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American Idol Season 8 Top 2 Vocal Masterclass Article: Adam Lambert and Kris Allen


American Idol

By: Rosanne Simunovic

The show is over for another season and Kris Allen is our new American Idol. The shy, young kid from Arkansas quietly stole the title from the refined, genuine and extraordinarily talented Adam Lambert.

However, make no mistake about it – Kris worked very hard to achieve this goal, showcasing his the multi-faceted musical talents as a vocalist, pianist, guitarist and arranger.

I would like to pose a question to the producers: why didn’t each of the singers have the option to sing a separate original composition during the Top 2 performances? 

This is what ensued last year and it was  a wonderful idea. Then, once the winner was announced – David Cook – the true American Idol Theme Song, “Time Of Your Life” was revealed for the first time. It made sense then and it would have made greater sense this time around.

I will write more about Kris and Adam in the coming days and weeks and months, but, for the last time, here is the Vocal Masterclass Article for American Idol Season 8 top 2 performances.

 Also, please keep checking my Twitter updates so we can stay in closer touch!

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.

Adam Lambert, Kris Allen,

ADAM LAMBERT: “A Change Is Gonna Come” (Producer’s Choice) by Sam Cooke, “Mad World” (Singer’s Choice) by Tears For Fears and “No Boundaries” (Coronation Song) by Kara DioGuardi

Strengths: Adam- the first song  you performed this week, Mad World , was an innovative reprise from your  Top 8 American Idol performance , celebrating songs popularized during  the year you were born.  Suffice it to say, that this performance h0lds a special place in the hearts of many – your controlled, yet intensely passionate vocals and sensitive delivery were a sublime visual and aural experience.

However, this time, instead of a seated position, you decided to make a more dramatic entrance via the stairs. And so, as the dry ice billowed around you, you “walked your walk”, descending the stairs in complete darkness, moving mysteriously toward the lighted stage.

My thoughts coincided with Simon – the ethereal stage effects coupled with your long, flowing coat and intense, yet delicate vocal timbre, immediately conjured up images  of  “Phantom Of The Opera“.  And, perhaps this was your intent – to reveal the essence of your tormented soul, as the Phantom so often does in the musical, through these extremely powerful lyrics.

If so, it worked in a monumental way, Adam. Your ability to sing quietly, while never losing the expressive focus in your vocal projection, is a sublime technical characteristic worthy of the highest praise and acknowledgement. The control you exhibited throughout this song was stellar to the “nth” degree. Unbelievable!

I also enjoyed hearing how you intermittently managed to sneak in a little crescendo in your vocal delivery – not too much – but just enough to add another level of nuance into the communicative structure of this song. I could listen to you sing this song over and over and over – the honey sweetness of your head resonance is beautiful beyond description.

 Then in a rapid departure in style – but not in content – Simon Fuller selected  “A Change Is Gonna Come” for your second selection.  First of all, I loved the glamorous formal wear that you adopted for this number. Perfect!

You started this song with a small indication of trepidation in your demeanor and voice – you seemed and sounded a little apprehensive in the early stages.  However, as I further reflected on your performance, it seemed that you were pacing yourself – not giving away too much too soon – and as a result, once you moved away from the microphone stand, the true magic began!

 Therefore, as the song progressed,  your voice rose to incredible heights – climbing hills and reaching vocal peaks that left me totally breathless and in awe of your vocal excellence. 

Additionally, once your vocal fireworks exploded, it  left me breathless!  When you feel, then the performance becomes real – would that every singer could apply this ideology as you so do each and every week, Adam.  This is what distinguishes true artistry – that and a great deal of disciplined and intuitive awareness of  the potential offering of every song.

There were tender and tormented moments in this song – a true reflection of your soul. You dig very deep, Adam and you voice reflected your authentic and real emotion. It was just so tangible.

Because of your ability to reach and liberate untapped sources in this song, the communicative elements of this song were absolutely spectacular.  The song gained new meaning and verve – totally different sound than what I have heard from other artists who have “covered” it.  The depth and passion of your soul were  honestly portrayed through your expressive, multi-layered vocal delivery.

 And your superb ability to quickly vascillate between the  full compliment of your head voice vs. the quieter timbre of your head voice was wonderfully executed throughout this number and added  inflection and nuance throughout this sensitively expressed showcase.

Finally, that sustained note at the end was wonderfully full and focused as it should be – in that vocal masque. Gorgeous and pure!

At the end of the show, you mentioned that you  were extremely happy to have been given the oppportunity to sing this song.  Might I further add that this song was fortunate to find a new and refreshing home in your artistic soul. 

Your closing number was “No Boundaries“, the American Idol Coronation song written by Kara DioGuardi.  This is such a difficult number – the vocal and dynamic range that is expected from the singer is really daunting.

However, given your stellar level of singing experience and expertise, this song, although far removed from your personal vocal style, resonated extremely well with the viewers. I felt that you successfully incorporated your signature style and methodology into this number.

Also you managed to distance yourself from the technical issues that chased you at the beginning of this song. Oh yes, as in last week’s performance, the tuneless back-up singer made a return appearance. What can you do, right? The show must go on!

And similar to your performance of  “A Change Is Gonna Come“, the seamless manner in which you segued  from your potent head voice to soft head voice was unbelievable. Your technical control, combined with your relaxed facial features, signified how absolutely ready you are for this song and for this competition.

And thank you for adding a wonderful melodic descant in the final refrain – your voice soared over the “now in tune” backup singers and sounded liberated and strong! Great substance and style!

Congratulations, Adam! This was an extraordinary end to an extraordinary American Idol journey. You are most definitely destined for International success. You are iconic – one of a kind – and have left an indelible mark on the Nokia stage  and in my heart that will never be erased.

