American Idol

See Ya, Pia…

(photo courtesy of Dan-D Caricatures)

**********

With the copious coverage, the onslaught of conspiracy theories, the public rage and the absolute shock over Pia Toscano’s curious ouster from American Idol last Thursday, there’s not really all that much that I can add.

Or is there?

Well, obviously the truth is we’ll never really know the actual reason for her departure (if  you wish to believe there are far more sinister works at play than she receiving the least amount of votes). Yet despite the universal approbation (and, to be fair, she is the only Idol to receive almost consistent high grades on my Report Cards weekly), methinks the outrage is perhaps a tad too histrionic.

Pia’s consistency is unmarked, sure, as she was – and is – clearly a more accomplished vocalist than any of the remaining eight wannabes left straggling (especially the two remaining banausic female vocalists). But, despite her mostly solid weekly recital, she never – ever – gave a great vocal.

I previously reiterated (during Toscano’s lovely “All In Love Is Fair” during Motown week) my mantra that Idol perfection is always a fool’s goal. With the exception of Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Melinda Doolittle and Adam Lambert, no Idol had ever reached a zenith of transcendence on the Idol stage. So, flawlessness should never be expected (and, sometimes, imperfection makes for a more tangibility).

But was it wrong for viewers to command as equal an emotional connection from Toscano’s performances as their emotional investment in her? For all her forced power, Toscano displayed little ardent resonance to her song selections. With the confidence of an Olympian archer, she aimed, shot and (mostly,  though never always) nailed the bull’s-eyed notes, but more often than not, because of that sturdy focus, she became her own worst inhibitor, annulling the necessary correlation between the ‘singing’ and the ‘song’ that separates the greenhorns from the greats.

That’s not to say that Toscano doesn’t have the fortitude for what it takes. And above anyone else this season (who’ve made it to the Top 12, that is) who should continue his or her strive for a Clarksonian or a Fantasian Utopia, whether he’d or she’d victor or fail, it’s definitely and defiantly Toscano. So, more power to her.

Or, rather, less power and more emotional fortitude.

**********

Click the below picture for one of the more perfect commentaries regarding the aforementioned theories – my friend, Idol expert Jim Cantiello’s justifiable (and hilarious, I might add) reprimand to the main culprit’s in Pia’s expulsion – the judges…

Shame, shame, shame…ON YOU, Judges!

American Idol American Idol 10American Idol Report CardPia ToscanoShock Elimination

Got Something to Add?

16 comments
brian
brian

I think Pia wasn't bad. But she was not great either. She sang pretty okay, yes. But she never moved me in any way. Actually, that night of elimination, her performance was really one of those at the bottom for me. I think other contestants had their own moments to some degree in the Rock&Roll night whereas Pia was simply cruising through with the same level of energy she always had. So, her performance was simply a bit boring that night. It was not bad. But it was, as with her other performances, not great.

Steve
Steve

The type of fans/supporters a contestant has is also a significant factor. The more fervent voters (teens or perhaps middle-aged women) are more inclined to vote repeatedly for contestants they really like (males), and less likely to do so for contestants they admire or look up to (female).

This may have been a trend that has manifested even in recent seasons.

(was my comment posted?)

Steve
Steve

The type of fans/supporters a contestant has is also a significant factor. The more fervent voters (teens or perhaps middle-aged women) are more inclined to vote repeatedly for contestants they really like (males), and less likely to do so for contestants they admire or look up to (female).

This may have been a trend that has manifested even in recent seasons.

Viz
Viz

Pia was an Interscope plant. Her CHARACTER'S ROLE in this season's idol had a short run, it ended, character is eliminated just like people are "killed-off" on every other soap opera out there. Good grief, what is it going to take for people to admit to themselves that every second they've spent "voting" the last ten years has been an exercise in futility?????

Kwilee
Kwilee

Pia and other front runners don't have a chance when blogs, like this one, consistently ask their readers to save the worst and/or their favorite even though they KNOW that person will never win! They even have the audacity to thank their followers for saving that person when they know he wasn't the best!!!!! Rickey, do you not feel bad for asking viewers to waist their vote on Stefano when Pia was obviously much better???? I feel like people were so consumed with saving the worst that nobody voted for the best. Let's not listen to these one agenda bloggers and just vote for who we believe in are hearts should be the next American Idol!!!!

Glim
Glim

For what it's worth, Pia has great vocal chops. But for some reason, she never moved me enough to pick-up my magicJack to vote for her. But she can really belt out the notes!

Skippy
Skippy

You're an idiot, she was the frontrunner!

Joel
Joel

It's no surprise Pia was eliminated.

Zach
Zach

You know, I was interested in what this author had to say, but then he lost me when he wrote Pia never had a great vocal. What was "I'll Stand by You"? You know what? The damage is done. Pia is out and that's that. Hopefully she'll have whatever career she was going to have anyway. No need to justify her elimination now by denigrating her talent. (And for the record, if Pia never had a great vocal, who did? Well, arguably still Haley on "Bennie and the Jets." Oh, I'm sorry, you said she was *banausic.* Yeah, right.

Marie Ruffin
Marie Ruffin

I was shocked to learn that Pia had auditioned 5 times! That means that Randy (and Simon) didn't think she was all THAT. And this year, she goes through? What changed?

Anyway, technically she's good, but she didn't "vibrate" meaning she didn't make the walls shake and people drop what they were doing to watch her. But technically she hit all her notes.

ROFLCOPTER
ROFLCOPTER

usually id blast u for such stupidity, but the 50 or so ppl that actually vote for Stefano cuz Rickey ask-MAY have actually sent Pia home. THATS HOW LITTLE VOTER SUPPORT SHE HAD.

Since however as Pia put it IT WAS GODS PLAN(biggest joke of a statement anyone can make) for her to leave 9th. even if Rickey wanted to save Pia- he couldnt dare fight the plan of the allmighty could he?

The voice is deff good enough, but clearly something has/is wrong with all the times shes been sent home Including from Simon who some of u donks think woulda have helped her as a judge lol

jeffreychrist
jeffreychrist

Heh. Say what you will, but there's no way Haley's "Bennie & The Jets" was a 'great' vocal. I upped my grade from a C+ to a B+ on camp factor alone. It was affected, but worked on the audacious daffiness of the performance as a whole.
"Banausic" she remains.
(Oh, and "I'll Stand By You" was a good vocal, with too many awkward notes to be considered great. As I wrote at the time, "After a good-not-great Top 24 performance of the Pretenders “I’ll Stand By You”, Pia Toscano head-scratchingly received a rapturous standing ovation from the judges, despite a less-than-perfect anti-climactic final power note. ")

Charly
Charly

Actually, Pia made it to Hollywood before. I remembered seeing her name at least once in the season Jordin Sparks was in.

Jade
Jade

Just because she auditioned 5 times, that doesn't mean she sang in front of the judges the previous 4 times. She probably got booted way before it came time to sing in front of the judges.

But yeah, I didn't think she would win American Idol anyway. I'm really not sure which type of audience she appealed to. But yes, it's still surprising she got eliminated so early in the competition.