Leave the radio hits alone!
There couldn’t have been a more clearer message after tonight’s results show. Group three has to know now to leave the current radio hits alone. They have more simple melodies, and no matter what they do, they aren’t going to measure up to the people we’re used to hearing every day.
Let’s examine the three that made it through. Our first member of the top three was Allison Iraheta. She sang Alone by Heart, originally released in 1987. She also sang on pitch, more so than all the other girls who happened to be older than her. Kris Allen sang Man In the Mirror by Michael Jackson, originally released in 1988. Frankly, we don’t want to remember Jackson’s version. Adam Lambert sang Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones, originally released in 1965. These songs were out before Allison was born. I’m suddenly feeling old.
Other than Kai Kalama’s What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted released in 1966, the other songs were released in 1997, 1982, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. What is this telling them? Don’t sing recent songs. And if you do, you have to sing the hell out of it, which no one did. The only one that sang the hell out of song was Adam, and I’m going to go on record as saying if any one else in this group of 12 had sung that song, they wouldn’t be moving on. We think of Mick Jagger with this song, and Adam needed to make us forget him. His performance did. No one else managed to do that with their song, including Kris and Allison.
That’s what separates the best performers from the others. When they’re saddled with the job of singing songs we’ve already heard, they have to make us forget the original person to sing the song. For those songs released in more recent years, it’s nearly impossible. Coldplay is still getting a lot of airplay with Viva La Vida. That made it nearly impossible for us not to think of the original version, combined with the fact that while Matt Giraud may love that song, he didn’t put near the heart into it that he did to Georgia.
So here’s my advice, Group 3. If you’ve already picked wrong, pick again. Others have changed; you can too. You still have five days. Simon is wrong; it’s never too late for advice. While I can appreciate no one is tackling Whitney Houston or Stevie Wonder, other than Tatiana Del Toro, there has to be some middle ground somewhere. Choose something from at least a decade ago, and be sure it’s not an iconic song. Don’t sing something because you want to show a different side to the judges. They aren’t voting; we are. Sing something that shows us who you are as a performer.
Photo courtesy of Fox