Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For American Idol Season 8: New York And San Juan Auditions


American IdolNew York and San Juan Auditions are featured in this last episode of the preliminaries and not a moment too soon. I just find this leg of the American Idol journey so tedious – necessary, yes – but tedious.

And I am sure that many very talented singers were deprived of airtime, but, then that’s the name of the game, I guess. The producers and judges have already claimed their favorites for this season and, for the most part, those people were given the majority of airtime over the last three weeks.

However, it’s not over yet! Let’s see what New York and San Juan have to offer on this last episode before the grueling Hollywood rounds over the next two weeks.

This article will be written in real time and published immediately after the end of the 1-hour show. Therefore, unlike the full-length Vocal Masterclass articles for the Top 12, my first impressions from the New York and San Juan will be abbreviated. I will leave it up to you to fill in the blanks and add your comments.

As the show opens with the theme song that we have all become addicted to, I wonder if we will see our Season 8 American Idol in this episode. You think? Either they saved the best for last or this episode is last for all the wrong reasons. Plus, it airs on a night not associated with American Idol. Both of my daughters had no idea that this show was on tonight. Have we all become trained rats – ready to tune into Fox only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays?

Ooooo – West Side Story music. My favorite. And Ryan announces that they have indeed saved the best talent for last, so there you go!

First stop – New York – the island of dreams. Ain’t that the truth! So many careers have been launched in this city.

Adeola is our first performer and she is a beauty. She is singing “And I Am Telling You” and she is telling us that she is not ready for this show or any other singing competiition for that matter. Now comes the begging and crying and Simon says he will phone her boss so that she can get her day job back.

Oh my – Simon is actually phoning her boss. Too much! Now this should be interesting – Simon is asking her boss to give her her job back and the boss agrees. It is Simon asking, after all.

Now we are in Puerto Rico -that was one fast trip! And along comes 20-year-old Jorge and can he SING! What a great, great voice. I totally have goosebumps from his Latino performance of “My Way. He then he seques into “What A Wonderful World”. He has pronunciation issues, but the voice. The Voice! Off he goes to Hollywood and he is indeed memorable. Most memorable! I won’t forget this guy anytime soon.

After commercial break, we are still in San Juan and that warm weather is looking mighty inviting. We are forced to sit through a bio about Jessica who then sings Celine’s “Surrender” and it is really, really loud and crazy. I laughed when Simon indicates that he “surrenders” – exactly my thoughts! Oy – more begging. Please make this stop – the crying, the pleading!

We are back in New York where we meet a nudist freak by the name of Melinda who wants to uplift humanity with her voice. She performs a rather good version of “Feeling Good” and she has a wonderful ease when she sings. (lack of undergarments will do the trick wink wink!)

The judges seem to like her. Actually, I think she has hypnotized them with her laissez-faire attitude. Oh well, she is off to Hollywood and now watch those ratings soar next week during the Hollywood rounds.

After commercial break, Ryan welcomes us back to the “big apple” before we meet Jackie Tohn singing a Jason Mraz number. She has a really raspy voice, but it is truly distinctive, There is a lovely pure tone underneath that whiskey timbre. She is really good – the nuanced tone of her voice is great and she is a strong and confident rhythmic presence. I love her!

Ryan brings us back to the Carribean and I have to say I love the flip-flopping from New York to San Juan. Smart, creative editing producers! High five! I think this is what was missing in the other episodes – the element of surprise. Either that or I am just thrilled that this is the last preliminary audition episode. Take your pick!

After commercial break and lots of nonsense from some contestants, we meet Joel Contreras and he seems really “out there”. Why, you ask? He comes in as a human Ipod and this is too, too much. Just sing, buddy. You have a pretty good voice, but you are a goofball. Buh-bye.

Back in New York, we meet Norman Gentle and he is going to sing “And I Am Telling You”. Truly, if I never hear this song again, I will have a great reason to get up in the morning and sing “Hallelujah” Then, after a rendition of “Amazing Grace – first serious, then comical – he is given the golden ticket to momentary startdom. I have to admit that this dude is quite entertaining, but I can’t even imagine that he will make Top 36.

Ashley, Kenny and Kendall are given a few seconds of “on air” time and all three are truly amazing! These three singers manage to “grab” me more than those who were given 60 plus seconds of airtime, so let’s see what happens with these three young talents.

After commercial break, we meet a sweet 16-year-old singer named Monique, who comes into her Puerto Rico audition with her young brother. He is so cute. Monique sings “You Can’t Hurry Love” followed by a song which is not familiar to me. Hmmm – I liked her. Simon and Paula put her through, after Randy and Kara advise her to build up her confidence and become more current. I’m rooting for her, but am not too hopeful.

