'American Idol': Siobhan Magnus is new Vote for the Worst choice
VFTW has been around since Season 3 of "Idol," when it actually backed Jennifer Hudson very early on in the semi-finals (oops!), but quickly turned to red-headed crooner John Stevens. They also managed to land Scott Savol in the Top 5 of Season 4, Kevin Covais in the Top 11 of Season 5 and (most notably) Sanjaya Malakar in the Top 7 of Season 6.
This season, we could not argue with their choice of Tim Urban (though we do take umbrage with their inherent purpose). He didn't even originally make the Top 24 and he clearly was going to last a long time despite very mediocre performances because he is super cute and, well, we all know who really votes for this show, so let's move on.
However, with Tim Urban's ouster from "Idol," the site has chosen to back Siobhan Magnus. Their explanation is:
This show has become so milquetoast with bland performances from the likes of Casey, Aaron, and Lee each week. The only Worster thing to look forward to is Siobhan's screeching, talking back to the judges in the slowest possible manner, strange outfits, and bipolar antics. She's been slowly but surely campaigning for our love for weeks, and it looks like it finally paid off. She's clearly one of the worst singers and she does the #1 thing that a VFTW pick has to do: entertain.
We don't agree with this line of thinking. If VFTW were really going to stick by their title (and historical choices), then Aaron Kelly would be the obvious choice here. He has a big voice and a heap of talent, but doesn't know what to do with it yet and is flat or sharp more often than not. They are picking Siobhan merely because she's kind of a weirdo, but she is nowhere near the worst singer left. VFTW just lost all their credibility.
Secondly, our pal Shirley Halperin at our sister site Los Angeles Times says she is OK with this choice because she wants to see Siobhan stick around and more votes are more votes regardless of where they came from. While we agree that we'd like to see Siobhan outlast Aaron Kelly, Casey James and Michael Lynche, we don't want to see it happen this way.
Vote for the Worst is mean-spirited. The site may act like it's all in good fun, but that's what a lot of bullies say. Tim Urban told Zap2it during his exit Q&A, "I'm actually kind of sad that I was on that website." You could hear the disappointment and sadness in his voice, like he didn't understand why he had to be picked on in such a way.
And that's what VFTW does. Is the "American Idol" machine above mockery and ridicule? Absolutely not. But these contestants are not hardened, seasoned performers who know how to roll with the media taking cracks at them. They are just trying to come out every week and perform and hopefully find a way to make it in the music industry. VFTW may be a great way to mock the "Idol" machine, but there are actual people behind the ridicule, some of them very young, and perhaps getting called "worst" really hurts their feelings.
If VFTW really wanted to stay true to its mission, Aaron Kelly would be on the block. But even that disturbs us because that feels a bit like beating a kitten to death with a shovel. So maybe we wouldn't be happy with any choice.
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Photo credit: VFTW