American Idol 8: Why Adam Lambert Shouldn't Win
It's been quite a while, but it was only last Tuesday, while watching the Top 4 perform on American Idol, did it finally dawn on me: the entire season is going for Adam Lambert.  Now, I'm sure some of you have heard of my gripes against arguably the most dominant contestant this season.  Yes, I know many people like him--I'm surrounded by fans every single day, actually--and I know he's all but won this competition.  But I'll dare start an argument here.  For all that he can do, I'll try stating the case, as to why Adam should not win American Idol.

And no, I'm not bitter or anything.  Not because all four of my favorites this year--most recently, Allison Iraheta--got the boot.  Not because of the circumstances surrounding this season, from the beginning when the judges were praising the male contestants, or of the judges going as far as to predict who will be in the finale, which is either Adam or that other guy, Danny Gokey.  Not because of who he is or what he does--what does that have to do with it in the first place?  It's just that, after months of performances, cracks have started to show in what was otherwise an immaculate contender.  Let me list down my points.

One, he's predictable.  We met Adam as the guy whose background in musical theatre guaranteed that he can really do this.  Sure, there's one point.  His vocal range is incredible, his musical sense is fantastic, and perhaps everything that he does is perfect.  There's a downside to this, however: he can only do so much.  So far, all he's done is either take a song, slow it down, and sound so tender in the process, or--and this happens more often--take a song, spike it up, and sound vocally deranged in the process.  Sure, his performances actually worked initially, but as Idol starts winding down, it feels like we've seen everything that he can do.

For the past few weeks, I actually got bored with Adam's performances.  Maybe it's his song choices--"Feeling Good", or at least Muse's version, and "Whole Lotta Love" are too similar to what he did--but I can actually imagine him sing a song in his style already.  (I'm not complaining about the screech, though.  That's a completely different debate.)  When people fail to bring something new, or at least play whatever they have to their advantage, then it's definitely a shortcoming.  Adam can only do so much.

Two, he's showy.  Here's another thing that he does a lot.  Again, it's the musical theatre chops, which means he can pepper his performances with his gestures and routines, plus whatever he can do to tweak the lights on stage.  I guess that's another reason why people--perhaps the fans, but I'm guessing everybody's on it too--seem to be mesmerized at him by default, as if whenever Ryan Seacrest announces his name, we all flick a switch, sit back, and go "oooh" blindly.

I actually wonder how he'll translate this to an album.  Sure, there's a counterargument here, that he can be this very good live performer--his albums would be half of the equation, and people would flock to watch his concerts.  But his magic doesn't entirely rest on his vocal abilities, but on his stage presence as well, and I cannot imagine that being translated to a CD that I'd want to listen to over and over again.  Or something on my iPod, for that matter.  Or, even radio airplay.  Imagine the car accidents that could happen when they get startled with his high notes.

Third, he's everybody's favorite.  Tell me, does he still need to win American Idol to make it big in the music industry?  Two points.  One, we've been giving him a lot of attention for the longest time, from his first audition in San Francisco to his light-and-sound shows (roughly) every Tuesday night.  We've been waiting for him, watching him, tweeting about him, writing about him, arguing about him, and all that.  I'm sure that's enough buzz for a record executive to offer him a contract--and they've seen him perform, so someone must be saying, at this point, that he should get an album, and quick!  Never mind Simon Cowell saying that he's out to prove that he can win this.

Two, we're already in our eighth season, and time and again we've proven that you don't need to be a winner to make it big in the industry.  Katherine McPhee, Blake Lewis and David Archuleta have had considerable success despite being second--and, of course, there's the case of Chris Daughtry, who's still the biggest winner from season 5, and Jennifer Hudson, who didn't even make it to the top 4 much earlier.  At this point, Adam's already attracted a lot of eyes and ears to the point that it can bring him elsewhere without a certificate to validate it.  That should be enough.

So, where does that lead us?  I won't state my case against Danny anymore--that's been said on many other places, partly on this website alone.  Kris Allen?  Now here's someone who's original and hasn't peaked yet--and is probably a victim of the odds being against him, especially with only three of them remaining.  But you don't need to worry, folks.  Adam might win this entire thing, and that should make the entire competition pretty redundant.

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-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Fox)