Vanilla Icehole

Last night, I finally got to see “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” It was fun, solid entertainment for those of us who came of age in the 70’s and 80’s. And the performances were pretty good. I was especially impressed with the Knack, and Haddaway’s cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” convinced me that it was a decent song despite its prior association. The Motels and Tommy Tutone also did adequately.

In fact, the only real stinker of the night was (shudder) Vanilla Ice. I’ve never liked him, and last night only confirmed my earlier opinion.

In fact, he really stood out in another way. The others all performed original works, but he did “Ice Ice Baby,” which has been justly lambasted for stealing the refrain from “Under Pressure,” by Queen and David Bowie.

The second half of the show featured the artists doing covers of more recent hits by other artists. Here again, Vanilla Ice stunk up the place. They announced he was going to cover Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor.”

Now, apart from the hormone-stirring video, it’s a rather difficult song. The trio have/had a truly unique vocal style, with challenging rhythms and very flexible notes. Despite my loathing of the “artist,” I was intrigued to see what he would do with the song.

What he did was take the title and general theme, and create a whole new piece (I can’t call it a “song”) to perform. Instead of presenting his own expression of a piece of music, he used it to generate a completely different work, with no resemblance to the original.

And the SOB ended up winning the competition.

I can only hope that the audience was filled with cynics and despoilers, who chose to vote for the suckiest performer just to put an ironic spin on the whole evening. Because if they actually thought he was the “best” performer of the five, I weep for the next generation.

(Shamelessly expanded from comments I made here.)

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  1. Jay June 10, 2005
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