In a total turn around, this week’s results from the American Idol home audience vote stunned the judges and audience by voting out Casey Abrams. Casey has been a favorite of the judges, and is incredibly talented and versatile. When he steps on the stage, he becomes the singer he is emulating, and owns the stage. What happened?
I have said before that this season’s Idol contestants are incredibly talented and potential stars far above most previous year’s Idol contestants at this stage of the game. I believe Casey was just beaten by ever improving competition in his co-contestants, and an unfortunate choice of song. I have not seen a successful result from any recent rendition of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by any Idol contestant. It worked for Marvin Gaye way back when, but I think when we hear it now, visions of dopey grapes dance through our minds, souring our dispositions. It is just an observation.
Naima, who has had a few weak performances in the past few weeks, came back with a moving and lower keyed rendition of “Dancing in the Street.” She promised to overcome her screechy “pitchiness”, and she did just that. She ended her performance with an intriguing African dance. Her improvement, in all likelihood made some people vote for her instead of Casey just to reward her improvement.
Haley, the gravel-throated blond beauty, also knocked it out of the park after several weeks of weak performances as she struggles to find out who she is as a performer. She sang “You really got a hold on me!” Apparently she connected with the audience because she was out of the expected lower three this week.
Stephano was in the bottom three as expected. He is good, but the competition is better. He appeals to the young women with his innocent, Latino, good looks, but his singing is becoming stretched beyond his confidence level.
The other contestants were amazing. Scotty continues to amaze me with his deep, country voice that successfully owns even Motown. Is Lauren really only 16 years old? She reminds me of a young Leann Rimes. Thia and Pia have naturally strong, beautifully toned voices and are gorgeous. Pia has been compared to Céline Dion. James Durbin is so good, so outgoing, and so full of personality, that he not only inspires young rock singers, he is also a great inspiration to people who have been labeled with disabilities such as Asperger’s or Tourette’s. Obviously, he doesn’t let his labels define him.
So, back to the question, what happened? In case you didn’t see it, Casey got voted out, we were all stunned. We should have expected it, since the show started by saying the results would shock us. The judges wisely and conveniently, used their one time save to keep Casey from leaving, and the top 10 contestants are now the top 11 contestants to go on tour this summer. Was it a set up? Was it staged for drama? Well, maybe. We will never know. But one thing I can say. It was a smart move! All eleven contestants need to be there for the summer tour. They all have a specific audience and they are all crazy talented. You will be hearing from these performers for a long time. They will bring in big money and fame. Besides, if Casey was really voted off before the summer tour cut, I would be out of there for the season!