Music Pros Size Up Idol's Final Seven
When critiquing American Idol
's weekly performances, one judge's "pitchy" is often another's "perfection." So TV Guide asked three singing experts for their opinions. Renee Grant-Williams
has worked with Faith Hill
, Tim McGraw
and Christina Aguilera
. Roger Love
's clients include Eminem
, Mandy Moore
and Matchbox Twenty
. Brett Manning
has tuned up Keith Urban
, Take 6
and such Broadway hits as Aida
and Les Misérables
. Here, they tick off which finalists hit the right notes and which deserve the least votes.Carrie UnderwoodRoger Love:
"Though not original, her lovely sound nicely fits the pop-country genre, and this sweet face could be the next Faith Hill. But I'd suggest dance classes. Her stance is awkward and her overall vibe unsexy."Brett Manning:
"She may only be generically good by Nashville standards."Renee Grant-Williams:
"She has a good chance to win. She has consistent pitch; she kicked butt on the Heart
"The new Clay Aiken
. This nerdy kid you can't help but like has a gorgeous voice with musical-theater vibrato, kind of like Josh Groban
"One of the best male singers, but mediocre stage presence. Has a big career ahead of him singing at weddings and bar mitzvahs."Grant-Williams:
"His fairly clear strong voice is dramatic, but most weeks he's less than memorable."
"Pretty voice. He looks like he's having fun, [so] you forget the extra pounds. But he's just another white guy wishing he was Marvin Gaye
"I say move to Nashville and do demo and jingle work. He'll make $100,000 a year, and it won't matter what he looks like."
"[Seems] affected and silly when he makes moves he thinks rock stars make, but he has a good voice, makes great musical choices and girls find him attractive."Manning:
"His voice, which isn't as good as Bo
's, is more suited to Broadway. He'd be perfect for Rent
"Puts a lot of energy into performances and has a great natural voice, but she still is out of tune, pushes to sing louder than [she] can handle and her tone borders on piercing."Manning:
"She needs a lot more experience, more refinement and a little more control to experiment with the notes."
"For a music teacher, he's sure out of tune a lot. His high notes are fantastic, but everything below them comes across as less interesting."Grant-Williams:
"'Moon River' was fresh and fun, but for the last few weeks his voice sounded tired and thinned out, like a stretched rubber band."
"He's a rocker who isn't scary. He expertly works the crowd and cameras. He keeps his pitch right on. But he needs to show a little more crossover appeal to win this contest."Love:
"A combo of Bob Seger
and Eddie Vedder
. He sings circles around Constantine
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