May 17, 2007

Idolatry Thoughts II

Hatched by Dafydd

Once again, the lizards deliberately and with malice aforethought pump buckets of water all over Dean Barnett's parade...

Today, following last night's American Idol results show, Dean wrote the following:

WARNING! If you haven't yet watched your TiVo or tape and don't know who was eliminated (and assuming you care), stop reading this blog and get back to work. Your boss is this very minute peering over your cubical wall!

Dean wrote the following:

As you probably guessed, we’re mourning in Soxblog Manor over the departure of Melinda Doolittle last night. Mrs. Soxblog has even vowed to boycott the season finale.

I really think Mr. and Mrs. Soxblog have misunderstood the point of the show. Yes, Melinda was the best technical singer in the top ten of American Idol; but the purpose of the show is not to find the best singer; it is, per the title, to find an "idol." And idoldom takes much more than simple singing ability... it requires uniqueness, personality, confidence, and above all, the Potter-Stewart-like "star quality". (I don't mean Justice Stewart had it; I mean his famous quotation about knowing something when he sees it.)

Melinda entered the show as a backup singer, and I have thought all along that that is what she is. All right, maybe she's the Nicky Hopkins of backup singers; but she's never going to be the front man. She has no other quality than singing ability.

Either Blake Lewis or Jordin Sparks could be, though the lizards prefer Jordin: We were both quite moved by her rendition of the old "I (Who Have Nothing);" enough so that after the show, I went to YouTube and watched several other singers performing that song, including one of my all time favorites, Shirley Bassey.

This is an old song. The English version is credited to Jerry Leiber (lyrics) and Mike Stoller (music); but there was a previous Italian song -- I haven't heard it, but it's supposed to be suspiciously similar -- with lyrics by Giulio Rapetti and music by Labati Carlo Donida. Many singers have covered it, from Tom Jones to Ben E. King.

But honestly, the Jordin Sparks version was as good as, or even better than, the Shirley Bassey version -- even though Sparks is nowhere near as good a singer as Bassey. Sparks, who is only 17, pulled much more of the determination to fight out of the song and into her performance, while Bassey remained stuck in the hopelessness aspect. That is, Sparks made the song her own, taking a different tack than most other singers. (Blake did something similar with the Bon Jovi song "You Give Love a Bad Name," and I said at the time how much I liked it when singers do that.)

That is star quality. And to go all political (as Dean does, but in a different direction), that is why Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and yes, even John McCain are all front runners for the Republican nomination... while Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, and Sam Brownback, who have much the same positions on issues, are also-rans.

Jordin Sparks has star quality. Blake Lewis at least distinguishes himself enough to be unique. But Melinda Dolittle was never anything but an extremely talented but utterly commonplace singer... and that is why she ultimately failed to make the finale.

In both of the nationwide talent-search shows on right now -- American Idol and Dancing With the Stars -- the finale will, in fact, comprise the best choices: Jordin and Blake for AI; and Apolo Anton Ohono, Joey Fatone, and Leila Ali for Dancing. Any of those five deserves to win for his respective show

I'm very happy with the call-in voters this season -- they got it absolutely right.

(I do absolutely agree with Dean about the idiocy of the "Idol gives back" show a couple of weeks ago: It was pandering of the worst sort... and it didn't even have good performances! The spectacle of doddering, ancient Annie Lennox screeching her way through "Bridge Over Troubled Water" -- a song immensely difficult even for brilliant singers in their prime -- was simply painful and made me want to melt all my Eurythmics albums on the car radiator.

(By contrast, the performance this week by Maroon 5 -- which I'd never heard of before -- was excellent... enough so that I want to buy some of their CDs.)

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 17, 2007, at the time of 3:11 PM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: leftnomore

You'll enjoy Maroon 5 until they start whining about Bush, of which they are another one in a thousand acts to do so. But they really shine when they stick to music. The lead singer is star material from top to bottom.

The above hissed in response by: leftnomore [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 4:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: Pam

Lizzard, I couldn't disagree with you more about Milinda Dolitte. She's not gonna be a Pop stars like Areosmith, or Journey or Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson. Instead, I tell you if she finds the right producer and song writer, this girl will be an influence like Emma Lou Harris or Gladis Knight. Trust me; this lady gets in the right hands, she'll influence a generation of singers yet to come.

The above hissed in response by: Pam [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 6:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: charlotte

I can't wrap my head around a band calling themselves a bunch of maroons. Of all the words in the English dictionary. Even TAFKAP did (nominally) better--

Melinda will soar.

The above hissed in response by: charlotte [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 17, 2007 7:29 PM

The following hissed in response by: Louise7

I have wonderful new to share with the fans of Melinda Doolittle. Melinda will released her first album in fall and she have more to come. www.mdstreetteam.com new website to support Melinda. Come join us

The above hissed in response by: Louise7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2008 12:37 PM

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