Saturday, July 24, 2010

Idol 76 - Leah LaBelle

76. Leah LaBelle
Season 3, 12th Place

Yes, I ranked Leah on top of Lil Rounds and other "better" singers and I have perfectly justified reasons for having her this high, and as always, you are about to find them out..

Frankly, having a great audition goes a long way in my book and I don't care what anyone says but she had a freakin' amazing audition. Her voice was incredibly smooth, controlled and most of all soulful. I immediately fell in love with that beautiful tone to her voice. When she made it to the Top 32, I was incredibly ecstatic!

Then came her live performance. Now, Leah was with a very strong group of singers. I don't think many people would argue that Group 3 was the best group of semi-finalists that season. But, to me, it was pretty clear that Latoya London and Leah were the best of that group and deserved to move on. Unfortunately, she didn't even make the Top 3 of that night and seeing her tears was just heartbreaking for me, but I was still optimistic for the Wildcard show.

A week later I was so relieved when I found out she would be coming back for the Wildcard round, but I wasn't too sure of her chances when I saw the people she would be competing with that week. Oh, and it certainly didn't make me feel any better after I heard her sing. It really didn't do much for me. But I really thought she was just barely in the better half of the Wildcard show.

But really, it was blatantly obvious that Suzy Vulaca, Jennifer Hudson and George Huff had done enough to move on, and that fourth place was a tight race. I thought Leah, Elizabeth, Katie, Matt and JPL all delivered weak performances, but Leah had the edge. Needless to say, I was so thrilled when Paula picked Leah to move on.

Sadly, Leah got a lot of backlash that week going into the Top 12. So, I basically knew she was a dead girl walking and another lackluster performance didn't help her as well. Then, she was the first one voted out.

I think she's capable of great performances, but she was never given the chance to redeem herself. I've tried to keep up with her since Idol and she really has such a beautiful soulful voice, based from her YouTube videos.  I really believe that if she auditioned for the show now, and sang about as good as she does on YouTube, she would easily be in my Top 10 Idols ever - heck, maybe Top 5.

I'm dead serious. She really knows how to use her voice. She's got an innate sensibility for phrasing, beautiful control, and most of all she is so soulful. I'd almost go as far to say she has the most soulful voice of anyone to ever be on the show. Don't believe me? Go watch her videos.

Favorite performance(s): Like I've already said I love her audition so much. Her voice even gave out at one point, but it was so soulful and impressive. I also quite enjoyed her performance of I Have Nothing. No, it wasn't perfect, but she made it her own - more than anyone else who has sang it on the show. I loved the phrasing choices she made. The high notes were a tad screechy, but I loved the tone. Oh, and how could anyone forget her group performance in Hollywood. Easily one of the best Hollywood performances ever - and Leah was definitely a big part of that.


Hollywood Group Performance

Let's Stay Together

#75 - Filipino


Robbie said...

I love me some Leah! I was actually pretty sad that she was the first one to go during her season. Fave ko yung Let's Stay Together and I Have Nothing niya.

I actually like her IHN more than the black divas that sang it in AI.


Robbie: Yes. Her rendition of I Have Nothing was actually really good. Sigh. Leah LaBelle. Hehe

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