I started to do an American Idol Season 11 power rankings, but it did seem disingenuous. As much as I respect Jessica Sanchez and Phil Phillips, Joshua Ledet should win American Idol Season 11. Joshua Ledet has put together the single most impressive season of American Idol I have ever seen. Joshua Ledet gives us hope that the burgeoning “old soul” movement my actually blossom into a full fledged soul music renaissance.
Joshua Ledet’s Incredible American Idol Season
I wasn’t around for Kelly Clarkson‘s triumphant season 1, so I can cannot make this claim fully. Joshua Ledet has put together the most impressive string of performances in American Idol Season 11. From “When A Man Loves A Woman” to “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” to “Without You” to “To Love Somebody” to “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”, each week he amazed and surprised Jimmy Iovine, the judges and me. Each week we though he had peaked and each week he set a new bar of amazement. Last week’s version of “Its A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” was nothing short of a revelation.
Steven Tyler said of this performance, “I have never heard anything like that in my life.” Randy Jackson declared it the best performance ever, on any singing competition show. I just got chills watching the video.
Joshua Ledet Is A True Soul Singer
We have not seen anything like Joshua Ledet since Terrence Trent D’Arby in the 80′s. With the second generation of Motown, the emergence of superstar Michael Jackson and disco’s flash, soul moved from the blues based street music of the south to a radio friendly pop genre. We traded Al Green for Usher, Curtis Mayfield for Maxwell and Otis Redding for Luther Vandross. R&B is not bad, but it is not soul. Unlike so many soul performers on these singing shows, Joshua Ledet is not copying the greats, he is taking their songs and making them his own. A shining example of this is when Joshua sang “When A Man Loves A Woman” early in the season. This song was perfect when Percy Sledge put it to record 40 years ago. They might have well as retired the song because everyone who followed was just copying, until Joshua Ledet began to show off.
This was the moment when we began suspect that Joshua Ledet was something special. It was not the first of the 13 standing ovations Joshua Ledet received from the judges during American Idol Season 11, but it was one of the most enthusiastic.
Joshua Ledet Can Make Soul Cool Again
Yes, Steven, Jennifer and Randy are given to hyperbole, but 13 standing ovations? In two seasons I have not seen Jimmy Iovine so anxious to get his hands on a singer. Jimmy Iovine cannot wait for the end of Joshua Ledet‘s American Idol journey because he wants to make a record. You can see Jimmy anxious about songs to put on Joshua’s first records because he wants to take advantage of a special talent. From Mary J Blige to Akon to Little Steven, industry veterans are truly excited by the young soul singer.
We do not know if Joshua Ledet has written any good songs, but most of the truly great soul songs were written by someone other than the singer. The talent of a true soul singer is the ability to interpret someone else’s song. Joshua Ledet blew everyone’s mind when he turned a song he had never heard into this in just a few days:
This is a great British pop song. Joshua Ledet turned it into a a soaring soul tour de force.
We don’t know if Joshua Ledet will win American Idol Season 11. As a matter of fact, we think he is the least likely of the top 3 to win. Jessica Sanchez seems to be a perfect selection for the tweener voting crowd and Phil Phillips has yet to see the bottom 2 this season. However, let me be clear, Joshua Ledet should win American Idol Season 11.
Join us tonight as we watch Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Phil Phillips perform for their spots in the American Idol Season 11 finale. They will perform one song selected by the judges, one song selected by Jimmy Iovine and one song that they select. Two hours should leave room for full performances of each of the songs. Join us for our live blog and share our immediate reactions to the close of one of the best seasons of American Idol.