American Idol Spoiler Watch for Katelyn Epperly
Ridiculous Backstory, But Talent May Make Her a Favorite
American Idol showed the Chicago auditions during its second week of American Idol 9. Katelyn Epperly had a rather impressive audition. She sang the Duffy song "Syrup and Honey." In fact, this season's American Idol spoilers suggest that Katelyn has made the Top 24 voting rounds (according to JoesPlaceBlog.com). Of course, this suggests that Katelyn is a favorite among the judges and producers. But will she be a favorite with the voting fans? Some evidence suggests she is already building a fan base, so expect Katelyn to do well this season.
Katelyn does have a beautiful vocal tone. She infused personal style into "Syrup and Honey" instead of giving a karaoke performance. No one really knows how good she can be until we see more performances, but it was a solid start for the young singer.
In terms of the way she was edited on the show, the backstory seemed to be a stretch. So Dad left Mom, and Katelyn is trying out for Mom. It seems like the producers want to feature Katelyn but didn't have anything good to say. So they latched onto this ridiculous sob story. After all, divorce is a common thing. It's not really a story at all amidst the changes in society that we have seen over the past few decades. Nonetheless, Katelyn has passed the first hurdle to American Idol success - convincing the producers that she can be a star. At any rate, a backstory is not necessary to win on Idol. Carrie was boring and had no real backstory. But it didn't stop her from winning.
It seems that Katelyn is being cast as the one who will be portrayed as a "blossoming contestant." The judges acted impressed but suggested that she needed to improve. I believe this was all a big act. They knew they probably wanted her in the Top 24 and are setting her up to be the "most improved" contestant.
Yes, that is just a theory. But the edit suggests that. This is both good and bad news. It gives fans a reason to keep voting for her. On the other hand, a star is usually a star from the very moment he or she hits that audition room. Carrie was a star from Day 1. So were most of the others. Idol doesn't develop stars. They find singers who are ready to be stars NOW and just give them the platform for their success.
Jordin Sparks was often perceived to be the "most improved" contestant of Season 6. However, that was a weak season overall, and Jordin pretty much won by default. Blake was more entertaining but did not have the vocal skills. Melinda Doolittle was a better singer than Jordin by far but did not have charisma. So being cast as the "most improved" or "blossoming" contestant does not have a track record of success.
Ridiculous backstories notwithstanding, it seems that Katelyn has made the Top 24 and will have a decent chance to survive the grueling first few weeks of voting. Any exposure up to that point can help a contestant weather the storm and survive to the Top 12. However, if Katelyn Epperly does survive to the Top 12 (she probably will), it will get tougher. She seems too generic at this point to emerge as the absolute favorite to win American Idol. She does play the piano, which can help her mix it up and show more musicianship. Many online fans are loving her already. But that happens with every contestant. Unless Katelyn finds a way to distinguish herself from the competition, she will likely get ousted somewhere near the middle of the Top 12.