Bravo and standing “O” from Masterclass Lady!

Critique: Adam – your performance of  “Mad World” was technically and artistically superb, so I have nothing to critique in this number. It was sublime perfection.

Now, I did mention that during the inital stage of “A Change Is Gonna Come“, I sensed a level of anxiety in your voice. Your throat didn’t sound open and free and so your introductory line, “I was born by the river” sounded a bit tense and edgy. I felt that, perhaps, there was too much too much chest resonance in the vocal mix. 

However, you made up for it in the remainder of the number, leading toward that beautifully sustained final note on the word “come” – so pure and focused in your vocal masque.

However, make certain that you always keep that pure, ringing head voice at the core of your louder dynamics.  You have to make sure that the chest resonance doesn’t allow the head voice to take a back seat.

Finally, let’s discuss “No Boundaries“.  I didn’t have major issues with you, Adam, but with the technicians and the back-up singer. Yes, as in last week’s performance, she was once again singing too loudly and with really poor tuning to boot!  

Therefore, the dissonance everyone was sensing at the beginning of this number had little to do with you. You know how to handle these testy situations so well and, as the song progressed,  we heard more stability in the technical mix. I guess someone either woke up the sound guy or muffled the back-up singer. Ha!

Oh – and one more thing, Adam – make certain that you try to maintain a circular formation in your mouth position. This became especially noticeable at the end when you sustained the word “mountain“. Your mouth was open and relaxed, yet too horizontal for my taste.

Even with your relaxed jaw, by merely adding  a circular formation to  mouth position, you  would have noticeably deepened the timbre of your voice. Try it – you’ll like it!

Finally, regarding the song, I was hoping for something more current, relevant and significant to your level of artistry. Suffice it to say that you were better than the song and, through your vocal delivery, elevated this song to listenable heights.

Congratulations, Adam! It has been an immense pleasure and honor for me to write these articles for you and the other singers, although I hardly think you needed any input from my end!

 You came to this show impeccably prepared and it showed. Your genuine and caring demeanor and your extraordinary talent is something truly special.  I will watch with great anticipation as you take the world by storm through your immense artistry and charisma.

 

KRIS ALLEN: “What’s Goin’ On” by Marvin Gaye (Producer’s Choice) “Ain’t No Sunshine” (Singer’s Choice) by and “No Boundaries” (Coronation Song) by Kara DioGuardi

Strengths: Kris -your first number,  Ain’t No Sunshine, was a wonderful reprise of your Top 9 performance which celebrated best-selling songs from Itunes.Com.  How I loved your rendition of this classic number and, this week, I fell in love with it once again.

Everything about this performance screamed “outstanding” – the gently layered nuances,  the musical shape of your phrases, your excellent piano skills and, of course, your naturally pure and expressive vocal talent.  Once again, it was clearly evident that your comfort level was optimal, as you appeared relaxed and confident throughout this number.

And when a singer is relaxed and “in the zone“, then the artistic style and substance truly mesh. This song emphasized the depth and inflection in your voice, as you freely enabled the technical support to supply the foundation for your singing.  Your jaw was noticeably relaxed and free and your mouth easily maintained that all-important circular formation for the proper sustaining effect.

Your vocal timbre was colorful and expressive throughout this number – starting softly then, as the song progressed,  adding crescendo and momentum to the melodic and rhythmic line and then closing with a softer, wonderfully controlled dynamic!  Bravo!

During your second number, “What’s Goin’ On“, with guitar in hand, you created a different ambience .  Very acoustic and very intimate!  This was the perfect song choice for you, as it accented ever aspect of your performing style that we have come to know and love over the past few weeks.

I also loved the calypso-generated rhythmic pulse that formed the foundation for this song.  It was excellent and musically contagious. And, in gauging your relaxed and carefree demeanor, you obviously internalized the essence of this wonderful song selection in a believable manner. 

Finally, your performance of the American Idol Coronation song, “No Boundaries“,  was passionate and genuine.  Although your voice did not embrace the melodic line with perfect ease, you did make every concerted effort to deliver this number with artistic sincerity and commitment.

And, in this song, as well as the other two numbers, the clarity of your diction was immaculate – clean and precise. In every performance that you have given over the course of the show, I have  never detected ” muddiness” in your vocal sound or articulation skills – every aspect of your singing style is clean and precise and extremely pitch-centered.

Congratulations, Kris, on an extremely well-rehearsed trio of performances.  You are an excellent musican and a sublime artist and your likeable, sincere demeanor has been a shining beacon in this year’s Top 13 lineup of singers. Bravo!

Critique: Kris -“Ain’t No Sunshine”  was beautifully interpreted, so I have nothing to add that could make this performance better than it already was this week!  This number so suited your vocal style and I can only imagine how wonderful your CD will sound when you are given the freedom to select songs similar to “Ain’t no Sunshine“.

However, your second number, “What’s Goin’ On“, didn’t quite have the punch and pizzazz of “Ain’t No Sunshine“.  The overall performance lacked the dimension and creativity that I witnessed during “Ain’t no Sunshine“.

 You sang the number quite well, but, for me, the espressive qualities that we so enjoyed in “Ain’t No Sunshine” were missing from “What’s Goin’ On“.  The whole performance was extremely linear and one-dimensional.

Furthermore, the technical issues came creeping back into the picture – your jaw was noticeably tense and your mouth extremely horizontal, thus preventing you from accessing the full power in your diaphragmatic support system.

Also, you have to really watch when you are seated with a guitar, Kris . Make certain that you do not slouch, thus ensuring the elevation and openness of the rib cage.  By doing so, you will be more conscious of the diaphragmatic muscles and your support system will be more accessible. 

