American Idols have such a buzz about them, and everyone loves to guess and surmise who will get through and why. Who has the best “pipes”, to use a word from judge Randy? Who doesn’t sing like they’re on a “cruise ship”, as Simon might say? Lastly, as Paula might say who is “colorful”? It’s usually evident from the get go, exactly who can sing well and who is a little weaker. However, there is a lot more to the making of a star than just singing ability, and the greatest singer does not always become the number one idol. Let’s consider the qualities of American Idol contestants not clearly evident upon the stage that really boost them into the winner’s spot.
Those with prior band performance experience have an edge. Think about it. Those who do not have experience usually just goes with however the piece is already arranged and have no idea what to do with it. They end up “not making it their own” as the judges claim, as they have no idea exactly how to. They may end up singing it in the wrong key, as they’re not sure how to change the key. Those who have experience know how to tell a band to change the arrangement. They know how to experiment with the key of a song until all weaknesses in their vocal range are hidden, and the best parts exposed.
Those with a sense of style still can boost their ratings. Every now and then let’s face it, when the contestants look like weirdos it doesn’t help them much. While Sanjayas’ hair last year may have gotten him some exposure, it didn’t boost him into the winners circle. Those that can maintain their own sense of style, yet let wardrobe and makeup accent it catch the attraction of the public. They need to have a balance. I’m sure at times wardrobe has some strange ideas, and at other times contestants really probably need to take some more cues from their stylists. A contestant who gets style will come out ahead. Let’s face it, Americans are somewhat drawn to pretty people. While it may not totally determine the final vote, it certainly helps it a smidge.
Those who have a finger on the pulse of musical taste come out ahead. The judges really do have a point when they say music has to be relevant and modern. It doesn’t matter how beautifully a person can sing, if they pick the most boring songs known to mankind and perform them as such, they eventually get booted from the competition. It seems that they get through for awhile based on merit, but after the public ywans through a few more songs, talented or not, people get sick of hearing them.