Well, well, well. This season has been a disappointment so far, but at least it’ll give us one thing. This is as intriguing a top three as we’ll ever see. It’s a relatively even one. There are three possible finale combinations… and you can make a possible argument for each of them. Angie has as formidable a fanbase as you’ll get. Candice is a fabulous vocal talent. Kree is a pretty good country singer, and you ignore the country vote on Idol at your peril.
What about Amber? She followed in the footsteps of so many young female singers on Idol: vocally talented, but incapable of singing with emotion and feeling. This is such a common problem that I don’t know why would-be Idol contestants haven’t learned. Good looks and good pipes will get you only so far. It will get you very far, but only so far. Against a field that has both vocal talent and experience in spades… Amber had a difficult task before her, and was never really in the same league as the top three.
This is the part where I should welcome the epic clash of singers that is the top three. Nothing is left to chance or on the table. The contestants can smell the finale and lay it all on the line. It should be a good episode.
And yet, somehow, in defiance of more than a decade of Idol tradition, the producers found a way to muck it up. This tweet from @TheIdolPad crossed my Twitter client not long after the results were read:
#idolspoilers For top 3 week, Free Choice has been replaced with Producers’ Choice
— TIP (TheIdolPad) (@idolspoilers) May 3, 2013
Ponder, for just a moment, what that means. This means that, for the first time in Idol history (as far as I can remember), contestants will enter a voting week having zero say in what they’ll be singing. None. Doing it on any voting week is bad enough. Doing so on the top three week – which my friends at What Not to Sing consider as truly must-see TV – is downright unacceptable. They might as well not count the votes anymore. It’s as close to rigging as you can get without engaging in vote-counting shenanigans a third-world tinpot dictator would be proud of.
Let’s face it: just two weeks removed from the most divorced from reality week in Idol history, we will have another travesty of an episode. The entire audience might only have one word for everyone associated with Idol by the time the episode is done: dracarys. Jimmy Iovine’s picks are uneven, at best. The “judges’s” and “producers’s” picks – which might as well be the same thing, really – anyone remember a certain song about penguins? Or Jessica Sanchez being asked to sing as age-inappropriate a ballad as you can imagine? I could go on and on, but I won’t belabor the point. It is an unbelievably arrogant or clueless decision on the part of the Idol PTB. You decide which is worse.
Instead of welcoming the top three, I am dreading next week. An entire two-hour show, with judging – and song choices – designed not to entertain, but to pimp and bus contestants. One of the judges – probably Randy – is bound to complain about “song choice” on a night when there was none. The reputation of this season is already in the mud. The first rule of holes is: if you’re in one, stop digging. It’s a lesson that the Idol producers have yet to learn – and this lesson is going to hurt. Anyone seen the ratings?