If you're like me, you were probably surprised when Chris Mann won America's vote
for Team Christina on Tuesday (though not as surprised as when Christina eliminated Jesse Campbell
) - apparently there are a lot of "Mann Fans" out there. This left Christina to choose between beautifully strange Lindsey Pavao and up-and-coming young vocalist Ashley De La Rosa. Pavao's rendition of "Please Don't Go" left both the singer and the hard-to-please Christina in tears, and Christina emotionally chose to eliminate De La Rosa. Exactly what is it about Lindsey Pavao that draws people in?
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Pavao is often compared to Kristen Stewart
, the lead actress of the wildly popular Twilight
series, and there does seem to be some parallels between these two young ladies beyond their objective looks. Both thrust into the national spotlight, neither seems quite comfortable in the center of attention, although that is the given platform for their respective talents.
After the overnight success of Twilight
, Stewart took to the mandatory circuit of public appearances (interviews, late night show appearances, etc.), but she failed to shine, to say the least. A combination of awkwardness, apathy and aloof-ness
, she wasn't exactly the prototype of an exuberant, glamorous Hollywood star. Unlike most actresses her age, she seemed disinterested in her own fame. Eventually, her public demeanor improved, but even then, she didn't have the mass of fans rallying behind her expected of a young star (fans of her boyfriend, Robert Pattinson, don't count.) But this hasn't hurt Stewart's success as an actress, as she is starring in Snow White and the Huntsman
, opening June 1 -- so there must be something about her that draws audiences in.
Similarly, unless she's using her unique vocals to create her signature eerie sound, Pavao is quick to avert her gaze and has, on a couple occasions, seemed on the verge of tears after her performances. It doesn't seem like an issue of confidence, nor does it strike me as humility - rather, it seems like Pavao just doesn't fit into the mold of a singing competition star, performing live songs for the whole country to judge. At the same time, I think this could be part of Pavao's unlikely appeal. She has often been described as a fan favorite, her songs have done relatively well on iTunes and people seem to be captivated by her, despite that veil of mystery. Her voice is certainly distinct, even among a pool of talented singers and she has said that her favorite thing to do as a performer is take a song and put her own weird twist on it.
Perhaps people feel they want to know public figures like Pavao and Stewart better -- that they possess some hidden, deeper qualities that are refreshing in an age of obsessive celebrity idolization, where stars' every thought can be known via Twitter. Whatever it is, it seems to be working for Pavao, whose voice strikes a particularly special connection with Christina. Maybe America is simply jaded from all the run-of-the-mill singers churned out from so many singing competitions and anyone who can estrange herself from the pack is welcome.
Watch Pavao's most recent last chance performance below and see if you can pick up on that mystifying allure.
(Images courtesy of WENN, NBC)