Torrence’s Take On Sunday Best 3, Episode 7

Published by Torrence Glenn on Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 7:59 pm.

Sup folks.  No long intro, let’s just get into it.

One of my favorites J. Moss opens the show with a medley of his first hit“We Must Praise” and his new single “Rebuild Me.” It wasn’t my favorite performance by him.  I could hear he was having some vocal challenges but like a professional he pushed through them as best he could. Aside from that, I wish the song would have been done all the way “live.” To have 3 of the baddest background singers in the game up there just kind of “faking it” was kind of irksome. I think had they been actually allowed to sing, they along with the band could have supported J. Moss on the the song a little more and kept it from feeling so distant. At the same time, I can tell from the audience’s and judges’ reaction that it probably may have sounded better live. (That happens sometimes, where a hot live performance doesn’t do so great on TV.)

Many times contestants and viewers alike complain about the singers not being able to pick their songs. Well tonight, the theme is “Contestants’ Choice” so this time there will be no excuses with “I didn’t like my song” or “that song wasn’t really me.” Should be good right?

Aside from filling in for Mary Mary’s Tina Campbell tonight, we finally gets to see some snippets of Kim Burrell mentoring the contestants.  There was one time when she told Brian (I think) “I want your worship level to match your stage presence, it’s interaction.” That right there could have been a class all in itself!

First up, Brian Smith gives us a sped up version of “I Won’t Complain.” Kind of reminded me of the version Karen Clark-Sheard and Twinkie Clark did with Florida A&M University back in the 90’s. I think he did a good job. Wasn’t “spectacular” or anything but his voice is so pure you just got to love him. Like J. Moss, I felt like I heard he was working through some vocal issues too.

*pause* Is it me but did you notice a pattern? I feel like everybody was hoarse or something. If I was extra deep, I’d say something like “I feel there was a spirit of hoarseness in the room. *end deep scene.* Ha!

Orlando Wright followed up with “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus.” It’s a traditional song which I think was the right move for his style. His voice obviously hadn’t come back yet from rehearsal but he worked through it. (I don’t hold hoarseness against people, because it’s impossible to avoid. It’s how you come through it that’s important.) He also still sings with that stage play drama and it’s fun to watch. I don’t know if he’s “Sunday Best” but think now that the world knows who he is, you’ll see a lot more of him. Churches and conventions all across the country should be calling him real soon! This yet again was probably another performance that probably sounded/felt better live.

Now, we find out who the wildcard pick was! Martha Burries returns with “Changed” made famous by the one and only Tremaine Hawkins. Sing MARTHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like we’ve seen all night, Martha sounded a little hoarse too, BUT she managed to find a serious squall in her throat and worked it out! It was soooo church and so good! She sang like she had something to prove since she was eliminated last week and she PROVED IT! Whew!

Next up, the controversial (according to a lot of your comments) Franklin Davis, IV. Now before I get into his performance, I’d like to say that y’all have got to let the whole “he don’t look saved” thing  because of a mohawk go. I mean, really.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion (and Lord knows I have one OFTEN) and you may not like everything, but to let someone’s look overshadow what he’s trying to do vocally and in ministry is kind of cold.  The “less extreme” Mohawks you see so many in kids wearing in and out of church these days is actually a derivative on Franklin’s more authentic version of the hairstyle. (Don’t shoot the messenger.)  Now for the performance. He sang “Savior More Than Life To Me” by Kirk Franklin & The Family. This is one of my favorite songs and that I think he did a great job with it. He took a lot of the judge’s advice and really simplified it which I think worked for him although it didn’t keep him on the show. If you have DVR, go back and listen again, it was actually quite good and there was some pretty cool vocal choices in there.

Behind Franklin was Dathan Thigpen with “Speak To My Heart.” Not much to say with this performance. It was great and Dathan has a certain “worship leader” quality to him that I love. Because the hoarse demon was in the room (ha!), he like many of the other showed their professionalism by singing around it and making it work.

Tawanna Tarvin was next with Kirk Franklin & The Family’s “Now Behold The Lamb.” (There must have been some vintage Kirk Franklin CD’s sitting around the studio backstage or something and I am NOT mad about it!) I LOVE Tawanna’s voice but I’m convinced that this kind of competition is not right for her voice because she needs time to set up what she does. She needs time to build up to those “gosperatic” notes and really shine. There was a sour note in the key change and I think it was because of how quickly she’d have to switch vocal placements. (Natural to head) But one thing I did notice that I didn’t realize she had was that squall! Not sure if I’m a fan of the new hairdo either, but  at the same time I think she needed to update the fro too, so I’m conflicted.

Note, there’s a difference between me commenting on a contestant’s look from an artistic development perspective (Tawanna’s hair) versus whether discussing someone’s salvation (Franklin’s hair.)

