It's not hard to see why American television viewers voted for Aubrey Cleland in last week's sing-off. 'Idol' viewers have a history of voting with their eyes, and the young performer has a great deal of visual appeal. She also has a strong voice, but it's fairly generic and forgettable.
Askew is one of the most unique contestants not only this season, but in "Idol" history. His tone is pure and clear, and the original song he performed last week, "Sky Blue Diamond," stands in sharp contrast to the bland sameness of hearing contestants sing the latest empty pop hits every week.
In the end, that may have played against him in terms of the mainstream singing competition. Askew's awkward, alternative cool is more Queen-meets-Beck than Taylor Swift, and it may well be that mainstream TV is not the right place for his unique artistry.
But in the real-life marketplace, Askew's multi-instrumental talents, coupled with his exceptional voice and oddball appeal, will undoubtedly find a home. Cleland may be going on this summer's "American Idol" tour, but Askew is poised for a long career if he can develop his talents in the right way.
Charlie Askew -- in five years we'll all either be working for him, or dead by his hand.