the long goodbye

posted at 3:00 am by brandon in idolatry

I’ve spent the past thirty-some hours, Syesha, trying to summon something even remotely interesting to say about you and your tenure as one of this year’s top twelve. And to my dismay (and even slight horror), there’s just nothing there, my darling. Despite the fact that you never once had a true knockout performance, you were expert at straddling the median (even in your best weeks, you weren’t as good as Brooke or Michael, two unfortunate victims of your phenomenal lucky streak; neither, however, were you as abominable as Kristy Lee or Jason, each of whom now flank the incomparable Sanjaya as “Idol’s” most stunningly inept semifinalists). Most weeks, you were so unassuming that America seemed to altogether forget how unremarkable you really are.


Consider this, Ms. Mercado: the “Idol” highway is liberally littered with the carcasses of contestants who well inhabited your very niche, and be they ridiculous (season five’s Mandisa, anyone?) or sublime (how many folks still believe “Idol’s” original diva Tamyra wuz robbed all those years ago?), you’ve managed — save one, who ended up winning the whole enchilada by plumbing the American songbook and brilliantly fleshing out, of all things, a Gershwin tune (!) from the ’30s — to place higher than any and all of them.


As I whispered in Brooke’s ear two heartbreaking weeks ago, there is nothing you could have done to alter last night’s verdict. Syesha, you could literally be Whitney, and it would still have been all for naught: ever since Mr. Cook turned Lionel Richie’s shockingly schlocky “Hello” into the coolest grunge ballad this side of “Plush,” the forthcoming David Squared face-off has been in the cards. You must have known your great fortune — however remarkable heretofore — was never gonna derail that train.


Simon predicts a “humdinger” for next week. Get yourself a front row seat, Syesha, and watch the fireworks unfurl.


1 response to “the long goodbye”

  1. the buzz from Chip:

    Jason’s as inept as Sanjaya? Oh honey, no. I’ll totally grant you that Jason had nowhere near the polish or experience of anyone else in the Top 12 – hell, not even in the Top 24, possibly. But what he lacked in those areas, he more than made up for in raw talent. Give him some time, some good vocal training and a strong mentor, and he’ll have a career as strong as any of the top Idol drop-offs.