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Why Sage Lost


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Whew!  Writing up six analyses on why certain contestants lost was a killer.  But I persevered, and now I'm down to just one contestant eliminated from the Top 20:  Sage.  Sage managed to make it into the Top 20, bu after her Top 20 performance, she had to sing to earn a Judges' Wildcard, and she was eliminated.  But why did she fail to earn the coveted Judges' Wildcard?  If we look at the rules that American Idol Season 20 contestants need to follow, that can help us learn what she did right, what she did wrong, and why Sage lost.

 

Show Singing and Performing Talent

 

Sage had enough singing and performing talent to make the Top 24, but she needed to show that talent in her three performances.  And she didn't always do so.  For example, let's take a look at her performance in the Top 20 round.  The Too Fab staff ranked that routine in 19th place, above only Katyrah's performance, noting that the performance felt a bit uncomfortable.  Crisis said that she should have stayed with the piano arrangement the whole way through the song, and said that the vocals fell apart when the band kicked in.  I gave it a 7, but said that it was largely because I liked the song, since after rewatching it on YouTube I wasn't as impressed as I was the first time around.

 

What about her Judges' Wildcard song?  That actually went better.  The Too Fab staff actually ranked this performance second best of the ones who sang for the Judges' Wildcard slot, behind only Tristen, suggesting that she fought for her spot because she mentally prepared herself for the likelihood that she'd be in trouble.  And Crisis also thought that was her best performance.  Unfortunately, it seems to have come too little, too late for her.  Thus Sage ultimately failed in the first rule, although not as badly as some others did.

 

Song Choice Is Key

 

Sage had a questionable song choice in the Top 24 round with "Jolene".  It's been done before on American Idol, and not always very well.  That said, she got into the Top 20 despite that iffy song choice (and was helped by Danielle and Scarlet having worse song choices), and her choice of "Rihannon" for her Top 20 performance was panned more for how she performed the song than for it actually being a bad song choice, so she wasn't as bad with this rule as others were.

 

Be Consistently Outstanding or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week

 

However, Sage did have problems with this rule.  She wasn't consistently outstanding, and she didn't consistently improve every week.  By contrast, Allegra was improving every week once she got into the Top 24.  Thus Sage fouled up this rule.

 

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

 

I don't think that Sage did too well with this rule either.  She might have been the only one really competing in a particular lane, as the Too Fab staff thought.  On the other hand, Crisis indicated that he thought that she was toast once Ava got into the Top 14 through public voting, so Sage might have had competition from her.  And Ava was more memorable than Sage due to Ava's hair color and having a famous father.  Thus Sage messed up on this rule as well.

 

Remember, You Are a Package

 

This is probably one of the biggest reasons why Sage lost.  Her package was comparatively plain when compared to a number of the other women -- and men for that matter -- in the Top 24.  She was able to outlast three other people (along with Kenedi, who withdrew), but she needed a better package to get into the Top 14, and she didn't have it.  Thus, Sage struck out with this rule.

 

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

 

At least Sage had no problems with this rule.  Unfortunately, that wasn't nearly enough to save her so we'll move on.

 

Gather a Fan Base -- And Sustain It

 

This was the final rule that Sage failed to follow.  Part of it was the fault of the producers, as they aired her audition as almost an afterthought.  But she didn't do enough on her own part to get a fan base or to sustain it.  Had she done an outstanding performance of "Rhiannon" or "Jolene", then she might have gotten a fan base.  But she didn't.  Thus, Sage fouled up this rule as well.

 

Sage was screwed somewhat with the producers, since her audition was aired almost as an afterthought, and right after the Oscars were shown too.  But she still could have saved herself once she got into the Top 24.  She could have made a better song choice in the Top 24.  She could have made better performance choices in the Top 20 round.  And she could have had a better package and been more memorable.  But she did none of the above.  And when it was time for her to sing for the Wildcard slot, she finally sang and performed her best, but It was too little, too late.  That is why Sage lost.

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Thanks for persevering and writing up an analysis for why each of the 6 contestants who were eliminated last Monday lost according to the rules you feel contestants need to follow if they would like to be as successful on the show as they possibly can be. I continue to enjoy reading your analyses. And I think you should consider adding a new rule to the ones you feel contestants need to follow if they want to do as well on the show as they can. And that is to believe that he/she belongs there, which I feel some of this season's contestants have definitely struggled with. Meanwhile, I feel it is just so hard for contestants to be memorable these days. And if they aren't the type of contestant the typical AI voter generally backs, I feel it is such an uphill battle for them. I believe a contestant really needs to come up with a new arrangement of a well-known song and sing the heck out of it or do something almost completely unexpected, like Leah did last week, if he/she is the type of contestant that the AI voter doesn't normally back and he/she wants to be remembered in a positive light.

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14 hours ago, Winterfan said:

Thanks for persevering and writing up an analysis for why each of the 6 contestants who were eliminated last Monday lost according to the rules you feel contestants need to follow if they would like to be as successful on the show as they possibly can be. I continue to enjoy reading your analyses. And I think you should consider adding a new rule to the ones you feel contestants need to follow if they want to do as well on the show as they can. And that is to believe that he/she belongs there, which I feel some of this season's contestants have definitely struggled with. Meanwhile, I feel it is just so hard for contestants to be memorable these days. And if they aren't the type of contestant the typical AI voter generally backs, I feel it is such an uphill battle for them. I believe a contestant really needs to come up with a new arrangement of a well-known song and sing the heck out of it or do something almost completely unexpected, like Leah did last week, if he/she is the type of contestant that the AI voter doesn't normally back and he/she wants to be remembered in a positive light.

 

That would be good advice!  I'll consider it for next season.

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