American Idol Rant: Poor Form, Randy - I'm Voting For Haley
Iíve offered my opinions of the Idol contestants following each elimination episode this year and while I think all of the contestants remaining are great, itís Haley who has shown the most growth over the course of this competition. (Spoiler alert: This article contains comments (and complaints) about tonight's performance episode of American Idol.) So not only did I disagree with Randyís determination that the first round of performances was a tie between Scotty, Lauren and James, but Iím beyond disappointed that heíd single Haley Reinhart out as the one contestant who didnít measure up.
Iím all for honest criticism but either there hasnít been much of that this season, or the lack of criticism (constructive or otherwise) on the whole is due to the judges hearing something I'm not. It seems like performances that might have previously been described as ďpitchyĒ have been given praise or else general nods of approval if nothing more. For some reason, the judges have had it out for Haley over the last couple of weeks and I canít quite figure it out. Last week it was because she sang an unreleased Lady Gaga song. Never mind that she sang it well. The judges didnít lavish her with praise for the control she showed in her voice or how well she actually performed the song. Her ďHouse of the Rising SunĒ performance redeemed her somewhat in the eyes of the judges but tonight, the criticism returned, with an vengeance.
I canít imagine that Michael Jacksonís ďEarth SongĒ is an easy song to cover. In fact, with a song like that, Iím thinking you can either sing it or you canít. Haley can sing it and she did it well. The arrangement suited her and she didnít falter once. Randy criticized her for the screaming. Once again, this is where I question whether the judges are hearing the same thing I am. I like James. He has a strong voice and heís extremely likable. With that said, he screams a lot. Itís part of his performing style and thatís fine. Itís been working for him so far. If memory serves, Randy hasnít criticized James for screaming when he sings, so why the double-standard for Haley? Sheís been showing her range, strength and control more and more week after week. A bit of belting in a song as emotional as the one she sang tonight seems fair enough.
The judges are entitled to their opinions and Iím all for that but what Randy did following the first round of performances tonight was a low blow, unnecessary and off-base. Randy stating that the ďwinnerĒ of Round 1 is a tie between everyone but Haley just one commercial break away from Haleyís next performance was a ridiculous display of judging. Haley seemed visibly upset and maybe even a little bit angry by the verbal smack she received. Randy attempting to credit himself for helping give her the emotional edge to knock ďI Who Have NothingĒ out of the park didnít help. If anything, the credit goes to her for keeping it together well enough to nail that song.
Iím not opposed to the judges being brutally honest if it means shining a light on a contestantís weakness(es) and giving them advice on how to raise their game but singling Haley out the way Randy did tonight was poor form. On the bright side, this situation did inspire me to care enough to vote this week. Each of the final four contestants are solid and each bring their own style to the show this year. With that said, Iím voting for Haley and not just because she got a raw deal tonight. As I said, sheís shown the most growth and I think she has the most potential to take her career to the next level when this competition is said and done, regardless of whether or not she wins.
Did Haley Deserve Randy's Criticism?
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