American Idol Top 11 Elimination: It’s Ben fun

Seeing these three in the bottom shouldn't have been a surprise.

Seeing these three in the bottom shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Three live performances, three evictions, one thing in common.

If you’re bad, you’re gone.

Past American Idol voters have been pretty consistent in how they vote; while it is “week to week” votes have been on all the performances, which is why the first couple live performances have been the most important. You establish yourself early and make yourself safe, allowing for risks and challenges to give yourself credibility as the show progresses.

That’s not the case this year.

I picked Ben Briley to win Idol. Why? He was spectacular every time he got on stage and in his Guys Top 10 performance, his Southern Rock vibe completely sucked me – and America, who voted him in over Neco Starr for a spot in the Guys Top 10 – in and after his first two weeks, it was obvious he was a front-runner for the title. He had an ability to go slow or speed it up and his cocaine fast performance of Folsom Prison showed he could make country songs sound different and good. He had an identity.

And then he threw it all away in the name of being different.

In the past, it would have been a decent move and he would have survived the meh.

When you reviewed Wednesday’s live show, there weren’t many bad performances. Everything was so … safe. Safe is what cost Ben a shot at winning because his failed risk sounded bad compared to the poor safe performances put up by Sam Woolf and Majesty Rose.

(And for the record, one so-called expert correctly picked the bottom three. One. I know this because I read all the Idol blogs I can. You know who picked it? This guy. Say I’m a drunk, say I’m immature, but don’t you dare say I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to AI)

In my opinion, Majesty’s performance was worse than Ben’s but it wasn’t so much worse that she was the clear-cut favorite to leave us. I picked her to leave because a) I thought she had the worse performance; and b) I picked Ben to leave so my judgment was more clouded than J-Lo’s when she talks about Latina singers.

As soon as Seacrest said the vote was as close as it was, I knew Ben was gone.


Because America is voting the worst performer of the week out. It’s not the contestant people don’t like; it’s not someone like Malaya Watson or MK Nobilette, both of whom had struggled the first two weeks before coming up huge this week. In the past, one of them probably finds the bottom three. This year? Not so much.

It’s good for the show. I think. It could lead to more safe performances than a tightrope walker that uses a net. And that’s gonna lead to some boring, boring shows.

I think it will do the opposite. I think the contestants are going to realize they need to be good because it’s going to be harder to stand out if you’re just being safe. You need to be on point with every performance because if you’re not, you’re done and that includes if the three worst happen to be three safe boring performances.

So I was hoping to find out what next week’s theme was and then write another “what they should sing” blog, but my wife and I have our second child coming Saturday afternoon, so I’m gonna be a little busy. Thankfully, we’ll be home by next Wednesday so I won’t miss a beat.