Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The American (IDOL) Dream

So Jessica did what Jasmine and the rest of the Fil-Am past contenders failed to do- enter the finals of the ‘most popular reality show in America’.

The Philippines has all the reasons to stay glued to the competition:

First, we are a nation who loves singing in every known form- from reality shows to karaoke parties to magic sing microphones in almost every middle-class household.

Second, we are a nation who celebrates the ‘accomplishments’ of our ‘kababayan’ specially when its Hollywood related or anything that is remotely connected to what happens in the United States- from Charice being a guest in Oprah, to Pacquio singing ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ in the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

And finally because we recently witnessed CJ Corona’s testimony in the Impeachment Trial and found it (as Justice Cuevas would say) immaterial, impertinent and irrelevant.

If Jessica wins tomorrow night she would be making history as

the youngest contestant to win the competition

the only contestant ‘saved’ by the judges to win the title

the first contestant of Asian-Latin-American descent to grab the crown and

the first winner to be installed at the top thanks to the indubitable powers of Skype, Facebook and Magic Jack!

If at all, there is no doubt that Jessica should win the award for having the most wonderful voice in the 11th season of American Idol- the technique, the depth, the power and the famous GROWL! Is that enough to make her a winner?

Unfortunately, the answer is no as evident in her near exit when she was voted off earlier in  the competition. The sad reality is, singing competitions are not like fairy tales where the best in vocal technique wins at the end. In fact, American Idol has been, for the last four seasons, criticized for crowning WGWG (White-Guy-With-Guitar), a testament to the voting population’s preference considering its demographics- young girls innately attracted to Caucasian males with average singing range and an acceptable guitar playing skill.

If Jessica fails to advance tomorrow I expect a backlash in social media among fans which would include conspiracy theories about ‘racism’ to judges being biased and yes even challenge the accuracy of the voting system- after all, in the Philippines walang natatalo, meron lang nadadaya.

Resident mentor Jimmy Lovine made a great comment when he said that ‘If Jessica wants to win she has to have a magical moment in the Finale’. It is understandable why a magical moment is necessary- one, because she is considered an underdog compared to Philip and second because approaching the finals- she lost steam.

Any American Idol fan, observer and critics placed her at the top of the race- virtually invisible up to that stage where she sung Whitney Houston’s 'I Will Always Love You' and perhaps extending to her moment with ‘Everybody Has A Dream’. Everything went downhill and became a roller coaster ride after- the culprit? Poor song choice.

So, is she really the underdog? Or did she just peak too early in the competition?

Can she be considered an underdog when she has the Philippines and Mexico supporting her apart from her fans in the States? Or are the judges too conservative in giving her lavish praise and standing ovation?

In the end- what she needs to win the American Idol is that magical moment the same magical moment Kelly made when she belted out ‘A Moment Like This’, Carrie when she did the killer combo that is ‘Inside Your Heaven’ and ‘Angels Brought Me Here’. Whether there is magic in her performances today remains to be validated tomorrow- when the votes are in.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga has left the country and devils still abound.


  1. we'll know tomorrow. would like to see how AI would market the show if Jessica wins.

  2. well some observers and most critics say it would do the AI franchise more good if she wins- because the last time a female winner won was almost 5 years ago. That would break the presumption that only good looking guys with guitars can win the contest.

    She is also perceived as the most marketable- so yea, let's see!