America's Got Talent - Bianca Ryan

I just thought I’d share this - on the last episode of ‘America’s Got Talent’, this 11 year old girl came out and sang - and as the song progressed my jaw fell lower, and lower… She is absolutely amazing. Not just how well she sings technically, but how she channels emotion out of the song - a real gift. She’s not just the best 11 year old singer I’ve heard, she’s one of the best singers I’ve heard in years, period.

Here’s a link to a video of her performance: Bianca Ryan on America’s Got Talent.

Is that Piers Morgan at the beginning of that clip? Good lord. I didn’t think Simon Cowell could be worsened.

I guess it’s just me, but I found the performance technically average and, frankly, extremely creepy.

She is a graet singer- I was impressed with the last note. That said, her. . . caterwalling? (I’m not even sure if that’s the right word or how it’s spelled) just got irritating. It’s irritating when Whitney does it. It’s irritating when Mariah does it. It’s irritating when Christina does it. It’s even more irritating when an 11 year old does it.

Huh. I was looking at the little details like getting the dynamics right, the inflection, emotional delivery, etc., and she kicks the ass of all those cookie-cutter singers like Mariah Carey, Celine Dione, Whitney Houston, or the last winner of American Idol, whatever her name was.

And she’s 11. It’s only creepy because it’s the kind of talent and expression you never expect to see in a kid that age. It’s like she’s channeling Billie Holliday or something.

I don’t know that song (I know I’ve heard it, but I didn’t recognize it), but I couldn’t understand her. Her voice seemed kind of inflectionless to me. Could be the recording or my headphones.

I’m sick of this “yowling” singing style. I can’t wait for it to go out of fashion. Why can’t someone pattern themselves after Bing Crosby or Kate Smith for a change?

Kate Smith is a shouter, to my ears.

My father just looooved her.

Just for comparison, Here’s Jennifer Haliiday herself singing the same song.

I think the kid does it better.

I’d say the complete opposite. The Holliday version gave me goosebumps. No contest for me, and that really isn’t my sort of song, generally.

I found this one with a very weird guy lip synching

But it allowed me to compare the live versions to a studio version and I’d say Holliday wipes the floor with her. But she should.

The lyrics seem inappropriate for a youngster, too. That usually doesn’t bother me, but once I actually heard the lyrics, they are a little creepy.

Come on, guys. What kind of a response is “I don’t like that kind of music/singing”? That’s a song I would never listen to of my own volition, regardless of who’s performing it, but that girl was spectacular. I’m sure there are a dozen professional singers you can name who sing better, but this was an 11 year old girl on a reality TV show. I, for one, am impressed.

The YouTube video quality is, as usual, not great, nor are my speakers. Under the circumstances, I could tell she’s talented, but the performance struck me as stiff. It seemed as if every arm gesture and facial expression was choreographed, and she was rushing through her ‘marks.’ It didn’t feel like it was flowing naturally from her, as if she were trying mimic someone else.

This could very well be due to YouTube making it look “jerkier” than it was on TV. And it wouldn’t be surprising if it was choreographed down to the smallest detail. I bet she does this song at talent contests and state fairs a hundred times a year and she’s well aware of what works and what doesn’t. It’s a big competition with a lot of viewers, so I wouldn’t blame her for being nervous (if she was, she did a good job of hiding it when talking to the judges) and perhaps rushing the choreography. It’s still pretty excellent delivery for anyone, much less a kid.

However, count me among those who have no use for yet another melisma-obsessed singer who has to belt out every si-i-i-i-i-ngle sylaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa-a-a-a-a-able! It’s not Bianca’s fault. She grew up in a world where the most successful singers made millions doing exactly that. Who can blame her for copying them when she discovered she’d been blessed with such a voice?

Unfortunately, mimicing the Mariahs and Celines of the world might take her far in this contest. But I hope as she grows she will learn to cultivate her talent in a way that could really offer something new and exciting to the world. Otherwise, we just have more of the same. Who needs it?

I don’t think she’s another Mariah or Celine Dione. She’s got something they don’t - heart. I’m a fan of singers who can transfer emotions through their songs. Singers like Mariah Carey rarely do. They’re technically proficient, to no good end. The vocal equivalent of Kenny G. or Yngvie Malmsteen - all flash, no soul.

