American Idol Top 12
For Simon’s last season, they’re certainly going out with a bang, huh? Or more like a dud. The consensus seems to be this is the worst final 12 this show has ever had. We are down to the finals, and for the first time in what seems like forever, there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut favorite. Sure, Simon anointed Crystal as the one to beat but, well, more on her in a bit. The only hope is, at this point last season, not one person thought Kris Allen would end up being the winner, and he just seemed to get better and better every week. Hopefully that happens to someone this season, because so far, not only do we not have a front runner, there hasn’t been a “wow” performance since probably Andrew’s “Straight Up” rendition during Hollywood Week. Which has essentially turned into the kiss of death for him since he hasn’t even belted out an average performance since then. Here are my thoughts on the final 12 contestants. And as is the case every year, I’m sure my opinion will change about each of them on a weekly basis. But as we stand right now, here is what I think:
Didi Benami: My favorite female vocalist this season. Has a good look, can see her putting out a contemporary album, and has a huge likeability factor about her, despite her crying every week. One of the few people I could actually see winning this season, although, she needs to improve since she hasn’t done all that great since she sang Kara’s song during Hollywood week. Huge potential though.
Crystal Bowersox: Not a fan. Don’t know what it is. The fact she looks unshowered and dirty every week. The fact she never seems to smile and seems like she’s too good for this show, I don’t know. Totally comes across as a music snob because her music is more Indie-like, whereas this show produces more mainstream stuff. Hence this being the #1 reason why she won’t win. She won’t appeal to enough of the middle aged women and teenie boppers who vote on this show. With that said, probably is the most polished performer of any of the 12. She just won’t win. Not mainstream enough. Don’t believe me? See: Adam Lambert.
Lacey Brown: I don’t dislike her as much as most people do. Will she win? Not a chance. But she’s got the likeability factor going for her and has a decent voice. Song choice is huge for her. Don’t know how she’s going to pull off a Rolling Stones song this week. Might be tough.
Siobhan Magnus: Ummmmm, where do I start? The positives: Probably is the 2nd most polished performer out of the females. Negatives: She is flat out just a weird character. Comes across as socially awkward and the only time she looks comfortable is when she’s singing. Has zero personality and her likeability factor is at about a negative-5 right now. And if someone can explain how in the world you pronounce “S-I-O-B-H-A-N” as “Shauvon”, I’d really appreciate it. However, I think she’ll stick around a while because she can sing.
Paige Miles: Shocked she’s even still here. She was terrible for three straight weeks during the live shows and we don’t know much about her. Especially when they had it down between her and Katelyn Epperly, I thought for sure Paige would be gone. I think she lasts one, maybe two, weeks tops.
Katie Stevens: The “enigma” as I like to call her. Why? Because she’s my second favorite female on the show behind Didi. I think she has an incredible voice for 16 years old, but, hasn’t done well in three weeks of live shows and has yet to pick the right song. With that said, I think she has final four potential. She’s likeable, she appeals to teenie bopper voters, she sounds like Katherine McPhee used to sound, and if she ever picks the right song and gets some confidence, watch out. If she doesn’t, she could be gone early. Jordin Sparks was more polished at 16 which is why she won, but Katie has the potential to be really, really good. I just don’t know if she’ll reach that potential in time on this show.
Lee Dewyze: The one major problem working against Lee is that nobody knew who the hell he was until the live shows started. Don’t think we ever saw his audition and barely saw him on Hollywood Week. He is the guy I could see being this season’s Kris Allen. Has a distinct voice, very good performer, but as of now, has zero personality. He needs to improve on that if he wants to win. Nothing about him screams “the next American Idol” – right now. That could change though. I think he’ll be around a while.
Andrew Garcia: Probably has the highest likeability factor of any of the remaining contestants, and it’s all based off his “Straight Up” performance. As long as that’s still fresh in people’s heads, he’ll stick around. I liked what he did with the Christina Aguilera song, I just think he picked the wrong one. Just to hear him singing “I’m a genie in a bottle, come and rub me the right way” seemed awfully awkward. Talented artist, could be really good, but might be hurt down the road by the “Straight Up” performance if he can’t top it.
