July 19th, 2012, 11:31 am · · posted by BEN WENER, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Not that any critic with half a brain would think to do so, but there needs to be a moratorium on any music nabobs comparing Scotty McCreery to his prize-grabbing American Idol brethren. He’s simply not like the rest, and that’s a very good thing.
The fact that men alone have been victorious during the second half of that singing competition’s unstoppable 11-season run is lamentable but also utterly predictable from a show that pretends to be for everyone yet principally caters to teenage girls. For five years now it has produced exciting drama mid-season and totally boring results by the end of finale night, as one bland rocker after another has been crowned champ by viewers, then sent off into the (more or less) real world of pop music to capitalize quickly, then steadily fade from view.
Ironically, edgier (for Idol) stars who didn’t make it to the finals, like Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert, are those who have remained on the ascendency, whereas nice guys like Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze are faring no better than Taylor Hicks at maintaining the fan bases they acquired from the program. Phillip Phillips, aka Dave Matthews Jr., is only the latest cute clone to sneak past more promising talents, in this case two powerhouses, Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet, who can sing circles around him.
McCreery, who impressed in his first headlining appearance in O.C., Wednesday night at Pacific Amphitheatre, is so much – and so refreshingly – the opposite of all that, it’s a wonder he emerged from the same contest. He’s straight-up country with zero pop affectations, an instant Academy of Country Music award-winner (albeit for a fan-voted trophy) who ought to be compared not to the David Cooks of Idol but to his fellow Nashville newcomers.
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