April 27, 2005

The Constantine shocker!

The American people voted off my guy! Constantine! I can't believe it! So that was a weird "American Idol" tonight, and everyone can speculate about what kind of magic Scott has! I'm glad Vonzell survived -- too many black contestants in a row have gone home. But, damn! My Constantine is gone! I'm desolate!

UPDATE: Trey Jackson has the video of Constantine being told he's out, along with the lengthy response from Paula. Chez Althouse, our state of shock was broken by laughter at the sheer quantity of tears drenching Paula's face. Then Paula goes into the audience to comfort the Mother of Constantine. The pathos level at this point would have fit news that Constantine had died.

Cheer up, fans. Constantine is free! On Tuesday night, Simon ridiculed him for trying to be a rocker: when he came on the show he "crossed over to the dark side -- or the light side." Well, now the light side has tossed out rocker boy, and we shall see if the boy can rock.

Of course, there's still the other rocker boy left, and Bo is actually a sincerely serious rocker -- Constantine never was. (Which is what I most liked about him.) What's Bo supposed to do if Simon's right about rock and "Idol"?

And whom do I support now? I guess it's going to be Bo again. He was my favorite once, and I only abandoned him when Constantine openly embraced the light side by singing "I Think I Love You." But Constantine lost, if we're to believe Simon, when he tried to go back and be a fully serious rocker again.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tim Harden thinks Constantine's mistake was song choice. Unlike me, Tim not only knew the song but was really sick of it, and so, presumably, were a lot of people. To me, everything sung on Tuesday night was crap, but crap that I wasn't familiar with, so I didn't have the extra irritant of having endured radio overplay to count extra against just one of the crap songs.


henny said...

I'm so upset. I think I'm done with A.I.

jinnmabe said...

They were all pretty bad last night. I honestly couldn't have blamed the public for voting off any one of those left.

Too Many Jims said...

Did you vote? Because if you didn't you know it is your fault.

Incidentally, though I, too, am shocked that he got booted, I believe that his performance was the worst of the group. I also think he is a victim of demographics and that his followers probably overlapped with Bo's and since Bo performed well he was safe. I think with Constantine gone Bo will coast to the final 3.

Larry said...

But Carrie is still there! :)



Pancho said...

I mean no offense, but it's hard for me to believe that actual adults, with jobs and stuff and maybe a mortgage and some credit card bills and maybe a child or two throwed in.....actually watch that show.

Especially since, I believe, that it comes on at about the same time as Leave it to Beaver.

Dean said...

Whatever happened to that mini-controversy that the voting was mainly done by adolescent boys who wrote programs that dialed in and voted freezing out other voters?

Ann Althouse said...

Dean: how can supporters of one contestant "freeze out" votes for another? Each contestant has a separate number. That said, there are speed dialers who can help the candidates they want get more votes. I just wonder what kind of people are supporting Scott. The thing is you need to win fans of the phone-dialing type (who maybe will also be CD buyers).

Me, I don't vote or buy pop music CDs. I don't really like much of the music on the show, and don't like any of the music on the show's CDs. The fact is, I don't much like the show. I just like to watch it, somehow. There are other shows that I think are good, but don't like to watch.

Mehera said...

Well, this is my first season to follow AI, and my last. I think it's all rigged. The only two contestants with any star quality were Nadia and Constantine, and they're gone. Only the bland and/or objectionable remain. Who needs this?

neo-neocon said...

Thing is, to win this thing you don't just need fans; you need fans who are willing to dial till their fingers go numb--after all, the origin of "fan" is "fanatic," isn't it? Maybe that's the sort of person Scott attracts; maybe Constantine's fans are a bit saner and more laid back. Perhaps Constantine's fans also thought he was a sure thing, and so he slipped through. Now the show will become far more boring than before. Constantine was the only one with any pizazz, IMHO.

CraigC said...

Ann, Ann, Ann....and the rest of you. How can you possibly think that that suck-up, mooning, preening, pouting no-talent should be going on? Myself, I would have voted off Scott--and there's the problem...they should have people voted off, rather than voted for--but, come on, Constantine needed to go long ago, if only for that cluster-fuck version of "Hard To Handle." I also don't get the whole heartthrob thing. He's weird-looking.

Amandita said...

You don't get the heart throb thing because you're male! As a young woman who turned into a swooney teeny-bopper everytime Constantine made out with the camera, I'm going to miss him. Except for Bo, there really just isn't anyone fun to watch on the show anymore. Sob.
And the show is obviously flawed, not rigged. They knew they had a gold mine with Constantine (given Simon's repeated comments about viewers like myself) and it wouldn't make sense to let him go.

Bill Millan said...

I have suspected from reading the AI boards early on that Scott would make the final three or four. It's a combination of "root for the underdog" and his obvious praying when the voting is being announced.

