Friday, September 9, 2011

#115 Megan Joy

Next up on my American Idol finalist countdown, is my number 115 American Idol finalist Megan Joy Allman (known as Megan Joy during her stint on the show). Formerly known as Megan Joy Corkrey, she is my least favorite finalist of season 8's top ten. I doubt whether she earned a spot in the top 10. She did a horrible performance of "Turn the Lights Down Low" at top 9, resulting in elimination. She made her acting debut as a minor character in the R-rated 2011 film Hall Pass.  She is placed by LA Times' May 2010 power ranking list at number 64. She and Michael Sarver certainly did not deserve to make the top 10 as much as my all-time favorite finalist. She aspires to release her self-titled EP very soon. Her music is independently produced. Her music genres are indie pop, jazz, blue-eyed soul, electronic, and experimental music.

Megan Joy Allman was born Megan Joy Knudsen on September 18, 1985, in Sandy, Utah. Before her stint on American Idol she worked as a font designer for a company known as SendOutCards.  She has a mother, a stepfather, a sister, and a brother named CJ. She starting singing when she was in kindergarten.  She was musically influenced by Bj√∂rk after listening to the said female artist at the age of 16. She revealed that she auditioned for every talent competition she could think of during her teenage years, but made nothing. She added:  "Even the choir that anyone can be in, I wouldn't even make like a silly little solo." She originally had no plans to audition for American Idol, because she thought she would have zero chance to make it to the Hollywood round. However, her family and friends motivated her to audition for the show and she agreed to do so. Joy stated that for the first time in her life, "it was crossroads where anything can happen, so why not go for what I love to do." She later revealed that before her stint on American Idol, she was at her lowest, and was depressed and miserable, and that she lost herself. American Idol gave herself back, and she fell back in love with music and reclaimed her confidence. Her goals at the time were to move out of the nest, finance to return to school, and figure out how to establish herself. Joy graduated from Taylorsville High School in Taylorsville, Utah.

Joy never had any formal singing classes before her stint on American Idol. She auditioned for American Idol season 8 in Salt Lake City, Utah, on her birthday in 2008.  At the audition in front of the judges, she sang "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" by Oscar Hammerstein II. Simon Cowell stated that Joy had a great voice and he loved it, and Kara DioGuardi thought that Joy was an interesting girl and had an unbelievable face. The judges unanimously decided to advance her to the Hollywood rounds. In the green mile round, Joy had to have a sing-off against another contestant (later identified as my number 118 finalist Lacey Brown, who would later become a season 9 contestant), with the judges chosing Joy for season 8.

Joy's semifinal performance of "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae was less than stellar. Cowell stated during his critique that Joy had a rough road in the Hollywood rounds. Joy was not one of the three finalists chosen by the public out of the semifinal group 2 (the group that included the contestant who later become my number 1 finalist), which are the finalists I rank at numbers 32, 42, and 59. However, Joy returned for the Wild Card and sang KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and was selected by the judges to be in the top 13.
Joy began her run in the finals with most negative feedback from the judges on her performance of The Jackson 5's "Rockin' Robin." That performance was a joke. Kara DioGuardi praised Joy for her ability to put her signature in every song she takes on, with Randy Jackson in agreement added "That's so Megan." Randy Jackson added that the song choice did not truely let her be herself. Paula Abdul felt disconnected from Joy and that the judges did not hear that sound that they love from Joy.
During top 11 week, Joy caught the Influenza B virus and was so ill with influenza that she was hooked up to an IV minutes before taking the American Idol stage. I thought she should have withdrawn to let my all-time favorite finalist take her place. Despite the illness, she belted out a rendition of Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight." The judges were unanimously well impressed with the performance and Simon Cowell added, "You should have the flu every week."

On top 10 week, Joy pulled off the Stevie Wonder classic "For Once in My Life" and guest mentor Smokey Robinson believed that she was one of the most unique contestants in American Idol history.

On top 9 week, Joy performed "Turn Your Lights Down Low" by Bob Marley and The Wailers. She thought she would connect with the judges, but she did not. The judges strongly critiqued her performance, with Simon Cowell stating that it was "boring, indulgent, and monotonous." DioGuardi stated that the judges would not have chosen that song for her and thought that Adele's song catalog would have been better. DioGuardi then added that she likes Joy but think's Joy is in trouble.

Upon elimination, when Joy asked Ryan Seacrest on her thoughts about the performance and on Simon Cowell's feedback, she said "I love you Simon, but I didn't really care." With Simon Cowell demured, "Megan, with the greatest respect, when you said that you don't care -- nor do we. So I'm not going to pretend that we're even going to contemplate saving you." Joy was never in the bottom 3 prior to her 9th place elimination. I believe that she and Michael Sarver are vocally inferior to the bottom 2 of the top 13.

Next is my number 114 American Idol finalist, the American Idol season 9 finalist who lost her best friend in an automobile accident.

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