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Why Nya Lost

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Last Monday, I analyzed the many reasons why Jordan was eliminated on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Night.  But one more person was eliminated with him, and that was Nya.  And while Jordan’s elimination was deserved, the same probably can’t be said about Nya.  But why was she eliminated anyway?  A look at the rules that American Idol contestants need to follow can help explain what Nya did right, what she did wrong, and why Nya lost.


The first rule states that contestants must show both singing and performing talent.  Unlike Jordan, Nya had plenty of singing talent and as a Broadway performer, she had plenty of performing talent as well.  IDF had her ranked third overall in the Top 24 round and they put her in seventh in the Top 20 reveal.  Even in the Top 14 reveal round, they had her in the Top 14, (in 14th).  So how did she do with “I Say a Little Prayer”?  While a couple of people put her below a 6, most put her above 7, including me, as I gave her a 9, putting her in second behind Abi.  That said, one critical voice was that of Idol Chatter, who thought that the arrangement sounded disjointed and that the full performance didn’t come together as well as it should have.  Despite this, overall Nya succeeded with the first rule.


What about the second rule, which states that song choice is key?  Well, at least Nya never took on Whitney, Mariah, Celine or Carrie songs.  But Tina Turner songs are also challenging, and she did a couple of them.  Still, I think that she followed this rule, because the Tina songs she chose weren’t overdone ones.


The third rule states that contestants must either be consistently great or consistently improve.  Nya was consistently very good but I don’t think that she was consistently great.  Had she been consistently great, she might have done better.  Thus, Nya struggled with this rule a little.


But Nya had no problems with the fourth rule, which states that contestants must be confident.  It takes confidence to take on Tina Turner, and Nya is a Broadway performer, which requires a good deal of confidence.  Thus Nya followed the fourth rule.


Nya also had a strong artistic identity and followed the fifth rule to that extent.  However, fifth rule states that a contestant’s artistic identity must be current and marketable, and Nya was more of an old-school diva singer.  Also, she was a Broadway performer and while she wasn’t overly theatrical in her singing, that part of her identity wasn’t very marketable in the modern music industry.  Thus Nya stumbled with this rule as well.


Her first real failure was with the sixth rule, which states that contestants must remember that they are a package.  Nya’s package included her being a Broadway performer, which might have been a problem for a number of viewers in the main Idol voting demographic, as was her old-school artistic identity.  Nya also didn’t have a sympathetic backstory like Julia Gagnon did.  Thus Nya screwed up the sixth rule.


At least Nya followed the seventh rule, which states that contestants must take the advice given to them and try to follow it, within reason.  I don’t remember her having any problems with this rule, even if it didn’t save her, so I’ll move on.


The final rule states that contestants must gather and sustain a fan base.  This was Nya’s biggest problem, since the main voting demographic consists of white, middle aged, conservative American women who just couldn’t relate to Nya and disliked her from the start, and her lack of a sympathetic backstory didn’t help.  Thus Nya had a hard time getting a sizable fan base, which was why she was a Wildcard spot winner, and which hurt her in the end.  Thus Nya struck out on this rule.


Nya probably should have gone further than she did.  She had the singing and performing ability to do well on this show.  Unfortunately, the main Idol voting demographic preferred guys like Kayko, who was a handsome man, to Nya, who was a talented singer.  Her old-school artistic style and lack of a sympathetic backstory also hurt her.  Thus Nya could never get a sizable fan base to help her get into the Top Ten in votes, and getting a Wildcard spot only delayed the inevitable.  Nya couldn’t appeal to middle-aged white conservative women and that is why Nya lost.

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3 hours ago, CarmenSandiego said:

Nya couldn’t appeal to middle-aged white conservative women and that is why Nya lost.

Pretty much the whole text could be summarized in that last sentence. Still, great analysis as always. 



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