Casey James: Ok, can we please stop acting like he’s the hottest guy walking the planet? Good Lord, calm down people. There’s a 100 Casey James walking around in Fort Worth right now. I can’t believe how stupid Kara acted on that first live show. That was over-the-top and utterly ridiculous. Really? This guy is that dreamy? Please. He’s a dime a dozen. Just because he’s better looking than the other five guys left doesn’t mean he’s some heartthrob. With that said, one of the other few I could see winning this thing. Good voice, good stage presence, and doesn’t come off as some country bumpkin.
Aaron Kelly: Don’t get him at all. Sounds like he’d win a high school talent show maybe, but this stage is much, much too big for him. Feel like he’s straining so hard to sing every song and is completely uncomfortable up on stage. Just like I said during the David Cook/David Archuleta final: Would you honestly pay money to go watch David Archuleta headline a concert for an hour and a half? Of course you wouldn’t. Same with Aaron Kelly. He has zero stage presence and looks twelve years old. Aaron Kelly has both of those things, but also not nearly as good a voice as Archuleta. I hope he’s not the one this season that the teenie boppers keep around longer than he should because they want to ask him to their prom. Lets put him out of his misery early.
Michael Lynche: One of the other few I can actually see winning. Has the backstory of his wife being in labor during Hollywood Week on his side. The downside is he comes across as a little cocky and too full of himself sometimes. I get that he’s a big guy with a big personality, but at times, it might rub people the wrong way. Plus, if he’s a personal trainer, shouldn’t he weigh less than 300lbs? Just saying. Great stage presence, really good voice, and we’ve already seen a large black man win this competition before, so it wouldn’t be unheard of.
Tim Urban: Has the “Jonas Brothers” vote going for him. I guarantee he’ll last probably a little longer than he should based on his moppy hair and the fact that teenage girls get all mushy when he’s on stage. However, he’s actually gotten better during his live shows, which kinda surprised me considering how awful he was in the first week. Once he made it through that, I knew he was getting the female vote. Could be a sleeper though, depending on if his vocals continue to improve. Can he win? No. But he will make females across America forget Aaron Kelly awfully quick.
On Wednesday, I’ll give my overall thoughts on the season so far before breaking down tomorrow night’s Rolling Stone’s performances. From Randy’s lack of vocabulary, to Kara’s hotness, to Simon’s engagement, to Ellen’s, well, whatever she’s doing there, to Seacrest’s insistence of poking and prodding Simon on a weekly basis, to the God awful lip synched group performances which need to stop, like, yesterday.
One final note: As I mentioned in the first paragraph, today is somewhat of a special day. It’s the two year anniversary of when I adopted my dog Maddie. Easily the best purchase I’ve ever made. It’s amazing it’s been two years. The weird thing is, I don’t even remember what it was like when I didn’t have her around. She’s the only female in my life that doesn’t talk back to me, doesn’t question my motivations, doesn’t bring in unnecessary drama, and is always happy to see me. So once again, if my future wife is reading this, then just know we are a package deal. If you can’t get along with Maddie, or if getting dog hair on your clothes is annoying to you, or you are not a dog person, then we are going to have problems. You are the best, Maddie. Now quit peeing on the rug. That’s what the potty pads are for.
Be back Wednesday with a new column covering tomorrow’s “Idol” performances, the 20/20 piece on the “Bachelor” tonight, “Survivor”, and “Celebrity Apprentice”. For those that want to follow me on Twitter, go to www.twitter.com/RealitySteve. I’m almost maxed out on the 5,000 Facebook friends and have 2,000 currently waiting to be added. I’ll be starting a fan page soon and will let you know when I do. So if you’re wondering why you haven’t been added, that’s the reason. Any questions, comments, emails, praises, criticisms, suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you Wednesday…