That’s what struck me about this kid. She gets across the emotion of the song. Maybe it doesn’t come across in the Youtube video, but when she was singing the soft parts, she got a look on her face like she was going to cry, and you could could hear her voice crack - just a little, and perfectly appropriately. In the defiant parts of the song, she stood up straight, her demeaner changed, and she just belted it out. Anger came out as anger. That sort of thing. Exactly the qualities Mariah and her ilk lack. She’s more Aretha Franklin than Celine Dione.

But who knows? By the time the corporate ‘hit machine’ has had its way with her she’ll probably wind up like the rest - managed to perfection, but stripped of any trace of real emotion or personality. They’ll doll her up instead of leaving her looking like a kid, give her B-grade pap to sing churned out by house songwriters who know how to deliver a hook, and that’ll be that.

I hope not. 'Cause I think there’s a spark of something a little deeper in that kid.

I could not agree more, Diosa (and jsgoddess!). Melisma must die.

Honestly, the girl has talent, but she’d be much better served in learning how to control it and using it to convey emotions that she has actually experienced. She’s a showboat right now, and that is a definite turn-off. From what I remember, she had a tendency to oversing–there’s singing your heart out, but if you do that too often, you’ll forget nuances. Being able to sing across the full range of your voice and doing it at all dynamics while maintaining genuine emotion is impressive. Meh. Her performance very cookie-cutter and manufactured. She needs to get out and explore other styles of performance.

All told, I liked the woman who played the harp and sang more. Even if she did sing Sarah McLachlan.

Honestly, I listened twice and I couldn’t make out more then about 3 words. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t like that song choice for a child at all. I have to rate it a creepy factor of about 8, kind of like seeing little girls all sleazed up for beauty pagents.

Oh, I forgot to say- after that first jerky judge told her “change your hair, change your dress, change your shoes…” Man, what a jerk, seriously. What, she’s not dressed like a little whore like all young singers are required to? Should she start coloring and streaking her hair, get some boob implants, wear some Christina Malaria style clothes and stiletto heels? Gag me.

God that video was hideous! Aside from not being able to understand a word of the lyrics, her face is unwatchable while she sings. Ghastly. The 11 year old’s version is easier on my ears, personally. She has an amazing voice.

I agree, though, this style of music is grating. This is why I don’t like Whitney, et al.

Billie Holiday knew how to make a song powerful without bringing the roof down.

The girl’s got a freakishly strong voice, and if she (or more likely her father) is determined to stick with the belting style, she’s probably got a good chance of being successful at it. But as others here have said, or implied, I’d like to hear a singer who can give a phrase power without shattering the microphone.

There was a gal who auditioned for “American Idol” a few years ago who knew what she was doing. (I admit it: I like to watch the first show or two of a season of “Idol,” before it gets all polished.) This girl came out in a no-kidding cocktail dress and sang “Fever” so sultry (sultrily?) I was nearly breathless at the end of it. And that same time there was a guy who did a terrific, cabaret-style version of Tom Jones’s “Delilah.”

And they both got dismissed. (I think the girl went to the second cut.) Somebody, maybe Paula Abdul, told the girl, “You’ve got a great voice, and I love what you’re doing, but it’s not going to win ‘American Idol.’” She seemed genuinely sorry. I was glad to at least see some recognition that the show isn’t about being a singer with style; it’s about who can most perfectly fit into a pre-established ideal of what passes in the popular consciousness as “a good singer.”

I remember that girl! I was so sad when she didn’t even get close to winning. I knew she woudln’t, but I would have loved to hear more from her.

That kid has an impressive set of pipes! Say what you want about not liking the style of music, that has nothing to do with her level of talent. Perhaps she’s only parroting, and that’s the only song she knows well. So what? She’s 11! That always kills me. Some people would watch an 11 year old kid do a magic trick, then say to their friend “David Copperfield is much better.” Sheesh. Give credit where credit’s due. Brandy has done pretty well for herself as a professional singer, and she seemed impressed to say the least. Let’s not forget Hassellhoff! That guy can sing! :smiley: