‘Reality Check’: American Idol 2016 Winner Predictions, La’Porsha Controversy, More (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 and Season 10 of The Voice!
The first half of this week’s double episode is focused on La’Porsha, which some will love and others won’t. But I would argue it’s among the more interesting discussions of the season, as Michael and Melinda have a disagreement about La’Porsha’s performance of “Stay With Me Baby,” and the post-performance interview that could potentially cost her a spot in the finale, if Michael’s fears come to pass. This is a look into controversy that could potentially have Quentin Alexander-levels of blowback. If nothing else, this is a really fascinating analysis of how the Idol game is played, as critiquing the songs you’re given and appearing as though you’re above it all can occasionally result in backlash. But hey, this isn’t simply the La’Porsha Renae Show this week. Michael and Melinda also take a look at the possibility of Dalton breaking through to the final two, whether Trent has a future in country music, and just who will win, who should win, and who deserves to win American Idol 2016. I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of Reality Check! Oh, and I also can’t believe American Idol is ending too. But I’m just as broken up about this show coming to an end. Watch the videos below:
I really think it’s a mistake for Michael and Melinda to completely dismiss Dalton like they have. Melinda, more than anyone, should know the dangers a heartthrob presents at final 3. Realistically, the Season 6 finale ought to have been Jordin vs. Melinda, if we’re going solely on vocal skill, which Michael and Melinda seem to be doing here. But Blake Lewis made the finale, and after a final three performance night that wasn’t really his best. Granted, you could argue that Blake had the stronger body of work throughout his season, but then, Blake also had a longer season to grow as a performer and competitor. A lot of the younger contestants this season could have really used an abbreviated season to develop. And really, that’s always been part of why Idol is so compelling. We see people grow from unknowns to superstars over the course of a season. Even great artists like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Kris Allen benefited from having a longer season to develop as onstage performers. Of course, some people come to Idol as total packages already (like Adam Lambert and Fantasia Barrino. Hell, you could make the argument for Kelly and Carrie as well), and you could say that Trent and La’Porsha are two such artists. But I still think it’s ultimately shortsighted to discount Dalton, even if he seems like a longshot for a spot in the finale.
But on the subject of La’Porsha potentially missing out on the finale, I can see why Michael is nervous. Hell, all Mandisa did in Season 5 was make a shout out about how God can help you overcome your lifestyle choices, and she ended up going home in ninth place because voters assumed she was hating on gay people. Well, that was the working theory anyway, so make of that what you will. But Mandisa later clarified that she meant people struggling with addiction to food. However, by then, it was too late. That said, she won a Grammy in 2014 for her gospel album, Overcomer, becoming the fifth Idol alum to do so. So she’s not exactly in dire straits or anything. And I think La’Porsha will be just fine as well, regardless of what happens tonight. Personally, I’m leaning more towards that post-performance interview being a non-issue. What separates this from the kind of blowback that hurt Quentin Alexander last year is the simple fact that La’Porsha’s moment was played for laughs. It wasn’t an argument, it wasn’t La’Porsha calling out the show, and it wasn’t her being stuck-up, at least in my opinion. It was just a singer explaining why she didn’t connect with the song. I think people can respect that, especially given her backstory of domestic abuse. I guess we’ll see how it all plays out soon enough, but I think this controversy is a tempest in a teacup.
But what did you think of this week’s Reality Check? Do you agree or disagree with Michael and Melinda’s opinions? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on American Idol, add your prediction on who will go home in third place on American Idol by voting in our official poll!
Also, if you love Reality Check and want more, watch last week’s episode as Michael and Melinda discuss the possibility of a Trent Harmon victory!