So yesterday, the white-guy-with-guitar from Georgia, Phillip Phillips (a.k.a. P-Squared, the stoned one – I hope you’ll get this) was finally crowned as the newest American Idol. To be honest, I really expected that this guy will win, without me actually following the season. I only tuned in to American Idol after hearing about the momentous ‘Save’ of Jessica Sanchez. When I watched her performance the night before (she sang Jazmine Sullivan’s Stuttering) I was wondering what the heck was wrong with America for letting this girl land the bottom three. It was totally ridiculous! (And I bet the ridiculously photogenic guy will agree.) I mean, come on. Though I’m Filipino and Jessica’s a Filipina-Mexican, America should have appreciated her voice! Anyway, the judges made the Ctrl+S, so fast forwarding to the Top 3…
It was a tough pairing-to-do for the finale. I bet that a Jessica/Joshua faceoff is more exciting than with Phillip around but Americans love Phillip! They didn’t let him taste how it feels like to be on the bottom three. Nevertheless, I salute Joshua Ledet for giving the best Idol exit EVER. He may shout a lot but in terms of vocal prowess, the two J’s deserves to be in the final faceoff. But at least Joshua has a lot of moments to savor in the finale. He got the other finalists sing as his back-up. (It was refreshing to see Colton Dixon, by the way).
So where is this ‘Just another American Idol blog‘ heading? It had been clear to me what last night’s faceoff really is. It’s not about the small-town guitarist versus the powerhouse diva. It’s about (and this is debatable) the ARTIST VERSUS the PERFORMER.
One may ask what is the difference of both, and it can be better portrayed using a Venn Diagram. The area in between is a special category for very gifted individuals who can be the artist and the performer. You can think of the singers that may fall in this category and I admit that I’m only a music enthusiast and not really an expert and a know-it-all in the industry so I’ll segue to the Venn Diagram, American Idol edition.
Phillip, is no doubt, the artist. He may not be able to belt out like Jessica, Joshua, and Skylar Laine but in his every performace, he sits with his band and just amaze me on how he Phillip-Phillips the song. Since I only tuned into Idol after the ‘Save’ (I didn’t bother anymore watching their previous performances because I know they’ll be better on the succeeding rounds), I first watched Phillip and his rendition of In the Midnight Hour. I actually liked it! The funky vibe, the jazzy setup, his weird but cute facial expressions when he makes his sounds – but this is not the formula of Phillip-Phillip-ing a song. It’s an unexplainable feeling of comfy he shares to his viewers. Though their are some songs that the P-Squared didn’t work out, like Give a Little More and Time of the Season, I still like him and his style. I have to agree with Jennifer Lopez that his performance of Volcano is the most poignant and the best he’s given for the entire season. Everything he did was effortless and his win was also effortless. Enough said. Other ‘artists’ in the competition are Elise Testone and Colton.
On the other hand, Jessica is the performer but not just any other performer! She’s a diva in her 16 yrs. old self. Admit it, her duet with Jennifer Holiday is the HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT. She kept up with the Grammy winner and she outperformed herself when she sang the song on the Top 4 round. She is technically, the best singer in the competition. She doesn’t need to shout like Joshua (watch her performance of You Are So Beautiful) and she doesn’t have to run around the stage like Skylar. She’ll just stand on the middle of the stage or sit on the piano or sit on the stage. (Come to think of it, it’s harder on that position because the degree of breathing varies when you stand, sit, kneel, etc.) Though she also has some faults on song choices (some that makes her mature removing the youthfulness in her and some that deviates from her genre), she nails her performances effortlessly too! Jessica is simply wonderful girl with a voice than can conquer the charts someday. She may not be the American Idol but she’s already a World Idol for me. And just to add, she’s the long lost diva of our generation! Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and the others have NO MATCH on her! She’s the only one in the American music industry to have that kind of voice! She is, the one and only. Enough said.
So that’s it! With regards to The Artist vs. The Performer type of singers, I thought Adele is a performer especially on how she makes heartfelt performances. Jennifer Lopez is also a performer, including Whitney Houston, Celine Dion… For the artists, I think bands fall on this type, especially the established ones like Queen, The Beatles – those who really made a following through their music. As for those who belong to the Artist-Performer, Michael Jackson is an epitome. Lady Gaga may also be on this one but it’s hard to distinguish which from which so this remains debatable and would be better if the argument is based specifically on a certain subject.
Congratulations to the new Idol winner! I hope his career won’t befall to the previous winners. WGWG is becoming a mediocrity in Idol and though Jessica is a step closer, she’s a winner on her own. I look forward on their new singles and may the odds be ever in their favor!