By JOHN DALY
Alejandro Aranda stepped out of his comfort zone and covered the Queen-David Bowie classic “Under Pressure” and made it his own on “American Idol” Sunday night. His performance landed him in the final six contestants on the ABC show.
Aranda’s soft-spoken voice and remarkable guitar work brought a new dimension to the beloved song. He included an acoustic guitar solo and brought the song to a close with a giggle and and shy nod of his head to the screaming fans in the audience.
Aranda, from Pomona, worked with former ‘American Idol’ contestant Adam Lambert to refine his performance of the Queen song.
Lambert will be fronting Queen for its Rhapsody tour. The documentary, The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story, airs Monday, April 29 on ABC. The Rhapsody tour will kick off July 10 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver and includes stops at The Forum in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York.
Aranda, known as “scarypoolparty,” has been a favorite from the beginning fo the competition, known for his savant-like music ability. The LA-area native has played small local venues, but hit it big with his anticipated appearances on the network show.
The judges said Aranda’s style is truly unique and never disappoints.
“I just love how you see the painting in a whole different way,” “American Idol” judge Luke Bryan said. “You see it your way and you stick to that. And that is so hard to do with what this show is making you do that is outside of your world. Yet you come out here and you paint it your way every night. Vocally we’ve heard you be better before, but it never matters, because you’re doing your own thing and that’s so cool for me. I just love everything you do.”
Alejandro Aranda – Under Pressure:
Lionel Richie said: “There’s something you can’t get away from and you’re the lucky recipient of it: You are an artist,” he said. “And on top of it you’re an amazing stylist. It’s only gonna come out your way no matter what you do. ‘Three Blind Mice’ is still gonna come out like Alejandro. Don’t ever lose that because that’s the core of who you are.”
“Your authenticity is your secret sauce,” said Katy Perry.” It can also be your worst enemy. I think that you’re figuring that out in really fast fast ways right now. This is an opportunity where the universe is saying ‘Hey Alejandro think you can make it in this world? Well I’m gonna give you a crash course in what it feels like to be successful.’ And I think you’re handling it very well.”
“Is there a lot of pressure to do a queen song like that?” asked Ryan Seacrest.
“Yeah,” Aranda responded. “I didn’t want to butcher the song because I can’t sing like Freddie Mercury.”
For the duet challenge, Aranda played the “Garfunkel” half of Simon and Garfunkel on the song “Mrs. Robinson.” While the performance was well received, his partner, Walker Burroughs, did not make the cut this week.
Alejandro Aranda and Walker Burroughs – Mrs. Robinson: