Anoop seemed to be an unlikely hopeful, showing up to auditions in his preppy college-boy finest. This understated everyman vibe was particularly jarring in this year’s glitzy Idol lineup, which is full of rock star style and glam and hair and makeup…
But enough about Adam.
Seriously, though – this year’s lineup is arguably the best and most diverse Idol has ever assembled, and with so many contestants hitting the stage with their “looks” already highly crafted, Anoop stood out as the everyman hopeful. Anoop’s biggest competition this year was most likely Danny Gokey – not just because of their both of them hit that R&B, soulful vibe when they sing. Danny has a little more Michael McDonald in him (and a lot more Robert Downey Jr.), but both he and Anoop are hitting a similar vibe when they sing.
Lil Rounds started out as an early favorite; Randy’s favorite “you could sing the phone book” compliment was applied more than once. Unfortunately, Lil struggled with finding her identity as a solo performer; the judges kept on her about avoiding high-end “karaoke,” but ultimately Lil wasn’t able to distinguish herself enough to stay in the competition. The problem: this year it takes more than smoking vocal ability to impress the judges and – more importantly – the fans. With folks like Adam and Kris changing up arrangements in the spirit of the David Cook legacy, the contestants need an inherent understanding of and ability to transform song structure to stay competitive this year.
And so we bid a fond farewell to Lil and, most especially, to Anoop. We’re sorry to see you go, Noop Dogg, but hey: we’ll always have the T-shirts.