Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For American Idol Season 8 Top 2 Finalist: Kris Allen


I welcome all the readers to comment on Kris Allen’s American Idol performances and share your personal and respectful vision for him in the music industry post Idol.

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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

11 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For American Idol Season 8 Top 2 Finalist: Kris Allen”

  1. I am a huge Adam Lambert fan who also likes Kris Allen. While Kris has had his moments of musical quality, Adam has never failed to present a great performance.
    Kris has a great future ahead. With some additional vocal training, he will be even better.
    The song I liked best was “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Kris really showed emotion with his voice and body movements. But, one or two good songs does not make a superstar.

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  2. While I admittedly fell in love with Adam Lambert’s voice when I first saw him during the auditions, over this season I have come to admire and respect Kris’ talent. It has been a pleasure to see this shy young man with the beautiful smile grow more confident and give us some incredible performances. Kris’ unplugged evocative version of “Heartless” proved why he deserves to be in the finale of this year’s competition.

    Kris could not be more different than Adam in terms of style yet I admire both men so much for embracing one another as artists and friends. The example Kris has set should be an inspiration to all of us.

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  3. With no disrespect to Kris, as I like him also and love the friendship he has developed with Adam, but I can’t help but wonder if his improvement over the season isn’t a reflection of Adam’s help? Allison has said that Adam helped her all season with song selection and performance, so I wonder if this is at least partially true with Kris as well?

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  4. Karen, it may very well be true, especially given that they were roomies for so long. Adam appears to be a very generous person would very likely help his fellow contestants. It’s one of the reaons I fell for Adam from the get-go and will continue to be an ardent supporter through to the end. But if you go back and watch Kris’ earlier performances he was far more tentative, and seemed to hide behind his guitar.
    Regardless of the contributing factors, it’s wonderful to see Kris’ evolution on the show.

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  5. Karen, I saw Idol Tonight last week, and they asked each of the top 3 what they had learned from the experience. Adam said he had learned that he has a teacher in him, because he is always giving all of the Idol contestants his two-bits about their song choices and performances. Obviously, he has a lot of experience, training, and just plain savvy, and I think it is very generous of him to share that with his competition — but then, if he really is a teacher by nature, he can’t help himself. Would that we all would be so willing to help others be as good or better than ourselves — I admire that about him.

    So I think it is very safe to say that he has offered Kris his two-bits. But, of course, we don’t know just how much Kris has brought to the table himself. Given that Kris seems to have a good sense of the kind of artist he wants to be, I think Kris has brought quite a bit, but it is always good to have a sounding board and also to be open to what others have to say. I think Adam has served (as his roommate) as both sounding board and advisor to Kris, but ultimately, it’s about whether Kris decides to take the advice. (Remember a few seasons ago when NO ONE seemed to take Tony Bennett’s advice — I mean, Tony Bennett and the standards, how can you ignore him? And he was right every time!)

    If I have to choose, I’ll take Adam, but Kris began to impress me early and I have loved watching him grow as an artist. I am really interested to see what he will do on his own.

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  6. This is my first post on this blog, and also my first post anywhere about American Idol. I’m an Adam fan, but I don’t see this blog post should be the one where I comment further on my preference.

    Kris has shown his talent. He has his own gifts. Kris’s road will be most likely very different from Adam’s, so why do we need to compare two very dissimilar artists? Each has a version and vision of artistry to call their own.

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  7. Just dropping in here to throw some unabashed gushing in Kris’ direction.

    It’s funny, because in the second semifinals group, Adam and Allison were the easy standouts to me. But when I talked to people about the show next day and guessing who the third person in could be, the general consensus was, “Aw, I really liked that kid who sang Man in the Mirror! He probably doesn’t stand a chance, but I thought he was really good.” I remember being thrilled that he got through in a group that was clearly stacked with producer favorites after almost no air-time leading up to then.

    I couldn’t quite figure out exactly WHY I liked him so much, either, but he’s the only contestant who made the finals who’s never put in a performance that I didn’t like. It was actually bugging me a little bit — why do I like this kid so much? — then someone here (I think it was J) commented on just how beautiful Kris’ tone is. And boy, is it — he might not have the technical proficiency of other singers or a three-octave range at his disposal, but good lord, I could listen to him sing the phone book. I adore the sound of his voice. It’s gorgeous.

    If we’re comparing here, Adam has the “better” voice when you talk about technical skill and range. There’s absolutely no contest there. But Kris has my FAVORITE voice. Does that make sense?

    But what he really has going for him is that he has great musical instincts, more so than just about anybody I’ve ever seen on this show. His song choices are almost always perfect, his arrangements are great (I particularly thought what he did to “Come Together” was fantastic and wish he’d gotten more credit for that one), and most importantly, he’s fantastic at emotionally connecting with a song. I love that so many of the mentors gushed about him after he worked with them. Smokey Robinson seemed absolutely delighted by Kris, and Tarantino and Jamie Foxx couldn’t stop singing his praises either. “Falling Slowly” and “Heartless” were two of the best things I’ve seen on the show this year.

    I’ve watched all eight seasons of this show, but this is the first time that I’ve loved both contestants in the final two. I don’t even know who I want to win more. They’re both fantastic. Well done, Idol.

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  8. I’m a big Adam fan but I have to agree with you Erin in many respects. I just left a comment on Adam’s site thanking a commenter for putting into words how I feel about Adam’s singing. Now I’d like to similarly thank you because Kris also has a special place in my heart (along with Allison). I hope the idol experience and fame they have achieved through it helps each one to achieve their fondest dreams.

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  9. I like to hear that the idols have been giving each other help. I think that shows someone who is secure in their talent (I don’t mean to imply that someone who doesn’t offer help isn’t secure or that they are selfish, they may not have the same comfort level in sharing expertise)

    Earlier in the season, someone mentioned that during Michael Jackson week, Kris was helping people out with arrangements and song choice (either Paula or Ryan) because he has a vast knowledge of MJ’s music (and I’m sure a vas number of other artists as well :) ) Kris seems like a very genuine person (as does Adam, but I already posted over there :)) and it seems like helping people out is second nature to him. I wish him success in all he does, and I will be buying both his and Adam’s first albums.

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  10. I think it’s silly to suggest that Kris is only as good as he is because of “Adam’s help”.\ Adam fans may not realize this but Kris plays four different instruments. And really it’s his arrangements that are Kris’s strenght.

    The truth is that non of Adam’s arrangements have been his own, they’ve all been taking from somewhere else. Adam is an amazing singer, and can certainly give Kris tips on that part…But it’s really patronizing for people to suggest Kris’ success is because of Adam’s help, when Kris brings to the table his own strengths.

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  11. I’m sorry that some took my comments about Kris and Adam in a negative way, it was not intended that way. Sometimes what I am thinking doesn’t translate well to paper. These two have become great friends, and I think it is delightful that they are working together to be the best they can be. I think Adam has helped Kris gain confidence in his talents, and that has helped Kris shine during the last couple of weeks. In return, I think Kris (and his family) have given Adam a level of acceptance that he didn’t expect from middle America (loved the sharing of the black nail polish!). Kris commented recently that they have both already won … so whichever one becomes this year’s American Idol, the runner-up will be a close friend and enthusiastic supporter.

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