Confused about how Thursday’s Wild Card round will work?
You’re not alone. In fact, it could be that’s just what Fox wants – part of the network’s master plan to drum up viewership.
There’s reason for the confusion. Initially, it was announced that the next-highest vote-getter from each group (essentially the fourth-place contestant) would automatically win a place in the Wild-Card round, going against other contestants chosen by the judges. The judges, not the viewers, would then decide who the top three were.
While most of that remains the same, the word on the street is that the contestants’ standings within their groups of 12 will have no impact on their chances at earning a Wild Card. Instead, each judge will have the power to choose two of his or her favorite contestants, regardless of spot. Those eight contestants will duke it out on Thursday’s show for one of three remaining spots in the Top 12. As initially stated, the hopefuls’ fates will rest in the judges’ hands, not the fans’.
But here’s the clincher: According to an interview Simon Cowell gave USA Today, the Wild Card picks will not necessarily be from the Top 36.
It seems almost like a set-up for ratings. How else could Jamar Rogers (BFF to Danny Gokey) have not made the cut for the Top 36? The day after the final Hollywood Week show aired, the blogosphere was filled with outrage over his ousting.
Soldiers in the Anoop Troop are, no doubt, betting that Desai will make the cut as well. Desai came in fourth last week to Michael Sarver, missing a spot in the Top 12 by 20,000 votes. A fan favorite, many were shocked when he didn’t progress.
Expect to also see Group 2’s Megan Corkrey as a possible Wild Card choice. Judges have liked her vibe from the very beginning — though America seemed to feel differently, choosing Allison Iraheta over her.
Judges may also shock viewers by choosing Tatiana del Toro or Nick “Norman Gentle” Mitchell. Drama and personality is a huge part of this show, and let’s face it: While Allison Iraheta can sing the phone book, she can’t give an interesting interview to save her life. The funny thing is, because del Toro’s antics are so over the top, we forget that the girl can actually sing. A Whitney song, no less. It is plausible that one of the other judges would choose Mitchell just to get a rise out of Simon.
There are many conflicting reports as to what the Wild Card round will actually bring, and it’s not unlikely that producers will change the rules yet again. It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear that they’re not even sure what the rules are themselves.
America will just have to tune in to find out.