Recap: Gospel Dream 2009 Finale

I wanted this show to be great. I wanted this show to be compelling. I wanted this show to be interesting. Unfortunately, Gospel Dream 2009 was anything but that. Now that the competition is over I’d say that the entire show was average at best.

Last night the final three contests, NeVar Massey, Tony LeBron and Robert Mauti took the stage. After each contestant performed two songs, the judges named Tony LeBron the winner of Gospel Dream 2009. It wasn’t really a tough decision to make. NeVar and Robert gave nice performances, but Tony was clearly better.

What Went Wrong?
I am trying to figure out what went wrong with this show. You can argue that J.Moss, Michelle Williams and Mitchell Solarek might not have been the best choices for judges, but they were not the problem. I can completely understand the producer’s rationale for selecting them. I wish the judges weren’t so caught up in the whole artist marketability thing. Gospel music is part ministry and part entertainment. I get that.

I think my biggest issue was the contestants. I don’t know who the best unsigned gospel/Christian singer in the country is. However, I do know that whomever he or she is, they definitely did not compete in Gospel Dream 2009. I kept waiting for someone to step up and deliver outstanding vocal performances consistently, but it never happened.

The bottom line is that Gospel Dream got a pool of talent that was not on par with the talent that we’ve seen from other singing competitions. I’m not sure how extensive the talent search was, but they have to do a better job of attracting quality contestants next season.

I’m sure that all of this season’s contestants are wonderful people. I’m sure they do a great job ministering in their local churches and ministries. That being said, they did not help produce a compelling competition.

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  • Brian

    I hear what you’re saying…But come on..Tony was pretty stinking good…His rendition of That’s just the way it is was the best I’ve heard!

  • Tracetroop

    I wasn’t a big fan of the host, Casey Kasem’s son. He was professional, but he lacked charisma and failed to exude any affinity for the artists or the music.

    A good host should position him/herself to be contestants’ ally: to serve as a buffer to reduce the sting of potentially harsh critiques from the judges. Kasem only need watch Kirk on Sunday Best to get the hang of it. Or, he could watch Mario Lopez on America’s Best Dance Crew. Or, of course, Ryan Seacrest on Idol.

    By not offering up words of encouragement, etc., Kasem allowed the judges to look mean and spiteful in comparison.

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