American Idol Season Seven Top 4 Singers: Who Will Capture “The Moment”

American Idol season 7 Top 4 Finalists

Although I am still feeling the repercussions of this evil flu virus, I am slowly trying to gain some sense of normalcy in my life.

Therefore, I thought I would start a new discussion regarding our Final Four: David Archuleta, David Cook, Jason Castro and Syesha Mercado – four truly distinct singers whose performances will render an interesting and diverse ride for the viewers.

The Rock and Roll genre is also diverse enough that each of the singers should be able to find songs that truly address their singular style of performing, while highlighting the strengths of their distinct vocal ability.

However, I will be very interested to see which of these singers will capture the moment on this stage with astonishing and stimulating artistic performances. This is where it is going to get very interesting, as I think all four singers are more than capable of giving artistically honest and musically solid performances.

Song choice has never been more important and we shall see who has done their homework or not.

C’mon Tuesday. My Vocal Masterclass fingers are ready to roll.

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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

59 Responses to “American Idol Season Seven Top 4 Singers: Who Will Capture “The Moment””

  1. Woo hoo! I was looking at the list, and there are so many goodies there that I can’t even begin to pick what might suit our final 4. I was going to say they’re spoiled for choice, but I suppose that as usual they’ll have a much more constricted list to choose from–but I hope they get a nice wide range of choice. There are sure a lot of opportunities for any or all of them to create “moments”!

  2. Rereader – thank you so much for the thoughtful email. Had trouble accessing the American Itunes site because I am Canadian. I sent you an email. Did you receive it?

  3. Hi, MCL–It’s really weird, I didn’t get the email, and it wasn’t stuck in my spam filter, either. I’m sorry to ask, but could you try resending? Either at REReader1 at verizon-dot-net, or REReader3 at gmail dot com. Sorry!

  4. Okay, you should have it now. :):)

  5. Once in a blue moon, my computer will actually allow me to post here. Haha! There must be a blue moon tonight…

    I’ve really enjoyed following along here, even if I can never join in the conversations. :lol:

    Masterclasslady, I’m so sorry you’ve been sick, hope you are feeling a million times better by now!

    This season has really had me sitting on the edge of my couch; there are/were so many talented performers this year! And I’m so excited to see what/how our final four do this week!!! Echoing you on “C’mon Tuesday!”!!! :)

  6. I think most ppl will agree with me when I say that I think this week is perfect for David C; although I think that all of the final four have the ability to “capture the moment” :)! and echoing the sentements of MCL and StoneRose…….”C’mon Tuesday!”

    MCL, I am really glad to hear that you are beginning to feel better…..keep on resting up!

  7. I have a few interesting article for you all to take a peek at:

    Somehow, along the way, I missed that Syesha and Jason were on previous reality tv shows! Jason in “Cheyenne” on MTV 2006 Syesha in “The One: Making of a Music Star” an ABC show 2006

    Here’s an interesting one about how most of the Idols this year came with pre-connections:

    And, here’s what’s up with Amanda!

  8. MLC, I posted another reply and got an error message. Please see if it can be retrieved and ask WordPress not to hate me so! It had 4 links in it.


  9. Wadahoot – never fear. I am “on top’ of my Akismet Spam folder. Great links as always.

  10. Hey Stonerose:

    Thanks for stopping by. I owe you a link, don’t I? Coming right up! :)

  11. Stonerose -Tried to access your site. It appears to be “Down” or “Offline”.

  12. 500 songs–and I don’t know most of ‘em, and don’t have time to listen to that many clips! However, leaving aside strategic decisions, some possibilities that I’d like to hear:

    Syesha: Either “Dancin’ in the Street” or “He’s a Rebel” and “I Only Have Eyes for You”

    David A: “Teenager in Love” or “My Girl” (for the fun) and “Stand by Me”–unadorned, please!

    David C: This might sound weird, but I think he could do a great bluesy version of “This Land is Your Land” (it’s not an anthem, it’s a protest song, but no one sings those verses) and “Nights in White Satin”

    Jason: Either “Do You Believe in Magic” a la “Daydream” or “That’ll be the Day” (maybe?) and “Fire and Rain”

    What do you think?

  13. (That wasn’t supposed to be a smiley face, it was supposed to be a closed quotes!)

  14. rereader said, on May 5th, 2008 at 3:11 pm
    (That wasn’t supposed to be a smiley face, it was supposed to be a closed quotes!)

    There I fixed it for you.

    A bit distracted here. There was a huge accident outside my home.

  15. Thanks! and I hope no one was hurt…

  16. Could someone direct me to the list of available song choices to which you all seem to be referring?

    And personally, I think David A. is the one to watch this week. Or more correctly, the one I hope to see finally do what he is capable of doing and take the roof off the place. If ever there was a time for the little boy with so much soul to come out and take the place by storm, it is now. So much talent, yet too much of it repressed……why? I have my own thoughts on that. At any rate, I would love to be able to view the song choices. Can someone help me find the list?

  17. Oh good! I thought it was me, skidster – I have no idea what list!


  18. Hey, skidster, wadahoot–the list being referenced is here: (Good joke on everyone if that’s not the list at all!) Warning–it’s a time sink!

