Last night was ladies' night on American Idol, which had me thinking: What's with the affirmative-action style gender-quota policy on this show? What I mean by that is, why does it have to be 12 and 12, and then whittled down to six and six? What if they'd found, say, 17 awesome male singers, but only seven "worthy" female ones? Or only three decent guys, but a whopping 21 great girls? Would the judges/producers still select an even dozen of each, despite a massive deficit in one gender or the other? And why should gender matter, anyway? I say, whoever sings best, those are the people that should make it through. Period.
I mention this because after watching the women last night, I have a hunch it's going to a very testosterone-drenched Idol this year. The boys are much more promising so far, and I'm predicting now that we're going to have our first boy-on-boy finale since Ruben battled Clay way back in season 2.
OK, a couple more little beefs to get out of the way: I wasn't feeling the '60s theme this week. Oh, don't get me wrong, I dig the '60s, quite possibly the most important decade in all of rock 'n' roll. But in past seasons, the 24 semi-finalists got to choose what song they wanted to sing, from any genre, any era. It was their golden opportunity to define themselves, to declare, "This is who I am, this is what I'm about, and this is the kind of music I want to make if I win." You know, so Chris Daughtry would belt out a Fuel tune, Blake Lewis would croon some Keane, Taylor Hicks would pick Ray Charles or Joe Cocker, etc.
Such defining moments would be especially helpful this season, because so many of this year's actual finalists were all but ignored in the earlier audition/Hollywood Week episodes (in favor of rejected contestants like Josiah Leming and Kyle Ensley, who got waaaaaay more screen time). We learned so little about Alaina Whitaker, Alexandrea Lushington, Kady Malloy, et al in the leadup to the semi-finals, it would have been nice if these girls got to sing songs of their own choosing, just so the viewers could've gleaned a better sense of who they really are.
I mean, c'mon--imagine if Chris Daughtry had been forced to a disco song in week 1? Can you imagine? If he had, who knows if he would have lasted and become the superstar he is today.
All right, last gripe before I move on to my female pick: It seems like before and after every commercial break, Ryan Seacrest just HAS to mention that this is the "most talented top 24 ever." OK, OK, we get it. Why does he have to keep saying that? Is he afraid we're not totally convinced? This tactic smacks of desperation, just a little. Just let the contestants sing--then we'll make up our own minds about precisely how deep this season's talent pool really is.
Anyway, as I alluded to a few paragraphs ago, I'm less jazzed overall about the girls this year. But until the chicks get plucked one by one, I still need to focus on a Reality Rocks top female pick. So cue the drumroll again, please...I'm officially backing...
Now, hear me out. I know Brooke's probably not an obvious or popular choice. And ironically, I'm supporting her for the exact opposite reason why my male pick is Danny Noriega: because she's not flashy, not zany, not OTT. But still, there's something I like about this supernanny. I have a good warm 'n' fuzzy feeling about her, and I think she could be a dark horse in this year's race. She's earthy, genuine, and most refreshingly, she's not one of these showoffy Mariah/Celine/Whitney wannabes who oversings every over-emoted note like some National Anthem-ruining diva. She has a simple, exuberant approach to music, like she truly finds great joy in just singing for singing's sake--and as we witnessed in earlier auditions, she plays keyboards too, which I'd like to see her do again in future shows. (There was so much hype about how the hopefuls would play instruments this season, so why was Jason Castro the only one who did so this week, huh?) Also, last night Brooke warbled "Happy Together," the same '60s throwback David Cook rocked out on Tuesday night, and her completely different take on the song confirmed for me that she's an original.
Anyway, like I said earlier, I don't expect--or even want--a girl to win this year, and I don't really think it's fair that six girls get to make it through regardless of the fact that there are more than six guys who deserve a spot in the finals. But regardless, I definitely want Brooke to be one of those final six girls. However, if she doesn't make it, I guess she could have a great plan-B career as a "washing-up liquid" spokesmodel, right?
And now, on to my honorable mentions:
All right, and now my dishonorable mentions:
You know, Carly's single on MCA was titled "I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind," but I'm wondering if last night she should have been singing "I'm Gonna Blow My Chances." I doubt she'll get eliminated THIS week, because the girl is a lot more talented than many of her rivals--but she shouldn't be too overconfident that she'll automatically make it through to the top 12. After all, look what overconfidence did to Josiah!
And with that, I will predict that tonight's casualties will be Joanne, Kady, David Hernandez, and Luke Menard. Come back to tomorrow to see if I'm right, and...GO BROOKE & DANNY!!!
For more on the top 24, go to Yahoo! TV