Clash of the Cover Bands – Powerhouse Vocalists
On Week 6 of Clash of the Cover Bands P0werhouse Vocalists battle it out as Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin tribute artists take the stage. tWitch hosts the series. Adam Lambert, Ester Dean and Meghan Trainor sit on the judges panel.
Celine Dion gives you heart heart…
First up is Elisa Furr, the Celine Dion tribute. She’s from Little Rock, Arkansas and has been singing since 2 years old. She started competing in pageants at 14. Now she lives in Las Vegas. She had a bunch of opportunities, including performing in stage reviews. But one night, in a casino bar, she covered Celine and the room was mesmerized. After that, she created the tribute.
Her performance of “Because of You” is odd. She hits the big notes, but she tries to mimic Celine’s French-Canadian accent, and it sounds affected. She’s more effective in her higher register. She doesn’t look like Celine AT ALL. Adam notes that her voice is fantastic and has all the mannerisms down. “I was really impressed.” Meghan sees nerves, but loves her passion. Ester wants her to open her heart more. She’s setting Celine up with the movement expert, Ray Leeper.
Aretha takes the audience to church
Elaine Gibbs is a singer and a grandmother who pays tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. From 9 years of age, she has been singing, mostly in church. She fell in love with Aretha at 14. She went to beauty school and did nails. But her husband supports her show business aspirations. Elaine became a tribute artist after Aretha died in 2018.
She doesn’t look like Aretha either. Her tribute, however, is loving. At times she sounds very much like her, especially when she’s riffing and running and taking the audience to church. I bet she’s pretty awesome in front of the congregation.
Elaine brought her family with her. Meghan is sure Aretha would be proud of her. “You have given us a powerhouse woman,” says Ester. Adam calls it “crazy” adding, “You are so gifted. It doesn’t feel rehearsed or planned.” Adam wants to see her dressed and made up just like Aretha. The style expert will give her a “dose of Hollywood Glam.”
Celine and Aretha Meet the Experts
Ray Leeper, the movement expert, helped Celine Dion with her Vegas residency. In order to bring more heart into her performance, elise needs to relax, Ray advises. Believing that she’s overthinking her performance, he leads her through some breath exercises. Ray also suggests that she perform with intention. “You need to commit,” he says.
Maggie Barry is the costume designer for Clash of the Cover Bands. She’s worked with a bunch of famous acts like Cher, Bon Jovi, LMFAO and more. Maggie picks a classy looking champagne outfit. Noting that Aretha wore a lot of sparkle and feathers, Maggie pulls out a fancy jacket to compliment the dress. Elaine admits that she usually styles herself. Then, they choose the perfect wig.
Time for battle
The battle rounds are next. Each tribute will trade off snips of songs by their artist. Aretha starts with “Chain of Fools.” The costume glow up makes a big difference. Celine is next belting “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” hitting those high notes. Aretha sings the 80s hit “Freeway of Love.” Then Celine performs “That’s The Way it Is.” Aretha follows with the iconic “Respect.” The flowing orange number she’s wearing should win her the 10K. And of course Celine has to sing “My Heart Will Go On.”
Ester feels she’s seeing the embodiment of “heart and soul.” Meghan calls it her favorite performance on the show. “You’re both perfection.” Adam adds, “You’re both so talented.” He feels Celine improved a lot after working with the movement coach. Aretha “tickles” him. He loves her runs.
The Panel choose a winner
And the winning act is Elisa Furr as Celine Dion. She wins $10,000 and the chance to appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. “It means so much to me,” she says, crying and wiping away tears.
I understand why they chose her. She’s the professional of the two, eaking out a living in Las Vegas. Elaine Gibbs lives with her family and more or less does her Aretha impersonation as a labor of love, although she’d very much like to work it full time. Elaine has a lot of heart. She’s a good singer, and for a night of well delivered Aretha Franklin covers, I’d go watch her sing.