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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

What The Fantasia? NPH Readers Want to Know

Thursday, May 15, 2008

There it was last night, the proud American Idol taking to the stage as a featured performer on the blockbuster show's penultimate episode. Introduced as the winner who has gone on to conquer not only the charts but Broadway as well, Fantasia Barrino stormed the set with three back-up dancers, pink hair, and audibly gnarled vocal cords.

Two minutes into the performance I was thinking, "What exactly is happening here?"

It's a fair question, and one that NPH readers have inquired about throughout the day. Really, what was that? A comeback performance by an established star, or a wild and desperate trainwreck?

The LA Times' Jan Powers goes with the former:
P.S.: A special thanks to Fantasia Barrino for reminding "Idol" viewers what musical excitement looks and sounds like with her fiery, funky rendition of "Bore Me (Yawn)," from her last album. Unpredictable, raw, dangerously close to chaotic, Fantasia's performance recalled how the best music on television once felt -- like something breaking through the screen. Simon, of course, looked horrified. Thank goodness he wasn't a judge at Janis Joplin's audition.
So does The Washington Post's Lisa Moraes:
But in the force field of inertia and calculated wholesomeness that is "Idol," it's as if she's been put on mute. Even so, Fantasia's performance is way grittier, far more spontaneous, than anything else on the show.

Judge Simon Cowell looks terrified. And that alone, folks, is worth the price of admission.

I'll give Moraes that the it was gritty and spontaneous. Those are virtues in a musical performance, but they don't really make for good tv. And American Idol is TV. If nothing else, Fantasia shocked Idol viewers awake, viewers who have been lulled to sleep by week-in-week-out meticulously packaged 90 second lullabies.

That's gotta be worth something.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 11:00 PM


energetic? Yes, undoubtedly.

enjoyable? hmm...

Halfway through, I turned to my wife and said (honestly), "Is this in English?" What we said immediately following was "what the heck was that?" And, that she has an incredible amount of confidence and puts 100% of herself into a performance... and isn't self-conscious about what anyone would think about her.

That said... come on.
commented by Anonymous matt, 6:09 AM  
Ummmm....I now come from a split household, and I am glad to say I am right. The husband thought it was good and said she is "a real start now".
I called it a belly flop...and I am right. She was out of control and seemed to be under the influence, of what I am not sure.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7:01 PM  

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