I can’t believe Tia Tolliver made the cut to the top 32 on “The X Factor,” but lots of people want to know her race. In the preliminary audition, Tia Tolliver appeared to be Asian, perhaps Thai, Vietnamese or Burmese, with very full lips that she told the judges got her much attention.
Then Tia Tolliver began “singing.” I don’t know what she was trying to prove with all the off-key hollering, but it was enough to impress only one judge: Simon Cowell. He was floored by her ding-a-ling performance and insisted she had the X Factor and that one day she’d be a sensation.
But what race is Tia Tolliver? I was thinking, “Hmmm, Simon must have a lot of wax buildup in his ears.” He said Tia Tolliver had all this energy. Well, so would a preschooler who just ate a candy bar, or an aerobics class instructor. Since when is energy talent?
Tia Tolliver, who did not disclose her race, was told to sing something else. So she stood there like a dope and went “doo wop, doo wop, doo wop” about a thousand times. If I had been one of the judges, I would have interrupted with, “Alright already, we get the point, you can drone doo wop like a broken record — now will you SING already?!”
Tia Tolliver, whose race appears to suggest some black heritage, had a chance to belt out a Whitney Houston song or some other marvelous ballad, but instead stood there like an automaton repeating “doo wop” over and over. A 2-year-old can be taught to do this.
Tia Tolliver did better with the next round, previously slick-straight hair now cascading in ringlets, in that she was on key, but still refused to hold a note to show any kind of vibrato. A vibrato is the “wave” in one’s voice when they sustain a note on the same key.
I know there are different styles of singing, but all I ask is that just a few times, during a crucial audition, a singer show off a vibrato. Is that so hard to do?
For the next round, Tia Tolliver again was very loud, but loudness isn’t talent. I’ve heard 5-year-old boys shout just as loud. This time, however, she DID hold a few notes, and seemed to be creating an erratic, weak vibrato by rapidly tapping the microphone with her fingers. The “singing” sounded forced and strained. When singing is strained, this will impair whatever vibrato a person has.
So it’s still a mystery if Tia Tolliver can actually execute a steady, resonant, velvety vibrato, and her race is also a mystery, but my guess is part Asian, part black, maybe some white and/or Latina in there.
Fans might insist that holding a note isn’t her style and that she wants to sound unique. She does NOT sound unique. She sounds like “cat in a blender” Christina Aguilera.
Four other singers — Jazzlyn Little, Rachel Crowe, Melanie Amaro and Drew Ryniewicz — all belted out lengthy sustained notes on ONE key, revealing wonderful vibratos, but all four sounded very different from each other. These four all sung ballads, but sounded markedly unique from one another. Thus, you can sing the same genre that others are, and still sound very different.
Something tells me that Simon is going to fix things so that Tia Tolliver wins. This will be a travesty. And I can’t believe that the platinum blonde 12-year-old Emily barely made the cut — as group singer when she originally auditioned as a solo act. The judges are just plain insane. But we’d still like to know Tia Tolliver’s race. On Tia Tolliver’s talent page, it says “mixed” besides “race.”