There are only seven contestants remaining on the show going into the May 9, 2022, episode: Fritz Hager, Noah Thompson, HunterGirl, Nicolina, Leah Marlene, Christian Guardino and Jay Copeland.
One viewer of the show took to Reddit to post a meme implying that voters like to vote for “average white boy who sings country songs” over “incredibly talented singers,” and many people in the replies agreed.
Some Fans Are ‘Sick’ Of Certain Voices
Some fans in the replies are tired of certain types of contestants on the show.
“I’m so sick of country voices,” one person wrote. “The way Katy [Perry] was falling all over herself when Scotty [McCreery] sang last night was embarrassing. She also lost her sh** when Laine [Hardy] gave his terrible performance.”
Some people pointed out that contestant Fritz Hager, who has become something of a front-runner in season 20, does not fit the mold of the meme. Many comments thought the poster was referring specifically to Hager and wanted to defend him.
“Fritz is not your average [white guy with guitar],” one person wrote. “This one’s an actual artist.”
Another person wrote, “Every singer that comes on American Idol this season I’m like yeah… Cool… Good voice. Then Fritz comes on and I’m like everybody shut up, the Fritz experience is about to happen!”
People who have won “American Idol” that fans generally throw into the WGWG category include season 19’s Chayce Beckham, season 17’s Laine Hardy, season 15’s Trent Harmon, season 11’s Phillip Phillips, and season 10’s Scotty McCreery.
Season 20 contestants who have been thrown into the category by viewers include Fritz Hager, Noah Thompson (though he doesn’t often perform with a guitar), and Leah Marlene (as a girl with guitar). That’s nearly half the remaining playing field.
Others Say The Contestants Get Voted Through Based on ‘Storytelling’
Some people defended the trope and offered a possible explanation.
“I think it’s simple – guys with guitars are storytellers,” one person wrote. “People with big voice just have big voices, once you hear it you’ve heard everything. It gets to the point of why country music is popular. It’s not about how great your voice is, it’s about the story you tell with your voice.”
They added that they thought the fact that Grace Kinstler from season 19 was only encouraged to sing big songs led to her not winning.
“For me, when it gets to the end of the season I start asking myself ‘who’s music would I actually listen to?’ And I think for most people the answer to that question is not going to be those huge voices,” they concluded.
Others said they base their votes off whose albums they would actually buy and stream, and that, for them, means voting for the people with “storyteller” voices.
Another person wrote, “A guitar doesn’t immediately make a singer into a storyteller. So if America wants to listen to storytellers, but they’re voting the Laine Hardys into the winning spot, then America has no idea who the storytellers are. Noah is no storyteller.”
Plenty of people in the thread thought both Fritz Hager and Leah Marlene would do well post-“American Idol.”
“Both Fritz and Leah, imnho, have big careers even if they both get cut out of the top 5, HunterGirl will be ‘the next’ Gabby,” one person said, adding that they think HunterGirl will win the competition.
“American Idol” airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. Eastern time live coast-to-coast on ABC.