Thursday, April 28, 2005

It's the end of the world [again]

The screams are being heard. The threats of boycotts, the sobs of conspiracy and broken phone lines, and the vows never again to turn Tuesdays into Idol nights are [again] bellowing from coast to coast.

It's happened again. A fan fave is gone while the show's pariah remains to sing another day.

It's the end of the world as we know it. Again.

Tamyra's fans said that in season one as they watched Nikki stay while their girl sang her swan song. Ruben's fans said the same thing as they watched their man sweating out a bottom two appearance while the angry Marine sat in shock on the sofa. And Latoya's fans said the same thing when she waved goodbye as Jasmine waved on her way to take the final three photo.

It's the way of the show.

Why, though, will Constantine be spinning Jay Leno's wheel tonight, instead of the more obvious Anthony or Scott? The answer is not as simple as "conspiracy," and how I'm bored with that tired excuse.

Constantine fell victim to the alignment of the stars or to a variety of factors, whichever you choose to believe.

He sang a bad song. And he sang it badly. Okay. It's not like that's never happened on Idol. But he made a dreadful mistake. He overestimated the tenacity and loyalty of his fans.

He has had a solid fan base since the auditions, when FOX, in the body of Ryan, highlighted him (and his disgruntled band) in the premiere episode. That base has grown considerably throughout the semi-finals when the field of men was so vast that the odds of coming out on the short end of the voting stick were less. It's not as harmful for fans to parcel out their votes in the early rounds.

Once in the finals, he adapted his song selection and his style to distance himself from Bo, who was quickly taking over the "rocker slot." Not only did this gain him new fans -- I, for one, loved his homage to the Partridge Family and raved about his Bohemian Rhapsody -- but his flirty bad boy image, which he so carefully cultivated, solidified the base he had already earned.

His biggest mistake? Going head to head with Bo Tuesday night, selecting a rock song, alienating, perhaps, the voting fans who had come to love his "pop" persona, and he performed poorly, forcing the "rocker voters" to choose between him and the one who has remained true to his genre.

His bad. Thatcost him votes, possibly enough to land in the bottom three (as I predicted), but enough to land him on Leno?

No. Not by itself.

I felt an upset was in the making yesterday, when it came time to make a bottom three prediction, and at first, I thought Bo might be back in the bottom. But, after visiting a few message boards, and reading several Constantine threads, it became clear that Constantine fans, suffering, possibly, from a bout of self-confidence in the staying power of their pouter, had been splitting their votes in large numbers, many of them rewarding Anthony for a fine performance Tuesday night. Others wanted to help Vonzell out after a lackluster performance.

The Bo people weren't splitting. The Carrie people weren't splitting. The Scott people weren't splitting. But the Constantine supporters were feeling generous. After all, their guy was secure.

Wrong. Vote splitting at this stage is, as I said yesterday, borderline insane. If that lesson wasn't proven last night, it never will be.

Ryan likes to point the finger at America for the shameful elimination of fan faves. If 35 million votes are cast in one evening, there's no shame to be passed around. So, while Constantine is hitting the talk show circuit today partially due to the complacency of his voters, the voters are not soley to blame.

And to blame Constantine's ouster on any one of the remaining contestants is not only foolish, it's just flatly untrue.

Constantine's fearless performances will be missed on the Idol stage, but the show will continue just as it did after Jennifer Hudson and Latoya London, and Amy Adams, and Tamyra Gray. And it will go on with or without the viewers who are taking their toys and going home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you group Amy Adams with LaToya London, Jennifer Hudson, and Tamyra?

1:01 AM, April 30, 2005  
Blogger jennifer said...

It was tough to put Amy with Jennifer, because I despised Jennifer, but, Amy finished 10th? Tenth? Behind JPL, Camile, John Stevens, and Jasmine??? And it was her ejection that started the rumblings of FIX for season three.

I was and always will be an Amy fan. The grouping was not about talent; it was about placement.

That's how.

9:24 AM, April 30, 2005  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!