Britain’s Got Talent
If you were a Mad Scientist and were looking to create the Perfect Pre-Teen Pop Star in a laboratory, your end result would probably look something like Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ronan Parke (that is, if you were any good at being a Mad Scientist). He’s got Justin Bieber‘s adorably dreamy hair helmet, Greyson Chance‘s vocal range, and the irresistible British accent of a young Davy Jones. However, unlike those other teenage dreamboats, there’s an undeniable air of melancholy that permeates all of his performances, which has us wondering whether he’s cut out for international superstardom.
Take his cover of Lady Gaga‘s “Edge Of Glory,” for example. Whereas Gaga’s song wears its anthemic qualities proudly on its sleeve (regardless of whether you’re listening to the album version or her acoustic take on Howard Stern), Parke’s take is stark, haunting and dripping with sadness. Gone are the joyous, celebratory punctuations of Gaga’s original (“Alright, ALRIGHT!”), which makes us wonder why this 12 year-old boy is so darn depressed!
And it’s not just this song. He chose to perform Kelly Clarkson’s ballad “Because Of You” on the finale of Britain’s Got Talent, but rather than concentrating on emphasizing the air of defiance present in Clarkson’s anthem, he made the creative decision to instead sing it from the perspective of someone who feels defeated. And Parke’s take on Adele’s “Someone Like You” makes Adele sound positively chipper.
Now, don’t get it twisted, we’re not haters. Parke’s vocal chops are undeniable (at least until he hits puberty and his voice breaks), but right now, he’s little more than a chameleon. He doesn’t yet have the life experience to understand the underlying themes of the music that he has been covering—don’t EVEN get us started on his take on Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love”—which is why his cuts feel just a bit off, emotionally speaking. Time will tell as to whether he’ll be able to capitalize on the fame that his Britain’s Got Talent appearance netted him, but if he is to succeed, his minders would be wise to have him concentrate on laying down some more age-appropriate tracks that will hit his target audience of teens and tweens right where it counts — their wallets.
BGT: Michael Collings the new Susan Boyle? by itnnews
The promos for NBC’s new singing competition show, The Voice, have made much of the show’s swiveling chairs, which are designed to allow a blind audition for the judges. Not so with Britain’s Got Talent, which from its launch (with Simon Cowell in one of the judge’s chairs) has wholeheartedly embraced the narrative of deceiving appearances. The latest such entrant is Michael Collings, a young IT engineer and father-to-be who played guitar and sang “Fast Car”, by Tracy Chapman, with surprising power. Read more…
Ten-year-old Connie Talbot’s YouTube cover of Adele‘s “Someone Like You” has gone bonkers viral today. Generally speaking, that’s because it’s stunning, especially once it hits the chorus.
But the video is also a perfect storm of viral ingredients, particularly for British audiences. For one, it’s Adele. Of course, we love the You Oughta Know artist here at VH1, but in the U.K., they really love her: her sophomore album 21 has been sitting pretty at the top of the British charts since it came out over two months ago, and furthermore, her 2008 debut 19 jumped back onto the chart late last year and is now holding down the #2 spot, just to prevent anyone else from charting above #3 (although Britney might sneak into #2 this week).