Thursday, April 7, 2011

American Idol Top 9 Results Shocker

Let's not bury the lead: Pia Toscano went home.

I would have to say that this was the biggest exit shocker since Daughtry got voted off. Yes, even bigger than Kris over Adam (that’s another debate for another time – mostly in the past).

I’m not going to predict how well Pia will or can do post-Idol. That’s a real wildcard. I will say that women do well on pop and Hot AC radio right now, and she’s got the sexy look. The potential is there, but there are just too many variables. If someone can get her out of pageant mode and get her performance style to match her amazing voice, she can do quite well.

What I will predict is that a female will never again win American Idol. You may argue with me now, but wait until the top 6 or even top 7 are all male in a couple of weeks. Idol’s viewer demographic is not what it was five years ago. Many younger viewers have fled (in fact, many have fled TV altogether - I lament). The viewers that have stuck around have aged a decade since the beginning. Throw all the tomatoes you want at me, but I’ve seen the Nielsen demographic information in detailed breakdown for the show and it really is predominantly female over 35. They prefer the guy rockers. I’m not even going to say it’s a “sexy” thing. I truly believe this current, predominant demographic likes a brand of rock music that skews male rocker. If they’re sexy that seals the deal. It only takes a majority of 51%. The remaining 49% (and that’s a lot of people – 10 million) may be wonderfully diverse, but it’s not enough to change the situation. I think Idol will go to its grave sometime later this decade without successfully revamping it’s demos. If X-Factor is a big hit, then Idol's demise might come sooner rather than later.

Idol is still out of touch with what's played on radio today. The thing is, I'm enjoying this season immensely. There's great talent and the new judges have breathed new life into the show (although I still wish they'd offer more constructive criticism). I think the right contestants have been booted until this week. And that's the problem. I really don't like what's played on CHR (pop) radio today and I like me some good rock & roll (Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars & Pink aside - big fan here). I do not listen to hip hop or rap, and most pop annoys the hell out of me. So lump me in with the rest of the majority watching Idol: we're just not voting for contestants who have the best chance to succeed in today's music world. In the "real world," producers and labels would get hold of Stefano, autotune him where necessary, and package him up as the next Bruno Mars (who does NOT need autotune, btw). In the Idol world, Stefano will be voted off right after the women.

Just a brief note about tonight's musical guest, season 4 contestant Constantine Maroulis. He looked and sounded great, but why in the world would you come on and sing a cover years after being on the show? Ok, the arrangement for his version of "Unchained Melody" was fantastic, and he certainly made it his own. And he doesn't have a hit record out right now, but he's in a hit musical. Why not sing something from "Rock of Ages?"

Pia Toscano reprised "I'll Stand By You" for her final song. Montage, performance & shocked judges:

And then there were eight.


Anonymous said...

Nicely done, Scott! You summed up tonights show perfectly. Even David stepped out of the "Zone" tonight! Hmmmmmm he's watching.FYI:I just discovered this Blog . . .I guess that I'm a little slow on the interesting resources. Thanks, Lynne

cookfantoo said...

Once again your review is spot on - I said what you said when I saw Constantine perform that cover. And Ryan was right in saying he heard us scream in our living rooms when he gave us the results.

I hope Pia is able to continue to do what she does best (sing) and find someone to work with her on de-glamourizing.

Jane said...

Outstanding summary! I'm not even watching this season, but I feel as if I am from your reviews. Totally agree with your demographic assessment, by the way. Bravo for Scott's American Idol round ups!

Amy said...

Great post, Scott! Really interesting info about the demographics. To be honest, I'm not allt hat sorry to see Pia go. Definitely too pageantry and not enough diva to make up for it. Very shocked, however, that Paul and Haley survived her.

I can't even make a prediction about who will win, other than agree a guy is the likely bet. What a fun season!

Scott said...

Yeah, when all is said and done, I think this season is very close to seasons 7 & 8 in terms of enjoyment and talent. Seasons 6 and 9 were duds to me (although I think Jordin Sparks is just fine). I will always have a special place in my heart for season 7 - not only did my boy David Cook win (and I'm still a huge fan and follow his career closely), but you had Carly Smithson who's now in a fantastic goth metal band "We Are the Fallen," the fabulous Brooke White, Jason Castro (he's with Atlantic Records), Seyesha who IS a mini-Diva (and has had a great run in Dreamgirls), and of course Archie.

Season 8 is great just on account of "Kradison" - Kris Allen, Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta.

Lisa said...

I don't watch either, but Scot is so fascinating with his commentary that I might start. So smart!