America has voted and versatile Fantasia Barrino is the new American Idol.
After the finale the day before, I suppose the conclusion was long foregone. Fantasia did prove herself to be the more spellbinding singer as compared to Diana DeGarmo. Diana, as competent a singer as she is, is of no match to Fantasia. Fantasia’s rendition of “Summertime” and the gospel-ly “I Believe” just hypnotized and gave me goosebumps all over, while Diana’s “Don’t Cry Out Loud” went horrendously off-key.
Of course, there was talk of a conspiracy. Some members of AI3 forums alleged that in order to dump the title into Fantasia’s lap, the organisers deliberately changed the key of Diana’s “Don’t Cry Out Loud” at the last minute and hence, her cringeworthy performance. Well, all I can say is, what’s an American Idol final without a conspiracy theory?
Anyway, I think that Fantasia fully deserves the win. Of all the contestants, she is the most interesting and unpredictable singer. I like that she dares to take risks in her choice of songs and the fact that she emotes well in her singing. La Toya London is probably technically superior to her as a singer but La Toya is, as Simon Cowell (the most astute judge, and my favourite) says in an interview, cold. Sorry, but she doesn’t seem to reach out to me as Fantasia does.
And as she says, she’s worked hard to get to where she is today. Thank goodness the voters proved their credibility by accepting the fact that Fantasia is a young, black, single parent who also happens to be a fabulous singer, and giving her their votes. After the fiasco of Jennifer Hudson and La Toya being voted out in favour of perpetually-flat John Stevens and sweet-but-bland Jasmine Trias, it would have been scandalous if Fantasia did not win. And let’s not go into the controversial debate of Jasmine Trias. I am NOT jealous of her beautiful, exotic Asian looks nor the fact that she is a great singer. She has a really nice voice but just not good enough to even be in the top 3. Let’s just leave it as that.
A great read of the finale is this article from NYT (registration needed). Yay to Fantasia!