People have asked what the explanation can be for Nikki making it in to the Final Four of American Idol. I have written about some of this previously, but let's take another look as we approach what many believe will be her final American Idol performance. Here are some of the reasons I think she is still around:
Nikki represents the look a lot of teenagers think is cool - aside from the soap opera makeover, which she seems to have gotten rid of.
Last week, even as badly as she sang, it was more fun to watch her sing than it was to watch RJ. She had better stage presence.
Nikki is sexier than RJ, even to me. RJ looks like a frightened little boy, Nikki looks like she would be fun to go out to a club with.
She plays the crowd and camera better - she moves around and RJ stays put, often gripping his off-hand (the one he is not using the hold the microphone) in a fist to control his nerves.
Rock music sells better (right now) than the stuff they have been singing, and Nikki keeps reminding people that she is out of her element, that she is really a rocker. They keep hoping to see her "in her element."
She looks different from everyone else up there.
She looks more confident than RJ.
She sang a song that is still getting a lot of air play, at least on the local stations here, The Point and The MALL (a teenage music station that plays 80s-90s hits) plays the Naked Eyes version of Always Something There To Remind Me quite a bit. My daughter said it was the only song she recognized, and she is 13, one of the key demographics. Regardless of what they know is good, a lot of teenagers know that Britney Spears and a ton of other singers do not have great voices, but there are things producers can do to make them sound better. Maybe they are thinking the same thing about Nikki.
Simon doesn't like either of them, but Randy and Paula seem to like her less than RJ. So I think she is the consistent underdog. I am not convinced that Christina got voted out, I really think she got more votes but either she or the producers decided a panic attack hours before the show was too big of a risk. But Simon really really liked Christina, so maybe the Simon-haters did vote her out.
A certain group of people decided weeks ago who they liked best; Nikki was one of them and they have remained loyal to her. She also picked up all the Ryan Starr votes, but I think the EJay and Jim and AJ votes may have been split between Justin and RJ.
She is the queen of the kids who feel like they are losers. She is the only one with a piercing.
That little boy was freaking adorable. Maybe she is getting the teenage single mother vote, or the sympathy vote.
Nikki and Kelly both live in Texas, so I don't think this a geographical thing, but I do think someone or someone's out there are flooding the phone lines. And before you start saying that we already knew that from the news that people are using powerful autodialers, I had actually written that line before the news broke. The editor just wanted to spread out the American Idol articles over the week.
One other thing: I was watching a preview for the new NBC show, American Dreams, where they have the American Bandstand footage, and this one they had a girl singing, someone who reminded me of Petula Clark only she really was bad. My husband and I both started laughing at the song and said, "Oh look, Nikki got a new job." It sounded a lot like her. But it was Michelle Branch, who is the new MTV/VH1 darling. She has a huge CD and is very popular. I think she is better than Nikki, but she is not Kelly or Tamyra great. Her voice is kind of nasally and can get irritating and there are a couple other girls who sound similar and are getting airplay. This once again shows that popularity does not necessarily equal talent.