'American Idol': A Girl Deserves To Finally Win Again

Thu, May 24, 2012 12:36pm EDT by 26 Comments

Jessica Sanchez is the latest in a five-year stretch of snubbed ladies. Is there an ‘American Idol’ curse on the girls?

American Idol crowned its newest WGWG (“white guy with guitar”) as the winner on the May 23 season finale. After five months filled with clever guitar-strumming twists on popular songs, Phillip Phillips once again demonstrated the power of female voters and their desire to see the continued male domination of Fox’s No. 1 show. Even if this so called “desire” to see their Hollywood crush come out on top is a subconscious thing, it has me wondering if a girl will ever be able to win this show again.

The last female to nab the Idol title was Jordin Sparks way back in 2007. Yes, that was five years ago, and since her win, a carbon copy of the same guitar-wielding male prototype has won ever since. (Have I said guitar enough, yet?) That isn’t to discredit these five males that have won; they are all talented in their own right. David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, and now Phillip Phillips, are all generally the same kind of performer.

(Side note: There have been four female winners in 11 seasons. All still have record deals. Out of the six previous male winners, four have been dropped by their labels.)

Is there something wrong with this picture? Plus, how is it that the girls continue to be quite successful, while the guys flounder?

I have an “iron-clad” theory (and call me crazy if you like) about the current WGWG-winning trend: I call it “The Kristy Lee Cook Curse”

If you recall, Kristy Lee was the resident country singer of Season seven who proved to be a non-contender for the title that year (2008). After a bumpy and lackluster journey, she finished in seventh place. David Cook went on to become the victor that year, and despite the two sharing the same last name, no one thought any different. Then, in 2009, Kris Allen surged from indie-underdog to Idol champ — ousting producer and judge favorite Adam Lambert. It was then that a pattern began to emerge among the show’s winners:

Season 7 winner David Cook shares her last name
Season 8 winner Kris Allen shares part of her first name
Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze shares her middle name
Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery shares part of her first name, and his middle name is Cooke.

Season 11 began with the hope that this curse had finally been lifted, and that the show could regain some of its excitement and unpredictability. However, as the competition progressed, talented girls and non-guitar-holding guys began to land in the bottom two or three and eventually saw their demise. During the top three’s hometown visits, something hit me smack in the face. I do not know how I failed to see Phillips’ connection to Kristy Lee!

With no name-game connection, the curse seemed to be irrelevant, but I quickly realized I was mistaken. As I watched footage of his hometown, I came to realize he hails from Leesburg, Ga., which is in Lee County, and he attended Lee County High School. After a little more digging, I discovered that Kristy Lee had auditioned for the show in Philadelphia. Creepy, right?

I predicted during Top 13 week (after Phillip performed “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder) that he would become the next link in the undying WGWG chain. He never once hit the bottom three. Even though 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez sang circles around her counterpart, it didn’t prove as almighty as this curse.

We’ve now been gifted with five WGWGs in a row. When Idol needed a contemporary girl (or guy) winner the most, America spoke up and decided that the familiar is the better option. Scotty is certainly the exception here, as his debut album Clear As Day has been certified platinum — but his specific country niche helps him tremendously).

Next year, I advise producers to only audition white guys with guitars. That way, the outcome might actually be unpredictable. Right?

Hollywoodlifers, what do you think? Can a girl ever win this show again? Or are we destined for WGWG every year? Sound off in the comments.

— Jason Scott

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kim

Posted at 12:39 PM on June 10, 2012  

The truth really that Phillips can not sing any songs like Jessica does. Jess can sing & blend her voice just for Phillip to sing a good music. This was proven in their duet.

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RJS

Posted at 12:25 AM on June 2, 2012  

Haha! The Kristy Lee Cook Curse… sounds plausible to me! xD She came 7th on American Idol Season 7 and the last female winner (Jordin Sparks) was in 2007. Maybe the curse will break on the 7th year, 2014? haha!

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Jeremy

Posted at 12:33 AM on June 2, 2012  

7 Years bad luck LOL

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melicia

Posted at 3:28 PM on May 29, 2012  

hoeefully before the season is out a girl will finally win amerian idol for 2013 before this dump show get canclled cant stand wgwg win only.

