The Dude Abides: What Clark Beckham, Daniel Seavey, Nick Fradiani, Quentin Alexander, Qaasim and Rayvon should sing for Kelly Clarkson week on American Idol
Not a good week to be a guy on American Idol.
First off, none of them sounded this good in their audition.
Based on what we saw last week, a guy is likely getting sent home Wednesday and based on the difficulty of this week’s theme, I’d say it’s a safe bet a guy is going home next week. The girls are going to be able to get away with a mediocre performance singing Kelly Clarkson; if a guy does, it’s not going to sound right and that’s going to cause a dip in votes.
That said, the guys should be able to put together some solid performances provided the song selection is right. They’re going to have to stay away from trying to do a KC impression, although Quentin Alexander could probably wear one of The Original Idol’s wardrobes from Season 1 and pull it off.
The six guys are all more musically inclined than I, so while I’m panicking looking for different styles of KC covers and not finding any, I’m sure they’ve got something up their sleeve. If not, whoever performs the worst of the six doesn’t need to pick a song for the following week because they’re heading home.
So what should the dudes sing? Let’s see how these fit.
(If you want to read the girls, CLICK HERE.).
This is a really great chance for Quentin’s to take a song and not make it a haunting, dark experience.
Listen, Break Away isn’t all smiles and sunshine. It’s a serious song with a serious message, but it doesn’t make me get cautious that I’m about to be murdered.
Quentin’s going to have to make some minor key changes, but we need to hear his voice going easy in the verses then getting powerful in the chorus. If he can do it wearing one of Clarkson’s Season 1 dresses, more power to him.
My concern is Quentin is going to listen to Harry Connick and try and get away from the slower tempo songs. Harry is an idiot. Quentin is making his money singing slow and there’s no need to change it. I just think the theatrics can be left backstage and give us a chance to focus on the man’s voice instead of his costume.
Oh, and ditch the smoke machine.
Just light the stage on fire instead and do it singing Break Away.
“Behind These Hazel Eyes”
Beckham’s eyes don’t match the song (I think; I have a man-crush, but I’m not a psycho) but his musical stylings do.
This is one of those songs I can hear him perform. He’ll wear another two-button T, a nerd vest, sit at the keys and, thanks to borrowing Quentin’s smoke machine, he’ll create this aura. He’ll play the song on the piano in a slow, menacing tone.
The vocals will get bluesy, he’ll finish, smile, and Clarkson will walk up to the judges’ table and say “I have to interrupt for this breaking announcement. I’m divorcing my husband and marrying Clark Beckham.”
Seriously though, it’s a good song for him because even if he doesn’t slow it down, it’s going to give him a chance to sing with some attitude and that’s a Becks we haven’t seen yet.
I’m a big FradiCat (just kidding about that fan name, unless everyone thinks it’s awesome. If that’s the case, that’s copyright Dudes Review Idol) but I do not like his odds this week.
Going thought the Clarkson catalog, I was desperately searching for something that fit his voice and style, or at least something he could make fit his voice and style. It was a rough search to say the least. I’m sure there’s probably some buried track somewhere that would be a terrific choice and if that’s the case, do it. Because I am dying to find out what the hell he’s going to sing.
So I picked “Stronger” mainly because I found this:
Now I have no idea who the dude is singing it, but he’s a) not as good a singer as Fradiani and b) way, way uglier. Fradiani’s a 10, so you’d need like 6 of this kid to put them in the same ballpark.
The arrangement is OK but the production is absolute horseshit. But it’s a base I think Fradiani can work off and because he either doesn’t have that bluesy quality or he hasn’t shown it, but KC’s songs have it but not in “Stronger.” So it fits.
Fradiani is in a tough spot because he’s going to have to make a move soon. A bad week this week might not be great for his future but I’m not sure a great week is going to give him a ton of traction. Like the NCAA Tournament, this is all about survive and advance and when the theme really opens up the song book, that’s when he should make his move.
Is there a more perfect song choice?
First off, I’m sure Qaasim will find some deeper meaning in the lyrics about him breaking away from the “haters” and “trolls” and being true to himself on stage, but the lyrics aren’t why this song needs to be performed by Qaasim.
It needs to be done because it’s a Clarkson song with a funk beat. Is it a pop song? Yep, but the transition from verse to chorus is funk and if Qaasim’s not going to give us vocals, this is something he can work with and do his thing to.
Now if he had a set, he throws up a giant middle finger to the haters and sings “A Moment Like This.” That would go horribly. In fact, unless you totally strip down and rearrange one of the hits, I didn’t hear much I thought Qaasim could Qaasimify. So much of Clarkson’s music revolves around her powerful vocal chords and if you watch her videos or see her perform, there ain’t a lot of running and jumping around.
This song is an anomaly from Clarkson’s song book. It’s a pop/power song and that’s what Qaasim does, so that’s what he should do.
But please, please, please do a straight version of “A Moment Like This.”
“The Trouble With Love Is”
“Uh, what happened to the big hits?” asked everyone who’s paid attention to what I’ve said in the past.
Rayvon and KC are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to power. The styles are just so different, so Rayvon’s issue is going to be finding a song that requires more finesse than power.
This is a great fit. Sure, I never heard of it until it popped up on Wikipedia and I YouTubed the video, but that’s besides the point. It’s something he can sing and it might be something he can sing well enough to move on.
The problem is even if he sings it reasonably well and others sing the hits but not quite that great, I can see a lot of people voting based on song choice rather than execution. That’s not good for Rayvon, who needs to find a way out of the Bottom 3 and into the middle of the pack where he might run into a theme that works for him.
Rayvon’s a little misunderstood and I don’t think his style really does well on the show. His performance last week wasn’t great, but it was better than most thought. That’s all well and good to say, but he needs to have a performance that people like right away, not something that gets better with age. This could be that performance.
“Mr. Know It All”
Tough week for Mr. Seavey.
He comes off a brutal performance, pretty much everyone except his tween followers are screaming for his elimination and now he has to sing songs by a female artist with a voice deeper than his.
Kid’s still got a chance.
If he gets to perform – and by reading around, he seems to be the favorite to go home; I think he survives and sings next week – there isn’t a lot to choose from. He can’t do anything that requires a powerful vocal because he’ll get all Screech Powers on us and it will make everyone uncomfortable when it’s time to critique him (except me. I give zero fucks).
“Mr. Know It All” is perfect. The song for Clarkson is more about finesse than power and it’s really the only thing fitting for Daniel’s voice. It sounds like a damn Bruno Mars song and that’s the type of thing that’s in Seavey’s wheelhouse.
Take this chick, for instance. She practically sounds like Seavey. This sounds decent, right?
I really think the kid can pull this off and at this point, I’ve turned completely on Seavey. I’m not rooting for him to get booted; I want to see him succeed. I’d love for him to get one more shot, crush the performance, then go home the following week on a high note. Better for the confidence and better for the H/B/Z-J potential for his formidable high school years.