[Editor’s Note: The Idol Gives Back broadcast was able to raise over $60 million for various American and African charities, even without superstar Sanjaya. That, my friends, is impressive.]
Idol Gives Back: I can’t knock a show that is giving a great deal of money toward good causes. They’ve built American Idol this season, not around discovering new talent themselves, but how to function when Sanjaya was still a part of the show, and the subsequent build up to Idol Gives Back. When shows like this become such a runaway success (i.e., lots and lots of money being made by all) and a part of the American culture phenomenon, there should certainly be episodes like this one where it is structured to arrange sponsors to give back. I expect the numbers to be huge since every call was going to trigger money being donated to help people with hunger, basic needs and literacy. I took advantage of the four-hour time block to vote for four hours as often as I could get through to help bring that number up. Who did I vote for this week? Keep reading.
The theme for this week was songs that inspire “you”. It’s a interesting question and challenge for these kids since I consider most of commercial radio to be utterly uninspiring. Chris went for “Change the World” by Eric Clapton (also covered by Wynonna Judd). Chris’ big sell, as usual, is his “if I were drunk you would look just like Justin Timberlake” resemblance eye stare. It was pretty boring; I didn’t really feel a connection, as it just didn’t work for me.
Melinda did a excellent version of Faith Hill’s “There Will Come a Day.” That song is hard to make “one’s own” because it is this sweeping country/gospel type song. However, Melinda made it believable, and as usual, she’s securing her spot in the final three.
Blake covered John Lennon’s “Imagine”, which is very much a neutral thing to do. You can’t take too many leverages with the song because it is a Lennon classic. Even the camera angle used was to focus on Blake’s facial expressions. I thought he did a good job with it and it’s a hard song to screw up (at least Sanjaya never covered it). Not very inspiring in the sense that I would have believed he covered it for no reason at all, but as Simon said, it was sincere.
LaKisha for some reason isn’t getting the very direct message of “do not cover a former Idol’s signature song”. It wasn’t terrible, but when the judges have put people through in past seasons, the last thing they should be subjected to hear is how you would have done a former Idol’s song better. Bad move. I don’t really understand. She’s very talented. Why couldn’t she have picked another inspiring song? I’m glad Fantasia inspired her, but there are others out there. LaKisha needs a major turn-around now, as she’s nowhere near safe, which in my eyes is very disappointing. She’s currently in my luke-warm graces. Bring the fire and desire back!
Phil has safely secured himself a country career over the past two weeks, with a good performance of “The Change” by Garth Brooks. An interesting fact to note is that Garth did an Oklahoma City Bombing tribute to the victims and heroes video to this song years ago. Phil still creeps me out, but he’s found a niche to stick with.
The performer of the night and what Randy declared the best vocal in Idol history, was Jordin Sparks, as she lit up the night with a incredible rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. I’m the most familiar with the Elvis Presley version, and I think Jordin’s performance is right up there with Elvis’ performance. Jordin is right now the person to beat in the competition and she should be very proud of the progress she’s made in this competition. I raked up calling for three hours and fifty minutes to Jordin and the last ten minutes to LaKisha, to help a girl out. Jordin secured herself a career in the music industry and I think people will be lining up to work with her, as they seem to be for Sanjaya.
YouTube Video of the Week:
I selected this video for its non-profit tie to YouthAIDS, as it features Wynonna Judd’s “I Want To Know What Love Is”, and Ashley Judd discussing why to be involved in causes. This video is one of the most inspiring videos I’ve ever seen and Idol should have called these two up to help out.
No one went home this week, but not without hanging Idols over a fire to make them believe they could go home (like Jordin) and having them sing two minutes later. Next week, we lose two!
Thank you for reading; make your moment your breakthrough.