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Why Kayko Lost

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Last night, the Top Ten performed to earn a spot in the Top 8, and two people lost:  Kayko and Mia Matthews.  I’ll begin with Kayko, since he outlasted his welcome after the undeserved eliminations of Jayna and Roman.  But why did he get this far only to lose?  As always, a good look at the rules that American Idol contestants need to follow will explain what Kayko did right, what he did wrong (a lot), and why Kayko lost.


The first rule states that contestants must show both singing and performing talent, and already Kayko had problems, especially with IDF.  Most of the time before he got to the Top 14 round, he was near the bottom, with only his Top 20 performance getting anywhere close to the middle (he was ranked 14th on IDF).  And that was when he was performing his own songs, which made me suspect that he was like Alejandro from Season 17, inasmuch as they were better songwriters than vocalists.  And his performances in the Top 14 and Top 12, where he had to do covers, proved me right, as in the Top 14 his overall average on IDF was only higher than Jordan (who was the weakest one at that point), and in the Top 12 Kayko had the lowest average on IDF since Jordan was gone.


So how did his final performance of “Teenage Dirtbag” go?  While others (especially those on Reddit) might have loved it, it pretty much went over like a lead balloon on IDF.  So far, I have the highest score, and I gave him a 5.5 and put him in last, saying that he couldn’t keep up.  Most people here put him at 3.  IdolChatter put him at a B-, but that was alongside Jack Blocker and Mia, and he said that by showing a lot of energy, his vocals suffered.  I think that it’s safe to say that Kayko struck out on the first rule, particularly on singing skills.


At least Kayko followed the second rule, which states that song selection is key.  He planned on doing Britney Spears’ “Oops, I Did It Again” in a Bohemian Rhapsody style, which would probably have been an epic train wreck.  But he realized that it wasn’t working out and wisely switched to “Teenage Dirtbag”.  While the switch didn’t save him, at least song choice wasn’t a problem for him, so I’ll move on.


The third rule states that contestants must be consistently great or consistently improving.  And Kayko had problems with this rule as well.  Kayko was consistently near the back of the pack, which is not what this rule had in mind.  Thus Kayko screwed up with this rule as well.


But Kayko had no problems with the fourth rule, which states that contestants must have confidence.  Kayko certainly had a lot of confidence to even consider doing OIDIA in a Bohemian Rhapsody arrangement, even if it didn’t work out.  So I’ll move on.


I think that Kayko might have had problems with the fifth rule, which states that contestants must have a strong artistic identity, however.  He began as a singer-songwriter, which is probably what he would be best as.  But either at the Top 14 round or the Top 12 round, he became more of a rocker.  That said, it’s possible that he went down that path because of his weak vocals and decided that if he had to do covers, he’d be a rocker.  Regardless, I don’t think that was a major factor in his loss, but he did stumble on that rule.


The sixth rule states that contestants must remember that they are a package.  Kayko began well with this rule, as he was known for playing at his friend’s audition only to be asked to audition as well, and for outlasting his supportive friend.  But his weak vocals began unraveling his package, and so he turned to being a rocker, which didn’t help his vocals but did get him more attention, especially in his final two performances.  Thus Kayko struggled with this rule as well.


At least Kayko followed the seventh rule, which states that contestants should take advice offered to them and follow it, within reason.  Guest mentor Shania Twain was the first one to point out problems with his original song choice, and he listened to her and followed her advice.  While it didn’t save him, at least he had no problems with this rule, so I’ll move on.


The final rule states that contestants must gather and sustain a fan base.  Kayko began well with this rule, due to how he got on the show, and he certainly had a good following on Reddit.  But his fan base wasn’t as strong as that of Triston and Will, who were both country singers, or girls like Abi, Emmy, Julia, Kaibrienne or McKenna, all of whom were better than him.  His demented Top 12 performance got enough interest for him to get past Jayna and Roman, who had weaker fan support, but he couldn’t replicate his demented performance well enough to get more fans.  So Kayko fouled up on this rule as well.


Kayko began well in packaging himself and gathering a fan base.  But he was not a good vocalist and he probably realized that covers would expose his vocal weaknesses.  So he did originals for as long as he could, then tried to go the rocker route and give a lot of energy, especially in his Top 12 performance.  He got away with it once, but was less successful the second time around.  Kayko was just not a good enough singer to keep up, and that is why Kayko lost.

Edited by CarmenSandiego
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