Thursday, April 23, 2009

Idol Rules: Top 7 Redux

Let me share with you a couple of tweets that one of my friends posted during last night's results show:

way to go america, your entire bottom three is the brown people. i hate you. if allison goes, so do i.

just because you already voted for one person of color recently doesn't mean you used up your quota!

I find this response to be somewhat baffling. The underlying assumption here seems to be that the voting public should be considering the demographic balance of the remaining contestants when making their selection. For a show that is a popularity contest disguised as a singing competition I fail to see how last night's results are based exclusively on racism.

Lil Rounds needed to go home last night. It has been obvious the last few weeks that her passion for this competition has been extinguished and she was just trying to skate by. There are two issues at play here. First, she was put in the (arguably racist) Whitney/Mariah/Mary J. box where she had to be this season's "diva" (an incredibly loaded term). However, I think Lil's ultimate problem was that she is not a pop singer. That is not to say she is not a singer, she just lacks the bravado of a pop star. For example, let's take Josh Groban and ABBA. Josh Groban is a singer, but he isn't really a pop singer -- if he tried to do a cover of "Dancing Queen" it would be a hot mess. Conversely, if ABBA were to phonetically learn "You Raise Me Up" it would probably cause a rash of some sort in your earhole. Both Groban and ABBA have enjoyed success at their ends of the singing spectrum, but Idol is at one end while Lil is at the other.

Then there is Anoop. His race has nothing to do with why he was eliminated. His odious personality was the cause of his elimination. Performance-wise, he has shown improvement the last couple of weeks yet he kept finding himself in the bottom three. Obnoxiousness outweighs a good performance -- it is a popularity contest, after all. Frankly, I'm a little surprised he lasted this long.

Allison's appearance in the bottom three was disappointing but not all that surprising. You have five contestants left: Adam, who is probably still the frontrunner; Danny, who is a weakening contender; Kris who is the dark horse of this competition; Matt, whose fanbase was probably working overtime trying to keep him alive due to the save; and Allison who has been middling in the eyes of the electorate. The third person in the B3 last night was going to be Allison or Matt and it will be one of those two who go home next week, so I don't believe her skin color is playing a role in her appearance last night.

I'm guessing if Matt was in the B3, this post would not be happening. It is unsettling to see the contestants of color on the danger side of the stage, but the reasons they were there had very little to do with their skin tone.

No comments:

Post a Comment