American Idol

‘Reality Check’: Are the Frontrunners Overrated on American Idol 2016? (VIDEO)

TVLine.com‘s resident reality TV expert Michael Slezak is back with American Idol 6 finalist Melinda Doolittle for the latest episode of Reality Check, as the duo gives their thoughts on the farewell season of American Idol!

With Hollywood Week in full swing, we’re now at the start of the competition where, as Michael states, American Idol begins to build a winner’s edit around certain contestants “with all the subtlety of Axe body spray on a Jersey Shore cast member.” The observations here are pretty hard-hitting, considering many of the people being singled out in this episode are presumed frontrunners for the win. I’m talking people like Jeneve Rose Mitchell, whom Michael enjoys but feels walked “straight out of central casting.” I’m not huge on Jeneve, so I can’t really find fault with the criticism, although she strikes me as the type of contestant I’ll grow to love as the competition rolls on. However, I’m not sure I feel the same way about Tristan McIntosh, who has a great voice and a solid look, but who may have overshot with the Carrie Underwood track she performed this week, as Michael points out here. In general, I like a lot of the people who’ve been put through, and I couldn’t agree with Melinda more about La’Porsha Renae. But I feel the edit for this season is focusing on frontrunners who aren’t nearly as interesting as the show seems to think. And it leads to an interesting discussion as to what degree these frontrunners are overrated or not. Granted, the conversation isn’t in those exact words, but it’s an incisive look at how some of the contestants getting big pushes in the edit might not be ready for primetime just yet. Once again, it’s an interesting Reality Check that explores what American Idol is doing right and what they’re doing wrong this season. For that reason alone, I think this is well worth checking out. Watch the video below:

'Reality Check' Are the Frontrunners Overrated on American Idol 2016 (VIDEO)

Thoughts

Most of my thoughts are already up top, but I just want to add that I couldn’t disagree more about Emily Brooke. I think she’s ready right now, and I’m not sure there’s a single thing I’d change about what she’s doing. Granted, I know that the criticisms towards her here aren’t meant to be an indictment of her as an artist, nor are they meant to imply she doesn’t deserve to be there. But even from the perspective of constructive criticism, I still think Emily is lightyears ahead of some of the other contestants who’ve made it through to this point, including Michelle Marie and Tristan McIntosh. That said, I can’t really complain too much about the differences in opinion on a season this strong. There’s bound to be disagreements about which singers deserve to go through when the talent bench is this deep. We haven’t even talked about singers like Sonika Vaid and Trent Harmon, both of whom were among the highlights of Hollywood Week so far. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t cite how much Jenn Blosil has grown on me since her audition. I think she’s another one to watch. In fact, I’ll be downright shocked if a girl doesn’t win this season. I mean, I know how unlikely it is, given statistics in recent years. But I think it’s almost comical how much the female talent outranks the male talent this year.

But what do you think of this week’s show? Do you agree or disagree with Michael and Melinda’s opinions? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on American Idol, find out the official schedule for the semi-finals for the month of February!

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