Awards Show

For some reason my invites to a raft of B-list celebrities got lost in the mail, so I’ll be handing the awards out myself. Let’s skip the teleprompter jokes and get right to it:


Public Awards

The first bank of awards is based on the results from the public voting, from the semifinals to the Nokia:

Idol: Scotty McCreery

Top Male: Scotty McCreery

Top Female: Lauren Alaina

Survivor award: Haley Reinhart

Flameout “award”: Casey Abrams

Shocker award: Pia Toscano

Those are all self-explanatory, I think. Haley gets the survivor award because she was in the bottom two twice right off the bat, yet “survived” to finish third. Casey was at the top of most power rankings at the beginning of the semis, but needed the save just to make the tour and finished sixth. Pia, I am pretty sure that I don’t need to explain. Hell, I don’t think that I needed to explain the others either, but just in case….

This next bank of awards are purely my opinion, and specifically NOT tied to the voting. They will need more explaining, so I’ll expand as I make the awards up. I’m not kidding. I have three awards in my head so far. I’m going to make the rest up as I go along.


Most valuable contestant: Scotty McCreery

I almost want to say Haley here, because she kept it so interesting on the show itself with her dynamic performances, her underdog journey and the drama surrounding her disconnect with the judges and the producers. She will get her due down the page. Scotty is the main reason why the ratings were so high this season, more than any other contestant. He was the frontrunner all season, and he was personally responsible for more watchers and voters than any other contestant.

Past winners:

Season 7- David Archuleta

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Most controversial contestant: Lauren Alaina

Lauren was discussed like she was naked in a glass room (and everyone had an opinion on what they were looking at) all season long, from the Steven flirting at her audition to the strained vocal chords at the finale. She didn’t even get to fade off there. After the finale twitter blew up with “Are Scotty and Lauren Dating?” Let’s see, what would be a top 10 list of Lauren topics? In no particular order:

1- Its creepy how she flirts with Steven Tyler

2- Is she dating Scotty?

3- Can she sing with sprained vocal chords?

4- Why isn’t she getting criticized, ever?

5- Hey, can we see that clip where she falls down the stairs again?

6- She is too young

7- She doesn’t act young enough

8- She is a cry-baby

9- She doesn’t cry enough, doesn’t she care?

10- Why is Nigel trying so hard to get her into the finale?

Pia’s early ouster would also be a good choice here. I have other places to give Pia her 15 minutes of award show fame.

Season 7- Carly Smithson

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Siobhan Magnus

Most polarizing contestant- Lauren Alaina

It’s a fine distinction between controversial and polarizing, but I see a difference even though I am picking the same person for both awards. Lauren was the one contestant all season who most divided the country, with an almost 50-50 split among those who loved her, and those who hated her.

Season 7- Jason Castro

Season 8- Danny Gokey

Season 9- Tim Urban

Best looking contestant (male)- Scotty McCreery

This is based on what I hear from my female friends who follow the show, but I don’t think it’s a blow-out. Paul McDonald would get more than one vote from my small pool of readers, and JD wouldn’t get shut out either. Stefano, even Casey have their fans.

Season 7- Jason Castro

Season 8- Kris Allen

Season 9- Casey James

Best looking contestant (female)- Pia Toscano

Probably a no-brainer, but this was a very attractive group of Idol females. I personally might have gone with Kendra Chantelle or Karen Rodriguez, and like with the fellas my small pool of readers would give votes to several different contestants.

Season 7- Brooke White

Season 8- Adam Lambert (just kidding) Kristen McNamara

Season 9- Didi Benami

Best pure voice (male)- James Durbin

I could make a case for a few others, including a couple who didn’t even make the finals, but JD is the obvious choice to me.

Season 7- David Archuleta

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Lee Dewyze

Best pure voice (female)- Pia Toscano

Easy choice. My number two would be “other” Lauren Turner, with Haley a strong third.

Season 7- Carly Smithson

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Best looking and best pure voice, gender undefined as long as they still do those operations in Helsinki- Jacob Lusk

Hell, maybe a sex change would help him stay in tune. Honorable mention to Brett Loewenstern and Ashley Sullivan

Most entertaining also-ran (male)- Carson Higgins

Honorable mention to Jacee Badeaux

Most entertaining also-ran (female)- Ashley Sullivan

I skipped “past award winners” for the last few. I don’t remember enough from the early shows to have a real clue.


Performance Awards:

Most creative- Casey Abrams

Honorable mention to James Durbin and Naima Adedapo.

