Regular readers know that I’m not much of a television watcher, but between Buster’s nagging and Ann Althouse’s spirited blogging on the subject I have taken to watching American Idol and (this won’t really surprise you) Project Runway. (I love Nick and Andrae and Daniel Franco.)
I really haven’t had much chance to hear the women – I tend to like male vocalists better than female, anyway (exceptions being, of course, the great Ella Fitzgerald and Miss Gladys Knight) – the few I have heard have been unimpressive. Lots of women who sound like they’ll be the star at Holiday Inn or the church choir.
The men haven’t impressed me much, either, except for two fellows, Elliot whatzits and Chris Daughtry. Elliot has an easy, lithe voice and some power, but he slips perhaps too easily into sounding like Stevie Wonder. I don’t think anyone is going to win the thing by sounding like “someone else.”
That’s the problem with more than a few of the guys. That fellow “Sway” – who sang the great ballad, “Overjoyed,” seemed like he was mimicing Stevie Wonder. The kid who always sings Sinatra sounds like he’s mimicing Sinatra. The problem with having a good ear is you can create and impression of someone, but that impression precludes your own musicianship, overshadows whatever you can do, yourself, or suggests that maybe your own music is not as compelling – is missing something. You have to have your own voice. I’d like to hear him sing something like Bill Withers’ “The Same Love that Made Me Laugh.”
Taylor Hicks tries too hard – he reminds me of an over-earnest Jay Leno/Bill Clinton sort who just wants to be accepted and loved.
Gideon maybe needs some voice lessons. Really, much of last night looked like amateur hour, and someone should tell Ace (the pin-up) and Bucky that you can’t be a star if you look relieved that your singing time is over.I can’t wait for Taylor Hicks, Gideon and those two bland, brown-haired white boys – or as I call them, “Too needy, Too creepy, Osmond-lite and Cheesy” – to be voted out.
The red-headed kid is cute, but he needs a good pair of nerdy plastic frames instead of his current wire-framed eyeglasses (think Buddy Holly) and either less mature musical choices or more years on him. More years would be better.
Really, the unfortunate-looking Elliot and Chris are the two real musicians in the group. Elliot would look a lot better if he lost the sideburns and maybe grew a goatee. The sideburns give him a simian look.
Chris Daughtry is a star. He completely gives himself over to the music – a real musician who is glad to expose himself in the song – and when he finished last night, he looked like he was just getting started and could have gone all night. Very exciting. Gave me goosebumps. Buster said, “whoa…I think that guy just won the season.” When he finished that song I wanted to buy a copy of it. No one on Idol has ever made me say that before. He also has that priceless and elusive commodity: charisma.
I have noticed that every time I hear Kelly Clarkson on the radio, though, I sit up and pay attention. Heard some belty-bluesy piece by her this morning that was really, very good.
Doug at Bogus Gold feels pretty much the way I do but he is both meaner and funnier than I am.