  19. Haha! I just came back to post that I found it along with other people’s ideas in the comments section, but rereader beat me to the actual list. Thanks for posting it! I’ve always wanted to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland … hummm – sounds like a good idea for a long weekend trip (about 5 hours from Indy).


  20. I wish Michael Johns was still around….this week would have definitely suited him! Ah well!!!

    I just glanced at this list, some great choices….it sure will be a difficult one. But whoever picks the right song for them can definitely do some great things with it…..1 more day!

  21. Thanks for the list wadahoot and rereader. Great great songs to choose from. Okay – I am waiting to hear some knock-out, spectacular performances tomorrow.

  22. Yeah, I saw Jason on Cheyenne. That show use to be a guilty pleasure for me.

    Also here is a link to Syesha’s performance on “The One”. That show got canceled quick.

  23. Our own preferences aside, I think we can expect “big” songs from Syesha and David A.’s father (smirk); that’s their track records, for the most part. I think we can expect total surprises from David C. and Jason–that’s THEIR track records. (Always remembering they don’t get anything like 500 songs to choose from.) In any case, it has all the potential to be an awesome night, so…Rock on!

  24. I just watched Syesha’s performance on “The One” and she was not very good. Very flat and totally singing without any technical ability whatsoever.

    She is much much better now. She presently has less of a tendency to push that chest voice into her upper register and/or when she sings the power notes.

  25. I think we can expect a soft mellow song from Jason Castro that is his track record for the most part.

  26. I found another clip of Syesha singing “Chain of Fools” in “The One” on (you have to scroll down a bit).

    I think it’s great that she kept working on her technique–she obviously has a vision for her future and is working hard towards that. (I don’t think I’d aim her toward pop diva, myself, but hey, everyone needs their own dreams!)

  27. dadmonson — He has a track record of soft mellow versions of songs, for sure–it suits his voice. But the songs themselves have been an oddball mix. (For instance, he’s not exactly Judy Garland, I NEVER would have picked “Over the Rainbow” for him.) So the song choice itself I expect to be a surprise, since he has such a big range of choices open to him this week (as do they all). And apparently he auditioned for with AI with “Crazy” (by Gnarls Barkley), and he was a rock-type drummer before turning to guitar and vocals–so who knows?

  28. Nah, those weren’t her best performances at all but hey

    Why do people have to label people as “diva”. Just because a woman is black and liikes to sing R&B that doesn’t make them a “Diva”.

  29. Rereader Jason Castro copied Somewhere Over The Rainbow note for note from a guy named Israel. The version done by Israel did suit his style. That version is pretty well known.

  30. dadmonson–It’s her song choices; she’s chosen to sing a lot of big-voice diva-type ballads. (Not solely, but largely.) Same reason they label David C. a “rawker” and Jason a folkie.

  31. HOLY ROCK AND ROLL, what a long list! Thank you for posting the link, rereader. BTW, are we sure this is the list from which the Idols will make their song choice(s)?

    A total surprise from Jason C.? Not butchering what he sings would be a nice start! (insert smiley. okay, a half hearted one)

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I don’t think he belongs in the top four!

    I’m done now! (a heartfelt smiley, for both of us, I’m sure!)

  32. Jason Castro copied Somewhere Over The Rainbow note for note from a guy named Israel.

    Yes, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, which he mentioned in his intro piece and which Simon mentioned in judging (not note for note, but definitely that version). I have to say that I had not heard that version before, but I did go and listen to it on YouTube after several times, and to me it’s still Judy Garland :-). YMMV.

  33. BTW, are we sure this is the list from which the Idols will make their song choice(s)?

    Well, it’s been reported as the list in several pretty reliable places, but the American Idol site just says “Watch on Tuesday…as the Top 4 channel their inner rock stars”. For sure, they aren’t going to have 500 choices, they’ll be given a shorter list of already rights-approved songs.

  34. Well too me Israel’s version is not Judy Garland at all.

    Well the word diva is often used with a negative connotation. It seems like when people use the word diva they imply that the person is arrogant, difficult to work with, high-maintenance, manipulative, fussy, highly strung, privileged and demanding etc…

    I just don’t like that word.

  35. My bad I shouldn’t have said note for note. They only get approximately a minute and a half to sing so of course he had to switch it up a little.

  36. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I would love to see Jason just “rock it out” – even though his voice is not exactly a power rock voice.

    He just seems so tense and so introverted in every performance. I want to see him move and groove – come alive on that stage.

    Are they not giving him direction in this respect or, is he not taking direction? Ah – to be a fly on the wall at these rehearsals.

  37. Too be honest I think Jason Castro is the one too watch this week to knock it out of the park. If that Paula thing didn’t give him motivation then I don’t know what would.

  38. Hi, MCL! There are some videos on YouTube of him pre-Idol, and while the vocals are not very good (to be polite), he’s a lot looser and uptempo in performance ( ; ; I think there are some others, but I don’t know what or where they are), even though he’s sitting down. So…he’s definitely improved since then, vocally (!), and we saw last week that he can move around. Got my fingers crossed that he’ll relax, forget about the judges, and have fun!

