I never actually watch live TV. It's all TiVO. So today, I was two weeks behind on American Idol. I watched the Queen Theme episode.
It's possible that the performances were okay.
From where I sat it was an utter disaster. I think Katharine McPhee has a lovely voice but I cringed all the way through her rendition of "Who Wants to Live Forever." I did thank whatever common sense gods convinced Taylor to not sing "We Are the Champions."
I admit, I haven't heard any of the covers of Queen out there on the tribute albums, and I have even avoided Sarah Brightman singing "Who Wants to Live Forever," although with her classical training and performance experience I imagine she gets it a little better than the average singer.
Queen is not simply a band, and Freddie Mercury is not simply a singer. They are not simply rock stars. Or were, in the case of Freddie Mercury. They were much more performers. Their music more rock opera in most cases than just rock. Freddie Mercury had an unbelievably versatile voice (four octaves) and successful grasp of multiple genres and styles of music (sometimes in the same song, LOL).
To ask Idol contestants to step out and simply sing this music is, well, a special sort of hubris. This is not music to just sing.
That said, I humbly request that American Idol not dip into the rock royalty again.
No more Queen, and while at it, no Prince either. Stick with genres, not artists who are a genre unto themselves.
I do suggest the 007 theme episode. All singers can sing title songs from any James Bond film. How about that?
By Julie Pippert
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