Last night on "American Idol," Charity Vance
, a 16-year-old Arkansas Baptist High School student and vet of the Rep's Summer Musical Theater Intensive, made it to Hollywood, got a pimp spot from producers and heard only praises from the judges, including "on a record you'd sound great," from Simon.
Why's Jason Harper giving Charity fist-bumps?
UPDATE: Most all the major "Idol" commentators have nice things to say about Vance:
If this makes any sense, I'd say said vocal sounded like a mashup of Rickie Lee Jones' warble, Minnie Ripperton's ''Lovin' You'' squeak, and a hint of Kim Carnes' scratchiness. Or something in that neighborhood. What impressed me most about this audition was that — like Allison Iraheta tackling Carrie Underwood's touchstone ''Alone'' last season — Charity marched right onto hallowed Idol ground (Fantasia's ''Summertime'') and offered up a completely different, yet ultimately successful take. No, Charity didn't come close to conjuring up the deeply felt pain and drama that 'Tasia did — not many singers could — but Shania was right. ''You're using your range, you're not afraid to do it,'' the country star declared. ''You probably need to hone in a little more on the better qualities of your voice... but [you have] a lot of personal style.'' And at this point in the competition, what more could we ask of her? Michael Slezak
Another charmer was Charity, a 16-year-old girl who honed her style while singing for customers at her parents' hair salon back in Little Rock. Despite her thin voice — which revealed a few weak spots even in a minute of singing — this girl sang Gershwin's endlessly covered "Summertime" with an individualistic flair often missing from the more technically perfect singers Idol rewards. The judges noted her shortcomings but happily looked past them, acknowledging that sometimes the unusual phrasings of an amateur singer thrill more than a Broadway-ready voice (the success of Glee might have reminded the Idol judges that singers with limited ranges, like Cory Monteith, can be more exciting than the pros). So yay for her, even though — who are we kidding? — those unusual phrasings likely won't get her past Hollywood Week. Joseph Brannigan Lynch
Except for the Onion AV Club's Claire Zulkey who hates pretty much superficially.
There was one chick who irritated me because everything about her was too cute: her name is Charity Vance, she was raised in an in-home beauty salon owned by her whole family, she sings to entertain the customers, she acts like the broom is a mic and she sang "Summertime." Ugh. [AV Club