There’s a lot to be said for brevity, as tonight’s “AI” proved. Rather than subject viewers to another tortuous hour of pandering, the producers wisely gave us a quick 30 minutes in which to bid adieu to this week’s four lowest vote getters.
Another welcome change tonight was the lack of any encore performances, an aspect of the show that has never made much sense. Why should we want to hear the least popular singers again? Thankfully we didn’t have to tonight, as it seems to me to be rather cruel to force them to perform right after telling them that nobody wants to hear them. While some contestants have made it through these final songs without too much damage in past seasons, most seem to come very close to losing it before they’re able to finish.
Last week’s elimination episode, in addition to being too long, was filled with misdirection and stalling, mostly to prolong revealing which of the contestants would be leaving the show. Not so tonight–we got into it right away.
With no formalities or warning, Celena Rae was revealed to be the female singer with the lowest vote count for the week. I had pegged Celena as a likely early target last week on the overall weakness of her performance, but I thought last night might have been good enough for a reprieve. Apparently not, as we won’t be seeing her on the show again.
The second elimination took a bit longer, not much. We quickly went down the row of remaining girls until only Aloha and Vonzell remained. Interestingly enough, both had sung Alicia Keys songs last night. As they took center stage, it was clear that Aloha Mischeaux knew that her number was up and, indeed, Vonzell was quickly declared safe. Aloha revealed that she had experienced some trouble with song selection this week, but she didn’t use that as an excuse for her expulsion.
Onwards to the men. In like fashion, we moved right along the row, with each singer being declared safe, until only four contestants remained: Joseph, David, Mario, and Travis. Mario didn’t look too worried, but the other three all seemed to be convinced that this would be their last night on “AI.” Sure enough, Mario was the first to be allowed to return to the couches. Almost as quickly, Travis was declared safe, meaning that Joseph Murena and David Brown would be the next two to go. David took it in good stride, but Joe tried to make some noise about not getting enough screen time.
Quite frankly, he has a point. Some of the remaining singers have been featured far more on the show than others, giving the audience more time to form an attachment to their favorites. Of those who’ve left the Top 24 so far (Melinda, Sarah, Jared, Judd, Celena, Aloha, Joseph, and David), only David Brown had any of his back story presented on the show. Nonetheless, I agree with all of the eliminations so far, and, no matter what’s come before, if someone gives a great performance, they will likely still get enough votes to keep them in it until next week.
Who’s Next To Go?
After striking out completely on predictions last week, we managed to hit 3.5 out of 4 this week (I’m giving myself half a point for Celena, because I had her pegged to go last week). I still can’t figure out why Janay Castine is around, so she’s #1 on the hit list as far as I’m concerned. Of the remaining women, I’d have to guess that Vonzell Solomon will be the next to go, if only because she has not really distinguished herself at all.
As for the men, it’s another tough call. Ahead of next week’s performances, my bet would be that Scott Savol and Travis Tucker will be the next to go. Not really based on anything other than a gut feeling, but there you have it.
Who’s Going To Win?
Until this week, I had been pretty confident that Nadia Turner had this whole thing wrapped up, but after last night, I’m not too sure. Bo Bice has really come out of nowhere with his talent and consistently solid performances, after getting no coverage at all in the earlier rounds. With two solid showings under his belt, I’ll take a chance and say that Bo just might end up winning this thing.