I knew the show was going to get weird when Stephany made it past the judges. She has a good voice, but not unusually good, and she isn’t smooth, or slick, or unique, really. She’s just – well, ok. Fine. Considering some of the people Idol passed on to keep her she should be better than just ok.
Stephany’s showcase performance:
Semifinal performance: “Mama Knows Best” – Jessie J
Steph was a little stiff, a little imitate-y, and a little out of tune. She has a big voice, but the competition is too stiff to let her keep making mud pies. She needed to be noticeable to have any chance; the show expressed their opinion about her chances when they gave her the opening spot. That spot is death in the semifinals, even when the judges are doing the voting.
Stephany with Ruben Studdard “Superstar” – Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlet
Steph has a beautiful voice, but she is not quite polished enough to avoid those little tonal and intonational imperfections. I think she might have a tiny bit of stage fright that she tries to overcome by exaggerating her enunciation a little – like somebody told her not to be a mush mouth sometime in the past. Her tone is mostly pure and sweet, but when she catches a quickly moving phrase – especially in her upper range – she tends to flatten out like she forgot to draw in enough air, losing the texture of the note even when she is basically in tune.
That’s probably more analysis than Stephany rates tonight, given that she is most likely heading to the airport after the show.