 And finally, we journey to “No Boundaries“. First of all, let me say that there is no way that the key could have been lowered – as many seemed to think – because you were experiencing technical issues with your lower range at the beginnning of this song.  Any lower and you would not have been heard!

The lower end of  your voice lacked focus and sounded off -center. You were really struggling for those notes and this is where your technical support would have made a difference. It would have guided you to dig deep and flex those muscles, thus rendering more presence and verve to your baritone voice.

Also, always remember that your articualtion must not disappear when singing through your lower range. In fact, it should increase and this increased clarity in your diction would have added energy and focus to your voice.

Additionally, by accessing the proper support in the earlier stages of this song, you would have fared better during the remainder of this number. Technical strength must be present from the minute you open your mouth. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to access later on in the number.

And, as the melodic line  moved along and ascended to your tenor range, this is  indeed what happened.  Your diaphragmatic muscles were not ready for the challenge and, as a result, I witnessed a great deal of facial cringing and tension in your upper body. 

In an effort to create a nuanced performance and expand your dynamic possibilities in this song, you accessed the wrong area of your body and, as a result, a visual and aural struggle ensued. You looked and sounded really uncomfortable.  And, again, that elevated head position made its appearance, as you struggled to reach for rather than sing over your upper notes.

Also, your mouth position was loving that inefficient “spread” position – particularly when you sang the word “boundaries” . Always remember, Kris, that a round mouth on all the vowels will increase the depth and uniformity of your voice through every level of the melodic line.

In closing, however, I would like to say how much I have enjoyed watching you grow in confidence and artistry on the American Idol stage. You truly are living a dream and I am so happy that your dream was realized. You are a sweet, caring, genuine and talented individual and it was a pleasure to wrtite these Vocal Masterclass articles for you.

Congratulations! You have now been “kristened” the American Idol Season 8! The future is yours! Bravo!

 For all the latest American Idol News, visit SirLinksalot: American Idol or the American Idol Official Site

Copyright © 2008. MasterclassLady.Com. All rights reserved.

 

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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

191 Responses to “American Idol Season 8 Top 2 Vocal Masterclass Article: Adam Lambert and Kris Allen”

  1. I want to thank you for these articles. I have been watching this show since the first season and yet only managed to find this site this year. How did I not find you before? You have added another dimension to my experience this year. Thank you again. I will definitely be back!

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  2. I agree with Cat. I ‘discovered’ your site only recently. It has been an addictive pleasure to read your insightful comments on the Idol singers’ performances. I can better understand and appreciate what I’ve enjoyed listening to. Thank you so much for taking the time to prepare these ‘reports’!

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  3. Another nice one MCL. I’m still sad about Adam’s loss, but I think this may have been the best thing to have happened to him. He will one day thank the regional voting of Arkansas!

    I just know in my heart that he will go on to be a huge star. He is my fave idol across all 8 seasons.

    If there was any consolation, he stood out in a major last night. He sang Beth in such a breathtaking way. That voice!!! And of equal importance, he looked like such a star on that stage. I never want to take my eyes off of him! He stood out BIG TIME and I think it was pretty obvious to anyone watching.

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  4. Hi Masterclass Lady;

    I have enjoyed your insights as well. I really am floored by Adam – he can sing anything. As a singer, I have learned more from listening to Adam than from voice lessons lately. He is not afraid of taking chances and his voice is so nuanced. That head/chest mix is unbelievable. When I hear him sing “come home” on youtube, I am in awe of him. How is it that someone can sing anything? From that Brigadoon to whole lotta love – it’s just too much. I hate American Idol because it is so cheesy, but I have to thank them for bringing this talented guy into my life – if not, ipod. America got scared and voted for the wholesome guy – that’s OK, Adam is an American Icon.

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  5. How did this happen people? I thought Adam had this in the bag….Oh….my heart hurts!

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  6. Thank you thank you MCL, for your wonderful critiques. I just subscribed to your youtube page – and was selfishly pleased to discover that you are a fellow-Canadian. ;-)

    Off-topic, but have you ever seen/heard the 12-member, self-conducted vocal ensemble ‘musica intima’?? I may be a tad biased as one of the members is an acquaintance of mine, but they are simply heavenly.

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  7. Could someone please tell me what song “Beth” is? So very confused.

    Thank you so much for this website MCL. It is wonderful for the audiophile to understand the ins and outs of the performances as well as to get a true critique. The insights into the technical aspects of the performances give us amateurs understanding of surface flaws (or triumphs).

    You are truly gracious lady!

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  8. Jessica T – “Beth” is the first song Adam sings before KISS rises up out of the stage behind him. It’s KISS’s signature power ballad. They haven’t sung it live since Peter Criss left the band. Beth is such a beautiful song, but with Adam’s vocals on it. Ah, no words. KISS is a lot of things but not known for their vocals.

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  9. I really liked KISS back in the day, but wasn’t a fan of “Beth”. Well, Adam changed THAT!

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  10. Thank you for your helpful comments to Adam and Kris, MCL. I hate to call them critiques because in my mind that word seems so negative, and you always offer suggestions in such a positive way.

    It seems like Season 8 just started, and now it’s done. I was really upset that Adam didn’t win, but I think it’s more for principle than anything. He is, imo, the most talented of the two (and then some), hands down. He will go on to bigger and better things, I’m just glad that we all got to “meet” him. He is truly one of a kind.

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  11. MCL, what little I know about singing I’ve learned in reading your critiques over the last six (?) years. With reference to Kris and “No Boundaries,” my first reaction as the song started was that it was too low for him, but when the judges started critiquing, I took what they said for granted and assumed that their assessment (that it was too high) was correct.

