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Why Blake Lost

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Three contestants who failed to make the Top 20 down, and I’m ready for the last one.  While most people on IDF expected the first three contestants — K-Blocks, Hailey and Elleigh — to be cut at this point, I don’t think most of them expected Blake to be cut, but I know that a lot of us wanted him cut.  But Blake also failed to make the Top 20, and now we have to not only ask why he lost but also why so many of us thought that he should go.  Fortunately, a look at the rules that American Idol contestants should follow will explain what Blake did right, what he did wrong (a lot), and why Blake deservedly lost.


The first rule states that contestants must show both singing and performing talent, and this is where problems really came for Blake.  Blake had a decent enough singing voice to make it to the Top 24 but even before this point, the judges noted that he had problems with performing in front of a crowd (and not behind a piano).  So how did Blake do on “Anyone”?  Awful.  Denton Davidson on Goldderby said that it was easily the weakest vocal performance of the first group.  MJSBigblog noted that he had several off key notes which were chalked up to inexperience.  And IDF was very harsh, with one person actually giving him a 0, and the vast majority rating him below a 5.  I actually gave him a 5 but said that he was mediocre.  Even the judges were somewhat critical, which is saying a lot.  Thus Blake clearly struck out on this rule.


At least Blake did okay with the second rule, which states that song choice is key.  The Goldderby recapper thought that Justin Bieber’s “Anyone” was the perfect song for fans who loved a heartthrob type of singer like him, and I would agree.  Unfortunately, even perfect song choices can’t do much to save a train wreck like Blake’s performance became, but at least he followed this rule, so I’ll move on.


The third rule states that singers should either be consistently great or keep improving.  It’s safe to say that Blake wasn’t consistently great and while he was fine in his audition, he began falling behind in Hollywood and tanked in the Top 24, thus not improving.  Therefore, Blake stumbled with this rule as well.


The fourth rule states that a contestant needs to be confident.  And Blake wasn’t confident at all.  In his final performance, Lionel actually told him to get out of his head, while Katy said that he was the only person keeping himself from going forward, which proved to be very true.  Thus Blake fouled up with this rule.


And because Blake had such awful performance skills and such a fatal lack of confidence, he was unable to follow the fifth rule, which states that contestants must have a strong yet marketable artistic identity.  It’s hard to have a strong artistic identity if you’re struggling with confidence as badly as Blake did.  Thus Blake also screwed up with this rule.


The sixth rule states that contestants must remember that they were a package.  Blake began well with this rule, being a former football player who got into music because his grandmother believed in him, but his lack of performance skills and confidence gradually unraveled the package, causing him to struggle with this rule in the end.


Blake did try to follow the seventh rule, which states that contestants should take any advice given to them and follow it.  Unfortunately, it’s hard to follow advice on channeling energy into a performance when lack of confidence gets in the way, but at least Blake tried so I’ll move on.


The final rule states that contestants must gather and sustain a fan base.  Blake began well with this rule as well, since he was a heartthrob type of singer and had a backstory that could take him far.  Unfortunately, his lack of confidence and awful performance skills began affecting his ability to sustain his fan base, and his final performance apparently couldn’t get votes from any but his most devoted fans, and those fans proved to have smaller numbers than I thought.  Thus in the end, Blake failed in this rule as well.


Blake began well, gathering a fan base by being a former football player who got into music after an injury and because his grandmother believed in him.  Unfortunately, Blake was very inexperienced and struggled with performance skills and confidence, culminating in a final performance that was a disaster.  But most of us thought that he had a strong enough fan base that he would at least squeak into the Top 20, and it seems that either his final performance turned off more of his (likely casual) fans than I thought, or that his fan base was smaller than I thought.  In the end, Blake got in his own way and that is why Blake deservedly lost.

Edited by CarmenSandiego
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