I was so burned out on American Idol last season I stopped watching right when they let some of the best talent go in the first round of voting. The show had really gotten stale in the last few seasons. But out of curiosity I checked out this season because I wanted to see how the new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez did. I didn’t have high hopes for them, because I only knew them as performers, but boy was I wrong. They’ve been very good. But even more importantly, the talent this year has been off the charts. The singers they found blow away previous year’s talent. Some of them are simply amazing.
Last night they had the 12 guys sing. Tonight they will let the girls sing. Here are some of my favorites of the guys. I will cover the girls tomorrow.
My personal favorite of this season is Casey Abrams who is exactly what I would like to be if I was a singer. He is a jazz influenced musician, extremely original, powerful, passionate. Randy Jackson says he’s the best musician ever to grace the stage there in all 10 seasons of the show. The guy is a one of a kind performer. Last night he did “I put a spell on you” and made it his own. Simply an amazing talent.
Jacob Lusk is another utterly fantastic vocalist who did the Burt Bacharach classic “A House is Not a Home” in such a way to show his incredible range. He completely floored the judges with that performance. Steven Tyler said he had a gift from god. Here’s his version of “God bless the child” which blew away the judges last week.
James Durbin has mild autism (Asburger’s syndrome) and Tourettes, but the guy is one of the best rock singers you can imagine. He can belt out a tune as good or better than just about any rock star today in the style of the great rock stars of the past (not the anemic ones of today). Check out his cover of “You got another thing coming”.
Paul McDonald is another extremely original throwback to an earlier time. He is more like a classic soft rock vocalist, with a very unique sound to his voice. Very smooth and confident, like someone who’s been doing it for decades. Here’s version of Maggie May by Rod Stewart. Here’s something he did pre-Idol.
Those are the top 4 that interest me, but there are a host of other great singers this season, like Scotty McCreedy who is a fantastic country singer who’s only 17 and has a great baritone range. Clint Gamboa, who may be a cutthroat, but he’s a real talent. Brett Lowenstern who was born to be on Glee. He’s a fey singer with an original voice and style with an immense amount of talent.