    Is it that the range required from the song was beyond Kris’ vocal abilities? Or can a range of a particular song require that you sing certain sections with X amount of chest voice and Y amount of head voice, and if you can’t put together the right combination, you can’t do the song justice? It seemed to me that he was working so hard and straining his vocal chords to do it, but i don’t know what this means from a technical point of view.

    I have taken away two main things from your commentary: the first is that the diaphragm is all important and affects so many things that you have to learn to harness it properly if you want anything else to work correctly; and the second is that lack of tension everywhere else is critical to producing good sound. Are these two elements the answer to my question above, or is there something else involved in Kris’ performance of “No Boundaries?”

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  12. Hey everyone!

    Thank you for your wonderful comments. During Season 8, your feedback has been tremendous and I have enjoyed conversing with all of you.

    Jeanne – in regard to Kris, I believe that I addressed the problems he was experiencing with his lower range. With proper technique and further attention to his articulation skills, he will combat many problems that he now experiencing with his voice.

    Most singers can get rather lazy with their technical support in the lower range and, additionally, the articulation of the lyrics tends to be a little sluggish as well.

    They have to remember to use the same energy and focus in EVERY part of their range and then the uneven quality and limitations in their vocal range will disappear.

    Anastasia – I will have to check out ‘musica intima’. Do you have a link to their site? I will google them in the meantime. Thanks so much

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  13. MCL, I think you probably did address the issues that Kris was having with his lower range, but since I don’t know as much about singing technique as you do, I just wanted to clarify some things. What is self-evident to you is not necessarily self-evident to me. But I know you are terribly busy and may not have the time to clarify it. I just thought I’d ask.

    One of the problems I have had with Kris is that I haven’t felt that his diction was always good (one of the things that Adam has been incredible at, although he has faded just a touch in the last two weeks.) And yet, if I am reading your critique correctly, you have felt that Kris’ diction has been immaculate, although the posting that I am now responding to refers to “further attention to his articulation skills,” which leaves me very confused, as it seems to contradict your earlier remarks.

    Perhaps I should do some reading on singing technique. I live in an area that does not have, to my knowledge, any singing coaches, so I am sort of flying blind here.

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  14. First of all, excellent final Masterclass, MCL! I enjoyed reading it.

    You know, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed last night very much. As much as I loved last season as a whole, I thought the finale last year was very dull. However, this season’s finale didn’t seem to drag on, and it kept my attention all the way up to its most excellent climax.

    First to Adam and his fans, it is no surprise to the regulars on here that I have never been a MASSIVE fan of his, but I was extremely proud of him last night. His performance with KISS was one of the highlights of the night, and I thought he had a very good attitude about the whole experience. I don’t know if I will rush out to buy his album, but I will definitely which his exploding career with great interest–and I just may even become a fan in time as well. God bless him!

    Now, on to Kris! I have to tell you . . . when Kris won I was so happy for him. He seemed so utterly shocked that he literally was at a loss for words. I believe it was that humility that really made this dark horse win it all. James 4: 10 says, “Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up”. I feel like Kris stayed humble this entire season and that God lifted him up all the way to the top! I am still a Danny fan through and through, but Kris proved to me this season that you DON’T have to have the best voice, most stylish clothing, or years of experience under your belt to win American Idol. Kris didn’t even have ANY screen time prior to the Top 36! Yet, he came out each week with a terrific attitude and humble spirit. All in all, on and off the stage, I can honestly say that he is worthy of the title AMERICAN IDOL! Can’t wait for his first album!

    Oh, and about “No Boundaries,” I downloaded Kris’s studio version of it today, and it is WORLDS better than his live performance! I actually REALLY like the song in fact! Kudos to Kara! Excellent job!

    Well, on to next season! Oh, why does January have to be SO FAR AWAY!?

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  15. Jeanne – my apologies. I think my brain is “fried’ right now and I am coming across extremely incoherent.

    What I meant was that Kris needed to pay further attention to the articulation of his words when singing through his lower range. 99% of the time. the clarity was excellent, but, in “No Boundaries” the diction suffered in the eraly stages of the song.

    Adam’s diction is always crystal clear – something that I failed to point to in my evaluation of him

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  16. I just wanted to thank you, MCL, for your wonderful commentary. I discovered your site some time after I stumbled upon Adam’s Mad World on YouTube and then began obsessively catching up on all things Adam and American Idol (I had never watched the show before, thinking that there wouldn’t be much music on it to my taste). Finding your site was *wonderful*, both because of its positive tone, and because it validated and helped me understand some of my visceral response to Adam’s voice. And yes, I went back and read all of your commentaries for virtually all the contestants all the way back to the beginning of Season 8 — and many of your readers’ comments as well. It was a great way to catch up on who everyone was, as well as how the show works.

    If I watch AI again next year your site will be the first I come to. Last night kind of reminded me one of the reasons I don’t watch AI, which is that I don’t always agree with America’s musical taste.:) However, I now can totally understand the excitement and joy of following aspiring singers on this journey, so who knows.

    I have been watching and rewatching the duet with Queen — or should I say, Adam’s amazing almost-solo performance! I think Kris is talented in his own way, and he’s grown on me (I enjoyed his duet with Urban), but clearly he’s not meant for that type of vocal. When Adam came in on the song, I literally got chills. It was as if some otherwordly creature had suddenly taken over. His voice is so incredibly powerful and clear and rich! And later, when he came in again solo on “it’s been no bed of roses,” then did whatever he did melodically, oh my gosh. For a second, I almost wondered whether he’d been holding back on the show, that is how incredibly powerful that was. Wow. I know you’re extremely busy, but it sure would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the technical aspects of both guys’ performances last night if you had the time and inclination.

    Again, thank you so much for this site and your fascinating commentary.

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  17. Another year, another Idol.

