And TPTB and the show seem determined to .... pick girls who end up being boring or unlikeable and shoving them down the audiences throats until we gag and spew them out.
I’ve been watching Idol since season 1, and I have noticed one consistent thing about personality on this show. Coming across on screen as warm, friendly, and approachable is highly correlated with success on this show. I call it the WFA factor.
Having WFA doesn’t require having a bubbly, outgoing personality. Kris Allen has a quiet, reserved personality, but also rates very high on WFA, and it was an important factor in helping him win season 8. Melinda Doolittle in season 6 is another example of someone who was quiet and reserved but with very high WFA.
Idol has had numerous examples of girls with great voices who were voted off sooner than expected, in part because they did not rate particularly high on WFA:
Tamyra Gray (season 1, position = 4)
Carly Smithson (season 7, position = 6)
Thia Megia (season 10, position = 11)
Pia Toscono (season 10, position = 9)
Crystal Bowersox (season 9, position = 2)
In my opinion, Crystal is the only person ever to make the TOP 2 who rated low on WFA. I think this was the main reason she lost to Lee DeWyse, and not because she was female. Lee rated much higher on WFA than Crystal.
Here is how I would rank the remaining contestants on WFA:
She has the same kind of bubbly, outgoing personality as contestants like Lauren Alaina and Jordin Sparks. People like this almost always rate high on WFA.
She is similar to Melinda Doolittle in being quiet and reserved but also very “open” with a warm and easy smile. Athough born in England, she exhibits the friendly and approachable manner typical of the southern states where she now lives.
He has a mellow, laid-back personality with an approachable and playful manner, exactly what you would expect from a boy from Georgia. He is comfortable with who he is, and this makes the viewers feel comfortable with him.
He is more serious and business-like than Phillip, and thus not quite as approachable. But he shares the same playful and friendly manner that Phillip has.
He can be very emotional when he performs, but somehow it does not translate into a strong emotional resonance with the viewers. His personality does not have the same kind of “openness” that Phillip and Colton have, and he comes across as somewhat less friendly and approachable.
I would rank her rather low on WFA, and NOT because she is quiet and reserved. It’s because I’ve seen little warmth from her. She does not seem very approachable. She seems so timid and skittish that if you approached her she would shy away like a frightened bunny. She might be friendly off-screen, but I have not seen much evidence of it onscreen. Jessica’s low WFA is causing her to suffer from a lack of emotional resonance with the viewers. Some people have said Jessica got the lowest vote this week because voters assumed she was safe. But if a contestant has emotional resonance with the viewers, this would not happen. Last season, everyone assumed Scotty would be safe every week, but that did not stop viewers from voting for him. People felt so emotionally connected with Scotty that nothing would stop them from voting for him. Jessica, like Pia last season, appears to lack this emotional connection with the viewers.
She ranks quite low in WFA along with previous contestants like Pia and Crystal. She often seems like she’s not enjoying being on the show, and is annoyed with the whole process. She has admitted she often has to force herself to smile on the show. She is not a natural “hugger” and often fails to acknowledge other contestants during the vote-off segments. All of this makes her seem lacking in warmth. She is one of the least approachable contestants to make it this far on Idol.
Edited by garlandk77, Apr 17, 2012 @ 5:15 PM.