AI10 – Round of 9 Results in a Nation in Mourning


So, judges, don’t you feel so smart for saving Casey now?

When Ryan Seacrest announced the results, who do you think they had to drop the audio because of?  Randy Jackson?  Someone swore, and deservedly so.

Better question: Were tonight’s results more reminiscent of Daughtry or Jennifer Hudson? In the NYC area, “Daughtry” is a trending topic.

Daughtry trends on Twitter because of Pia

Daughtry trends on Twitter because of Pia

Chris Daughtry responds:

Chris Daughtry reacts

Twitter's Instant Reactions

Daughtry made it to the Round of 4 that year, though. Hudson went out with only 7 contestants to go. As I explained in 2004, she lost because of vote splitting (three divas, including the amazing Latoya London). Daughtry lost because his fans assumed they were safe. So, yeah, Pia is Daughtry II.

Here’s the problem with Simon being gone, too: There’s no negative criticism anymore.  It used to be that Simon would lambaste someone and that would strike up the fanbase to vote vote vote. This week, the judges said nary a negative review to anyone, so no fanbase was energized.  That said, who did the judges go after the “hardest” this week? Pia. Yeah, we get it, she has no groove.  She probably should have stood still behind the mic stand for another week and avoided those criticisms all together, or made the judges look silly for repeating them again.

Good job, judges.

But they saved Casey.

Good job, judges.

Pia’s problem is a typical one for Idol contestants: She’s too good, too early, and too consistent. Voters love an arc in a reality show as much as they do in a movie.  They want to see someone come on strong and peak down the home stretch.  They don’t want someone who’s better than everyone else from Day One and then continue to be The Best each and every week. That’s boring.

She also had never been in the bottom 3 before, so her fanbase didn’t mobilize.  You can bet Paul was safe this week because he was almost cut last week.

Jacob was in the bottom three because he did a fair karaoke job, and because he went first.  Everyone forgot him by the time the show ended because he went on so early and didn’t do anything terribly memorable.

And Stefano was in the bottom three because he has no fanbase.  He’ll be in the bottom three every week until he’s gone.  All other rules being equal, he just doesn’t get the support.

But Pia almost never stood a chance.  You can’t be that amazing every week without people coming to expect it.  The slightest stumble would have doomed her.  The biggest song of the week would have been expected.  It’s just the way Idol is set up.

Also, the voting fanbase for “Idol” is tween girls.  They’re not voting for anyone but the boys they think are dreamy.  Six boys and two girls are left.  The girls are dropping like flies, and I hope Haley is next.  She’s painful to watch.

Pia has one other problem.  She doesn’t have a personality that makes you want to like her.  She comes off a bit as a beauty queen, always with the perfectly nice and perfectly political response to any question anyone ever asks.  She smiles politely and welcomes all feedback. She keeps perfect posture and never cracks.  She’s a bit aloof and, at times, almost a bit arrogant.  When her name was called for making the Top 12, the look on her face said, “Yeah, I know” instead of “Yes! I’m happy and shocked!” like all good Idol contestants should.

Here’s the upside for Pia: Going out so early in such a firestorm of controversy?  People will always remember her. Plenty of good singers have gone out before the Final Six.  You’ve forgotten most of their names already.  You won’t forget Pia.

The only dumber thing than Pia getting voted out this week was Jacob saying that if he went home, it wasn’t because of anything he did, but rather because America couldn’t look at itself in the mirror.  I’m still trying to figure out what that means.  At best, it’s arrogance.  At worst, it’s a nasty little racially charged thing.  I wanted him voted out this week just for that.

By the way, my DVR cut off the last minute of the show. They didn’t institute a second Judges Choice at the last second, did they?  Maybe Nigel should consider that.

Parting thought: I think Simon left “American Idol” so he wouldn’t have to listen to Constantine Maroulis sing “Unchained Melody.”

Extra bonus thought: Just to show you how much better Pia is than the other two girls on the show, look at the opening medley.  She blew the two away in their opening lines.  It wasn’t even close.