There seems to be a bit of anticipation brewing already for the American Idol Wild Card Round, which will be broadcast in three weeks. A new addition to the No. 1 rated show in the U. S., the Wild Card Round will also showcase 12 contestants attempting to make it into the Final 12. Three from the Wild Card Round will be chosen and continue onward with the nine Final 12 contenders that will have already been chosen by American Idol viewers (and voters) in previous Rounds 1, 2, and 3.
In the first three rounds of elimination, the 12 contestants vie against each other for three slots in the Final 12. The top male vote receiver, the top female vote receiver, and the next highest total vote receiver, as chosen by the viewing audience, continues into the Final 12. Round 1 ended Wednesday night with Alexis Grace, Michael Sarver, and Danny Gokey being named to the Top 3.
Ryan Seacrest announced that, of the 24 million votes cast, Anoop Desai and Michael Sarver were separated by a mere 20,000 votes. According to Realitytvworld.com, the new rules state that the next highest vote receiver gets an automatic berth in the American Idol Wild Card Round. It looks like it just might be the smooth-voiced Desai.
But the Wild Card Round will be structured a bit differently from the other three elimination rounds as well. After the three contenders from Rounds 1 – 3 get their automatic berths, nine others must be chosen to complete the Wild Card 12 that will literally be given a second chance to become the next American Idol. The judges will do the choosing for those nine slots. American Idol viewers will just have to sit back and enjoy the show as the 12 nearly-made-its get one more chance, because the judges will choose finalists 10, 11, and 12 as well.
Although it is not actually known why the rule changes were made, the official line from American Idol is that the producers of the show wanted to pick up the pace a bit and give the judges a little extra control going into the Final 12. Not a bad idea, but there is something intrinsically unfair to the democratic way of doing things when one chooses a top male and a top female each week in the first three rounds, then the next highest vote receiver gets through. What is unfair is that, given the overall poor performances of the females in Round 1, what if the Top 3 vote receivers were all male? What if Alexis Grace, being the top female vote receiver, came in fourth, fifth, sixth, or even seventh? Not that Alexis Grace did not deserve the slot (she most certainly did), but since the show is supposedly democratic, why instill this battle-of-the-sexes hurdle in the mix? Since the Wild Card Round was created to provide re-entry for those that might should have otherwise made it (Anoop Desai, Ricky Braddy), would then that not be the platform to reintroduce Alexis Grace if that were the case?
American Idol Top 36 Round 2 airs Tuesday, February 24.
AmericanIdol.com”American Idol,” Fox Television