Friday, March 10, 2006

the fur's a-flyin' already...

Seems we're starting a bit early this season. Already the verbal fists are flying over the ousting of three of last night's four wannabe stars.

Normally the flames do not start in earnest until around tenth place. [Remember, only the top 10 go on tour, so the first two executed kids just go back to real life, but are dug up long enough for the Brady Bunch number during the finale, before being re-discarded.] But the flames are already breaking through the windows over the retention of Kevin over Gedeon, Kevin over Will, the dismissal of Ayla instead of Melissa, Ayla rather than Lisa, Ayla before Pickler, Ayla instead of Paris, you choose... The Vote for the Worst gang is debating whom to choose as their poster child. Blood is pouring through the streets.

God, I love this show!

I don't think it was any big secret that the producers want Kevin in the finals, so, even though I still would have preferred the vocal stylings of Gedeon, I never once thought Kevin wouldn't make it. It's become tradition to have that one finals contestant that will cause people to take sides. The outrage over him vs. him or her vs. her or them vs. them is terrific fodder, gives us all something to debate and draws in more and more viewers to see what all the fuss is about.

It happened in season three with John Stevens. It happened again last season with Scott Savol. What Kevin has, though, over Stevens is vocal talent. [Please forgive me, John Stevens fans, I liked him too, but after he single-handedly made my dog cry with his version of My Girl, I had to conclude that he just didn't have the talent necessary.] What Kevin has over Scott Savol is cuteness and likability. [Anybody want to seriously debate that one?] He's been and will continue to be carefully marketed as the sexy Chicken Little and who knows, maybe once he's in the hands of stylists, he might give Ace a run for his money.

Okay so maybe not, but it sounded good.

But let's hope this time nobody issues any death threats, okay?

And I think we've come up with a new AI verb.

MELISSA. pronounciation: me-LI-sa. (trans v) To react from disgust and anger over blatant pimping of certain contestants and manipulation of viewers as to whom to support: to rescue from underexposure: to disrupt preferred list of finalists.

After being Melindaed throughout the first three semi-final episodes, the viewers melissaed Ms. McGhee who, in turn, tamyraed uber-promoted Ayla Brown.

Okay, so it wasn't technically a tamyra, but play with me here.

Dang, I need one of
Dave's glossaries.

I'm still pondering Stevie Wonder week. Geesh. Two whole hours in which to butcher the classics. I've decided I'm just going to vote for the one who sings my favorite Stevie song.

Oh, and for those who've been asking: again this year, there will be no Wildcard Episode. The Wildcard, as much fun as it always was to see who Paula was gonna dredge up, is history with the current boy/girl/boy/girl format. So don't hold your breath, awaiting Will's return. Ain't gonna happen. What you see is what we get.

And to answer another question. The current eligibility rules prohibit any contestant who has reached the semi-finals from competing again. In season one there were 30 semi-finalists. In seasons two and three, there were 32. In seasons four and five there were 24. Once they've competed at that level, their eligibility for American Idol is over. But anyone making it to Hollywood but not making the final cut can try again. Vonzell was a repeat contestant.

Now I need to do some massive reconstruction of the sidebar. Anyone wanting to save the audio files (simply right click/save target as the pink link under the bar) should do that before tomorrow.


Blogger MP said...

My stepson LOVES Kevin and has voted for him over and over. My stepson is 6. I agree w/ Simon he should have been GONE. I think Bucky should have gone before Gedeon. I'm pleased with the axing of the girls. Hopefully Kevin will be leaving us next week, I don't think he can pull off Stevie wonder. I'm curious how some of them will pull it off...Pickler? Chris? Bucky? Melissa? Can't wait for next week!!

4:02 PM, March 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just curious -- where do you find out what the next theme is going to be?

8:50 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

Do you suppose Paula will sober up before the finals or will she just have to TiVo the whole season to watch later?
The producers could do a Paula Abduhl night and all of the contestants get their choice of drugs or alcohol the day of the show. Then, they could try to sing Stevie Wonder while stoned or drunk. Now there's some great television. Oh, I forgot, we already did that with "The Osbornes", my bad.

