When David Sets the Standard (Idol and Otherwise)

I may be expressing an unpopular opinion, but I’m sorry, I was NOT impressed with either Kelly Clarkson or Beyonce’s performances of our patriotic anthems at President Obama’s 2nd Term Inauguration.

The only thing I can think of is this: David raised the bar like mad when it comes to patriotic anthems, and I guarantee you – had he been invited and available to perform LIVE on Capital Hill – his Voice would have rung out across the National Mall!

His Voice would ring out Freedom Bells.

What the heck did I hear yesterday?

First, Kelly Clarkson – an amazing singer, no doubt – did too many runs for my taste and got a little too high for comfort.

Sorry, too much yelling. Much too much, IMO.

And as for Beyonce: girl, girl, girl! Even if it was a lip-synch version, whatever would the live version have sounded like? Could it have gotten any thinner sounding?


I saw two women trying to rise to the occasion and coming off like little girls. Why didn’t Obama get someone like Audra McDonald – you know, someone with a BIG VOICE – to ring out across the crowd? A classically trained vocalist instead of a pop star? In this instance, maybe even a J-Hud would have worked better with the national anthem.

Anywayz, I just don’t think either killed it in the way a certain Idol of ours would have done.

There’s a reason why folks insist that we need to hear the magic of David sing live. I mean, when his Voice is raised in song, it  quite LITERALLY rises to the occasion! His Voice literally fills up the entire arena, wherever he performs.

I guess my expectations are on that level, so when a Kelly or Beyonce shows up to sing live for big important ceremonial occasions, like a presidential inauguration, I do anticipate a Voice that fills up the damn mall!

See what following David does to you? It raises your vocal standards for everybody else.

Beyonce, honey, this is how you sing with a full-on orchestra and still make your Voice ring out higher, louder, and sharper than all the trumpets combined!

And Kelly, girlfriend, this is how you sing and add on little licks and runs without overkill:

Seriously, does anybody think David would have gotten up there on the Capital Hill stadium and NOT send chills up and down everybody’s spine and fill up the National Mall with his magnificent Voice?

It is for this reason – and this reason only! – why I still persist in the dream of David making it big. Somebody’s got to show these other children how it’s done!

I mean, I congratulate both Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce (and Jennifer Hudson at last night’s Inauguration Ball) for getting such high honors, but come on, gals! Bring it!

Posted on January 22, 2013, in performance. Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Great post…I so agree with you all the way….You worded it wonderfully….I couldn’t of said it better….Miss our David.

  2. Great post hg. I agree that David would have killed it if he sang yesterday. He sets the bar so high when it comes to singing the NA or other patriotic songs. To me it is not about singing it perfect but you should sing in live. The thought of lip synching the NA would never even have crossed David’s mind. David’s vocals are just the best bar none. Kelly, Bey, and Jennifer could learn from him.

  3. I was lucky enough to be at Stadium of Fire and no words can explain and no video can capture what it sounded like. His voice owned that entire stadium. This huge open-air football stadium with some 50,000 people and his voice ruled over it all. The moment that gave me chills that night was starting around 2:45 in the video, land where my faaaaaathers diiiied. The high clarity of tone is unmatched. It echoed off the stadium walls and I think even the damn mountains surrounding. No joke, one of the most treasured musical moments of my life.

    David is incomparable. It’s probably not even fair for me to talk about anyone else after reliving that memory… so I won’t.

  4. right on girl,right on,

  5. Hg again, fantastic post and I agree with you 100%.

  6. Nobody sings patriotic songs like David. He believes in what he is singing and honors the song by not putting in too many runs or changing it up too much. His voice is just beautiful on that patriotic medley.

  7. HG…..I think that your assessment of the inaugural performances is so accurate. I watched David’s performance of My Country ‘Tis of Thee/America the Beautiful again and it is so breathtakingly beautiful and in another catagory altogether. His ability to bring out the emotion of a song is beyond compare. Although Beyonce has a beautiful voice, during her presentation I felt that she made herself the focus instead of the song Her smile at the end looked rather smug to me. David is always so authentic and humble when performing…..especially during patriotic songs. With David, it’s always about the song, never himself. I think that is one reason his live performances have such an impact.

  8. Well, even though I was touched by Beyonce’s performance (didn’t know she lip sang) I agree wholeheartedly. I also believe that as, GrammyJ said, he’s someone who believes what he is singing and makes sure the crowd finally gets the meaning of the lyrics.

  9. I thought both Kelly and Beyonce did a pretty good job, however, I feel that David and JHud would have done better.

    Re. Bey’s lip syncing, it’s fine with me as long as it was actually her voice on the backing track. She’s a mega star and had much more to lose (than Kelly or James Taylor) had she messed up. Also, a large part of Bey’s persona has to do with her image of overall perfection (ie, looks, vocals, dance moves, hair, make up, fashion, etc.) Kelly doesn’t have the burden.

    Last, I loved Richard Blanco’s poem. If you have the chance to go back and read it, parts of it will remind you of “Imagine” and a David’s brotherhood of man.

  10. Great points, well taken. HG…

    “Nobody Sings It Better”


  11. Desertrat, I actually feel sorry that Beyonce feels the need to live up to an image of perfection (down to wearing an evening gown for a morning ceremony!).

    The result of which is a flat, soulless manufactured performance.

    • Hg, you got that right…manufactured performance…but it’s Beyonce the superstar…so I really don’t tthink the masses care, all they want to see is a superstar.

    • I agree with you hg, Beyonce was trying to live up to perfection as a superstar and that did effect the performance. I would rather have a crack in the voice and imperfection. David deserves so much more credit then he ever got for stating he disliked lip syncing and would not do it.

    • Re. Bey, I bet it’s hard being the Queen, LOL. I think Bey is talented but like Joymus, I just don’t get the big ‘to do’ over her. I also read the twitter comments re. JHud’s performance and most weren’t kind.

  12. Just imagine David having been the singer in front of over 800,000, was it that many? I would have loved watching the president’s face as he sang. David’s voice is so full and rich and so much more.

  13. TBH – I have never “gotten” Beyonce as a performer even though people usually rave on and on about her performances.
    While I did enjoy her NA for her vocal choices, and the emotion of the moment, she left me flat as a listener. I give Kelly kudos for singing live but yet again also felt she shouted her notes at the end so any sweetness of tone for me disappeared completely. Even JHud got knocks on the internet for her “squeaky” rendition of Let’s Stay Together. I find she usually oversings anyway, and her voice is hard for me to listen to and enjoy most times, so I am not surprised by the critique.

    Is it that David has spoiled us so shamelessly that we cannot even tolerate anything less? David’s vocal training early in life has stood him well in combination with an impeccable ,unique tone “gifted” to him by his vocal paralysis. Whatever it is, it is seamlessly wedded to his other gift of being able to breathe just the right amount of emotion needed for interpretation of a song at the right moment.

    Suddenly 2014 seems still so far away…….sigh.

  14. It’s interesting to me that Beyonce is getting so much flak about the lip syncing. Stories about it have been on the morning shows and many news articles. I think in the public’s eye the National anthem should be done live. I don’t think it would ever cross David’s mind to lip sync the National anthem at a big televised event. Beyonce or her team have yet to comment.

  15. Off topic, but I’ve been checking out what other Idols have been doing since they have “parted ways” with their major label. Lee and Crystal have recently signed with indie labels and Crystal’s album is supposedly being released in March. David Cook moved to Nashville and is writing music with other songwriters.

    I’m hoping that David does what Kris Allen is doing. He is touring (club tour) and before each concert he asks for a cover request on his twitter and Facebook. He picks one of the requests and practices it with his band and then performs it that night. Wouldn’t that be great for David to do a different cover every night? Last night Kris did Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”.

    • Grammyj after the long drought, I will be happy with anything that David will do musicially, but I got tell you, I really want so much more for David. He deserves to have a major music career, imo, his talent is heads above all these other idols combined.

      • Most of us ODD fans would love for David to sign again with a major label and top-notch management, but is there a major label wanting to sign him? What management will work best for David and that will be able to move his career in the right direction? What is the sound that will propel him forward and rejuvenate his music career? Everyone has different ideas of the answers to these questions. All I know is that it will be interesting to see what David will do. We shall see in 14 months.

  16. One other thing David will do when he returns besides make beautiful music, is find his “Mormon Soul Mate”, if he hasn’t already.

    Mormons believe that marriage in the temple is mandatory to reach the celestial, or highest level, of heaven. Only Mormons who marry can reach this level and expect to share eternity with their spouse and children. Marriage is also important to the church because married men typically hold high leadership positions such as bishop and stake president.

    Marriage is MORE important than education or CAREER, said Thomas Holman, professor of family life at Brigham Young University.

    “When you scrimp and sacrifice together when you’re young, that brings you closer.” The average age of first marriage for LDS church members is approximately 23, said Holman.

    “In research I’ve done, 25 years old seems to be the breaking point,” Holman said. “At that age, they should seriously start thinking about getting married.”

    LDS leaders promote marriage more than most faiths – they even have entire congregations for
    singles only.

    I would not be a bit surprised if David gets married with a couple of years after returning which will break many hearts. It’s inevitable and should not come as a shock knowing David’s level of obedience & devoutness to the tenets of the Mormon Church.

    • eyewideopen, hope that he gives himself time…rushing into something just because it’s expected is never a good thing. I just hope that David will think for himself and not be pressured. A couple of years after he returns would be just fine, first get his career in track then settle down. I know that probably that is not the Mormon way, but I just hope he dates a while before making that decision. It does seem like the LDS church does have a big holded on it’s members to obey.

    • At 19 years old he said that it would probably be ten years before he was married (or did he say “married with a family?), so he may have different ideas than most in his position.

      I never could figure out the spending eternity with spouse and children–I mean would you be the parent with your children who have their own spouses and children and grand children and all of their spouses and brothers and sisters, spouses parents, and great, great, great grandchildren, etc. etc. or would you be a child with your own parents and grandparents and brothers and sisters and aunts, uncles, their spouses, great great grandparents, etc. etc.? There would be a million people all linked together in no time. And then what about 100,000 years of ancestors and descendants? Ten million years of descendants?

    • eyeswideopen…sigh…I was so enjoying a thread devoid of religious discussion.

      HG, loved your article, and totally agree.

      • I tend to agree that discussing David’s religion in regards to specific tenants and David’s obedience and devoutness to them is not really something I am interested in. I think most of us just want to focus on his music career and wish that David could do that now. I just don’t care what any music artists religion and beliefs are. Not interested at all. Once David leaves his somewhat sheltered mission who knows where he will be in regards to his religion in 5 years time. People change. That is life.

  17. I don’t think it will come as a shock if David gets married within a few years (by the time he is 26 or so). However, one thing about David is that he has met many people young and old that he isn’t just going to pick some random Mormon girl/woman. He has been around so many and talked to so many that I am sure he will find someone that fits whatever appeals to him in all ways. Some people he just lights up around whether or not they are actually his “soul mate” but hopefully it will be someone that makes him laugh like some people do (like Jennifer McCurdy but I am not suggesting her) or blush (Alison Sudol) or take that second look like we have seen him do a few times but rarely is it caught on film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKcZMkuvodA

  18. I am looking forward to watching the interview with devout Mormon football player Manti Te’o tomorrow . I just have to wonder if his beliefs and being naive and somewhat sheltered somehow made him more vulnerable to this type of hoax. Maybe or maybe not. It is too bad because I believe him but many others don’t. I just hope it does not effect his NFL career.

    • Marie, that’s my take on it too, poor kid. Imo, organized religion ( not just mormonism, although, it is extemely controlling) can be as harmful as bad influence. I believe in God, but I really have a big problem with how churches controll their followers with fear that they wouldn’t go to heaven if they don’t do what they are told by mortal man.

  19. I always loved that video collegemom. Thanks for posting it.

  20. David is the most eligible Mormon bachelor so I’m sure it won’t be a problem for David to find a Mormon young women that would want to marry him. I am also sure that David will marry a Morrmon. I think he will work on his music career right out the gate when he returns because I think he wants music as his vocation if at all possible.

    • Grammyj, yes, he really doesn’t have a choice, he needs to marry a Mormon or if he falls for someone that isn’t, they would have to convert….talk about a controlling religion.

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