Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who Really Won American Idol? Scotty or Lauren?

Update: The morning after!

Courtesy USA Today
I'm just a little miffed, right now. With Scotty McCreery from my neck of the woods, I have supported him with my votes from the beginning. He's a wonderful young man with a bright future and I thoroughly enjoy his singing. And, I also enjoy Lauren's singing -- not as much as Hayley, but, then, again, they're all in the Top Ten and have a year's worth of touring to make their mark. American Idol is a show that allows young people a chance to side-step the serious work of a career and jump right into all the horrors that come from being plunged into that position, while the wheelers and dealers fill their pockets.

I really believe that's one of the reasons most of them fade into oblivion. There's no solid base to work from and the whole family gets caught up in the chaos of suddenly available fame and money. Your mid-teens show you can sing -- but the mid-teens have nothing to do with the maturity to run your own career, see through the charlatans and hangers-on who will whittle away your money, and all the new "friends" who will disappear at the first sign of your not picking up the check. If your family hasn't dealt with large sums of money, they don't develop the skill the moment you win the title. And, more importantly, you haven't LIVED enough to give a good song a solid telling of its story -- a reason, I believe, that most of today's songs are nothing more than the same phrase being repeated over and over to a great beat. (BOY! I really am miffed.)

So, to make a short story even longer, American Idol is a competition and should be treated as such. I think Scotty made a huge mistake in being a gentleman and giving song delivery placement choice to Lauren. This is when being a nice guy shoots you in the foot. Was his special song great? No, but it was a nice country song and folks will enjoy it. Was Lauren's song great? Oh, yes -- as only a true country tearjerker can be -- short of singing about Jesus or someone dying young.

But Scotty did his job and sang his songs. Lauren showed her true immaturity - personal and physical -- for the job ahead. Her voice doesn't have the strength to perform under heavy conditions. She's nervous and has missed more than she has succeeded -- yet, Haley (a far superior singer) lost out because she dared be her best at what she does and show some confidence. No one has ever taken issue with the judge's and made it to the finish.

So, Lauren (or, her people) decide she needs help. Did she have a vocal chord problem; yes. Did we need to know? No. But, let's put out a story that she probably won't be able to sing on the final night of competition. Well, that will bring in viewers. Yup. Oh, wait, let's make sure the viewers all know about her problem at the top of the show -- and, that she's bravely ready to carry on. Now, let's bring on the doctor to make sure we all understand that she's able to go on! Well, folks, for those of you who don't know, professional singers/entertainers have this problem all the time, and it's taken care of behind the scenes -- the audience doesn't have to be told, because the show goes on, without trying for the sympathy vote. And, if that isn't enough, we're going to go for one more pity vote. Let's let Lauren, hand-held by Ryan, walk down the stairs to her Mother (in the MIDDLE of her final competition song!) and with teary-eyes let them embrace, so that we all understand just what a difficult obstacle she's overcome to be here for this moment. Okay. It was a great song but a very heavy-handed biased presentation.

Why am I miffed? (Just so you know, I'm not alone, here. There have been too many complaints from other voters online, as well.) I tried over and over to cast my online vote (calling and texting, as well) and simply couldn't get through, ever! When you picked Scotty to vote for, the screen just locked up. I tried for almost two hours -- longer than the average old lady would ever do it, but I'm tenacious and had a mission. For some of those who made it through, according to the commenters, they were immediately greeted with a screen that said, "Thank You for your vote for Number Two!" That was Lauren's number. She had all the even numbers! Scotty had the odd numbers. Even though you are told you could vote up to 50 times (WTF?) for your favorite, you couldn't even get into a screen to cast your first vote. Then, for the few who did make it through, they get thanked for voting for Lauren! I'm usually not the suspicious type, but this same foolishness happened when we tried to vote for Fantasia, a few years ago. In fact, the number belonged to a private individual who wasn't the least bit happy about all the calls. By the time they got that problem straightened out, the voting was over.

Something is just not right. Until you can actually see the demographics and voting results, you can only take the word of the producers. But, when you are prevented from voting and there's been a declared favorite, you start getting that funny feeling... I hope and pray that Scotty wins because he did it by following the rules, and he's a local boy. But, if Lauren wins, I'll never believe it was a fair vote -- and, that's too bad. I still think the whole premise of American Idol is ludicrous because the voters never back up their votes with spending their money for recordings; but, it should still be fairly done.

I will wait, with America, to whoop or weep.


  1. I applaud you miffed-ness (?)! I don't think we can be too suspicious of these shows. After all, it's TV and there has to be some (a lot!) of drama. I have long thought that all these shows are manipulated - or is that the audience? - to achieve the voting result that the producers want. It's so easy to do, apparently.

    In Canada, we can't vote so I don't know about the frustration level but I agree it does look like a fix.

    My take on AI is that the winner isn't as well off as the runners-up. Everybody knows that Haley is great and she'll go far. AI just gave her the huge exposure that she needed.

    And, yes, it does take a LOT of maturity and support to survive this industry. Good luck to them both!

  2. I still think Scotty will win. I was pulling for James though.

  3. When they get to the final 3 or so, they are all great. And just because someone wins, doesn't mean they will be the one with all the fame and future riches for the long term. I believe that the last few are picked up by producers and their future is really in their own hands at that point. Yes, the winner has a monitary edge, but future success is more than just winning this one contest.

    Just my thoughts

  4. We had the same voting problem when we had the swedish semifinals in the eurovision song contest. One of the favorites lost because of that but they still say it was a fair vote :-) :-) :-)

    It seems to be a curse to win the Swedish Idol! All winners are soon forgotten, they usually do the wrong choices after the winning. But those coming second or even down to tenth place usually have a career after that show.

    We won´t be able to see the American Idol here until late June/early July. I did see it when Adam Lambert came second and I have to say that he is a much greater artist than the one that won. What happened to that guy? Adam Lambert is rather popular over here but I haven´t even heard a song from the winner.

    Have a great day!