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Why Tyson Lost


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Earlier today, I looked at why Marybeth Byrd's American Idol journey came to an end in the Top 10.  Now, I'm going to look at the other person eliminated in the Top 10, and that is Tyson Vanegas.  He was a Platinum Ticket winner and he had the potential to go far as a result, but while he could make the Top 10, he couldn't get any farther.  Why did this happen?  As always, I'll look at the rules that Season 21 contestants need to follow in order to determine what Tyson did right, what he did wrong and why Tyson lost.


Show Singing and Performing Talent


Tyson definitely had enough singing and performing talent, but he didn't always show that talent, even before he made the Top 26.  His Showstopper performance was a disaster due to his forgetting the lyrics of the first two verses and being a little lucky that he was able to get into the Top 26.  Then in the Top 26 round, the voters saw that while he could show his vocal talent, his performing talent definitely needed work and when he tried to interact with the audience, his vocals suffered, as both the TooFab staff and Crisis noted.  Tyson began to recover with his "180" song in the Top 20 round and managed to get into the Top 10 via America's vote and after singing his victory song (which I thought suffered from comparison to Clay Aiken's performance of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" in Season 2), he sang "For Once in My Life", but while his vocals were still great, Crisis thought that his performance was "cruise ship" and the TooFab staff wanted a little more oomph in his performance.


So how did he do on her final performance with "Someone You Loved"?  Generally, IDF rated it highly, although I gave him a 7 and thought that it was good but not great.  Crisis thought that Tyson let the emotion simmer more than Marybeth did on her song "Wasted On You", but thought that his voice was too smooth for the song.  And the TooFab staff put him in fifth overall, but thought that it took him about halfway through the song for him to get a genuine connection.  All in all, I think that Tyson was only partly successful with this rule -- he showed singing talent but the performance talent was a work in progress.


Song Choice Is Key


I think that Tyson did a decent job with this rule except maybe when he took on DLTSGDOM, which Clay killed in Season 2.  Although it's been awhile since I remember anybody else picking that song, perhaps he shouldn't have picked a song that a former Idol contestant killed.  Fortunately for him, though, he only sang it when he was doing a victory performance.  So I'll move on.


Be Consistently Outstanding or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week


Tyson had some problems with this rule.  He was consistently good but not great and that's not going to get anybody very far.  So Tyson stumbled with this rule.


Have the Confidence to Believe That You Belong


I think that Tyson succeeded with this rule, except when he forgot the lyrics in his Showstopper performance, but it's hard to have confidence under those circumstances.  It wasn't enough to save him but at least he didn't fail with this rule.


Know Who You Are As an Artist


Tyson might have had problems with knowing who he was as an artist -- though that might be less due to knowing what his specific genre or genres might be (I think that he showed that he's a combination of pop and soul) than due to his weak performance skills.  Still, Tyson stumbled with this rule.


Remember, You Are a Package


I think that Tyson also had problems with this rule.  He was a Platinum Ticket winner but that was pretty much it to his package.  It did allow him to get farther than he might otherwise have done, but it couldn't compete with the packages of some of the others, and this might have hurt him when he, Oliver and Marybeth were the Bottom 3 and had to get a Judges' Save by Katy Perry.  While Tyson might have been able to get past Marybeth even with her country package, Oliver had the backstory of wanting to honor his father's legacy and after Oliver had performed, he revealed that his father (who apparently had to go through dialysis) would come to see him perform if he made it into the Top 7/8.  Tyson couldn't really compete with that, so he fouled up this rule.


Take Any Advice Offered to You and Follow It


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


Gather a Fan Base -- and Sustain It


Tyson also had some problems with this rule.  On the one hand, he was a Platinum Ticket winner, which gave him a bit of a head start in gathering a fan base.  On the other hand, he was a Canadian and people from outside the U.S. can't vote.  He did better than Nutsa (who also wasn't from America) because he didn't have the baggage that she suffered from but I suspect that his non-American nationality hurt his ability to gather a very strong fan base, and his good-but-not-great performances didn't help him sustain the fan base that he had.  In the end, Tyson struggled with this rule.


Tyson was the best of the Platinum Ticket winners.  He showed more singing talent and thus got past two other Platinum Ticket winners; he chose better songs, which helped him move on when Elijah, the other Platinum Ticket winner in the Top 26, didn't; he had confidence and he took advice well.  But he was from another country, which hurt his ability to gather a fan base, and his weak performance skills proved to be his Kryptonite.  They prevented him from being great, which could have helped him when against country singers or guys with guitars.  And his package was too plain to compete against that of Oliver when it came time to get the Judges's Save.  Tyson just didn't have enough of what he needed and in the end, that is why Tyson lost.

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