It is rare that you will hear me recommend a tv show, and even rarer to hear me recommend something as popular as "American Idol". Why would I bother to recommend a show which continually tops the ratings?
Two words: Melinda Doolittle.
I can appreciate there are people out there who do not watch the show because the talent is generally unworthy of anyone's attention. Occasionally, a mediocre talent will put on a great performance, otherwise known as a "blind pig finding an acorn". Only twice can I recall examples of an American Idol contestant/winner worthy of a cd purchase or MP3 download (Kelly Clarkson and Bo Bice).
But this year, they have hit a gold mine. Melinda Doolittle is head and shoulders above, not only this year's contestants, but ALL the contestants the show has EVER had.
Earlier this season, after one of her performances, I turned to my wife and said, "She reminded me of Gladys Knight." Then Simon Cowell proceeded to compare her to a "young Gladys Knight". My wife gave me a look which said, "How did you do that?"
Seriously, Melinda's vocals are comparable to Gladys Knight or Aretha Franklin. She is pitch perfect. On top of that, she "feels" the songs. By that I mean she performs the songs with the feelings inherent within the lyrics. Last night, she did the old standard I Got Rhythm, which I always thought was kind of a silly song. She corrected me of that misinterpretation, by showing that it is a song of happiness about life. THAT is the art of singing.
If you are looking for a sexy singer, look somewhere else. Melinda is NOT sexy, but she is a rare talent.
Frankly, it has been too long since there has been ANY singer come onto the musical scene with the whole package like Ms. Doolittle. There have been singers with great voices, and singers who could perform great, but none that I recall who could match Ms. Doolittle.
I suggest you watch the show just once to hear Melinda Doolittle. It may be a few decades before another talent like her comes along.