I was a little surprised with all the outrage last week when singer Pia Toscano got the boot on American Idol. Pia was a great singer but great singers get the boot early every year. In fact great singers also rarely win American Idol. The winners usually have great vocal talent for sure, but with the exception of first year winner Kelly Clarkson, most winners could arguably be seen as great performers who sing rather than great singers who perform. Pia was not the greatest performer. Like past early evictee Jennifer Hudson, her personality did not exactly leap out of the tv screen and give you a big hug. The best example of this was season one's Tamyra Gray. Tamyra is one of the shows best singers but she came off arrogant and distant. Her inability to connect with an audience has still prevented her from getting her career off the ground. Idol tried it's best to help her for years, dragging her back to sing but although her brilliant vocals remained, so did her coldness. I am by no means saying Pia was cold, but pure talent has never been the main reason for an Idol win.
I guess I was surprised because Idol, although still a show I watch and enjoy has sort of become a background show in my life. I watch, or DVR, but don't really invest in it any more. I think it was years of disappointment and frustration. I remember season 2 in particular rooting for a Kimberly or Clay win (I liked Rueben but never saw him as able to really pull off stardom). Jennifer Hudson, and maybe for me even more Latoya London's departures in season 3 were disappointments. Add to that Scott Savol and Sanjaya's ability to last longer than far more talented singers taught me American Idol was a show to enjoy, not to invest or waste any emotion in.
Despite all the outrage, Idol usually ends up picking up a decent winner. Except for Season 5 when Chris Daughtry, or to me Elliott Yamin, should have taken the crown I have been ok with most winners. I know many believe Adam Lambert should have won his year but I liked both he and Kris Allen so it was a toss up. Even though this year, like every year critics claim the teenage girls are pushing the vote, those girls have rarely actually produced a winner.
Like each of the past 9 seasons or so the show pushes this group as The Best Group Ever!!! It of course is not true. If there were a group who should have that title I would give it to Season 2 or Season 5. I never really enjoyed Rod Stewart wannabe Paul who left last night, and I don't get the fuss over Casey. Scotty McCreery made me smile for about one week and now bores me to tears and Jacob's over emoting is cringe worthy. Jiimmy Lovine might be a talented producer but is creepy and only brings down the show. My main smiles each week come from watching Stefano Langone. Yeah Yeah he is cute but I also love his voice (when singing more than speaking...) He was really great this week and although will not make it to the end, is the only consistent part of my DVR recording that does not get the ole FF.