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Why Julia Lost

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Posted (edited)

With the show now running only on Sunday, I have only two analyses to do for this week and next.  Last night, the Top 5 performed two songs each and two girls were cut:  Julia Gagnon and McKenna Faith Breinholt.  I will begin by analyzing Julia.  She came fairly close to making the finale, so why did she not make the Top 5?  As always, I’ll look at the rules that American Idol contestants need to follow in order to find out what Julia did right, what she did wrong and why Julia lost.


The first rule states that contestants must show singing and performing talent.  Because Julia, like Odell Bunton, Jr. and Abi Carter, was a Platinum Ticket winner, it’s safe to say that she had plenty of singing talent.  But I don’t think that she had as much performing talent.  That said, she did show her singing talent more often than not since on IDF, she was ranked first overall in the Top Twelve round, third in the Top 14 reveal, fifth in the Top 14 round, the Top Ten round and the Top 8 round, sixth in the Top 24 round and twelfth in the Top 20 round.  Still, she did pretty well until her final two performances.


But how did she do with “Roam” and “Set Fire to the Rain”?  On the first song, she was pretty much panned on IDF, with many giving her scores of 6 and lower.  I gave her a 7.5, which is the second highest score on IDF, and even I said that it was her weakest performance, most likely because she had to do an up-tempo song which required performance skills, and her performance skills were weaker.  She recovered with “Set Fire to the Rain”, but the ratings were still mixed on IDF, with me giving her an 8.5.  Thus Julia stumbled on the first rule, mainly due to performance skills.


She also had problems with the second rule, which states that song choice is key.  One of the reasons why she was in twelfth on IDF in the Top 20 round was because she sang “I Believe” by Fantasia, which is another song that contestants probably should avoid.  And in the Top 14 round, she chose “Run To You”, a Whitney song.  She did a little better in the next two rounds, but the damage might have been done by that point.  Thus Julia screwed up this rule as well.


The third rule states that a contestant must be consistently great or consistently improving.  Julia was consistently very good, with times that she was great, which isn’t quite what this rule requires.  And because she began so well, she didn’t have much room to improve.  Jack Blocker, on the other hand, was consistently improving while Abi was probably seen as consistently great.  Thus Julia struck out on this rule.


At least Julia had no problem with the fourth rule, states that contestants must be confident.  She was certainly confident enough to take on Fantasia and Whitney.  While she still was eliminated, she followed this rule, so I’ll move on.


But Julia had some problems with the fifth rule, which states that contestants must have a strong, current and marketable identity.  Julia had a strong artistic identity, the problem was that her identity for the most part was that of a powerhouse diva, which isn’t really current or marketable.  Thus Julia struggled with this rule as well.


But Julia had no problem with the sixth rule, which states that contestants must remember that they are a package.  Julia’s backstory had her being adopted from an orphanage in Guatemala, and that helped get her farther than Nya, who was also a powerhouse diva and Jayna, who was a rock-flavored powerhouse singer.  While it didn’t save her, she at least followed this rule, so I’ll move on.


Julia also had no problem with the seventh rule, which states that contestants must take any advice offered to her and follow it — within reason.  While it wasn’t enough to save her, at least she followed this rule, so I’ll move on.


The final rule states that contestants must gather and sustain a fan base.  Julia did this best of the trio of her, Jayna and Nya, but it’s still true that the main voting demographic will vote more for the cute guy or the country guy than for the talented female singer, Julia’s weak performance skills and bad song choices stalled her ability to get new fans and might have caused some casual fans to jump ship to Abi, her roommate, because Abi made better song choices and had better performance skills.  Thus Julia fouled up this rule.


Julia should have made the Top 5.  She was a Platinum Ticket winner with a great backstory that could get her a lot of fans.  But she had was a powerhouse diva and the main Idol voting demographic preferred Will Moseley, who was just consistently good but was a country guy and Triston, who was also country, was cute and also had a great backstory.  Julia then compounded her problem with poor song choices and weak performance skills.  This caused her fan base to dwindle while Abi remained consistently great and Jack was improving.  She then had her worst performance with “Roam”, and while her second performance was better, it just wasn’t enough.  Julia couldn’t overcome weak performance skills and poor song choices, and that is why Julia lost.

Edited by CarmenSandiego
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