American Idol – May 22 – The Final 2 Perform

I haven’t written about the show in a few weeks.  A lot has been written of the demise the past few weeks of the 2 who were most likely the best singers in the competition.  As my regular readers know I don’t disagree that LaKisha and even more so Melinda had killer voices but I don’t think either deserve to win Idol.  It’s not that they won’t have careers but we have to go back to the show’s roots in the UK when it was called Pop Idol.  That’s what the show is supposed to be finding – the next chart topping pop idol and a great voice isn’t enough to be that.  It requires stage presence and ultimately an ability to display something unique in the songs they put out.

Kelly Clarkson is still the best example of someone who was able to use her presence and her voice to cut loose from the crap Idol mold singing songs like “A Moment Like This” to put out one of the best pop albums in years with fans who never watched her or anyone else on Idol.  Chris Daughtry is another example of someone who didn’t win but stuck to what made him unique to kick Taylor Hick’s butt on the chart.  You may respect Jennifer Hudson for winning an Oscar but be honest with yourself – she won for being a good broadway actress on film which doesn’t mean she’s going to be selling albums anytime soon.  Melinda and LaKisha will sell albums (likely on an R&B chart or on Broadway) but will anyone who is upset that they didn’t go on to the finals actually buy them.  My guess is no.

Enough of my ranting.   Let’s talk about tonight’s show.  After fast forwarding through the fluff we finally got to the first performance 15 minutes in.

Blake kicked it off with his still rather cool version of Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name.  I think the beat boxing is a little over done by him already but there’s no arguing that he probably the most original person ever on an Idol show and he’s brought something unique to every song he’s performed.   A good producer and some sound editing will help him put out a pretty interesting album.

Jordin did some Christina Aguilara song and let her great voice do the work for her with some amazing vocal gymnastics with a pretty complex song.  This is the kind of song that will sell albums for her.  Simon, enough with the young comments – they add no value.

For me the first round is a draw.

Blake did She Will Be Loved and showed good professional restraint by knowing not to beat box in every song (something I was concerned he would do).  To me the vocal was a little rough with the song sounding a bit out of his comfort zone in parts.  Still, Randy’s right it’s good to hear how he handles diverse songs and Simon’s right that it wasn’t distinguishing enough for a final performance.

Jordin sang A Broken Wing and again showed off her pipes.  This is what I like about her, even her voice showpiece songs demonstrate something marketable that I just didn’t see in Melinda or LaKisha.  She doesn’t just hit the notes but she also has the star quality that the judges often talk about.  Randy’s right – age has nothing to do with anything.

Second round goes to Jordin.

Blake’s final song was the obligatory Idol song This is My Now written by some guy in the audience who won a song writing contest.  I hate to say that this song was no better than any of the other Idol songs the contestants get stuck with.  It lacked what I think The Sopranos’ Hesh called the She Loves You principle.  Have to agree with the judges – the song was completely wrong for Blake and makes you wonder what they were thinking giving it to him knowing he would suck at it.  Way to screw him Idol producers.  If he loses he really does have grounds for appeal.

Jordin sang the same song and did a better job with it.  Still, a crappy song is a crappy song.  If the producers can’t find better songs for them to sing and release as singles, they should change this part of the competition.

Third round to Jordin by acclimation.

I guess Jordin is going to win.  I won’t know though.  I’ll be watching Lost.

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One Response to American Idol – May 22 – The Final 2 Perform

  1. Vance says:

    Oh thank you. finally someone else that knows of its Pop Idol roots and that it isn’t just a singing competition. That said, am I the only one who thought Blake did the Maroon 5 song pretty well? Again, listen to the original. It aint much better (but I dont mean that as a complete dis). Meanwhile, Jordin’s Fighter paled to Christina Aguilera’s original. She was lucky the original song was basically written FOR her though.

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