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RJS

Posted at 12:45 AM on June 2, 2012  

A girl will win in 2014 xD As Jeremy said it’s a 7 Year curse haha! All jokes aside, I hope a girl wins next year. I’m going to be honest if Jessica Sanchez couldnt win, no girl stands a chance.

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Coolahbear

Posted at 3:21 AM on May 27, 2012  

How true are the rumors that Philip did not even sing an original song. “Home” was in youtube for sometime with more than 9,000 hits when Philip sang it.

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angel

Posted at 1:35 AM on May 27, 2012  

jessica will be good God gave her a wisdom and Talent.
she said her plan now is to get a degree college and be a singer song writer. she will sell lots of records one day just wait and see how she will twist her life to be on top.

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cc258

Posted at 10:26 PM on May 26, 2012  

The reason why Phillip got more votes is because his voters didn’t want Jessica to win. It’s not because they think Phillip is more deserving. They just didn’t want Jessica to win. A sad reality we need to accept.

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Matthew

Posted at 12:09 PM on May 26, 2012  

I just voted 1 per contestant — Jessica. It is really crazy to allow more than 1 vote. As somebody said, it’s really teeny boppers who will undyingly vote for their cute inspiration zillions of times to make him win. AI should only allow 1 vote per ip address or phone number then if another vote is done using the same ip or phone number it should cancel the last vote (subtract 1) and if a third vote from the same number comes, to not allow that vote. Only then can we be sure that America voted right. Kick the teeny boppers out of their insane gesture!

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Catherine

Posted at 10:07 PM on May 25, 2012  

First time I voted on AI was for Jessica.. but I was so shocked that one can vote online 50 times typing a verification code each time. I reached 5.. I mean really, no wonder they reached 130 Million votes, and of course the cute guy wins because mostly teenage girls are crazy enough to vote 50 times!

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Margaret

Posted at 10:16 PM on May 29, 2012  

You summed it up I totally agree

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sum

Posted at 8:08 PM on May 25, 2012  

as predicted, the cute white boy won. females & gay men shouldn’t even bother to audition for this show. jessica and joshua sang circles around the cute white boy to no avail.

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clara

Posted at 8:07 PM on May 25, 2012  

as everyone had predicted, the cute white boy won. girls and gay men shouldn’t even bother to audition for this show. jessica and joshua sang circles around the cute white boy to no avail.

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Liz

Posted at 6:10 PM on May 25, 2012  

Of course it would be interesting to see a girl win. But it would be just as sexist if we picked someone just because they were a girl.

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vivi

Posted at 2:10 PM on May 25, 2012  

If you want a girl to win the judges need to put some current talent in the mix 1 country 1 rock and the rest ballards just will not make it. Look at the sort of girls that make in these days do you see a Kate Perry Lady Gaga Adele on Idol abosolutely not they need to start looking at the whole package they seems to manage it with the Guy’s so whats wront with looking further than the voice with the girls.

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Arlene

Posted at 1:32 PM on May 25, 2012  

For Jessica good luck and always humble yourself to people you will come accross with..Especially the ones who will guide you on your new journey to the music industry..God has always a purpose…Always be thankful to the Lord Almighty…and same goes to your detractors.

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Lily

Posted at 12:34 AM on May 25, 2012  

I’m sick of the WGWGs. Enough is enough!

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joyous

Posted at 4:45 PM on May 24, 2012  

I was really bummed as I picked Jessica from day one. I don’t care for phillips and certainly will not be buying a wgwg album. I predict Jessica will outsell Phillips and have a very lucrative and lasting career. I am so tired of Idol that I am scratching them from my viewship from here on in. Just bored with the whole thing.

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Clyreese

Posted at 3:21 PM on May 24, 2012  

American Idol Season 12 will lose a lot of viewer following for sure. It loses credibility already. As early as now, I predict Season 12 winner will be a guitar or piano-playing “white” boy with emphasis on the white

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youare theone

Posted at 7:22 AM on March 13, 2013  

well unless a girl will finally win this season…

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zdawn

Posted at 3:01 PM on May 24, 2012  

AMERICAN MALE IDOL. New name of the show. Ladies and colored people doesn’t stand a chance on this show. Go try your luck at THE VOICE and x-FACTOR instead. No more AI for me.

