Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Different Type of Top Ten

Thanks to everyone who's said nice things about my last post, the Top Ten American Idols. To follow it up, I've compiled another Top Ten American Idol list, but this one isn't an achievement to be on; this is the worst ten Idols of all time. Unlike the first list, post-show experience has nothing to do with this ranking. Only Idol performances qualify a contestant for this list. Note that this is incredibly subjective; one look at (which is a site I highly recommend for any Idol fan) shows who the Bottom Ten would be on performance merit alone, and the two lists don't exactly match up. Still, sometimes inability to sing is relative, and with that warning, I present my Bottom Ten Idols Ever.

10) Bucky Covington
Don't remember Bucky? Consider yourself lucky. The country crooner was part of the legendarily talented Season Five group, but his performances were anything but good. His incredibly mediocre (oxymoron? discuss) performances wouldn't have won him any singing contest, and while he slid by, power singer Mandisa (she lost her last name somewhere, have you seen it?) was eliminated. The guy couldn't even perform well in his own genre (see Best I Ever Had), so his elimination during Queen week couldn't have been more welcome.

9) Scott MacIntyre
Let me preface this one by saying I think letting a blind singer compete on American Idol is a bang-up idea. Blind musicians like Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles have given us some of the best songs of the past century. Still, giving them a pass simply because they're handicapped is just condescending and, ultimately, pointless. Scott still finished ninth after a string of bad performances, and the endless debate from the judges about whether or not he should play the piano was boring and distracting. Scott always conducted himself with grace and poise, despite insensitive and demeaning treatment from the show. Still, he was no world-class singer, and when he exited as poised as ever, it was the right time.

8) John Stevens
John Stevens is responsible for three of the greatest disasters ever on Idol: My Girl, Crocodile Rock, and Music of My Heart. All three were almost universally derided, yet his personality got him to sixth place. John represented something truly tragic about Season Three- despite having three of the most vocally talented performers ever to be seen on Idol, it also hosted some of the worst singers in any year. By far the most schizophrenic season of all time, John was the figurehead of the worst of it, and made it further than now-Academy Award-winning Jennifer Hudson (#7 on my Top Ten). That's a disaster in and of itself.

7) Meghan Joy Corkrey
Er, no, it's Megan Joy Corkrey. No, it's Megan Joy. Ah, who cares, she's eliminated. The songbird of a thousand names (and one "Caw! Caw!") turned in one bad performance after the other, and her attitude only got more and more poisonous. She was ousted by America after she asked them to Turn the Lights Down Low, and the judges didn't even pretend to contemplate saving her. She is truly one of the more annoying contestants, and by far the worst of Season Eight.

6) Haley Scarnato
Her name may have sounded like an exclamation (just try it: "Haley Scarnato!"), but there was nothing too exciting about the leggy Season Six finalist. Sanjaya Malakar may have dominated that season with his sensationally bad singing, but Haley was just as bad, if not worse. Still, she knew when her time was up, and finally went down in flames. Points from being a San Antonio homegirl, though.

5) Taylor Hicks
Yes, I'm serious. I know Taylor won, but come on! He may have had a good performance or two, but none of them were memorable. Without looking, name one of his song choices. He had no A Song for You (Elliott Yamin), no Hemmorhage (Chris Daughtry), no Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Katherine McPhee), no These Foolish Things (Paris Bennett), no I Don't Hurt Anymore (Mandisa). In one of the most stellar seasons, he never stood out for anything more than spastic dancing, gray hair, and his idiotic screams of "Soul Patrol!" He might be the one contestant I personally hate the most, but there were others who were worse. Much worse.

4) Kevin Covais
Chicken Little couldn't sing for beans, but he had spunk. Unlike Ed Asner from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, America loves spunk. He was eliminated at his time, before the Top 10 of Season Five (gee, for such a great season, a lot of Fivers show up on this list, no?), which is more than can be said for the next three train wrecks, so he wins some points for that, but he was still an absolute mess.

3) Kristy Lee Cook
If any contestant could rival Taylor Hicks for my most hated, it would be Miss Kristy Lee Cook, also known in my house as She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Because-She-Murdered-The-Beatles-Which-Is-An-Unforgivable-Offense. (We don't mention her much at my house, partly because she sucks, and partly because we don't have the lung capacity for that name.) Her Eight Days a Week is my most-hated performance in the show's history, and she survived far too long for my tastes. Plus, her blatant showboating for Middle America's votes by picking God Bless the USA disgusted me. She is, in my opinion, the worst female Idol in the show's eight seasons. And she has a record deal, while Syesha Mercado languishes without one. Which probably makes me hate her even more.

2) Scott Savol
The master of overstaying his welcome, Scott Savol, or "Scotty the Body" as Ryan Seacrest so annoyingly called him, outlasted much better contestants in Season Four and was the first major victory. He was untalented, a jerk, and deserved to go home long, long before his fifth place finish. I don't harbor the same disdain for him because I wasn't a huge fan of Season Four, and he didn't take down my favorite (Vonzell Solomon, FTW), but he really was an unqualified catastrophe every week.

1) Sanjaya Malakar
You know that guy who takes a joke long after it's stopped being funny and still keeps beating the dead horse until you forget why it was even funny in the first place? Sanjaya was that guy, that joke, and that horse all wrapped up in one screechy, pitchy, arrogant package. Still, he did give us the Crying Girl incident, and since I spent many a night laughing at her, I'll give him a few points. They don't really help anything, though, when your score is already in the low, low negatives. Sanjaya truly was the worst contestant in Idol history, and if there is a God, he'll remain it. We don't need any more like him.

What do you guys think? Did I miss a particularly bad contestant? Was I wrong to pick on Scott or Taylor like I did? Post your thoughts in the comments section!

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