American Idol 2011 – Judges Pick Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina
It is a big question when it comes to American Idol. How much do the judges (Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez) really influence the voting? I don’t mean they tweak the numbers or anything like that. Moreover I wonder if what they say about the contestants has much influence on who people vote for. I would say in the past it has in one way, and now with the current collection of judges it does as well, but for a different reason.
Clearly there are fans of certain singers who will vote for them no matter how good or bad they do on American Idol. There are also those who will vote for different reason including the fact that they like how someone looks or the style of music they sing or their background etc. However, I think there are some out there who do vote for who they think did best each week. In those cases the American Idol judges can influence them under certain circumstances. Back when Simon Cowell was still on the show a lot of people loved to hate him, but even more respected his opinion and felt he was fair and honest. If he liked your performance his saying so could sway votes in your favor and his words/opinions could influence the voters.
However, now that honesty is mostly gone. The current American Idol judges primarily focus on the positive and have nice things to say about just about everyone. To me this takes away some of their credibility. When they do single someone out and it comes off as especially harsh because it doesn’t happen very often. I think it actually has the effect of mobilizing the fans of that singer. These fans are watching the show and see the judges heap praise on everyone then all of a sudden they slam a contestant and it angers that contestant’s fans and mobilizes them to vote for that contestant in an effort to come to their defense. I look at Haley Reinhart as a perfect example of that. When she was just another person in the crowd she was consistently in the bottom three. Then she started taking some chances and that sometimes found her on the bad side of the judges. Suddenly the trips to the bottom three stopped. It almost seems as if the more Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson criticized her the more votes she would get. I think a lot of people feel like the judges are picking on her and they rush to her defense.
If the American Idol judges want to influence the voting in a positive way they need to be more consistent with their criticism. They can’t tell a singer to take a risk then bash them when they do while praising another contestant for not taking risks. At this point they aren’t helping lead the voters towards making good choices and voting for the best singers, they are just causing people to rush to the defense of their favorites.
American Idol’s results show airs tonight at 8PM on Fox. Tune in to find out how the voting turns out and who ends up being the final two.
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