The last time this happened to me was when Ms. Haley Reinhart surprised everybody and had her first ever Idol "moment":
Haley clearly has chops, she's showing growth, and she's never been heavily touted, barely making the Top 12. But now she's the one I'm rooting for, hopefully in a final against James Durbin, the two with the most amazing voices and most rock & roll soul.
There's this thing with her where she's got the earthy growls and runs, and with her jazz background she's skipping so close to the edge, you think she's not going to make the note, that her voice can't handle it. But she can.
Here's something they didn't even show on TV -- not sure how it leaked out. One of my all-time favorite songs, "Baby It's You" performed solo with just keyboard accompaniment in her final Hollywood Week elimination:
Very classic in a way, throwback to girl group greatness, that kind of supple voice and good jazz & blues training. Her iTunes recordings are even better in some ways, does some different things with her voice than onstage, where she has to deal with movement as well. But she's just 20, so there's time to train.
What's great is that she's got a distinct but beautiful instrument to listen to, she's got chops, she's got taste, she's got variety and when she goes out there the audience is sensing that she's giving her all. The number of views she has are huge and the comments have exploded since "Moanin'."
I've finally got a horse in the race this year