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Why Zachariah Lost


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After a week of mourning because my favorite was eliminated, I've gotten back into the saddle (helped by the fact that the one who should have been eliminated instead of We was eliminated first in the finale) and am now looking at the two who failed to make it into the finale.  First up is Zachariah.  I figured his run was going to end in the Top 5 and sure enough, I was right.  But why did he fail to make it into the finale?  As always, I'll take a look at the rules that American Idol Season 21 contestants needed to follow in order to figure out what Zachariah did right, what he did wrong and why Zachariah lost.


Show Singing and Performing Talent


Zachariah had enough singing and performing talent to make the Top 26, and when it came time to show that talent, he often succeeded.  However, he often showed more performing talent than singing talent -- his singing was good but his performing ability was better.  On IDF he often was in the middle of the pack.  So how did he do in his final two performances?  Not the best.  IDF gave his performance of "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" an overall rating of 7.52 and had I voted, I would have given it a 7 since it was certainly entertaining.  His second performance, "Life Is a Highway" wasn't as good, earning an overall rating of 6.25 from IDF and had I voted, I would have given it a 6.5 or a 6.


As for Crisis, he said that he wanted to enjoy IJCWTBK more than he wound up doing, due to an out-of-control vibrato and insufficient performance skills until near the end but liked his performance of LIAH more.  The TooFab staff put him in fourth on both of his performances, praising his unexpected song choice of IJCWTBK and enjoying his LIAH but thinking that the first song had a more consistent vocal.  Thus Zachariah did well enough with this rule to get to the Final 5 but not well enough to get to the finale.


Song Choice Is Key


Zachariah usually didn't have any problems with this rule, but according to Crisis, he could have picked a better song than LIAH.  But he didn't have major problems with this rule, so I'll move on.


Be Consistently Outstanding or Better Yet, Consistently Improve Every Week


This was the first rule that Zachariah really had problems with.  He was consistently good-but-not-great, which isn't really what you need to be, especially at this late stage of the game.  Sooner or later, that was going to catch up to him and it did.  So Zachariah screwed this rule up.


Have the Confidence to Believe That You Belong


I don't think that Zachariah had any problems with confidence, especially since he was a fine performer, so I'll move on.


Know Who You Are As an Artist


Zachariah had no problems with this rule either.  He was an entertainer and he showed it.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to save him, but at least he knew what type of artist he was, so I'll move on.


Remember, You Are a Package


Zachariah was somewhat successful with this rule.  He was the one chosen to mention the flooding of Amory instead of Colin (who was from a nearby village) and he had the entertainer package.  Unfortunately, American Idol is still mostly a singing competition, and Zachariah's package didn't include strong enough vocals.  Still, I don't think this was a major problem, so I'll move on.


Take Any Advice Offered to You and Follow It


At least Zachariah 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


This ultimately might have been the final straw for Zachariah.  Like Warren, by the time he was eliminated Zachariah was competing for votes with Colin -- in this case, votes from the same general location of Amory, Mississippi -- and Colin had the country lane all to himself by this point.  Zachariah had his fan base, but it couldn't really compete with the country fan base that Colin had.  So this was the final rule that he struck out on.


Zachariah did a lot of things right in order to make it to the Top 5.  He followed any advice he was given, he was confident, and he was a package.  Unfortunately for him, his package was that of the entertainer and American Idol still prizes strong vocals.  And Zachariah's vocals were worse than everyone else in the Top 5 except maybe Colin.  And with Colin having the country fan base on his side, Zachariah had no chance of getting past him.  In the end, that is why Zachariah lost.

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