By: Rosanne Simunovic
Because I am traveling tomorrow, I am giving the readers an abbreviated Masterclass article this week. What you see will be my real time comments after viewing tonight`s show.
However, I have one word to describe tonight`s performances -brilliant! For me, all the performances were considerably strong and the individual performers improved immensely in one week! Pretty amazing stuff!
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.
Strengths: Come to the cabaret and enjoy another creative performance by Adam! Why bother to write? I just enjoyed! This was genius personified. Your vocal range is astounding and your stage movements – m-wah! And kudos to you for acknowledging Rickey Minor and the band. I cannot describe this performance – words do little justice to the extraordinary vocal and performing skills you brought to the stage.
Critique: Adam – critique? Give me a break! One cannot critique a phenomenon. However, take care of those upper range notes – please tell me you are screaming from the diaphragm! Please! And try to keep your mouth in a circular position. Those screams will have even more depth!
Strengths: Allison - I loved hearing the sustaining elements of your voice in this slower number. Wonderfully done. You passionately delivered this number to perfection. Love the raspy nuances in your voice – nice contrast to your pure vocals.
Your performing skills are exceptionally strong – you pour every ounce of energy into your performances. You are such a passionate artist!
Oh my – your hair! Oh well, you’re a rocker chick, right? Enjoy! Good work, Allison!
Critique: Allison-you were better this week in terms of your technical skills. Slower numbers always coerce a singer to do their technical homework and I feel that you definitely did so! However, you still tend to punch out those vocals and, because of this, we lose the true beauty and power of your voice.
And I am concerned that the raspiness is evidence of poorly ingrained technical skills. And, I know you have a fabulous voice teacher -so my questions is – are you listening to him? If not, you should be. You need to protect your voice – it is a precious, unique commodity.
Strengths: Anoop – you chose a song that you felt that the audience could relate to. That’s the way you research repertoire. Good for you! It was definitely a more current song and it happened at just the right moment in the competition.
Loved the round mouth- beautifully placed vowels. Great stage skills – both on and off the stage. Confident presence on stage. Really confident! Lots of drama, almost theatrical in presence. Those “oh” riffs were technically secure and centered. I was truly impressed.
Critique: Anoop - this was your strongest performance to date! A few lower range vocal issues where the diaphragm did not fully connect with the voice, but it is very obvious that you are really working very hard on your technical skills, as well as your performing skills. You also paced and planned this performance exceptionally well. Kudos Anoop!
DANNY GOKEY 28- years old : “What Hurts The Most” by – Rascal Flatts
Strengths: Danny – I loved your song choice this week. It provided abundant and timely contrast to the upbeat showcase you have presented over the past few weeks. This is what I have been waiting for – a heartfelt, poignant number that mirrored your “Hero” performance during the semi-final rounds.
This song selection gave you room to breathe- literally and figuratively. You emoted this song in such a genuine manner and your dynamic range was astounding.
Your technical skills were so wonderful – generally a round mouth that grabbed and focused those vowels in your vocal masque. I also loved all the melodic variations you brought to this song. Brilliant performance!
Critique: Danny -try not to spread your mouth on the “i” vowel. And careful that you do not push too much of your chest voice into that upper register. However, your passionate delivery overrode the technical deficiencies – it was all about the artistry and you had it with a capital “A”.
Strengths: Kris – why, I didn`t know you could play the keys! Loved this song choice and loved your quiet, expressive demeanor. Your soulful and expressive voice wrapped so cohesively around the melodic line. You took this song classic and re-invented it. What a wonderful tribute and testament to the depth of your artistry.
Your voice is such a pure instrument and yet it is laced with nuance and inflection. You are blessed with resplendent head resonance throughout your range and you make sure that it never disappears. That mouth is wonderfully round and your vowels are perfectly placed and focused. Kudos and Bravo!
Critique: Kris -such a gorgeous performance and I will leave it at that. However, make absolutely certain that you release any tension from your jaw and neck muscles. Let the diaphragmatic muscles do the work – that`s what they are there for!
Strengths: Lil – this week we finally heard the dynamic beauty in your voice. Wow – that round mouth is really working overtime tonight – good for you. And listen to your stellar breathing skills.! Your phrasing is impeccable – the cohesive magic of your sustaining skills was extraordinary. Wonderful head voice throughout your range.
Beautiful presence! Loved this performance so very much, but the song choice not as much!
Critique: Lil – I have two words for you- song choice! You have everything else in place – find a song that will celebrate your creative and passionate artistry. And something in a major key would work as well. Minor=too negative!
Strengths: Matt – you go guy! This is such an eerie number! It was an authentically delivered performance, but not the best choice for you. However, I felt your vocals were sounding confident and you really tried to challenge yourself with this alternative song selection.
I love your style and your persona – there is real charisma emanating from you on stage, Matt. Your bluesy voice is a wonderful instrument and you know how to use it to expressively deliver your music.
Critique: Matt- work on the support system when you vocalise through your lower range. Your mouth is still too horizontal, thus adding so much tension to you vocal sound. Easy does it, Matt! Now, let`s get a better song on board for next week, shall we?
Strengths: Megan – you were really excited about this song choice because it is a personal favorite. I loved this song as well and the expressive elements in your voice just oozed from your mouth.
This was a stellar key selection – your voice rested so comfortably throughout the melodic line of this song. Your lower range riffs were spectacular, considering that you sing with very green technical skills. You looked very confident on stage and the development of your performing skills have enjoyed wonderful improvement over the passing weeks.
Critique:Megan - make certain that you keep that rib cage elevated. It was pretty deflated throughout this song. Also, try to “round out” your mouth when sustaining those vowels. Once you do so. you will feel the need to support your voice from the diaphragm. However, overall, I loved this performance. Brava!
Strengths: Scott – stellar song selection and one of my favorites. Oh my goodness gracious. Spine tingling! Tears falling.! Totally acoustic! Fabulous new look! And the melodic variation was inspired! Pure, uncluttered vocals – technical brilliance! One of the best of the night! Love you!
Critique: Scott – you are scott-free from a critical assessment. You cannot critique perfection. This was a Masterclass performance. Just outstanding!