She never won Simon’s wholehearted approval, never got a ”you could make it to the finale” critique from the judges no matter how fantastic her performances. Well, except for that one time. From Kara. (Waah-waah.) And tonight, naturally, she didn’t even get a single post-elimination word of advice or encouragement to send her on her merry, sabotaged way.
But the good news for Allison Iraheta, fourth-place finisher on season 8 of American Idol, is that, like a high-school grad who moves on to the next stage of her life without giving a second thought to her locker, or her textbooks, or where she’s going to sit in the cafeteria during lunch, Allison won’t need to concern herself with the petty rituals of the Idol machine anymore.
In fact, with her scintillating exit performance tonight of Janis Joplin’s ”Cry Baby” — which was in every way looser, more soulful, and more pitch-perfect than her lovely Tuesday-night rendition — Allison took her first post-Idol steps toward superstardom. And whether she goes on to rock the stage of her local La Curacao department store, or perform for sold-out arenas, she’ll never again have to pause after a performance, grit her teeth, and have her personality, her fashion sense, her song choices, and various other non-singing-related ”flaws” picked apart by a one-time hired hand for Journey, a verbose she-beast in search of the perfect ”package artist,” a woman who isn’t ashamed to lip-synch in front of the singing hopefuls she judges on a weekly basis, and a dude who cares so little about his $36 million job that he keeps one eye on the clock while fantasizing about his cigarette breaks.
And so while I admit, I fought back a tear or two over Allison’s ouster as I live-blogged tonight’s results-show telecast (if you missed it, there are some excerpts at the end of this column, or you can click on the link to read the whole shebang), I’ve worked through my feelings of despair. After all, we didn’t need to look beyond the Idol stage tonight for comfort, thanks to the presence of Chris Daughtry, whose shock ouster back in season 5 landed him in fourth place, too, a fact that hasn’t stopped his band’s debut disc from going quintuple platinum.
NEXT: This week’s song parodies