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American Idol: How Did Christina Lose?by Sting7 -- 08/08/2002
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I smell a rat.
American Idol earned its first black-eye with the dismissal of Christina Christian last night. It is true that when the number of contestants decrease to such a small number, upsets can happen. But the upsets should be because someone had the performance of their lives and caught someone else slipping.
That did not happen this week. Christina Christian should have finished fourth last night. Bottom three, yes. But she should have been safe. As we watch the stunned faces of three judges, five contestants, and two hosts, you probably heard the throat scalding screech of one Sting7. Something is wrong here.
AJ Gil told a reporter on Extra that the votes were fixed. Or, at least, the votes don’t really decide who goes. American Idol producers profusely deny that claim and, let’s face it, AJ is a bit of a biased source. EJay Day’s dismissal from the first round of ten was a little odd. His performance was certainly better than that of Jim Verraros and Ryan Starr that week, but he had also made some cocky statements that may have cost him votes. Explainable.
And in successive weeks, the dismissed contestants deserved to be dismissed. However, this week is clearly suspicious. Christian’s performance was strong enough, in comparison to Nikki McKibbin, who was not in her element (she says she packed after her performance, though she backed off of that a bit while talking live with the hosts on the results show) and RJ Helton who flat out forgot the words to his song, eyes wide in horror. Can America be that dense?
Remember the first Big Brother? The only season where America was allowed to vote out houseguests? There was a reason for that. Two of the most intriguing houseguests, Will Mega, who appeared to ruthless and shifty and Jordan, the stripper, who brought new meaning to cunning, were quickly bounced. We were left with five nights of astonishingly boring television without them and the future of American Big Brother was left in serious doubt. In came Arnold Shapiro, who made some changes from the rest of the world’s versions of Big Brother, and Big Brother 3 is in the Top Twenty. Would Big Brother be as interesting without detestable characters like Dr. Will, Snotty Shannon, Obnoxious Josh, or Neurotic Nicole? No. Would America have voted them out? Immediately.
Which is what makes Christina Christian exit ridiculous. She is a talented performer and extraordinarily beautiful. Things that America hates? Did RJ and Nikki somehow elicit sympathy? No, I don’t think so. When you suck, you just suck. Tough for you. Did Christina Christian suck last night? Absolutely not.
Is AJ on to something? Is there some other force determining who the American Idol really is?
To be fair, controversy is not new to the Idol franchise. There has been a lot written about the South African Idol winner, Heinz Winckler. Pretty, yes, but not so great a singer or performer. Yet, he supposedly garnered over 40% of the vote between the final three contestants. And Will Young, the supposed UK Idol, has been outperformed and outsold by the person he beat, Gareth Gates. Even in America, Simon Cowell has been asked to tone down his venom, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson have been warned not to fight with Simon anymore, and there is a problem between Cowell and Brian Dunkelmann that no one is willing to discuss at any length.
And it’s just so damned suspicious that Christina “took ill” on the night she was to be dismissed. I immediately thought something wrong. If she were the lowest vote garnerer, and she was already ill due to stress, who knows what could have happened on live television? It was humane for producers to ask her not to come, if they already knew she was getting the boot. If that was the case.
I can’t shake the feeling that something else has happened. You can be sure that the television magazine shows are all over this. The faces of the hosts and the judges were just so… stunned. Something, America, is up!
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