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Why Danielle Lost


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Tonight, we'll see the Top 20 perform, and we all know now that three contestants that we were able to vote for failed to make the cut:  Sir Blayke, Scarlet and Danielle.  I already wrote up articles on why Sir Blayke and Scarlet lost, so now it's time to look at Danielle.  She was good enough to make the Top 24 but her performance of "Your Song" wasn't nearly good enough to make the Top 20.  But why did that happen?  What did Danielle do wrong?  The list of rules I wrote about what Season 20 contestants need to know in order to do the best that they can will hopefully explain why Danielle lost.


Show Singing and Performing Talent


Like everyone in the Top 24, Danielle had enough singing and performing talent to make the Top 24, but now that we are in the voting rounds, that's not enough.  Now, the Top 24 need to show singing and performing talent -- enough at least for people to get a sense of who they are as artists.  And how did Danielle do in this regard?  When Denton Davidson from the GoldDerby website did his recap, he thought that she was the worst of the night so far (Dan Marshall had yet to sing), so that's not a good sign.  Vincent Mandile from the same site ranked it in tenth, ahead of Dan and (surprisingly for me) Elli Rowe, but still near the bottom.  The Too Fab staff liked it more than Davidson and Mandile, enjoying the tweaks that they thought she made to the original song, but they still put her ninth overall.  And the IdolForum voters ranked her in tenth place in her group, ahead of only Scarlet and Dan, and twenty-first overall, ahead of Scarlet, Dan and Cameron Whhitcomb, with an average ranking of 5.73 (I gave her a 5, putting her ahead only of Dan).


The main problem here is that while Danielle showed her singing talent, she didn't show her performing talent.  Judge Luke Bryan said that Danielle needed to own the stage, while judge Lionel Ritchie thought that he could hear her thinking and told her that she needed to relax.  He's right -- you need to relax and just go for it when you're performing onstage in front of a live audience, and Danielle couldn't do that.  Thus Danielle failed to show how good she was as a performer and thus failed the first rule.


Song Choice Is Key


It's possible that one of the reasons for Danielle failing in the first rule is having problems with the second rule, which states that song choice is key.  Davidson noted that "Your Song" is a simple song that sounded best with a simple delivery (which I agree with), and Mandile also noted that the song seems simple but is deceptively difficult.  Yet Danielle, according to Davidson, tried to do the absolute most all the time, and this isn't the right kind of song for going full-out all the time.  Danielle should have chosen a different song if she wanted to do the absolute most from start to finish, but she didn't.  What's more, this isn't the only time she had a problem with choosing the right song for her voice.  In the Showstopper round, Danielle chose "Evergreen", which was the same type of song as "Your Song", and judge Katy Perry actually called it Danielle's worst performance to date.  Clearly, Danielle screwed up the second rule as well.


Be Consistently Outstanding or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week


Katy's comment on Danielle before putting her in the Top 24 also indicates that Danielle had problems with the third rule, which tells contestants to be consistently outstanding or better yet, consistently improve every week.  Clearly if Danielle was told that she had her worst performance to date with "Evergreen", she wasn't consistently outstanding.  And while she might have improved enough for Katy in "Your Song", it wasn't nearly enough to help her move on against others in her group.  So Danielle missed this rule as well.


Stand Out by Being Unique, or by Being Memorable for Positive Reasons


Another problem for Danielle.  She wasn't memorable.  In fact, if anything, she was forgettable, much like Sir Blayke.  There's a reason why her audition was montaged, after all.  Also when I rated Danielle's performance, I described it as "boring".  I'm sure that others agreed with me.  Thus Danielle struck out with this rule as well.


Remember, You Are a Package


And Danielle's problems with being memorable prevented her from succeeding in the fifth rule, which tells contestants that they need to package themselves in order to get far on the show.  While we did learn that Danielle's grandfather had Alzheimer's and thus we could've had sympathy for Danielle, that isn't enough, not after so many seasons of this show.  What she might have needed to do was show a sense of who she was as an artist, and clearly she didn't know enough about her artistry to show us that she was anything more than a pretty girl with a very good voice.  Thus, Danielle fell afoul of this rule as well.


Never, Ever, Argue With Any of the Judges, or Respond to Any Baiting From Ryan


Well, at least Danielle succeeded with this rule.  Unfortunately, that wasn't nearly enough to overcome her missteps with the other rules, so I'll move on.


Gather a Fan Base -- and Sustain It


This was the final rule that Danielle needed to follow, and she clearly fouled out here.  She wasn't a country singer, so she couldn't get country fans the way that Huntergirl could.  She wasn't a good performer and her voice, while very good, didn't stand out the way that the voice of Nicolina in her group did.  And she wasn't memorable.  All that didn't help her gather a fan base, and her performance of "Your Song" certainly didn't help her gain any more fans.


Danielle had a lot to overcome coming into the Top 24 round.  All she really had was a fine voice.  She didn't have a built-in fan base the way that Huntergirl did due to Huntergirl being a country singer.  She had weak performance skills.  And she was forgettable, to say the least.  But she could have still saved herself had she chosen a song that allowed her to really show off the power of her voice, full stop.  Unfortunately, she had problems picking the right song for her voice before, and she had them again.  All this led to a Top 24 performance that didn't encourage me -- and no doubt, many others -- to vote for her.  So, four strikes and Danielle was out.  And that is why Danielle lost.

Edited by CarmenSandiego
Everyone now knows that Daniele is gone
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7 minutes ago, Elliott said:

You should probably change the titles to remove the names. There are people on here who don't want to be spoiled before the show airs.


I'll try to edit the titles.  The main reason why I put them up this early, however, is because there will be six people going home on Monday and I wanted to get the first three people of the way before then, especially since I'll be looking at the videos of the Top 20 tomorrow.

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from MJsBigBlog:


Two polls for the April 10 episode indicated Danielle was in danger of elimination. She was third on the elimination poll with 15.45% of the vote, and her performance was ranked 11 out of 12.
Danielle and Sir Blayke tied for last place on MJ's April 6 poll for favorite Top 24 contestant.
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