9:08 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Next week's theme was easy because it was announced on the Stevie Wonder website and announced last night.

But if they are trying to keep it a secret, it's tougher, so I have to hope for somebody to leak info. Last year, Nikko's cousin was the mole. (Hated when Nikko got voted off; we lost Nikko's cousin.) But Ryan always announces it the morning of the performance on his radio show.

And that's how we find out!

9:08 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Sunny said...

I heard a few seasons ago that the producers have the final choice to choose who gets cut and who doesn't. Is it possible that happened for the top 12? If so, I give them credit for doing it. This is what makes television....reality television. I admit that I get a little sad and bummed out when a contestant that I like gets booted, but I think its just stupid for people to get mad or angry when someone they DON'T like stays in. Oh well, can't wait for next week! I hope they do good themes every week. I didn't really like some of them last season.

12:39 AM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

There's a whole group of people who believes the entire contest is rigged and that the votes don't matter. They say that's why Fox doesn't release the voting totals and does not have an independent accounting firm come out and say on record that the results were tabulated, audited and the results are authentic.

I don't know that I quite believe that, but do think that Fox pushes some contestants on to the audience at the expense of others solely for the purposes of ratings. How else to explain the lingering presence of inferior contestants (Scott, Anthony, Jasmine, John Stevens, JPL, Carmen) at the expense of more talented ones?

8:08 AM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger Nelle said...

I really felt Kevin should have been gone. He was vastly inferior to Gedeon. So was Bucky IMHO. I liked Melissa (although last performance was her worst I felt)and I felt Ayla was too rehearsed. Not crazy about her voice either.
I am wondering if Kevin was not voted out but the producers overrode that decision.

8:17 AM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Ewww. Dave, you invoked the name of Jasmine. :::flashbacks::: Oh well, she's not a banned name like _____ LaBelle.


Seriously though, I don't believe for a second that the totals are not at least a little manipulated at particular stages. And shocking boots are good for drama and ratings. That's why Kevin, IMO, was so heavily pimped. Had Kevin, a cute, likable kid, not been there, it would have been somebody else. People are talking, and that's what it's all about.

I don't think there was any hanky panky this week though. And overall, I still believe that most outcomes are genuine because if they ever got caught cooking the books, this show would be history, because the primary draw of it is the interaction and the idea that America really does choose. And they know they have a phenom (can you believe the ratings just keep getting bigger???), so they're not going to take that risk.

But in the end, they have to put their money behind the eventual winner, so they're gonna make dang sure it's somebody who will make a return on their investment.

8:29 AM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

At the same time, they can't afford to be stuck backing an American Idol winner who doesn't sell records, so they might want to "adjust" the votes for someone else.

Let's assume that Rueben and Fantasia were legitimately selected by "America" as the winners for seasons 2 and 3. Neither of them have gone on to great financial success.

I think Fox/19E isn't so much worried about making money off the winner (there are a million "next best things" waiting to be discovered) as they are about huge ratings. Controversy brings ratings. Keeping angry Josh and Scott around generates interest in the show.

I'm not saying that votes are not counted and that the winners aren't truly selected by the public, but the secretive system Fox has in place easily lends itself to conspiracy theories.

The biggest reason for Fox to not mess with the voting is the integrity of the system. If "America" doesn't really choose the winners, people won't watch the show. I think the viewership takes an interest in the show because we feel like we actively affect the process. If the public is shown that the show is rigged, it will lose all of its credibility and the ratings will bomb (at least until the show comes back in another form).

2:01 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

Dave you're exactly right. They simply cannot risk the integrity of the show because it's over if America gets even a whiff of impropriety. So I really do think most of the totals/results are statistically legitimate.

