“I think the judges got it wrong, wrong, wrong!” exclaims Gold Derby senior editor Marcus James Dixon when reacting to the recent elimination of Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon on Season 17 of “American Idol.” When Jeremiah found himself in the bottom two with Laci Kaye Booth, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie chose to use their only save on Laci. Dixon is joined by fellow senior editor Susan Wloszczyna and Gold Derby contributor Denton Davidson in our video recap to discuss the controversial elimination, the Woodstock/showstopper performances and the remaining five contestants (watch above).
“I agree the judges got it wrong,” says Davidson. “But America got it wrong too,” he continues. “You can’t put all the blame on the judges because it was the voters that put him in that position. It’s really the voters’ fault first and then the judges fault.” Davidson’s theory is that the judges were trying to balance the genders because,had Jeremiah moved forward, the Top 5 would have included only one female artist in Madison VanDenburg.
“I think Jeremiah is technically wonderful,” Wloszczyna adds. “But you can put him in the right coat, but you can’t make him light a fire. His medium-tempo lane wasn’t what they wanted. [Laci] has the potential of being more exciting sometimes just because you don’t expect it. Jeremiah was steady. He was almost too good for the show if that makes sense.”
Davidson agrees with Wloszczyna that Jeremiah’s song choices may have been too similar and left fans complacent. “It was ballad after ballad after ballad,” he says. “He needed more excitement in some of his performances and maybe people just got bored!” Dixon brought up the fact that most people thought Wade Cota was going home, so perhaps they felt they didn’t need to vote for Jeremiah.
“My issue with Wade singing ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ was that it was so obvious for him and so safe,” says Dixon regarding the Woodstock-themed performance. “And [the judges] didn’t call him on it when they had just called out Laine Hardy for being safe and told him he needed to branch out more. There’s a double standard, why doesn’t everyone get the same critique?”
Wloszczyna’s gripe with Sundays performance was Alejandro Aranda‘s “showstopper” performance. “I liked it and I thought he sang it well, but that was no showstopper and when do you get to pick you own song when there’s a theme like that?” she asks. Davidson agrees it didn’t fit with the theme, but pushes back saying, “That was his best performance since the auditions. That is what he should be doing all the time. That’s what people have been waiting to see from him, but it was not part of the theme at all.”
Currently Laine is favorite to win in Gold Derby’s racetrack odds followed by Alejandro and Madison. While Davidson agrees Laine will likely win, he warns everyone to watch out for Madison. “She’s improving every week,” he states. “She’s become this underdog that could steal it. If she’s in the final with two guys, that’s a benefit to her and she’s the best singer.” For the panel’s full thoughts on the Top 5 and who will be eliminated next, watch the video above.
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