American Idol Season 6 Vocal Masterclass For The Top 3 Performances


By: Rosanne Simunovic

This week our Final 3 singers showcased the traditional song selections at this stage of the competition: Judge’s Choice, Producer’s Choice and Personal Choice. I can imagine that a great deal of mentoring, arranging and coaching have been percolating throughout the Idol camp this week. Don’t you wish you were a fly on the wall at this stage of the competition? I do.

Blake, Jordin and Melinda rendered some outstanding showcases and underlined their longevity in this competition. So, without further ado, let’s move right into the Masterclass evaluations

Here are my evaluations and, remember, I am reviewing each singer in (first name) alphabetical order. Your comments are always welcome.

To quickly access individual singers, simply click on the singer’s link below.

Blake Lewis, Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle,

Blake Lewis: “Roxanne” (Judge Paula’s Choice), “This Love” (Producers’ Choice) and “Can I Get You Alone” (Own Choice)

Strengths: Blake – first of all, let me congratulate you on selecting three new songs to showcase this week. It was a brave journey to travel, considering the tremendous pressure you must be feeling at this stage of the competition. However, this fresh repertoire added a high level of interest and of diversity to your Top 3 showcase and intensified your depth as a true artist.

Paula selected your first song, “Roxanne”, and, although it wasn’t the best vocal fit for you, I still felt that you performed this song quite well. You stayed very true to some of your ingrained technical skills, maintaining that circular mouth formation, thus allowing the bel canto process to take hold of your melodic line. I also loved your inventive, although tentative use, of the mike stand in your choreographic movements. It added to the mood of the song and allowed you to inject some wonderful personal elements into this performance.

However, it was the second song, “This Love”, selected by the producers, which allowed you to sing within your own very unique, very distinctive element. All the “Blake” moments were beautifully displayed with confidence, meticulous preparation and musical intelligence. This “Maroon 5” song was an excellent choice, Blake and the tonality of the melodic line was perfect for your vocal range

I loved your rhythmic steps in the opening bars of this song; I knew then and there that this was going to be a super showcase. Your rhythmic choreography accented and complimented your vocals and both elements were in perfect cohesion. That glimmer in your eyes as you performed this song was infectious; it was obvious that you were having an absolute blast with this song and we were all there for the ride.

Vocally, it was bel canto all the way and that diaphragm was pumping hard to inject a variety of nuances and energy into your vocal sound. The result was an entertaining, extremely communicative vocal performance.

Also, the expertly applied beat boxing/scat elements were flawlessly intertwined with the sustained vocals and did provide an extraordinary take on this great song. You are quite the arranger, Blake, and this, in and of itself, is a talent. This will carry you quite far in the music industry. I can honestly see you using this talent to compose catchy commercials – probably one of the most lucrative fields in the music business. This is how Barry Manilow began and, to this day, he is considered to be one of the most prolific pop arrangers in the business.

Finally, your last song, “Can I Get you Alone”, selected by you, was a great choice for your final Top 3 performance. I have never heard this song, but it didn’t really matter because your rendition made me fall in love with the composition. And how cool was it that Beethoven’s Fifth formed the basis of this pop song? This classical pop composition addressed the classical pop components in your own voice, Blake, and, thus created a perfect match, a match made in Heaven.

And, to add icing to the cake, the lower baritone range of your voice was the star of the show during this number, something that I was hoping to hear displayed to greater effect in the closing weeks of this competition. And you did, so you are my new hero!

What a rich, resonant quality you have in this area of your range! The fact that you easily can implement “head tone” throughout your vocal range allowed you to maintain a smooth, cohesive sound throughout the melodic line. Therefore, the lower and mid range notes sounded pure and pitch centered and, more important, the quality was bright and transparent.

The ending was so entertaining, reinforcing the Beethoven Fifth’s rhythmic components with the your distinctive pop riffs. It was an inspiring song choice and an inspiring performance. Bravo Blake. Just excellent!
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Critique: Blake – your second and third songs were just excellent and I have nothing to critique in the two numbers. Even though you probably felt extremely comfortable with these songs, you took unbelievable artistic risks with these numbers and it truly reaped huge rewards for you.

Both numbers addressed the high degree of artistry and intelligence that you have brought to this competition. Also, you are positively unique – different and current. There has never been a “Blake Lewis” clone on this show and this fact alone has allowed you to rise to the top of the pack.

