American Idol Atlanta Auditions: Police Officer Bryan Walker
Bryan Fills the "Shocker" Role on AI
American Idol uses the same themes year after year to promote certain contestants. Bryan Walker just stepped into the "shockingly good singer" role for American Idol 9. With the way judge Randy Jackson acted, one would think average-looking police officers just can't sing. Bryan has two angles going for him that might garner votes from Idol fans. As a police officer, he can also fill the "hero" role. Looking at the way his Atlanta audition piece was edited, it appears that Bryan has a good shot of going pretty far this season.
It's kind of insulting the way judges act so shocked that a guy who doesn't look like Brian McKnight or Josh Groban can actually sing. Pshychologists describe this phenomenon as the "halo effect." Humans tend to latch onto one characteristic of a person, such as looks, and take a similar opinion on other characteristics.
In fact, many American Idol fans just can't accept that an unattractive contestant can actually be a good singer. I'm not saying that Bryan is not attractive, but that seems to be the way the show is treating him already. Ironically enough, though, this kind of treatment from the show can actually help a contestant move farther into the competition. The editing breeds familiarity with fans and helps the contestant build a fan base.
It's kind of a "Catch 22" situation. If a decent singer like Bryan does not try out for Idol, he probably will never achieve success. If he does, he or someone like Scott Savol may be made fun of for their looks. People who are successful focus on the positive. I applaud all of these contestants for going for their dreams. Idol is the only place for some singers to get substantial publicity for their singing careers. People brutalized Savol in Season 4 for his looks and everything else. But he went for his dreams, which is more than what can be said about many people. He has not become a star, but he at least made the Top 5 that year and made some money on the tour.
Bryan Walker gave a decent rendition of "Superstar." He does have some skills. His tone is not unique, but he does have good vocal control. There was also a hint of decent power in his performance. He is exactly the kind of contestant that could land in the Top 12 with continued positive editing. However, Bryan is also the kind of contestant that usually fizzles out in the bottom part of the Top 12.
No matter what happens, Bryan Walker is a police officer. He will enjoy his time now on Idol for however long he is on the show. He has a good shot of making the tour, as well. Nice little break from policing duties for Bryan no matter where he falls this season on American Idol.