Well, another day, another idol bites the dust.
As we bid a fond farewell to Karen Rodriguez, we remember what American Idol is all about; breaking hearts and making pop stars. While the 21 year old was the first of the top twelve to head home, her final song, a spanish version of Mariah Carey's “Hero,” only proved why her vocals simply weren't strong enough to keep her in the race. Unfortunately for Karen, the judges did not feel the need to use a “save” tonight. Randy mentioned that the decision “wasn't unanimous” but it seems that Karen was innately destined to head back to obscurity.
Haley and Naima joined Karen in the bottom three tonight. In my opinion it's only a matter of time before voters send Naima packing as well. Even her performance in the group song, Lady Gaga's “Born This Way,” made it abundantly clear that she just isn't up to par with the rest of the vocal talent this season. Her style is strange and off. It seems like she just hasn't found an identity as an artist. But to be fair that is something that has always been fun to witness on prior season of Idol. Even Kelly Clarkson, who came into her first audition in a homemade dress over jeans, took a little time to really perfect an image and persona in season 1.
It was mildly surprising not to see Casey in the bottom three after his horrific rendition of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. Perhaps Casey got a bit of a sympathy vote after his recent hospital stay. After all personal stories do play such a role in this stage of the game, maybe America couldn't help but feel bad for the guy and give him a pass.
To be honest I would have rather seen Casey standing in Haley's shoes in the bottom votes as Haley really has the vocal talent and unique sound to pull off winning the competition, or at least placing as a top finalist, if she could just master the confidence factor. Jennifer Lopez was definitely onto something when critiquing her performance yesterday, saying she had the talent but needed to work on the presentation. Steven Tyler suggested she go back to blues and give us the Janis Joplin vibe he liked so much in her first performance. I agree with the comment but also think a huge part of this stage of the Idol game is showing your range. If people don't like blues they tend not to vote blues, the same goes for country and hard rock. Even Adam Lambert took some vocal chances when it came to song choices. I guess what the judges are saying is to stick with your vocal novelty so the people at home find you individual.
And then there were 11. Now the competition is really getting interesting. I think in the coming weeks we are going to see some people coming out of the woodwork and really embracing the fact that this is a contest and they are in it to win. Stefano is still my pick for the top spot but we will have to stay tuned to see who sticks around and who hits the road. All in a days Idol.