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Whitney Houston's cringeworthy GMA appearance

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 2nd 2009 6:26PM
Whitney_Houston_aristaIf you just watched the crowd while Whitney Houston performed in Central Park on Good Morning, America today, you might have thought that Whitney was doing great. However, if you had the volume on, you know better.

Sadly, Whitney Houston's GMA appearance was sad. Her voice cracked and she seemed to be struggling to sing one of her biggest hits, "I'm Every Woman," which ironically was used as the theme for The Oprah Winfrey Show for years. I say ironically because Whitney explained to the fans at one point that her voice was a wreck because she had talked too much during her appearance on Oprah earlier in the week. Ouch!

The entire appearance was enough to make you cringe. At one point, Whitney called her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, out to the stage to sing with her. Bobbi has grown into a beautiful young woman from the teenager she was on Being Bobby Brown, the infamous Bravo reality show starring Whitney and then hubby Bobby.

I was in complete shock when Whitney croaked that Bobbi Kristina was her baby and invoked Bobby Brown's name, too. I would think she'd never want to mention her ex's name again, especially in the midst of a huge comeback promotion for her first studio CD in nine years.

I feel bad for Whitney. She obviously wanted to be in good voice for this GMA appearance, which ABC has been hyping like crazy. Instead of coming off as back and better than ever, she struggled. What could she have done instead, you ask? Well, one answer could have been to lip-synch the songs, even though that feels like a cheat. But the other choice might have been to rework the set.

Instead of doing uptempo, driving songs that require the big Houston voice, she could have told the gathering that her voice was strained and sang three softer, easier numbers in a more intimate way. I think those fans love her so much they would have accepted that and been glad. It might have also showed that Whitney calls the shots and isn't promoted and pushed to do whatever Clive Davis, the driving force behind her success, tells her to do.

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Whitney sound was bad. she cracked and she was out of breath....now....I LOVE whitney and I sing also so I know how you have to rest your vocal cords before a performance and she didn't have a chance to. You say she could have re-worked or lip synch...that's not Whitney...she gives it to you raw and truthful...if she sounds bad she sounds bad...she doen't try to cover it up like most artist....AND FOR GOONESS SAKE....I wish you tabloid and internet writers quit with the hyping of sensationalism to create news...her remark about doing Oprah WAS NOT a crack at Oprah...it amazes me how journalist take artist words and try to create friction...GET A LIFE!!!

September 04 2009 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not true. When Whitney Houston performed in the 80s and early 90s her voice was impeccable. The last great concert perfomance was her 'Welcome Home Heroes' concert, which I believe was live on HBO in the early 90s, on DVD now. She also performed I Will Always Love You flawlessly during the Grammy awards season the year that song came out. By the time the 'Classic Whitney' concert aired on HBO in the late 90s, the voice I loved was gone.

She had it, but it's long gone now.

September 03 2009 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gordy's comment

I 100% agree with this comment. Pre-Bobby...she was untouchable...and those who can sing now that came after her have often cited her as their big influence...I have NOT heard another voice like hers to date. However, it is long gone. I still wish her the best and I'm somewhat disappointed that Clive Davis talked her into all this---I saw it coming! Yet for anyone to say should could never sing live is simply LYING!

September 04 2009 at 10:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Having seen her over the years perform, I'm surprised that anyone is surprised that she can't sing live. She's never been very good at it. Her iconic "performances", such as the National Anthem, were always done with the assistance of backing tracks.

September 03 2009 at 7:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Paul

I found the performance to be very emotional and beautiful despite her problems singing the songs. She started off very strong.. but quickly trailed off. And I agree with the last paragraph of this post. Anytime I sing in a musical performance and have to run around and jump, my voice is half of what it really is. As soon as she started to jump around her voice started to falter. She is loved enough that she could have stood there gracefully and belted out the songs and done great. Whitney, just stand still, sing your songs, AND BREATHE!

September 03 2009 at 2:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jo Anne

I guess something is wrong with me, I am sooo glad Whitney is BACK!!! I did not enjoy what happened to her,
and felt a great lose as to her career, I truly enjoyed her
and was so glad to see how Bobbi Christina Brown has grown up, and as a mother I appreciate that Whitney gave
credit to the man who helped make her. Let us TRY to find
love and forgiveness and TRY to celebrate the comeback of
one of the HUMAN family, remember"there but by the grace
of God".........

September 03 2009 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only people who should be surprised at this performance are the idiots that thought her voice was anything more than the train wreck it has been for 10 years now. Why'd you think it? Because Clive Davis told you to. Idiotas.

September 02 2009 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Welcome to TV Squad, JOA and James!

Could we get links to your own blog posts about television, thus validating your critique of a television blogger?

sounds ridiculous, huh?

If you ARE a professional musician and you don't think that Whitney was struggling thru that performance - um...

anyway, there are lots more blog posts like this one all over the internets now, so get to 'em!

September 02 2009 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey, I'm not the one who first used the term "critical analysis". Your fellow panting-Whitney fan was.

Again, there is no need to have experience in something to express an opinion.

You should both just get over yourselves and stop reading critiques. Since there's a 50/50 chance that you're not going to like what you hear.

September 02 2009 at 8:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Matthews

"Sadly, Whitney Houston's Gma appearance was sad."
Direct quote - seriously! This level of sophistication is about what one would expect from the literature of 15 year old C grade student.

September 02 2009 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Matthews

Ms. Waldman,

Journalists like you really are a disgrace to all professionals everywhere. In that you have so little decorum and class in a profession which should require so much.

The only cringe-worthy item discussed here is your uninspired and overbearingly negative report.

I think you need to go and listen to some more live performances and re-evaluate your comments. And perhaps also consider a career as a singer yourself, before you start giving Whitney Houston advice. Her comeback is going "just fine"


September 02 2009 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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