Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Scott MacIntyre eliminated from "American Idol"

It was the end of the road for blind pianist/singer Scott MacIntyre on "American Idol" tonight. He received the lowest number of votes after Anoop Desai, and the four judges, although they said they had a 2-2 tie on whether to save MacIntyre, voted not to save him, which would have allowed him to remain on the show.

His performance April 7 was not up to his usual high standards. Bluntly, it was very weak. He played the electric guitar instead of his usual piano and screeched some of the rock lyrics, when his real talent is as a balladeer at the piano.

But he's had a good run on "American Idol" and did make it into the top 10, which means he will be on the "American Idol" tour this summer. The FOX show has been very savvy about handling MacIntyre's disability, with other contestants unobtrusively guiding him onto the stage or building a performance around him playing the piano.

There was a bit too much talk about his "challenges" and being "an inspiration" sometimes, but mostly I think his presence was a good learning experience for the audience of the most popular show on TV, as well as its production team. It gave the most visibility to blindness in entertainment TV in a long time. MacIntyre's younger sister, Katelyn, is also visually impaired and was shown cheering with the rest of his family at each of his performances, so even more visibility was added through Katelyn MacIntyre. (The three MacIntyre children are all musical and have been a singing group for awhile.)

I hope audiences will take the MacIntyre family's obvious happiness and smiles to heart. From what I can see, the family lives their life joyfully and having two members who are visually impaired causes no upset. (I have mentioned on this blog before how many people fear blindness the most out of all disabilities, so maybe getting to know Scott MacIntyre has helped with that.)

Maybe in a few years, we'll all get to see Katelyn MacIntyre on "American Idol." Hope so.