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Why Elijah Lost


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Three down and three to go.  So far, I've managed to determine why PJAE, Elise and Malik all had their American Idol journey come to an early end.  But there are three other people (two from Group 2 and one from Group 1) who also saw their Idol journey come to an end.  One of them was Elijah.  I was pretty surprised when he was eliminated early because I thought he might squeak into the Top 20 and instead he was cut.  But once I look at my rules on what the contestants in Season 21 should follow, I'm sure that I can determine what Elijah did right, what he did wrong and why Elijah lost.


Show Singing and Performing Talent


Elijah had enough singing and performing talent, but it's not enough now.  He had to show that talent each and every time he performed for America's votes.  And how did he do?  Not very good, unfortunately.  A few on IDF gave him a 7, but most gave him a 6 or lower, including me.  I gave him a 6, claiming that it was a good performance but a questionable song choice.  Crisis claimed that Elijah began with a lack of energy and even after the run in his song, it still wasn't energetic enough.  And the TooFab staff said that his voice didn't adapt to the rhythm of the song well, except maybe until the end, when he belted it out.  It didn't help that thanks to Elijah's accident, he couldn't work the stage as well as he did before it.  Suffice it to say that Elijah blew the first rule.


Song Choice is Key


Another problem that Elijah had was with his song choice.  I said that it was a questionable song choice, and I wasn't the only one.  Crisis said that the song had more energy than Elijah was able to provide and the TooFab staff said that the song didn't play into any of his strengths.  Also, Elijah couldn't move around the stage as well as he once did.  He should have picked a song that would allow him to stand in one place and just sing.  Thus Elijah also fouled up this rule.


Be Consistently Outstanding or Better Yet, Constantly Improve Every Week


This was another problem that Elijah had.  He had been very good before this point, good enough that I thought that he would make the Top 12.  But then he stumbled in his very first performance for America's votes.  That was not the time to stumble, even if he had been good before that point.  Thus Elijah failed that rule as well.


Have the Confidence to Believe That You Belong


This was one area where I think that Elijah did well in.  I never really saw Elijah struggle with confidence during his run on the show.  Unfortunately, it didn't save him from elimination, but at least he did well enough with this rule so I'll move on.


Know Who You Are As An Artist


Until the Top 26, I think that Elijah did a decent job with this rule.  Like Malik, he was more of a vocal powerhouse singer who had an almost gospel-like voice.  But it seems that Elijah might not have known his artistic identity as well as I thought he did.  Had he known his artistic identity more, he might have avoided doing a song that didn't do it any justice.  Thus Elijah stumbled with this rule.


Remember:  You Are a Package


Elijah had no problems with this rule.  He had the tragic story of his accident and could milk it for sympathy votes.  Unfortunately, even though he mentioned his accident even in the intro to his performance, that wasn't enough to save him since he performed in the early part of the show.  Still, he did well enough with this rule so I'll move on.


Take Any Advice Offered To You And Follow It


Elijah also had no problems with taking the advice that mentor Noah Cyrus gave him and following it.  Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to save him.


Gather a Fan Base -- And Sustain It


Elijah did a decent job with this rule at first.  He had been voted America's Platinum Ticket winner and his backstory was able to gain him some fans.  That was one reason why I really thought, even after he had his mediocre performance, that he would make it into the Top 20 and displace Hannah, a girl who I thought was better than him that particular night, although not much.  But he performed early in the evening, and that probably caused casual fans to forget him by the end of the show.  Also, it's possible that some of his fans were complacent enough to slack off in voting for him, thinking that he might make it through anyway.  And finally, Hannah was recovering from an illness (she later said that it was COVID), and that no doubt earned her some sympathy votes.  So in the end, Elijah struck out with this rule.


Elijah did pretty well before the Top 26.  He could sing well, although his performance skills were never going to be as good as they once were thanks to his accident.  He had a sympathetic backstory with his accident that could attract a fan base.  But then he stumbled when he first had to perform for our votes.  He chose a song that did not suit his voice and demanded more energy than he was able to give it.  And worse, he had to perform first in the evening while Hannah not only performed later but she might have gotten enough sympathy votes due to her illness to enable her to squeak by Elijah.  When you add all this up, this is why Elijah lost.


Edited by CarmenSandiego
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