So is it just me or is “Motown Night” everyones least favorite theme (besides “songs you’ve already sang” circa last year)?
It’s got to be one of the most done themes in the history of the show. And while some I love (Songs from the Year you were Born), this one just bores me to tears. And don’t try to trick me that it won’t be Motown week like you did in Season 12 (where they tried to disguise it as “Music from the Motor City”). I just don’t know what the draw of Motown is anymore?
Now, if this were one of those things where I was forced to say something nice about this week, I do have 2 very minute things. Minor ones but they do count a little bit, right? First, most contestants (at their ages) don’t really know a ton of motown songs, even though wikipedia thinks it’s still a thing. I mean, it’s still a label so I guess technically it’s still around. However, if you look at the song lists from prior Motown weeks, I don’t think a single song was released after 1979. Anyway, this is all to say that I think it kind of helps us see how contestants do singing a song they’ve never heard (what, you think Daniel Seavey is up on all music of Stevie Wonder?). Secondly, it is most likely out of most contestants comfort zones.
There are definitely people that can excel with this theme (if given the opportunity to sing). Their names are Clark Beckham, Sarina-Joi Crowe and Qaasim Middleton. They seem to have the style for Motown and then some. I think Sarina has been preparing for this week for years, so I definitely think she’ll know what to do (it’s easier to prepare if you know what themes they’re going to hit you with), and I think Clark’s already done a Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder song so I know it’s in his wheelhouse. I could also see Shi Scott and Shannon Berfume (she says her last name is pronounced like perfume, with a B) performing well, but honestly I’m hoping they’re cut and won’t be singing.
I would try to take a stab at what the contestants should sing, but to be perfectly honest, that’s out of my comfort zone. I will say that after looking at what the contestants chose last week, I think it’s safe to hope that they won’t be doing the same Motown songs that always get done, I mean, they’ve done this theme in 6 of the 14 seasons, all around the Top 12ish, and the songs For Once in My Life and Heat Wave have been performed EVERY TIME. And there are over 6 songs that have been performed at least 3 times! And not one was an Aretha song (who is tonights mentor and a leader in the world of Motown). I mean that’s just ridiculous. If there are enough songs to have a whole theme based around it, give the contestants more song choices, or leave out the ones that have been performed 5 or more times, at least!
I would like to throw out who I’d like to see sing tonight, and who I hope didn’t make it through. Here are my personal Top 16 (alphabetically so as not to play favorites):
And look, I actually only picked a Top 14, because there’s actually not even 16 contestants I like. That said, I’m quite committed to a solid 10 of the above-mentioned contestants and I really hope they all make it through.