Allison Iraheta: In Memoriam

noah | May 7, 2009 11:00 am

So last night on American Idol Allison Iraheta–the cherry-haired 17-year-old with the voice of a woman at least three times her age–was sent packing by the viewers, in what may be one of the season’s most facepalm-worthy moments. Allison, to be sure, was something of an underdog in the competition, taking the judges by surprise when she outlasted Alexis Grace and Lil Rounds to be the last woman standing; indeed, Simon Cowell seemed to be particularly peeved by her success, no doubt in part because her undeniable talent threw the Adam-Versus-Danny final storyline that had been set in stone at some point during the Hollywood Round into jeopardy. Even this week’s guest mentor thought that America got it wrong, although Simon is no doubt happy that his consistent underpraising of Allison’s undeniable talent and constant decisions to focus on things like her outfits and her “charisma” have finally paid off. This season on Idol has been one where the judges have seemed consistently frustrated by their chosen ones not performing up to snuff; first there was Lil, whose constant underperforming finally seemed to make Simon snap shortly before the audience realized that she had been way overrated in the preliminaries, and then there was Danny, whose attempt to channel Adam’s over-the-topness at the end of his underwhelming barrel through “Dream On” got an “A for effort” despite not being all that good. Meanwhile, there was Allison, who–while not perfect every week–certainly showed growth over the course of the finals, with her aged voice and startlingly mature phrasing improving, despite some lousy song choices (seriously, whoever made her sing the monotonous “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”) and moments that revealed her greenness (smiling during “I Can’t Make You Love Me”). She was easily in the top half of Tuesday night’s performances, but was shot down by the judges, who were no doubt expecting Mister LensCrafters to botch his performance (though probably not as bad as he did). And then Simon said that he thought she should have sung… Queen? It was at that moment that I thought I saw a thought bubble in his head, just toting up the dollars that he was making for sitting on the dais, not really caring about anything except the moment when this season of the show that kept him in clingy black sweaters would be over. Anyway, farewell, Allison; you’ll be missed. Although something tells me this isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of you around these parts. And maybe you dodged a bullet; after all, why should you even think that a competition is based around singing when it’s judged by someone who needed two microphones in order to properly lipsync her Autotuned-to-Hell new single? (This is sad on a number of levels, too, because I actually liked Paula’s non-tweaked voice, which was imperfect in a lot of ways but still endearing.) Don’t be surprised when the judges stick Kris Allen with a song from the Kung Fu Panda soundtrack next week, a la Syesha Mercado being saddled with a song from Happy Feet in order to pave the way for the Battle Of The Davids last year. Sorry dude.Paula Abdul on “American Idol” [MySpace]American Idol [Official site]