Absorbing the Shock: Why Was Pia Toscano Eliminated from 'American Idol'?
Thursday, April 7, 2011
By now you know, or have heard, that Pia Toscano is the most recent victim of American Idol. If you ask Ryan Seacrest, we only have ourselves to blame. But I'm not entirely surely that's true. So much has changed this season about American Idol, that it's hard to pinpoint what feels so fishy about Season 10.
It's the most talented group we've ever seen, right? And the judges are better than ever, right? So why am I missing Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and yes, even contestants like Sanjaya and Tim Urban, especially this week? Pia Toscano's elimination woke me up and made me realize that while it's incredibly upsetting to see her go home, it was a bit of drama necessary to keep us interested in the show. With everyone being so talented and so nice this year, it was becoming a bit of a bland season. Even Steven Tyler's non-sequiturs aren't spicing things up enough.
Here's the thing: It's obviously not Pia's fault that she was eliminated. She was one of the strongest voices in the group, and she gave us something up-tempo, which we'd been asking for for weeks. But the judges aren't differentiating her that much from say, Haley Reinhart, Stefano Langone or Paul McDonald, when they're all wildly different as contestants.
When Simon was around, things were pretty cut and dry. He got booed a lot, to the point of tedium, but he always gave a bold, blunt opinion. No one wants to be "the mean one" this season, so all the contestants are getting largely positive feedback every week from all three judges. They're getting constructive criticism, which is good, but there's no scale for who might be doing better than anyone else. Randy must have told at least half the contestants that they were "in it to win it" this week, and Jennifer and Steven are full of praise. Whenever Randy tries to say something even slightly negative (such as, "it was just OK for me,") Jennifer will argue it until the point becomes moot.
So if everyone is doing so well each week, (barring a major musical disaster, which has yet to happen this season), what are the judges there for? Encouragement? It really is all up to America this season, and I won't speak for the entire voting population, but personally, I'm confused.
I miss the drama of a truly awful performance. I miss the excitement of Simon Cowell saying what nobody else had the guts to say. A shocking elimination was the only way to keep us interested this season. I never thought I would miss all that stuff, but now that we have what I've always wanted -- a real singing competition -- I'm disappointed.
I guess what I'm saying is that someone should have said, "Wow, Pia, that was really good and for once, I was really excited by your performance!" and then later, when someone wasn't as good as Pia, they should have said, "That wasn't your best. There were some pitch problems, and you were in trouble following Pia, who really knocked it out of the park tonight." So while Ryan wants the American Idol voters to blame themselves for Pia Toscano's elimination, I'm going to go ahead and deflect and blame the judges. It's a competition, so judge it! Help us out a little! You're the professionals, not us! Simon always had his sly ways of helping us decide who to vote for, and that helpful manipulation is noticeably absent this season.
Also, I can't believe another girl went home this week. What is going on?!
That's my theory, why do YOU think Pia was eliminated?
(Image courtesy of FOX)