Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Person of the Day: Blake Lewis

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.

Read more Idol Thoughts People of the Day

Read more American Idol News/Commentary


tim said...

Good for you and good for him. Go Jordan!!

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Puck the naysayers! Blake has a beautiful, unique, singing voice.

Sandra said...

Thanks so much for this article. I agree with it completely, and it's about time someone said it. How can anyone expect Blake to have the same kind of voice as an girl with a powerhouse voice? He has his own giftS and they go way beyond beatboxing. It was incredibly frustrating that they have tried to diminish Blake's singing ability to true to ensure that Jordin would win. I am a musician and have judged many talent contests and he has a soothing, creating beautiful, fun and contemporary voice, which as you said will definitely hold its own with contemporary artists of today, some of which don't sound as good -- or perform as well as he. I am a bit concerned that this stupid hype about his just being good at beatboxing will diminish his reputation the way they tried to put Taylor down and that is unacceptable. I certainly hope more writers will write as you did and recognize all of his talents and potential. He could have a hit song on the radio TOMORROW. And he better get the chance. He showed class all the way -- and took a back seat to Diva Jordin tonight and last night. He deserves alot just for doing that. To us, his spirit seemed dampened both last night and tonight -- I certainly hope he gets it back and the right people get behind him so that he can take his place in the music business and stop being compared to a singer who sang well on the final song because it was written for Melinda, Jordin or LaKisha, certainly not with Blake in mind. How would Jordin have done on a song which would have allowed for beatboxing? lol. Two finally thoughts: It was amazing to see Taylor (a great surprise) and I thought he tried his very best and did well on the two songs he sang, giving it all he had to the point of being a bit out of breath on the first, but SO WHAT. He's got Clive on his back, as does Kelly Clarkson, and sometimes it really discourages me as I wonder what it does to their spirits. And lastly, God Bless Melinda, who finally started showing us her fun personality and sweet personality toward the end. I believe she should have won, and Blake should have been treated with more respect and air time these last two one can say Jordin isn't talented -- it just doesn't feel like the right one won, or the 2nd place finisher got his due. Blake and Melinda, may you both have great backing, creative freedome, tremendous success and reward. Thanks for reading...over and out. BBBBye. lol