My house is just like the millions of households across America who are glued to the set every night that American Idol is on. Since I coach people on their “showmanship” or “presence” on a regular basis, I’m often in agreement with Simon about how the singer appears. I seem to agree most with Simon and then Paula. She’s a generous spirit and such a lovely person who genuinely wants the contestants to succeed. Randy is probably the best in terms of the vocals and that’s not my specialty.

My specialty is getting people to have the “X” Factor.

I know it when I see it; and I know how to let the others get it.

This past week a few contestants were let go. In my opinion this is the reason:

Ayla is gorgeous and perfect. She comes from a perfect home. She gets good grades, is a star at everything she does. Both of her parents are well known in their high level professions and well thought of in their careers. The problem? Ayla was TOO perfect and people didn’t pull for her. People don’t WANT the perfect people to win. They want the ones with the flaws.
What she could have done and can do going forward: Since she is naturally gorgeous and is completely breathtaking even in her sweatiest place, Ayla needed to be seen with her helping someone less fortunate and show that her heart wasn’t just to strive to be better, but that there was a certain child who had challenges that she sang for. (Remember Clay Aiken?)

Gedeon was the guy that Simon told that he didn’t like his smile. The interesting thing was that it was doubtful that anyone had said that to Gedeon before; they had probably always complimented it since it’s so big… so you in your FACE. But, there is a certain truth to what Simon said though and I think subconsciously it was annoying to others. No one can be happy all the time and it comes off as insincere. His voice was the most soulful beautiful voice, yet Gedeon needed to tone down the attitude, the smile and the blessing everyone after they spoke with him. He had the goods, he just oversold it. Had he been understated, lost the hair and maintained a since of humble, he’d still be in the competition.

Kinnik Sky should have a good career as an actor/ singer anyway. She proved herself to be a class act and probably didn’t need to try to be country when she’s really a lovely woman who has a classy side. Her song choices needed to show WHO she is, not who she wants to be. Kinnik: Stick to classic, classy songs, jazz, something like that. After you’ve had a few hits, expand to fit in the others but you LOOK like a Jazz artist and that is what is going to sell YOU.

Will- The darling, gentleman who sang “How Sweet it is” sang it 10x better the second night when he really was loose and had fun with it. I think that the secret to him not getting to the next stage was his age or lack of showmanship. He just didn’t have the confidence to do anything unique or different. If I would have been coaching him, I probably would have selected a more modern song and gone for that 11-15 year old vote and gotten him to show a bit more edge which would have gotten the 20 something women interested. As it was he just came across as sweet. Not memorable.

By Edge, I mean what Kelly Pickler did! As she sang she shimmied to the floor and back up again without as much as a struggle shown anywhere on her lovely face. It was sweet and sexy and unique and risky. It appears that someone worked with Kelly to perfect those moves because she did it without even looking nervous until afterwards when Simon embarrassingly called her a “minx”. After he said it, Simon picked up a huge cup and drank from it, thus covering his face. I have the feeling he was a tad embarrassed that he blubbered out those words to the world. He was attracted to what she did and his blood was boiling. Paula and Randy were just as shocked and in awe over what Kelly did. She won a huge fan base that night, especially by being so enthusiastic that anyone would find her appealing. Her attitude is fresh and genuine. She’ll go far in this competition.

I just have to say a few words about Brenna. Brenna has probably had to struggle since childhood to get anyone’s attention. Unfortunately she has developed into a person who craves it and tries to pull the attention to her, not naturally attract it. She needs to go to her home town and start helping other people IMMEDIATELY and remake her attitude. She’ll never sell 1 album with her current attitude. She needs to look at Tonia Harding as her guide and be willing to BECOME classy… not stay in the same place. She isn’t appealing whatsoever but she can recover if she puts herself in some humbling situations to help those less fortunate. She’ll start to be grateful and not arrogant.

Ace! Let me just say that the ONLY thing that is going against this guy is that he moved to Hollywood to seek fame and fortune. That might go against him in the last show or two when other contestants are genuinely untapped talent. He already KNOWS he has talent. He’s going for the tops. But, he DOES have the goods. He has the “look” that will send women into outer space. He’s 1000x more genuine than Constintine from last year who tried to send women into space. All he did for women who are a bit older is make them roll their eyes. Anyone who TRIES to be sexy comes off as ridiculous.

Some tips for the Top 12:
Paris – stop saying you have “favor”. That’s going to start sounding arrogant and no one knows what you’re talking about (except those people who listen to preachers talk about it). Go and have fun in your songs but please start being a bit more gracious and surprised when they compliment you.

Melissa- you’re bordering on being too raw. You’re going to have to show a different side: Smart, athletic, or classy. You’re just looking a bit too sexy and that’s going to be a turn off. Your voice is fantastic, and if you can command the stage by working on using the WHOLE stage and showing vulnerability on stage, then you’re going to show that new side and gain new fans.

Taylor – You’re awesome! Keep it up!
Katherine – Let them doll you up big time. It’s going to be fun and win you votes.

BUCKY – Get some ATTITUDE man. I’d LOVE to work with Bucky! He’s got an awesome voice but doesn’t believe it or know it. He needs to jam on it and take no prisoners. He has room to grow in this competition! Simon predicts he’s going to be gone next week I bet. But if Bucky could work on his showmanship, he’d beat Kevin and keep going. He has raw talent, good looks and can sing a tune!

Mandissa, Chris and Elliot – You’re all stars!

Lisa- You’re borderline too perfect. You better start screaming and playing it up a bit that you’re not perfect all the time. If you’re TOO poised, it’s a turn off. Get a bit rowdy on your play time and let the cameras see that. It wouldn’t hurt to show that during a song either. People need to know you can let your hair down and not be afraid to get dirty.

Kevin – Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re getting noticed as the cute boy and the “nerd” who has a voice. You’re perfect. You’re just too young to try to be act older, so you’re perfect and you’re going to get noticed. You’re not going to win, but your life has now changed. Congratulations!

So there you have it. Some have the X Factor, and some don’t. But with a few tweaks here and there, they could all have it and become memorable long after this competition is over.

Good luck to the top 12!