COMMENTARY |“Vote for the Worst” is a website that exists primarily to ridicule and expose “American Idol” as a cruel and fraudulent contest (it started out deriding CBS’ “Survivor” as the message board “Survivor Sucks” and expanded to include “American Idol” and several other reality contest shows) that simply uses its contestants for ratings and making millions of dollars. (And also to expose the show as some sort of Orwellian mindwashing entity that gets the American public — or at least that sub-population of avid watchers — to support the show and its marginally talented contestants.)
So the site chooses a finalist each week it believes is the “worst” of those left in the contest and takes to the phones in an effort to keep the contestant it believes is the worst in the competition as long as possible. Up until the Top 8 of Season 10, that person was Paul McDonald (the dancing, the scruffy look, the raspy voice, those screamingly loud suits). With his elimination, the website, which chooses the best “worst” contestant by suggestion and voting, had to get a new worst finalist to vote for. So, after the Top 7 performed, who did “Vote For The Worst” choose as the contestant to try to save for the Top 6?
It began with a blistering (and rather entertaining — in a mean-spirited sort of way) critique of the performances for the night. “Ahh, the week after our Worst goes home is always a bitter pill to swallow,” Professor Chan wrote. “When I fall in love, I fall in love hard, it’s almost cheating to vote for someone else. And when Paul comes out to remind us of his horrible-ness… I felt guilty for even looking at someone else in a Worst way.”
All in all, those at the website want Scotty McCreery or Haley Rinehart to go home (“boring”) and not someone “actively horrible,” like Casey and Jacob.
But the critics that be at “Vote for the Worst” decided on three finalists as the worst for the evening — Casey Abrams, Stefano Langone, Scotty McCreery — then narrowed it to one.
“Scotty performed hilariously,” thefunnystone wrote, “and Stefano’s dance moves were something to love, but we just can’t ignore Mr. Abrams. The growling, the singing of the instrumental parts, the humping, getting Steven to swear, and then walking right up to Jennifer Lopez and kissing her… he earned our support… It’s time to reward Casey for performances like ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and everything else he’s done.”
As is its usual wont, “Vote for the Worst” posted a caricature of the new champion at the top of the page, encouraging readers to vote for Abrams.
But does open campaigning for a finalist as the “worst” actually work? If one considers that McDonald might truly have been the worst of the Top 13, the Top 12, the Top 11, the Top 11 (again), the Top 9, and the Top 8, the website did a pretty good job of helping keep him around. And it wouldn’t be the first time the website got a little credit for keeping contestants who were sub-par on the show.
It championed Sanjaya Malakar, the Season 6 finalist the judges (especially former judge Simon Cowell) panned continuously. He finished seventh. Megan Joy Corkrey, who never performed on a big stage before “American Idol” (and it was evident), was championed into ninth place during Season 8. The site also chose as best worst Tim Urban, another favorite Simon target, during last season’s performances. He finished seventh as well.
Still, whether the site truly has an impact on the millions of votes cast or simply exists as a “MAD” magazine-esque version of the “American Idol” judges panel, it has become part of the overall experience. And the material is funny, although the humor is not for the timid.
Check out “American Idol” on Fox Thursday and see if the “worst” finalist, Casey Abrams, makes it into the Top 6. If he does, blame it on “Vote for the Worst.” If McCreery is kicked off the show, blame it on those ridiculous faces, the over-singing, and that gnawing-on-a-corncob style of holding the microphone.
Professor Chan, “Final 7: Paul Crashes the Party!,” VoteForTheWorst.com
thefunnystone, “Vote for Casey Abrams and Support Misdemeanor Battery – 1-866-436-5705,” VoteForTheWorst.com