
American Idol is a singing competition, but it’s still also a reality show.
Fair or not, that’s the way the game is played. Everyone knows it going in now. It stinks for the good singers without a “hook,” but that’s what the game is. And the game is now afoot.