'Gentle giant' Jermaine Jones impresses American Idol judges with his unique voice
Jermaine Jones was one of the standout singers at the Portland American Idol auditions tonight. Dubbed the ‘gentle giant’ by Randy Jackson, Jermaine stands at an incredible 6’8″ tall, towering above the judges.
Jermaine grew up in a very musical family. Of course, his first experiences of singing were in church, and Jones says that he lives and breathes music. Oh, and as you might expect by the preceding two sentences, Jermaine is very attached to his mother (Katrice Cornett) – and he tells us how his mother sang the worship service the day he was born, so he literally came out singing.
To be honest, his deep baritone didn’t impress me as much as I thought it would. Here’s my critique: the choice of song, Superstar – best known as a Carpenters song, but the Luther Vandross version in this instance. It’s just not a great song choice. Barry White might have been more stereotypical, but it would also have been a better showcase for Jermaine’s voice.
And he could’ve dressed so much better for the occassion. He’s a giant of a man, so he could have used that impressive size to his advantage. Instead, he dressed down and slouched a little bit. I wanted to kick him at that point, because he could have shown the judges an imposing stage presence. Totally wasted opportunity.
Nevertheless, the judges seemed to spot opportunity with Jermaine. Randy said “When you show the dynamics, with the low, with the power, with the softness…”, while Steven Tyler told him “I can see you’re really nervous. I could hear you sing the song through your nerves.” Jennifer Lopez offered a few words of encouragement, saying “Just one more thing before we vote, loosen up a bit.”
All three judges vote to put Jermaine through to Hollywood rounds, and we’re touched to see that his nerves are very real – Randy remarks that he’s sweating like a fool.
So folks what did you think of Jermaine Jones? Is he one of your favourites from the Portland auditions?