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Why Elleigh Lost

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Thursday, I analyzed the many reasons why K-Blocks failed to make the Top 20.  Last night, I looked at why Hailey lost.  I have two more contestants who failed to make the Top 20 to look at, and I’ll turn to Elleigh.  When she first auditioned, Luke Bryan thought that she could be Top Ten material, but she failed to get past the first cut!  What went wrong for her?  As before, I’ll examine the rules that American Idol contestants need to follow in order to determine what Elleigh did right, what she did wrong and why Elleigh lost.


Let’s begin with the first rule, which states that contestants must show their singing and performing talent.  How did Elleigh do with this rule?  Better than K-Blocks, at least.  On IDF, most people put her ahead of not only K-Blocks but also Jennifer Jeffries, who made it into the Top 20.  I gave her a 7.0 and put her ahead of Jennifer and Jack Blocker, as well as K-Blocks, of course.  Denton Davidson from Goldderby was impressed with how she worked the stage.  Overall, I think that Elleigh was able to show enough singing and performing talent and thus the first rule wasn’t a problem for her.


But the second rule, which states that song choice is key, most likely was!  She chose to sing “Forget You”, and MJSbigblog said that it was an odd song choice.  She wasn’t the only one, as although I thought Elleigh was good, I also thought that the song choice was weird.  Moreover, when her song choice was revealed, a lot of people on IDF thought that she was a goner because she chose a bad song.  While she had a personal reason for singing “Forget You”, the fact remains that by choosing that song, she struck out on this rule.


The third rule states that contestants must be consistently great or consistently improve every time.  This early on, Elleigh had to be great, especially since she got little screen time after her audition, and instead she was just good.  With her song choice, good wasn’t good enough, and thus she stumbled on the third rule as well.


At least Elleigh followed the fourth rule, which states that contestants had to be confident enough.  She certainly showed confidence in her performance.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to save her, I’ll move on.


The fifth rule states that contestants must have a strong and marketable artistic identity.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that Elleigh did well enough with this rule.  When you compare her to Jennifer, who was arguably worse than Elleigh, one thing that might have helped Jennifer was that she had a distinct tone to her voice, whereas Elleigh’s voice was more generic.  While it wasn’t as bad a problem for Elleigh as it was for Hailey, Elleigh still struggled with this rule.


Elleigh began well with the sixth rule, which states that contestants must remember that they were a package.  Elleigh had a father who was in the military and was going to be leaving soon after her audition.  Unfortunately, her somewhat generic identity and awful song choice for the Top 20 killed her chances.  Thus in the end, she screwed up this rule.


Elleigh also followed the seventh rule.  She listened to the advice that mentor Jelly Roll gave and followed it.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save her, so I’ll move on.


The final rule states that contestants must gather and sustain a fan base.  With Elleigh’s father being in the military and having to leave soon after her audition, Elleigh had the chance to gather a fan base, but by the time Hollywood Week was aired, Elleigh had sung “Forget You”, and I suspect that her awful song choice led to her getting limited screen time and thus putting her behind the 8-ball, and when her performance was aired, while it wasn’t a disaster, it wasn’t good enough to get enough fans for her to survive.  Thus, in the end she fouled up this rule.


Elleigh had the potential to get farther than she did.  Having a military father who was leaving soon after her audition could have helped her package herself and gather a fan base.  But Elleigh didn’t have enough of an artistic identity, and when she got to Hawaii, she allowed her past experience with being cheated on to lead her to pick a song that proved to be fatal to her chances despite being a good singer and performer.  Song choice was her Kryptonite, and that is why Elleigh lost.

Edited by CarmenSandiego
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