However, the first song, “Roxanne” was just not a good choice at all. Sorry Paula. First of all the key was so wrong – it sat far too high in your vocal register and, thus, you were singing outside of your comfort zone. You have a lovely tenor range; however, the problem with this song is that the melody line was consistently high, encouraging you to push the vocal sound from your throat than allowing the diaphragm to support and focus your voice.

Back in full force was the head raising issue, another sign that you were experiencing tension throughout this song, allowing you to reach for the high notes rather than sing over them. If the key selection had been a tone lower, I think your performance would have been more successful and you would have been able to easily add you Blake –isms to this performance, such as you beat box and scat skills.

Also, your eyes conveyed your anxiety. A few times I noticed you looking back to the orchestra – whether it was for direction or the fact that the discomfort level sat too high in your train of thought during this live performance. Also, your mike stand movements were hesitant – first you had the mike stand, then you didn’t. You were not a happy camper on stage during this number.

Oh my – I am so happy that your final two performances far outclassed the first, as you certainly are a much better artist than this song allowed you to showcase. Even though this song selection was beyond your control, I still want to emphasize that a lower key selection would have rendered a far superior performance. Sometimes, this makes all the difference.

However, this was still a great week for you Blake. I am so glad that you were confident and secure enough as an artist to hop back on the horse and finish the Top 3 show case with two brilliant performances. Kudos! You are a very deserving candidate for the Finale.

Share your comments about Blake’s performance

Blake Edward’s Idolforums.Com Masterclass Discussion

JORDIN SPARKS: “Wishing On A Star”(Judge Simon’s Choice), “She Works Hard For The Money” (Producers’ Choice) and “I Who Have Nothing” (Own Choice)

Strengths: Jordin – your three song selections were indeed diverse and you handled the wide range of diversity quite well.

“Wishing On A Star”, although selected by Judge Simon, really was not the best song choice for you. I actually found it a confusing song choice, as it really didn’t address the strengths of your natural vocal ability. However, I loved the jazzy expressive elements you added to your interpretive approach to this song, as it accentuated the melodic line of the song most effectively.

You did try to implement some dynamic layers to this song. The delicate “head tone” vocal shading in the opening bars of this song contrasted nicely with the more powerful vocals later on in this number.

Moving on to the Producers’ Choice, “She Works Hard For The Money”, this song provided great contrast to your opening number and encouraged you to highlight your genuine personality. Not too sure whether the song or the song lyrics were appropriate for your age, but the quicker tempo of this number allowed you to have fun with your audience with a relaxed and comfortable stage demeanor.

Your mid range vocals were absolutely perfect – the technique was spot on and your vocal quality was rich and resonant. I absolutely loved the sustained power notes toward the end of this song; it emphasized the depth of your technical development and that you do indeed know how to sustain and focus your vocal sound in the proper way.

Sometimes, the quicker paced songs create energy and momentum and I think this is why your technique enjoyed considerable improvement during this number. There was a sense of buoyancy throughout your entire body and this, in turn, encouraged you to support with consistent efficiency. Most noticeable was the improvement in your posture throughout this song. There was visible elevation and expansion in you rib cage area and your shoulders were relaxed and loose.

Of course your personal selection, “I Who Have Nothing” was still the gem I remembered it to be from your Top 11 performance. I still marveled at your mature and professional interpretation of this very difficult and complex song composition. This was such a poised, technically secure performance and your voice embraced the melodic line with technical and artistic security.

Additionally, you controlled your air intake deep within your diaphragmatic resources, thus eliminating that extremely audible and technically inefficient shallow breathing that we have heard in previous showcases.

Good work, Jordin and congratulations on your advancement toward the Finale. Brava!

Critique: Jordin – as much as I have great admiration for the strength and power of your natural vocal ability, I found that, over the past few weeks, your technical training has faltered tremendously. I am sure that the pace and stress of this competition is extremely exhausting and, along with this high level of exhaustion, comes poorly defined technique. Your body just collapses and, therefore, loses so much of its natural resilience.

Let’s begin with “Wishing On A Star”. As I said in the “Strengths” portion of this evaluation, I felt that this song choice was not the best. The melodic line was so limiting and, in the end, lost a sense of precise vocal direction. It was a monotonous, repetitive composition and straight away all the alarms went off in my head when you performed this song.

