American Idol 12- Top 40 Contestant Preview #1- Shubha Vedula

Big thanks to IdolManiac and TheIdolPad for spoiling the Top 40 already. MJ has asked me to preview all the contestants for you. So you’ll see one every day (of the ones we can find stuff for online). I looked at the list of contestants, and asked myself, where do I start? Then I saw the name “Shubha Vedula”. And I said, how can I not start with someone named Shubha Vedula. Doesn’t that just sound like your next American Idol?

Name: Shubha Vedula
Age: 16?
From: Mt Pleasant, Michigan

Reminds me a lot of Jessica Sanchez. A little girl with a big voice who can sing big power ballads. I don’t think Shubha is QUITE on Jessica’s level, but there’s a voice there, and it’s a competitive voice. Time will tell if she’s lucky enough to make the Top 10 (with the rumored changes this year, we won’t get a say in the matter until Top 10).

Here she sings Unfaithful by Rihanna:

And Mariah Carey’s “Hero”:

“Hurt” (this one is fun because someone lists all of the things she does in her spare time before she sings):


Contributor to EIC of, Contributor at Holds a BA in Film from the University of Central Florida.

  • irockhard

    *Sigh* the only thing interesting and unique about this girl is her name. Time for Idol stop casting the “diva balladier” archeotype. We’ve seen this type of contestant 11 friggin times now, and we’ve seen other girls do it better than her.

  • Mateja Praznik

     Anything is better than all kinds of irrelevant rockers, metal or folk types.

  • Incipit

    I like her tone, it’s very rich and full. (And On Key) Pretty nice dynamics on “Hero”- not my favorite style of female singer, but there is definitely “a voice in there”.  Not too much vibrato – good breath control, a tolerable level of melisma if she doesn’t do one bit more – waiting for the end to check over singing. Nope, she didn’t oversing the ending…

    Don’t know the “Unfaithful” song – she’s 16, I’m not believing these lyrics – but she displays a good sense of the tempo.

    The audio on “Hurt” is rough – but once again – possibilities, with a song one could believe.

    I’m always apprehensive for the ‘Pageant Trained’ singer – IDK if she is one – but Iovine hands them what he calls ‘performance songs’ and they are always overdone on these shows, and sometimes overwrought. If this young lady can exhibit restraint and sing something besides ballads in the competition, I’ll be interested to hear more.

    You picked a good one to start with, I think!

  • Anny_nanny

    She sings better than Rihanna (ha!) and she can’t stay on the scene, but I don’t know how old this video. If she is able to sing something quick and rhythmic, it could be interesting.

  • irockhard

    LOL in this day and age of autotune diva balladiers are totally irrelevant.

    I don’t care for folk types but they’ve become quite popular these days.

    Rockers and metalheads are creative and entertaining, I’ll take them over statues that belt any day.

  • Anny_nanny

    She too is similar to the type-Jessica, they is not enough space and songs on one label. Or Iovine will have to give her to another label.

  • Anny_nanny

    She too is similar to the type-Jessica, they is not enough space and songs on one label. Or Iovine will have to give her to another label.

  • HermeticallySealed

     Iono, there are plenty of copypasta metalhead and rockers.  Very few of said groups have ever actually stood out as unique.  But the same can be said of ay genre.  I’d rather just unique performers than more of any one type of genre.

  • heike hoffmann

    Oh… an other good but boring pop-ballade-voice.
    I would like to have a Rock/folk-girl to win this year.

  • irockhard

    I would love that too, or even better an alt/punk rocker girl, but sadly there doesn’t seem to be any. Apparently not a single rocker in the entire Top 40, not that I should be surprised as there’s no rock star on this judging panel.

  • HermeticallySealed

     From what we have been told, there aren’t many (if any) country types, yet we have a country guy on the judges.  I think the problem is, there just aren’t many good rocker/punk types who are going to try out for this type of show.  And let’s face it, metal/punk singers are rarely /good/ singers so much as passionate and good entertainers.

  • Incipit

    Anny_Nanny, I’m not at the end of the show yet, thinking of what happens if she wins – I’m still at the beginning, wondering how she will do if she even gets a chance to compete.

    I like a varied cast, with a little something for everyone in the TV audience, and a strong mid-card, or it gets kinda boring. I Wish TPTB would pick singers with some life experience, because these youngsters have a built in handicap in selling the Idol Songbook, unless ‘someone’ is very damn good at song choice – and so far, I haven’t seen that happening. 

    I like the tone of her voice, maybe we will get to hear her sing with some more variety. She may not even make the cut – who knows?

  • irockhard

    There are a few country types: 2 among the guys and 5 among the girls.

    The Voice doesn’t seem have trouble finding alt rock contestants.

    And I disagree but the rock/metal world being short of good vocalists, even if it’s true that it’s a performance based genre where the kick ass guitar solos matter more than soaring vocals.

  • Larc

    I’d rather just unique performers than more of any one type of genre.

    I agree as long a being unique doesn’t take precedence over singing ability.

  • Nadine_Bitch

    I really don’t care what type of genres these contestants sing. I just want them to sing ON KEY. lol

    yeah, petpeeves and everything;)

  • TravelinThru

    The Voice doesn’t seem have trouble finding alt rock contestants.

