I Dare You
[back to top] Summary
After Chris Daughtry's stunning dismissal in AI5's Final Four, the Idolsphere's analysts were out in full force speculating which of his two performances that week did him in. Was it the decent but unspectacular cover of Suspicious Minds or the dark, alt-rock take on A Little Less Conversation?
It turns out they were looking in the wrong place. This is the performance that got Daughtry eliminated.
Most reviewers were unfamiliar with "I Dare You", a post-grunge power rocker that was anything but pop. To complicate matters further, Daughtry's voice was noticeably shaky on the highest notes (he mentioned afterwards he'd sung the song at least five times earlier in the day), and he seemed to try to make up for it with added volume, which as always only made matters worse (a common reviewers' plea: "Stop screaming at me!") The judges, who'd rarely given Daughtry anything but glowing reviews, were left underwhelmed. Randy noted that the vocals were off, while Paula and Simon pointedly questioned the song choice. For the first time in the competition, many of Daughtry's online fans openly worried about his safety.
What We Thought
"I Dare You" is not a bad song, especially if you're a fan of that style of music, but it's certainly not one that would ever make a big splash with Middle America on the first listen. The real tragedy is that Daughtry had turned in a 5-star performance earlier in the episode with Renegade, a song that requires no less power singing but which is far better known and liked.
It frequently takes a week for a sub-par performance to catch up with a popular contestant, and that's what appears to have happened here. Daughtry's concerned fans were motivated to vote a little harder on this night, probably needlessly – "Renegade" alone would have seen him through. It's difficult for a fanbase to go into overdrive two weeks in a row. So, when Elliott Yamin turned in two knockout performances in the Final 4 and Daughtry needed those extra votes, they weren't there for him.