Next up, one of my favorite contestants from day one, and from day one I mean the first day of auditions, Durward Davis.  Durward reached way down in the crates and pulled out L.A. Mass Choir’s 80’s hit “That’s When You Blessed me” which is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite songs! Thank goodness when I heard the intro and the first note I already knew Durward would do right by it and he did! He sang that thing like he meant it and I truthfully don’t have much else to say. Just know that I’ll be watching this episode a few more times for this performance! *Whoosh*

Then, the producers had the nerve to follow that performance up with Leandria Johnson. (Are they trying to just leave me on the floor?) She sang the James Moore classic “He Was There All The Time”  and ummm yeah, I’m still looking for a guest blogger who’s only job will be to discuss Leandria’s performance  because she keeps leaving me speechless! Her vocal choices are always on point and she had so many places that she goes vocally and they’re always the right place. She’s sultry one minute and squalling the next! I’m a BIG FAN!

David Wilford came back with a beautiful and smooth version of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” I agreed with the judges that sometimes you just need a song to be smoothed out and David did that thing JUST RIGHT. Not everybody can get away with singing such a popular hymn without going so “hard” and still win over an audience but he did! There was this one part of the arrangement where he would go “Lord you’ve been faithful…” where it felt like he might have forgotten the words but after watching again, I realize this was intentional so I can’t hate, it just took me by surprise.

David passed the hymn book to Tiffany Carlin-Laird because she came next with “I Need Thee” and she gave a good ole church mother’s rendition and killed it! She kind of has an Aretha Franklin/Denetria Champ thing going on, but I don’t want to “overcompare” her. (Y’all know I make up words right?) She’s also got her own gift and I’m excited about her!

Elder Goldwire McClendon kept the hymnal open with “Yes Jesus Loves Me” and he laid me out yet again. 79 or not, the man is just good. He definitely has the goodness of being “seasoned” on his voice, but at the same time, he has these youthful vocal choices he makes that are so dope! He’s precise in a way that many older singers usually aren’t! I’m a fan!

So, as we’ve discussed, the show moves fast and tonight we have to go from 11 to 7 and they are:

Martha Burries

Tiffany Carlin-Laird

Dathan Thigpen

Duward Davis

Brian Smith

Leandria Johnson

Goldwire McClendon

I can’t wait for next week to see where the contestants take us next.  Check back on Monday because some of the finalists will be guest blogging! So instead of having to keep dealing with me talking, you’ll be able to hear from the contestants directly!


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Latonya Said on

I just want to know when and where the next auditions for 2011 will be held.

MeeMee Said on

ok…. Goldwire McLendon may be a “seasoned saint”, but he’s got so much more to offer than what you’re seeing on SB! I’ve heard this AWESOME man of God sing for years!! This is the platform God has set him on at this time… but he’s a ball of anointed fire! Don’t underestimate him… his vocals are beastly and most importantly… anointed. He’s in high demand because he carries what people are looking for… life changing anointing! Don’t get it twisted, I love Leandria’s, Duward’s and Martha’s voices and they too are anointed “beasts”. But when it comes down to it… competition or not… Goldwire McLendon is the man of the hour!!!! Let’s spell the name right… GOLDWIRE McLENDON!!!!!

Session Said on

Leandria needs to start working on her album TODAY…. She is soooo annointed & gifted. If she had a CD in the stores today — I would buy multiple copies. She is the best of the best.

She had God’s favor all over her and I am blessed to have DVR to watch her over and over and over again…

May God bless you Leandria… I am your # 1 fan!!!

Monica Said on

Leandria, Leandria, Leandria, GOD bless you! I am going through a very similar situation with the loss of my home; however, the Word tells us that if we wait on the Lord, He will renew our strength, we will mount up with wings as eagles, we will run and not get weary, and we will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40) Keep singing because your testimony has blessed me and will bless other people! I can’t wait for the album!

Veronica Said on

I especially like Leandria, and I feel that she is Sunday’s best! I also like Orlando, and I don’t understand why he was sent home last week. He was so much better than a few others on the show. I am proud of Elder McClendon. He is an inspiration.

Jay G. Said on

I enjoyed every comment that I read. The problem I see with Sundays Best is a few flaws. I don’t know what the eligible rules for the show are for contestants. Are they allowing pros, semi pros, amateurs to compete? If they are looking for SUNDAYS BEST they might as well let Kim Burrell, Tye, James Moss, Marvin Winans, Fred Hammond, etc all compete. Or semi pros only and amateurs (experienced, non major record deal artists). So who cares who you know or shared the stage with. Everybody on Sundays Best has shared the stage with a major artist. They have possibly sung at GMWA, a major convention, AIM,etc. People are no longer home based churched singers. I have known Orlando Wright for about 15 years. I have had the pleasure of promoting a concert with him and the Clark Sisters in Buffalo,NY in the 1990’s. I was shocked that he was allowed to compete against up and coming artists who should have the same chance to record as he had ( he has 2 or 3 CD’s, I have 2 myself). Either make Sundays Best wide open to all or have a Major Record deal/units sold, etc clause.
Just sharing my view. Does anyone know the Sunday Best criterion rules?