Season 7- David Cook

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Siobhan Magnus

Most thrilling peak that didn’t last- Pia Toscano

Season 7- Chekeze Eze

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Siobhan Magnus

Most consistent- Scotty McCreery

Scotty got off to a blah start, but he was consistently what he needed to be for the last 10 weeks. I would give the second spot to Lauren Alaina.

Season 7- David Archuleta

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Best live performer (male)- James Durbin

JD was inconsistent as a singer, but he was very consistent as a dramatic performer. He pulled out the stops, week after week.

Season 7- David Cook

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Casey James

Best live performer (female)- Haley Reinhart

Only Pia (who was limited to five performances) is in the ballpark for sheer edge of your seat anticipation of what in the hell she was going to do next.

Season 7- Carly Smithson

Season 8- Allison Iraheta

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Flameout award (male)- Robbie Rosen

This isn’t really fair to Robbie, who deserved to be in the final thirteen, but he was my number one from the beginning and he didn’t make the finals. Honorable mention goes to Scott Dangerfield, for whom I gave standout status after his audition. He didn’t even go toHollywood, because he was more invested in his teaching career. I’m not blaming him for quitting, but going from standout to gone is a pretty big flameout.

Season 7- David Hernandez

Season 8- Jorge Nunez

Season 9- Andrew Garcia

Flameout award (female)- Paris Tassin

Her audition made my list of the top 40 videos, but she was wildly out of tune twice and got knocked out on group night. I don’t know what happened to her, honestly. Did she just have that one magical moment, or was there something wrong with her later? We’ll never know.

Season 7- Amanda Overmeyer

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Ashley Rodriguez

Best audition (male)- Casey Abrams

The melodica, the manic “I don’t need no doctor”, and the pied piper persona made this audition the highlight of the early shows for me. Honorable mention to Scotty, Stefano, James and Jacee Badeaux.

Season 7- no clue

Season 8- Danny Gokey

Season 9- Andrew Garcia

Best audition (female)- Paris Tassin

Honorable mention to Lauren Alaina’s wildly over-hyped but very sweet and entertaining audition, Victoria Huggins’ “yo-yo dawg”, Harvard girl Molly DeWolf’s sultry “Sitting on the dock of the bay” and the long lost Kardashian sisters Kenzie Palmer and Melinda Ademi.

Season 7- No idea

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Didi Benami

Best short audition (male)- Paul McDonald

I pretty much stamped him as a top ten contestant based on about ten seconds of “Maggy May”. Honorable mention to Carson Higgins, who’s audition wasn’t even aired until Hollywood week.

Season 7- pass

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Lee Dewyze

Best short audition (female)- Lara Johnston

There weren’t very many, and none of them made the live shows. Lara is Doobie Brothers singer Tom Johnston’s daughter.

Season 7- nope

Season 8- not sure

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Best Hollywood performances (male): Casey Abrams

By a landslide. I also really enjoyed Tim Halperin and Brett Loewenstern, and of course Jacob’s “God Bless the Child”.

Season 7- didn’t watch it, apparently David Hernandez was the one

Season 8- Danny Gokey

Season 9- Andrew Garcia

Best Hollywood performance (female)- Lauren Turner

Idol gave her to us in small doses, but each dose was amazing.

Season 7- didn’t watch, but Carly Smithson got a lot of press

Season 8- Lil Rounds

Season 9- Lilly Scott slightly over Crystal Bowersox

Best live show single performance (male)- James Durbin

As much as I loved this crop of males, they really underwhelmed by this standard during the live shows. JD had several dynamic stage shows, but his Carole King song was his only really remarkable vocal performance. Casey never recaptured the magic of his Hollywood Week performances. Stefano sang scared, Jacob sang wildly out of tune. Paul was fine, but this isn’t his game. Scotty had a couple of nice moments, which I would give honorable mention (“Gone”, and “You Got a Friend”). Robbie’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” might be my number two, and it didn’t even get him a spot. If this had been season 8, and Adam was going up against all of them by himself, he would rank number one through about number ten before we got to JD. Nobody was terrible, they were all good, but there was a huge lack of amazingness.

Season 7- Chekeze “She’s a woman”

Season 8- Adam Lambert “Satisfaction”

Season 9- Casey James “Jealous Guy”

Best live show single performance (female)- Haley Reinhart

You pick it between “House of the Rising Sun” and “What is and Never Should Be”. The females would rank about one through – well, let’s see:

1- Haley, “House”

2- Haley, “Led Zep”

3- Pia, “All in Love is Fair”

4- Haley, “Benny and the Jets”

5- Pia, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”

6- This could be JD, so I would give the top 5 to the ladies this season.

Season 7- Carly Smithson “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Season 8- Allison Iraheta “Someone to watch over me”

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox “Up to the Mountain”

Best judging moment- J-Lo turning to Randy in Hollywood, and telling him “we almost cut her yesterday!!” during Haley’s third round performance.

Worst judging moment- J-Lo, every other time that she opened her mouth when Haley was on the stage.

No, this was the worst judging moment- Randy, during the final four, calling the race a tie between everyone but Haley, right before she had to sing.

Ok, this was absolutely THE WORST judging moment- The entire judging panel, during the final nine performance night, calling every singer great other than taking several moments to single Pia out for not moving well on stage after Gwen Stefani dressed her in a gunnysack. 24 hours later Idol had a serious problem.

I don’t know what award I would give it, but the largest judging mistake was NOT giving James, Lauren, Casey, Jacob and Scotty any constructive criticism or usable tips for their singing.



Enough preamble; it’s time to give out my three major awards for Idol’s tenth season: The ALLIE, the CHEKEZE, and the ADAM. I didn’t do this last year (or the year before) so I’ll do some catching up for the lost years.

I’ll talk about them as if they are important, mainstream awards; but I’m just making them up. Some day, if they catch on, you heard (read) it here first.


The Allie

– The Allie award goes to the contestant the most embodies the spirit of Allison Iraheta; a contestant that took the worst that the judges and the voters could throw at her and, instead of getting scared and timid, got stronger and tougher as the year went on. By the time Allie got bounced even the judges that kept trying to get rid of her were standing and cheering her, and desperately trying to get a piece of her as she left in triumph. The “Allie” winner should be the one contestant that ended up the furthest ahead of where they started, and the one contestant that will be most missed by the judges, the other contestants, and the watching public. A true “Allie” will inspire outrage from the internet, which represent the wishes of the watchers more than the voting totals that are slanted by the speed dialers. The “Allie” will get a disproportionately large share of the finale compared to his or her finish on the show, and a much longer interview with Mike Slezak than what would be expected from his or her finish. By these criteria, here are the “Allie” award winners from season 7 to season 9:

Season 7- Brooke White. She finished fifth, but got a long Slezak interview and a full duet with Graham Nash on “Teach Your Children”

Season 8- Um, Allie? Allie got the second longest interview (behind Adam) and a duet with Cyndie Lauper on “Time After Time”

Season 9- Siobhan- She didn’t get the big finale song, but she got to sing solo on four different group performances and her Slezak interview was the longest one that he’s done to date, over 40 minutes. Even Adam, who had the second longest, got just over 20 minutes.

Ok, drum roll…..


Haley Reinhart

The voters, all 382 of them, voted for Haley unanimously. Ok, it was just me, but this one was as easy as any award that I’ve given out. Haley got the longest Slezak interview of the season and she made the largest move forward of any Idol contestant ever from the early rounds to when she got bounced. The judges were out to lunch this year, but the audience and the contestants were all on her side at the end. Shin DIG!!!!


The Chekeze

– The Chekeze award is almost a prestigious as the “Allie”, and the statue is the same size (statue?). The Chekeze award is for the most electrifying live show performance of the season:

Season 7- Chekeze, “She’s a Woman”

Season 8- Adam Lambert- “Satisfaction”

I listen to a lot of Idol performances on Youtube, and I am not sure that there has ever been a more dominating performance than this one. Adam announced himself that night as the guy that would, eventually, prove to be the most dynamic performer in the history of the show.

Season 9- Siobhan Magnus- “Paint it Black”

If she can nail one song in her post-Idol career like she nailed this one, she will be a superstar.

Drum roll…….


Pia Toscano, “All in Love is Fair”

This was a year of consistently high level performances, but fewer huge peaks. Frankly, the true Chekeze moment of the season was probably Casey’s “Georgia”, but it doesn’t qualify because it was before the live shows. I would probably put Haley and Lauren’s “Gunpowder and Lead”, Casey and Haley’s “Moanin’” and Haley’s swan song performance of “Benny and the Jets” ahead of Pia, but none of them were under the pressure of a performance night show. Pia shouldn’t have to apologize. She was spectacular, and it was this performance that made it so hard on us when we had to deal with her early ouster. I’m pretending that it wasn’t the outfit that she wore on elimination night that caused all the angst. Just go with it.

Plus it would be strange to give all three awards to Haley, who didn’t even make the finale.


The Adam

– The Adam award is for the “moment-maker” of the season; the contestant that delivered the most “wow” performances.

Season 7- David Cook

Season 8- Adam Lambert

Season 9- Crystal Bowersox

Drum roll…..


Haley Reinhart

It’s no coincidence that the finale performance show was down in the ratings. This was the third consecutive year that the consensus “best performer” didn’t win. Idol needs to fix their voting system, or it will keep happening.

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