Although you added some lovely nuances throughout this song, you did have trouble focusing and placing your voice in your vocal masque so as to achieve a clear, pitch centered vocal timbre. Your upper voice sounded husky and airy, indicating that you were having trouble achieving full support of the air from the diaphragm. The head tone component that is so necessary when singing through this part of your range was conspicuously absent

Then as you moved into the albeit more interesting mid range section of this number, the absence of pure head tone was even more noticeable, as your voice sounded very tight and edgy, indicating that you were using far too much chest voice throughout this number. The throat muscles were very constricted and your mouth formation was not only horizontal but also extremely tense and rigid.

The repetitive vocal line encouraged you to apply a less consistent level of technical skill. You must remember that, when you encounter these cyclic passages, you must support and phrase them in a very musical manner. Many times the support system fails because the mundane melodic component causes singer to let down her technical guard. I do believe this is what happened to you, Jordin, during the performance of this number.

Also, your posture was problematic as well. By not maintaining an elevated and expansive rib cage, your support system collapsed and, of course, the airflow was erratic and poorly controlled.

Your second number, “She Works Hard For The Money” was a better fit for you. I enjoy listening to and watching you sing up-tempo numbers. It allows you more opportunity for vocal freedom and, actually, works to solidify the technique with more buoyancy and energy. I can’t say I really like this number – at all – and I have no idea why, out of all the possible songs from which to choose, this is what the producers settled upon. Go figure!

However, that spread mouth position was really encouraging far too much chest voice in your vocal timbre. You must always remember to incorporate the head tone component into your vocal sound – whether soft or loud, high or low. This will ensure a beautifully even, aesthetically pleasing vocal sound throughout your range and will alleviate undue stress on those precious vocal cords.

Your final number, “I Who Have Nothing” was exceptional, Jordin. However, the hunched shoulders and collapsed posture were back in full force. Although you managed to control your shallow breathing, it would have been even more successful if you had allowed your body to maintain an elevated deportment. Also, this elevated carriage would have signified a more confident and embracing stage presence. When you stoop or hunch your shoulders and/or have poorly defined posture, you are sending out a less confident and convincing message to your audience. Your overall stage demeanor really suffers.

However, I would like to congratulate you on advancing to the Finale and I thoroughly look forward to your performances next week. Stand tall! Brava!

Share your comments about Jordin’s performance

MELINDA DOOLITTLE:
“I Believe In You And Me” (Judge Randy’s Choice) and “Nutbush City Limits” (Producer’s Choice” and “I’m A Woman” (Own Choice)

Strengths:Melinda –what more is there to say about you? I am running out of superlatives here. You may not have secured a place in the final two spots of this competition, but you definitely should be crowned Ms. Style and Substance of American Idol. You are simply an amazingly gifted singer who has performed with meticulous consistency throughout this competition. The special musical gifts you have brought to this competition will remain an indelible memory in the minds of all the viewers.

So, let’s examine all the wonderful elements you brought to each extremely diverse performance this week. Your opening number, which was selected by Judge Randy, was an inspired song choice – so yea for Randy Jackson. “I Believe In You And Me”, originally performed by Whitney Houston, is an extremely complex, vocally challenging song.

However, with your terrific work ethic and deep understanding of the artistic complexities of this and every song, you managed to surpass some of your previously stellar performances from past weeks while performing this great number.

This was truly a Masterclass Performance in every way. I often talk about the classical pop approach to singing when performing non-classical music. Thank you Melinda for demonstrating this style of music with clarity and precision. All the fundamentals were beautifully placed throughout this song performance – the strong and powerful diaphragmatic breathing skills, the creative approach to your phrasing, the stellar vocal projection and the implementation of speech like inflection in your vocal sound.

How I loved the seamless way you negotiated the key change, adding a crystal clear melisma (vocal scale) as you moved into the change in tonality. Equally brilliant was the sustained upper note on the word “me” – it had ring and clarity and was wonderfully centered with the correct blend of head and chest voice.

Your lower range was equally effective. I loved how you navigated and highlighted this area of your range, Melinda. What a beautiful velvety sound you possess in the lower register – yummy! I truly could go on and on, as there were so many special moments throughout this song. This was a flawless, beautifully rehearsed performance and the communicative elements were so sincere and so gracious.

