Did American Idol just dodge a bullet, courtesy of Ryan Seacrest? In the wake of a TMZ report this morning that beloved Idol contestant (and by many accounts, the favorite to win it all) Crystal Bowersox nearly bolted the show two weeks ago, the dreadlocked singer-songwriter and single mother posted an unusually philosophical tweet, saying “we all have moments of doubt. As much as I miss my kid, the big picture is this: I’m doing this for him and my fans. I’m having the time of my life!” Can she hang on? And, perhaps more importantly, should she?
Crystal’s remarks come just a couple of hours after TMZ revealed that two weeks ago, she all but walked away of the show after becoming fed up with the competition and the massively (sometimes painfully) bright spotlight that it brings. In a parking lot after an Idol episode, Crystal reportedly told Seacrest that she “couldn’t handle the competition… she said she hated the attention and said to Seacrest, ‘What’s the point?’ according to TMZ. The singer, known as “Mama Sox” among the Idol crew, evidently told Seacrest she wanted to return to her home in Ohio.
Seacrest, according to the report, talked her off the ledge by telling her that her appearance on Idol was akin to starting a business, and that if she continued, she’d make a truckload of cash. Seacrest reportedly said, “The greatest thing I ever did was make enough money so I could buy my mom a house. You can buy your mom a house.”
There can be no doubt that, as Seacrest well knows, the Idol cash machine have a lot riding on Crystal continuing with the show, and the show’s producers are likely breathing a sigh of relief. Her decision to remain may feel somewhat bittersweet for other potential finalists like Siobhan Magnus, Michael Lynche, Casey James and Lee Dewyze.
Honestly, we’re not sure what to believe. Crystal’s tweet pretty much confirms that the thrust of this story is true. On the other hand, it’s awfully convenient for this little tale to spill into public just as people are criticizing Idol‘s enormously well-paid host for his oddball behavior, not the least of which was an out-of-the-blue reference to Brian Dunkleman.
But the bigger question for Crystal fans is, does she really belong on Idol? Her rootsy, Janis Joplin-style vocals have certainly helped her stand out, but is she well-suited to Idol‘s pop machinery? Now that America seems to voting wisely, maybe she should stick around to see what happens.