Some Belated Thoughts on the Season 11 American Idol Finale

Some of you readers may have wondered why I didn’t post anything after last week’s American Idol finale…. Well, the reason is, which may come to you as no surprise, that I was just upset and annoyed. I needed some time away from Idol for a bit. I was incredibly frustrated, though not surprised, that the wrong person won again! This was the fourth year in a row when a lesser contestant (Phillip over Jessica, Scotty over Lauren, Lee over Crystal, Kris over Adam) won the show and the fifth year in a row that a white guy with a guitar won the show (David Cook completes the quintet). So, when Phillip Phillips was named the winner, I was honestly pissed off… Ok, I get that he has a big fan base and he’s incredibly attractive and charming. But he’s not a very good singer people! And in a singing competition, shouldn’t the best singer win? If that were the case, Jessica Sanchez would’ve easily took home the crown… Alas, we all know this is a big popularity contest along with a singing competition and you can’t deny the power of the tween girl texters who have powered all these boys to a win…. Now, despite my anger over the outcome, I wish Phillip well. His songs are selling decently on iTunes for the time being (comparable to Lee’s and Scotty’s but below Cook’s). I do wonder how he will do once his album arrives. I think it could sell well, but I highly doubt he will ever have any hit pop songs. His Dave Matthews-type music has a certain audience but it isn’t the type to get radio airplay these days… That task we will leave up to Jessica who will certainly get a record deal and if Jimmy Iovine and the people at Interscope treat her right could have a huge pop star on their hands. She’s that good. She just needs the right guidance and songs. (As we all know, and even I will admit, song choice was not her strong suit in the competition… nor was it the producers or judges…)
So, as we say goodbye to a really good season that brought us some phenomenal talent, I will say I foresee record deals for Phillip and Jessica of course, along with Joshua Ledet (who could do well in the gospel and R&B arena), Colton Dixon (who has a great contemporary Christian career ahead of him) and especially Skylar Laine who has a wonderful shot at a fantastic country career. I am also curious to see what happens to perennial underdog Hollie Cavanagh. She has an incredible voice, but needs some more guidance and experience…. We’ll see how they grow as performers and artists this summer on the American Idol tour.

Now, there are some things Idol needs to do next year to get its edge and influence back. Here are my suggestions~

1. Ban guitars and instruments… Go back to singers singing if you want to see a different type of winner…
2. Get new relevant and current themes. The producers need to wake up and do contemporary themes because those are the ones that connect with the young audience they so crave… (And hello, trotting out those old artists on the finale like Neil Diamond, John Fogerty and Chaka Kahn, who are certainly wonderful in their own right, was a big mistake. The young audience doesn’t know who they are for the most part and doesn’t relate to them. You need to keep your guests more like Rihanna if you want bigger ratings…)
3. Switch up the judging panel~ Dump Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler. Randy is useless and Steven, while entertaining, is a hot mess and only gives a real critique one out of every 15 tries. He also clearly has no idea what “Over the Top” really means cuz he used it wrong constantly…. They can keep J. Lo for star power and her sometimes useful critiques. But she needs to study up on the history of the show because she is constantly proclaiming things that are totally wrong. For example~ she stated she’d never seen anything like Phillip’s performance of “Home”. Hello, check out Lee Dewyze’s finale performance from two years earlier)… Then, they need to add Jimmy Iovine to the judging panel for some real, honest critique…. Finally they have to add a younger artist the singers might relate to better for the third choice~ perhaps a former contestant? I’m open to ideas for that third spot.
4. Get some new producers… As I said before, the producers are using the same old tricks with the themes and guests… They need to mix it up big time.
5. Put a limit on text and phone votes like Dancing with the Stars... 5 calls per house or phone or something will make it a lot fairer.

Ok, so those are my brief thoughts for the time being. I really enjoyed this season for the most part which gave us some incredible performances, fun personalities and villains (argh Heejun Hahn!), lol … Before I go, please enjoy the two best performances from the finale featuring the girl who should’ve won it all, Jessica Sanchez.

Jessica Sanchez “I Will Always Love You” (Idol finale)

And the undisputed performance of the night from Jessica and Tony and Grammy winner Jennifer Holiday on “And I Am Telling You”

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