    Maybe because The Voice sends scouts to Warped Tour or similar? or works with talent scouts to look for regional talents, and sends invitations to scouted talents to come to the blind auditions? Just speculating…

  • irockhard

    Probably and those types end up going very far on that show, which is why Idol should cast them because they are popular with viewers.

  • fantoo1

    I like her.

  • mtlfan2

    there is a voice there! i’m not convinced it goes beyond karaoke though

  • Leandro

    And let’s face it, metal/punk singers are rarely /good/ singers so much as passionate and good entertainers.

    I’d rather see an exciting punk rock singer, with a mediocre voice, like that one from Canadian Idol (anyone remember?) than another dull R&B singer. This season apparently is gonna about a bunch of boring R&B singers.

  • Sara M

    ‘d rather see an exciting punk rock singer, with a mediocre voice,

    No thank you. I like all genres, but they need to sing well. I don’t limit what I like to one small subset and refuse to listen to anything else.

  • irockhard

    Too bad the producers aren’t doing the same.

  • Sara M

     Maybe you haven’t listened closely to the top 40, but I see pop, gospel, r&b, hip hop, jazz, folk, country, soul, , southern rock. Of course not every genre is going to be covered, because you are trying to find a diverse field, and not every single person can be pandered to with their personal taste, but it seems pretty diverse to me.

  • Leandro

    Mediocre for the typical hardcore fan of Idol, fan of perfect-pitch balladeers singers like Jessica Sanchez. IMO, Jacob Haggard sang well enought to be on the show.

  • Sara M

     I just quoted what you said. You said you would rather have mediocre singers if they were in a specific genre. I prefer good singers regardless of genre. Just a difference of opinions.

  • irockhard

    Just wait till the live shows start. It’s gonna be Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie and Louis Armstrong ballads from almost every contestant almost every week. I know how Idol portrays R&B/Gospel/Soul contestants, everyone in pageant dresses or boyties, how is that current or marketable?

  • Sara M

     Sorry, I can’t predict the future, and I bet you can’t either otherwise you would be famous for it by now lol, so I will actually wait to see what happens instead of conjecture, but based on what we have to go on, which is the people in the top 40, there is a wide variety of musical styles.

  • irockhard

    Jacob Hoggard was one of the most entertaining contestants on these shows ever, he was so ballsy and really grabbed the bull by the horns. And his vocals were just fine by real world rock standards.

    If I want to appreciate pitch perfect vocals I’d go see an opera. Idol is a TV show and I want to be entertained not to fall asleep, that is the point of a TV show.

  • irockhard

    A crystal ball isn’t necessary, just look at the last 11 seasons, what types of songs do TPTB make these types of contestants sing? We might have different judges but we got the same producers and same songs on the cleared songs list. So there’s no reason to believe that S12 is gonna be different.

  • sabbia

    I like her voice. That said, based on these videos I know I would not plan to jump back on the Idol bandwagon to see her perform. (not interesting enough musically)

    I look at it this way: Is Idol produced primarilyas a singing competition, a reality TV show, or a talent show (which would encompass much  more than the ability to technically sing well)?

    If primarily a singing competition: she’s what they are looking for. But, if TPTB are looking to expand their AI audience, this type of contestant is not going to do it IMO. Her voice and style are a dime a dozen.

  • blackberryharvest

    We don’t know how they will perform yet, we should wait until the show starts. How do you know if they are going to all be pageanty? Just based on the spoilers I have seen so far, there are A LOT of current pop girls who aren’t pageanty. Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller, Tenna Torres, Rachel Hale, Jett Hermano, and Zo Johnson are the girls at the top of my head who I can think of who aren’t pageant type girls.

  • blackberryharvest


    Idol is a TV show and I want to be entertained not to fall asleep, that is the point of a TV show.

    Not having hard rock on the show doesn’t mean it won’t be entertaining. Not all the girls are diva belters.

  • irockhard

    I’m not saying that only hard rockers are entertaining, Casey Abrams and Naima are not a hard rockers though I found them entertaining much of the time.

  • irockhard

    I checked out Jessica’s pre Idol stuff, she even did Lil’ Wayne covers. Did we see that on the show? No.

  • blackberryharvest

    No, but when she did a straight up r&b song, she was voted off, so I think that scared her from doing those. That was her choice, and those contestants obviously are different people than Jessica.  I also remember the judges(Steven) giving her bad advice on sticking to ballads.

  • Wally.

    “The Voice doesn’t seem have trouble finding alt rock contestants.”
    Uh thats because most of TheVoice’s contestants are plants.

  • irockhard

    As if Idol’s never casted plants themselves.

  • irockhard

    Well they experienced their biggest ratings drop last season so they should be trying to expand their audience. Unfortunately with this cast of contestants it doesn’t look like they’re trying hard enough. The diversity needs to be more than merely racial/ethnic, it needs to be vocal and stylistic as well. White R&B singer, black R&B singer, Asian R&B singer, Hispanic R&B singer and Indian R&B singer is monotemous and boring and is going to get old really fast.

