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Why Nicolina Lost


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Last night, I analyzed why Fritz Hager lost and it basically came down to stopping being so consistent and choosing a bad time to pick a song choice that showed versatility.  Today, I'm going to examine the other person eliminated in the Top 5 round, and that is Nicolina Bozzo.  Nicolina was probably the best vocalist in the competition, but she fell short of the finale.  Why did that happen?  I'll examine the rules that American Idol Season 20 contestants ideally should follow in order to see what Nicolina did right, what she did wrong, and why Nicolina lost.


Show Singing and Performing Talent


Nicolina definitely had enough singing and performing talent to make the Top 24.  In fact, after Kenedi Anderson left, she probably was the best female vocalist and was tied with Jacob Moran for the best vocalist.  Unlike Jacob, however, her tone was more pleasant to the ear, and she showed her singing talent more easily as a result.  That said, even if American Idol is a singing competition, it's not enough to just have vocal talent.  You need performing talent as well, and Nicolina had a somewhat mixed bag in that area.  She could perform ballads or a villain's song like "Poor Unfortunate Souls" quite well, but when it came to more up-tempo numbers like "Since U Been Gone", Nicolina stumbled.  Still, she made fewer mistakes in this department than Jacob, Christian Guardino or Jay Copeland.


What about her final two performances?  The TooFab staff put her in third place in the Carrie Underwood part of the Top 5 round, generally praising her but feeling that she had some inconsistent moments here and there.  Crisis was more critical, saying that "Blown Away" completely overwhelmed her, with the decision to use a wind machine for the performance definitely contributing.  Her second song, "All I Ask", was much better and was praised by both the TooFab staff and Crisis.  Overall, I'd say that Nicolina mostly succeeded with the first rule, but had enough rough spots here and there to fall short at the end.


Song Choice Is Key


Nicolina had occasional problems with this rule, such as taking on "Since U Been Gone", which is a Kelly Clarkson song as well as a more up-tempo one.  And one of the reasons why Crisis criticized her choice of "Blown Away" in the Top 5 round is because it apparently is so challenging!  And as I noted earlier, he felt that Nicolina was overwhelmed by the song.  The choice to use a wind machine for that song, while not directly connected to her song choice, made an already-questionable song choice worse for her.  However, other song choices, such as "Poor Unfortunate Souls", were great.  So Nicolina had a mixed bag with this rule.


Be Consistently Great or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week


This was the first rule that I definitely think Nicolina fell short on.  While she was mostly great, she wasn't consistently great.  And worse, she began near the top, so she didn't have much opportunity to consistently improve, unlike Leah or Noah.  Her two performances in the Final 5 round showcased this problem:  one was not-so-great, the other was great.  Thus, Nicolina stumbled with this rule.


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


Nicolina wasn't exactly unique in terms of previous Idol contestants who had big voices like her, or even in this season since Jacob and Kenedi all had powerful voices and probably would be in the pop category.  But once Kenedi withdrew and Jacob failed to make the Top 14, she was definitely the only big-voiced pop singer and thus was unique in that area.  Thus in the end, Nicolina succeeded in this rule.


Remember, You Are a Package


Nicolina definitely succeeded with this rule.  She was a package -- the belter.  And that package more or less got her to the Top 5.  Unfortunately, it also hurt her chances of making it to the end, as like Christian Guardino and Jay Copeland before her, she was more of an old-school Idol contestant and the skills that would have helped her get to the finale in the earlier seasons just didn't work as well here.  Thus Nicolina succeeded in this rule, but it hurt her in the end.


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


At least Nicolina succeeded with this rule and thus it played no role in her elimination, so I'll move on from here.


Gather a Fan Base -- and Sustain It


This was the final rule that Nicolina had problems with.  Nicolina wasn't a country singer, and country singers often have a very strong fan base.  And while Nicolina was a talented vocalist, a number of older women would rather vote for a cute country guy who plays a guitar than a talented female vocalist.  Thus Nicolina had an uphill battle in gathering a fan base strong enough to overcome country singers or cute guys who played guitars.  She did well enough with this rule to make the Top 5, but there were two country singers still left and one of them was a cute guy, while the third was an indie-folk singer, Leah Marlene, who also played a guitar and was more creative in her performances than Nicolina.  Thus, Nicolina fell short with this rule in the end.


In the end, Nicolina had just too much of an uphill battle.  She was a talented vocalist but wasn't as good with her performance skills as she could have been.  Some of her song choices were great, others weren't so great.  And she was too much of an old-school contestant.  Thus, she was vulnerable and needed to have two outstanding performances to even have a chance to make the finale.  And once again, she had one great song choice, and one bad one that was exacerbated by deciding to take the "blown away" part quite literally by having a wind machine onstage!  Nicolina's inconsistency came at the wrong time, and she paid for it.  That is why Nicolina lost.

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@CarmenSandiego Hi! One question. Are you gonna do write-ups for the Top 3?? I'd really like to read your take on them. 


Also, about Nicolina, i know i'm late, but i just think that the Carrie's theme really hurt her. As the only singer with a powerful voice in the competition, she was gonna be always expected to match the power of the original. But Carrie is a HELL of a vocalist, so, it's not surprise that Nicolina failed to achieve that.  


Her cover of "All I Ask" tho, was beautiful, Adele's songs fit her voice like a glove. 


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