Hollywood Nights: Who should win American Idol Season 14? How about the guy that will win AI15?

The winner of American Idol Season 15

The winner of American Idol Season 15

There are roles to fill.

Listen, American Idol stopped being just about the talent years ago. You get five white dudes who can play guitar winning in a row, you need to make sure it doesn’t happen again, especially with the ratings slowly slipping. Had to be the white dudes winning and most definitely not the constant attempts to fix a product that wasn’t broken until you fixed it so much it snapped in half.

You can’t blame American Idol for wanting to put together a cast that will maximize ratings. And honestly, I don’t have an issue with the philosphy. (And it’s not because they just followed me on Twitter)


There is a good portion of the audience who doesn’t want to see four or five WGWGs like I don’t want to see three white country girls or three black girls who are all doing bad Jennifer Hudson impressions. (I do want to see as many big black dudes with soul. Can’t get enough).

Adam Lasher’s elimination is probably the biggest screw job in the show’s history. That’s not even an exaggeration. It tops Daughtry because of what round we’re in.

From what we, the home viewer, saw, he was the most talented performer, had a perfect voice for the show and the look and back story (thank you diabetes!). He showed a versatility with his musical selection, an ability to recompose music and he sounded damn good doing it. It would have been a Phillips-esque blowout to the final.

Now that would be fine if the second best performer we’ve seen wasn’t Mark Andrew. American Idol producers sort of know TV and there was no way in hell they were going to let two white guys with scraggly beards play guitars to the final. That doesn’t create drama or good TV.

Don’t believe it? Look at the finalists. Tell me if you can find a pairing where the two were the same genre:

Season 1: Kelly Clarkson (girl pop) and Justin Guarini (boy pop)
Season 2: Ruben Studdard (soul) and Clay Aiken (boy pop)
Season 3: Fantasia Barino (R&B) and Diana DeGarmo (girl pop)
Season 4: Carrie Underwood (country) and Bo Bice (rock)
Season 5: Taylor Hicks (white soul) and Katharine McPhee (girl pop)
Season 6: Jordin Sparks (R&B/girl pop) and Blake Lewis (boy pop)
Season 7: David Cook (rock) and David Archuleta (boy pop)
Season 8: Kris Allen (rock) and Adam Lambert (boy pop)
Season 9: Lee DeWyze (rock) and Crystal Bowersox (girl rock)
Season 10: Scotty McCreery (bro country) and Lauren Alaina (girl country)
Season 11: Phillip Phillips (rock) and Jessica Sanchez (girl pop)
Season 12: Candice Glover (R&B) and Kree Harrison (country)
Season 13: Caleb Johnson (rock) and Jena Irene (girl pop)

The closest pairing we had was Season 10, but you have to remember that was the start of the country’s country music boom. Point is, producers had to have a clue that Adam Lasher was going to the final and Mark Andrew had a damn solid chance to make it as well.

So why did Adam get the boot?

He can come back next year and be “the story” of Season 15.

Mark Andrew is making the Top 24. It’s a lock. He’s good, he’s a dad, he’s got the look and he’s going to be the stereotypical WGWG.

But what about Nick Fradinani? Here’s the thing – he’s not a WGWG, per se. He’s very much an Adam Devine type and can be sold as a pop star more than a, as they always say, an “artist” or “songwriter.” It’s not a knock; just how they’ll sell him to America.

There was no bringing back Mark or Nick and they weren’t taking those two and Adam to the Top 12. With Savion Wright, Daniel Seavey, Qaasim Middleton and Trevor Douglas filling four roles (the returner, the youngster, the weird black dude, the nerd) plus Michael Simeon (heartthrob) and someone like Adam Ezegelian (weird guy), that’s nine spots filled and we haven’t even gotten into the likes of guys like Cody Fry, Clark Beckham and Rayvon Owen.

Since it’s a numbers game, you’re not going to have two of the same type of singer taking two spots unless there is absolutely no talent to speak of to fill a spot (we saw that the year Candice Glover won; that season should be stricken from the record books because it was fixed so a guy wouldn’t win).

It was a lose-lose situation for producers because Mark and Adam are both stellar contenders. If I had to guess, Mark is going to be a lock for Top 12 or whatever it is to get to the live show. They wouldn’t have cut Adam otherwise.

Pretty solid show and we’re really starting to see our contenders. I’ve harped on it before, but we need to get back to two-hour performances for Hollywood week so we can see more vocals and get more tears/cheers.

On to the recap.


Loren Lott
What I liked about the performance was the potential. I’m not going to sit here and do cartwheels about the performance because it wasn’t great. It was good. I don’t think it was especially risky, but I think Loren is terrified of taking risks. At this point in Idol, I don’t hate the selection because it’s enough to get her through and survival is all that matters.

Daniel Seavey
I’m impressed every time he gets on stage because when I was his age I was thinking about making out with chicks and maybe seeing boobs and that was it. I said it after his audition – if his voice holds, he was going to win everyone over. The kid’s got it and he’s Top 24 for sure. Can he win? Long road ahead, but his cuteness is a huge factor. Worst case, he’s seeing real-life boobs very, very soon.

