And so I braced myself…and the sweet-hearted mall make-up artist sang. What came out wasn't terrible, but it wasn't terribly good either. Her singing was very mannered, somewhat aping the vocal quirks Jewel employs, but without the natural skill or ease. Indeed, she tried very hard, but instead of succeeding, came across as an overly self-conscious singer, even though she wasn't the least bit self-conscious as a person. It was a cruel irony.
- have no discernible talent (none!) for singing/dancing/performing,
- but who are convinced otherwise
- and are furious--you can see the rage flickering in their eyes--with the judges for suggesting otherwise
- and express this rage post-audition with poor grammar, flustered faces, and liberal slashes of profanity
Four qualifications to fall under that sniglet, but oh how so many contestants do. Like the mumbly teenager who said, with the utmost conviction (albeit almost unintelligibly), that his vocal range was comparable to Mariah Carey, and then proceeded forth in a tuneless dirge; suddenly left the room for some water to refresh himself; and returned and resumed the dirge. And attempted two or three other tunes in the same flat, tuneless, horrible, mess. He easily fulfilled all four qualifications in my yet-to-be coined sniglet. So too the 16-year-old boy who purported to be an excellent singer, dancer and juggler and quickly showed us that he was none of the above; indeed, not remotely competent as a singer or dancer and possessed of juggling skills not quite the envy of a fourth-grade, first-year juggling student. When he charged out of the room, I honestly feared he was going to harm someone. He then burst into tears and his dumpy. big-banged female relative quietly assured him to disregard the judges,that he would still be famous, as was his wont. It was really pathetic, but an experience somehow so very different from the girl with marginal talent who opened the show. This boy was so awkward and socially inept, in addition to his total lack of performing skill, that I wasn't moved by his plight at all. I didn't even feel pity. More like scorn, scorn for the combination of his complete self-delusion, social irredeemability and misplaced anger. Does this make me a meanie? I'm not sure, but my feeling toward such a sniglet-type feels nothing like the discomfort and self-questioning I experienced at the beginning of the show witnessing Miss Makeover's deracination.
And who did I like the best—well, call me a typical male, but I really liked the South American girl who fled to America at 15 and is chasing her dream. She’s a real charmer. Clearly, she’s not going to have the strongest voice on the show and her accent is going to get in the way, but she had a real genuine exuberance, was entirely comfortable in front of the camera (eat that Carrie Underwood!), and had a clear, charming voice quite up to snuff. Add to this great looks, a killer body and a by-the-bootstraps back-story and you’ve got quite a candidate. I liked her rendition of Call Me, and her Hips Don’t Lie was literally as good as Shakira’s With the right material and some accent control she could have some staying power, a la Vonzell Solomon. And the underdog champion in me always likes to root for the person who doesn’t have the technically best voice, but compensates in a plethora of other ways. This is where we all acknowledge that our beloved Paula Abdul and Taylor Hicks are themselves beneficiaries of such all-around trooperism in any frank assessment of their own success as singers.