Tamala C. Said on

I have followed all the sesons of Sundays Best. I just want to say thank you lord for Elder Goldwire McClendon. He bless my soul. He told me last week that yes Jesus does loves me. I am a struggling mother of 3. lost my mother and turn to drugs….i am turning my life around and i have found my lord. Elder Goldwire McClendon had me praising and the spirit moved me to tears….This man who came for a tv show is being used by God to minister to people like me sunday after sunday…I thank God for him….I thank God for this show…..Bet i thank you, i thank you , i thank you……To God be the glory now and forever

Renee' Said on

Although I don’t feel he should be Sunday Best, I would buy Elder McClendon’s cd. I am proud of him for his composure and his stamina, and even though, it may not be singing that you or some others don’t want to to hear, he would definitely hold a place with some our leading gospel artists.

Veronica Said on

Please forgive me. I was writing to Renee’ and I mistakenly put her name instead of my own.

“Although I don’t feel he should be Sunday Best, I would buy Elder McClendon’s cd. I am proud of him for his composure and his stamina, and even though, it may not be singing that you or some others don’t want to to hear, he would definitely hold a place with some our leading gospel artists.”

Tasha Said on

Elder McClendon makes me cry every time i hear him sing he is just so anointed & filled with the Holy Ghost. I am wondering if it is gonna be a twist where a male is SUNDAY’S BEST…….. There was Crystal Aitkins & they there was Y’anna Crawly & now its Leandria. The competition is so much more difficult this season than any other. I do think the judges made a mistake in sending Orlando home because he is GREAT. I love the panel of judges last week but i must say i do miss BEBE & ERICA but i dont like TINA as a judge i do love her as MARY MARY but she is a SIMON COWELL in not such a good way.YOLANDA ADAMS,DONNIE McCLURKIN, KIM BURRELL & ERICA CAMPBELL MAKE GREAT JUDGES because they are always encouraging the contestants and offering them positive advice thats why i miss the LEGENDARY BEBE WINANS……..OH KIRK FRANKLIN IS ALWAYS THE BEST I CANT IMAGINE ANYONE ELSE HOSTING THE SHOW SO KEEP IT UP KIRK!!!!!!!

Jaz Said on

Goldwire is simply on FIRE!!! He gives us all inspiration to strive no matter what age or what circumstances are on us! That is what Sunday’s Best should be all about. THEE Elder gives people hope! He can change lives and motivate others. THEE Elder has such an anointing on him! His cup runneth over and over with God’s gift of song! Le’Andria is good and can sing gospel or jazz but THEE Elder can SANG the gospel and therefore is Sunday’s Best!

Carmen Said on

I know that it is time for a guy to win Sunday’s Best but Le’Andria is bad and she has my vote. I beleive that she is gonna win it

Divalicious Said on

Go Elder!!!! Didn’t think he could hit the high notes. He is great. I love Durward! Leandria goes without saying…..that girl is BAD! I almost don’t want her to win. I think she could do so much more without being limited to the Sunday Best contracts and all.

I bet Elder was hell on some women back in the day. LOL! He is so handsome and smoove (yes I said smoove).

Gwen Nunez Gonzalez Said on

I am consumed with the awesome voice of Elder McClendon. He is an inspiration beyond explanation. I empathize with the judges because it is difficult to decide who will stay from such a powerful, talented, creative, and skilled group of contestants. God radiates his power through them. I am in Belize and can feel his power through their song here in my living room.

Hats off to the supppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeeerr Director of Ceremonies. He brings an added ummps to the sunday best .

isien (love) from Belize, Central America

myles Said on

good choice for the final five. This has been one of the best so far.

Tanya Said on

you just bless my soul going through so many things in my soul thank you for that.

Leah Said on

LeAndria! LeAndria! She is sooo ANNOINTED & AWESOME! GOD BLESS YOU GIRL!!!

drperson Said on

I can’t wait until Sunday Best come’s on just to hear LeAndria Johnson I
think she is the best they’ve had on. If she doesn’t win the whole thing I surly hope that someone will sign her to a contract. Just make sure to let all the fans know when to pick the CD up. You go girl

Deniece Said on

All i can say is L E A N D R I A ! Me and my husband have been slippin away from the Lord! Drinking, Smoking, Partying going through our own thang! The sad part is we both know and love the Lord dearly, but some how satan has came in through discouragement of our church! But when i tell you that, when we saw this anointed woman singing tonite on 5/23/10. She washed our spirit over and over again!

TRUTH Said on