And the Winner Will Be . . .

Sunday is the Idol Finale, and I will be watching the Golden State Warriors playoff game. If you think I’m obsessed with music, you haven’t seen what I’m like when watching a Warriors game, especially in the playoffs. In any case, my only real interest in the Finale is finding out who wins, although there is a charm to the hometown visits.

This blog post was supposed to be why Fritz should win. Instead, it’s the blog explaining why Fritz should have won. Read on (or scroll down) to see who I think will (wrongly) win. “Should win/should’ve won” is based on two factors: past performances and future expectations, with the latter given significant weight. While Idol justifiably touts its track record of discovering/creating stars, most of those stars were not the winners.

It’s crucial to remember that the Idolists are no longer competing with each other but against who Spotify says are “around 200,000 “professional or professionally aspiring recording acts” on its service globally today.” With each performance, I’m looking for an Idolist who has a chance to stand out in that giant crowd.

For Fritz, questions of the past and future have already been answered. Not only did Fritz give the consistently best performances, he already has a hit EP, which is still in the Top Ten iTunes Pop albums. So we don’t have to guess if he will develop a post-Idol career.

As to the other Idolists, let’s consider their overall performances after completing their season report cards and Grade Point Averages.[1]

Top 5 (top 3 in bold)
FritzB A A A A A- A+ A A-3.7
LeahA A C A A C A A- A+3.5
HuntergirlA A B B B B B- B C+3.1
NicolinaA C A B C A- A C C-3.1
NoahB B A D B A F B B-2.7
Previously Eliminated
MikeB B A A C3.2
Lady KB B C B+ C2.7
EmyrsonB B C D B2.4
ChristianB A D C C2.4
JayC D B+ D A+2.3

My grades say that Fritz, Leah, and Huntergirl should have been the Top 3, giving Huntergirl the edge over Nicolina for having fewer poor grades, i.e., she was more consistent.

But my ultimate goal in watching Idol is to look past the moment and into the future. That’s primarily subjective, but I will use data when available. As I’ve indicated, Fritz already has a chart-topping EP. That’s a strong indication that he could stand out in the post-Idol world.

But now, the same could be said of Noah. Each of the Top 7 recorded singles. They usually aren’t memorable, and this batch is typical. However, Noah’s song One Day Tonight is currently sitting at #5 for all songs on iTunes. Huntergirl, Fritz, Leah, and Nicolina are at 11, 60, 97, and 108. Moreover, Noah’s single has over twice the number of streams on Spotify as the nearest Idolist, Fritz.

These TV-show-generated chart numbers are generally quite temporary. But they give us a relative sense of which Idolists the market is connecting with, and in this case, Noah. One Day Tonight is also a song that strongly indicates who he could be post-Idol. It’s a song with a story, the grit in his voice is recorded front and center, and the arrangement is perfect for his voice.

Add it all up, and I believe Noah will win. There. I said it.

His best performances show his potential. He’s the WGWG country singer, and a country singer is the best thing to be on Idol. And he’s released a single that people like.

I still think the winner should have been Fritz.

P.S. I listened – twice! – so you didn’t have to, to each of the Idolists’ singles and assigned them grades based on how unique the songs make the Idolist sound. Here are my grades and notes on them:

Fritz beautifully sung, and he has a singular voice A

Noah –(described above) A

Leah – this has a Maggie Rogers vibe, and I like how she sounds in it. She’s talented, but is she commercial? B

Nicolina  – pretty vocal with a distinctive approach to a cover song (the original is by Patrick Droney, whose work I was not familiar with) that ironically fails to make her sound distinctive C

Huntergirl – generic, meant-to-be-inspirational country song and there is nothing special about her voice here C-

Jay – terrible song with a faint Justin Bieber vibe that does nothing for him C-

Christian – for Christian, this is DOA. Give it a southern gospel treatment with Mike Parker (shockingly didn’t make the Top Ten?) singing, and it would be fantastic D

[1] I had last reviewed grades for the Top Ten.

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