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Why Marybeth Lost


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So far, I've looked at the two contestants who were eliminated in the Top 12 round:  Lucy and Nutsa.  Now it's time to look at the contestants who made it to the Top 10, only for their American Idol journey to come to an end.  First up is Marybeth Byrd.  She was on The Voice and was a country singer, so a lot of people -- including me -- thought that she would make the Top 5.  Unfortunately, she didn't even get that far.  But why did that happen?  As always, I'll look at the rules that Season 21 contestants need to follow in order to figure out what Marybeth did right, what she did wrong and why Marybeth lost.


Show Singing and Performing Talent


Marybeth had enough singing and performing talent in order to make the Top 26, but once she got there, she needed to show that talent.  She began well with "Heart Like a Truck", which IDF generally thought was very good if not great, and the TooFab staff also enjoyed.  But some problems began to occur with her original song "People Pleaser" in the Top 20, as I was one of those who thought that she was better in the Top 26 round, Crisis didn't have a lot to say about it, which might have been a bad thing and TooFab ranked her in 15th overall in that round!  Nonetheless, she made the Top 12 and sang "Cover Up", which most of IDF liked more, including me, although Crisis thought the she was solid but a little sleepy.  But then she took a major step back with "Dancing Queen", which everyone on IDF panned, including me, as I said that I liked the song but not on Marybeth, while Crisis called it confusing.  TooFab put her performance in ninth overall, ahead of only Oliver but both managed to make it into the Top 10 anyway.


So how did she do on her final performance with "Wasted On You"?  Once again, she improved as most of us ranked it higher than "Dancing Queen".  For example, I gave her a 7.  The TooFab staff also liked it, putting her in fourth overall.  However, Crisis panned it, saying that she wanted to try to show some more emotion but went about it in the wrong way, giving random emotional outbursts instead of allowing the emotion to simmer until an explosion near the end.  All in all, I think that while Marybeth was able to show her vocal talent, she struggled with performance talent, especially with DQ.


Song Choice Is Key


Marybeth might have had some problems with this rule.  Crisis thought that she should have chosen "Here You Come Again" or "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", and DQ was a definite misfire.  Moreover, in the Showstopper round, she chose a Carrie Underwood song and you really shouldn't sing Carrie unless you can nail it.  Just ask Wé Ani, who did a Whitney Houston song in the Top 10 round but despite my fears managed to nail it!  Marybeth, on the other hand, didn't do so well with "Flat on the Floor", and it was her first real misfire.  Thus Marybeth stumbled with this rule.


Be Consistently Outstanding or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week


Marybeth had some problems with this rule.  She was somewhat inconsistent and the times when she did well, she was consistently solid but not spectacular.  Neither option was really what she needed to be, so she struck out with this rule.


Have the Confidence to Believe That You Belong


I think that Marybeth had some confidence issues towards the end of her run.  Biting off more than she could chew on FOTF might have shaken Marybeth's confidence enough that she failed to really soar after the Top 26.  Meanwhile, Megan Danielle was growing more and more confident and that might have affected Marybeth's chances of staying in the competition.  Thus Marybeth failed in this rule as well.


Know Who You Are As an Artist


At least Marybeth knew who she was as an artist and thus followed the fifth rule.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to save her despite her being a country singer.


Remember, You Are a Package


I think that Marybeth began fairly well with this rule.  She was a country singer and thus could package herself in a way that could appeal to the country fans who watched her on ABC.  But after her performance of FOTF, the package slowly but surely began unraveling due to problems with performance skills and decreasing confidence.  Thus Marybeth screwed up this rule as well.


Take Any Advice Offered to You and Follow It


At least Marybeth had no problems with this rule.  Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly enough to save her so I'll move on.


Gather a Fan Base -- and Sustain It


Marybeth began well with this rule, being a bonafide country singer and having competed on The Voice.  This enabled her to begin gathering a fan base.  And this probably was why she stayed in the competition for as long as she did.  But gradually, she couldn't sustain her fan base thanks to inconsistent or solid-but-not-spectacular songs.  Meanwhile Megan, who also was on The Voice, was probably gaining some of Marybeth's fans with country-adjacent performances which began improving to the point that she was better than Marybeth, while Wé Ani (who was also on The Voice) was consistently outstanding and gaining new fans.  In the end, Marybeth eventually fouled out on this rule as well.


Marybeth could've gotten a lot farther than she did.  She was a country singer and could depend on country fans as well as fans from her time on The Voice.  What did her in was inconsistency, weak performance skills and the poor decision to sing a Carrie Underwood song in the Showstopper round.  "Flat on the Floor" was more than she could handle and it might have affected her confidence enough that she couldn't improve.  Meanwhile, two other Voice alumni were outperforming her -- Wé Ani was consistently great while Megan was improving.  As a result, Marybeth's package unraveled and she couldn't sustain her fan base.  And that is why Marybeth lost.

Edited by CarmenSandiego
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i think viewers from the voice s17 who remember marybeth compose a small amount of the voters on AI, but even those who remember and liked here there might not like her here.


she pivoted from a pop leaning to full-on country, and additionally added a rasp to her voice that wasn’t present in the voice. also her twang was stronger on AI i think? 


anyway saying this from experience bc she was one of my favorites on the voice but i didn’t like her much on ai

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