Charlie is Idol’s Blue Diamond, Aubrey Just the Pretty Pebble

There were a couple of surprises last night on American Idol, and the biggest wasn’t the fact that Curtis Finch, Jr. was voted off. That was going to happen sooner or later, anyway. No. The thing that made my mouth drop and got a grip around my heart was the awesome performance of Charlie Askew in the sing-off between him and Aubrey Cleland for a spot on the tour. Who or what got hold of this boy?

Sure he had potential back during the auditions. And, in spite of Charlie getting sick just before the group round and having to endure Curtis Finch, Jr’s cold shoulder, the trio emerged on the plus side thanks to the third member, Charles Mathis, a young man with talent and compassion who should never have been cut. It was the video of Finch’s cruel treatment of Charlie during group round that I believe was Finch’s ticket home when America got the chance to vote him out Wednesday night.

Later, Charlie got a further step up by wowing Nicki Minaj with his solid, if a little weird, performance of “Rocket Man”, making her want to hold him in her arms, and bringing out some of the best quotes of the season from a completely befuddled Randy, Keith, and Mariah. But he blew it by trying to re-invent himself in Sudden Death.

The subsequent meltdown afterward when Charlie realized he had blown his big chance didn’t help his situation. Charlie is a sweet, but awkwardly social individual whom his doctor diagnosed as having “Charlie Askew Syndrome”. But in spite of all this he seemed to hold a soft spot in the hearts of John and Jane Q Public. Probably the same soft spot that led Nicki to bemoan the loss of her “baby” when he came out dressed like a hard rocker and trying to act and sound like one. Which was disastrous.

But last night. Last night I held my breath in wonder at his look, his poise, and his performance of his original song, “Sky Blue Diamond”, on the piano. I had never, ever, heard him sing like that before. Didn’t know he could, even with some of the solid performances behind him. He was better than any of the guys who made it through. And he shone like his Sky Blue Diamond, paling into insignificance the girl, Aubrey Cleland, who came out and sang the same old, boring same old, in the same old tra-la-la way.

I checked out some other Idol sites to see what they were saying. They claim that Aubrey “blew him out of the water”. I doubt they liked Philip Phillips, either. Or Bon Jovi. That’s what’s wrong with American Idol now. Are the days of the truly unique SINGERS behind us? I don’t want just voices that can do a loop-de-loop through a song to show off their musical abilities. I want the days of more than pretty faces — the ones Billy Joel sang about in “Pressure”. I want to hear singers who make me see and feel life through their whole being, not just their carefully controlled vocals and demeanors. I want Charlie Askew on that tour bus. He deserves it.

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10 thoughts on “Charlie is Idol’s Blue Diamond, Aubrey Just the Pretty Pebble

  1. After months and months of agreeing on nearly everything, here’s where we part ways. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Aubrey “blew him out of the water,” but I liked her MUCH better than Charlie. She’s a real singer; Charlie sounds like a child, singing in that still tone way children do with no vibrato. Granted, he was MUCH better than he’s ever been before and I was impressed that he wrote the song and played his own accompaniment, but I seriously doubt he’ll hold up if he wins the spot on the tour. However, he may get that spot. His quirkiness seems to appeal to many people.

    I was so happy to see Curtis go. I figured it would be him or Lazaro. And I think you’re right that the way Curtis treated Charlie during the group round is a memory viewers couldn’t easily forget.

    Sorry to say, but I’m not a Philip Phillips fan. IMO, he and Kris Allen are tied for the most boring contestants ever to win Idol. I guess I’m in the minority though because he has four singles that have gone quadruple platinum. But Philip is a sweet guy and I can’t help but like him as a person. I give him props for the way he soldiered through while suffering from a kidney airlment. That took guts and determination.

    When the competition narrows and we have to see some of our favorite girls leave, it is going to be VERY sad.

    Are we still friends? :>)

    • But of course my dear dancer. I never figured we’d agree on EVERYTHING. When God gave me a personality that came with the tag “highly opinionated”, he also gave me a thick skin. LOL. I love our hashing out these events. Katie and I agree MOST OF THE TIME, but not always. She’s a little less thick skinned and when I trash somebody she likes I get a whiff of a “and just why NOT?” But that’s part of the fun. I don’t want you to go away — mad or otherwise.

      I just like Philip Phillips quirky take on songs. I seem to hear them on a different level. Don’t know if that makes sense or not (sometimes I don’t except to myself). Never did like Chris Allen as a singer. B-o-r-i-n-g spells zzzzzzzzzzzz. I always hate to see some of them go, even when they deserve to. You get attached. But when they have to go and should have stayed, it runs my blood pressure up.

      • Wheww! Glad you don’t hate me now. ;>) I love discussing this show with you, and other things, too. You write such brilliant entries and that gives me a wonderful starting point.

        Philip has a nice voice, but everything he sings sounds the same to me. Maybe I;m just not crazy about his style of music. I dunno. Besides being boring as dirt, Kris Allen took the spot that Adam should have had. If Kris had been good and it was a tight race based on talent, I might have accepted Adam’s loss, but it was a loss based on prejudice and that I cannot forgive.

        Did you hear Ryan say that in the future they are going to have a feature each week on a former Idol contestant and what they’ve been doing since the show? According to TV Guide, Adam will be one of them.

      • Oh, and P.S. and by the way. It was our station that dropped the ball on Idol last night. Their Facebook page was eat up with people snapping and growling at them. We missed the order of the final two girls and all the other guys during one doubled-up commercial break. Then we missed the entire reveal of which guy stayed and which was going home. The station cut back into it in the middle of Finch’s sing for your life solo. The station was Birmingham’s Fox 6, and people were incensed, including me. One lady said it also happened last year. I can’t say yea or nay on that one, but they certainly need to get their act together.

      • Oh, I remember well the look of shock on the faces of the judges when Kris was announted as the winner. Even Kris looked shocked…..AND embarrassed. (And yes, his name is spelled Kris.)

        I think the interviews with former contestants is a great idea, too. Adam has done so much since season eight that they could devote an entire show to him.

      • Wow! No wonder Idol’s Facebook page was on fire with irate comments. I’d be mighty upset, too, if my Fox station had pulled a stunt like that. Did you get to see that the judges declined to use their “save” for Curtis? I think you and all the other viewers of that station should contact them and tell them to NEVER do that again.

  2. Yes, I definitely agree with you on the finale with Chris and Adam. If I remember correctly, that’s the first show I could definitely hear booing on. And the looks on the faces of the judges. Everyone, including Chris/Kris (am I spelling his name wrong? Probably) knew it was foul, inexcusable, shameful, etc etc fill in the blank.

    I’m glad to hear they are opting for the interviews with past idol contestants and where they are at the moment. You always wonder about some of the ones you don’t hear about (and even some of the ones you do). Looks like Adam’s doing very well for himself, but he should have had the title.

  3. Mike just said he thinks it’s great that we differ every now and then. It would be boring if we didn’t. He also says he agrees that Philip Phillips sings the same way on every song, but it’s still different, and he just likes the way he sings. Mike says of course he may be prejudiced because Phillips is from south Georgia where Mike grew up. He also calls Phillips the Joe Cocker of the early 21st century. And Mike’s been known to listen to Joe Cocker.

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