Last night’s American Idol confirmed once and for all why I simply do not like LaKisha. My growing dislike for her started when — during the award season, mind you — she sang the song that had become Jennifer Hudson’s signature song, "I Tell You I'm Not Going".
I wondered why she was singing that particular song. Did she identify with Jennifer? Did she want us to identify her with Jennifer? Did she want to jump onto Miss J’s coattails and leave us all thinking, “Wow, LaKisha is another Jennifer Hudson”? Did she want to show us she was better than Jennifer?
Then when Lulu begged and pleaded with her to sing “You’re My World,” Ms LaKisha chose to sing “Diamonds Are Forever” because "Shirley Bassey sang it".
Okay, I rolled my eyes. I wondered if Lulu had had the sense to see where Ms LaKisha was coming from she would have sold “You’re My World” to her in this way: “Yes, but Dionne Warwick sang 'You're My World'."
Then LaKisha chose Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel.”
And last night, during Life Anthem night, she chose Fantasia’s “Believe.”
Okay, we see the pattern at last? But what exactly is the pattern?
Is she identifying with those singers? Does she want us to identify her with those singers? Is she just plain old arrogant? Is she stupid to invite comparison? Or is she a mere imitator who simply imitates how other more flexible singers sing?
Why has she repeatedly sung songs by American Idol winners? Elliott Yamin did some great songs. Why didn't she choose to sing any of the songs he sang? Or any song sung by past losers of American Idol? Yes, I know, I’m a Christian critic and I really shouldn’t blast LaKisha because Christians aren’t supposed to be cruel, but dang! Someone’s gotta examine what’s going on here.
In the Bible (Romans 11:14 and Galations 5:20) the apostle Paul warns us against emulations. It’s odd but, considering all the emulations I see nowadays, ministers aren’t giving many sermons on the dangers of emulating. Perhaps it’s because so many of them are out emulating each other, or emulating some old-fashioned preaching styles. Okay, call me a cynic but I just don’t think the Holy Spirit always behaves and preaches with a Southern style camp meeting accent. But I digress…
Back to LaKisha and the evils of emulations.
Emulators lose their own soul. I truly don’t know what a Lakisha musical style is. She doesn’t really have any. LaKisha seems to have a need for us to identify her with great singers, especially black singers, but this makes her seem downright rigid. Where, I want to ask, is her soul? What, I want to scream, is she doing there on the stage trying to channel some other great singer? I give heads-up and kudos to Blake Lewis because the guy usually connects to the music he sings and allows how he feels about the music to lead him. I can never tell what LaKisha’s attitude toward a song is.