"God Bless the Child" on Idol?

Anyone catch Jacob Lusk's performance of this Billie Holiday classic last night on American Idol?

It was truly one of the most earth shattering performances I've ever seen on the show.

BH herself would have been proud.

Can't wait to hear what this guy does next.

There seems to be a fair abundance of real musical talent on Idol this year so far it seems!
4b9c724a 509c 4bb1 a384 a61b6782a9d0mapman
Have to agree...Blew me away......and evryone else too..
The 15 year old that sang What a Wonderful World was not exactly chopped liver.
I feel silly to admit that I have watched, if not most of the shows, at least some of every season of American Idol. Ususally by now, most of the great auditions give way to show the weakness. This year I am genuinely impressed by the abundance of natural talent.
I also really liked the guy with the acoustic bass.
It's interesting to see how everyone has different tastes, which is totally fine. I checked it out on youtube and struggled getting through it. Okay, the guy obviously has vocal talent, but when someone goes hardcore into vocal acrobatics, it loses me very quickly. I find that the emotion of the song is lost. I can't say that BH would be proud. She was about emotional delivery of a song as opposed to vocal acrobatics. Anyways, just my 2 cents.
Not everyone with "talent" will be in the final group selected. You can bet they will select some "human interest" personalities - e.g., a "youngster like a 15 year old "phenom" (who'll be eliminated in mid season), a "difficult" personality, and, of course, a "compelling" personal story (single Mom, or dedicated to someone with a misfortune). This year's group has much better pure singing talent than last year in comparison. Finally, I am deeply suspicious after how AI "manipulated" the last few shows of last season to make the eventual winner look more impressive with more staged "dramatic" presentation and Seacrest "hyping" of his "underdog" personality. In the end, does anyone remember what the two finalists are doing now? Even my "favorite" finalist Bowersox has disappeared into the pop-culture void. Compared to this season's AI crop so far, even last year's final two would have a tough time among this groups last 24. Yeah, that "GBTC" was a sweet one time performance. Can he do more types of music and be equally compelling? That's the challenge for the AI contestants- to show they are more than a "one trick pony". OK, I admist AI is a nice once in a while break from my intense rapt attention on my tube-analog system
The poor fellow over-cooked the song to death and added every pyrotechnic, vocal inflection and scat-jab in his bag. Can't blame him but it made for an uneven delivery.That said, the guy has really serious raw talent as does the upright-bass fellow and a few others.

Anyone care to guess how much "work" Tyler has had on that face? Or how truly vapid Lopez is :o) Anyway, its a nice mid-week diversion with the kids. Almost as much to make fun of as there is to genuinely like.. Viewer manipulations galore but there are some young singers this year that are better than any I've seen there since Daughtry.
I watched for the first time this season just to humor my wife and thought there were some fine singers. And yes, that guy with the bass seemed to be genuinely talented.
I prefer Simon as a judge. His reality checks made sense to me.
I agree that there are a few standouts that show some real promise. I believe that some choices in the top 25 will be for drama or human interest stories.

Let us not forget that this is an ENTERTAINMENT program that exists to generate ad revenue for the network and viewer ratings which sets ad rates. The fact that they find talent is a by product. This will become evident as the weeks progress and you see how the performers are portrayed by creative editing and promo's showing things that have been taken out of context and used to generate more viewers and it will have very little to do with the actual talent of whom-ever they are focusing on.

They did the same thing last year and it was very sad to watch. I think that is why Simon left before the show really took a dive into TMZ/Inside Edition territory.(CRAP TV) I believe the ratings were the lowest ever last year. I hope that the show will focus more on the music and talent and not the "Reality TV" trainwreck everyone wants to watch.
After reading this post I checked out his performance.
Incredible voice and passion. The young lad has mad chops.
Given the right guidance I'd have to think his chances for a career in music should be good. Almost would be waste to see him get pipelined in pop. Blues and jazz is his bag. I'd gladly give up all my audio gear, cds, albums, and right arm for a voice like that.
I had to check it out for myself before posting an opinion.Which in all do respect I'm glad I did after my first cup of coffee.My suspicion were correct before hearing and right.listening to his performance I knew I would tire easily for a long period of time{half hour at best and that would be a stretch}I should think that most would. I am not, and please under stand putting this young man down for what could have been a better if not a more brilliant performance. That is why BH did not sing God bless this way. The song with lyrics do not call for this type of vocal out burst. This type of singing and like so many singer's that permeate the airways should be put into a class by it self and all shipped off to the school of vocal hysterics. Sinatra said, that a singer needs to understand what he/she is singing and color to lyric's accordingly.Most singers need just listen to the great Nat Cole to understand vocal reflection and the grafting of lyrics in order to tell a story.
I won't say his performance was perfect by any stretch or that it was not somewhat over the top. After all the kid is a kid and a rank amateur at this point.