Simon is no doubt having nightmares about Scott winning. A million dollar record contract down the drain.

buck said...

I wonder if it wasn't a combination of Constantine's bamd getting a record deal (therefore his voters knew he was going to be around regardless) and Simon's statements about Scott (which I agreed with) kicking in the underdog factor.

Too Many Jims said...

I have not and will never vote but my only guess as to why Scott is still around that, while he is consistently bad, each week there is someone who has a catastrophically worse performance.

dax said...

I don't watch AI but
I know for a fact that there are a lot of anti-idol voters out there. These people vote for the "worst" performer, in their eyes. Secretaries in my office all talk about their kids in Jr. and Sr. High School that vote that way, just for kicks.

Larry K said...

After reading these comments, I've developed a theory about AmIdol voting. It's not particularly brilliant, but it's at least new and fits the facts better than the other explanations I've seen (like the votes are rigged - get real).

I think there are two phases of voting over the course of an AmIdol season. The first is "Who let these dogs out?" This is where the public gets a chance to vote out the contestants who should have never made the first cut (e.g. Lindsay, god-awful Mikalah).

But during this phase, each of the better contestants develops what might be called his or her own constituency. The size of this constituency varies depending on the normal things that make people celebrities, like talent, good looks and the ever-intangible "charisma."

After the first few weeks, after the dogs are shown the door, a new phase develops which can be called "Get out the Vote." Each contestant will survive to the next week as long as he/she can rally his/her base - and they continue to survive until they are ultimately outvoted by a larger fan "base." Getting out your base involves two things: giving a generally decent performance; and not "surprising" your fans too much, which causes them to sit on their hands and refuse to vote.

OK, so how does this explain the last few weeks of results, when clearly superior performers like Nadia, Anwar and now Constantine get voted out while mediocrities like Scott and Anthony survive? The common thread is that each loser in the last 3 wks has given an especially bad or surprising performance, leading to a big fall-off in their votes from previous weeks. This is especially clear with Constantine, whose show on Tuesday was a train wreck. His core supporters (13 year suburban girls) no doubt thought it was icky the way he ran around the stage and pretended to kick the camera. Scott and Anthony were mediocore as usual, but that's the secret to their "success" - they're consistently mediocore, so they're not scaring their fans away. However, those fan bases are smaller than those for Bo, Carrie and (I hope) Vonzell, so their days are numbered.

Like I said, this isn't exactly rocket science, but it makes more sense than lame conspiracy theories.

Sloanasaurus said...

I will have to agree with Larry K and some others in that each Idol has a specific constituency. It was clearly obvious that Constantine and Bo share many of the same voters. After Constantine's miserable performance, some of those voters went to Bo. Here is my breakdown of the voters...

Anthony - young band boy types
Bo - Rocker/Progressive
Vonzell - Sophisticated/older/Quality/
Scott - Geeks/Anti-Voters
Carrie - Country/Quality

Noting these breakdowns, I would expect to see either Vonzell or Carrie get eliminated on the next Idol because both of them overlap in the same constituency of quality female vocals.

PatCA said...

My theory is that Constantine was the first ironic candidate, and the fans don't want irony--they want a real "fake but accurate" Idol. Bo straddles the divide of light v. dark quite well--he's a good boy from the light side who sincerely (I think) digs his rock music.

Adam said...

I absolutely agree that Constantine was the first ironic candidate, and that switching back into "rock" just revealed the game too plainly for people. It reminded them, as well, that in that genre, Bo was better.

In a way, the same thing happened to Tamyra in season one. She had established her identity as a great classic pop interpreter on songs like "Minnie the Moocher," "If I Were Your Woman," "Touch Me In The Morning" and "A House Is Not A Home".

Then, when 80s/90s week came along, she tried Miss Patti LaBelle's "New Attitude", and it was a disaster -- she just couldn't do contemporary, up-tempo stuff credibly. And it killed her.

jult52 said...

Constantine wasn't being ironic. He was a preening, smug a** who also couldn't sing well at all. You guys are way overthinking this.

I'm shocked that there are people out there who are actually upset about his departure. Was there anything about this joker that was real except his desire for adulation and getting laid?

Adam said...

Was there anything about this joker that was real except his desire for adulation and getting laid?

Which would distinguish him from how many people in the music world, exactly?

When he performed "I Think I Love You", from the Patridge Family, how was that anything other than an ironic wink and a smile to say, "You want cheesy pop? Top this."

dax said...

I agree jult52
Yeah, kinda like, M. Jagger, J. Morrison, S. Tyler, K. Rock, A. Rose etc etc etc
Preening, self-absorbed, average- voiced rockers...........never make it!

Ann Althouse said...