  • fantoo1

    It doesn’t look like all r&b to me. I see most genres represented besides rock. Remember, they will cut this number in half before we see the final product. I’m sure there will be a diverse 20.

  • Leandro

    I didn’t expressed myself well. My mistake. Of course, the person has to be able to carry a tune. What I meant is that most of the time the most exciting singers, IMO, aren’t the technically perfect ones, and I prefer much more those who aren’t perfect but can give an exciting performance, like Jacob Haggard.

  • Aidolfan

    I personally think the “diva” types should be represented in American Idol. These types also chart on the Hot 100, look at Adele. R&B should be represented also because these contestants can also sing other genres. The closest to hard rock was James Durbin and I and most people didn’t really enjoy him IMO

  • calliebeckett

    Will these “rock” acts bring in the ratings? Will it push away the frau?

    Will it bring enough of the 18-49 demo to make a difference?

    What type of acts will attract the 18-49 demo? By attract, I mean to get it up to the 5’s. That’s all that matters to FOX.

  • TravelinThru

    Nah, Idol does not cast plants. Just ask Nigel ;) 
    *cough*Season 4 Winner*cough*

  • irockhard

    “The closest to hard rock was James Durbin and I and most people didn’t really enjoy him IMO”

    If most people didn’t really enjoy James he would’nt have placed 4th without ever seeing B3. James got an audience that never watch the show to tune in. Up to this day I see metalheads tweeting about how they tuned into S10 because there was a guy that performed on the show. That includes high profile people in the genre such as Brandon Geist (Revolver Magazine), Paul Gargano (Century Media Records) and David Draiman (Disturbed).

    Idol needs to bring in new viewers, celeb judges are not gonna do the trick, casting interesting and unique contestants will.

  • irockhard

    1. A cast that is ethnically diverse AND vocally diverse AND stylistically diverse. You gotta have all 3 every single season.

    2. Get rid of the overdone dated themes and songs. People under the age of 40 don’t want to listen to music from the 50s-80s. 90s and later only.

  • sabbia

    I think those 2 items are a very good first step for drawing some new viewers. Heck, I am almost 50 and I don’t want to hear music from the 50s-80s anymore. lol 

    I would have different answers on what changes I believe would draw more viewers, especially the younger demographic and what changes *I* would like made on AI to interest me to watch again. 

    For my own satisfaction, I would add to your list that TPTB allow the kids to be completely be themselves and who they want to be as artists and *not* pressure them into performing a certain song. Casey’s Nature Boy was one of my all-time favorite performances of S10 and wouldn’t have happened if he had listened to Iovine.

    Also as a music lover, I would love to hear the contestants perform original or very obscure pieces. 

    The sad thing for me is: I am not expecting any of these changes to occur. I just am not certain that AI is set out to really attract people like myself who are more avid music listeners but are instead (and should be) trying to attract the most avid TV viewers since they are the ones greasing the business wheels (not the people who listen to and purchase music who would not usually watch reality TV).

    However, an argument can be made that the more stylistically diverse S10 raised more interest in AI than the previous year and caused a spike in ratings (however, I’m not certain if the spike was due to an older demographic). So, who really knows?

  • John S

    I don’t know why people are freaking out over one girl in the top 40. There are other contestants who are not diva belters.

  • irockhard

    The S10 cast was more diverse than this one but it could’ve been better. There wasn’t enough diversity among the girls and as a result (with the exception of Naima) the diva balladiers were the first ones to go (Ashton, Karen, Thia & Pia). S10 wasn’t a perfect season but the casting was a step in the right direction.

    The seasons where there were too many contestants that were too similar to each other (S3, S9) were the worst seasons. I don’t understand why TPTB aren’t using the formula they used for S10. This formula gave them a major spike in ratings from the disaster that was S9 and proved that Idol can survive without Simon. Also the S10 summer tour was way more successful than the S9 and S11 summer tours. And now they’re trying to recover from an even bigger drop in ratings, but with this cast they won’t.

  • Kariann Hart

    I enjoy unique personalties with good voices.  I wish we could have seen more of Naima.  Moving a little on the stage is interesting.  So, we’ll see what changes are being made.

  • chessguy99

    Considering the fanbase Jessica started with and how she still managed to get almost eliminated Top 7, I don’t give this one much of a chance once the public has it’s say.

  • Tinawina

    not saying that only hard rockers are entertaining, Casey Abrams and
    Naima are not a hard rockers though I found them entertaining much of
    the time

    Notice they were both voted out early.

    Just sayin’.

    I thought they were entertaining too, but really the people singing “boring diva ballads” last longer on average, especially if they are not singing rock or country. If you are pop, sing older pop and don’t be too pretty. If you are R&B, be gospel or throwback or braodway-ish. Otherwise you won’t last long. You still won’t win, but you’ll get farther if you can come across humble while singing Motown and the like.

  • Vignesh V

    Shubha’s got such a lovely tone to her voice!!! She’s beautiful and exotic and she sings like a dream! I hope they cast her! TALENT!

  • Brogan S

    I used to go to school with Shubha(: I was there when she sang “Hero” competing against her. Surprised to see that she made top 20, but very happy!!