Torrence’s Take On Sunday Best 3 Episode 2Published by Torrence Glenn on Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm.
Ok, so we’re stateside again. Welcome to the Detroit auditions. It’s so coooooold in the D! (Nah, it really was!)
Now I’m going to go ahead and get this out. Yes, there were a lot more great singers that auditioned than what you saw. But it’s an hour show and I’m sure the producers had to get just as many laughs and “moments” in the show as well as great vocalists. So yes, it came off a little like Detroit didn’t bring it. And as a preliminary judge, there were moments where we said “come on Detroit?!” But truthfully, there were many great singers that auditioned in Detroit; unfortunately, there were a BUNCH that weren’t. More than I’d ever expected. So for every singer that “killed” (good) there were more than a few who “put it to death” (bad).
So let’s get right to it, shall we? Like I said last week, I can’t speak to every single audition, but just a few that stood out.
Deontae! Haaaa. Deontae came through the BET.com Digital VIP Suite and when I tell you he is consistent with the high note, he really is. He can hit it on command without so much as a deep breath! I didn’t realize he was serious about it though until I saw his audition with the judges. He really means to sing that way… Not sure what to make of it, but it still makes me laugh! Deontae, keep singing. A church should employ him to sit on the pulpit while the preacher is speaking. Whenever, the saints doze off, they should point to Deontae to let out that note. THE WHOLE BLOCK WILL WAKE UP!
Lawanda broke out into a “praise dancer” version of “Yes Jesus Loves Me.” I can already tell from the hand movements she sings in the choir. Unfortunately, as a choir director I know where that comes from. It’s very easy for a large group of singers to look a little boring just moving left to right or standing still, so many times we teach choir members to “sing with your hands.” Well, when you’ve been in the choir too long, you sometimes forget to leave the “choir hands” in the choir!
Robert Hatcher had a wonderful voice. I’m a big fan of tone, and I think he has a great one! Now, I won’t front; I didn’t know what to expect from him when I saw the yellow leather jacket and the LITERAL Sunday Best haircut. But imaging aside, the dude could sing. Can’t wait to hear more from him.
Carl (the Fred Hammond look alike) looked like he was really going to sing the walls down. I know that’s stereotypical but it is what it is. Unfortunately, he was just “o.k.” Also, I think he probably should have chosen another song or another part of the song. “There Is No Way” is one of those songs where you either kill the lead or leave it alone. If you’re gonna do the choir part, you gotta make it special and not sing it sooooo sloooooow.
Felicia waited outside for 24 hours, I think she might have frozen herself to death, because as beautiful as her voice was (although light) I think she came off way too shy. Those judges can smell fear!
One of my favorite auditions to watch was Gary Freeman’s. Oh you remember him. He was the “bass” in the fur collar trench. (I put that in parentheses because I’m not sure if you can call someone a bass just because they have a low voice. Bass is a vocal part that’s sung, he didn’t exactly sing….) But anyway, yeah, he was fun to watch. He had a certain “drunk” quality that was entertaining. With the right men’s choir, he might be a beast though.
*Pause* Why do gospel rappers keep trying out for a singing competition. Not hating on gospel rap but this is just not the competition for you. I really think they should get their own show that way they can be judged fairly. Stop doing it to yourselves, unless your goal is just to get on TV. And if that’s the case… carry on.
Deward Davis was probably one of my favorite contestants from Detroit. His audition was way more dynamic and showed way more of his awesome gift then you saw, but it had to get cut so it may not have seemed like it was “all of that.” But believe me it was! He had many vocal and style choices similar to Detroit’s own Marvin Winans, one of my favorite singers of all time. I saw quite a few tweets on twitter from folks who didn’t “get it.” Trust me on this, he is AMAZING!
