Is Everybody Really Shocked Over Pia Toscano Being Eliminated?

Top Ten Reasons Why I Wasn't Shocked To See Pia Go

Okay, if you do not know who Pia is, then you probably wouldn’t want to read this commentary anyway. Or you probably do not tweet or facebook or check out the news.

Now if you are among the other millions of Americans we have been following American Idol (AI) Season 10 or at least have free TV and watch TV, then you definitely have an opinion over Pia being taken down.

I have my own reaction of course. I wrote another piece about AI’s Season’s Top Ten Finalist Episode (where America would have voted for the contestants joining the AI American Tour). Now that episode had many people in shock and awe.

Now it seems that American Idol outdid itself and made an even bigger shocker the week after or for the selection of this season’s top nine.

Now I am asking, is everybody really surprised over this?

I mean are we like the Three Stooges (pardon me, I mean the three judges) J.Lo, Randy and Steven?

Here are their reactions, as well as some other celebrities who joined in the fray, which is still most probably trending in many news and celebrity websites and social networking sites.

Jennifer Lopez: “I’m shocked. I’m angry. I don’t even know what to say.” (Easy girl!)

Randy Jackson: “I’m never upset on this show and I’m never really mad. But this makes me mad.” (Are you, and did anyone notice “the look” Pia gave Randy’s way when the verdict was said?)

Steven Tyler: “"I don’t know, America. Mistake is one thing, but lack of passion is unforgivable. They’re wrong. (Passion? Yeah, it sure wasn’t there during the past eliminations prior to Casey Abrams save for the top ten selection)

Tom Hanks: "Don't have an Idol habit, but how could the USA vote Pia off? I may be done for the season!"

Alyssa Milano: "What in the world? Pia? Pia was sent home? How is that possible? I'm so confused.

Ashton Kutcher: "That's just crazy!

Dax Shepard: "This did not just happen!!! How??? I'm going to do something radical…”

Jennifer Hudson: "I cannot believe they just eliminated Pia!, "Really???? ... Just hate to see talent like that go!"”

Chris Daughtry: "What the crap?"

Ellen DeGeneres: "I am shocked and so sad."

And of course, the most important celebrity comment:

Snooki: “American Idol' ... WTF ... I’m not watchin Idol anuymore. I’m with JLO on this one”

Okay, okay, here’s the thing, did any of these celebrities and past and present AI judges ever casted their votes for an American Idol contestant? Did they do so that top nine night?

I know huh? Most probably not! And so why would all this shock us?

Is it because, Pia was the most stunning gorgeous contestant this season?

Or was she the most talented female balladeer?

Or was it because she was the most sheltered contestant thus far, who have escaped week after week without being unduly criticized by the judges or by record producer Jimmy Iovine?

Now I am no AI Guru, nor a mind reader nor did I watch much less vote on that episode. (I watched the contestants sing after the show was telecast, fast-forwarding through the commercials, the guest singers and the judges and Ryan’s comments).

But I do have my personal take and I do have my own theory on why Pia was eliminated and in why I wasn’t really surprised. (I know you have your own and you are most probably going with the herd with all their whining and all that, but I respect that).

First, now if Randy had only stuck by his week-after-week comment on Pia singing it “safe” by constantly singing with ballads, she would have probably would have been in the bottom three in the top ten episode (now known as the top 11). But we can thank Steven for that and of course JLo.

Second, if the Three Stooges (Judges, why do I keep saying that, oh maybe because I just saw an episode of them earlier today), weren’t so quick on the gun and have restrained themselves and saved their one and only “save” for the season, they would have had that lifeline for Pia or anybody else who are sure to be surprisingly canned in the weeks to come.

Third, I have nothing about Casey, but I just think like he’s sleeping in the dog house for the rest of the week. I mean, it’s not his fault that he’s still in the competition and Pia’s out or that he should have been out instead of one of two contestants who were booted out previously in his place. But if he wasn't so shaky and jitterly and all that, the judges probably wouldn't have saved him. (Well no, they love him and they still do, that's why he's still there).

Fourth, I admire Stefano though, for being constantly in the hot oven week after week after week. And after Iovine and sometimes the judges were especially hard on him, week after week after week. He’s still standing man, and we can’t say the same thing about Naima. Okay, Ryan might have sent his 10,000 or so text messaging votes for him right after the show, so we know that there might be a reason why he is still in there. (sigh) [AI should really consider putting a cap on the number of votes per individual, I know Dancing With the Stars do]

No, let me correct that, he does come out and perform his best week after week so that’s a big pat on the back for him. Although if we can ask all the remaining nine contestants, they wouldn’t probably shed a tear if it was Stefano who was the one voted out. You can read that in their faces and their body languages. So I don’t know if he’s also going to be getting a good reception from the other contestants this week (and the judges of course).

