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Jen Hirsh: American Idol 11 (2012) Spoilers and Predictions
Jen Hirsh is a singer who auditioned and made the Hollywood Round during the 9th season of American Idol. According to TheIdolPad, Jen has made it back to Hollywood for the 11th season and is in the Top 42. Based on online videos and even her Season 9 audition, it is not easy to categorize Hirsh as a singer. However, she does seem to have some excellent versatility.
Update: After seeing Jen perform in auditions, I have become mesmerized. She is truly amazing. The remarks below were based on what I had seen so far, but thankfully she is receiving a good edit. Look for Jen to make the Top 12 easily now and vie for the championship. Writing these articles and following trends, I am concerned that Jen is not getting more buzz. She definitely has her fans, but the buzz doesn't seem to be huge for her yet. Perhaps she just doesn't have that kind of personality or image that gets people talking, but she is a fantastic singer and easily in my Top 3 so far.
If anything, Jen seems to be more of an indie artist than anything else. Indie artists have not had a good track record on American Idol, but part of the reason for that could be that they have had few chances. Most contestants that do well seem to be portrayed as being in a particular genre to some degree. In addition, if a contestant doesn't have a clear musical direction, she is prone to criticism from the judges. Kara dioGuardi, who was absolutely the worst at this kind of silly critique, is thankfully gone. Nonetheless, Jen will risk being labelled as too generic if she does not have some kind of musical identity. To that end, it would be advisable for her to pick some kind of genre for the show even if she prefers singing a variety of songs and genres.
In fact, versatility can be a strong suit on American Idol. This is particularly true when it comes to rearranging songs in different genres to suit your own style. If Hirsh makes it through to the voting rounds, a key to her potential success will be to show her musical skills, not just her singing skills. Someone like Scotty McCreery can just go out and sing his country songs because that is what his voters expect. Someone like Jen needs to show more creativity to have a chance.
For Season 11, Idol is having a Top 24. Unless she impresses a lot and receives a good edit during the recorded auditions, I predict that Jen may have a tough time getting through that first voting round even if the producers give her a shot. She has a fantastic vibrato, a pretty voice and loads of potential when it comes to versatility. The early rounds are far from fair, as anyone with two ears knows that contestants like Lauren Turner have been cut before getting the chance to build up a fanbase.
Unless Jen Hirsh finds a way to stand out, her singing and personality will come across as too generic to get votes. She will then have to rely on a wildcard, and the producers have shown over and over again that the wildcard is a casting tool, not a legitimate contest. Don't even get me started on that one. All things considered, I predict that Jen Hirsh will have little to no chance of winning American Idol 11.