  39. Well the word diva is often used with a negative connotation.

    My apologies, I certainly didn’t mean it that way, I just meant it as a shorthand for a certain vibe in song choice. I have really no opinion about her personality, because when you get down to it, they really haven’t shown us much of her personality in the clips and backstage stuff, and she said she likes to sing in character on stage, so I have no way of knowing what she’s like. If she had a personality such as you described, I’d think they couldn’t resist showing it (!), so I’ve assumed she not like that at all.

  40. Syesha said she sometimes gets intimidated by America Judging her so she sometimes pretends to be somebody else. I found that quite odd, but if it makes it easier for her to sing then I guess whatever works.

    These kids have to learn that the fear or stage fright is nothing but a figment of their imagination and the audience will always allow someone to mesmorize them. The audience will never want to see someone scre on stage.

  41. Preparation is a confidence builder also.

  42. Remind me why David Cook is single?!? What a sweetie!

    David Cook Won’t Royally Screw Kids
    Posted May 2nd 2008 11:25AM by TMZ Staff

    Royals fans can rest easy — there won’t be 25 crying kids in the crowd when David Cook comes to town.

    Cook was approached by the Kansas City Royals to sing the national anthem at game on May 9. The problem is 25 elementary kids were already booked.

    A spokesperson for the Royals told TMZ that Cook didn’t feel comfortable bumping the kids — so he’ll sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th inning stretch instead, and throw out the first pitch.

    Cook was invited to the game because if he survives another week of “Idol,” he’ll be making a trip home Blue Springs, MO. for a visit.

  43. Rereader -those Youtube links of Jason are excellent. It made me realize that he has not been given ANY opportunity to showcase who he really is as an artist.

    Those themes were all wrong for Jason. ALL WRONG. Let’s hope that he does have the opportunity to find 2 songs that will really capture his musical strengths during his Top 4 showcase.

  44. Wadahoot – that David Cook is really adorable. What a great gesture – and a smart one at that.

  45. I like that song crazy. People said that David A sung an amazing version of it in Hollywood week.

  46. Too be fair, I think each contestant had atleast one theme that seemed like a stretch for them. People were saying that Neil Diamond week would be Jason and Brooke’s week.

  47. The National Anthem is a hard song to sing. Not saying that David Cook backed out just for that reason though.

  48. Great clue! (found following post on MJ’s Big Blog)

    “Joan” just posted her first clue for Jason Castro over at Popwatch:

    “Jason’s a man on a mission. With one arm that fires, authorities fall, but their counterparts are spared. With the other arm, he jingles his tympan all the way to victory.”

    Jason Castro – ”I Shot the Sherrif” by Bob Marley/Eric Clapton and “Mr. Tambourine Man” By Bob Dylan

  49. Interesting choices here for Jason. Thanks wadahoot!

  50. Aw, wadahoot beat me!

    I was initially quite surprised by “I Shot the Sheriff,” but considering those pre-Idol clips, we might be getting a chance to see something closer to the “real” Jason tonight. Should be interesting, anyway!

    For what it’s worth, I ran across a link to this site today–it’s got free downloads of a few songs Jason wrote as well as some pre-Idol covers:

  51. Oh, and MCL, I’m loving the pretty icons for those of us who don’t have any of our own!

  52. Rereader – those icons are neat, aren’t they?

    They are all courtesy of WordPress.Com, another one of the new upgrades that they are offering to their growing list of bloggers.

    I believe the design beside each name is based on your email address.

  53. that David Cook is really adorable.

    More Cook adorableness in this video about the Idol’s pet peeves (second video from the top):

  54. That was a cute clip of David Cook. Actually, they all brought a smile to my face. Thanks again Rereader

  55. MCL, I loved it! It’s nice seeing a lighter side of them.

    So…TMZ has the song list for tonight out:

    David A — “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King and “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley (cover by Norah Jones)

    David C. — “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who and “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran

    Jason — “Mr. Tambourine Man” by Bob Dylan and “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley (cover by Eric Clapton)

    Syesha — Syesha Mercado — “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner and “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke

    What do you think?

  56. (Whoops, got Syesha’s name twice! Sorry!)

  57. I’m not familiar with David Cook’s song choices, so can’t really comment one way or the other.

    David A. – I love “Stand By Me”, but the Norah Jones version of “Love Me Tender” sounds flat to me.

    Jason – eh – hard to say. He may sing them really well, though. Both are tricky songs – the artist really has to “deliver” or these numbers run the risk of sounding like novelty songs.

    Syesha – Proud Mary is “overdone” – not a good choice. “A Change Is Gonna Come” is excellent though.

  58. Now, now, MCL, I KNOW you know David C’s songs! I had no clue that this is called Baba O’Reilly and don’t know why it is called that, but you’ll recognize it!

    And I’m sure your know “Wolf” after you hear it

    Does this help?

  59. Oh, the CSI song? That’s a good song, but “Wolf” – not so much for me. But, David is totally going to own the stage with these numbers. Excellent “cookie” selections.


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