Fifth, love him or hate him (probably hate him) but Simon Cowell had a very specific and unique purpose in the show. And now that’s his gone, AI have lost that one person who tells it as it is. No sugar-coating, no waiting for the other judges to validate him, no forcing the other judges to side with what he’s saying. He just says it as it is and most times he’s right on the money. Yes he could have toned down his criticisms but I would choose that anytime over the constant praising that we have for the current batch of judges, especially for the ones they openly root for. "You nailed it!" "That was amazing!" "You're in it to win it!" "That was great!" I mean, week after week? "C'mon, there must be something I can improve on."

Sixth, Pia finally (I mean finally because aside from Scotty, who also have been judge-scorn scot-free, she the only one singing the same style week after week after week, okay you can say that about a few of the others two but that's just between you and me). Finally she got the guts to do an up-beat if not a mid-tempo song. Well, she had no choice, she announved that a week earlier. I mean, that was I believe, Rock and Roll Week, she wouldn’t have any other excuses not to. And great as she is as a balladeer, there is just something a little bit off once she moves and walks around and gyrates and moves to the beat. You can see that she was just not in her element. And at times she looks awkward or at least unsure of herself. Of course, and that was probably why she have kept to singing ballads all the previous times. Okay Scotty still had an excuse, he did an Elvis song.

Seventh, what the heck was she wearing???? Enough said! This alone is probably what killed her. I mean, she should have worn that on the elimination day and the black outfit she wore the following day would have been just fine just the day previously. Gwen Stefani? Is anybody been blaming her yet? Will I Am was great by the way!

Eighth, and I put the blame on the judges on this one. Okay I said it before and I will say it again, like the rest of us, they have their own favorites. And they can’t just seem to bottle that up. They love a select group of finalists and to them they could almost do no wrong. The bad thing is that all their favorites are all White. And that in doing so, the judges have almost single-handedly ostracized majority of the minorities in America who watch and vote in American Idol. The last one standing is Jacob. And we have seen him in the bottom three already. America, if you stop voting for him, this will be an All-White American Idol. And I say this without the intention of being racial. I say this because, each individual contestant have their own backing or their own niche or their own supporters. If all the remaining contestants are all of the same background, the one with the least niche numbers will lose. And to me, for this week, it was Pia.

Ninth, if AI will do their research, they can tabulate the number of votes since the start of the season and even chart the number of viewers. If they see a slowing down trend it just means that certain classes or people have either stopped voting or have stopped watching all together. And you see that even in the comments of the celebrities above. Less people watching means less people voting, and if those people who come from certain minority groups form a big chunk of one of the remaining contestant's voters, then they take a big hit. And that probably is what happened to Pia. And why oh why again, why wear that funny outfit? I mean, you’d lost a lot votes over that. Even Steven’s comment that“there are a million votes out there for you right now” didn’t help it one bit. On the contrary just wearing that probably lost her a million votes.

Tenth, Casey was saved and hIs fan base is probably working overtime for him. And that goes the same for Stefano who been riding the bottom three almost the whole season. Scotty has his fan base and that’s probably going to be solid, well until he is finally forced to sing a non-Country song. Jacob’s fans base is cracking but still holding up, and it helps that he is the only remaining minority in there. James is still James, fans love him and the three judges make sure of that. Paul is unique, okay he is unique to the younger generation who probably weren’t even born during the time of Rod Stewart. And Lauren and Haley, I am guessing still has that huge youth vote.

So now, after reading all that or if you really didn’t vote for Pia, are you still shocked that she got the ax?

Last Word

I just can’t get the outpouring of emotion over her being voted off though, it is as if there weren’t a handful of contestants eliminated before her? And it wasn’t as if this kind of thing has not happened in the past seasons of AI?

It was as if we have set her up to win this one and even after Ryan announced that she was out, she still couldn't bring herself to believe that. And this is probably the same for a lot of people out there. You included.

American Idol 2011 Season 10 Top 11
American Idol 2011 Season 10 Top 11

Here is Pia's First (and Last) Up-Beat Performance On American Idol -- What Do You Think?

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