Torrence’s Take on Sunday Best Episode 5Published by Torrence Glenn on Monday, April 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm.
And then there were 5. Didn’t we just have 20 last week? Gotta keep it movin’ I guess. Sheesh!
Anyway, let’s see how we got here.
Kirk Franklin opened the show with his new single “Help Me Believe.” I love this song, and since Kirk is an old pro, the performance was good. Yeah, he doesn’t “sing” but he kind of does make HIS songs work. Think about it, although he always has a good group of singers behind him, it just wouldn’t be the same if they got up there and performed it without his “speeches.” (*mic check* Were the sopranos REALLY loud during his performance or was it just my TV?)
First contestant, Dontavies Boatright. Again, another awesome week. Dude can just sing. I agree with the judges in that there was just enough growl and “holla” without being too much. I know Fred Hammond is either somewhere smiling with pride or pouting with jealousy at the way Dontavies performed that medley. I mean, be honest! All y’all church folks know you’ve heard “Glory To Glory” and “Blessed In The City” way too many times before and it takes something really awesome to make them special again. Dontavies did it!
Next up, another favorite of mine, Jessica Reedy. Kirk’s “Brighter Day” already has a somewhat jazzy execution but Jessica Reedy took it up more than a few notches. The arrangement she gave it was KILLER! Sorry Kirk, “Brighter Day” used to be one of my favorite Kirk Franklin songs, now it’s one of my favorite Jessica Reedy songs.
Clifton Ross is STILL one of my favorite singers in the competition. Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise” is typically a somewhat hard song to sing for most choirs, much yet one person as a solo. Yeah, I know most of us think we’ve heard our choir sing this song well, but the question is “do they sing it right?” Musically, it’s more complicated than most can even recognize. I think Clifton pitched the beginning of the song too low and that may be what got him sent home. Although his range is AMAZING, I’m thinking singing that low at the opening really may have been uncomfortable for him. HOWEVER, by the time he got to the end of the song and he went into that other vocal placement, he surely brought it back home.
I guess John McClure got tired of folks like me and Bebe Winans always talking about how “smooth” and “sweet” his voice was, so he decided he was gonna go hard this episode. John showed us all that not only was he a crooner, but he has “church chops” and I am not mad at him for it. He even tried to preach a little bit. I probably could have done without t he high notes, but either way, his performance was tight!
Do I have any volunteers to write my paragraph on Y’Anna Crawley’s performance? Because I’m speechless again. I mean, really…. What can I say? It’s not fair Y’Anna! You’re not playing FAIR!
Zebulon Ellis is a great singer and now that the world knows who he is, I believe he definitely has a bright future in gospel music. I just think that his performance didn’t change much from 2 weeks ago. When you get to this level of competition, last week’s good isn’t this week’s greatness. Both were good, but this last performance didn’t go to the next level in my opinion. I also wasn’t a fan of the suit, but I think that’s what church folks are wearing these days, I just can’t get into it.
Jeff Spain had a rough night. Although I still think he’s a good singer, he may be out of his league at this point. He’s an r&b singer in a gospel competition, he should be glad to have lasted this long. I think he might have been able to save himself had he picked a song more suited to his voice. Mary Mary’s “Yesterday” is a STRAIGHT UP gospel song not really suited for a singer with such an mellow voice. Although Bebe Winans is a gospel singer, Jeff might have been better off going through some of Bebe’s old songs to find something to sing. And is it me or was that the same shawl collar cardigan that Clifton wore two weeks ago, just with the collar rolled up this time? I’m just saying…
Carolyn Johnson-White is a crowed favorite and I can appreciate her, but I don’t think her performance last night was all that good. It had some interesting theatrics (the “shhh”) and the background singers again were killing it, but I just didn’t feel it. In my day to day job when I listen to new artists, the first question I ask myself is “could I do an entire CD of this?” Carolyn makes me wonder. I won’t count her career out though, she’s one of those singers that I’ll hear at a conference or church service somewhere and be laid out by one song!
It’s not secret that I’m a tad bit bored by Kalind Haynes. He’s a good singer. I can’t take that away from him, but I just want a little more from him. I think he’d be an awesome praise and worship leader….
Latice Crawford took it ALL THE WAY home with Karen Clark-Sheard’s “Praying Spirit.” Where does that little girl get all that voice from? It’s like she has a microphone insider her chest or something. And not only did she sing, but she has a way of “ministering” a song that is special. Her ending kind of threw me for a loop and I didn’t like it all that much, but the rest of the song outweighed it.
So, the top 5 are
1. Jessica Reedy
2. Dontavies Boatright
3. Y’Anna Crawley
4. Latice Crawford
5. John McClure
I can actually say that if I were to pick the top 5 based on Sunday’s performances, I’d have to say, that’s EXACTLY who I would have chosen. Had Clifton not have struggled with those low notes in his song, I probably would have had a harder time picking a top 5, because I definitely wanted to see more of him as well.
So, what do you guys think? I KNOW you’ll let me know. You always do.