Books are the gateway to imagination

Books are the gateway to imagination
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Last night American Idol did it again!

Yep! This is definitely a RANT.

The multi-talented James Durbin, who never hit the Bottom Three once, and consistently delivered amazing performances, didn’t make it into the Top Three. Meanwhile, Haley Reinhart, albeit she has a good voice laced with occasional pissy attitude, sat on the bottom three stool four times, but she bested James and became a top three contender. She is joined by laid back Scotty McCreary and more mature than her age Lauren Aliana.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and James was my hands-down choice to become, as Ryan Seacrest would say: The nexxxt Amerrican Idol! Obviously a huge number of voters had another idea or James wouldn't have been bumped--or was it a huge number? Wish we knew the spread in votes. It would probably be interesting.

Like I said, everyone is entitled to their favorite and certainly justified in placing a vote for the singer they love. Here is the rub for me. Is everyone entitled to FIFTY VOTES if they vote online? See, if you do the math, and wonder where the SEVENTY-TWO MILLION votes came fromthe number that faux-astounded Ryan you would see that only 5,000 voters could reasonably commandeer the laptop until they hit FIFTY VOTES EACH.
Whoa. That’s TWO HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND votes! But, take it up a notch.
If FIFTY THOUSAND teens, tweens, middlesters or oldsters hit those keys FIFTY TIMES EACH, it becomes a whopping TWO MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND VOTES.

Now that’s surprising, but it could have been worse. When  online voting was available at the start of the season, the vote limit was ONE HUNDRED VOTES PER COMPUTER. The number in my example would have swelled to FIVE MILLION from only FIFTY THOUSAND individual voters.

If you check the net, so many people are posting angry rants about the latest debacle. First it was the very talented Pia and now James. The judge’s praise for some of the outstanding contestants throughout these recent years seems to have been a curse rather than a boost. Look at what happened to Adam Lambert, Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson and several others that should never have been ousted when American got it wrong. And, then there was Chicken Little, but that's another story.
Many of the super-talented ousted contenstants went on to become superstars, or at least became successful performers, leaving that year’s Idol in the dust. Only a handful of the Idols achieved what those talents did. Lambert’s debut album outsold Kris Allen’s debut album by more than two to one the first week and he has thrilled audiences all over the world with his Glam Tour. Daughtry is a success story in itself and need I say more about Hudson? She nabbed a well-desrerved Grammy and an Oscar. Then there are the many of the also-rans like Constantine who went on to star on the stages of Broadway.

I predict James Durbin will become a star because he is the whole package - an innovative, dynamic singer and consummate showman. I would pay to go to his concert --- he’s metal/rock and I’m a bona fide senior, but I cut my teeth on rock and still love it. The guy is compelling on stage and that transcends age unless you hate rock or metal. Then you wouldn’t pay to see the best of the best anyway, because they’re not your thing.

The bloom is off the rose for me with Idol, however. Frankly, I don’t care which of the remaining three win. They simply aren't exciting. I certainly won’t clear my schedule to stay glued to the TV as I did when it meant one more performance from James Durbin. If I have time, I’ll watch. If not, I’ll do whatever is important to me. Too bad. I looked forward to seeing James every week, wondering what he would do next.

So, with all of that said, sometimes a boot in the butt is a boost and I say to James, “You are one talented dude. What you do from a vocal and performance angle while conquering your physical challenges boils down to absolutely stellar performances every single time. In my opinion, you are destined to join the likes of Daughtry, Hudson and Lambert. Godspeed to you. I foresee big things for you and your lovely wife and son.

As for Idol, you’ve skewed the voting power of America with those fifty votes, and put it in the hands of a few to produce millions of votes. What about having the judge’s opinions count for a portion of the points like many similar shows do? That way America gets its say, but so do professionals who recognize talent and also know what will sell. Otherwise, I’m afraid Idol will descend deeper and deeper into the fiasco I think it’s becoming.

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