Adam: It's a fascinating variation on the old out-of-the box problem, oft-noted on Television Without Pity. They want you to get out of the box and then they punish you when you do it. You left the box. But Constantine got out of the box like mad and very successfully. Then, he wanted to say, hey, isn't it cute, me in my box again? I thought it was cute. I even loved kicking-the-camera move and the dorky running-all-over-the-stage gambit. But the voting audience does not appreciate the ironic, post-modern contestant. So now we must live out the rest of the season in leaden earnestness.

Constantine's only #1 fan: the only reason I'm not going to chide you for writing that in all caps is on the off chance that you're really Eggagog. I am Eggagog's only #1 fan.

Ann Althouse said...

jult52: I think you're way underthinking this. The whole point of watching "American Idol" -- as far as I'm concerned -- is to engage in mental play of this kind. And so what if he's a joker? I want my joker. My problem is that everyone left is leadenly earnest.

And let me add something no one's mentioned yet. A new theory. Maybe Constantine's fan base melted because they could not take the stunning challenge of contemplating his brother's amazing face. The most engaging aspect of the entire show on Tuesday and possibly of the entire season was the striking face of Constantine's brother!

If only he would marry Nadia and the two could have children together, we would have a chance to see the coolest looking people of all time.

jult52 said...

So because Constantine gave the same preening, smug look after doing a Partridge Family song as he did after doing a rock number, that meant he was "ironic"? Not convincing. I'd rather attribute it to the fact that he was smug and preening. As I wrote before, you guys are overthinking this.

Ann A: people obviously derive different pleasure from AI. I don't analyze the contestant's motives (I would guess they are all pretty similar). I'm interested in their actual vocal performances. Constantine's were generally bad.

Dax: all those singers became famous because they performed and introduced very appealing new music.

Adam: Fair point, but once again how come no one is defending his singing?

Gerry said...


"I just wonder what kind of people are supporting Scott. "

These kind, for a start. And the URL www.votefortheworst.com does redirect to that site.

henny said...

I'm with Ann on Connie. I enjoyed his ironic gestures, his postmodern twists, his hamming it up with intelligence. I really enjoyed watching a very intelligent contestant as opposed to the sleep inducing oh so serious contestants that are left. Oh, and I also liked his voice.

Nadia also had this edge to her, and with both of them gone I'm completely unexcited to continue watching. Seems like next week will be Star Search in full force.

Ann Althouse said...

Henny: Love the Star Search crack. You're so right!

I see The Smoking Gun is reporting a Bo problem. Maybe they'll kick out Bo and bring Constantine back. After all, they brought Nikki back when Mario left. Please, AI PTB: I want my Constantine back!

Harkonnendog said...

This discussion is pretty interesting because so many people think it was rigged because the votes didn't reflect their preferences.
This is like the 1st time America has agreed with me about American Idol (hated Fantasia- all she did was screech), so you get no sympathy! Stop yer whinin'! It is like listening to a bunch of liberals after Bush won!

"How could that happen? Nobody likes Scott Sonnon!"
"I don't know a single friend that voted for Nixon."

"Oh it is rigged by phone programs!"
"They disenfranchised minority voters!"

"I'm moving to Canada!"
"I'm not watching Idol again! Ever!"

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA!!! I love this show. I love this blog. I love America.


I thought Scott Sonnon, who I've consistently hated, sang a beautiful song with beautiful lyrics with a lot of emotion and it worked for me. Whereas Constantine, who I also have always hated, sang a great song that requires musical talent- not self-mocking irony and/or the ability to have eye sex with the camera.

Ann Althouse said...

Please, no more gratuitous swipes at Scott Sonnon, lest he come after us with a clubbell. Say what you like about Scott Savol, however.

Harkonnendog said...

whoops, lol.

Armchair Genius said...

First, let me say I am a Nickleback fan, although not particularly of the song Constantine attempted to perform.

But even so, he sang that song about as poorly as it could possibly be sung. And I suspect that is why he was voted off. Because the audience knew the song, and knew what it "should" sound like. So they had something with which to compare Constantine's performance.

I honestly believe that I, and almost everyone I know, could sing that song better than Constantine did. And I am not a singer, nor do I think I have much singing ability at all. So I think that is why Constantine didn't get enough votes.

It actually restores my faith in the AI process, bad performances are punished appropriately.

PatCA said...

I also initially liked Nadia, but then she lapsed into this mannered, lounge singer style, so every "I'm gonna..." sounded like she was clearing her throat of phlegm or toasting the wedding party with a "l'chaim gonna..."

rafinlay said...

If you really want to overanalyze this, you have to consider where the abandoned base of the eliminated candidate/contestant goes. They can stop voting in disgust or disappointment, or they can migrate to another candidate. Did Scott pick up some of Nadia's votes? If so, why? It need not be sympathy; it could be vengeful: "If my candidate can't win, that [similar} other guy can't either!"

Maria said...

American Idol finalist always wear big suits especially for the guy.