Joy Lavelle also came through the BET.com Digital VIP Suite sponsored by Ford. (Yes, that’s a plug, gotta pay these bills, hear?) I’ll admit, at first we laughed and laughed and laughed at her at many points during the audition process because she was so, umm shall we say… expressive. But after hearing that testimony, I’ll only laugh halfway. :-/
I forgot their names and numbers but there were 2 sisters who auditioned together and that probably was a bad idea for 2 reasons. 1.) you’re auditioning in front of Mary Mary, a GREAT gospel sister group. 2.) See reason 1. I mean really, it just wasn’t that good. The harmony was bad and the choices were odd… Not sure how much better they would have been separately, but together it didn’t work….
Rodney didn’t impress the judges but I thought he was great. Sure he wasn’t your typical squalling all over the place gospel beast, but I think as an overall package he screamed “artist.” Especially in 2010 when many gospel singers kind of all look the “same,” he was young, refreshing and a record label’s dream. Somebody will definitely scoop him up if they know what they’re doing…
To my girl Effia…. Never ever let a sermon determine your hairstyle ever again. Wrong, wrong, wrong. She claims she wanted to appear “covered in the blood.” She was covered in Hawaian Punch. Wrong, wrong, wrong! The sad part about it is, I don’t even remember what her audition sounded like. All I saw was neon red!
Patrick, I thought was pretty good, but there was just one problem. He sounded a lot like William Murphy. So why is that a problem? He sang “Praise Is What I Do,” a song by…. *drumroll please* William Murphy. I would have stayed away from a song from an artist I sounded so much like.
Quianna’s rendition of “Pass Me Not” immediately put me into the mind of Jazmine Sullivan. She didn’t run all over the place in the same way that Jazmine does, but the warm, husky tone was so there. There was a sincerity in her voice that I loved too. Too bad the judges didn’t feel the same way about her boyfriend Donald.
Donald I thought had a wonderful tone. Not sure what the judges didn’t like. Well, I guess I understand. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. But it was really good. Eh, everybody can’t make it through.
Rachel’s audition was a little unpolished, but I think her voice was still good. She sang “Pass Me Not” and found a way to insert one of the oddest adlibs I’ve ever heard into her audition… “Woo-Wee-Lawdy.” What exactly does that mean? Audition tips part 2, don’t do unnecessary stuff that doesn’t come natural to you… Again, what does woo wee lawdy mean? Ha!
Donnie (the contestant, not the judge) was just hysterical to me. As I’ve said, sometimes when a show is only an hour long, some stuff gets cut, but because I happened to be in the room when he auditioned I can tell you a little bit more about him. Trust me, he knows good and well that he can’t sing. He really only came to support his girlfriend whom you did not get to see. Trust me, he knows!!!! Haaaaaaaaa
Missy, the young lady from the UK seemed to impress everyone. She kind of reminded me of CCM artist Nicole C. Mullen who I’m not a big fan of so maybe that got in my way when I listened to her audition, because the more I think about it, she really was good.
Poor Mary, her nerves got the best of her and couldn’t remember her song! And although when she finally got it together she was only allowed to sing one line, I could tell she kills it in the church choir. There was more there but she sacrificed her time to her nerves.
The “Hands Of Praise” deaf choir were a really sweet touch. I enjoyed them.
I know we have 2 more audition episodes to go, and I want you to pay attention to something as we go along. Is it me or does everyone who sings “I Know I’ve Been Changed” sing it with the same “stomp and point” choreography? I mean, really… Watch and let me know.
The last audition of the show, Brian, really impressed me with his tone. I tried to tell the contestants in every city that I went to that your tone will take you where your runs and tricks can’t. I hope folks realize that for the next set of auditions. Brian’s tone was amazing and although he was shaking the whole audition, the sound of his voice made you look right past it.
Well, that’s it for tonight. Next week, we head to Philadelphia!
Also, log on tomorrow (Monday ) to see exclusive behind the scenes Detroit audition footage from the BET.com Digital VIP Suite with me, Ledisi, Jessica Reedy and Camille Betton! Good stuff!
What did you think?