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Why Mike Lost


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Last Sunday, we said good-bye to three contestants during Disney Night.  I already analyzed why Emyrson Flora was one of those three, and now it's time to look at one more:  Mike Parker.  He did well enough to make it to Disney Night, but his journey ended there.  Why did he fall short of the finale or the win?  If we take a look at the rules that American Idol Season 20 contestants ideally should follow, we can see what Mike did well, what he failed at and why Mike lost.

 

Show Singing and Performing Talent

 

Mike had enough singing and performing talent to make the Top 24, and there were times when he showed that talent.  But he didn't show that talent well in what turned out to be his final performance, "You'll Be In My Heart."  The TooFab staff called his performance "surprisingly clinical".  Crisis thought that while Mike did fine on the verses, he didn't do so well with the choruses.  And I gave him a 7, with only Noah tied with him for last place, and said that Mike was a goner.  Thus Mike failed the first rule.

 

Song Choice Is Key

 

Mike didn't do quite as badly with this rule as Lady K. or even Emyrson.  But Crisis thought that he could've chosen a better song than "You'll Be In My Heart", which admittedly is overdone by this time.  More importantly, Mike didn't always choose songs that showcased his artistic identity.  As Crisis noted, he often went down a country route when he had more of an R&B voice, something which I'll talk about more later.  Thus, Mike also had problems with this rule.

 

Be Consistently Great or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week

 

This was another rule that Mike had problems with.  Mike began his journey in the voting round with a mediocre performance but did manage to improve enough to get into the Top 14, albeit through a wildcard spot, the Top 11 and even the Top 10 although the Top 10 performance might not have been his best.  Unfortunately, all that came crashing down with his final performance, which was a step backwards in many ways.  Thus Mike also stumbled on this rule.

 

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

 

Mike was a mixed bag on this rule.  On the one hand, he was one of three country guys, and one of four country singers overall.  On the other hand, he was a Black Country singer, which certainly is rare if not unheard of, and thus made him stand out.  And he was able to stand out more than Dan, a white country male singer who was boring and mediocre.  Unfortunately, he wasn't as memorable as Noah Thompson, another white male country singer, as well as Huntergirl, a female country singer.  Thus while Mike didn't do too badly with this rule, he failed in the end.

 

Remember, You Are a Package

 

This might have been the biggest failure Mike had.  The TooFab Staff noted that Mike was trying to find his identity as an artist, while Crisis felt that Mike should have done R&B instead of country.  While Crisis claimed that Mike was being pushed down the country route by the show, the fact that Mike looked up to Jimmie Allen, another Black Country singer who had tried out for American Idol suggests that Mike might have chosen to go down the Country route on his own, either because he felt it would help him stand out or just because he wanted to be like Allen.  Either way, he was a country singer with elements of R&B in his voice, and he struggled to merge those parts at times.  Thus Mike struck out on this rule as well.

 

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

 

At least Mike did fine with this rule.  Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly enough to save him, so I'll move on.

 

Gather a Fan Base -- And Sustain It

 

This was the final rule that Mike failed at.  As noted earlier, Mike was one of three male country singers, and four country singers overall.  Sooner or later, the country singers were going to be trimmed down, and while Mike managed to avoid being the first country singer to go, he wasn't able to get enough of a fan base to get past Huntergirl or Noah, especially since he needed a wildcard spot to get into the Top 14 and they didn't.  Thus Mike ultimately fouled up this rule as well.

 

Mike was part of a quartet of country singers and while he was better than Dan and managed to outlast him despite his needing a wildcard spot and Dan's not needing one. But Mike wasn't memorable enough and he didn't have enough of an artistic identity to get past Noah or Huntergirl without doing a lot of things right.  And on Disney Night, he had his worst performance in some time, ending his chances of getting past at least Huntergirl.  That is why Mike lost.

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From a personal standpoint, I didnt find him believable singing country. To me, his performances sounded like a R&B singer taking on a country song, instead of a country singer as a whole.

 

He's talented, but I think he needs to hone in his musical identity.

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