Janelle Arthur is a country singer from Tennessee. She auditioned for American Idol’s 10th season in Nashville and has allegedly made the Top 40, according to JoesPlaceBlog. Janelle has some performances up on YouTube that show a good amount of stage experience, songwriting abilities and overall singing and performance skills. She certainly has the potential to make the final voting rounds (Top 12) on Idol. Other than general personality, whether Janelle Arthur can win Idol will probably rest on her ability to expand out and show more versatility than her fairly traditional county voice and style.
Although Carrie Underwood won the 4th season of American Idol as a female country singer, she is the only one to do that in 9 years. To be honest, though, Carrie was and is far more than just a traditional country singer. She is more of a pop singer who identifies herself as a country singer for personal and marketing reasons. But Carrie was a very versatile singer (see her performances of “Could Have Been” and “Alone” to get a glimpse of her versatility). And that likely had some positive effect of drawing in more voters to her fan base that are not generally interested in country music.
Whether Janelle can display the kind of versatility that Carrie did (at least coming close) is not easy to say yet. Her “You Taught Me Well,” a song that Janelle says on the video that she personally wrote, has an undeniable country flavor. Her vocals sound like a traditional country singer on that piece and a singer without much originality or uniqueness. If she tries to take this route every week, Arthur may be pigeonholed as just Season 10’s token blonde country chick and fail to build a solid fan base.
On the other hand, it seems that Janelle does have at least a bit of versatility. She has stage experience and is a confident performer, as is seen from her “Don’t Fence Me In” video performance. The choreography in that was super cheesy, but that’s not the point. The important thing to learn there is that Janelle is comfortable on stage and seems like she might have the personality to be a star. The singing was also in a different style than “You Taught Me Well.” In other words, while we don’t know whether Janelle Arthur can competently venture too far away from country music to show a diverse style, at least she has some versatility and confidence in singing different styles of country songs.
Judging just from a genre perspective, most female country singers seem to finish around the middle of the Top 12. But many of those singers were rather poor to bad (such as Carmen Rasmusen and Kristy Lee Cook and Kellie Pickler). Janelle seems to have better singing skills than those contestants (except maybe Pickler) but perhaps a less glowing personality. But the important thing to remember is this simple proposition – only the most versatile female country singer of them all has won American Idol. Janelle Arthur will probably need to step outside her comfort zone and hit some home runs in other genres besides country music to win the 10th season of Idol.
JoesPlaceBlog Janelle Arthur Spoilers
Janelle Arthur: “You Taught Me Well”
Janelle Arther: “Don’t Fence Me In”