Monday, March 3, 2008

Words of advice for 'Idol' contestant

My friends and co-workers agree that our area "American Idol" contestant, Syesha Mercado of Sarasota, has a great voice but they also say she needs to become more of stand-out among other "Idol" contestants. That may be the only way she'll be able to grab the "American Idol" crown.

I'm not saying Syesha should morph into a Sanjaya — last season's stand-out contestant (who was a more of a "performer" than quality singer) and the only reason I tuned into the show's top 12 at the time. But she should let more of her personality show while she's singing, when she's talking to the judges — basically anytime the spotlight is on her.

She should ooze charisma — like fellow "Idol" contestant 17-year-old David Archuleta of Utah who seems to melt audiences' hearts every time he sings, displaying an irresistible cuteness while still remaining humble. He has a great shot at winning. Then there's the sassy Danny Noriega who can shake his head like no other at Simon Cowell when the "Idol" judge gets overly critical. You can tell he loves being overly dramatic.

Another example is 24-year-old Brooke White of Arizona, who is just starting to come alive on the show after her performance last week of "You're So Vain," supplying some of the instrumentals with her guitar.

"American Idol" thrives on contestants with unique personalities who can capture and keep a crowd's attention. Of course, there are other factors involved, but simply having a great voice may not get Syesha to the very top. — January Holmes

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