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Why Jacob Lost


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I have analyzed the reasons why Cadence Baker, Cameron Whitcomb and Elli Rowe all failed to make the Top 14.  Three down and three to go, with one of the remaining three being Jacob Moran.  Unlike the first three, Jacob had a very good chance of advancing farther into the competition despite not finishing in the Top 10 public voting but after singing to ensure a Judges' Wildcard slot, he was gone.  How did what was probably the best male vocalist in the competition fail to make the Top 14?  My list of rules for Season 20 contestants to follow in order to get far into the competition hopefully will explain what Jacob did right, what he did wrong, and why he lost.

 

Show Singing and Performing Talent

 

There is no doubt that Jacob has lots of singing talent, and that he showed it as often as he could.  Indeed, when he sang his Top 20 song, Katy called him the best voice in the competition, and with Kenedi gone from the competition, that might well be true.  Unfortunately, we have seen far too often that there's more to winning American Idol than just being a great singer.  You need to show your performance skills, too.  And how did Jacob do with this rule?  Not quite as well as with his vocals.  The Too Fab staff put him in their Top 14 but noted that his stage presence was a little subdued.  Crisis, meanwhile, thought that he didn't have a natural stage presence and when he tried to emphasize it, his vocals suffered as a result.  A similar problem occurred when he had to sing for the Judge's Wildcard slot, as the Too Fab staff ranked him fifth of those who were in danger, noting that his Wildcard Slot performance wasn't as good as his audition, and Crisis felt the same way.  But the real problem might not have been Jacob's performance skills; it might have been his tone of voice.  Like Adam Lambert, Jacob had a tone of voice that tended to get on my nerves, and I don't think that I'm the only one who felt that way.  Still, Jacob was mostly successful with this rule.

 

Song Choice Is Key

 

Jacob didn't seem to have any real problems with this rule, unlike Cadence or Elli.  I think that reprising "Rise" was a smart choice since it would remind the judges of why they put him in the Top 24 in the first place.  Allegra sang a reprise of her original song that she first sang at her audition, and it worked out for her.  Thus, I don't believe that Jacob failed this rule.

 

Be Consistent, or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week

 

Unfortunately, Jacob did fail with this rule to some degree.  His performance of "In My Blood' was possibly his best performance, but I didn't find his performance of "Don't You Worry About a Thing" as good.  And his Wildcard Slot performance of "Rise" doesn't seem to have been as good as DYWAAT.  I didn't view those two performances as bad, just not as good.  And since he began the competition in a strong position, he needed to keep the momentum going.  But like LaKisha from Season 6, he couldn't.  Thus, he screwed up on this rule.

 

Stand Out By Being Unique or By Being Memorable For Positive Things

 

Jacob did stand out by being the best male vocalist in the Top 24, and he was memorable for that.  Unfortunately, he also was memorable for having a tone that could drive people nuts, me included.  Still, he succeeded with this rule more than those who were eliminated before him, so we'll move on.

 

Remember, You Are a Package

 

Jacob did have a package -- his package was being the best male vocalist in the Top 24.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure that there was much else to his package, and that might havre hurt his chances when his vocals weren't as good or his performance skills were lacking.  Lady K. also has a strong voice, but she also has a sympathetic backstory that probably helped her get into the Top 10 via public voting.  Jacob's package was plainer by comparison.  Thus Jacob messed up on this rule.

 

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

 

This was another rule that Jacob followed, so we can move on from there.

 

Gather a Fan Base -- and Sustain It

 

Jacob began well with this rule.  His killer vocals enabled him to gather fans.  Unfortunately, he wasn't able to gather as many fans as the country singers, and he wasn't able to sustain his fan base.  Complacency might also have played a role here, since he was still good enough that his fans might have thought that he would be okay and slacked off a little.  Thus Jacob ultimately failed with this rule as well.

 

Jacob began the competition well.  He had plenty of singing talent, and this enabled him to gather fans.  Unfortunately, he wasn't a natural performer, which hurt him to some degree.  Worse, his tone of voice could be grating.  His packaging was plain compared to some of the others, and finally, he couldn't remain consistently outstanding, losing steam just enough to lull his fans into complacency.  He had one last shot to impress the judges, and he fell short.  And that is why Jacob lost.

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Thank you for your analysis. I really enjoyed it and agreed with pretty much everything you said. Although by way of the leaked list he was one of the fourteen vote getters, with a bigger fan base he could've landed a spot among the Top 10. But he has always given it his all, and going forward, I believe he has the potential to be one of the more successful alums from the show. 

 

One thing that still confuses me - seen a lot of comments on social media about this as well - is why they kept calling him the best voice when they won't even save him. If you consider someone to have the best voice, then that person should be worth saving for another week. 

Edited by jazzontherocks
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5 hours ago, jazzontherocks said:

Thank you for your analysis. I really enjoyed it and agreed with pretty much everything you said. Although by way of the leaked list he was one of the fourteen vote getters, with a bigger fan base he could've landed a spot among the Top 10. But he has always given it his all, and going forward, I believe he has the potential to be one of the more successful alums from the show. 

 

One thing that still confuses me - seen a lot of comments on social media about this as well - is why they kept calling him the best voice when they won't even save him. If you consider someone to have the best voice, then that person should be worth saving for another week. 

 

I think that voter complacency played a role here.  Jacob's fans probably thought that he was safe and didn't bother voting for him as much as they should have. Also, he probably didn't have a real "it factor" like others.

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