American Idol Top 5 Joshua Ledet

Published on: May 3, 2012 @ 18:38

The judges on “American Idol” definitely love somebody, and his name is Joshua Ledet.


An incredible performance of the Bee Gees classic To Love Somebody, earned the 20-year-old from Louisiana a standing ovation from the judges, with Randy Jackson labelling him one of the best singers to ever appear on the contest.

‘I’ve been doing this 11 years and you’re one of the best singers on this show. Ever. Ever,’ he told him. ‘And that’s a big feat. That was incredible. Nobody can do that better,’ he said.

Jennifer Lopez added: ‘I think you’re one of the best singers I’ve seen in 50 years, I mean, it’s crazy, baby. Honestly.

‘People since James Brown and all those people, the greatest soul singers and performers ever,’ she added. ‘That made me want to cry I swear.’

Joshua in an earlier round earned similar praise from Steven Tyler who said: ‘You’ve gotta be one of the top two best Idols of all time. You sing so fine. You’re such a talent. You’re so on fire.’

The performance was perhaps made even more special given that Joshua had not heard the song before performing it and only took 15 minutes to perfect his version, sung initially in the rehearsal room for Idol mentor Jimmy Iovine and guest mentor, Bruce Springsteen guitarist Steven Van Zandt.

‘He walked away and did this incredible version of this song he hadn’t heard before,’ marvelled Van Zandt. ‘That was one of the greatest performances I’ve ever heard in my life.’

Could it be that Josh’s repeated claims that he’s unfamiliar with the songs he’s crushing is a savvy rope-a-dope move? Maybe. But as far as Entertainment Weekly staff writer Kyle Anderson is concerned, Ledet is “technically very good,” but seems to be good at just one thing. “Even for a show that deals in hyperbole, that seems awfully hyperbolic,” he said of the sky-high judge’s comments on Wednesday night. “He’s really good and probably the best singer of the last three or four seasons, mostly because the past few have tended toward people with gimmicks nor niches, so it’s been a while since a pure voice has blown us away.”

Former MTV News “Idol in 60 Seconds” host and “Idol” authority Jim Cantiello thinks the problem might be that while Ledet sings it very well, he excels at a style of music that just isn’t very “now.”

“The only pop artist who has success dabbling in retro-ish R&B tunes is Bruno Mars (and, by extension, Cee Lo, which Mars had a hand in). Yet Bruno injects a modern spin to his retro leanings and has the charisma and personality to back it up,” Cantiello said of Ledet’s throwback Otis Redding style of gritty R&B belting. “Joshua has only shown strength going REAL old school and typically has the presence of a sedated patient.”

Despite the over-the-top raves from Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine and bestie “Little” Steven Van Zandt, Cantiello wondered whether the label had “a secret top-notch retro unit with the right songwriters and producers that could craft Joshua the perfect throwback album.” There is no doubt that Ledet crushed it when he sang “To Love Somebody” and, earlier in the season, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” but the issue, he said, is that nobody writes those kinds of songs anymore.

“In order to have a big radio hit, Joshua and Interscope would literally have to bring an entire genre back to life, and I’m not sure the personality-challenged Ledet is the one to start that movement,” he lamented. Maybe the judges meant that Joshua is “one of the best young male soul singers to come out of the show, versus one of the best singers period,” Cantiello speculated, ticking off a list of others who were more versatile and have massive voices




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