Thursday, April 7, 2011

American Idol, 2011

Everyone’s been saying this year American Idol is THE best season ever. Is it really? Don’t they say that every year anyway?  One thing for certain, it is indeed better than the last two seasons. As a devout music fan and as someone who religiously loves the art of singing, I have been following American Idol ever since it started out ten years ago. I own albums of previous Idol winners and finalists such as Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert. And I still get super excited about the show.
AI this year saw a major change in the judging panel after the departures of Simon, Kara and Ellen.The new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler of “Aerosmith” are actually doing a great job mentoring the contestants. Who would have thought J-Lo has this much personality? As a judge, she’s very enthusiastic, nurturing and knowledgeable. Same thing can be said for Steven who is an icon in his own right. His comments on performances are witty, smart and sensible. What's missing is the cuts-like-a-knife meanness of Simon Cowell. All three judges this year have been so sweet and kind giving mostly constructive criticism to the contestants.
So far (at this time of writing), there are nine contestants still running in the competition and I can tell you that all nine of them deserve to be there. When they perform, there’s nothing amateur about their voices or their showmanship. They all sound and look like they have been doing this forever. They make you feel like you are watching seasoned Rock and Roll veterans.  
Let’s take a look at this year’s Top 9.

Scotty Mc Creery
He’s good and he’s fit for country genre but I don’t see him winning. For a young boy of his age (he’s only 18!!!), I must say he’s got a very mature voice. He sounds very sexy especially when he sings in lower register.It's just that I don’t think his voice is distinctive enough plus he appears to be a bit over confident at times. 

Jacob Lusk
There’s no note that this boy cannot hit. A voice that big and that flexible, I’m still shocked why we don’t hear him on the radios already. In terms of performing and vocal style, he reminds me of the season 3 winner, Fantasia. He has so far delivered many great performances including “Alone”, “I believe I can fly” and “Man in the mirror”.  He’s also my second most favorite singer in the competition.

Haley Reinhart
She probably won’t win but she could be the Jennifer Hudson of this season.  Haley has a very raw voice that is somewhere between Christina Aguilera and Janis Joplin. This girl can blow. No Kidding.  I like it that she sings really difficult songs and looks so effortless.

Casey Abrams
Due to the way he looks and his unwillingness (yeah, let me be shallow here!) to look better could lose him the chance to be at the final.  Let’s face the facts. This guy has a tremendous vocal range and anyone who knows singing will agree that he’s one of the best singers in this group. However, his scruffy look and crazy antics will surely not get the girls texting.
Lauren Alaina
There’s always one girl who sings good country songs on Idol and this year that spot belongs to Lauren Alaina. Diana Degarmo, Kristy Lee Cook, Kellie Pickler and Crystal Bowersox, but only Carrie Underwood has so far achieved great success in the genre.

Pia Toscano
This girl has got the most amazing powerful voice, stunning good looks and a bubbly personality to match.  To me, she’s the total package. As a singer too, she has got a whole lotta guts. She’s has so far performed materials from legendary artists like Whitney, Stevie Wonder, Celine, Elton John and Tina Turner. She not only did these songs justice also made them her own. Therefore she has been the judges’ ultimate favorite and mine too.

Stefano Langone
This boy sings songs like a hungry gaucho who stumbles upon a Parrilla feast. He eats the songs’ lyrics and emotes them out through his heart. I just think he could really do very well singing in Spanish or Italian since he sings so passionately. Armed with charming personality and dashing good looks- I’m positive that he’ll go far. One of my favorites!!!

James Durbin
Adam Lambert of this season! He always brings it and seems like one of the judges’ favorites. I’m just tired of his rock songs and super high notes. Perhaps a nice simple ballad without the screaming??

Paul McDonald
My least favorite contestant not because he sings badly just because he’s JUST not that exciting. We have seen too many of these rocker type dudes rocking it on Idol stage.David Cook, Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry and of course Adam Lambert, enough already!!!

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