I have come to bitch and moan about Danny Gokey. Typical, yes, and completely predictable. I have long been an unrepentant Danny Gokey hater. While it might not be accurate to blame Danny Gokey fans for Allison Iraheta’s expulsion from American Idol (there is also blame to be saddled upon Allison’s fans), I don’t care. Who are you people voting for Danny Gokey, and why haven’t you given up on him yet? After his ear-piercing performance on Tuesday, there should have been a mass exodus from the Danny Gokey Bandwagon. Yet, this is not how fandom works. I understand that. People pick a horse and ride it throughout the competition. Excuses are made for bad performances. Voters are irrational. It’s just an absolute shame that Allison was thrown in front of the Idol firing squad last night when there was a much better candidate for execution in the form of Danny Gokey.
Allison was not heralded coming into the Top 36. I assumed she wouldn’t be much of anything. We didn’t see a lot of Allison in the initial auditions, and she wasn’t featured during Hollywood Week. When she hit the stage running in the Top 36 it was a major surprise. A delightful surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. She overachieved to a ridiculous degree this season, taking on and conquering a number of older, more experienced singers. Allison is a natural, a teenager with stage presence that most performers twice her age would kill for. If this season wasn’t so full of talent, Allison may have well won the entire competition. She’s better than Jordin Sparks, she’s equal to David Cook, and far and away superior to last year’s teen sensation David Archuleta.
My favorite thing about Allison is her authenticity. She’s not pre-packaged, she’s not cultivating a persona that panders to America (which may have been her downfall), she’s just a quirky little teenager who can sing your face off. While Simon may have wanted Allison to show more personality, I’m glad she resisted that urge. Being yourself is always the optimal route (unless you’re a total dick).
The other major crime of the season was the judges’ lack of praise for Allison. The producers and judges alike pinned the female hopes for this season on Lil Rounds early on, and changed their tune too late. Any reasonable person should have recognized Allison’s place as the preeminate female vocalist on American Idol 8 early on in the season. The lack of props from the judges probably hampered Allison’s ability to grow a fan base from the season’s outset. If, say, Allison had received the type of praise Danny Gokey has since the beginning of the season, last night’s results probably would have been different.
But, this is not the end of the road for Allison. She’s got a big-time career ahead of her as Kelly Clarkson 2.0. Or, at least we can hope. Preferably, 19 Entertainment will allow Allison to be Allison. She shouldn’t go the pop music route. She should stay alternative, stay rock and roll. If she does, you could be looking at the most successful contestant of American Idol 8.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
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