Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jessica Sanchez in American Idol

Jessica lost to Phil because it is an American audience who is doing the voting.
The profile of the American Idol audience may be characterized as white, young, from the conservative middle to lower class, with little sophistication, whose music preference would be country westerns, whose singer type would be wholesome “boy (girl) next door” types. Tinges of being homophobic can also be discerned among the voting audience which kept Josh Ledet’s progress at a standstill when he showed signs of this inclination. The same bias reared its head in the case of Adam Lambert who lost to a mediocre Kris Allen.

American Idol is in the entertainment business. It depends on ratings for its sustenance, otherwise, it cannot attract sponsors and advertisers who provide revenue to defray production costs, airtime costs and the profits that would accrue to the program. The AI production has to cater to the demographic profile of the larger part of the audience. This audience will support a contestant who falls within their group more than any other. The effort to bring down the popularity of Jessica was so obvious in the mid part of the competitions, even the subtle revelation of Josh' gender preference was noticeable.

Josh Ledet and Jessica Sanchez, both with awesome vocal ranges and phenomenal performance abilities didn’t stand a chance at winning because Phil Phillips, despite a vocal prowess that was just creditable, was the archetype of the ideal American Idol profile.

 If you wish to bet on competitions like this, heed the advise of the odds makers. With their vast experience, the touts in Las Vegas know this only too well, in addition to having developed a good gut feel for winners, they use the stats in their enormous database of historical data to know the probabilities of a win. It would be a wise thing to heed the odds that they publish.

I think the hierarchy of profiles for winners in AI would be as follows:
1. Attractive, young, white American, middle to low class, boy/girl next door type, country western music, rock and R&B
2. Young African American, middle to low class, really great vocals, soulful, jazzy singer
3. All others; Latino, Filipino and other Asians who are exceptional and awesome performers.

Winning in AI is tough if you don’t fall under the desired profile of the largest segment of the audience. Jessica having won second place is a recognition of her being superior in singing over Phil Phillips and is tantamount to having won the American Idol title.

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