Even though there were no Wild Cards from the judges this year, that doesn’t mean all of the eliminated contestants are going home empty-handed. It was announced that the guy and girl who came in sixth place during last week’s semifinals would perform in a sing-off, and America will decide which of the two gets the extra 11th spot on the American Idol Live! Tour 2013.
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During Thursday’s Top 10 results show, we found out who’s in the running: Charlie Askew and Aubrey Cleland. During a jam-packed hour, they each performed, and now it’s up to America to decide. So who should join the Idol Tour? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each contestant and make a decision.
Charlie Askew: “Sky Blue Diamond”
Why Charlie Should Join the Tour
Charlie Askew is one of those contestants who causes a lot of ruckus among fans. Because he’s not all that talented, viewers are left screaming at their TV screens wondering why the judges are fawning all over him. I doubt I was the only one shocked to find out Charlie came in sixth in the voting last week, meaning he was that close to making the Top 10.
During the sing-off, Charlie performed an original song called “Sky Blue Diamond.” And you know what? He actually sounded better than he has in quite a while. That’s not to say I’m now okay with him being here, but it’s still something.
Viewers remember him. And as we’ve said before, many times it’s better to be memorable (regardless of talent level) than to be forgettable. (That’s why Devin Velez and Paul Jolley were in last night’s Bottom 3 instead of Lazaro Arbos.)
And we’ve seen in previous rounds how crazy and passionate he can become while on stage performing. When the Top 10 (plus one) go out on tour this summer, we’re paying good money to see a show; we want these singers to entertain us. And who’s better entertainment than Charlie Askew? At least we won’t be bored or lulled to sleep during his set.
Why Charlie Shouldn’t Join the Tour
Talent — or rather, a lack thereof. That’s the biggest reason why he shouldn’t join the tour. When I’m at my local arena in the crowd watching the concert, I want to have fun, but I also don’t want to watch a train-wreck. If Charlie wins, I hope he can work on his vocals between now and then so that we don’t hear pitch issues reverberating throughout the arena.
After the judges came down hard on his semifinals performance, all of us watching at home quickly became very uncomfortable after he said these words: “The message I was really trying to send was that a lot of people think I’m a very happy, buoyant person a lot of the time, and the only reason I smile so much is because I feel like I have to.” It’s clear — and I’m not joking around when I say this — that Charlie needs some professional help. Maybe a tour, where he doesn’t have to face criticism, will be better for him than competing on the show, where he will have to face that tough reality, but it would still better if he got out of the spotlight for a while and work on making sure he’s alright.
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Aubrey Cleland: “Out Here on My Own”
Why Aubrey Should Join the Tour
I’m going to bring up the word of the day again: talent. Aubrey has a vastly superior singing voice than Charlie does. The Top 10 is split up evenly, five guys and five girls. But if the top vote-getters, regardless of gender, could have advanced, there’s a good chance Aubrey would still be in the competition.
During the sing-off, she performed “Out Here on My Own.” And except for one area during the song where her pitch went off, overall, she presented a beautiful rendition of the Irene Cara song from Fame.
When I go to this year’s concert (which I have done every single year since season 1 — yes, I’m that big of a fan), I want to see the best of the best. Sure, I’ll have to sit through someone like Lazaro who I’d rather not see. But wouldn’t it be great if they could make up for that by bringing along another of the talented female singers? As we’ve heard time and again from the judges, and as we’ve witnessed ourselves from watching this season, it’s all about the girls. Give the girls an extra member and make the tour about their talent.
Why Aubrey Shouldn’t Join the Tour
Charlie and Aubrey are in many ways, if not in every way, complete opposites. Going back to what I said above about the forgettability factor, when people vote, it’s easy to forget people like Aubrey because she doesn’t have this huge personality that bounces all over the stage as Charlie does. And while she has an edge when it comes to talent, is she a performer? When comparing the two, she won’t be as entertaining on the tour. And we want them to put on a memorable experience. Will Aubrey’s entire set be full of ballads? If so, it might be fine for a little while, but we’ll soon become bored. Or even if she does include an upbeat number or two, are we going to remember her as one of the standouts that left us wanting more?
Who Should Join the Tour: Aubrey Cleland
Who Will Join the Tour: Charlie Askew
I decided to split up my decision based on who should versus who will join the tour. Based on the entertainment factor alone, Charlie will win the 11th spot. And you know what? He may surprise us all and blow everyone away live in concert.
If you want to make sure your voice is heard, you can vote for either Charlie Askew or Aubrey Cleland over at AmericanIdol.com or from the official Idol app. The results will be revealed on Wednesday, March 20 during the Top 9 performance show. And your Top 10 (plus one) will head out on the Idol Tour this summer, with tickets expected to go on sale in the next couple months.
Speaking of apps, want to add American Idol to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.
(Image courtesy of FOX)
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.