American Idol 2013: Jimmy Iovine Weighs in on J’DA’s Elimination
A funny thing happened on last night’s American Idol 2013, which featured ten guys singing from the Beatles LOVE stage in Las Vegas. It seemed that each hopeful was able to either perform or sing, but no one (except maybe Curtis Finch, Jr.) was able to do both. And the judges were left scratching their heads.
So when transgendered hopeful J'DA (or Jada or JDA depending on where you are reading) hit the stage wearing a Gaga-like ensemble, heavy makeup, and head-to-toe body glitter, they were likely holding their collective breath. The crowd, on the other hand, went wild for the entertainment factor and over-the-top antics during J'DA's rendition of Adele’s “Rumour Has It”.
BuzzFeed caught up with Keith Urban after the show to talk about it, and he said, “I was like ‘Wow!’ I mean JDA came out, and the crowd went crazy! Who knew?!”
But the bottom line was five had to go while only five could move on in the competition, and the judges ultimately parted ways with the theatrical J'DA. So what gives?
Music exec and American Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine gave his two cents on the (somewhat) shocking exit.
"The culture's come a long way," Jimmy told BuzzFeed backstage. "Androgyny has always had a spot in popular music: Little Richard, David Bowie, to a certain extent Gaga and Freddie Mercury. But I think [JDA's performance] was a little too camp for the judges. Camp is not going to do it here. You have to put a little more thought and originality to it."
The feedback made sense, especially one considers Keith’s earlier criticism that the entertainer seemed to be “counting steps” -- too closely matching movement with each word of the song.
It’s interesting to look and consider, then, someone like Isabelle Pasqualone. The night before, she came out and gave a straight-up impressive performance vocally, yet she was cut. Then there was Charlie Askew, who most would have to agree had a terrible vocal, but the judges were totally enamored of his quirky on-stage antics. Nothing seems to make a lot of sense, especially when Nicki Minaj weighs in with praise for J'DA:
You know what, the performance J'DA gave was a really super star performance,” Nicki said, “and I do think those things should be rewarded.”
So perhaps Nicki was Team J'DA, although we’ll never know for sure. Regardless, if you’re like us, you’re probably left feeling a bit bewildered. As BuzzFeed’s Adam Vary put it, “The show is ultimately about connecting with the audience to win votes, and there is no escaping that JDA connected with the audience in a way that a couple of the men who did not make it through (looking at you, Elijah Liu and Paul Jolley) clearly did not.”
So, what do you think? Should the ability to perform and connect be considered, or it should it be a strictly vocal consideration?