Monday, December 18, 2006

New "Idol" Winner Leona Lewis

In the UK, "X Factor" is the reigning version of "Pop Idol." It's nto the completely massive hit that "American Idol" has become, but it has supplanted the original "Pop Idol." No wonder Simon Cowell was sued for creating it -- it and "American Idol" seem to share every new innovation, right down to having pop stars duet with the finalists on the big last show. The newest "X Factor" winner is Leona Lewis, a pretty young woman with a fantastic voice. You can check out her duet with Take That at the finals or any number of other performances on YouTube. Mind you, my first thought when reading this story was, "Who's the gay-ish kid she beat out?" It's Ray Quinn, an 18 year old Liverpudlian. Sort of a UK Michael Buble, he trotted out every warhorse in the book, from "Smile" (which isn't bad) to "Oh Mandy" and "Never Walk Alone." He sounds flat much of the time, but in the studio he might be able to get by and clearly it was Ray's cuddlyish image that won him fans. (He even tears up on "Never Walk Alone," which is a funeral/memorial favorite in the UK.) Great fun and I think Leona Lewis will be the first UK winner to crossover to the US.

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