Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Inspirational Songs and Lieber and Stoller / Lady Gag Mentors

It was a fun show again tonight: entertaining and engaging. My all around favorite performer of the evening was James Durbin. He's at a higher level of professionalism than the rest; he's consistent, confident, knows how to work an audience, and knows how to sing without hurting himself (hopefully). But these qualities do not a winner make, judging from past Idol years, example: Adam Lambert.
Lady Gaga was intriguing to watch and she had some good coaching points, but I found her quite annoying. But I think that's her gimmick- annoying and shocking. Whatever works, I guess. I like good singing, songs, performing, leave the shock factor at home, it's just distracting. The music should be enough by itself.
There was an article today in the Poughkeepsie Journal about one of my students, Ashley Flow, who made it all the way to Hollywood week this year. Check it out. And come out to hear me perform my original songs in New Paltz if you're free on Sat. night. No gimmicks, just some straight out singing and entertaining. My husband, David Michael Peters will be performing on guitar and bass with me and one of my former students, Fiona Robins who is only 17, will be singing back-up and opening up the night with a couple of songs. Details below:

Vickie Russell in concert

Sat. May 14 @ 8:00 PM

Cliffside Concert Series @ Simply Create

238 Main St. (next to Burger King and Midas) New Paltz, NY 12561 845-255-5056 $10 suggested donation

Okay, back to the blog:

Who should go home? I think Haley. Who do you think?

Here's my take on the evening:

James Durbin

Don't Stop Believing
He's the guy! He sang that as well as my favorite male rock singer: Steven Perry from Journey. James is really an amazing rock singer-he's the American Idol for me.

Love Potion #9
What a fantastic performer! Very exciting and,amazing vocals to boot. He knows how to yell the right way. I don't think he is hurting his voice, and he just has so much confidence.

Haley Reinhart

What About Us
Ouch, I can't listen to Haley tearing her voice up! She's just screaming, her cords must be so swollen from all of this. I don't know if she will make it through the rest of the contest, vocally speaking. I liked the song choice; I like to hear people sing songs that I don't know, it's interesting to me, I don't know why they keep telling people to sing well known songs. As I said last week, doesn't America have any imagination? Except for the screaming, I thought she did alright. I enjoyed the choir behind her.

I Who Have Nothing
Powerful song, She did a good job from a performance point of view but I'll be surprised if she has any speaking voice tomorrow. Again, she really pushed her voice to the max. Is it worth it to win this contest with a chance of rupturing a vocal cord and having permanent damage. I don't know what I would do if I could never sing again; it would devastate me because that is my main creative expression. I once lost my voice for a year so I am talking from experience here. Luckily with lots of re-training and rest, I got it back; but never again will I push my voice or oversing, not for anything or anyone. Listen to the original recording of this song; Shirley Bassey is singing it, wow can she sing! If I were Haley's coach, I'd put her on vocal rest for a month (no talking, singing or whispering).

Scotty McReery

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning
He did a good job singing that song. I'm not crazy about the song, but it certainly suited him and he is the consummate country boy.

Young Blood
That showed a different side of Scotty; he was goofy and fun. I enjoyed it. I guess Lady Gaga scared him a little bit; I don't blame him.

Lauren Alaina

Do It Anyway
She sang that really well, beautifully performed. Her voice still sounds so hoarse when she speaks, a bad sign of vocal strain. She really does push her voice way too much for a young woman of her age.

That was a strong performance for this 17 year old singer. We saw a confident, different side of her. Lady Gaga coached her well, but I felt sad for her, she seems like a fairly inoocent teenager and somehow it felt alarming to push her to "evil". But I guess she was just playing a character. At the end of the song, the last few high notes, she strained her voice pretty badly, nothing was coming out. Hope she will be okay.

1 comment:

cdecotis said...

"..Lady Gag Mentors"...haha...that made me laugh, Vickie. I thought she was certainly nice enough and offered some good advice, but seriously, I think she looks ridiculous...She doesn't shock me but rather, induces my laughter...however, I was extremely impressed she could walk in those (stilts!) that's a feat! (no pun intended!)

Much better show this week. Every performance, except for Haley's first (a screechfest), was done well. Though, I also did not mind Haley's choice of song "What About Us". I rather enjoy hearing new or unfamiliar songs. Jennifer L. did mention that a more popular tune is the way to go, but this time, I think I heard her say/infer that this is necessary only because it is a competition. If a contestant doesn't grab the entire audience, it could be the end of the road. I can see that. I actually know a guy who is put off if songs heard at a concert stray in arrangement from the original album. That makes no sense to me...He could save himself the ticket price and stay home at play the record. I love hearing live renditions, hoping for something new,unexpected, or extended.

I did think Scotty was brilliant (regarding game strategy) choosing the Alan Jackson song. Nothing like a down home man--living a simple life--singing a simple song about Sept. 11th--and talking to God--kinda song right on the heels of Osama Bin Laden's demise. That careful choice of song is, what I think, Jennifer was talking about. Lauren did the same choosing "Do It Anyway" in the aftermath of the storm devastation in the south.

I don't mean to make those two out to be calculating little schemers, because I do think those songs mean the world to each of them...I just think they made excellent and timely choices.

James pretty much just rocked it and was my fav for the evening. He did everything right.

Haley should go tonight.

I'll be sure to check out the P Journal article you linked...and enjoy your gig on Saturday night.