Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gotta love the flamboyance

The one thing America doesn't know about Luke Menard is that he's part of an a cappella group called Chapter Six and that they've been touring for the past six years. He says being part of an a cappella group is not like singing with a band - he says you have to be flawless and he loves the challenge of not missing a note.

He sings "Killer Queen" by Queen and I think it's a mistake. Here's why. This song is kind of funky and maybe not as well-known to many viewers, so it's hard to get into a performance when the song is unfamiliar. I know this song was a big hit for Queen back in the day - Wikipedia says so - but I don't think it's a song that has the same staying power that "Bohemian Rhapsody" does - or "We Are the Champions." I just think that since his performance last week wasn't great, he should have come out this week and really knocked us out with a more viewer-friendly song. But I'm talking strategy here - I'm not talking about his actual vocals. His singing is actually really good - only a couple of tiny problem spots - way better than last week. But I still think the song choice may sink him.

Randy tells him that in degree of difficulty, he definitely chose a tough song and that he likes him better this week than last week. He says there were a couple of pitch problems, but all in all, it was pretty good. Paula says he picked the perfect song and that it was a really great week for him. Simon says he thinks the performance was a mistake because they're always going to be judged with the original and the trouble is that Freddie Mercury had charisma and personality and Luke didn't, so he suffered by comparison.

Robbie Carrico is up next and the thing we would be surprised to know about him is that he loves to drag race cars. I actually went to a track to watch some drag racing when I was in Florida a couple of years ago. It's actually really cool to watch, especially knowing that it's being done in the safest way possible and not on some residential street somewhere.

Robbie sings Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" and really, there was nothing special about it. I feel bad because I feel like Robbie's falling into the cracks - there's nothing about his personality that stands out, like Danny Noriega, and there's nothing about his singing that stands out, like David Archuleta. He's just stuck in the background and those people don't usually last too long. Plus, I still don't buy this whole rock thing - his hair looks awful. If he insists on keeping it long, he should always keep it covered up. But even his hair looks out of place on him - it's just weird to me. I feel like if he came in with a different persona, he could maybe be interesting, but right now, he just kind of bores me - he's filler.

Randy tells him he's not sure rock is really his thing - he says the performance didn't have enough oomph to really be like a rock voice but that he didn't a pretty good job. He says he kept waiting to be wowed and nothing came out. Paula says he played it safe this week and that when you play it safe, you sometimes lose your character and personality. They start talking about how rock is an attitude and not something you should have to prove, so Robbie agrees and wonders aloud why he feels like he has to keep proving it. Simon tells him not to be so defensive - that they're just opinions and he says he actually thinks the vocal was OK tonight.

The thing we don't know about Danny Noriega is that he used to be in a punk rock band when he was in 9th grade, which is only like 3 or 4 years ago. He says they played one show but that they weren't very good and that they broke up soon after, realizing that they stunk.

He sings "Superstar," which I think is by the Carpenters, but Paula makes a comment about how she liked the way he chose the Carpenters take on the song, so my guess is that it may originally be by someone else, but I don't know who that someone else could be. If anyone knows, please shoot me a message. I happen to love Danny's voice, but more than that, I'm still so amazed at how pretty he is - especially tonight - they keep zooming in on his face really close and his skin is just flawless. I think he sounds great, too, but I think slow songs are boring, in general, so I would have liked a more up-tempo song. I'm sure he was just trying to steer clear of what he did last week since the judges seemed to dislike it so much.

Randy says he's a fan of his, but that he didn't like the slow vibrato and that he was thinking too much during the performance. Seriously? Are we really critiquing people on the speed of their vibrato now? C'mon - that's a bit much, I think. Paula tells him he has great vocal skill and she agrees with Randy, that he can't overthink it - that he has to just perform. Simon tells him that this was better than last week, even though it wasn't a fantastic vocal. He says he thinks Danny was trying so hard - that he was over-concentrating. But he tells him that what he likes about him is that he stands out in a crowd and he's interesting. He also tells him he looks terrific on camera, too.

Then Ryan comes out and mentions that Danny appeared to be nodding at the criticism and asks him if he agreed with the judges. He says yes and acknowledges that last week was a disaster, even though he gave Simon a kind of flamboyant head shake last week. And then Simon says "So you agreed with me?" And Danny replies, "Ish... kind of." The exchange is not translating well in text, but it was actually really funny.


Anonymous said...

If you have HD his skin is very far from flawless. This kid annoys me to no end, but I think he will go far. How in the world do they think this is the most talented group ever???

Anonymous said...

In This Corner -- the Carpenters: Though many people think this 1971 No. 2 hit for the Southern California brother-and sister pop duo was an original tune, the Carpenters' version is actually a cover song itself. 'Superstar' was written by Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett, members of rock and soul group Delaney & Bonnie. Originally called 'Groupie (Superstar)' and sung by Bramlett, it was released as a 1969 B-side.

Anonymous said...

Sorry -- the previous post about "Superstar" was from -- I forgot to include the source.

I have heard the original but only once or twice in my lifetime (I am over 40).

Anonymous said...

Danny is way too prissy to compete with the other guys, I think. He looks like a female in the long camera shots, and in the photos of his punk rock experience as a kid, he truly looks like a very pretty girl. Sadly, I doubt if he will win voters over with his flamboyance (even tho' I agree w/ you that his voice is great).