‘Reality Check’: Does Clark Beckham Know What’s Best on ‘American Idol XIV’? (VIDEO)
TVLine.com‘s resident reality TV expert Michael Slezak is back with American Idol 6 finalist Melinda Doolittle for another SUPERSIZED EPISODE of Reality Check, as the duo gives their thoughts on the highs and lows of the week for American Idol XIV and The Voice 8!
This week, Clark Beckham is the point of debate, as Michael and Melinda explore whether or not Clark actually knows what’s best for his run on American Idol XIV. More pointedly, the hosts discuss his disagreement with mentor Scott Borchetta, and whether his stubbornness will result in his elimination (and a possible surprise victory for Nick Fradiani). His performances on last Wednesday’s show seemed to really rankle Michael and Melinda, suggesting to them that maybe Clark needs to surround himself with people like Scott, since he might not entirely know himself as an artist just yet. But will his outburst get him sent home like Quentin Alexander? Or is Michael crazy to even speculate that Season 14’s presumptive frontrunner could be in danger? Honestly, I don’t think there’s been a more unexpected debate on Reality Check this season, considering the uniformity of Michael and Melinda’s opinions (they’re on the same page, for once!). The hosts also dig into The Voice, as the live shows continue to ramp up. I’m not entirely sold on the half-hour format, but maybe their editor, Jason Averett, is under the weather? Either way, I’m a big enough addict to Reality Check to be happy with whatever we get, however we get it.
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I absolutely respect their opinions, but I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with Michael and Melinda more than I did this week on the Clark debate. I enjoyed the hell out of his performance of “Your Man,” and I think artists need to stick up for their vision on shows like these. Maybe he doesn’t know everything, and he probably should take the advice when it’s being offered by someone with as proven a track record as Borchetta, but I just can’t get mad at Clark for what he did. He has a vision for himself, and for his artistry, and I think he was right to defend that vision. Better to have a fourth-place finisher who believes in his own vision than a cookie-cutter winner who puts out an album that doesn’t reflect their Idol journey.
Also, I love Melinda to death (seriously one of my favorite Idol contestants in history), but part of me wonders if her personal friendship with Rayvon isn’t somehow coloring her perception of him each week. While his voice is amazing when he’s on point, Rayvon has been one of the most inconsistent contestants this season. I really don’t know what kind of album Rayvon would make, and I’ve never known — going into the week — which Rayvon we’d be getting: the balladeer, the swaggering soul singer, the pop rocker (I can’t think of any other way to describe “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Go Your Own Way,” two tracks done in their straightforward, original arrangements). Of course, he’s finally starting to peek a bit, as I thought his performance of “Believe” was outstanding, and his underdog story makes him someone I want to cheer on towards the finale. But I can’t pretend this isn’t all coming too little, too late.
But what do you think? Do you agree with Michael and Melinda? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!