Blake Lewis has a better than average chance of winning American Idol, and no it has nothing to do with Vote for the Worst. The fact of it is, Blake brings a quirky self-ness to the contest that Jordin Sparks has no weapon against. Yes, we will argue ad nauseam about who is the ‘better singer’ of the two, but the fact of the matter is that vocal ability is only part of what makes for an American Idol champion. No doubt, some will pivot the laser beam on commercial appeal; yeah, ask Chris Daughtry if that equation makes any sense, or better yet, ask Taylor Hicks.
Therein lay the axis of this prediction. Taylor Hicks is easily the best example of the ‘odd man out’ overcoming pure vocal abilities. Arguably, Ruben Studdard is another fine example of gimmick overcoming superior vocal chops.
Sure there is some anti-thesis to consider as well. Without question Carrie Underwood was far more refined than rocker Bo Bice, but this paradox may give raise to a secondary theory: when it comes down to Singer vs Singer, the best singer wins; when it is Gimmick Vs Singer, the gimmick always wins.
None of this is to say that Blake does not posses star appeal. If anything, it is a study on just what the nebulous X-Factor is. In case you didn’t hear enough criticism of the American Idol audition process this year, it has pretty much been proven that pure vocal talent alone is not it.
At the end of the day, all the finite components of aesthetic give way to what ever mysterious quantity it is that guides us to punch in our votes and cross our fingers. What “interests” us cannot be surmised through pitch ranges and song selections. However, given the choice between a good looking dude with some decent chops and a mean beat boxing ability, a seventeen-year-old all American with the voice of a forty-year-old might not stand a chance. If there is one thing for certain at this point in the game, its that any notion of American Idol being a ‘singing competition’ went out the door when Melinda Dolittle was voted off.
For a look at the other side of the debate read: Why Jordin Sparks Will Win
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Copyright Fox)