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gbtw

Posted at 2:00 PM on May 24, 2012  

funny article… would nitpick on some things (was scotty really a guitar guy? i don’t think so?), but appreciate the tongue in cheek… it’s so so so so so true, that when a girl makes it- she’s more or less bound for stardom. when boring people like the wgwg (again, pulling out scotty b/c he’s different— country fans are loyal and their own breed) win, they’re probably not going to be stars. as for jessica, she bored herself down to try to win over these wgwg fans, and so she didn’t deserve to win, really. if she had told jimmy to stfu with his attempt to un-sophisticate her, un-mature her, and pop her out… she could’ve lost with a little more style. that said, i don’t really blame her. it is a game- but having lost at it (of course she’s still a winner at number 2- like lambert), it’d have been better if she lost BEING HERSELF instead of the watered down pop version she tried to win with. when she did beyonce, and stuttering, and the holliday song… THAT’S who she is, and that’s who should’ve won. that said, i think phillip deserves more credit. i do think he’s a much better version of the wgwg than ridiculous kris allen who i want to punch in the face every time i see him. wtf cracked out world voted for that guy to win??? dewyze… i feel less hatred for, yawn, but still… didn’t watch cook’s season, but he also gives me the kris allen face-punch vibe when i see him. scotty is just a country guy… i don’t hate that, but i found him boring… but he was nice. in any case, phillips i do think was a little more unique than all of those guys. i do think he has his own style, and brings a twist to his stuff- and i think he could get the numbers that dave matthews puts up there. i also sort of agree with steven, he did have a paul simon vibe almost when he did his finale song. he might surprise us. jessica is gonna be a hit no matter what. the girl has done nothing but sing and compete her whole life. she has no b-plan, and the industry is salivating at the bit to get their hands on her. that duet with holliday just sealed her fate. cannot wait to buy her album.

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dumas1000

Posted at 1:37 PM on May 24, 2012  

There is rarely ever a such thing as an amateur superstar. Both of these contestants will likely fade into mainstream obscurity, just like with what happens to 90 percent of the people who compete on talent show competition. AI’s audience is composed primarily of women, so that”s why women usually don’t win. Women viewers are going to vote for the male contestant the vast majority of the time. Within the actual music industry, a commercially successful male solo artist is very difficult to achieve. A large percentage of all successful solo artists are women. Perhaps this is why AI has produced so few actual stars. Those who have succeeded beyond AI are almost all women, but AI crowns so few women as champion. There is a real disconnect here.

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gbtw

Posted at 2:05 PM on May 24, 2012  

i didn’t know it was harder for a male artist to be successful as a solo than a female? i don’t disagree with you, just hadn’t heard that before… what authority do you have for that? are you in the business, or is that just a known fact in the music world or something? never heard it before… it would make sense in this twisted ai world where the male winners are usually flops, and the women seem to make it (if they can actually WIN).

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stephen

Posted at 1:12 PM on May 24, 2012  

Jessica Sanchez proved with Jennifer Holiday, that her voice and talent know no bounds. She is a superstar…the new Whitney, Aretha, Celine..that sort of awe-inspiring depth. Joshua Ledet was #2 on the finale. He too was dumped on a prejudice card, like Jessica was. tough to be latino or black in the USA where race card games are still played, and impose unfairness in music, and in life. Phil Philips is a second generation pawn shop guy, where blacks and latinos lose their wedding rings and watches if they can’t pay the outrageous interest payments on time. The irritating point is, that Phjil sings sharp and flat on notes on purpose, so mask the fact that he basically has a tone identification problem. In short…the man CAN’T sing. But he is white, and appeals to the demographic in the USA that buy financed cars, or lease them from the likes of Ford, who are show sponsors. I could listen to Jessica and Josh all day long, in the car, on the ipod, at the beach. Phil would get my attention for one song…maybe. He is too contrived, unnatural and sounds like he is gargling gravel.

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gbtw

Posted at 2:10 PM on May 24, 2012  

jessica is also my favorite, and i would’ve liked the finale to be her and josh. that said, i think you’re too harsh on phillip. i think he has more talent and originality than you give him credit for. like you said, he chooses to sing that way b/c that’s his style… willie nelson, bob dylan, many others had non-perfect styles. it didn’t make them less of musicians. also, the guy is 20 or 21, working at dad’s shop in an economy where nobody has a choice about what their job is. don’t be so judgmental about how he made a living thus far. you also don’t know if his family is the kind takes advantage of people. maybe they’re just junk dealers… you don’t know how they do business.

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