26 May 2011

Scotty McCreery: American Idol


First of all, if I were a betting sort of dude, I would have wagered all the money I had saved on Pia Toscano. She looked like a movie star and sang like a princess. She had WINNER written all over her!

Then, even before the show got to the really juicy part, she found herself packing her suitcase after a results show that had all three judges – Steven, JLo and Randy – all with their mouths agape and unable to speak.

My humble opinion is that she fell victim to the oh-she’s-sure-to-win-this-I’m-too-lazy-to-vote syndrome. Imagine if a few hundred thousand Americans thought this way! No different from when people all think why-don’t-I-let-the-rain-pass and then drive off into a horrendous traffic jam.



Pia was the first I followed on Twitter from the button conveniently placed on the American Idol web site. The second was James Durbin, the rocker who could hit those testicle-damaging high notes when he screeched through his classic rock anthems. Then, I thought I would also add Jacob Lusk, another high notes specialist.

I added Scotty McCreery as an afterthought. I thought he was too young to have such a big-man voice; but he sang so much like the folk-country music acts I listened to a lot in the seventies and eighties that – I thought – why the hell not?

I did not add anyone else. Although this season’s crop was arguably the best in ten years of Idol, I still thought that – in comparison to those I followed on Twitter – everyone else was there just to make up the numbers.

Oh, yes! I also added Thia Megia. That was Pinoy Pride; no more. She sang well; but she was not versatile. It was apparent even early on that she would be a great success singing to babies to put them to sleep. I am not being mean. She has that comforting sort of voice. But this was Idol; comforting has never been enough.




I was following the show religiously in the beginning; but lost interest somewhat after Pia was voted off. I was not the only one. Tom Hanks, who I also follow in Twitter, tweeted that hearing about Pia leaving probably meant that was the season for him.

This season was strange because there was a four-week – or was it five – losing streak for the girls. Two of the guys hung on for longer than I thought they would have. Paul McDonald had this husky sort of voice that reminded one of Rod Stewart – but listening to him was really – for me – quite painful. I thought he needed to see his throat doctor!

Casey Abrams I thought could sing; but he moved onstage as though he slept overnight inside a freezer. I thought the judges could have saved their once-only privilege to overturn a vote-out for a latter, more crucial date. That was the reason – I thought – why they were all looking wide-eyed stupid when Pia was voted off. They could not do anything about it anymore!

Stefano Langone, by the way, was all resigned to go the night Pia was voted off. I thought he was more shocked than Pia was that he was staying and she was leaving. Frankly, I did not really fancy Stefano because his style was so boy-band and little else.



Of the ladies, the one who I thought should have gone sooner was Haley Reinhart. Not only did I feel that she was a tad sassy; but some of her earlier performances strayed on the lame side. To her credit, she was getting better as she went along. I thought that it was a bit unfortunate that she was voted off in the penultimate round – when I thought she gave more sophisticated performances then either Scotty or Lauren.

As for James Durbin, I rather suspect he was also victim of the same syndrome that sent Pia home. He was too good and his fans also became too complacent to vote. Either that or his shrieking style was a bit too much for the mainstream.

He looked emotional the night he was voted off. That said, I do not think he was too disconsolate upon reflection. During tonight’s finals results show, he was philosophical and mentioned that Daughtry was also voted off in the same stage. He knows he has a career ahead of him.




So, to the finals… I thought there was really little to choose from between Scotty and Lauren. I felt sometimes that the judges were going out of their way to set up this finals match-up. In fairness, there was a certain attractiveness to two teenagers – a girl and a boy, the youngest of the crop – in a massive sing-off.

I initially thought Lauren was as one-dimensional as Stefano. I started to change my mind as the weeks went by. She was on an upward curve all the time! Albeit, on the penultimate round, I thought Haley was better. My word! The latter even did Led Zep!

I have to admit, though, that I was rooting for Scotty. When I was younger, I was a big fan of folk and country music. Where other people bought mainstream records, I bought the likes of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Alabama and The Four Horsemen. I bet none of you have heard of these.

The results have been announced and, indeed, Scotty McCreery is the Season 10 American Idol. I can still hardly believe that the lad is only seventeen; such a voice hardly seems right on someone so young. Yet, as Randy Jackson said over and over during the season, he always performed as though he was a seasoned concert singer. Amazing!

I do not think Lauren ought to be too disappointed. Many of this year’s crop are good enough to cut their own records and have careers in the American music industry. I suppose, both being so young, the challenge to both Scotty and Lauren is how to keep their feet on the ground. God showered both liberally with the gift of voice; it is up to them what they do with God’s gift. I would not mind buying either kid’s first album!

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