Saturday, March 05, 2011

Honking Box Preview: American Idol

This time last year, we were putting the finalists of American Idol Season 9 under the microscope with an unenthusiastic fatigue. However, this series has seen a marked improvement, courtesy of two new judges, new rounds post-Hollywood, a reworked finalist selection process, and, crucially, a lack of Simon Cowell. So let us rejoice in his absence and hope that he also chooses to abandon the UK X Factor as we shine a light on this year’s American Idol finalists...

Lauren Alaina
One of the successful examples of the decision to lower the age limit, Lauren’s quickly establishing herself as America’s kid sister. But while the US whoops about her big voice and lovable character, here in the UK it’s hard not to think of her as an American take on Komedy Kimberley from Series 4 of The X Factor.
Deserved placing: 6th
Likely placing: Winner

Jacob Lusk
Uproarious, semi-mental, camp-as-tits bellower who’s managed the impossible – straddling the entirely exclusive pigeonholes of hilarious and talented. His voice is difficult to argue with, but whether the square states will warm to a singer who’s (a) as flamboyant as Jacob, and (b) black along with it remains to be seen.
Deserved placing: 4th
Likely placing: 9th

Pia Toscano
After providing the stand-out performance of the Top 24 stage, Pia’s made herself an early viewer favourite. But she’s also set the bar incredibly high for herself, so where she goes from here should be interesting. Whatever the outcome, it’d be rude to overlook the fact her name sounds like a seasonal special at Pizza Express.
Deserved placing: 3rd
Likely placing: 3rd

Karen Rodriguez
New Yorker who’s vehemently pushing to become the show’s first Latino winner. The presence of J-Lo on the judging panel already makes this year’s Idol a far more Latin-friendly affair, so perhaps that audience will respond with their phones. Mind you, she seems a tad too nice, like she’d wet her knickers at the very idea of Rock Week.
Deserved placing: 11th
Likely placing: 4th

Paul McDonald
Peculiar yet intriguing folksy rocker with a retina-scorching Colgate smile and a rather iffy range of floral blazers. While he has a touch of the David Cook about him, the gentle-voiced quirkiness Paul displays is something the Idol stage hasn’t seen before. But equipped with such eccentricities and subtle vocal talents, will America ‘get’ him?
Deserved placing: Runner-up
Likely placing: 5th

Scotty McCreery
Irksome country goon whose grunt of a voice sounds like a shedful of oxen, and has single-handedly turned Your Man by Josh Turner – previously a song known by about three people – into one of the world's most hated songs. Clumsy, asexual, one-dimensional and a sure pick for Vote For The Worst.
Deserved placing: 13th
Likely placing: 6th

Naima Adedapo
Wonderfully kooky with a genuine air of artistry about her, Naima is the most distinctive finalist to grace the Idol stage in years. The dreads, the African prints and the slight worthiness might scare voters away, but along with Paul, Naima promises to make this year’s American Idol an incredibly interesting competition.
Deserved placing: Winner
Likely placing: 10th

Stefano Langone
One of the three wildcard picks this year, but Stefano doesn’t have much in the way of identity just yet – perhaps a by-product of the rapid whittling from 24 down to 13. There’s an impressive voice in a relevant, contemporary package , but without any noticeable quirks attached, it’s hard to see him lasting too long.
Deserved placing: 10th
Likely placing: 12th

Ashthon Jones
Where American Idol usually reserves its perennial diva slots for the heftier belter, Ashthon is very much a contemporary, poppier take on the role, all bouncy hair and stage-strutting and neck-snapping and finger clicks. And while she does it with finesse, there’s no detracting from a seriously impressive voice to boot.
Deserved placing: 5th
Likely placing: 11th

Thia Megia
Cutesy Filipino schoolgirl with a pretty but fragile voice. At approximately nine years old, Thia may be drowned in a sea of more experienced vocalists. She’s good, sure, but how far can ‘sweet’ actually get a finalist? (Actually, we could use Joe McElderry’s head-cocked-to-the-side schtick as evidence to the contrary, but frankly, that shit was vomit-inducing.)
Deserved placing: 9th
Likely placing: 7th

Casey Abrams
Cello-playing, beard-sporting muso type, Casey isn’t popstar-on-paper material. But the last three years have demonstrated America loves a slightly rocky, instrument-wielding male singer, a role Casey fills this year’s line-up. He’s good, sure, but as the absence of Cowell has shown us, a change from the last few series is a very good thing indeed.
Deserved placing: 7th
Likely placing: Runner-up

James Durbin
With a knowledge of how to work a stage and a piercing rawk scream, James is cut from the same cloth as Adam Lambert, albeit not the sequinned end of the roll like Adam. His backstory of poverty, Tourette’s and a young son is a triple-shot of viewer-pleasing tearduct-bothering, but the voice suggests there’s a whole lot more beyond that.
Deserved placing: 8th
Likely placing: 8th

Haley Reinhart
Perhaps the most ‘filler’ contestant of the season, Haley boasts a decent voice but sweet FA in the way of artistry or individuality. It’s a shame to see her take a spot that would’ve been much better occupied by Julie Zorrilla or Lauren Turner. Of all the rich, eloquent adjectives in the English language, it’s hard to come up with anything better than ‘meh’.
Deserved placing: 12th
Likely placing: 13th

No comments:

Creative Commons Licence
The Sloppy Dog by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.