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Like any of 18-year-old girl, I'm a fan of a lot of things. Football and k-pop are the most severe. But above all, there's nothing I cherish more than my life, my family and my friends :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Me and My Television Idols

It's true that I idolize some of these singers at their time in these reality singing competitions. I still enjoy listening to them until now even the competition has ended for a long time. Here's my super talented girls:

Diamond White from X Factor USA 2012

Angie Miller from American Idol 2013

Khaya Cohen from X Factor USA 2013

It's really a pleasure to support them from the beginning. Though none of them ended up as the winner, they surely do have the star quality. I called them 'the rising stars'. They have their own style of singing and a 

My highlights from their performances are listed below in order:

15. Diamond White's "I Have Nothing"
The first challenge of boot camp is to ... SING A SONG in front of each other. Diamond White is up first, with Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” a song that is kind of a drag and is also way too old for her. But she sings the shit out of it. And, maaaan.. she intimidated the rest of the contestants. All of whom were sitting on the floor of the stage surrounding Diamond, were collectively terrified of her apparent musical prowess. Their faces were like, "WTF! I have to compete with THAT~". No kidding, this spunky and confident 13-year-old girl, who dressed like a hipster and who had the swagger of a trained professional, gave a really strong impression and sensation. One contestant even mouthed that she did not want to follow that particular act, indicating that if that was the case then Diamond just might make her look bad because Diamond was that good.

14. Diamond White's "Sorry Seems To Be Hardest Word"
Diamond White had many memorable moments throughout the season that made this countdown.  Her first memorable moment was her first “Save-Me” song, Elton John's "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word", that she performed during the first live show. Diamond’s vocals were spot on and this was a sign of things to come.

13. Angie Miller's "Halo"

Angie is definitely on the right track to be a diva like the fallen star. She did Beyonce's "Halo" great and her presentation was flawless. A note up or down where there wasn't one before and a soulful sound toward the end I have never heard from Angie before. Great song, great song choice, listen to it with headphones and it is incredible. Although I prefer the softer version of the song, Angie's version sure won't be easy to cover. She owned it!

12. Khaya Cohen's "Distant Dreamer"

Khaya sang Duffy’s "Distant Dreamer", another song I do not know but that I will download as soon as I finish writing this recap. She can sing for sure, and she builds up towards the emotional parts with big belting,a downswell, another big belt, a few catches, a few Winehouse yelps, etc.. Her teary eyes made this performance even more emotional. She was so connected with the song. Do you realize that this is the song in tapped in her audition video (when she sang "I Put a Spell on You")? What a nostalgic feeling I had while watching this. Also, I think her hairstyle suited her well. She was beautiful, wasn't she? ;)

11. Khaya Cohen's "Locked Out Heaven"
Her eyes are radiant

In the so-called-cruel Four Chair Challenge this year, Khaya Cohen has succeeded to make me dropped my jaw. She came on the stage with her hair undone, a simple cobalt blue t-shirt and floral mini skirt. The minute she opened up her mouth, I knew that she's a natural, a heaven-sent-child singer. Her rendition of Bruno Mars' "Locked Out Heaven" made Bree look very nervous, and when she hit one note the audience leapt to their feet, as Simon punched the air in delight. The slowed down arrangement was simply addicting and so unpredictable. The crowd love her, Simon loves her, I am crazy about her! She's unique!

10. Khaya Cohen's "Borderline" 

Khaya's rendition of the Madonna's "Borderline" was pure fun. I think this was Khaya at her finest effort on trying to step out of her 'comfort zone'. And you know what? She's making it the highlight of the night. It was a worthy top 13 performance. Her soulful twist and self confidence allowed her to shine from beginning to end. She brought not only her beautiful vocals out, but she also worked the crowd --including the oft-grumpy Simon Cowell-- with apparent ease. This girl may have lost control of a note or two near the end of the performance, but she was also one of the few performers to really engage the audience in a way that didn’t feel automatonic.

9. Diamond White's "A Man's World"
After a pretty hilarious montage of auditions that weren’t exactly up to ‘X Factor‘ standards, two girls graced the stage to prepare for their auditions. I knew we were in for something good here.

First, there was Adrianna, who sang ‘Rumor Has It’ by Adele, leaving Simon Cowell to announce under his breath that “I hate this song.” She flopped. Up next was a cute 13-year-old named Diamond White: a name you won’t want to/can’t forget.

Standing on the stage in jeans, a t-shirt, vest, and her hair pulled back into a low side ponytail, she dressed exactly how a 13-year-old should dress. Horraaay! Getting ready to announce what song she would be singing, Simon said, “Please don’t say Adele.” It’s like Simon ninja’d our brains, because the Adele auditions are growing very tiresome.

Flustered, White chose to sing the James Brown classic ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,’ a pretty — no, very ambitious song for anyone to take on, let alone a 13-year-old girl whose vocal cords probably aren’t fully developed yet. But… the girl rocked the song and had amazing vocals, and walked away with four yes’s from the ‘X Factor’ judges.

8. Angie Miller's "Who You Are"
Every Angie Miller performance feels like life and death and that night was no different. Out of all the performances that night, I saw the most fiery eyes from Angie, who has really perfected that sideways smolder from her perch at the piano. Every line in Jessie J's "Who You Are" seemed personal and yet communal. If felt like Angie was singing to herself, trying to encourage herself to stay strong through this competition. And yet, as we all shared in her struggles we took those lyrics into our own fears.  

When she hit her low register, it was ethereal. At times Angie appeared to be drowning in agony amidst the alternating blue and red plasma -- very convincing. That was a show stopping, heart breaking, tear jerker of a moment.

