He didn’t whine. He didn’t beg. He didn’t cry. And he didn’t fall apart. When Qaasim Middleton wound up on American Idol seated in an unlighted chair, he knew he had to sing for his life. So Qaasim simply manned up and did it.
Not since Caleb Johnson did a slider for the microphone last year has the audience gone so crazy. I went nuts. The judges tried to look cool sitting there with that one save under their hats. But you could see Jennifer had trouble containing herself. Then they put on their poker faces. But when Harry Connick, Jr. started giving his wordy spiel I knew it was all over but the screaming and hugging. Qaasim Middleton WILL BE BACK.
At the start of “Come Together” by the Beatles, Qaasim looked a little disappointed and got off to a slow start. But that was only for a moment. Then everything changed. His face. His demeanor. It was Mohammed Ali in the ring taking care of business. It was like Qaasim channeled a lifetime of bitter disappointment, even rage, into his last ditch stand. His performance kept building into a kaleidoscope of emotion, until that last scream made the hairs on my arm stand on end. Qaasim was a powder keg of latent talent. All it took was a spark.
Only two contestants made anything like an impression on American Idol B.Q (before Qaasim) last night. Joey made a believer out of me and Jax is back. Kenny Loggins got everybody moving with “Footloose” and ended by putting Harry Connick, Jr. in his place. And Jennifer Lopez took me to Never Never Land with her amazing light-show-gown. Wow!
That’s all I have to say except: Qaasim supported Jax last night as they stood for the verdict. I noticed. Qaasim was happy for her and showed it. I noticed. Qaasim, you are a classy guy. I notice. So stay with it, Qaasim. Go for it. Channel all that you are. The world needs more men like you.