    I am happy for Kris of course, as he is such a nice humble guy and is not swayed by Simon to ditch his good values like humility and manners, for Simon’s preferred swagger and arrogance, which he mistakens for confidence. I think true confidence is the quiet confidence that Kris has and not the in your face confidence which may actually be insecuriy instead.

    However, that said, I was particularly rejoicing the way I would have if Adam had won. Oh well, everything happens for a reason.

    Here’s looking out for both Kris’ and Adam’s albums to be out real soon. Can’t wait.

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  18. Oops,corrigendum,in para 3, “…I wasn’t particularly rejoicing…”.

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  19. Hey, have you all heard about how Terri Seymour (Simon’s ex) got attacked by a crazed fan on Tuesday night? She was apparently nearly strangled by a fan who wanted to strike back at Simon for some way he supposedly treated Paula badly.

    You can read about it here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/eonline/20090521/en_tv_eo/125251

    I am glad Terri isn’t hurt too badly, and my thoughts and prayers go out to her. I am also pleased to see that Simon has been there for her as well. Good for him.

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  20. First–MCL, as always you have so much enhanced my enjoyment of AI with your wonderful analyses!! I love how much I learn, and how much better I am able to listen, as a result. So thank you, most sincerely!

    Now, I saw this on rickey.org this morning…it is quoted from Gene Simmons’ (from KISS) website (http://www.genesimmons.com/fanstories/index.html), in response to a fan asking Gene to help Adam get started in his “rock n roll career”:

    Response from Gene:
    Respectfully, I don’t think Adam is a rock singer. He sounds much more convincing singing ballads, and Broadway shows. His voice doesn’t seem to have a “rock quality.” But, I’m sure he’s going to do just fine.

    (Don’t start booing, Adam fans!! A little farther up the page, when asked whose career he’d invest in, Gene picked Adam…Personally, I think that he’d be wiser to invest in both, because both types of singers have their own audiences, but that’s a different discussion!)

    I brought this here because I thought it was interesting on a technical level…what do you think Simmons meant by “rock quality”, MCL? And do you think it is something Adam should cultivate or avoid? Myself, I would have said that he was bringing something new and fresh to the glam rock world…but then, I rarely listen to that kind of music, so I don’t know very much about it.

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  21. ReReader – i was just voicing this comment yesterday about Adam and the future of his “rockstar success” and I agree with Gene Simmons.

    With all due repsect to the rock stars out there, I think Adam has so much more to offer. He can basically sing anything and when a singer can transfer his vocal ability through many genres, that’s called Cabaret.

    Adam has said that he wants to bring a high degree of visual dimension to his future performances and, yes, many rock groups have very successfully done so.

    But, he loves Madonna and she is also a very visual artist and I think this is the road he wants to travel.

    We shall see, but I feel that his vision will be a creatively inspired one -broader than a glam rocker and we will, indoubtedly see him on the Broadway stage and silver screen.

    However, that being said, he more than solidified his ability to “hold his own” with both Queen and KISS during Wednesday evening’s telecast. Adam can and will be anything he chooses to be.

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  22. In reference to Gene’s comment, If he means that he doesn’t sound like a lead singer for a band like Kiss, then I say, “YIPPEEE”! Adam was the BEST part of that duet. I am biased, and for good reason. Adam can go in so many different directions, it’s ridiculous. The songs of Adam’s on my iPod range from “Whole Lotta Love” to “Is Anybody Listening?”, two very disparate genres, and he sounds equally amazing on both (let’s just say ALL). No matter which direction he goes, it’s his spirit, heart and personality he possesses that make the songs he performs “Adam” songs, whether I like the band/artist he’s working with or not.

    You’ll have to excuse me, I guess I’m still working through my feelings about Adam not winning….Thought I was over it, but I guess not. :(

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  23. MCL – I had no idea that’s what Cabaret meant. Thanks for the information!

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  24. Adam can and will be anything he chooses to be.

    I fully agree! I rather hope he does go in a broader direction–he is mad talented, and the more he widens his path, the broader the audience he is likely to attract.

    As for “cabaret”, I never did understand why Simon uses it as a putdown–it has always seemed to me the most difficult-to-pull off direction an artist can take, because it is not only wide-ranging but up-close-and-personal.

    I’ve also been enjoying the clips of Kris and Adam in the post-show interviews–it seems that neither can say enough nice things about the other, and anytime they are in the same room, they seem to forget they have an audience at all. It’s so heart-warming to see that they both realize that they are not in competition with each in any meaningful way…and that they love and support each other all the way.

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  25. RR – I hope Adam takes the Cabaret route and elevates it to a grander scale. I suspect that he may want to do this (fingers crossed) – but on his terms and with his vision.

    It is a very difficult field. One of my former students, Patricia O’Callaghan, has enjoyed international success as a cabaret artist. She is now mainly based in Canada, but was and still is well-known throughout the US and Europe.

    The music industry did not know how to manage her eclectic brand in a grand way and it is really too bad – she is outstanding and riveting to watch. she sings everything – from classical to rock to jazz to Broadway and does so flawlessly. It’s quite incredible.

    I am very proud of her -the talent was there from the moment she walked into my studio and she developed it through hard work and determination.

    Her website, http://www.patricia-ocallaghan.com, hasn’t been updated but I know she is extremely busy.

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  26. Thanks, MCL–I’ve bookmarked her site and will be checking it out over the weekend!!

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  27. All of the Idol contestants will be on Larry King Friday and Monday night —

    http://blog.realityshack.com/2009/05/22/american-idol-cast-on-larry-king-live/

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  28. Perhaps I’m way off base but at some point in the future I would not discount an acting career in film as well as stage for Adam.

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  29. Sylvia:

    Perhaps I’m way off base but at some point in the future I would not discount an acting career in film as well as stage for Adam.