However that little disclaimer at the bottom of the closing credits does allow them the right to DQ votes. I wouldn't doubt one iota that votes have been DQed when necessary. And because the show is classified "entertainment" rather than "contest," there's nothing "legally" wrong with adjusting totals. Ethically, it's another matter.

But they LOVE controversy, because it brings in more viewers. There is no way they would have allowed Scott to win last year, but keeping him in ahead of Constantine, Nadia and Anwar sure ruffled enough feathers to get the fevers raging. [Oh, how I LOVED that! Good times.] When people are complacent, well, where's the fun in that?? But had those votes carried him to the final two, there was no way 19E would have allowed him to beat either Bo or Carrie (or Vonz, or whoever). :o)

And where exactly IS Ruben these days?

2:14 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

While you both are exactly right the scary thing is you could see SouthPark outlast Elliot, Taylor,
Kellie, or Katherine. At that point, both Fox and Chicken Little would think the sky was falling.

5:07 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

I can totally see Kevin outlast Elliott and maybe Kellie. We need a contest. LOL

I say at least 7th place. But he will go on tour.

5:14 PM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you see lacking in Elliot, Jennifer?

6:23 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

I adore Elliott. I think his only shortcomings are image and performance, the same things that plague Kevin and Bucky.

I certainly don't think Kevin should outlast Elliott, but too often we see the rush to vote to "save" a contestant tends to outnumber the votes for a contestant who is perceived not to need the saving. And guess who goes home.

I hope I'm wrong this time. I really do. As much as I love Kevin and his cuteness, I don't want to see him exposed to the same vile that John Stevens and Scott Savol were exposed to.

I tend to make predictions not on talent, but on history and just plain voter behavior.

6:45 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

BTW: upon rereading my own comment, by "performance" I mean performing the song, not just singing it. That was and still is Carrie Underwood's biggest problem. A great performance can mask a lot of missed notes or a lesser voice. A great voice is lessened by a wooden performance.

6:47 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

Based on Fox manipulation, I can see South Park outlasting Melissa, Lisa, Bucky, and possibly Elliot or Paris.
Kellie and Ace are the two that keep the older teens, twenty somethings and some thirty somethings coming back week after week. Sex sells and they are the hot ticket in the eye of the Fox.
As long as Mandisa can do what she did last week, she is unstoppable. Everyone else will be singing for second place. If Fox decides it's the Guys turn to be the Idol, the smart money is on Chris. Taylor is there for pure entertainment value because most of America loves him. If he hones his skills, he could take Chris out of the Annointed One position. See ya after the show.

7:02 PM, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for replying to my question, Jennifer.
Luv ya!!!!

7:21 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...


If I were a bettin' woman, my money right now, this early, would go on Chris. But his odds are crappy, because he's the overwhelming favorite on ALL of the betting sites. Over. Whelming.

Katharine and Taylor round out the oddsmaker's top three, generally, except one which has Mandisa right behind Chris.

7:27 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

Right now Chris is probably the most marketable. Katherine is just "drop-dead" gorgeous and Taylor is the most entertaining, but for sheer talent and performing ability Mandisa is alone at the top. That won't make her the American Idol, but it will certainly get her a record deal.

7:47 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger JR said...

On a lighter note, could we have Country Gospel night? I want to hear Bucky sing "Drop Kick Me Jesus Through Goal Posts of Life"!
Yes, it is a real song.

7:49 PM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger lorguru said...

I can't wait to see how the final twelve look after getting wardrobe/hair/image help. If they could just go so far as to fix Bucky and Elliot's teeth, they might stand a better chance!

7:31 PM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger lorguru said...

BTW, Jennifer, I just found this website and I love it!!!! Thanks!

7:32 PM, March 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like their teeth just the way they are.
Good luck to both!!!

8:43 PM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger jennifer said...

In fairness, Elliott's teeth are a common result of juvenile diabetes. He says all he wants (in the form of makeover) is a new smile. If that's what he wants, I sure hope he gets it.

8:47 PM, March 12, 2006  

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Thanks Rob for the awesome image!