06 December 2006

The X-Factor's Ray Quinn

Ordinarily, a song like "My Way" would fail to impress me. Because it's a standard song that everyone's sang at karaoke at one point, the meaning is lost on me. This performance (video below) made me see the song the way it should be seen (or heard).

But before we get to that, a little backgrounder:

Ray, one of the three remaining contestants on UK's Talent Show, The XFactor, almost didn't make it to Top 12. Simon actually turned him down. But realizing he made a mistake, he gave Ray another shot at the competition. Ray's forte is Standards or Big Bands, ala Michael Buble'. Week after week, Ray would stick to a style he is most comfortable with, never going out of the box, hardly stepping out of his comfort zone, always doing what he knows best as a singer/performer, whatever the theme was for that night:

Ray singing Ain't That A Kick in The Head
Ray singing The Way You Look Tonight
Ray singing What A Wonderful World

He became predictable. He felt like a "one trick pony". The other judges gave him a hard time. And he was not even good vocally.

When he did try to step out of his comfort zone just a wee bit, it was more than he can handle. In a word, and to borrow a line from "My Way", it was him "biting off more than he can chew"

So, when he sang "My Way" on the week the contestants were allowed to choose their own song, the lyrics were more than fitting for him. It was the right choice, it was the perfect choice. It spoke for him. Yes, he kept doing the same thing all through out those 10 weeks of competition. But that was his style, that was his way.

And because he felt every word of that song (and the audience felt it too, me included...my eyes welled up!), it was his best performance.

Watch a short clip of Ray's performance and see how much Simon beamed with pride at his talent: