Wednesday, March 9, 2011

American Idol's Ashthon Jones sings “And I Am Telling You" for a 'Wildcard' Slot

Ashthon Jones, an American Idol Season 10 Top 24 contestant, unfortunately didn't make it through to the Top 10 after the nationwide vote. The judges, Jennifer Lopez, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, choose 6 contestants, 3 girls and 3 guys, to perform again...and they could sing any song from the competition thus far.

For a chance at a 'Wildcard' slot, Ashthon Jones, who sang "Love Over Me" by Monica when the Top 12 Girls competed, choose "And I am Telling You I'm Not Going", a song known to most of us in the version sung by American Idol Season 3 Finalist Jennifer Hudson. Jennifer Lopez complemented Ashthon, saying, “You deserve to be here,” while Randy said, “I love the attitude!”

"And I Am Telling You" is a torch song from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. In the context of the musical, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is sung by the character Effie White, a singer with the girl group The Dreams, to her manager, Curtis Taylor Jr., whose romantic and professional relationship with Effie is quickly ending. The lyrics to "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", often considered the show's signature tune, describe Effie's love for Curtis, both strongly devoted and defiant. She refuses to let Curtis leave her behind, and boldly proclaims to him, "I'm staying and you ... you're gonna love me."

In addition to its presence in the musical, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is also notable as the debut single of two women who portrayed Effie. Jennifer Holliday originated the role on Broadway in 1981 and won a Tony Award for her performance. In 1982, Holliday recorded a number-one R&B hit version of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going". Jennifer Hudson portrayed Effie in the 2006 film adaptation of Dreamgirls, winning an Oscar for the role. Hudson's version became a Top 20 R&B single, and a number-one dance hit.

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