It's more than just the eyebrows this time. Here's what I think the problem is, in a nutshell: Kelly Clarkson thinks this is a sad song. Lisa Tucker thinks this is an angry song. I'm not saying Lisa is wrong. Listen to the words. It's all about being pissed off at someone. "You're the reason I'm fucked up." That's rough. But this is my favorite music video of Kelly's because she cries real tears in it. She projects actual sadness. Lisa has a hard time projecting actual anger, so it just comes across as stagy and ugly. Also, there's the singing. Lisa's a good singer. Kelly Clarkson is a great singer. On this song, that bit of difference matters. You can hear the straining in Lisa's voice. She's trying to make it to Kelly's level, but she can't. Afterward, she's does a happy little dance in the direction of her family, because she thinks she killed it. Crap, this is going to be ugly.Randy lets her down right off the bat, saying it was an "interesting" song choice, but it was "just okay" and not that great. Lisa makes a face, because she honestly thought that performance was going to get her back into the thick of the competition. This sucks to watch. ["Interesting take on it. I'm not saying you're wrong by any means, but I felt like she knew the song got away from her." -- Sars] Off camera and off mic, you can hear Lisa's surprised "Randy!" Paula's encouraging ("Tell 'im, baby!"), but Randy, as ever, has to "keep it real." He is nothing if not the keeper of the real. Before we even get to Paula, Lisa knows how the rest of it is going to go, and she gets this awesome "Okay. Get this over with" look on her face. Paula starts with a compliment, saying we all know Lisa can "sing [her] butt off," but if you choose a song as popular and as Idol-connected as "Because of You," you need to "make it completely different, so that there's no comparison whatsoever." I get what Paula is saying, which is that when you set yourself up directly against Kelly you're almost always going to lose, so don't set yourself up like that in the first place. But Simon is also correct when he says, "The song is the song." You can't get around that. The problem was, according to Simon, that the song was too big for her voice. True. Heh, Simon says "true" as I type that. He goes on to say that there were portions of that performance that were positively "painful." Lisa makes yet another crazy face at that, and in the audience, you can see her mother say something like, "You didn't have to say that to her." Something close to that.
Episode Report CardJoe R: C- | 572 USERS: C+
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