Then, in your second number, we were treated to your inner rock child with the Producers’ Choice, “Nutbush City Limits”. This was an inspired song choice as well and it just cemented the obvious fact that no style is too daunting for Ms. Style and Substance – Melinda Doolittle. I loved your choreographic skills during this number – the best being when you raised the microphone stand as you glided into your upper range. Did anyone else notice this? What a great moment this was in this song – really neat and creative.

Once again your vocals were jam packed with edgy rock and roll nuances ala Ike and Tina Turner. This was another well-formulated and stylistically believable performance. Also, your posture was so correct – beautifully elevated and expansive, allowing your diaphragmatic breathing skills to work their magic in projecting your vocal sound into your vocal masque.

And then you ended your Top 3 showcase with what I consider to be your signature song, “I’m A Woman”. How neat was it that three back-up singers exploded on stage to back-up you, Ms. Melinda? Last year at this time, you were enjoying a wonderful career as a successful back-up singer and this year – well, different story indeed.

Your performance of this song was superb, and, quite frankly, you concealed those forgotten lyrics beautifully. You stayed truly in the moment and this very minor misstep had no effect whatsoever on your presentation. In fact, it accented your professionalism and confidence even more so, as others would have perhaps been flustered, allowing this problem to affect the rest of the performance.

However, you sashayed and shimmied all over the stage and allowed your wonderfully expressive vocals to entertain and inspire. You are such a generous performer, Melinda. Your talent is a gift, but your ability to share it with all of us so freely speaks to your commitment to and respect for your audience.

Brava x 1,000,000,000! Now, start recording that album. I will be the first in line!

Critique: Melinda – all three numbers were brilliantly performed. As I said last week, be very careful with that spread mouth position. I understand the method to your madness, as the horizontal mouth position actually assists you in adding a higher degree of inflection and nuance in your vocal delivery.

However, be careful that the throat is open and relaxed. Never push from the neck muscles and/or throat. I don’t think you are, but one can never be too careful. Access the powerful support from your diaphragm at all times; in doing so, you will ensure that your voice will enjoy longevity and good health.

Also, I was hoping that you would choose a new selection for your personal song choice. In fact, given the level and depth of your artistry I was expecting it. Perhaps it was a clearance issue? Nevertheless the implementation of the background vocalists gave me a chuckle and added to the entertainment value of this repeated song choice.

Congratulations once again, Melinda. It has been such an immense pleasure to watch and review your performances each week. Kudos!

Share your comments about Melinda’s performance

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

40 Responses to “American Idol Season 6 Vocal Masterclass For The Top 3 Performances”

  1. I absolutely loved your commentary. You come across as a very generous and giving person! Even your critiques weren’t harsh. They were given with genuine admiration for all the artists considered. Bravo to you for a professionally given opinion. I can feel more comfortable about my crass rendition of what you said!!

    On a personal note–If I were an artist…I’d invite you as my coach with no hesitation. Salut!

  2. I am disappointed by this week’s results. Melinda was by far the best singer on the show and gave three more solid performances this week.

    I was hoping for a Melinda-Blake finale because I admire Blake’s artistry, but in the end, I would have been all right as long as Melinda was there. *sigh*

  3. I’ve never commented before but I have read all of your wonderful commentary. I just want to thank you, as Blake fan, for highlighting how strong his technique really is. A lot of people who are against Blake say he’s not a strong singer and that his beatboxing is gimmick to cover up weak singing, but I have always disagreed. I’ve been watching all season and I can’t even think of a time when he hit a single bad note, so I’m not sure what others are listening to!

  4. Hoppy, I agree with you. Melinda, Lakisha, and Blake were my favorites the entire season. Blake impressed me the very first week. I didn’t think I was going to like him, but he didn’t beatbox at all on the first song, and I genuinely loved the sound of his voice. Ever since then I’ve been impressed with his creativity and actually like the beatboxing and his ability to entertain (and I’m 60 years old!!!). It always makes me feel good to read MCL’s critiques because the expert appreciates his talent too. Since Melinda can’t be the new Idol, I’d love to see Blake win!

  5. Hi everyone:

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I was a bit long winded this week, so I am glad you had the patience to read the critiques. Your support and feedback is very much appreciated.

    Tiiz – if ever you decide to sing, give me a call ( smile).

    hoppy -I have so admired Blake’s musicianship throughout this entire series. He is so interesting to watch. I love the art of arranging music, so I can fully appreciate the level of artistry he has brought to this show.

    Jen and Elaine- I miss Melinda already, but I take comfort in knowing that she will be a very huge success in the business.

    Good night all!

  6. Thank you for your wonderful critiques this whole season. And thank you for your appreciation of Blake’s talent. The man just blows me away with his approach to music. Silly me, it wasn’t until You Give Love a Bad Name that I really appreciated his immense musicality. I think he will be a talent to be reckoned with in front of and behind the microphone.

  7. Thanks so much masterclass lady for your wonderful reviews. Melinda has been my favorite since the tryouts and she didn’t disappoint me once the entire season. I would love to see a live performance by her. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
    I not only admire her because she is a wonderful singer but she is an amazingly kind and gracious person as well.

    PS I thought I was going to be the first in line to buy Melinda’s CD.

    PPS Did Blake really give Melinda his flowers? Awww, what a sweetheart!!!!!

  8. He’s a doll! And, so talented. He deserves to be in the finale, and I so hope that he is the next AI.

  9. I am disappointed by this week’s results as well. I’d hoped to see Melinda in the finals, but I like all three of the contestants.

    Hoppy, like you I enjoy Blake’s style. Do you remember in the Hollywood round when Blake, Chris Sligh and the third guy (I can’t remember who it was) did that beautiful a capella rendition of “How Deep is Your Love”? When Blake releases his CD he should definitely include that Hollywood round version of the song.

    MCL, I will miss Melinda, but I know her AM journey is just the beginning of great things for her. I’ll look forward to buying her CD.

    I like Jordin’s combination of talent and winning personality.

    Masterclasslady, you are a ‘masterfully classy lady!’ I appreciate your constructive feedback and acknowledgement of the contestant’s ability.
    Your specific details about how they can improve their performances and keep their voices healthy are wonderful to read.

  10. I have to respond to the flowers, Dee. Yes! He gave her his flowers!. I’m still so upset at the way they announced the results on Tuesday. That was so cruel to both Melinda and Blake. They didn’t even announce that he made it to the top 2, justs that Melinda was being eliminated.

    Anyway, Masterclass…I also enjoy your critiques. I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago and was so relieved to find an honest and fair critique of the contestants. Thank you so much for these reviews. :)

  11. “I am disappointed by this week’s results. Melinda was by far the best singer on the show and gave three more solid performances this week.”

    AI is not (and never was) a singing contest- it is a popularity contest. You have to sing at a certain level to stay in the game, but in the end it is popularity that wins out.

    Melinda is leaps and bounds better than either the teeny bopper Jordan or the techno geek blake (who I happen to like).

  12. Let’s remember that AI is about singing and performing.

  13. Umm, Xena–Melinda’s second and third performances this week were all about performing.

    The real problem is the voting system. It’s unlikely that any one person will buy more than one copy of any one CD (and with the teenyboppers who power vote it’s unlikely that they’ll buy any CDs at all, they download singles), or more than one ticket to any one concert, so it really makes no sense to allow more than one vote per person when the goal is to pick a person who will shine commercially. Granted, the best AI could probably do is limit people to one vote per phone, but that would be a lot closer to truly predictive results.

  14. Rereader… Amen. I’ve always felt that limiting votes would be a better sampling of what the viewers are thinking. I think it’s on Dancing With The Stars that they allow only 5 votes per phone line, and that would be a lovely thing to see on Idol. And, the 5 votes is better than 1, in case you have 5 people in your household who all want to vote for someone different!

  15. I had no idea that those were Blake’s flowers. I thought they were Melinda’s flowers and that both Blake and Jordin were appointed to give her the flowers for being such a classy and talented Top 3 semi finalist.

    She could only carry one bouquet because she had the mike in her other hand? Well bravo to Blake – what a sweetheart – but it would have been a nice gesture if it had been the other way around- as I initially thought.

  16. Robert. dee, midge and yamile – thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure conversing with all of the MasterclassLady.Com visitors and, if I may borrow Yamile’s clever line – you have been a “masterfully classy” group of people. Standing ovation to you all!

  17. njnauticalnut May 19, 2007 at 4:21 am

    I have read your commentaries each week and truly appreciate your imput. I agree with rereader and hoppy’s points that the voting system is faulty. Unfortunately, it is not necessarily the person with the biggest fanbase who wins AI, it is the person with the fans who vote hundreds of times each week that wins.

    Let’s look at some numbers. One contestant could have a mere 100,000 fans who get in 250 votes each week. That translates into 25,000,000 votes, that is 25 million votes. Another person could have 20 million fans who vote once each week and that person would not win.

    In many ways it doesn’t make sense as for AI this is a business and they want to make the most profit that they can. If take my hypothetical example and translate it into potential profit, the person with the 20 million fans who did not have enough votes to win has better odds of selling more CDs and selling out concerts than the one who got 25 million votes and wins AI but only has 100,000 fans to support them after all is said and done.

    Until AI limits the number of votes from each phone line, we will never know who the viewing audience, as a whole, really wants to win.

  18. njnauticalnut makes an excellent point in the message above. Last year on AI was a perfect example–I’ll admit to being one of Taylor’s fans who voted non-stop for a couple of hours. But I know there were others who used Skype to get in as many votes as possible. And ultimately the sales of his record, while good, do not reflect the massive number of votes that he received.

    I mentioned in an e-mail a few days ago, that I think Jordin and Blake had a higher number of votes than Melinda because their appeal is to teenagers who were willing to vote obsessively multiple times. Last year for the most part, the people who voted obsessively multiple times for Taylor were not teenagers but he made them FEEL like teenagers again. And even though I loved Melinda, and I voted for her, I only got through once and finally went to bed! Even though lots of people love Melinda, she unfortunately must not have inspired the same obsessive voting–probably because people thought she was SO good that they didn’t need to vote so much to keep her in the competition.

  19. elaine and nj – you are correct. The teens do love the Final 2. Plus, some of them don’t think when they pick their favorite. They think in different terms than we do – what’s cool, what’s hip and if the girls or guys are cute. Their decisions are hormone based. haha.

    Yet – I was speaking to a 13 year old student last night and she loves Melinda and was devastated when she was eliminated.

    I do agree that all of this multiple voting is just silly and meaningless.

  20. I notice you felt Blake’s technique was good on his last two songs.I agree.So, I’m curious as to why others are saying his vocal tecgnique is poor.Do you know why they might think that?
    What I find fascinating about him is the extent of his musicality;its quite impressive.The sound/rythm he creates is unique on songs such as the Keane song ,Jamiraquoi song, and Time of the season, andYou give Love a bad name and the last two songs last week.I mean you wouldn’t want the lead singer of the Killers or of the Pet Shop Boys,for example,to have their technique be under too much scrutiny,but they sure know how to create sound/rythm and mood.
    By the way ,what a terrible choice Roxanne was.I kept thinking if only Paula had chosen Every breathe you Take,if she had to choose a Sting song. Can’t wait to see what Blake will dish up next.
    What a lovely guy.He is like Elliot ,with his positivity and dedication to staying true to himself.

  21. typo correction: should read “technique” and “breath”, not tegnique and breathe!!

  22. Umm, rereader, I did not think Melinda’s 2nd and 3rd songs were done as well as her first song. That is my opinion.
    ———————————

    As for the teeny bop comments, well, I am not a teen. Nor do I think Blake is cute. I do find his voice pleasing, along with his performing. I have no problem with people supporting their favorite. Ahem.
    ———————————

    elaine,

    Re Taylor – he has a nice voice, his ability to arrange his songs, along with his charisma, is what got people to vote for him. I don’t know how many here attended an AI concert, but I can tell you that Mandisa and Taylor were by far the best entertainers of the 10.

  23. Xena,

    I attended an AI concert last summer primarily to see Taylor. And I also saw him in concert in April, and I enjoyed every second of it. I just wish more people would appreciate his talent the way I do. In the Parade section of the newspaper today, they ranked the American Idols and Taylor ranked at the bottom of the list. For me, he’s at the top of the list.

    As far as entertainment value for this year, Blake is probably the closest to Taylor. But I also think Melinda would be very entertaining in concert. Once she no longer needs to be concerned about being judged while she’s performing, I think she’ll be more relaxed and quite the performer. But I would never sit through a Jordin concert.

