Last week, I didn’t bother blogging about the results show, and I apologize to anyone who might have been using my recaps to gain such information. My reason is simple: with the departure of Carly Rae, I became disillusioned with Canadian Idol. She was my last hope, the last shining hope in a season filled with a host of mediocre singers. She epitomized everything an “Idol” should be: charming, original, and capable of musicianship. When she left, part of me left as well.
And it’s not because of dislike for the remaining candidates. Brian Melo is someone who has performed admirably, been fairly consistent, and surely isn’t someone that I would dislike hearing on the radio. And even if I can’t stand him personally, Jaydee Bixby does Jaydee-style very well.
No, my problem with Carly Rae leaving is that it essentially crowned Jaydee Bixby the Canadian Idol by default. And even though the judges did their finest to handicap the competition in Brian’s favour, I don’t think it will be enough to overcome an important fact:
No matter how good Brian might be, and how bad Jaydee might bomb, Brian Melo is still just an adequate performer who wears hats while Jaydee is the smiling honky tonk kid from Alberta.
As the evening wore on, all signs should point towards Brian getting a great deal of support, and I’d love to be wrong here. Brian certainly performed better than Jaydee in every performance, as the young performer fell almost entirely outside of his comfort zone. And Brian is certainly in a better position because he is performing last.
But the problem lies in the fact that this final is going to come down to two groups: Jaydee fans who would never vote a different way, and Brian fans joined with anyone who has a critical mindset on these performances.
Jaydee’s fans won’t be going anywhere: even as Jaydee warbled his way through Bon Jovi, the Idol single and an excruciating performance of Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual,” he remained entertaining in the way he is entertaining, just as Jake said. He is capable of being a star in this sense…but nothing else.
So, in order for Jaydee to lose, the large bulk of undecided voters need to migrate to Brian’s camp. This presents a distinct problem because Brian is, as a whole, lacking a personality for viewers to latch onto. He’s been consistent, he’s sang some rock songs, and he’s worn a lot of hats…but has he created a niche? Has he created an identity that people view as “Idol” worthy?
The answer is sadly no: throughout his three performances, Brian seemed like he was playing the role of the hip and relevant contestant without ever earning it. He was reaching for high notes he couldn’t reach, singing a song like Hallelujah without really embracing it. The judges were praising him as the second coming, but in reality he did things that other Idol contestants could have easily done…and some much better.
As a result, I don’t think even the judges praising Brian out the ying-yang is going to be enough for Canadians to find a hook in Brian’s personality. Farley said himself that Brian is “just a good person.” Zack said some sort of bullshit about it transcending art, but that’s not true: it was so artless that I don’t have an ounce of connection to it.
I think that Carly Rae could have drawn people in: she is unique, she was of a different gender, and the anti-Jaydee tongue bath would have been somewhat more consistent with past judging comments. I think that she could have maybe beaten Jaydee…but in the end, I don’t think Brian can do it.
There was not a single performance that made me feel that this was an Idol finale. The Idol song is as weak as ever, especially for poor Jaydee, and there just isn’t anything here that convinces me that a renaissance of Canadian Idol is upon us.
So, barring the Canadian public seeing a personality in Brian Melo I just don’t see, a kid with a huge future is going to be thrust into the limelight too quickly, and any chance he had of staying within his niche may well fly away. It should be a very, very interesting finale.