Idol Thoughts Person of the Day is a new daily feature that identifies one person I am currently diggin'. This could be anyone -- it could be a singer, actor, politician or none of the above, but it will be someone who has done something noteworthy, someone I have fond memories of, or simply someone that I like and want to write about.
Tomorrow's person of the day is going to be the next American Idol, so I thought it would be nice to honor the gentleman who will likely finish this season as the runner-up -- Mr. Blake Lewis.
Blake has managed to do something that very few contestants over the years have been able to do -- infuse some genuine excitement and originality into the competition. Soul singers and girls who can belt high have been plentiful on the show, and while I (and the audience) loves the kind of magic a wailin' girl like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, or Jordin Sparks can provide, the breath of fresh air that Blake has brought to the competition will not soon be forgotten. There has never been a contestant quite like him.
There's been lots of talk about how Blake's voice "isn't good," which simply isn't true. As his performances of "Somewhere Only We Know," "I Need to Know," and "She Will Be Loved" have proven, the boy can sing, and he can probably sing better than 90% of the male artists currently played on the radio. No, he doesn't have the dynamically thrilling voice of Jordin, but he is a solid singer, nonetheless, and when put next to current hitmakers like Adam Levine (from Maroon 5) or Robin Thicke, he can certainly hold his own.
And it's not just the beatboxing that makes Blake unique -- to call him a one-trick pony is to diminish what he really brings to his performances. It is, rather, the way he attacks a song from a musically adventurous perspective, using beatboxing, his voice, and his slick little dance moves to fully perform a song. He has taken more risks than any contestant who has ever appeared on the show. And, despite the fact that he was clearly vocally outclassed when he got to the Top 4 by LaKisha, Melinda, and Jordin, he never gave up, finding new and interesting (if not always entirely successful) ways to show who he is as an artist.
American Idol is a pretty conservative show -- most of the songs the contestants sing were written, in fact, decades before most of these kids were born. The fact that Blake was able to take songs like "Keep Me Hangin' On," "Time of the Season," and "You Give Love a Bad Name" and make them feel current and relevant in today's market is astounding, and, if not worthy of the American Idol title, definitely worthy of kudos.
And certainly worthy of being today's Idol Thoughts Person of the Day.
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