James Durban made it into the American Idol Season 10 final 24 last night after belting out Sam Cook’s legendary anthem, A Change is Gonna Come, the very same song that Adam Lambert sang on the Season 8 final. There is no doubt that Durban has an impressive vocal range but his mistake is that if you are bringing a big gun to a shoot out you had better make sure you can aim. Durbin’s high notes were hits and misses. Throwing down on what may very well be the best vocal performance ever on American Idol was a mistake. Durban may have alienated Lambert’s fans that may see this as an act of arrogance rather than one of homage. How much of Durbin’s personality is shaped by his struggle with Tourettes and Asperger syndrome I do not know, what I do know is that one of the things Lambert is loved for besides his otherworldly talent is his humility, which Durban seems to lack.
James Durbin can belt out some high notes but does his voice have the finesse and beauty to sing Brigadoon as Lambert did at 22?
Brigadoon: “Come To Me Bend to Me”
Or could you sing:
“Heaven On Their Minds”
James Durban is one of the more than 24 exceptional singers American Idol found this year, but they did not find anyone in Adam Lambert’s league. Singing a song from Lambert’s American Idol repertoire is not a wise choice for any of them. It is not just Idol contestants that compare unfavorably, I can no long listen to anyone but Lambert sing Feeling Good, sorry Bublé.
Adam Lambert is not just an extraordinary vocalist he is a consummate entertainer. His rare combination of talent, charisma, looks and personal appeal are unmatched by Seasons 10’s contestants and a rarity even outside of the Idol bubble.
No one in the current entertainment industry has a more compelling stage presence. Visually and vocally Lambert tells a story. Not since Elvis has any performer generated the sexual heat that Lambert oozes on stage. Lambert has more than innate ability he has brilliant artistry along with perfect pitch and timing. Lambert brings delicate nuances to any lyrics; he recreates a song every time he sings it, crafting each syllable as he embeds it with emotion. With just a single word Lambert can conjure up feelings and a range of emotions. Remember Mad World when he sang the word “nervous”?
When Adam Lambert used American Idol to showcase his talent he proved that he had the versatility to perform in multiple genres. Lambert is not just a one trick pony with a high note in his arsenal. There is a difference between people who sing and those who take their voice to another, unearthly place, who connect with the emotions of the song and the audience, who create a euphoria within themselves. It’s transfiguration. Adam Lambert is a transformer.
The good thing about Season 10 of American Idol is that the audience has a choice of 24 singers that I believe are more talented than the last three winners. These talented 24 should take on any of the past three winners but James Durban and the rest of them should steer clear of Lambert’s American Idol repertoire because Lambert is out of their league.
The Music Box Theatre on December 15, 2004 click here
American Idol click here
The Music Box Theatre on December 15, 2010 click here
Listen to the Lambert and Durbin and tell me what you think.
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