    So MCL, how would you rank the American Idols–based on the total package, not just singing ability?

  24. Busy making supper here, so , not a lot of time.

    However, based on overall performing ability, I would rank them this-a-way: Taylor, Fantasia and Kelly (tied), Carrie and Ruben.

    It’s personal preference. I think that Taylor and Fantasia always have to be conscious of the fact that their natural voices may not be the strongest of the bunch, but they do know how to make the very most of their musical gifts. They are artists first and foremost.

    Kelly has a great voice, but her music does not attract me as much. However, she knows how to perform and move an audience and that’s why I tied her with Fantasia.

    I have always been attracted to “artists”, rather than singers, if you get my drift.

    Taylor is 1st because he is just a positively genuine and grounded musician, always working to improve on his talents.

  25. I definitely like the way you think, MCL!

  26. Me too MCL!

    Elaine, am going to see Taylor at the Kentucky Speedway in July. Cannot wait. It will have been almost a year since I’ve seen him live.

    Re the Parade list, who in the heck made the list?

  27. Thanks, Xena, I just voted on the Parade pool for favorite American Idol and Taylor is winning by a large margin–he has 58% of the vote!!! The next highest vote is for Kelly with 28% and then Carrie with 12%. Thanks for telling us about this link.

  28. Thanks for the link, Xena. I voted. Off for a good night’s rest. Good night all.

  29. Do you have an answer for my question,or comments about my comment?

  30. Frances – I apologize. I read your comment and meant to replay yesterday but was distracted here.

    Re Blake’s technique – i think why people do not appreciate Blake’s technique is because his vocal timbre is naturally light in quality.

    And, to the average listener – small voice =poor vocals

    Also, because he is so skillful with his beat boxing talent, many feel that he is hiding his “supposed” lack of vocal ability because of the implementation of his beat boxing skills.

    It’s hopeless to convert the naysayers, Frances. Poeple have their minds made up on what constitutes a “good” voice and usually loud and powerful impresses people more than skillfully crafted vocals.

    I love strong voices as well, but I appreciate it when singers can balance their vocal sound at every dynamic level.

  31. Thank you for that MCL. :)

    I have downloaded all of Blake’s mp3s and he has corrected his bobbles from his live songs. I think you will find his technique much improved. My favorite so far is When the Stars Go Blue. AI downloads are .99 per song.

  32. I posted an item that talks about the fame of American idol, but it wasn’t until i randomly came across this blog that i c just how big it b.

    http://ThunkDifferent.com

  33. Thanks,masterclass lady.Yes,I guess that’s why the studio audience sceams when Lakisha or Melinda or Jordin would hold a long loud note.Yep, Blake’s crafted vocals would get short shrift for someone who is into loud/powerful .They are not listening for nuances and quality or heart.I find Blake’s singing really touches me where Melinda didn’t ,despite her very impressive technical ability and phrasing.

  34. Frances- you are correct. Melinda astonishes me more than moves me. And, it is strange, because the lady seems to have such a pure heart and sincere demeanor. However, when she sings, it’s all business.

  35. Did you listen to Melinda’s singout of I’m a Woman? I thought it was the first time she REALLY cut loose and let the emotion out. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she’ll do on an album, with no votes or judges to worry about.

  36. Melinda Doolittle did really good. She will released her first album June of 2008. She doing the Dreyer’s ice cream tour right now and did appear in several Fox new singing her My Funny Valentine who she releases on I tunes. I am one of her fans if you want to come a support her in her new career. http://www.mdstreetteam.com

  37. This past week Melinda finally finished the vocals on her CD! All of that happens quickly then we will see her CD on shelves this Fall! Also, keep your eye out for her first official single that should be hitting airwaves in the coming weeks. Melinda is going to be throwing a lot of music at us in the coming months so get ready!
    New website to support Melinda Career. http://www.mdstreetteam.com come join us and get to the forum to read what Melinda have to say. She is a amazing singer.

  38. Melinda released her first single song on Nationwide Radio.

  39. Melinda Doolittle the talented vocalist with a heart of gold. The album’s first single, “It’s Your Love,” was released to radio stations nationwide in September. Keep you update with her album . come join us at melindasbackups.

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