Idol Chatter: Will contestant's appearance play a part in 'American Idol' selection?

Idol Chatter: Will contestant's appearance play a part in 'American Idol' selection?

March 24th, 2009 by Clint Cooper and Karen Nazor Hill in Idol

Karen Nazor Hill: America made the right decision in axing Alexis Grace last week. I applaud the judges for not using their veto power to keep her on board. It was a weird song week for the contestants, though. I don't think we have a true country music singer as we have in years past. And, Clint, I know you won't agree with me, but I loved Adam Lambert's unusual but creative version of "Ring of Fire."

Clint Cooper: Karen, I'm going to disagree with you in America's choice to boot off Alexis Grace. She wasn't far from the bottom, in my opinion, but Michael Sarver should have gone ahead of her. And you may be surprised to hear that I didn't hate Adam Lambert's version of "Ring of Fire." It was certainly creative, certainly Adam Lambert. I'm not sure about current or hot. I also liked Allison Iraheta's version of "Blame It on Your Heart." Anoop Desai, after a disastrous performance of "Billie Jean" the week before, reminded me of why I had liked him from the start with "Always on My Mind," and Kris Allen moved up in my book with his tender effort on "To Make You Feel My Love."

Karen: Iraheta did sing well, but I don't see her being the American Idol, so I won't be disappointed when she gets booted. At least she made it to the traveling team - not bad for a high school student. I was pleasantly surprised by Desai's performance and was pleased Simon Cowell told him he went from "zero to hero." But let's face it, none of the contestants, including Lil Rounds who is seriously talented, can hold a candle to Adam. He has a deep-rooted ability to hit every note possible. Each week, I can't wait to hear what he's going to sing. Personally, I'd like to see him get a makeover (his hair gets on my nerves), but that's got nothing to do with his voice, and he's got that perfected.

Clint: Your haircut remark is on the money because - and this is coming from someone whose high-school hair often elicited comments from family members - I don't know if America will "elect" someone the American Idol who looks like Adam. Is that wrong? Yes. Is it accurate? I think it is. Adam is probably the most experienced contestant and has had plenty of previous stage time. He also may be the best pure singer. I certainly can't complain about anything I've heard from him. And some of it has been spectacular. I do look forward to seeing what he comes up with each week. Maybe he'll consider that makeover.

Karen: In the past, some of the contestants (Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken, for example) did take on a new and improved look toward the end of the season. But this isn't about looks, is it? Or maybe it's about both - looks and talent. The judges often comment on the contestants' appearances. Regardless of his overdone heavy makeup and slick, greased hair, Adam should be the American Idol. I think he'll blow us away tonight with the show's Motown theme. In fact, I think everyone will shine tonight. So who do I think will get the boot this week? Though they're talented, someone's got to go. I predict Michael Sarver and Desai will be in the bottom two. I'll say Sarver will be singing his swan song.

Clint: Yeah, I think it's interesting how often the judges comment on appearance. Simon, who is arguably the best - and most critical - judge of singing talent, probably comments on appearance the most. Motown night should be fun. I think Desai will stick around through this week. Iraheta, despite "dope" talent for a 16-year-old - to use judge Randy Jackson's favorite new term, doesn't seem to score well with voters. She may be in the bottom three, but Michael is likely to go. He seems like a nice guy, but I don't think he quite measures up.