The Verdict on Idol: Top 12 Results

Last night, we said “hasta luego” to our Puerto Rican beauty, Karen Rodriguez. Unfortunately, this makes me 1 and 1, though I would have much preferred to have been 0 and 2. Personally, I like Karen and the Latin flavor she brought to this group of contestants. Unfortunately, not enough of America shared my love of bilingual ballads.

Its not something that was at all surprising. Karen simply failed to stand out from the crowd aside from being “the Spanish Pia.” Pia has already laid her claim as the season’s balladeer. Karen was using her bilingual arrangements to stand out, but it wasn’t enough to really develop a fanbase. If she wanted to stand out and represent for the Latinos, it would have been much wiser to go full-blown fiesta and do an uptempo Latin dance track. That would have captured attention. A lukewarm Taylor Dane track? Not so much. Truth was, Karen’s ballads paled in comparison to Pia, and it sealed her fate. If Thia is smart, she’ll pay attention and take a few notes.

On a side note, Karen’s swan song performance was simply beautiful, and reminded me why I loved her to begin with. Randy said the decision not to use the save was not unanimous, and I believe that Jennifer was fighting for her hermana. I would have liked to see Karen stay, but that’s really only because anyone who leaves before Paul is being robbed at this point.

So where is this elimination leaving the competition? Things are really heating up now, but the disparity between the top and bottom group is glaringly obvious. Scotty, Lauren, James, Pia, Casey and Stefano have shown themselves to be capable competitors that are in this for the long haul. Right now, they look like a solid top 6. The rest have some catching up to do.

Jacob and Thia have shown that they have potential, as they were both the top 2 performers of the semi-finals. Since then, they seemed to have taken a few steps backwards; Jacob for oversinging to the point that his performances are painful, and Thia for not being able to pick a decent song to save her life.

Naima and Paul have repeatedly shown one thing; they can’t sing. They’re each relying on their unique style, charms, charisma, and what can loosely be defined as dance moves. Paul is our indie and folk inspired “white guy with a guitar,” while Naima is our urban, hip-hop/reggae African queen. They both need to really start showing some vocal prowess if they want to move up in this competition.

Finally, this leaves us with Haley. Haley is the underdog at this point. She has the vocal capabilities to deliver, but has yet to figure out how to portray herself to the audience. If she can figure that out, she can quickly grow into a legitimate threat. However, she needs to deliver a standout performance quickly, because time is running out.

Next week’s theme is Motown, and I am not looking forward to it at all. This is probably the single cheesiest theme they could have chosen, and I don’t expect anyone to really deliver a stand out performance. Oh well…prove me wrong, Idols.

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