Alexis (she was around for the Season 7 episode as well) is back again. She is singing Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” and she doesn’t have one – a prayer I mean. What a disaster – why is this show ending with her schtick?

Patricia is our last “real” contestant and she performs a pretty hysterical version of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”. The judges give her another chance and she then redeems herself with a gorgeous Spanish ballad. Beautifully done! Wow – Paula says “no” in her decision to give her a gold ticket. I think she deserves a shot at Hollywood and she does get that chance. The majority of the judges advance her. Let’s see what happens next week.

So, that is it everybody. Over the next two weeks, it is down to the nitty gritty elimination rounds called Hollywood Week. I love my Hollywood week – so much drama and nonsense! Gotta love this show!

Now, to you the readers, this is your forum as well. What say you? The Masterclass doors are now open.

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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

9 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For American Idol Season 8: New York And San Juan Auditions”

  1. Hello, MCL, excellent review as always! It honestly amazes me how you can watch the show, evaluate the performances, and type all at the same time! Talk about multi-tasking! Anyway . . .

    Oh my goodness! Paula actually said “No” to someone when the other judges said “Yes!” What could it mean? The end of the world, perhaps? LOL Anyway, I definitely am glad that tonight was the last of the auditions. Don’t get me wrong! They are very entertaining (mostly because of the interaction of the judges), but I like Hollywood Week and beyond because it gives the show so much more of a competitive feel!

    As for tonight, I can’t say that I saw someone who I went “Wow!” at. There were some talented singers though. I liked Monique the best honestly! Her voice was somehow strangely soothing. I don’t know how likely it is she’ll make it past Hollywood Week, but I sort of hope she does. With a bit of cultivation, she could be a contender. Besides her, Jorge was pretty good too. He is definitely going to have to work on more English songs, but the voice is 100% there!

    Now, for the ones I wasn’t crazy about (though I wish them all the best). Okay, honestly, the Norman Gentle guy I was completely shocked they put him through. Maybe I missed something. I’m not sure, but he did not impress me at all with his singing. I just thought he was very obnoxious throughout his whole audition, yet strangely the judges seemed to feed off of it and liked him. I do find it just a little bit disturbing that there are some people who audition and give their all for it, but the judges deny them the chance to sing a second song. And yet, here comes Norman who I didn’t feel really wanted it that badly, and they cater to him. I like the judges a lot, but they can certainly seem a bit inconsistent at times!

    Well, overall, I have enjoyed the Season 8 auditions this year and am excited to see what the future holds in store!

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  2. I, too, was unaware the show was on last night! I have trained myself to tune in only on Tues and Wednesday, therefore woke up this morning and was quite surprised to see your article. Don’t think I missed much though – but I would have loved to see some of these comical singers (and the good ones).

    Are we back to normal next week?

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  3. Good morning all!

    Bizzee24 – yes, the show is back to normal next week and no – you didn’t miss much, except for Jorge. But, I am sure you will see plenty of Jorge during the Hollywood rounds next Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Galen – this is is the easy work. The hard work comes when I actually write my Vocal Masterclass articles in depth, focusing on every aspect of the Top 12 performances. I type in short hand, watching them perform live, then compile the information over the next two days.

    Norman Gentle is an entertainer – he actually has a pretty good voice, but the comedic side of him is unstoppable. He reminds me Victor Borge – only Norman is a singer, unlike Victor who was a pianist. Victor used his musical gift with the piano to create laughter and I think this is Norman’s goal as well. Someone will pick up on this and sign him – it’s only a matter of time!

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  4. I understand your point about Norman, Masterclass Lady. He’s definitely talented as a comedian (I loved the Simon-Ryan comment) and a good voice is there, but I just cannot envision him winning American Idol or even making it to the Top 36. Still, I do wish him the best. Who knows? Maybe he will prove my initial opinion of him wrong in Hollywood Week. Have a nice weekend, everyone!

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  5. “He has pronunciation issues, but the voice. The Voice! Off he goes to Hollywood and he is indeed memorable. Most memorable! I won’t forget this guy anytime soon.”

    MCL, I chuckled when I read your comments about Jorge! Yes, he indeed has a nice voice, but the fangirls are looking at his good looks, nice body (muscles), and wavy black hair. LOL! I can just see the young girls forming his fan club and they aren’t all in Puerto Rico. ;o)

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  6. KariAnn – right now Jorge and Adam Lambert are my favorites. There is so much talent this year, but these two singers are truly distinctive.

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  7. Hi all,

    New to the forum, just thought I’d introduce myself :-)

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  8. Welcome, hypnoticgenius!

    Silly me, for some reason I thought this article was on SEASON 9 and someone got a peek at the auditions coming up! Nothing like trying to rush things! LOL!

    Like

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    Like

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