It’s not at all a surprise to me that Melinda Doolittle is not in the American Idol finals. She was, and is, my favorite contestant this season (and she’s arguably the best pure singer to be on the show thus far…no disrespect intended to stellar former contests such as Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Tamyra Gray, Clay Aiken, and others) but I never imagined that she could win out.
Her appeal, for one thing, skews older than the target market for Idol and the producers would not have known how to market her had she won. Hopefully her third place finish will allow her to make the record she wants to make while the AI producers spend their time and attention crafting music for and with Jordin and/or Blake (kind of the way it worked out with Chris Daughtry who’s had a pretty good run with his CD.)
This has been an interesting year for Idol…long on talent, short on personality (save, of course, for the aforementioned Sanjaya), and, yes, a little bit…dull. The judges and the host have settled into a sometimes annoying rut with their actions, reactions, and antics (Seacrest has been especially insufferable this season while the others seem to be doing the show on automatic pilot) and the bloated results shows have proven eminently skippable. Some of the celebrity mentors stepped up to the plate in a serious way (big props to Jennifer Lopez, Tony Bennett, Martina McBride, Lulu, Jon Bon Jovi) while others just phoned it in (yes, I’m looking at you, Gwen Stefani) but it still added up to not much at all.
I expect no dazzling revelations from the finale (if pressed I’d predict that Jordin is going to win but truth to be told it could go either way) but it should be a fairly entertaining show.
I’m sure the producers will be more careful with their casting of the next edition of Idol…we’ll all find out come January ’08.
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More MKW Blogstuff: Bread and Roses