However, he was auditioning to demonstrate what he is capable of, and he put everything into doing that and the results were eye opening and demonstrated his huge potential.

Like I said, I can't wait to see where he goes from here.

It also appeared to me that the lyrical content of teh song he sang had to be a big part of his motivation while performing and his reaction afterwards.

I need to get my son to read the lyrics to GBTC.

Interesting stuff.
First, let me say that this was the best performance I have seen on Idol in ten years (second was Fantasia Barrino's Summertime).

Second, Schipo / samual, you could not be more wrong. Obviously, the lyrics had a deep personal meaning to this kid. No one sings himself to tears, just for dramatic impact. He was singing about himself whereas BH was singing about some other "child". Different context, different song, different art. Everything he did with the song was sincere, heartfelt and genuine self expression.

Nicely stated!

I tend to agree with your assessment.

I could not get a read on what the lyrics meant or didn't mean to the singer just from watching his performance or tears afterwards. My take was that he had huge adrenaline going, spent every last dime of his energy and the aftermath was the release of all the emotion, energy and stress that had built up inside.

Now, maybe the song did have personal meaning as well but how would anyone know that, unless there was some explanation I missed? It's a cooler story if it did, but no way to know.

If he had skipped the scatting and delivered the song with one or two less pyrotechnical runs from high-to-low it could have had an even greater "effect" on us. It still ranks as a very memorable audition, maybe the best on the show. To me though, he was intentionally showcasing his every talent during the song, which detracted 'slightly' from the impact it could have had. That was my only criticism, if you could call it that. Can't wait to se that develop.
If he pulls the same vocal stunts singing yellow submarine on Beatles night, you'll be proven right.... Until such moment I say he was just emotionally connecting with the lyrics of the song and spilling his guts on the stage.

Of course the posterchild of over the top vocal runs was Adam Lambert, and then there was "scatt no matter what" Blake Lewis.
"If he pulls the same vocal stunts singing yellow submarine on Beatles night, you'll be proven right"

That would be pretty funny!

How dare he show up Ringo!

I hope he doesn't also though.
Well, Jacob made it through last night!

He was advised prior to performing this week by his "coaches" to hold back a bit this week, and he did, but the judges advised him afterwards to essentially be himself and don't hold back, which I suspect is good advice.

Randy also called his performance of GBTC the best ever on Idol! High praise whether true or not.

It seems pretty much everybody who made it through is quite talented and can really sing this year, inclduing a few who did not make it through already.

I'm very psyched for Idol this year at this point.

I think the new judges are coming off quite well also.

JL has mostly been an asset. Randy seems to be stepping up his game to help fill the shoes of Simon as the senior judge on the panel.

And Steven Tyler adds a new element that was missing prior. He seems to genuinely appreciate the talent and good performances when he hears it. He also comes across very well as a insightful and compassionate judge with just enough "rock star" flavor to perhaps attract some new viewers. He is presenting himself quite excellently in this role IMHO!

We'll see....
Mapman... I agree that the talent this year is far superior to prior years. I'm putting my money on the guy that plays the double bass being around longer than Jacob.
I think the show is better than when Simon was there. Now the focus isnt so much on insults (that I admit I anjoyed) but more "move along" and make way for the talent. So it lost some of its side show schtick but I think its a more mature show for it.
Now if I can just will that crazy eyed kid with the tail tie I will be happy. Oh and that red haired man girl who looks like Simply Red on Meth all will be perfect!
Few observations:

First: Agree getting rid of Simon was a blessing. Show was always too much about the jury to my liking and the balanced has shifted to focus on the contestants.

Second: Tyler strikes me as a genuinly nice guy, and J-Lo is surprisingly unpretensious.

Third: They are overdoing it on the short skirts. No need to sex up the show.

Fourth: Anyone notice the preponderance of good looking female contestants in the top 24, and all the overweight ones getting the boot?

Fifth: That said, with the exception of the young girl from Georgia I don't think the girls have a shot, so I guess the producers figured we might as well keep the cute ones....

Sixth: Ironically, none of the male front runners has the looks, unless the latin lover boy(s) show some strong development.

Seventh: The vocal agility of Jakob reminded me of Al Jarreau. I say his dominant style/inspiration is a gospel (not jazz) though.

Eight: Would love to hear Jakob do "a change is gonna come". That song was written for him. Unfortunately the "crazy eyed kid with the tail tie" already butchered it once this season (can't wait to see him go).

Ninth: Casey bass boy has the all the qualities that distinguish truly brilliant musicians (the epitomy of which that I have seen perform live is Prince) from the pack of merely talented; absolutely perfect sense of timing/rhytm AND melody. Complete natural flow of music from within, without ANY interference from the brain. Somewhat like Nadal probably never THINKS about his next shot; it is purely intuitive and always the right shot.

