Fantasia's 'Bittersweet' video: Best of her career? (Yes!)

I can’t stop watching Fantasia’s new video for “Bittersweet” on repeat loop, and I’m not just saying that because today is her 26th birthday or because she remains my all-time favorite Idol. Indeed, while the clip for this gorgeous, old-soul ballad doesn’t break any new ground in terms of storytelling (Fantasia reminisces about an ex-lover) or visual effects (rich, retro lighting prevails), it finds the American Idol season 3 champ at her stylish, classy best — and that’s no small achievement for an amazing vocalist whose look has occasionally been more “gah!” than gahhh-geous.

“Bittersweet” begins with a swoop of Fantasia’s name across the screen, before transporting us to The Lady Barrino’s dressing-room table, where she gets gussied up for a nightclub appearance, fiddles wistfully with her ostentatious diamond engagement ring, and imagines falling back into the arms of her wayward lover. The fringed lamp and colorful makeup palette are nice touches, as is the light refracting through her bottle of Nuvo (or something like it). ‘Tasia then takes the stage (all ruched curtains and dramatic side-spotlights) to a standing ‘O’ from the audience — well, how else would they greet that legendary voice? — and serves up retro torch-singer glamor in a slinky, strappy, sequined, floor-length gown. Again, you see her man in the audience, and then you don’t. Oh, memory! How you torment our heroine! Later, there’s Fantasia in a red-and-black leopard-print trench that manages to be completely flattering while still maintaining some of the loopy what-is-she-thinking? uniqueness for which she is known. Ten points to the video’s stylist for this particular frock! And 10 more for the dramatic white overcoat and black shades Fantasia is sporting as she gloomily scans an audience of autograph-seekers hoping her man has been running through airports and down sidewalks (preferably in the rain) (her music blaring in his head) (seeking one last chance to make things right) to reach her. Turns out, in fact, that’s precisely what he’s been up to, but he’s too late, and as our gal drives away, she tosses her bling to the sidewalk in a final fit of melancholie. As the song’s final line indicates, “This s*** is bittersweet.” Indeed!

What do you think of ‘Tasia’s latest video? Anyone else kind of impressed with her acting here? Are you as obsessed with the song as I am? (Click here if you want to know just how bad my addiction has gotten.) Do you think the track, which climbs to No. 16 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop and R&B Songs chart this week, has crossover appeal? And am I the only one who thinks it’s slightly reminiscent of LeToya’s “Torn”? Sound off in the comments section, and for all my Idol musings, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak, then sign up for the Music Mix feed @EWMusicMix.

More on Fantasia and from EW.com’s Music Mix:
‘Idolatry': Fantasia on her VH1 reality show, ‘Color Purple’ rumors, and Simon Cowell as hero
Eminem debuts at the top of the Billboard 200 chart
REM reissues Fables of the Reconstruction: Exclusive preview!
Jennifer Hudson breaks long silence, discusses family’s murder on Behind the Music
Marina and the Diamonds’ new ‘Oh No!’ video: Divine, effervescent pop art
Maxwell and Jill Scott double the loving at New York’s Madison Square Garden
Never-released Lady Gaga song, “You and I”: Listen here

Comments (41 total) Add your comment
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  • Nope…

    …she’s still heinous.

    • CoolBenz

      Not at all but your bitterness is obviously heinous.

    • jay

      Was this video directed by Teeny? No? He would have done a better job. This is typical middle of the road CRAP! I love how on her show she all about “This time I be doing me, it be me on this album.” Then it’s this crap.

      • naynay

        yaaa needd too sshhutt thhee ffuucckk upppp aatt leeasstt shhe ccannn siingg aannd shee looksss beetteerrr tthheennn yyaaa maann ffaannttaassiiaa dontt leet themm bring you down

      • naynay

        biittcchhh sshutt thhee fuucckk upp ddontt hattee aappriiciaatee biitch

    • jon

      She has a unique look about her, but she’s far from heinous. The girl has a certain beauty that some people just can’t understand.

  • Jackie

    It’s beautiful – poor guy at the end. :(

    • Sally in Chicago

      She’s using her acting techniques….she got a good photographer and director. In other words, this is a classy video and she looks very good….she recently told AI that she’s a “soul” singer and she is…in the tradition of Betty Lavette and Sharon Jones…and that’s where she should stay….be what you are.

      • dctoronto

        Good observations Patty. I thought she sounded (at times) like Anita Baker.

  • Slovo

    Oh my, that isn’t good.

    • Sally in Chicago

      You lie!

      • Slovo

        Gosh, no.

  • raven

    i love it

  • T

    I like this – nicely done from Fantasia. She’s not my favorite Idol (I’m a Kelly girl all the way!!) but I think she has a very distinct quality about her voice. You always know when she’s singing!

  • gigi28

    The red leopard dress Fantasia is wearing inthe vid-EW Stylewatch get on the case and find us that dress.lol

  • Dave

    It’s no “Free Yourself,” but it’ll do.

  • starla

    I’ve never been a fan of Fantasia’s voice. It’s too nasally for my taste. that said, I recognize her talent and think she’s a fantastic live performer.

    the video is beautifully shot and she looks great. I hope she has a lot of success with this new album and single.

  • justbecause

    I love this video everything about it, I thought was watching a big screen movie and the song is beautiful and Fantasia vocal is hot. The plot was great, nothing but real r& b I love it. Go Fantasia

  • Michaela

    I absolutely love it. This is Fantasia’s niche. Everyone thinks that “crossing over” is the way for her to go, I hope this song does it for her but if not she should stay true to herself as an artist and stick with R&B it is definitely where she excels. Mr. Slezak like you I have watched this video about 100 times. I love it. She looks beautiful and sounds good. This is a step in the right direction. I see her at the top. I think this is her time. I see a number one HIT!!!

  • Aloma

    I am with you this is a classy and very good video I love this girl she has a lot of talent and i love the single and I will be voteing on 106 and park I hope a lot of you reading will do the same

  • Misha

    Matter of taste I guess Michael…I don’t care for her voice that much. But this is definitely an improvement over the chicken dance she did on AI in Season 7.

    • JB

      I will never forget the look on Simon’s face as he watched that trainwreck.

  • BeBe

    Love the song! Video was ok…

  • Where’s the class?

    Whoa — her outfit is trashy. I miss the days when Fantasia played it classy. Her videos dissapoint everytime.

  • JoeC

    Again, Michael, I do not care for your girl’s voice, never have, but I have to admire your loyalty; it’s never happened for her, but you keep plugging away. I sense that Alison might be stealing your heart a bit. She’s even had less success. So which girl will you continue to pound the pavement for????

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