Update: The morning after!
|Courtesy USA Today|
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.