Unfortunately, it doesn’t really feel wrong to me. Women get the short stick when it comes to the Top 9, even in rounds where there are only 3 of them left. Haley’s performance was good, but not quite good enough according to the model, especially considering the order that she went.
Now there is no clear favorite to go. Haley, Lauren, Stefano, and Jacob are the likely bottom vote getters. Everyone else has a much smaller probability. But it would not be shocking if Stefano (P = 18%) were to go instead of Haley (P = 29%). But, the smart money is on Haley.
Michael,Tina,Janice Joplin,Johnny Cash,Aretha,Elvis,Beatles(George Harrison),Creedence + Percy Sledge R&R Hall of Fame Night on #IDOL 2nite!
The overall average score is 50. Here’s a list to give you an idea of how a given artist’s songs have scored (assuming that the song is “When a Man Loves a Woman”, mostly attributed to Percy Sledge and NOT to CCR)
If it was Casey who chose Percy Sledge, and I think it is, he picked a terrible song. Aretha is a great choice, as is Johnny Cash (almost certainly Scotty) and Janis Joplin (hopefully Haley). Pia’s pick of Tina Turner is not good at all, and whoever chose the Beatles didn’t make his life any easier.
This season Idol has been shedding female contestants like… something that sheds a lot; my cats, for example. I have to think that if they had kept Lauren Turner in the competition, this may not have been the case (recall that she was not even invited to sing to be in the top 13, despite being considerably more talented than, just to pick one, Stefano Langone). I could easily see her outlasting Thia Megia and Naima, for example, and probably some of the guys (though lord knows we hate to vote off guys) as well. She could be right up there in my favorites list with Casey, James, and Haley. Alas, ’twas not to be.
In case anyone has forgotten how awesome she was the one time we got to see a full performance from her, here’s her Top 24 rendition of “Seven Day Fool.”
Fortunately for us, she’s still making music; check out her Youtube channel, particularly this video she recorded of Adele’s “Crazy for You.” Someone sign this girl, stat!
Now that we’re in the Top 9, the odds of being eliminated as a man get marginally bigger. The problem here is that the data from previous seasons is lopsided towards women; therefore, I’ve based current projections only on seasons with 3 or 4 women only left in the Top 9. This week now incorporates average prior approval ratings into the mix, taking the average of the last three weeks.
Conventional wisdom is that Pia Toscano needs to step up her game, and I don’t see any reason why this is wrong. Despite having only 3 women, they are still at a huge disadvantage here, and her performances lately have been perceived as boring. Her song choice this week, River Deep – Mountain High, is in my opinion a terrible choice. It is a marginally well-known song, and has a limited but disastrous track record on the show. She runs the risk of being forgettable very easily; if you’re rooting for her, it could come down to performance order, so hope for the pimp spot.
Last week notwithstanding, Haley Reinhart is still in big trouble. She has to beat Paul and Stefano by about 10 points to not be considered likely to be in the bottom 3. Lauren, Pia, and Paul are all about equally likely to go, and so their performances will sort them out. The only people I consider bulletproof are Jacob Lusk and James Durbin, though Jacob is certainly singing against type this week, as it’s Rock and Roll and he is more of a soul/R&B guy.
By and large, I would say that a general rule of American Idol is that the eventual winner comes out early with a very good performance. By “a very good performance”, I would qualify that as something that scores 85 or better on the approval ratings. Only one winner ever, Taylor Hicks, has managed to win the title without a score of 85 or better in the first few weeks. Kelly Clarkson had one in the second week of the finals, as did Ruben Studdard, Carrie Underwood, and Jordin Sparks. Fantasia didn’t have one until week 5. David Cook and Lee DeWyze had theirs in the 3rd week, and Kris Allen in the 4th.
We are now past week 4, and we have three performances over this threshold:
I’ll Stand By You
A House Is Not A Home
I Put A Spell On You
In fact, the people who got scores over 85 in the finals reads like a who’s-who of Idol finalists. Of those 40 contestants, only 6, George Huff, Trenyce, Siobahn Magnus, Amy Adams, Mandisa, and Constantine Maroulis, failed to make the Top 4. Huff missed by only one, Magnus and Maroulis by two, each in a huge upset.
If one of the other contestants wants to make a showing, the time to do so is rapidly passing. Lauren Alaina, for instance, generally scores well. But without a huge memorable performance to insulate her, one false step could send her packing.