Carly Rose Sonenclar Vs. David Archuleta - Why David's Cover of 'Imagine' was Superior

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Carly Rose Sonenclar Vs. David Archuleta - Why David's Cover of 'Imagine' was Superior
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(David Archuleta)

"X Factor's" Carly Rose Sonenclar will have a great career, but she might want to pick up some pointers from David Archuleta. Last night, she took a risk by performing John Lennon's hit, "Imagine." Unfortunately, her cover paled in comparison to David's performance from "American Idol" season 7.

Here's a look at why his cover of "Imagine" was superior to hers.

1. David knew when to hit the glory notes and when to hold back.

Like Carly, David can hit those sweet glory notes. The difference here is that David's cover had better flow and more appropriately timed rise and fall.

His performance had smoother transitions between the soft and the loud parts, as seen in "a brotherhood of man," and "sharing for the world, you ooohh."

I'm all for glory notes, if they flow with the rest of the song. But Carly's version would have been more believable without the contrived wailing that came out of nowhere.

We thought she was going for a more subtle, eclectic rendition until she suddenly belted out "and the world will be as OOOOONNNNEEEE!" Carly has shown us week after week that she can belt out the big notes, but this performance didn't need it.

2. David's performance was simple, while Carly's performance was "fussy."

When comparing David and Carly's covers of "Imagine," less is more.

David's performance was simple, sincere, and heartfelt. There wasn't a lot of movement, or a big choir. All he needed to do was stand in front of the mic and pour his heart out in song.

Simon Cowell was right to describe Carly's performance as "fussy." She started at the piano, stood up, was joined by the choir, then she returned to the piano. Although I liked the subtle nuances in her phrasing and could feel her emotion, it seemed like she was trying to pack too much into one performance.

3. The song was more true to David's artistic style.

David always knew who he was as an artist. "Imagine" was the perfect choice for this sweet-toned crooner, as he could always bring down the house with those emotive torch songs.

Carly is very talented, but I get the sense that her wonderfully mature voice isn't being utilized properly. Throughout the season, I haven't gotten a clear picture of how she would be marketed as a recording artist. I'm thinking that the tone of her voice might be more suited for Broadway or cabaret.

Whose cover of "Imagine" did you prefer? Does Carly have what it takes to win "X Factor"?

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