Let me tell you about the righteous, raw female funk of Fantasia Barrino– whose body, soul and voice of god obliterated mediocrity for a few heart-pounding moments on American Idol last night. Fantasia was crowned another year, but was on last night to remind mainstream America (and me) what fearless artistry is, and how music can lift us higher. Who cares if she already won, she should win again. If only to wake us up out of our middlebrow stupor, and I mean, up.

At this point in the competition (the finals), the cream doesn’t always rise to the top. Sure, the two little birds left standing can sing (yada yad), but can they remind us of the sheer joy and sorrow of being alive?

Fantasia let us have it. There was the requisite shock shot of judge Simon Cowell, and the three startled finalists barely swinging their meat-less hips to her eye-busting boogie as Fantasia ripped the stage. Rasping, shouting, crying out, she ramped up the power. Our power, people. This particular percussive tune and its frantic ferocity called, yes, ‘Bore Me’, is not for all tastes, but just tell me: can you feel it?

James Brown,  Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Jack White, Mick Jagger.. meet Fantasia

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FAN THE FLAMES

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