Torrence’s Take On Sunday Best 3, Episode 9Published by Torrence Glenn on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm.
Sup folks! Tonight’s episode of Sunday Best was something else. Gonna get right to it and not waste anytime.
3 words: KAREN CLARK-SHEARD!!!! (is that 2 or 3 words? well whatever…) She blazed her single “Prayed Up!” This is probably one of the best performances of this song I’ve seen her do yet! I love how she just goes for broke on a song. She’s only going to try and be but so cute and I’m not mad about it. The members of the Clark Sisters are some of the few gospel artists who can work a track out in such a way that you don’t even get mad they didn’t bring a band and singers. Karen showed us why so many other singers look up to her.
The theme for the evening is “Gospel in Cinema” so most of the songs tonight were going to be real familiar. That’s a good and bad thing. When you have an iconic song from a movie, it makes it easy to criticize and hard to hear someone else sing it. But I believe the top 5 can get the job done.
Tiffany Carlin-Laird started off the night with “Joyful Joyful.” Before I begin can I just say: Lauryn Hill, we miss you. Come back to our planet, life is just fine here. Please, please, please! Ok, back to Tiffany. So I have to admit that at the beginning of the song I chuckled when she almost tripped, but this isn’t a walking competition and I feel like someone’s almost falling down those stairs each season. The set is obviously not designed by a woman who’s ever worn a high heel! Ha! But back to the singing. I think Tiffany did a great job with the song. I agreed with the judges that you could tell her voice wasn’t all the way there, but she worked through and managed to sing the song really well. The thing about being a singer is you can do all you can to treat and maintain your voice, but sometimes it won’t be there, so you just have to make do. She DID!
Durward Davis was next with “I Believe In You And Me.” Now Whitney Houston made the song popular from “The Preacher’s Wife Soundtrack” and she did her good singing on it. But I’d encourage you STRONGLY to listen to the original version of the song records by the Four Tops. Levi Stubbs put his own brand of stank on that thing too. But back to Durward (gonna stop getting off track), I think he was my favorite performance of the night. The man just notes how to squeeze every drop of emotion out of a song but still be musically sound. He doesn’t fall off pitch no matter how hard he sings and his voice never gets lost when he sings softly. The vocal choices he made tonight were so sophisticated. And that tone…. my goodness!
Martha Buries came next with one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs, “Will You Be There.” There were a few minor missteps in there, but like always she came through and did a great job. She’s one of those singers that her voice just stands on its own, her off days are still good and she just needs a little more confidence. If it were up to me, I would have never let her use that mic stand. For many singers who struggle with confidence, the mic stand is almost a crutch. It keeps you in one place and give you something to hide behind. Glad she grabbed it later, but I think she would have sold it better if she “walked the floor” from the top of the song. Notice how the song got INSTANTLY better once she grabbed the mic? (Again, nitpicking… the top 5 are just that sick!)
Elder Goldwire McLendon came behind Martha with “He’s All Over Me.” Now I’ll admit, this wasn’t my favorite performance from Elder. Yes, he forgot the words but his recovery was bananas. I know, I know, this isn’t the first time he forgot the words. But like I’ve said before, if you’re gonna forget the words THAT’S how you do it. The man can just sing and knows how to grab an audience. I know this is a TV show, but you have to see the Elder live to see why he keeps moving forward. Live, it’s a whole nother thing! Trust me, he will make you a believer.
Leandria Johnson closed the competition portion of the song with “Maybe God Is Trying to Tell You Something.” Now it’s REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hard to sing a song sung by the one and only Tata Vega! Like some of the other performances tonight, it wasn’t necessarily my favorite performance from her, but her bad is better than most singer’s GREAT! She’s just the truth like that! Feel free to add to this review because like usual, I’m still rather speechless. She does it to me everytime!
Finally, we got yet another treat with Lalah Hathaway performing “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)” by Phil Collins. Now I’ll admit that when Kirk Franklin announced that she’d be singing that song I thought “that song isn’t her.” But I forgot who I was talking about. This is Lalah Hathaway, she makes songs her own ALL THE TIME! She’s a flat footed singer who doesn’t have to and WON’T scream and holler to make you feel something, the voice and what she does with it because of her impeccable ear has it all. STILL a fan! *whoosh*
So to end the show we had to say goodbye to Martha and Tiffany. Bittersweet as always but like we’ve been saying for the last few episodes, when EVERYBODY’S good, somebody good has to go home. Our final 3 is:
1. Durward Davis
2. Elder Goldwire McClendon
3. Leandria Johnson
Next week’s episode is going to be really tough to watch and I’m really glad I’m not a judge at this point. Those 3 are just toooo good to try and send yet another one home to get down to a final 2. But it’s got to be done.
What did you think? (No comment on the “makeovers…”)