This is what happens when us normal, regular folk try to tackle the Whitney Houston version of I Will Always Love You:
Though the critically acclaimed song was written and released by Dolly Parton in 1973, it wasn't until Whitney Houston covered the song two decades later that it really took on the iconic status it now enjoys. In fact Houston's rendition was such a worldwide phenomenon, and so different from the original, that many didn't realise it was a cover or a Country song.
Dolly Parton's version had a sweet sincerity about it, as well as an honest delivery that sold the emotion and story of the song. The song was written by Dolly in response to her professional split from mentor Porter Wagoner, so it's no surprise that the delivery was so convincing.
Whitney Houston put a soul spin on the song that included changes in the structure of the song and in its vocal melody. Interestingly it was the Lisa Ronstadt version that Whitney heard before deciding to cover I Will Always Love You, and not the Dolly Parton original.
Amber Riley: Standard Whitney Houston imitation, with the exact same vocal lines that Whitney used (look out for all the falsetto switching in the climax and the mimicry in her vibrato). It's good, vocally, but nothing more than a pale imitation of Whitney Houston.
Beyonce :I really enjoyed this ambient rendition, just wish it had been longer and that we had heard her tackle the big notes of the song.
Beth Ditto :A simple and honest rendition that is less about the vocal and more about the lyrics. Definitely leans towards the original Dolly Parton version.
Charice: A brave choice starting the song a capella, but it gives the song its requisite atmosphere. Charice plays with the melody here and there, and it gives the song a fresher feel than some of the other versions. I'm not really a fan of the placement of her voice, or the way she flattens it out, but other than that it's a good rendition.
Jennifer Hudson: A haunting rendition that took place days after Whitney Houston's passing. Great vocal, that was controlled and measured. It also showcased well Hudson's solid midrange, which is often overshadowed by her high octave belting.
Jessica Sanchez: Great control, and great technique. This renditions was cut a little short to shoehorn it into the American Idol schedule. I would have loved to have heard her do the whole song, and see how she managed the big, sustained notes after the bridge.
Leona Lewis: A guitar led arrangement that subtly nods to the original. Leona's vocal melody is slightly different from either the original or Whitney's version initially. However, when the bridge hits it veers directly into Whitney Houston's lane. Leona has no problem hitting the notes, or with managing her breath control and this rendition shows how easily she transitions into her falsetto.
Linda Ronstadt: Very much in the vein of the Dolly Parton version, but with a slightly more gusty vocal. It's possible to hear where Whitney Houston took inspiration; sharing a similar, fast, vibrato on certain words and the use of head voice at the end.
Nicole Scherzinger: I really liked the softer take on the first chorus, and her midrange in the verse. However, there seemed to be a lot of tension in the voice when it came to the big notes. This wasn't an issue when she sang a snippet of the song, in response to Simon Cowell's shade, during the auditions of X-Factor USA. (I felt really sorry for the girl on stage, though).
Which Diva did you prefer? Vote and comment below!