7. Khaya Cohen's "Let It Be" 
Khaya handily sang a good version of The Beatles' "Let It Be". The gospel singers on stage with her really also helped set the mood. Her strength was building a song to an emotional climax. Someone said this was a so-so performance. I laughed because her so-so performance was still other contestant's great performance. To me, she always shows a great focus and control of her voice, like in this one. Her emotion was showcased beautifully, as in I can see how deep her gaze was. Cool outfit anyway! Remembering that this was her last performance on X Factor, I think she has done more than enough to make her stellar Amy Winehouse-meets-Duffy vocal memorable in X Factor history.

6. Angie Miller's "Love Came Down" 
I love the fact that Angie Miller truly is a valuable artist. In my opinion, it is proved by her appreciation to the music and lyrics that she believes. She incorporates messages of spirituality into many of the songs that she writes or chooses to perform. Her song choice for top 6 performance said it all. I can relate to the meaning in Kari Jobe's "Love Came Down" even if I'm not a christian. And I admire this believable side of her. Angie was back to her piano (where she belongs!) and continued to impress me with her stunning voice. Oh, how I miss that angelic atmosphere that is lacking in nowadays shows. 

Gosh, her eyes were so beautiful.

5. Diamond White's "I Was Here"
Diamond White chose to sing Beyonce Knowles' "I Was Here" for her life or death performance. I have to admit it was amazing. This 13-year-old has a huge, powerful voice but in the same time her desperation to stay on the competition sounds so live. She looked nothing but elegant in that style. Not to mention her dramatic final pose as she ends the song with a sorrowful "I was.. here..!!" Thankfully, it was convincing enough to let all the judges except L.A. Reid (Vino Alan's mentor) to keep her advancing to the top 6.

4. Angie Miller and Candice Glover's Duet on "Stay"

Candice Glover and Angie Miller were two great singers wailing away this song. They took care of each other and supported each other in the duet but they also drove each other higher and higher to an amazing peak for the show. Candice was her normal, amazing self. I think that top 4 night was Angie's best singing night of American Idol Season 12 and this duet was the best example of that. Sometimes I giggled noticing how it was so visually absurd with all that purple smoke and drama-queen tics from the those two. I had the exact same thought with Randy Jackson about Angie, "I didn't know you had those twists and turns. It made you even stronger!" Yaaaay.. the top 4 night was definitely for Angie!!! *o*
The smokes :P

Now this is a clearer view of them :D

3. Diamond White's "Because You Loved Me"
A touching story about always asking her mother about the father that wasn’t there from ages 3-7 and then how Diamond just gave up on him - See more at: http://blogs.leaderpost.com/2012/11/22/the-x-factor-tate-stevens-diamond-white-fifth-harmony-beatrice-miller-vino-alan-carly-rose-sonenclar-continue-to-impress-on-stage/#sthash.cnSAADmh.dpuf
A touching story about always asking her mother about the father that wasn’t there from ages 3-7 and then how Diamond just gave up on him - See more at: http://blogs.leaderpost.com/2012/11/22/the-x-factor-tate-stevens-diamond-white-fifth-harmony-beatrice-miller-vino-alan-carly-rose-sonenclar-continue-to-impress-on-stage/#sthash.cnSAADmh.dpuf

Diamond picked a perfect song to dedicate to her mother, who she said “gave her life for her.” Plus there was the touching story about always asking her mother about the father that wasn’t there from ages 3-7 and then how she just gave up on him. It was a genuine performance as she sang Celine Dion‘s “Because You Loved Me” with her trademark powerhouse vocals and emotion. Despite being so young, she was able to pull off a mature song. This is what I like from Diamond best, even though she was just standing behind the mic, she cared to let out expressive and appealing gestures that stood out brilliantly with every single words. After this performance I can’t believe she was kicked out in the first place. And she looked adorable in her little metallic dress! I was bawling through most of it. Demi and Britney were in tears and I didn’t blame them. Flawless!

2. Khaya Cohen's "Don't Give Up On Me"
Khaya went very literal with her mature, nuanced rendition of a classic, pouring her heart into Joe Cocker's "Don't Give Up One Me". At first I was like, "Wat?! There's no way the pitch-perfect Khaya deserved to be in the bottom two this early!" The next thing I know Khaya shushed my rant right away. Then, I wasn't breathing when I watched that glorious, heartfeltm and soulful performance. It was a great not-so-subtle message to the judges. It's slow, which was perfect to highlight her unbelievable tone and runs. And may I remind you she's sixteen. You should listen to her beyond-her-years vocal range and strength yourself! She's really getting better and better, and I think that was the best she's ever been. By the time she reached the end, she had a full control of the song and killed it. Hands down!

1. Angie Miller's "You Set Me Free"
Though Angie came in third on American Idol's twelfth season she has caused an indelible mark on the minds and hearts of her judges and the American public. She was the first contestant that year to receive a standing ovation. Refusing to be caricatured to be just a karaoke singer, Angie premiered her own self-penned song "You Set Me Free" on the show.
Her "You Set Me Free" was a gorgeous piano piece that featured soaring vocals. The lyrics were so alluring, especially, "When I was haunted and alone, with this baggage on my back, dragging me down.." There was an unexplainable wonderful and graceful aura from her The judges were visibly blown away and kept making exclamations during her performance about how impressed they were. You can see the tears in the judges’ eyes. So much power and passion. When she's behind the piano, no one compares to her. The caliber of that performance was BEYOND!

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