Two things relevant to your American Idol-watching tonight will become immediately apparent:
- The talent gap between turns-18-in-two-weeks Joss Stone and the performers who require American Idol to be discovered is measured not in inches or feet, but miles. As good as you may think Kelly Clarkson or Fantasia Barrino is, Miss Stone's talents just blow them away. What a remarkable voice.
- How much of singing is about infusing the song with your own personality. Now, I don't generally think of Melissa Etheridge as a "singer", but when she starts on "Piece of My Heart", it's just incredibly moving. As bad as you thought Carrie Underwood's countrified take on the song was before, it's even worse in comparison to this. Quality singing requires selling the authenticity of the emotions of the words, and Etheridge, with all she's been through, God bless her, makes you believe it. C'mon, take it! Take another little piece of my heart.