Enough amateur phsychology for today - more to follow.
Edorr: You should be placed in a room with this so called talented singer while strapped down. And see how long you can survive? If this is your idea of quality singing? As on member said" over cooking the lyrics"with every silly pyrotechnic vocal display imaginable. Do yourself a favor and listen to Nat,Sinatra along with Ella and Vaughn and singers of that generation. And ask yourself where are their pyrotechnic vocal displays? There are none, just good singing.You want gospel? Then listen to Jackson and leave the worshiping in church.

That's pretty harsh.

Didn't realize there had to be guidelines to ensure singers sing a certain way.

BTW, I agree about the worthless and needless vocal gyrations that many singers are enamored with these days.

It's all in the artistry, heart and soul. Some singers just go through the gyrations and some sing with heartfelt meaning. Big difference!
Mapman: there's a reason to be pretty harsh these days. We have all been told not to judge and to except this bad sounding so called heartfelt artistry? The panel thought the kid was just great, and why? Their just as talentless. I would guess if Sinatra were judging this he would have called up Sam Giancana to put out a hit on all contestant's coming from the school of vocal hysterics..God bless us and not the child who has to listen to this.
"We have all been told not to judge and to except this bad sounding so called heartfelt artistry"

Aha, so that's what those voices in my head must have been saying!

Sinatra had a great voice and was magic when he was on but frankly produced a lot of pretty boring and frivolous material as well IMHO.

Go figure?
Sinatra was an artist. Patsy Cline baffled me when I was young, now I appreciate the beauty of her voice and her impeccable understated technique. I find a wealth of emotion in Sade's delivery. I cant stand to hear the National Anthem performed with garish vocal embellishment.
That being said, I thought Jacob Lusk's performance to be brilliant. Of course he was laying it all on the line. Of course if he sang every song with that over the top style it would be moronic and unlistenable. But this guy has the chops: tone, range, control that most singers would love to command.
One of my favorite 'listen with the lights off' songs is "Who Will Take My Place", from the Duhk's "Migrations" featuring Jessee Havey. I'm sure many would ask what the big deal is about her simple delivery.
Point is, even though something is not my normal preference, I surely recognize the talent.
After seeing tonights show I think that anyone claiming Jakob has no talent has foreever qualified him/herself as a moronic tonedeaf idiot, that has no business going anywhere near an audio system or live musical performance.

I'm sure our friend schipo sees it differently, but at this point his opinion has about as much credibility as Charlie Sheen's.
Why is it that some people only worship the dead?

I think this year Idol has the best talent in the top 13 that I can remember. I think many of the past finalists would have a hard time making this group. Furthermore, I think that we may see some of the kids that were cut experience success too.

On the women contestants- I actually think they are quite strong.
The performance by Thai was IMO stunning and perfection, her soft voice alone at the start of the song left nothing to hide and it was beautiful. Simon isnt missed, there are IMO 6 seriously talented members of this years cast and its likely to be a fun season.
Edorr: I never said the kid had no talent. Having a big voice doesn't guarantee success. The kid has no idea how to sing the song so when in doubt shoot the works. My opinion is based on listening to quality singing without the hysterical acrobatics thrown in...and to all who think its a bad idea listening to great dead singers? The kids in the hall should learn to listen and turn off the Jennifer Hudson.
You mean Thia Megia?

Yes, that young girl has the voice and demeanor of an angel, both stunning and pitch perfect.

I like Pia Toscano and several others as well.
I just found Thia's performance on America's got Talent. Didnt know she was on that show when she was 14, astounding. I like her even better now. She has talent well beyond her years. She is exactly what I was referring to above, not having to rely on showy runs and hitting that big note. She has superb tone and pitch, control and an understanding of phrasing that leaves the other girls in the dust (imo). I would love to see her go to the finals and at least get a career.
Yes I meant Thia, my fingers get crossed when I type now and then. IMO she had one of the best performances I may have ever seen on Idol, yes there were bigger, bolder performances but the way she sang that was just magical. The softness, control, pitch...just amazing!
Judges are not judging - they simply like everything (Simon is being missed). Perhaps producers believe in better ratings without criticism. Horrible acoustics (too much of reverberation) was today aided by so much compression that all performances sounded flat (and I listen on main speakers). Oh, and "God bless the child" was overcooked.
Accoustics and compression? This is American Idol not Audiophile Idol lol, cant we ever just be normal?
"Audiophile Idol"? - not even close to decent sound. Sound quality of many shows, including music awards got really bad in recent years.
Most of the remaining singers have some real and marketable talent I think.

I think I read this year they are steering more towards providing the singers the professional constructive guidance and other assistance they need as amateurs at this stage of their career and steering away from the judges and random celebs, like Miley Cyrus as coach last year, having major influence, which was ridiculous.

