Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Time for a Tamyra...

Idol final fours have, except for the season of perfection, known as season two, provided a huge tremor in the contest, so much so that we still speak of them today. Season one, of course, gave us the new verb: to be Tamyra'd, when Tamyra Gray, who had turned in a spectacular season, was inexplicably dumped in favor of Nikki McKibben. Season two was a justified ouster as the singing Marine, Josh Gracin, was the only conceivable reject to leave the perfect trio of Klayben. Then there was last year, when LaToya London fell victim to the tears of Hawaii.

I have a strong hunch tonight somebody's getting Tamyra'd.

All of the elements are in place, sort of like the atmospheric conditions surrounding my home that are threatening me with a thunderstorm.

First we have the Vonz. Of those who watched last season, who can forget Jasmine's tears after one of Simon's most severe verbal beatings? At this stage, the kids are tired, and it was clear that Jasmine had reached the end of her endurance. But a pretty girl with tears streaming down her face? Who doesn't want to kiss her and make it better?

Vonzell's tears were genuine, I fully believe, despite the rumblings of pandering for sympathy. Her performance was a wreck. She knew that. But something else is going on with Vonzell. The rumors, that are inevitable when Idol keeps its trap shut, are ranging anywhere from homesickness to illness in the family, to death in the family, to death of her dog to her being forced to switch songs on a minute's notice. But combine tears on a young pretty face, and especially one that has turned in excellence, performance after performance, with a second song that had the potential to wipe out memories of the original, and you've got new voters added to her fanbase, which should, after Simon's blatant pro-anyone-but-Vonz bashing after her second song, vote until their fingers bleed.

Most people are assuming they'll see Vonzell on the line tonight. I don't think so.

Then there's Anthony, the poster child for the VFTW this week. When the finals began, I expected Anthony to be one of the first of the guys to get the boot. After all,he deserved it. His performances in the semis were nothing extraordinary, and he was lucky that there were less vocally talented guys standing alongside. But Anthony, of all of the contestants, has been the one transformed from geeky kid, known mostly for his childhood and his trach scar, to polished performer. His performances last night were solid. They were good. He went lyric-for-lyric with Carrie and won hands down. He has the tenacious support of the Bratz crowd, and he may have just picked up some of the idle Scott fans and still-bitter Constantine crowd.

Anthony's only problem, ironically, might be that of all four of them, he was the only one to turn in two good performances. Disasters bring people out of their homes to help. Good times keep them inside watching Oprah. But he was last in the lineup. No contestant in four seasons, who has gone last in the lineup, has ever been booted the following night. (The only exception would be, of course, Clay Aiken, who performed the last song of the season two finale and did not win the title.)

That leaves, of course, Simon's chosen finalists: Bo and Carrie.

Bo is safe. No question. He has given the American Idol stage a much-needed break from the blah of the pop and the meh of the country. Many criticise Bo for playing it safe and predictably. Perhaps. But he knows his strong suit, and Bo's "safe" performances would be anyone else's challenge of a lifetime.

He's not going anywhere. He's been on the seal, and his fans remember how it felt to see him there.

What has Carrie done? While Anthony has risen beyond his expectations, Carrie has fallen from her perch. Her version of Sin Wagon was not nearly as good as Amy's last year, and, while she did throw herself into the performance more than before, it did seem a little awkward for the word "sin" to come out of Barbie's mouth. Her second selection? Wretched.

Two straight weeks of unmemorable performances might send the less-emotionally-invested to reward Anthony, to give a high-five to Bo or to wipe Vonzell's tears. Her primary fan base, which has kept her safe thus far, may just have become a little too self-confident that their girl is in no danger.

I see a Tamyra coming on.

Based on last night's performances alone:
Should be bottom two: Vonzell and Carrie.

Based on last night, all season, and past seasons:
Will be bottom two: Anthony and Carrie.

Did anyone else find it ironic that Jasmine Trias was in the audience last night, seated very closely to LaToya London? I found it both ironic and prophetic. And I'm either gonna be ingenious or an idiot.

Carrie is going home.


Blogger Dave said...

I'd say the person most in danger of being Tamyra'd is the Vonze, but given that Constantine was eliminated two weeks ago seemingly out of the blue, you could be right.

However, I also think that Carrie has absorbed the voters of many of the other contestants (Jessica, some of the Constantine voters, and some of the Scott voters) and she seems to have had a large fan base to begin with, so she may not be in any danger of being inexplicably assassinated.

Still, after what has happened in the past, it would not surprise me if there were a "shocker" in the mix somewhere tonight.

3:50 PM, May 11, 2005  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!