Good while it lasted
Alisah Bonaobra’s “extended” survival on “The X Factor UK” has been truly remarkable to behold, a roller-coaster ride of acceptance, rejection, reacceptance, rerejection, last-minute “wildcard” revival—gasp.
Last Nov. 12, however, it all finally, indubitably, irrevocably ended for Alisah, when insufficient viewers’ “votes” made her the singing tilt’s latest finalist-evictee.
This time around, instead of plaintively pleading for the extension of her artistic life on the show, she more maturely accepted the viewers’ collective verdict—and, with good reason:
The additional exposure and publicity she got from surviving on the show “beyond expectations” have boosted her stellar visibility and popularity, so she should have a prosperous local and international singing career from here on in.
Lessons learned from Alisah’s stint in the tilt, which other aspiring singers can hopefully also benefit from:
First, being and looking “different” isn’t the liability on the world stage that some people think it is. Yes, audiences abroad are partial to homegrown talents—but they’re also captivated by some “exotic” imports who provide variety, diversity and spice for their musical smorgasbord of treats.
Second, “going birit” is ultimately a dead-end street. Yes, it blows the socks off local audiences’ feet, but music buffs abroad are less impressed by high notes and “power” shrieks. Biritera Alisah did wow some viewers and listeners at first shriek, but she soon got rapped for being too “limited” and “in your face” (or ear) as a performer.
Which is why she tried to shift styles and placement in her performance numbers—but still ended up not winning the crown.
So, all of our “birit queens” who want to make it internationally should realize that interpretation and emotion are prized more in less shallowly impressionable and more sophisticated places—and adjust accordingly.
Third, clarity of “singing diction” isn’t just preferred, it’s required to succeed in show biz abroad. So, stellar wannabes should straighten out their tongues here, if they want to make it there.
Fourth, singing tilt contestants who want to stun viewers into rapt attention by choosing difficult songs made famous by iconic divas should realize that the ploy is a double-edged sword.
Yes, their efforts to match the phenomenal musical feats of the original singers can amaze judges and viewers—but they can also reveal and betray their limitations, where they fall short of the mark.
So, the rule should be: sing like Mariah Carey only if you can sound as phenomenally good as she does—otherwise, avoid!
Finally, when our singers compete abroad, they should not play the “sympathy card” that’s resorted to so frequently in these parts, to strum judges and viewers’ heartstrings, and make them favor financially-deprived contestants.
Yes, music buffs in other climes do have a soft spot for hard-up underdogs—but they ultimately still prefer exceptional talent, originality and charisma above all else—and don’t like it when they realize that they’re being “played,” and emotionally “blackmailed.”
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