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Why Cameron Lost


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Last Monday, the Top 20 was cut to 14, with 10 singers getting through on the public vote and ten having to sing for one of the four Judges' Wildcard Slots.  In the end, six were cut from the competition:  Cadence, Cameron, Elli, Jacob, Katyrah and Sage.  I've already done an article which tried to explain why Cadence lost, and now it's time to look at why Cameron lost.  Cameron managed to get to the Top 20, but why wasn't he able to get to the Top 14?  Let's look at the rules that American Idol Season 20 ideally should follow in order to understand what Cameron did right and what (a lot) he did wrong.


Show Singing and Performing Talent


Cameron had enough singing and performing talent in order to make the Top 24.  And he showed more than enough performing talent during his short time on the show.  But did he show enough singing talent?  No way!  In fact, when he performed in the second group in the Top 24, his performance could accurately be described as a train wreck.  The TooFab staff accurately noted that his voice faltered because he couldn't really sing when he was running around at top speed.  Nobody on IdolForums liked it either.  He had the lowest overall rating of Group 2, with only Dan Marshall from Group 1 being rated worse overall.


However, he managed to get into the Top 20 because as I noted in my analysis of why Sir Blayke lost, the only thing worse than being a train wreck which is entertaining is being boring.  So how did he do in his Top 20 performance?  Well, he calmed down and actually sounded better.  The TooFab staff put him in tenth overall, and in the Top 14, praising him for delivering a better vocal performance and thinking that it might've been his best performance yet.  However, the people from IDF still weren't impressed.  Crisis thought that he was still all over the place vocally.  And I gave him a 6 out of 10, which was better than the 3 I gave him for his Top 24 performance but was still at the bottom along with Dan.


When he failed to make the Top 10 in terms of votes, he had one final chance to save himself with "if It Hadn't Been For Life".  How did he do with that one?  Again, the TooFab Staff thought he did better than in the Top 24, although they did note that his voice faltered when he moved around.  The IDF people, on the other hand, were still critical, with most of those rating him anywhere from a 3 o a 5.  I gave him a 6, admitting that it was his best vocal but still thinking that he was a goner.  IAlso, Denton Davidson from GoldDerby said that he would keep Allegra (who got one of the Wildcard slots) over Cameron, a decision a lot of us would have agreed with.  In short, Cameron failed in the first rule.


Song Choice Is Key


I don't think Cameron did as badly with this rule as others did, like Cadence.  While his song choices weren't always my cup of tea (like "Black Sabbath"), they were probably better than doing Whitney Houston or Carrie Underwood.  So I'll move on from here.


Be Consistently Outstanding or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week


Cameron had problems with the first part of the rule, being consistently outstanding.  In fact, as I noted before, he was a train wreck in his first performance!  He did manage to improve in his next two performances, so he did manage to follow the second part of the rule.  The problem is that he didn't do it nearly fast enough to make it into the Top 14.  So he didn't really succeed in this rule either.


Stand Out By Being Unique or By Being Memorable for Positive Reasons


Cameron did manage to be memorable and thus followed the fourth rule to an extent.  As I noted when reviewing his Top 24 routine, he was at least entertaining.  However, he also was memorable for ignoring mentor Bebe Rexha's advice, which isn't a positive reason to be memorable.  If you want to be memorable, ignoring advice isn't the best route to take.  And while he did improve his vocal performance in the Top 20, it might also have had the unintended effect of making him more forgettable.  Thus, while Cameron wasn't a total strike out, he still had problems with this rule.


Remember, You Are a Package


Cameron did know that he was a package and proved it with his entertaining back flips.  However, his package was that of a performer, not that of a singer.  He may not know how to combine his energy with his vocals in such a way that he can be a package that people would vote for, especially people like me, who tend to vote for the better singers.  If that's the case, then he struggled with this rule as well.


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


I'm afraid that I'm going to have to add a related warning to future American Idol contestants:  never, ever ignore the advice of mentors.  Because that is exactly what Cameron did.  Bebe advised him to stand behind a mic and tone down his manic energy, and he ignored it.  The result was a disaster, with steam likely coming from Bebe's ears and the judges appropriately speechless.  Fortunately for Cameron, he didn't argue with the judges and he did listen to Bebe's advice and tone the manic energy down, but by then it was too little, too late.  Thus in the end, Cameron struck out with this rule.


Gather a Fan Base -- and Sustain It


This was the final rule that Cameron failed to follow.  Part of the problem was that like Nicolina, he was from Canada and Canadians aren't able to vote on the show.  But Nicolina was able to deliver killer vocals that allowed her to gather a fan base.  Cameron had decent vocals, but his manic energy often took away from his vocals and in any case, he wasn't the best male vocalist by a long shot.  He had fans, but they were fans mainly because of his manic energy (and after his Top 24 performance, because of the judges giving him thumbs-down), but once he toned down his manic energy, the fans went away.  Thus he fouled up this rule as well.


Quite frankly, Cameron should have been eliminated a week ago.  He was one of the weakest vocalists in the Top 24.  He was a natural performer, but it often came at the expense of his vocals.  His packaging was focused almost entirely on his performance skills.  And he made the fatal mistake of ignoring the advice of Bebe Rexha.  And that explains why Cameron lost.

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If they went straight to the Top 14 votes (no Wildcards), Cameron actually got the 11th vote, followed by Jacob and Cadence (got a leaked spoiler from an Idol crew member). But it is what it is. He can take all the notes and keep going on his own. 

Edited by jazzontherocks
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12 minutes ago, jazzontherocks said:

If they went straight to the Top 14 votes (no Wildcards), Cameron actually got the 11th vote, followed by Jacob and Cadence (got a leaked spoiler from an Idol crew member). But it is what it is. He can take all the notes and keep going on his own. 

I somehow wish I hadn’t heard this spoiler because now I’m 💔 over what could’ve been.

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