So it’s American Idol night again. I told myself last year that I was done with Idol: when the real superstar didn’t win (Adam Lambert), I thought what’s the point. So this year, I almost didn’t tune in until the talented guitarist who partners with my singer daughter told me Steven Tyler was adding a flavour to the show that’s been missing and I really should watch. Well I did … and I was hooked all over again. I enjoy Steven and even J-Lo. Though she’s anything but a great singer, she’s pretty astute and not just eye candy.
But what really hooked me was the talent the 3 judges were uncovering now that they had broadened their approach to look for showmanship along with great singing. After all, you can be a great singer and in perfect pitch … and perfectly boring if you don’t own the stage, have charisma and know how to engage the audience. So it was delightful to see them culling the group down to those who fulfilled that criteria and has resulted, without question, with the best crop yet.
Then came last week: I nearly turned off the TV. Except for Thia Megia, Casey (when needing to) and Scotty, they were all shouting or screaming and doing runs ad nauseum. And the more they “ran”, screamed and shouted, the more the crowd cheered and the judges praised. I don’t get it. The showmanship was there all right, but why did such a talented bunch of singers have to resort to screaming? Really, who wants to attend a 90-minute concert listening to a high-voice diva straining her voice to go higher or longer or runnier? And it wasn’t just the girls! I love Jacob Lusk’s voice but why did he have to go on and on and so over the top? James Durbin is another Adam Lambert, but Adam knew when enough was enough… well most of the time. Come on kids, give our ears a break. Great singing is about great singing, not screaming, shouting, running. Bah!
This past week I attended my own daughter’s show. She and her partner are singer/songwriters and have just released their first EP. To their delight, one of their songs, “IT’S NOT OVER” won first place in monthly SONGWRITER’S UNIVERSE contest. (Yeah, I know, it’s not American Idol so big deal right?)
|AndrewVictoria, winners of Songwriters Universe contest for March 2011|
Born with a huge and beautiful voice, Victoria’s been singing since she was 6. She’s capable of hitting massive notes, holding them forever, and unlike Naima on Idol who found out she can’t sing and dance simultaneously, my girl can, without running out of air, without sounding awful and with no excuses.
My point? Real artists don’t make excuses for mistakes. Real singers don’t have to scream to be enjoyed. (Think Patsy Cline, Celine Dion). Real entertainers light up the stage because they are lit up within themselves for the simple love of performing.
I really hope that tonight’s Idol won’t be another assault on my ears. Let’s have more real singing like Thia, Casey and Scotty deliver. Let’s enjoy their performances and hear their great voices. We know they all have them or they wouldn’t have made it this far. Please don’t scream, shout and run all over the place. I want to enjoy tonight’s show.
Oh, if you’re still with me, I have a favour to ask. That daughter of mine and her partner have made the semi-finals in another contest, CLASH OF THE ARTISTS. Amongst other prizes, the winner gets to perform in New York. To win, they need votes … lots of them … just like the AI contestants do. If you have a moment, would you mind slipping over to this link:
and voting for “AndrewVictoria”? Of course, you might like other contestants more. That’s fine. But if you like AndrewVictoria, please vote and confirm the email you’ll be sent. They won’t spam you. And you’ll get to hear some of their material, which you can also hear on their website HERE. Thanks so much!