Every once in awhile, when we’re lucky, a singer enters our realm who possesses that magical quality, known simply as the ‘x-factor’. www.definition-of.com defines the x-factor as “The unexplainable element of a person’s attractiveness or sexiness”. www.urbandictionary.com has another definition I like, which is “an indescribable quality or something; something about a person that you cannot put your finger on; je ne sais quoi”. This same site defines ‘mystique’ similarly, as “an aura of a person that is somewhat mysterious and is difficult to put your finger on…needless to say mystique is a sexy trait and will always attract others to inquire further and go deeper into that mysterious person. A beautiful trait”. Because some of you readers and Idol fans who still don’t ‘get’ Adam have respectfully asked me to explain his appeal, I will attempt to put into words what I see as his x-factor, or his mystique, which is what makes him so intriguing.
The tangibles; or the discernible reasons why Adam has the X-Factor:
1. His voice: As the judges point out, Adam has a crazy range and knows how to use it. In every song, expect him to showcase this. For those of you who like to mention that he ‘screams’ instead of ‘sings’, I guess that is a matter of personal opinion and description. To me, when he makes those impossible runs possible, it just serves to add his own personality and unique touch to the song, while enhancing it at the same time. He is also the only singer whose falsetto I can listen to and not cringe. In fact, I even like it. Some of you say he overdoes the falsetto, but hey, he can. When you’ve got it, sometimes you have to flaunt it.
2. His humbleness: No other contestant this season gave props to the band like Adam did this week. It was heartfelt and I don’t think he planned on doing that; it just happened spontaneously. Adam scored points with many viewers for this. And as I’ve previously pointed out, he consistently mouths, ‘thank you’ whenever he is told he is safe. Watch him next time and see for yourself. He appreciates that he is here and lets us know. It is very endearing to have someone acknowledge he is grateful for the positive feedback and support he receives.
3. His confidence: Adam takes risks and if he is afraid to fail, it doesn’t come across to the viewing audience. He is confident without being cocky, and there is a huge difference between the two. Confident is better. Much better.
4. His looks: I admit that Adam is very easy on the eyes, no matter what look he sports for the night. This has nothing to do with his singing ability, but it does enhance his overall package and add to that enigmatic x-factor.
5. His versatility: Each week, we never know what Adam will do, and it is something to look forward to. Will he have the makeup and eye liner, or will he have the slicked back Elvis hair? Will he sit on a stool and give us a toned down performance with beautiful vocals, or will he be, as Randy said, ‘manic’? He keeps us guessing and that is exciting.
6. His performance ability: Adam will never give us a karaoke performance, or a boring one. He owns the stage when he is on it. He rivets you, you keep your eyes glued to him, and even if you are not an admirer, you are watching him just to see what he is doing and how well he is doing it. He is taking this competition seriously, and consistently makes something quite difficult look quite easy. That is a rare talent that some might take for granted, but his fans and the professionals do not. We appreciate it and are in awe of it.
7. His uniqueness: We have never had a contestant like Adam. All of the above combine to make him stand out. He is memorable. From his first audition, until Idol resumed, I noticed him and was looking forward to hearing what he could do. His look is unique and so is his sound. You may not have liked ‘Ring of Fire’ for example, but you cannot say it wasn’t memorable. People are still talking about that one. And I continue to say it was a brilliant move on Adam’ s part, considering it was country music week. He knows who he is as an artist, and is comfortable with it. No Grand Old Opry for this boy!
The intangibles, and questions that keep the Idol ‘Powers That Be’ awake at night:
1. His sexuality: Unfortunately, this needs to be addressed because it is the thing everyone wants to know. My response is…. Who cares? There are some interesting pictures of Adam currently on the net. I’m sure he knows they are there, yet he has not removed them. This speaks to his extreme confidence in who he is, and keeps everyone else guessing. It is also telling that Adam is the only contestant I can recall who has not been hurt by controversial images on the internet. It might mean that finally, American realizes what really matters in a singing competition is singing. As long as he keeps sharing his voice with us and and entertaining us, I could care less what he does in his spare time and who he does it with. Props to Adam for leaving those pictures up and staying true to himself.
2. Is Adam mainstream enough to win American Idol?
My answer: Why not? Paula has compared Adam to Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler. We’ve heard the Elvis comparisons. He reminds me of Freddy Mercury in a lot of ways. So he wears eye liner and makeup and black nail polish and dyes his hair jet black and flat irons it. Different is good. Different is fun. Different is creative. Of course, living in New York City, where anything goes, I may not think similarly to those who are not exposed to all types of people who do their own thing on a regular basis. But even those who aren’t used to guys with black nail polish can appreciate talent when they hear it. I think yes, we are ready for Adam!
3. What kind of cds will he make? And, 4. will his fans really buy his cds and go to his concerts, or will they fade away after the show is over?
This is one singer who cannot be pigeonholed into a single category. He can do it all. Is that good enough to win? Isn’t the ability to sing well in various genres a good thing? With the exception of real country music, Adam can sing anything with feeling, and sing it adeptly and convincingly. An Adam concert will certainly be entertaining. You know I’ll be the first one on line to buy his cds and go to his shows. And I know with certainty that I won’t be alone.
To me, the above just skims the surface in describing Adam’s appeal. I don’t feel I can really do him justice by attempting to put iinto words the true essence of his mystique. He has to be seen to truly appreciate the manifestation of all I have mentioned. I have not felt this strongly about an American Idol contestant in a long, long time, and it feels great to be so motivated and involved again. I know I am not misplacing my energy with Adam. He has it all. Like him or not, win or lose, he is someone who you will be hearing and talking about, and listening to, for many years to come!