Idol StrategyPosted: February 29, 2008
This has got to be my most overused phrase, but honestly, time flies!
I’ve been on hiatus for five months. Yet it feels like only yesterday that I left the UK and wrote my last post. Coming from a PhD student, now that’s scary, haha..
I know a post on my research progress is more relevant (like, it’s been five whole months) but I can’t help but doodle on the latest idol craze. Even if you’re not into music but living right here on Earth, you must’ve heard about this show. For Season 7 (yeap, it’s been that long), I’ve been following the show right from the start, which I didn’t do for the last two seasons. Caught the show last night on Star World, and like a groupie, my two favourites are David Archuleta (the talented 17-year old) and Michael Johns (the rocker). But one idol talk is enough, so I’m just gonna put my two cents on the boy.
So far, he has the most blemish-free performances and criticisms. He sang ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon last night, a very risky move but proved to the judges (read: brassy Simon) and the audience that he owned the song. You can check him out here:
The judges were basically floored by his ‘stirring’ performance, awarding him praises that made him blush for the next few months. To me, he was ok, but I thought he was better in his ‘Heaven’ rendition during the Hollywood week. But that’s just me.
Anyway, what I want to write about is this boy’s (lack of?) strategic move.
Like any other game, contestants surely need to have a game plan. He has set that bar so high up (did you hear the praises? the one from Simon?) at such an early part of the show, I fear he’s lowering his probability of winning. Huh? Ok, so here are my reasonings:
- Voters (sms-ers) generally love a comeback. I don’t recall any early favourites winning this sorta thing, with the exception of Mawi (but Malaysians can be crazy). Look at Kaer -young, the favourite in the early part of AF2 but who won? The less glam Zahid. Or Latoya London -hers was the most amazing voice and hot favourite that season, but who made it to the Top 3? The lembik-voice Jasmin Trias.
- The other contestants. Don’t, even for a minute, think that they are fools waiting to be knocked out each week. Naturally, after hearing what Simon says (haha -Simon says) that David’s the one to beat, they will ultimately do their best and do just that. Everyone’s in it to win, so what is a better motivation than ridicule? This point will bring to the ‘comeback’ I mentioned above.
- I hate that SMSs are being used to ‘gauge’ one’s talent. But that’s how show bizz works nowadays. As for me, I’m just tuning in for the entertainment -those undiscovered (or discovered but buried years later) and fresh talents. The other contestants surely have their own stock of fans who, after fuming over the praises for young David, will undoubtedly send more SMSs like crazy to ensure that their favourites will remain in the show. As for David’s fans, well, if they’re smart (or dumb enough to spend their monies voting for someone else to be millionaires, whichever way you look at it), they can’t just sit still in the comfort zone and think David will still be in the show. He won’t be, if they don’t vote for him, and by that, they need to vote even more to compete against the anti-Davids.
- Back to the praises. Imagine what would the judges say if he performs a wee bit worser than last night for next week’s show? When you’re at the top, the only way to go is down, or to remain stationary there. Now, the show has just begun with a few more months to go. If he can pull it off, then he’s one talented and lucky fella!
- Young. Ok, so there’s nothing wrong with being 17 years old and talented. Even last year’s winner, Jordin Sparks was 18 when she became an idol. Hopefully his ‘naivety’, goofiness (hear him laugh) and humbleness will keep voters floored ‘cos talent is definitely not the only ruling factor in this sort of competition.
While David is my favourite and I personally think he is the most enjoyable to watch on the show, I’m not a 100% confident that he will win. Being in the Top 2, maybe, but winning? Hmm.. Early praises often jinx a good piece of work.