    I totally agree.

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  30. MCL – here is musica intima’s site: http://www.musicaintima.org.
    You can listen to almost all the tracks on their CDs (6 to date) right on the site.

    I’ve seen them perform a number of times (a benefit of being in the same city!), in various venues from a small church to the Chan Centre at UBC. Wonderful!

    I would be very curious to hear[read] your impression. :-)

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  31. P.S. Getting back on topic! I totally agree that Adam is *far* too talented to front a band like KISS (and I thought Simmons et al sounded quite terrible by comparison).

    Adam has said that his goal in terms of the music he wants to make is a blend of different styles and genres, to create new things that haven’t been heard before; he wants to “shake things up”. A daunting task to be sure, but if anyone is up for the challenge, I think Adam is!

    Over the past 2-3 months I have almost worn out my youtube Adam-playlist (affectionately referred to as “All-Adam-All-The-Time”) on a daily basis; he has already done so many different things and I love it all. I cannot wait to see and hear what he comes up with!!

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  32. P.P.S. [I wish editing posts was possible, so I could quit spamming the board, hehe]. Re: musica intima – personal favourites of mine are ‘o magnum mysterium’ and ‘Ave Maria’, both from the nativité album.

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  33. Go to work for a day and look at all the fun you miss.

    Weelll…After two long days of wailing, bawling, howling and shaking my fists, Sayin “Why, Why couldn’t Adam have won, Why?” And making my family wish they had never heard the name Adam Lambert. I’ve come to a resolution; Adam is a rare bird that was never meant to be caged.

    I think he is better off with out the win. Not better off in the sense that; I really wanted to see that confetti falling on his head and hearing him sing that terrible coronation song, and being inducted into the American Idol Winners Circle along with my Taylor, better off. But better off in the sense that now he can choose his career path instead of having it chosen for him.

    I have also read where some people does not want to see Adam front a band. I think if given the opportunity to front Queen, well, let’s just say that I would be so happy I could just pee my pants! Our little Adam waling in the shoes of the great Freddie Mercury. That’s what dreams are made of.

    Now, on to Gene Simmons; He only wishes Adam wanted to front that “Geritol Poppin’ Gang” no offense to any KISS fan, but Please! In his dreams!!!

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  34. Spell Check Please…Long day at work.

    Our little Adam “Walking” in the shoes of the great Freddie Mercury”

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  35. I have been trying to catch up on the discussion here. So much information to absorb! Now I understand why I can listen to rock music when Adam sings it. It’s the very reason that Gene Simmons thinks Adam’s voice isn’t a rocker’s voice. That’s what I love about it! Ironic, isn’t it! Gene Simmons is talking about the typical rock singer’s voice, which tends to be rougher and raspier and more gravelly than Adam’s. But that’s the very reason that I don’t like listening to rock music. That kind of singing grates on my ears. Adam’s beautiful tenor just makes it so much more appealing to me.

    MCL, thank you for such an insightful reply regarding Adam’s future. My Mom said the other night that she can see Adam in movies. I hope so! The possibilities are endless. Also, thank you for explaining the meaning of “cabaret”. I never understood it. I think it describes Adam perfectly. That’s one of the reasons that he was so different from the typical Idol contestant. He doesn’t fit into any specific genre of music. He showed that he can sing just about anything. He defies categorization. I have been afraid that he will not succeed in the music industry for precisely the same reason as Patricia O’Callaghan. He doesn’t fit just one type of music. That has been my only worry about Adam. He was too big for Idol and may be too big and unique for the music industry. I hope he can be a huge success and do it HIS way.

    Vonnie –

    I went through much the same thing as you. But now I am feeling much happier with how it all played out. I think Adam has captured this moment. The media loves him, everyone is talking about him and it can only lead to great things. Adam spoke about his brief bout with depression last year, when he felt that he couldn’t break through in the music industry. Now everyboy knows him, he is internationally famous and his future looks so bright.
    I guess that saying I love so much really is true – everything happens for a reason. Adam is on his way. I would have so loved to see him win, but in the grand scheme of things it will all work out well for him.

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  36. Adam has said that his goal in terms of the music he wants to make is a blend of different styles and genres, to create new things that haven’t been heard before; he wants to “shake things up”. A daunting task to be sure, but if anyone is up for the challenge, I think Adam is!

    (Excited MCL here!) Anastasia – where did you see the above quote? This is what I envisioned for Adam and would like to have a link to the article or forum where this quote was very initiated.

    Thank you so much and thank you as well for the link to music intima. I look forward to hearing their music very much.

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  37. MCL – I believe I saw/heard him state his wishes/intentions for his musical future in a couple of places – taped interviews and the weekly “confessionals” that he recorded. *SO*, it’s first-hand info rather than a reporter-paraphrased soundbite. I don’t have an iphone so I saw the confessionals on youtube (for the most part) – most of which Freemantle promptly yank every time someone puts them up. I will take a look through my various links etc. when I get home from work to see if I can find them.

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  38. Thanks so much Anastasia. I will try searching as well.

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  39. MCL – Okay, I haven’t left work yet, but I found it! http://www.vimeo.com/4172817
    He starts talking about the kind of album he wants to do at the 1:34 mark, with this: “…So an Adam Lambert album would probably be slightly umm, schizophrenic…” LOL

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen other clips/interviews where he has mentioned the topic as well, but this is the one I always remember the best.

    I also love this clip: http://www.vimeo.com/4402523, where he talks about song choice on the show. The best part is near the end where talks about the judges’ reaction to ‘Ring of Fire’, referring to Simon – he says “…he also called it ‘self-indulgent’ – which I kind of think is…[slight rolling of the eyes] the *point* of the show…..” Too funny!

