Monthly Archives: March 2010

Tell It, Masterclass Lady!

Personally, I have had my fill of pointless comparisons of this year’s crop of singers to those who have previously competed on American Idol. I know I have stated that Seasons 5 and 7 were exceptional seasons and difficult to capture on a yearly basis, but, except for one instance (Siobhan/Adam), I have attempted to stay away from comparing the Season 9 singers to those that came before them.

What’s the point? The majority of the time, these comparisons fall flat and put extra pressure on the Season 9 singers.

The most ludicrous comparison has been the  suggestion that Aaron Kelly is a replication of Season 7 Top 2 finalist, David Archuleta.  Look, I think Aaron is a very musical and hard-working young musician, possessing great potential in his future performing career.  

But, David Archuleta came to the Season 7 competition equipped with skills that were very advanced and extremely refined plus he knew how to select songs that captured his unique and creative performing style.  I have never seen a young singer so prepared and so confident for the huge opportunity presented to him by American Idol.

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The Disappearing Diva

If you’re not the type to pay attention to racial politics, this season of American Idol would totally go unnoticed.  But I’m noticing, of course.  In fact, this particular season of American Idol is truly historic.  With the voting off of Paige Miles tonight (who absolutely needed to go, trust me on that, and America actually got it right tonight after her hideous performance of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds” last night), this will be the FIRST EVER TOP 10 FINALISTS featuring NOT ONE BLACK GIRL.

Duuuuude!!!!!!!!!!!!

When folks are saying that American Idol has officially “jumped the shark,” that’s just half of the story.

Seriously, what is an American Idol competition without a DIVA (the moniker given to many a soul-singing black gal during the 9 seasons the show has been running)?  Where would we be if David Archuleta wasn’t getting goosebumps from Tamyra Gray, or choosing to go to the AI tour to see Jennifer Hudson?

Hello?  What the heck has happened to the “Diva”?  Where has she gone?  Why has she disappeared?

The DIVA has been such a fixture on this show that I seriously don’t know what we’re in for without her presence. I didn’t realize that she was slowly but surely being phased out over time.

Consider the track record:

Season 1: Tamyra Gray and Christina Christian.

Season 2: Kimberley Locke (3rd place finisher – loved her!) and Trenyce Cobbins.

Season 3: Fantasia (winner), Latoya London, Jennifer Hudson.

Season 4: Vonzell Solomon (3rd place finisher) and Nadia Turner.

Season 5: Paris Bennett (5th place finisher – and, this, Siobhan, is how you do Stevie!) and Mandisa.

Season 6: Jordin Sparks (winner), Melinda Doolittle (3rd place finisher- the bestest right after David!), and Lakisha Jones (4th place finisher). 

Season 7: Syesha Mercado (3rd place finisher), who held her own against the Davids.

And then, after that, the “Diva” has struggled.  She barely made the Top 10 finals last year with Lil Rounds, who was okay, but look at the AI legacy before her.  She could not measure up.  So, this season, when all we had was Paige Miles, who was simply disastrous and, worse, is still being told she has the “best voice”of the Season 9 contestants, I seriously want to slap someone.  Some conspiracy theorists have voiced their suspicions that, because Syesha came very close to toppling one of the Davids, TPTB have deliberately let in weaker-voiced black female singers into the contest to neutralize their presence on the show.  I don’t know how conspiratorial producers really want to get with these things, and perhaps the disappearance of Paula as a judge also correlates to the disappearance of the “Diva.”

What I do know is: the vocal dynamics have definitely changed, and while it’s great that the likes of Crystal Bowersox can hold her own, I do wish she had some serious competition as far as female vocal powerhouses go.  What a pity.  And while I’m glad to see the likes of Paige Miles disappear from the AI stage, I do find it terribly unfair that, for someone so woefully out of her league this season, she would have to go out in such a shameful way on the same stage that turned “divas” like Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson into stars.  

After serving as such a staple on American Idol, this disappearance of the “diva” can only spell its doom.  If it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, then I would say: when the diva goes, we’re done here.  That Paige would be the last black woman standing (and no soul to claim her own) can only mean the sharks are swimming close by.  

What an end to such a legacy!

Not Another Young’Un!

Oy! Last year, we had to contend with Taylor Swift as the young new sensation, while we Archies were wringing our hands as Jive shuck-and-jived to release a decent single from David’s debut album in the wake of his successful “Crush.”

Now that we patiently wait (yet again!) for new material from David’s sophomore pop album, what am I being bombarded with? Another NEW TEEN SENSATION!

Once again, I’ve been tuning out the Justin Bieber talk.  Once again, I’m trying to get my David Archuleta fix.

And ONCE AGAIN, I’m being expected to pay attention to some other teen star, who couldn’t hold a candle to The Voice.  

What is going on?  Who is pushing these kids down our throats?  

I can’t turn my car radio on without hearing “Baby, baby, baby oh… it’s like baby, baby, baby oooh!!”  I can’t go on Twitter without seeing #JustinBieber as a Twitter Trend for the umpteenth time.  If I go to You Tube, his video is being promoted (seriously, Ludacris, what are you doing with this kid? And doesn’t that girl look too old for the boy?).  He gets to open the We Are the World remake for crying out loud! 

And I want to know who his friggin’ handlers are, because they are doing some serious payola!

See, I remember, last year to be specific, when David Archuleta was attending Mardi Gras with this pipsqueak, and I thought it was beneath him then.  Here is pipsqueak all over my media now, with no mention of David (except to cater to votes for Aaron Kelly on American Idol), and I want to pull my hair out.  Is this payback because I thought Justin Bieber was not worthy to be in the same space as my David?

I tell ya: this is starting to be a Justin Bieber 2010 year, reminiscent of Taylor Swift 2009.  

At least, the Jonas Brothers are no where in sight.

Taking David’s Name in Vain

Grrrrr… There should be a fine charged whenever American Idol plugs David’s name shamelessly.  

I know, I know, at least David is being mentioned, but to keep pushing that tired “Aaron Kelly is the next David Archuleta” line when anyone with half an ear knows this is not true is just… Ugh!

(In case you didn’t tune in tonight, Ryan Seacrest, in urging audiences to vote for Aaron Kelly, said something along the lines of “If you want to vote for David Archuleta…” Sorry, but I’m not amused. Hmph!)

Long and Winding Memories

Top 11 Week on American Idol, and, of course, it brings back some pleasant memories…

the week David redeemed himself with “The Long and Winding Road”: