Thia Megia is going to make me watch American Idol again
For those who don’t know, I’ve been watching American Idol since it debuted 10 seasons ago. As someone who appreciates music and singing, it was fun times at first. But seeing how it’s degenerated the last few years or so, it’s unfortunately been my television vice these last few seasons. Much like the Real World/Road Rules in the past, I wasn’t able to quit it cold turkey.
Then the proverbial last straw broke — Simon Cowell left the show. Aside from the good singers, Simon was the only redeeming factor of AI, and with him gone, what’s the point? I vowed to myself to never watch American Idol again.
Cut to three weeks ago. At that point, I still hadn’t watched an episode of AI, and I was doing my best to avoid any AI news. But then I was told of a young Filipina named Thia Megia who can actually sing. Asians of any kind has been my weakness on the show. They are the ultimate underdogs of AI — minorities who never get very far. So whenever any Asian singer makes it to the semi-finals or Top 12, I root for them. This is especially true for Filipinos, since I am one, myself. It’s just a mechanism built in most ethnicities to want to cheer for their own.
Despite hearing this, I was not deterred. I shrugged it off like a former smoker turning down cigarettes enticingly being flaunted in front of their face. I said I was done and I wouldn’t be persuaded back. Jerry Sloan would be proud!
Cut to now. Last night, a friend told me that Thia had made the Top 13. I raised an eyebrow, but was still whatevs. Then this person coaxed me into watching her semi-final performance (the video above). Well…let’s just say I’m going to casually catch her tonight on Fox. Ok, fine! I caved. AI used their evil voodoo magic and reeled me back in with a Filipino singer.
I will promise this, though: I’m only in it for Thia Megia. Once she gets voted off (and believe me, she’s not going to win) I’m done. As opposed to 9 years of Simon Cowell, I have nothing invested in Steven Tyler or Jennifer Lopez, so it’ll be easier for me to detach myself. Randy Jackson will always be Randy Jackson, and I’ve gotten tired of the pandering and shilling of Ryan Seacrest years ago.
That’s a promise. Seriously!
Thoughts on Thia Megia: She’s not flashy, nor does she possess a diva voice, but she’s good. Capable range and very mature tone, but needs polish. Though that comes with experience. Her inexperience is going to work against her. So is the fact that right now she’s being portrayed as the ballad princess of the show, due to her young age, cute face and song choices. Slow ballads, no matter how well sung, never gets you very far anymore. She’s going to need to be more current and contemporary to appease the right type of voters to make it farther than I think she will. But will I be mad if she sticks to her guns? Nope. Just be you, Thia.
Singers fall into this trap, and sometimes it’s at the advice of the judges, of trying to prove they can be a multifaceted artist and trying to “change things up”. That’s where they get into trouble. For the most part, they can’t pull it off, and their performances come off as forced. Then they’re surprised when they receive voter backlash.
If you are what you are, just be who you are. And if you can’t win because the audience doesn’t accept you as the artist you want to be, then so be it. Thia definitely has the talent to sing songs relevant to her age. But if she’s comfortable singing ballads, even if it may seem “boring” to the current audience, she should stick to it. Fans nowadays love the glam and the theatrics. AI, to me, will always be a singing competition. Someone as young as her needs to capitalize on her strength. For the most part she’s made it work, and it’s certainly what makes me root for her as a fan. I’ll continue to root for her until she gets voted off. Then I’m done for good. Promise!
PS - Thia doesn’t look her age. Or maybe because most girls I know look younger than they are. Must do my best to suppress a “crush” since I’ve always been attracted to girls with nice voices. Just gotta remind myself of how old she was when I was 16. :-/