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  40. By the way, have you seen this performance of ‘Crazy’ on NYE @ Upright? At about the 1:18 mark Adam goes into a deeper voice than I *ever* thought he was capable of (baritone, I think?).

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  41. Thanks so much Anastasia. Have to go out now, but will check the links later. Yea!

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  42. A couple of comments about Adam’s future as a singer:

    I understand that Simmons may not see Adam fronting a band like Kiss, but rock is such a broad category that I don’t have a problem seeing him as a front man for a band like Bon Jovi, where the vocal is less raspy, or simply being a solo artist a la Prince.

    The Prince analogy is appropriate, I think, because Adam is not an artist who is going to fit someone else’s mold — he’s going to create his own. There are certain people who break molds and create new ones (we call them geniuses.) Musically, you can think of Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn was great, but he didn’t create anything new; the other two did. Fast forward to the 20th century, and you’ve got the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (and whoever in the 50s; a little bit before my time, I’m afraid.)

    I could give more examples, but I’m sure you get the point.

    What is fascinating to me, though, is the need to pigeonhole him. It’s never occurred to me to do so; I just love to listen to him!

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  43. MCL, I have lurked at your site for a while now, and while I understand this season of Idol has understandably been the focus of your blog, last season will always be my favorite. And that’s actually why I’m coming out of the shadows to post– specifically in reference to David Cook’s live performance for charity of “Permanent” on Wednesday night.

    Because of an Itunes delay, the charity performance was not available until late Thursday afternoon. In the meantime, the album version of Permanent skyrocketed up Itunes, and currently sits at #7.

    That’s great for David, but it’s likely that some of these downloaders thought they were making a donation to the cancer research site, and they actually weren’t. Also, once Itunes FINALLY got it up, there was almost zero promo for it on Itunes front page.

    Through a word-of-mouth Net campign, fans managed to get the charity version as high as #13. Twitters from Jordin Sparks and David Archuleta were especially helpful to this end.

    But, it recently slipped a spot, and it’s IMPERATIVE that we get it to #10, so it will appear on the Itunes front page “top songs” list along with the studio version. The reason for this is that it’s likely that at least some people are looking at the top ten list and seeing “Permanent” and believing they are making a donation, when they in fact are not. If both versions are on the list, then people should be able to distinguish between them.

    The reason I’m writing this lengthy post is to ask you to help by posting a blog entry or twittering or whatever you can do to spread the word, so that people will download the song and more importantly the RIGHT version.

    This is not about promoting Cook. If people aren’t Cook fans, then they can delete the file after buy it. But, a simple $.99 download can help fund research to find a cure for cancer. And as I said, if we can just get it into the top ten, then there’s a much better chance that downloaders will direct their money to the right source.

    There are three ways that people who want to download can get to the page for the correct version of the performance:

    1. On the Itunes Idol page, they finally put up a rotating banner, where a link to the performance flashes in rotation with other finale performances

    2. If you scroll WAY down to the bottom of the front page, Itunes has a link to the performance under the “What We’re Listening To” section

    3. If you just use the search function and type in “Permanent charity”, you should be able to find it.

    Thanks for any help you can provide, so we can make try to make up for lost time and money that could have been maximized to raise funds to find a cure. (And if you wanted review or “Masterclass” David’s moving performance, that would be interesting to read too!) Regards.

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  44. Yep, Simmons may not see him fronting KISS but Brian May from Queen has said he would like to work with Adam:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/05/22/exclusive-queens-brian-may-ponders-american-idol-adam-lambert-as-new-frontman

    Certainly, hope that and do not think Adam will ever go this route. But what a compliment.

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  45. Jaye, rest assured that I definitely downloaded Cook’s charity version of “Permanent”! It’s a win-win situation for me. I love the song, and I am honored to be able to support an excellent cause in honor of Adam Cook and so many other courageous individuals struggling with cancer. I am glad David Archuleta and Jordin Sparks are really encouraging others to support the cause as well! Come on, everyone! Go to iTunes and spend a buck on something very worthwhile!

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  46. Katherinesmom May 22, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I’m so happy for Kris. It’ll be interesting to see his growth as a performer and singer- hopefully he’ll incorporate MCL’s helpful suggestions! Good luck to all the Idols! I wish I could see the tour but I guess I’ll use the money to buy all the CDs, lol. Got to support the music!

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  47. Hello. I need to address the issue of who won American Idol. Admittedly, I just started watching AI 2 weeks ago & I most likely not be watching it again – I can’t afford that kind of time commitment on a weekly basis. However, what happened this year was just plain wrong. Don’t get me wrong – Kris is a wonderful singer, a great performer, a fine human being – but how could he have won over Adam Lambert who week after week after week gave us performances of power, talent, imagination & energy that this 54-year-old woman has only seen a few times before (based on review of all the downloaded videos)? The reason tha Kris won is that the AI voting system is fundamentally flawed. Period. What can you say about a system that allows people to vote for 4 hours straight & maybe you get through & maybe you don’t & maybe you can text if you have an AT&T phone? And maybe you can steal a contest if you just have the right technology? But it’s done now and it won’t be changed and those of us who admire Adam and want the best for him just want to move forward.

    I have been taking singing lessons on a weekly basis for the past seven years. I work with a teacher widely considered to be excellent & I consider myself very lucky to be his student. Both he & I are in awe of Adam although my teacher does recognize some significant issues in Adam’s modification of vowels and occasional emergence of pronounced diphthongs. I actually think the problem in the final note of Mad World in the earlier performance was a vowel problem – he should have opened more to the “ou” in ought – but he was able to rescue it amazingly well and even trying to hit it in that setting – quietly slipping into it at the end of a song – was an amazing act of courage- I could be wrong about this but I think most countertenors would need to sing that note – I believe it was a “D” at least at a mezzoforte level).

