American Idol 2011: Lauren Alaina Falls "Flat on the Floor;" Loses "Unchained Melody"
It’s probably quite obvious from past posts that I absolutely adore Lauren Alaina – her voice, her vulnerability, her bubbly, honest personality. So giving a less-than-positive critique of the young singer when she falters is difficult to do.
But I must.
Alaina got some great pre-taped advice from this week’s mentor Sheryl Crow who told her to anchor herself to a spot on stage and draw the audience in to her rather than wandering around the stage and losing the thread of her performance.
Unfortunately, Lauren didn’t heed this fantastic advice as she should have… at least, not in the right way.
See, although Alaina didn’t wander all that much, she failed to lock into a spot with a powerful stance to project her power and conviction.
And she definitely could have – Alaina’s got the goods.
Not that the performance wasn’t well done and powerful. Lauren just didn’t command the all-eyes-on-me magnetism that she does have but doesn’t seem to know how to channel.
This performance also fell flat for me because the song sounded as if it were a half-step too low for Lauren. Which resulted in many of the lyrics getting lost as Alaina struggled to reach down to the notes on the verses.
But the judges loved it. And her. So that’s good.
For her classic number, Alaina chose to sing her parents’ song – “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers.
An exciting choice as it is quite challenging to sing, isn’t in Alaina’s typical country vein and is quite an emotionally mature song for a 16-year-old to pull off a believable performance.
For the most part, Lauren nailed it. It was raw. It was innocent. It was vulnerable and sweet – as if written about first love instead of a larger-than-life passionate love.
However, there was one big downfall in the performance.
“Unchained Melody” is a song with a very famous big, high note.
It’s an absolute “must do” note for any vocalist who takes on this song.
And Lauren didn’t go for it.
In my opinion, if you cannot hit that note – don’t sing this song.
An even bigger problem for me – Lauren probably could hit that note. She just didn’t possess enough self-belief to go for it.
In this stage of the competition – that’s a bit of a problem.
Jimmy Iovine was correct in saying that Lauren Alaina has taken in all the criticism directed at her and has learned from it.
However, it’s now time to let it all go and really go for it.