Hogan's Alley

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

American Idol - OK, I Give In

I have a confession to make. I have been silently watching American Idol all season this year. There, I've said it.

In previous years I have usually not paid attention until the season was winding down. The music I prefer involves artists who write and play their own compositions. My tastes run to what is called AAA (Adult Alternative Album-oriented) artists, jazz, traditional American songbook pop and classical. In spite of American Idol's focus on top 40 songs and singing covers of other performer's hits, somehow the tension and drama of the contest is engaging enough to tune in.

Tonight they will announce who will be dropped, bringing the contest down to the final four hopefuls. Of this year's crop, my favorite, from the moment I heard her voice during the 20 second renditions that makeup the regional auditions has been Katherine McPhee. Yes, the fact that she is beautiful as well didn't hurt. But I have also greatly admired the work of Chris Daughtry and Taylor Hicks. My early admiration for the extraordinarily young Paris Bennett has diminished as the weeks have gone by.

Who will leave tonight? My personal opinion of last night's performances is that Elliot Yamin and Paris were the worst. They both seemed to have mailed it in. The tension may have mounted so much that they are choosing safe renditions over riskier options. The other three did a great job on at least one of the two songs performed.

A website that has had a great deal of success predicting the loser each week is called DialIdol.com. Their method is to provide users with software that dials the Idol number of your chosen singer repeatedly during the two hour call-in period. The software also reports the number of busy signals and successful votes cast for each person. They then apply a mathematical adjustment to account for such factors as time zones and produce a "DialIdol Score" which is used to rank the contestants. The site also has the option of displaying the raw number of busys and votes.

According to their "Score", Paris Bennett will leave tonight, with Katherine McPhee in forth place. However, Katherine is, by far, the highest recipient of busys and votes, while Paris is at the bottom of the raw numbers. I'm afraid that it is the 17 year old and cute as a button Paris' last dance tonight.