In a bizarre act of failing to pace themselves, the "American Idol" powers-that-be released THREE new Idol videos over the past 24 hours, by this year's Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and Pia Toscano. That's a whole lot of Idoliciousness to take in all at once. I've written individual reviews of each video (click for Scotty, Lauren, and Pia), but now it's time for an "Idol" rematch of sorts. Pia may have stalled in ninth place and Scotty may have won Season 10, but when it comes to their videos, they rank very differently.
Of course, not all videos are created equal, and while none of the Idols' vids are perfect, they're good first attempts. But who filmed it best? Read on...
CATEGORY: BEST CONCEPT
Pia's song, "This Time," is a Bedingfieldian female empowerment anthem about escaping a dysfunctional relationship and breaking out on one's own. But her video features no scenes of her packing her bags, standing up to her controlling boyfriend, or really doing anything other than posing for a series of well-lit beauty shots. Fail. Scotty's single, "I Love You This Big," is a ballad about puppy love, but instead of serenading a lucky young lady, he's performing at a backyard BBQ for a bunch of relatives and little kids. Once again--fail. I'm not saying videos have to be entirely literal, but the storyline disconnects in both videos cannot be ignored. Conversely, Lauren's ode to her mama, "Like My Mother Does," boasts plenty of cute home videos and baby photos, plus a cameo by her own lookalike mom. It just works.
CATEGORY: BEST STYLING
Scotty's just a regular boy next door, so he's pretty much exempt from this category; he looks like he tossed on whatever button-down and pair of jeans he had lying around, ran a comb over his inch-long military cut, and showed up to the set 10 minutes before shoot time. Pia and Lauren, on the other hand, give each other some stiff competition here. Pia has never seemed more glamorous and womanly; she certainly looks better in rocker skinny jeans and gauzy beach cover-ups than she does in the pageant gowns and voluminous diaper-style L.A.M.B. onesies she wore on "Idol." But Lauren still wins this race. The "Idol" stylists puzzlingly dressed her throughout Season 10 in a series of increasingly unflattering outfits--muumuus, apron tops, and fluffy quinceañera dresses, all of which added 10 pounds on top of the 10 pounds the camera supposedly adds. So it's nice to see Lauren FINALLY wearing some really flattering outfits. Whoever styled her for this video, Lauren should hire them to dress her every single day.
CATEGORY: MOST SEX APPEAL
Obviously, Pia wins this one. Uttering the word "sexy" in the same sentence as the words "Scotty" or "Lauren" would be just plain wrong. But even if Scotty and Lauren weren't under-18 all-Americans, Pia would still have them beat. Her hair looks like something out of a Pantene commercial, her legs could star in a Nair or Sketchers Shape-Ups ad, her slow-mo beach-jogging scene is reminiscent of Bo Derek's in the iconic '70s softcore comedy 10, and her perfect smoky eye could serve as the visual aid in a tutorial in Allure magazine. The camera just loves this lady, and for the first time, now it seems like the once-shy Pia loves it back.
CATEGORY: BEST PERFORMANCE
Sorry, McCreery fans, but Scotty loses this one too. While he seems to finally have his weird sideways-microphone habit under control, his odd facial mugging is only more glaring in up-close video shots, and lip-synching clearly isn't one of his talents. Lauren does a good job, showing more confidence and sass than she did on "Idol," but Pia wins here, if only a Most Improved Award. Sometimes her emoting still seems a little forced, but compared to her robotic and two-dimensional "Idol" performances, she's a bona fide Beyonce-in-training in her "This Time" video. Keep up the good work, Pia.
CATEGORY: BEST SONG
I've never been a fan of "I Love You This Big." Scotty sings it well enough, but back during Season 10 finale week I was convinced that he was given a weaker coronation single than Lauren by the powers-that-be, in an (obviously failed) attempt to help Chosen One Lauren Alaina win. Pia's song is pleasant, and wouldn't sound out of place in a CW Network show or feminine hygiene or anti-depressant medication commercial, but it's kind of weak for a first single. Lauren's song, however, is the perfect pick for a sweet country ingenue with a young female fanbase. One of Lauren's biggest weaknesses on "Idol" was her lack of connection to her songs' subject matter, which often resulted in flat lyrical readings. But clearly this mama's girl can relate to "Like My Mother Does," and I imagine her fans do too.
So, which new Idol video do you like best? Watch all three below and make the call.