In the judges' eyes, "American Idol" contestant Crystal Bowersox has been virtually flawless this season. She's hit memorable notes. Stayed true to herself. Impressed the guest mentors.
Last week, she conquered another memorable feat. By crying at the end of her performance of "People Get Ready," she showed she's a real person -- not just some musical robot out to win another talent contest.
Bowersox is nearly perfect.
And that means one thing: She might be due for a backlash.
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We saw traces of it nearly two weeks ago, when Internet rumors suggested Bowersox considered quitting the show. Suddenly, some fans questioned whether the dreadlocked mother had a constitution strong enough to handle the pressures of being a mainstream commercial recording artist.
Then, viewers were skeptical of the tears Bowersox shed on the "Idol" stage last week. Maybe the emotion wasn't genuine, but instead was part of a ploy to expand her voting base, they reasoned.
In terms of talent, season nine is perhaps the most lackluster installment of "Idol." Bowersox easily soared. Comparatively, however, she hasn't been as strong of an innovator as past "Idol" heavy-hitters like David Cook or Adam Lambert.
Does Bowersox deserve the title? So far, yes. She's the most consistent singer of the bunch. But if the judges are gunning for a Bowersox win, they better watch their comments in upcoming weeks.
If there's one thing "Idol" viewers don't want, it's a pre-anointed champion.
"American Idol" airs 8 p.m. tonight on Fox. The top six singers will perform Shania Twain songs. Check our "Idol" blog for live updates throughout the show.