Life without Lilly? That's bad for "Idol"

You may have noticed in a previous blog that I'm deeply bummed about Lilly Scott failing to make the top 12 on "American Idol."

That's enough about me, though. Now let's hear from the people involved -- Scott and Katelyn Epperly, who was also voted out. Here's the story I sent to papers. I don't put all of my stories in this blog space, but I try to include all the "Idol" ones:



For “American Idol” fans, it's time
to assess the damage.

This had seemed like a breakthrough
year, filled with women – Crystal Bowersox, Lilly Scott, Siobhan
Magnus, Katelyn Epperly – ready for independent-rock stardom. Then
Scott and Epperly were ousted.

“I thought I could break the mold,”
Scott said. “But I guess it's going to be that same old stuff.”

That mold seemed clear when “Idol”
started in 2002. This was a show for pop singers; results would be
dominated by teens and tweens who had lots of time to phone in votes.

Then that began to change. “Idol”
expanded into rock with Bo Bice and Chris Daughtry, country with
Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. Indie-rock seemed next.

Even Time magazine was enthusiastic,
putting Bowersox at No. 1 on the “short list” for its Arts
section. “The husky-voiced folkie has done 'Idol' a favor by
breaking its malleable-pop-star mold,” it wrote.

This seemed like an exciting time,
Epperly said. “Seeing so many singer-songwriters this year, people
that really are credible musicians and have been working at it their
whole lives and … didn't just roll out of bed one day and wanted to
be on a TV show and have an OK voice and a pretty face.”

Then two were gone and Scott was trying
to be philosophical: “My voting demographic is probably more of the
underground scene, who probably don't even own a TV and if they do
they're probably out riding their bike or doing something more
productive than watching TV, let alone 'American Idol.'”

Epperly grants she hadn't watched
“Idol” and was reluctant to try out. “I did have some pride

Scott, however, had watched the show
and knew what she was getting into. “I … wanted to break the
mold and just kind of be that offbeat contestant who did exactly what
I wanted to do.”

Last week, she did a song (“I Fall to
Pieces”) that Patsy Cline recorded 50 years ago. It may have been a
mistake, she said. “11- and 12-year-old girls, I'm sure, don't know
who Patsy Cline is.”

In recent years, “Idol” has
expanded its range by:

– Giving singers a live band and a
chance to work out fresh arrangements.

– Letting them play instruments.
Viewers saw Epperly at piano, Scott with mandolin, Bowersox with
guitar and harmonica.

Still, the show has discouraged
original songs. “Lilly, Crystal and I would really excel,”
Epperly said.

Instead, she looked for songs that
suited her. “I kind of scrambled around last-minute …. I don't
listen to mainstream music and … I don't typically perform covers.”

Two weeks ago, judges said her version
of “The Scientist” was too slow. Last week, she chose Carole
King's uptempo “I Feel the Earth Move” and was soon voted out.

Scott was soon gone, too, along with
Todrick Hall and Alex Lambert. The damage-assessment began.

– “American Idol,” Fox

– Performances 8-10 p.m. Tuesdays;
results 9-10 p.m. Wednesdays

– This week has Rolling Stones songs
by the 12 contestants. On Wednesday, one person will be ousted. Previous champion David Cook will be back. Also, Ke$ha will sing “Blah Blah Blah” and Orianthi will do “According
to You.”