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American Idol 4, May 17 - In The Presence of Greatnessby Sting7 -- 05/18/2005
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Ryan says we are just seven days away from the end. He adds that the contest is so close, there is only 1% separating the three of them. Flashback, Ryan tells the remaining three that the song choices this week, are all about choices: their choice, the judges’ choices, and Clive Davis’ choice!
Who is Clive Davis? Video retrospective of Clive, but it didn't even scrape the surface of who he is in the music industry. And, what he is is a Who's Who among industry heavyweights all to himself! Clive Davis is a Harvard law graduate. Frustrated with that, he parlayed his law degree into his love of music. His first task was getting the difficult Bob Dylan to resign with CBS records. He openly admits that he outsmarted Dylan into doing so. He's also been called the savior of the label, since he is responsible for signing unknown talents like Big Brother & the Holding Company, Santana, Chicago, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. After pleading guilty to tax evasion and using company funds to pay for his son's bar mitzvah, he was hired by what would become Arista Records to work his magic.
He found more unknown gems like Kenny G, Sarah McLachlan, and Whitney Houston. Arista's Nashville Division brought us talents like Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, and Diamond Rio. Even delving into the world of hip-hop music, though he claimed he'd "never get rap music," he was smart enough to align himself financially with those who did - helping to form LaFace Records and adding names like TLC, Toni Braxton, Monica, Outkast, and Pink to the Arista roster. He even made a "50/50" deal with Sean Combs to create Bad Boy Records!
There is no doubt that Clive knows what he is talking about. And, when he says you have talent, everyone listens. He was "enraptured" by Kelly Clarkson, and worked personally on her debut album, as well as Ruben Studdard's and Clay Aiken's. Clive's pre-Grammy festival is among the most sought after venues in the music industry. Last year, Fantasia was very prominently featured, as he cited, "she is a stunning artist full of fire and passion. There is no one out there like her."
Getting a nod from Clive Davis is life-changing. Make no mistake.
Tonight's show starts with Clive’s choices:
Vonzell Solomon, "I’ll Never Love This Way Again"
Clive - "You hit the notes great, you have real real strong voice, one thing I caution is about a hint of a smile in a song like that. It’s about holding on with passion, fearing you will never love again, so no smiles – other than that, you hit the notes, great job."
Randy - "Is still think you are one of the better singers left, a little pitchy… In the end you brought it home."
Paula - "You have a beautiful range, and beautiful voice... maybe you started off in the wrong key... you ended up great."
Simon - "No tears tonight. The biggest night of your life, this. I think you’re very nervous, I think it showed in that performance, a couple of bum notes, especially in the middle, but you got two more songs. You’ve got to do better though!"
Sting7 - Isn’t that amazing? Clive says she hit the notes great, the others say she was pitchy! I think Clive was referring to the power notes. Clive knows pop music is not about hitting every note correctly, it’s about conveying the emotion, which is why he critiqued the "hint of a smile." He is absolutely right. Was she a little pitchy? Yeah, I can’t say she wasn’t. Now, Daddy Clive is here, watch all the judges on their best behavior! Me, I’ll be lobbing spitballs at Donna Reynolds from the back of the class!
Bo Bice, "Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me"
Clive - "Bo, you really captured the song, it was heartfelt, it was powerful, it was passionate. You made Elton John and Bernie Taupin very proud tonight."
Randy - "Tonight, you are forever in the Dawg Pound, I didn’t even think – I was questioning the song... you can do anything! You know you’re on your on your way baby!"
Paula - "Pure brilliance, magnificent!"
Simon - "Great, really great. And, I really prefer you doing this kind of song. I really do. I think you come in as the favorite to go through next week and after – I think we’re going to see you next week. Really, really good."
Sting7 - Bo has had a very good run on Idol this season, but like Randy, I was surprised he could pull that off. A song as full of melancholy and yearning and woe as you’ll likely hear, I actually thought this was beyond Bo’s scope. While Clay Aiken may have sung it better, Bo’s emotion was exactly where it should be. He maintained the rock element, but also the emotion, which Clay forsook for sonic pleasantry. Impressed!1 2 3 Next-->
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