Big Ron
Don’t fuck with the band. Under no circumstances are you allowed to throw the band under the bus. Big Ron is lucky he mouthed off to Ricky Minor because if he did that to Michael Orland he would have gotten a Columbian Necktie. The performance was right up my alley, but not good enough to get through. However, the interaction with cutting off the band was a Top 5 funniest thing that’s ever happened on American Idol.
Oh, and the safari hat won the night.

Shi Scott
Shi Scott is not my type of singer. The R&B girls are a dime a dozen and usually bore me before we even hit the live shows. Here’s the thing – Shi ain’t close yet. First off, she’s remarkably hot. Second, her voice is enthralling. I don’t think she can win (a statement based more of the dynamics of the show than her actual talent) but I can definitely see her finishing Top 3 or 4. Only thing she did wrong tonight was not wearing the beard.

Adam Lasher
Funny how I based the Jimmy Fallon lookalike thing before, but tonight he really looked like Fallon doing an impression. Lasher was nothing short of fantastic and with my wife being a Type-1, I’m on board for Team Diabetes. The judges blew this, but as I said above, there was a reason why. If Vegas took futures bets on Lasher winning American Idol Season 15, I’d bet the mother fucking house.
(PS Don’t know if this was an intentional shot at Alexis Grace, but it was AWESOME.)

Quentin Alexander
Dude wins me over for the Prince-esque entrance. Q is a bad, bad man and I love it. Any dude who gets J-Lo to get on stage and take his coat earns respect. He sounded awesome even though he sang a song I don’t know and if you can get an A-plus Demographic Guy to enjoy you, you’re doing something right.

Maddie Walker
Hahahahahaha. She’s in. Idol needs to step up its game and really point out that she’s not 18. For real.

Trevor Douglas
They’re really pushing the “geek” thing, no? That makes me think he’s going Top 24. Gotta get him in America’s head now so they can fall in love with him. I’m slowly coming around on the TD train.

Alexis Granville
Can’t sing under pressure. Looks old enough to be Savion Wright’s mother. PASS.

Hahahahahaha. She’s the best girl by a fucking mile. She’s gotta stop touching people/clothing with her hands when she sings. Weirds me out.

That voice tho. My concern is we’re all going to hold her to some crazy standard because she’s so damn good.
Oh, and she needs to tell her dad black undershirts is old people shit. No undershirt is what’s hot in the streets.

Michael Simeon
I’ve been a fan of Michael Simeon since last year. If he was on Idol in the early seasons, he’s a favorite to win. I don’t know if he has enough to overtake some of the dudes, but he has one huge thing in his favor – super hunk. In case you can’t tell, he’ll be one of my Top 24 picks. Dude is steady. His worst performance was still good and that’s huge.

Nick Fradiani
Idol is going to pump his tires a ton. He’s very much an Adam Devine type – good looking, good voice, seems versatile enough that he can do a lot with a lot of different genres. Top 24 good? I think so.

Katharine Skinner
Committed the second worst crime in Idol – she sang Alone. You do not sing Alone. I love her potential and hope she’ll learn from this and understand what songs are good and what songs aren’t good to use as audition pieces.

Brutal Cuts
Jessica Lamb – doesn’t make sense, unless you assume the producers were pegging her against Joey Cook as the “quirky hipster girl” or against Alexis Cabral as the “hippie.”
Piper Jones – Great voice. Not the look.
Naomi Tatsuoka – Great voice. Not the look.

Clark Beckham
I’m falling into his camp because there’s a serious potential he’s going to play a Michael McDonald song and I fucking love Yacht Rock. Dude is just good looking enough that he won’t intimidate guys watching at home and still turn the ladies on. I could really see him making Top 12 and gaining steam to the final. Really like him.

Mark Andrew
Prohibitive favorite with no Adam Lasher. Proved it tonight singing without a guitar. His voice is so folky and I don’t know if you pay attention, but that’s what’s hot in the streets right now. My favorite part of the critique was “the only reason you made it through is because of your voice” which is hilarious because American Idol is, you know, a singing show. (PS They shit on him for forgetting words but laugh it off when others do it?)

Joey Cook
I love Joey’s voice. She showed her major problem tonight – singing Beatles’ B-list hits aren’t going to get the job done. If you’re Joey, you need to sing songs dudes like me know because that gets votes. That all said, I really like her voice and really want to see her get to the live shows.

The Future Top 24
Idol gave us a late montage because they realized if these three were going to the Top 24, they’d better remind America that they showed most of their performances.
Lovey James – can’t wait for the Lovey-Maddie battle.
Tyanna Jones – this season’s Marrialle.
Rayvon Owen – He’s Top 24 because there really aren’t any other R&B guys.

Riley Bria
Riley’s competition is Daniel Seavey. One of them makes the Top 24, or my whole theory about same genre gets tossed out the fucking window.

Two nights to figure out who’s Top 24 next week? I’m all in.