What would happen if “American Idol” contestants were mentored by talents of another strain — of those who made it, not because they had the right look, but because their presence was inescapable? To sprinkle the Idol pool with the fairy dust of talents like [lastfm]Thom Yorke[/lastfm], [lastfm]Karen O.[/lastfm], [lastfm]David Byrne[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Santigold[/lastfm] might change the music industry’s cultural landscape.
Below, a list of talents we’d actually like to see mentor on “American Idol.” Who else would make you like to see? Anyone we left out?
Self-taught multi-instrumentalist Jack White– whose portfolio includes The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, along with collaborations with Jimmy Page, Loretta Lynn and Jay-Z — would benefit Idol wannabes, to teach them not just the craft of singing, but also individuality and presence.
Jack White on his favorite song, from the documentary “It Might Get Loud”
Before Lady GaGa paraded the stage in outlandish costumes, avante-garde rock singer Björk garnered our attention for over 20 years with theatrics all her own, complemented with incisive lyrics and entrancing music. It’s one thing to grab a mic and sing on stage, it’s another to leave people talking once off stage, about the performance, that is — not one’s weight gain. Sorry, Kelly.
“Army of Me” by Björk, official music video directed by Michel Gondry
Over a decade after the loss of the illustrious performer, Freddie Mercury’s voice still blares the world over in sports arenas, dive bars and iPods spanning Generation X to Generation Sext. If only he were still alive to school budding, controversial singers like Adam Lambert on how to give great face, even when social norms aren’t accepting.
“Under Pressure,” composed by Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, official music video
In 2008, Amy Winehouse won five Grammy’s for her modern spin on pop infused with elements of soul, R&B, doo-wop and ska. Since then, music took back seat to her drug use, with more stints in jail than Grammy wins. An Idol mentor like Amy could be the deterrent young, party Idols need to keep the crazies in check.
“Just Friends” by Amy Winehouse, official music video