April 16, 2009

Talent is so much more magical when it’s unexpected

Posted in Television tagged , , , , , , , at 9:20 pm by myrlinn

So this week, I was reading the message boards, and I came across this:

Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent 2009 (Audition)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKhIkeTkm8s

It’s so lovely when we stumble across something unexpected like this… when magic comes out from someone who looks as ordinary-looking at her. What a doll she is in terms of personality too.

One commentator wrote that it’s kinda like when we saw Clay Aiken on American Idol. And that’s true – it’s something special to see someone succeed when we don’t expect from them.

Clay Aiken – American Idol 2 (Audition)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu0CKMHT1tI

Looking at these performances actually gave me some insight into why I find this year’s American Idol especially unappealing – this year, there’s no unlikely idol in sight. I actually felt relieved this week to see Anoop Desai doing well with Everything I Do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV9fjxjW7OM

It does the heart good to see someone who’s had quite a rough time of it finally get everything together. He looked really comfortable up there, and I thought that his voice was really nice at that key.

And since I’m posting, I guess I might as well mention my thoughts on the other idols this year:

* Adam Lambert is being way over-praised — he’s coming across too theatrical, too practised. Amazing range, though I’m not that into the tone of his voice.

* Ditto for Danny Gokey. He’s good, but as good as the judges make out? I don’t think so.

* Poor Lil and Matt, especially Lil. Trying too hard to please the judges, and twisting themselves in knots as a result.

* Allison Iraheta. I personally don’t enjoy the timbre of her voice that much, but I can see that she’s talented. I’m so glad she’s survived this far.

* Kris Allen. I’m neutral on his voice, it’s nice, not amazing. But he’s there doing his thing week after week, and he seems to be so himself. I’d like to see him find his niche in the recording industry post-Idol.

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April 2, 2009

Megan Joy eliminated from American Idol – her “I don’t care” to Simon

Posted in Television tagged , , , , at 8:46 pm by myrlinn

I guess quite a few people will be very critical of Megan Joy for her “I don’t care” to Simon. I wonder though how much of it is bravado that’s a result of knowing that the judges are targetting for her to go next. And of letting the judges’ sudden “hate” get to her.

Honestly, I don’t get the judges’ excessive love for Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey. I may be alone, but Adam always makes me feel like he’s “acting” when he’s singing onstage. A genius on the same level as Mick Jagger? *rolls eyes* If you put Adam next to Mick, I think Adam comes across as a “wannabe” (what they accused Allison Iraheta of this week, just because of the rather OTT rock-chick outfit she had on).

As for Danny Gokey, he has an ease about him onstage which obviously helps him sell any song he’s singing. But to me, he’s just consistently very good, not great. I don’t think he’s done that much better than Matt Giraud or Lil Rounds, yet Matt and Lil Rounds seem to be judged much more harshly, leading them to perhaps overthink their song choices???

I’m just glad that Kris Allen is still able to just do his thing. Really enjoyed his “Ain’t No Sunshine” this week. And I remember enjoying his “Man in the Mirror” in the Top 36 stage. His main weakness, for me, is that his voice is just okay for me. But, if you believe in conventional pop-music wisdom that it’s all about the song, then I can see a situation where given a good song, he’ll improve on it, and be able to release a very good record. (Also, I’ve heard a couple of his studio recordings for Idol, and I do think he sounds better recorded than live). I see him as this season’s Blake Lewis, without the beat-boxing gimmick.

Having said all that, I must say that I find myself looking forward more to the Results week for the guests, than to the performance shows. It was great to see David Cook again this week. And I loved Joss Stone last week.

One of my main thoughts this week about Idol: I think it’s a shame that the show has missed its chance to reshape pop music. Yet, with every season, they seem to be increasingly emphasising to contestants that they have to ‘fit’ into the contemporary pop world. What a waste of an opportunity. American Idol could have striven to become the Motown of this era. But so far all we’ve seen is a massively successful factory in action.

October 5, 2008

Clay Aiken is gay, no need for comment from me, his blog says it all

Posted in Music tagged , , , at 10:03 am by myrlinn

Well, I have refrained from writing in my blog over the whole Clay reveals he’s gay in last week’s issue of People magazine. I was one of those who thought he was likely not gay, but don’t feel any different at all now that I know he is. So it wasn’t because I was upset or anything.

It was more the feeling that I didn’t really feel right adding too much to comments about something which I believe an individual has the right to keep private. And I was also thinking that, by adding too much to the comments, it would be making more of the fact that Clay’s gay than it really deserves (Having said that, can I just say that I do understand why some may feel confused/conflicted, and respect their right to feel that way).

I’ve thought for a while now that in the final analysis, what will matter in the long-term will be Clay’s own words and actions over the long-term, not any comments or thoughts that I might have. And his latest blog post, which can now be read at the CONCLAYVE, proves just that.

One more thing: I hope that the fan reaction to Clay revealing he’s gay (majority supportive) paves the way for people to see that Clay fans are diverse. Fans have been, for a long time now, I think, unfairly painted with too broad a brush. This is something that got my friend tribeca so frustrated that she posted in her American Idol blog that “My thoughts are mine”