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Wednesday February 27, 2008 6:50 pm

American Idol: Why it’s No Good to Be Too Good

David ArchuletaIt’s an incredibly bold idea. Start a reality show on the premise that somewhere out there, amazing singers are lurking and just waiting for their chance. Then, go out and find these incredible singers and let American decide which one gets to experience fame. But scratch the surface of , and there’s much more involved than just singing.

The best don’t always win. It’s just that simple. I mean - c’mon - Taylor Hicks? Really, was he the best singer? And Chris Daughtry - if he can’t win the show, you might as well throw the radio out the window. got booted, then went on to sing her heart out in an Oscar-winning Dreamgirls performance. Last year’s winner Jordin Sparks had dismal first week record sales (the lowest in Idol history), though she beat out twenty-three other fantastic singers just to seal the deal. Listen, Clay Aiken didn’t even win his season - remember?

The best don’t always win

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American Idol Official Site

On American Idol, it’s important to be good. But it’s just as important not to be too good. Let’s look at another example - . He became the most talked-about contestant of Idol’s sixth season, though very few of the positive comments lauded Malakar’s voice. He was a showman and a darn good one, but he wasn’t a great singer. Yet somehow, Malakar hung around the show much longer than others who by far possessed better pipes.

Again, the best don’t always win. Here’s what happens: a great singer walks out on stage and blows everyone away with a perfect performance. But no one votes for that singer - why? Because, the voting public figures that person is safe and doesn’t need any help. Then what happens? The best get kicked out, and we’re stuck with sub-par Idol albums.

This year, I’m worried about . He’s incredible, engaging…probably the best singer out of the 24 who got picked to be a part of the season. And chances are, he won’t win. He’s too good. But past Idol castoffs have proved one thing: if you’re really good, you’ll find success anyway. David Archuleta doesn’t need American Idol - the show actually needs him.

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