Friday, March 18, 2016

American Idol - The Final Season

Back when I was in college, some major local store spent a month or two going out of business.

The first week, everything was 50% off.  The next week, 60%.  The next week, 70%.

And so on.

The point, of course, was that everything must go – the day the store closed its doors everything had to be sold or trashed, and it was better to get some money than no money.

I’m making up most of the details, by the way, because I was away at college.  But my parents would email me every week, talking about how the prices kept dropping and how the store kept getting more and more empty, but every week they’d go back and see just how much cheaper certain things were.

By the end, they were buying movies for a dollar or two because they had wanted to see them and it was cheaper than renting.  That was, in fact, how I ended up finally getting a copy of Purple Rain and seeing it for the first and last time.

That’s kind of how Idol feels right now.

Oh, they talk a good game, I guess, with Jennifer going on and on about how she’s sad it’s the last season, and how no other show has produced so many stars and/or hit records. 

Which is true, or was at one time.

Of course, the last three years have been a near-complete bust.  Two of the last three had records which barely charted or sold.  And the last one?  We’ve got three weeks left of Idol, and his record isn’t out.

He instead released one fresh single, which, um… wasn’t great.  And didn’t chart.

They’re not even talking about an Idol tour for next year, after last year went from the top ten to the top five only. 

And the fact that last year’s winner doesn’t have an album out yet means this year’s winner probably shouldn’t be holding their breath.

Which is to say, it’s the last year, and everything must go.


I’ve started writing about the show this year a couple of times now, but I’ve been busy, my blog has been neglected, and honestly I’m waking up every morning and while I wasn’t hugely invested in the winners, well, this year the show isn’t even very invested.

That said, it’s the last Idol season ever (until they bring it back in five years in a desperate attempt to get solid ratings for ANYTHING on Fox), so I feel like I should at last take a stab at the top five, and see if I can guess who goes out when.

In previous years, I always stated that I would get within two places for going out, and then I would always a) miss one person who would do a massive climb even though they were terrible, and b) would whiff the actual winner, usually putting them somewhere in the middle of the pack.

This is because American and I like different things, for the most part.

So, from bottom to top:

Sonika: She has a great voice, but she got a save twice in a season where there were “no” saves, and now she can’t be protected.  She’s got a great voice, but her stage presence needs honing.

Dalton: I really like Dalton as a person.  First, for putting his bipolar status out there.  Mental illness is still pretty much the silent disease in this country, and putting it out there into the world will surely help someone who thinks she’s great and will finally have someone to identify with.  I hope he and Demi Lovato had a nice chat last week.  But his voice isn’t the best on the stage and his showmanship can really vary when he gets outside his wheelhouse.  I wish him so much luck.

MacKenzie:  I really liked his original song, and he owns the stage.  But the sensitive singer/songwriter doesn’t really win this competition.  Alex Preston (who just released a fantastic record last July) went out third.  So will this guy.

Trent:  Great voice.  Amazing stage presence.  Any other year, I’d think he could take it, and really, I think he still could, because the voters can be stunningly fickle. 

La’Porsha:  Every performance of hers has been nothing less than stunning.  She deserves to win.  And get a great record deal.  And become a huge star.  And she has the cutest baby.  But as I said, everything must go.

In reality, there’s always one bad vote every year, and with no saves, someone else could take it.  But yeah, she’s eared this one.