American Idol Spoiler Watch: Andrew Garcia - This Year's Danny Gokey With a Guitar
Will His Image Hamper His Chances on Idol?
American Idol 9 debuted its initial auditions last week. As it continues airing its auditions, American Idol has actually already picked its Top 24 contestants for the voting rounds. According to spoilers over at JoesPlaceBlog and other places, Andrew Garcia has made the Top 24. This has been essentially confirmed because Andrew has removed his videos from his Andrew Garcia YouTube account.
Garcia has quite a following there on YouTube. He has 28,000 subscribers at this time, and that's before anyone has even seen him perform on American Idol. This is not the mammoth number of an Esmee Denters, but it is literally tens of thousands of subscribers ahead of most of the other Idol contestants. He is a very soulful singer and already picking up online fans over at IdolForums.com and other places. As a result, Andrew should start the competition as one of the favorites.
Andrew is 24 years old and single, but he says he has a girlfriend and one kid. I suppose the only reason he would take down his videos is because of the AI contract. There would be no other reason to do that. He had some interesting videos up there and sang some duets with other singers. These included a nice, soulful rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
One thing that could hurt Andrew is that he is reminiscent of Danny Gokey. Gokey did well last year on Idol, emerging as a favorite from the very beginning and then finishing in third place. But fans of the show tend to want something new each year. If Andrew reminds them of Gokey, he may have trouble building a sufficient fan base to excel in the competition. It is somewhat of a surprise that the producers picked him, but it will be interesting to see how he develops after being given the green light by producers and judges for the voting rounds.
Andrew sings like he means it. His soulful phrasing is excellent, and he projects the song in a way similar to Taylor Hicks. Many fans will love this, but alot of Idol fans are straight-up pop fans and go for the pop-star image. Andrew had a clearly visible tattoo on his neck in videos. Unless he hides it, some fans may not like this. Tattoos are likely okay with most fans, but some will wonder why someone would put a tattoo on his neck. It just smacks of an attention seeker trying to look cool. I don't care one way or another, but it's a risk someone takes when he goes on Idol.
Andrew describes himself as "100% Hispanic." Some fans feel that adding someone like Andrew gives diversity to the show. This is true in a strictly racial sense. But nothing suggests it will help him on the show. Most fans don't seem to vote based on race. All winners have been white, black, or mixed. No Hispanic contestant has won, but that does not suggest that Andrew cannot win. His chances ride on his building a fan base. It's no different than any other contestant.
All things considered, Andrew Garcia has a good chance of making the Top 12 with his soulful voice. Based on his videos, he is almost sure to be one of the more talented contestants. The crucial part is getting past the first three weeks of the voting rounds. He will be helped greatly if the show features his audition and Hollywood performances. However, Andrew will almost certainly fall short of the championship. He will remind many people of Danny Gokey, and his image is unfortunately not that of an American Idol champion.