American Idol: Jimmy Iovine, Top Judge Right On All Counts

What can I say about American Idol while I’m still stove up from surgery and  can’t muster up much of a muster. One thing I can say – I agreed with Jimmy Iovine on all counts. Way to stick by your guns, my man, and tell it like it is.

As for the femme judges, Mariah Carey has toned it down dress-code wise the past couple of times, but last night Nicki Minaj looked like she was wearing a couple of hot cross buns with too much yeast piling out of a pan with a hole in it. It was more than ridiculous. Nuf said.

Candice Glover’s version of “Straight Up” didn’t do a thing for me, though her singing is never in question. Her last song “When You Believe” was a home run and probably garnered her the night. Her face and hair were beautiful. She looked great.

I love Candice, but Amber Holcomb is my favorite. There’s a compassion and inner humanity that comes through whatever she sings that makes her believable and viable, She is also gorgeous (except for her choice in lipsticks which I agree with Nicki needs a toning down), and I love her family, especially her father. I love to hear him talk, showing his humble yet deep-felt pride in his daughter. They also seem to be a struggling family with none of the upper middle class advantages many of the others seem to have.

What a difference a dress makes. This ensemble took at least 30 lbs off her profile and gave Kree a sleek, streamlined look. Kree Harrison is another favorite, but I still haven’t heard what I call knocking me out of my seat versions of anything. Maybe when she gets a recording contract — which she will — someone will teach her to sing for regular people rather than for famous judges. Jimmy and Keith want to hear feeling over “let me wow you with my singing prowess and ripples and loop de loops”. This season has felt more like being in a studio of voice lessons than just plain real singing that is visceral.

Case in point. The song “Without You” by Harry Nilsson, can never ever be recaptured in the way he sang it. Amber tried to sing it. Mariah is famous for it. But the true version can never be replicated. The music drags you down into echoing canyons of despair. His voice rises and falls from his frail helplessness to his all-encompassing screams of pain. Compare it if  you will. There is none.

Janelle Arthur is still clueless to the advice the judges are giving her, though she has the voice to go far. Like all the girls, she sings for the beauty of her voice, only she has less of it than the others.

Angie Miller came out with some surprising power and stage presence with Beyonce’s “Halo”, toning down the big laser-beam eyes that were more scary than not. I think that’s what helped when she played at the piano – the alien eyes weren’t looking out like something from the Twilight Zone. There’s no question she is beautiful, though probably she’s been told that a few too many times. And there’s no question she’s a singer to watch for. Her personally written song early on in the season had me on my feet and shouting. But it’s the only time I’ve really felt something warm and heartfelt from her. Close a few times, but never really there.

If American Idol makes it another season, I hope they quit playing games with who they think the public should vote for, and give us someone to believe in. I don’t know about you, but I want to hear these singers’ souls as well as their voices. Without the heart and soul, the singing is just “sound and fury, signifying nothing”. And no longer worth the watching or the listening.

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