Last night, each performer rehearsed with professional record producers from Interscope records, I believe, which made more sense at this phase than offering up someone like Peter Noone for example as a "coach".

Still, I think ST and JL in particular can offer up some more constructive criticism than has been on display so far. Maybe they will settle into that role better as they acclimate themselves to the new role. We'll see....
The always have some big music hitters on, the season aint over and hope for the best but dont be shocked when you see Justin Beiber (sp) as guest guidance :)
I can see it now, "she was great" (wink wink, hair toss)
Agree, God Bless child was way overcooked last night
Judges really suck, except Randy IMO. It is embarassing to watch ST and JL comment :" just beautiful", " best i ever heard", blah blah. I can't stop laughing when they make comments. To them everyone is great!
Country song guys is hilarious
The girl with braids screwed up big time but she got personality ( if that counts)
The rocker with high pitch voice was rather nice last night
The girl with long dark hair, (Pia?) was also good
Meanwhile only singer that really stands out i think has potential is Thia.
Casey is perhaps the best overall performer/entertainer but does he have the "it" factor to make it big and not become Taylor Hicks (who I never really got) part II?

Thia has my favorite voice to listen to and excellent poise for 16 years old, but she may be a few years away from having the total package needed to go over well as the AI.

Jacob I think has unique raw talent and potential if harnessed properly by the right people.

Pia is a likable hottie with a great name, definitely can sing till the rafters come loose, and has the "it" factor. Fergie, move on over....

Haley may also have the "it" factor needed to make it big in modern pop music. As you can see, I am always partial to the girls when it comes to these things....

Naima also has the "it" actor to perhaps make it big, but needs some polish.

Scotty has what it takes for a nice career in country music I would say.

James Durbin has potential....

The rest I am less sold on as future stars though they all have talent and can sing.
It was hard to believe Haley was in the bottom, her performance of Blue had more class and control then most others.
OK, with the lovely Pia now gone, Jacob in the bottom three for the first time, and based on observing the reactions of my wife and daughter, who probably are fairly representative of the Idol voting demographic a lot more than me, I am now predicting either Scotty or James as the next AI. The girls are dropping like flies.

BTW, all 10 finalists that will be on tour this year are really quite talented. maybe I will break down and go with my wife this year if she goes.
"I am now predicting either Scotty or James as the next AI"

I said the same thing to my wife last night, James or Scotty, we'll see. I agree with the talent, I've only been watching a few years but to me this is the best year yet by far. I also find the new judges a refreshing change, its looser and more fun. Even though Steven Tyler isn't the greatest judge in the world, he is always encouraging along with Jlo and of course there is Randy that can do the heavy lifting when necessary.
The boy to beat is Scotty. I don't like country and I find his G.W.Bush grin and asymetrical microphone handling annoying, but I can see he has real talent, commercial potential, and is amazingly mature for his age.
I think Scotty has the biggest upside in terms of earning potential. He's talented and hard not to like.

James is similar but has more of an edge (yikes!). On Idol, that may well work against him eventually when push comes to shove.

BTW, I really liked Jame's take this week on "While My Guitar Gentrly Weeps". He is winning me over. Bravo!

PEople who long for the golden days of variety shows with live musical performances should take a few pills for their Idol allergies if they have them and give it a try the rest of this year. There really have not been any really bad performances all year by the finalists and most have been consistently quite good! Good stuff really, if your medication can help you deal with all the commercialism.

Hell, Ed Sullivan was pretty commercial in his day as well. Things have just evolved further down that road, for better or for worse.

Its nice to see true talent be discovered and evolve, even if it is done in a media circus like AI. Good for the contestants that tehy found a way to be discovered and have a career doing something that they are good at and that at least some people will appreciate!
Well said. The really good thing after watching this show this year is that I really feel good after seeing these talented young men and women pour their hearts out for a large audience, it is really great TV, funny, entertaining, heartfelt and some times just missing the mark but rarely boring. Sullivan was never this good! So far as the commercial part goes, who said capitalism is perfect, what is?

Cynics please forgive me and feel free to chime in :)
By far the most talent this year. Speaking of talent, Pia should still be standing. I think that Scotty and Lauren (she's 15 for heaven sake) are amazing. Haley and Paul are also very good.
never underestimate the power of 12 year old girls.
That beard with teeth gets on my nerves...his vocals annoy me.
"That beard with teeth gets on my nerves...his vocals annoy me."

Paul was my pick to exit yesterday.

Oh well.

Now I have to look at that instead of Pia!
Hotmailjbc, I couldn't agree with you more. I think that young girls probably make up a large proportion of the voting block. Bearded guy also annoys me. I'm shallow...it's mostly about his 'look'. The judges were nuts to keep him so early in the competition.