Monday, May 20, 2013

Lip Syncing at The Billboard Awards

Lip Syncing or not lip syncing? That is the question. Some did and some didn’t exactly at America’s Billboard Awards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last night. And Kid Rock called them on it when he took the stage to say that everyone was singing to pre-recorded music. As much as I don’t appreciate the Kid’s music, he was right. The first person I saw who I suspected was lip syncing was Selena Gomez. Her whispery voice and Egyptian dance moves made for a lovely performance but I suspected with all that dancing, no one’s voice can be that evenly projected. As a singer, I know this stuff. Trust me.
Chris Brown did not lip sync and that performance is a perfect example of my last point. He was winded, off key, missed words and danced like there was no tomorrow. That man’s temper might be questionable (and I thought a Ninja fight scene in his choreographed number was an unusual choice) but he sure can dance. And I have to think that Chris Brown is in tip top shape. Still his singing suffered because of the dancing and that is as it should be during a live performance. No one can jump around like that and sing exactly like the recorded version. No one.
Justin Bieber sang along to his track, adding two vocals to the performance. The sound glitch in his second performance with Will i Am, allowed us to hear his recorded version and his almost flawless live performance. A few times he came into the phrase late and that was the clue, when we clearly heard his softer recorded track. That, and the fact that someone made a major boo boo, mixed the sound wrong and we, at home, could hear his live voice clearly above everything else. I was amazed that the kid could sing as well as he did and dance like that. Kudos to J.B.
Taylor Swift, on the other hand, (who did a darling performance of Twenty-Two), sang almost flawlessly which was highly suspicious seeing that she can barely sing live when she’s standing still. T.S. is famous for singing way off key in T.V. live performances and that could have something to do with her monitor or ear piece or excitement, but she never sings well on an awards show. So to hear the almost perfect version of Twenty Two, was extremely suspect, even though when she finished her mile run to the stage through the bowels of the MGM Grand, she was breathing hard and we could hear her panting in her head mic.
Christina Aguilera sang live. Of this I’m sure. Because she can.
Not J Lo, whose vocals are never the main focus in her performance anyhow, especially when she’s wearing red, BIG BIRD sleeves, but it’s my humble opinion that she sang along to her own vocal track too. Too bad her right boot came loose but she continued on like the trooper she is.
 In this day and age when women performers are upping the ante to include full- on dancing/stage shows, Madonna-style, is it ridiculous to ask them to sing live as well? Who could do it? Madonna can’t. Even she lip syncs at her shows sometimes (or maybe all the time). But have you ever seen a Madonna show? OMG. Last night she received an honorary award in her underwear and was as pretentious and charming as only MDNA can be.
It appears, after last night, the Milli Vanilli faux pas is becoming the norm now. I’d love to hear the discussion between artist and producers about how everyone is doing it. ”Don’t get left behind singing your heart out, off-key, when you can be singing along to your own perfect voice!”  The Perry’s, I’m pretty sure delivered a pure unadulterated vocal performance, so did the gal at her guitar singing about Mary’s, Kacy something. Now her voice was full of nerves, flaws and problems but the gal sang live. Well done Newcomer!
Last night the performances at the Billboard Awards were absolutely amazing. Stunning. Full of lights, effects, dancers, acrobats, confetti, balloons dropping from the roof and pyrotechnics. But what about the live singing? Is that a thing of the past if the artist decides to do choreography? Do we have to choose as an audience what’s acceptable and allowable now? And the big question which must’ve been tossed around at pre-productions meetings for the Billboard awards show is: Is it lip syncing if you sing along to your own track? You decide.
Over and Out

Kim Hornsby is the author of Amazon Bestselling Suspense Novels

                             The Dream Jumper's Promise                                 
                                                  and Necessary Detour


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