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Why Ajii Lost

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So far, I've examined four contestants who failed to make the Top 14:  Jennifer, Quintavious, Odell and Mackenzie.  I have two more to examine, and one of them is Ajii.  As with Odell, I thought that Ajii would make the Top 14, so I'm surprised that it wasn't the case.  However, I never really thought that Ajii would get very far either, so if I take a look at the rules that American Idol contestants need to follow, I can discover what Ajii did right, what he did wrong and why Ajii lost sooner than I thought.


The first rule states that a contestant must show both singing and performing talent.  Ajii had enough singing and performing talent to make the Top 24 and in his Hawaii performance, he definitely showed it, with the judges and IDF loving it, with the people on IDF giving it an overall score of 7.5 and putting it in fifth overall.  That enabled him to get into the Top 20 with no problem, so how did he do when he sang "Like a Stone"?  Not quite as well.  Though a few gave him a score of a 7 or above, most gave him lower scores, including me.  I gave him a 6 and said that while he began well, he did too much yelling.  I wasn't the only one who noted it, however, as judge Luke Bryan told Ajii not to get too "yelly" as well.


This might be one reason why he wound up in the Bottom 10 in viewer votes and had to sing for his survival.  He chose to sing "Call Out My Name", and how did he do?  Unfortunately, he misfired there too both on IDF and in the opinion of recappers Denton Davidson from Goldderby and MJSBIGBLOG.  Most on IDF also gave Ajii scores lower than a 7, including me as I gave him a 6.5 and thought that he wasn't good enough.  Davidson thought that the energy was lacking in his song and MJSBIGBLOG thought that he was nervous.  Overall, Ajii began pretty well with this rule but had problems soon after.


I don't think that Ajii had any problems with the second rule, which states that song choice is key.  He never sang any songs that would've been super-hard for any singer, or any songs by Whitney, Mariah, Celine or Carrie.  While he was still eliminated, at least he followed this rule, so I'll move on.


The third rule states that contestants must either be consistently great or consistently improve.  Ajii did neither.  He was one of the best in Group 2 in Hawaii, but fell to the middle of the pack in the Top 20 and couldn't improve enough when he had to sing for his survival.  Thus Ajii screwed up this rule.


The fourth rule states that contestants need to be confident.  For the most part, I think Ajii did well with this rule, although MJSBIGBLOG did note nerves when he had to sing for his survival.  Still, it wasn't a major factor in his defeat so I'll move on.


What about the fifth rule, which states that contestants must have a strong and current artistic identity?  I think that Ajii had some problems here as well.  I'm not quite sure what Ajii's artistic identity was, although he sounded like a rock singer to me.  He certainly wasn't either country or pop, and I don't think that he was R&B either.  Overall, I think that Ajii struggled with this rule.


The sixth rule states that contestants must remember that they are a package.  I think that Ajii had problems here as well, as I don't think he was as memorable as some of the other male singers, such as Jack Blocker.  Ajii faded a little into the background and thus stumbled with this rule as well.


At least Ajii had no problems with the seventh rule, which states that contestants should take advice offered to them and follow it.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to save him but he did well with this rule, so I'll move on.


The final rule states that contestants must gather and sustain a fan base.  This is the final rule that Ajii had problems with.  He wasn't a country singer, so he couldn't depend upon the strong support of country fans.  He didn't have a strong artistic identity and he wasn't particularly memorable either.  All he had was his voice and energy and that wasn't enough, especially if as I suspect, Katy Perry wanted to have a cute young guy on the show stay longer so that she could drool over him.  Ajii was neither cute nor young-looking, so she'd overlook him.  Thus Ajii struck out on this rule as well.


Ajii would never have gotten very far.  He wasn't particularly memorable, except when he was cheering others on.  He also didn't have a strong artistic identity.  This hurt his ability to gather and sustain a fan base.  However, after his Hawaii performance, I thought that he'd at least get a Wildcard slot.  But his Top 20 song was a step back, and the song he sang for a Wildcard slot showed too many nerves.  Worse, Katy Perry wanted a cute young guy to move on, and Ajii was neither cute nor young-looking.  When you put all this together, that is why Ajii lost.

Edited by CarmenSandiego
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