Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Idol Disappointment

So if you never watch the reality TV show, American Idol, skip this post or suck it up and indulge me. I'll get back to screenwriting tomorrow. Been under the weather and I have ENTIRELY too much time on my hands. Also, I'm a singer. AI is required viewing for singers. It's the law.

Naturally, viewers have conflicting ideas about who should continue in the competition and who should go home but while I don't lose sleep over the program, in five years, this was the most unexpected departure I've seen yet. Mandisa was my personal favorite alongside Chris whom I expect to be the first white guy to win American Idol. My blog. My opinion. Of course, I thought Chris and Mandisa would be the final two. Shows how little I know.

Not only is Mandisa a breathtakingly beautiful woman with the most mature and reliable voice of the Idol herd, but even at fourteen years my junior, I can only hope to one day demonstrate her graceful strength and sweet spirit.

But alas, I didn't vote and like I say to citizens who complain about their elected officials, if you don't vote, you don't have a whole lot of room to gripe about the results.


Douglas Cootey said...

MaryAn, I appreciate your enthusiasm for ManDIVA. She was a favorite of ours as well, but she had a fatal flaw: She didn't have a good chest voice. This means that she lacked diaphragm support for her low notes. This became evident whenever she chose songs that had a lot of low parts. Unfortunately, "Any man of mine" was all low until the end when she slipped into a higher key. It was a very bad song choice for her. Personally, I don't understand how she made that mistake. She is so phenomenal in the higher registers. Any song by Martina McBride could have made her sound fabulous. She has to have known she is weak in the lower registers... She just didn't play to her strengths.

I have to admit that I found last night's bottom three very interesting since none of them had been there before. And it doesn't matter how good a contestant has been. If their last performance is the worst performance, they go home. Talk about sudden death... Time for Mandisa to give Barry a call and take him up on that offer. :)

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Douglas, fire your vocal coach. You are absolutely right that the upper register is her strength and song choice was without question her downfall. However, she jumps easily from soprano to contralto, (which for a mezzo soprano is almost impossible to sing from any place BUT the chest). It's the upper register where women get lazy and sing from the mask. I never once heard Mandisa do that. Ace, on the other hand... ugh. I love the Barry Gibbs falsetto thing once in awhile, but it's all that poor boy can do.

My vocal coach used to make me put one hand on my head and a finger from the other hand over my upper lip as I sang to check for vibration. If it isn't there, you are not "parting your pects". He would also make me do pushups as I sang and a lot of other exercises that sound silly but force a singer to get out of their face.

Guess I ought to give my voice guy a shout out.

Mot said...

I think Ace is horrible, but like it or not, people vote on the whole package, and Ace has the pretty boy factor going. I agree Mandisa is beautiful, has a beautiful spirit, and an awesome voice. Her song choice wasn't good, and neither was her wardrobe choice. Sad, but true. Taylor hicks also had a poor song choice. Next week they are singing "Queen" songs? Good Grief! Just let them focus on their strengths, as the judges keep telling them, don't force them into a mold that only 1 or 2 can accomplish on any given week. there, I feel better.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

QUEEN????? Is that for real? NOW I know why Mandisa is gone. Producers didn't want her around when Chris sings Fat Bottomed Girls. Cowards.

Alicia said...

A snippet of this morning's conversation between my 44-year-old husband and 6-year-old daughter:.

HUSBAND: Guess who got voted off American Idol last night?


HUSBAND: No! Mandisa! They're talking about it on CNN right now.

DAUGHTER: Did you vote for her?

HUSBAND: No. (beat) But I voted for her 20 times last week.


I, too, am sorry to see her go. But, "Ya gotta vote!", as Ryan Sechrest sez!

Douglas Cootey said...

Ha! I'm not firing my vocal coach. I know better than to sing out loud in public. My daughter, OTOH, is the one taking lessons. Perhaps I misunderstood something, or perhaps we are using different terminology, but I'm fairly certain I am right, but not certain I explained it correctly. LOL

Douglas Cootey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Douglas Cootey said...

Hello, this is Douglas's daughter. I'm sure our terminology crossed wires. I know what you mean when you say that contralto is impossible to sing without the support of your chest. I'm taking speech level singing and we refer to the chest voice as the connection back down into the lower registers-not diaphragm strength and support. It's an easy miscommunication to make. Am I right in assuming that you are classically trained? That would make a world of difference in the way we interpret different terms.

She without a doubt has control over her chest and diaphragm as she can belt out high C's, but she doesn't have the control she needs over her low registers. Her "chest voice" sounds untrained and weak. She has unlimited control over her upper registers and can easily jump from mezzo soprano to contralto as you said, but her "chest voice" or what ever you would refer to it as, is very feeble.

She abandoned her strength and embraced her weakness all for a song that struck her fancy. I too, am surprised that she didn't notice this flaw in her voice herself. For me, I don't have the broadest head voice (upper register control) so I tend to avoid songs written in the keys I haven't mastered. I find it odd she didn't do the same.

That mistake cost her the competition. Song choice is the most crucial element to a performance next to vocal delivery. She erred on the song choice and the song choice severely affected her vocal delivery. In this case, it's Two Strikes; You're out!