    I am troubled that there seems to be an acceptance in this forum that the contest was “fair”. It was not. But again, it’s over. I am disappointed that the results did not reflect the reality. Thank you for listening to me rant – I appreciate.

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  48. Me again. I just realized I was wrong in what I said in the above post. He should have opened to the “oo” in “book” not the “ou” in ought. Sorry. Thanks for letting me share. I really am happy for Kris. But Adam was the winner.

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  49. cookie monster May 22, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Hey there! Jaye – I was wondering what was happening with David’s song as I wanted to download the charity version. I absolutely LOVED it – and how he changed it up a little by making that near-end part more rock. I will definitely try to download this after I finish here.

    One other thing – about Adam and “rock”. I was just wondering if Queen is considered a Rock band? Or Led Zeplin? I always thought of these bands as rock and I TOTALLY see Adam going that route. Whatever the case I really love what Jeanne said about Adam’s future. Could he possibly be one of these geniuses that begin this whole new genre of music and music performance?

    One last thing about Queen because ever since I saw the musical “We Will Rock You” I am a HUGE HUGE Queen fan. I thought the Queen performance with Adam and Kris was so amazing and I thought it was absolutley perfect how Kris sang the lower part of the song and Adam took the part that went higher. Each part suited their particular voice so well. Can we download this performance somewhere? Itunes?
    I even heard an interviewer ask Adam if he was going to be the new front man for Queen and he said “I plead the fifth”. Oh my goodness!! Does this mean he was approached?

    And I just read over Lynn’s comment. Oops. Maybe we don’t think the same way. Ha! Have a good night all!

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  50. cookie monster May 22, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Maybe I’ll just add that although I’d like to see Adam be the frontman for Queen I would MUCH RATHER PREFER a solo career for him. I want to see what Adam will do as Adam and not as a member of a band.

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  51. Cookie monster,

    Go up and read the article that Lynn has provided the link for, it is Brian May from Queen talking about Adam. It is a great read!

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  52. ooops! cookie monster,

    forgot to say; scroll down and then read the Article in the related stories about Adam talks Idol Finale, or something like that anyway, he talks about what route he wants to take with his career.

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  53. Jaye – a new article has been added about David Cook, as requested. It was a pleasure and an honor to write this article. Thanks for your help and for sending along all the pertinent information

    Here you go: http://masterclasslady.com/2008/03/08/well-hello-david-cook-and-welcome-to-american-idol-season-7-top-12/

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  54. Darlene wrote: “I am troubled that there seems to be an acceptance in this forum that the contest was “fair”. It was not. But again, it’s over. I am disappointed that the results did not reflect the reality. Thank you for listening to me rant – I appreciate.”

    Hey, Darlene, look I know how you feel. I was horribly upset that Danny got voted off last week, and I wanted someone to blame. Last season (though I dearly loved it as a whole) I simply could not believe that Cook (who I do really like) beat out Archuleta. To me, it was an absolute travesty that Archuleta did not win. I wanted to say that the show’s system was “unfair”. However, after a little while, all of that anger left me, and I realized how silly those thoughts were. Maybe Archuleta DID deserve to win. Likewise, maybe Adam DID as well. But in the end, it comes down to an opinion. Personally, I liked Kris more than Adam (no offense), and was thrilled to see him win (though I would’ve preferred Gokey). There really isn’t anything unfair about the system if you think about it. The show lets America decide, and America DOES just that. Kris won American Idol because that is what the majority of America wanted, and in this country majority rules. Admittedly, it is not fun to be in the minority, but that doesn’t make it unfair. Adam AND Kris are both extraordinarily talented, and they BOTH have stellar careers ahead of them. I say just be happy for both of them and (as hard as it may be for you) accept America’s decision and have faith that it made the right one. That’s tough sometimes, I know, but you WILL feel better once you do that. I know from firsthand experience.

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  55. Thanks, MCL! I was hoping you would write something about that! Yay!

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  56. Darlene,

    You are not alone in feeling that way; the system is definitely flawed. For instance, in the northern state that I live in we cannot use AT&T Go Phones because of no service in my area. So any contestant from my state wouldn’t have a prayer. And how fair is it that a sponsor of the show hands out free phones to voters and then teaches then how to power text.

    The majority of America does not even watch this competition and many, many would not be caught dead watching. I actually watched on and off for approximately 7 years very casually, never voted, and only voted this year because of Adam. It is a voting competition or should I say marathon. I will never ever vote again. Just too much work.

    But oh well, I feel that Kris and Adam have both won. Where would they be without Idol. It is definitely a great platform for them to kick off their careers. Congrats to both.

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  57. Hi one time post. I am an Adam lover. I followed Constantine and first found this wonderful blog back then. Adam gave me a new obsession. I feel that the voting system is inherently unfair, it is the communities that can rally and do the best job at ‘power’ voting. I dont mind that America votes, but I think there is very small handful of ‘fanatics’ which I will say describes me at this moment who decide the winner. I wonder who would win this coveted title, if it were a one person one vote system most of the viewing public I’m guessing do not vote at all. However, I will remember this season as a wonderful experience of a group of terrific young persons who were so gracious and supportive of each other. (Even though my heart was broken too). Loved all the expertise that I found here. thank you everyone

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  58. Didn’t we all learn in school that life isn’t fair, that votes aren’t fair? Were prom queen votes ever fair? Were Student Council president elections ever fair? Heck, was Al Gore’s loss of Florida fair?

    I think if you are a true fan of an AI contestant, you have to accept the voting for what it is. The contestants jumped in the ring knowing the rules and the possibility of unfair things happening.

    Adam and Kris gave us all a lesson in genuineness. Adam was open-hearted and congratulatory in losing, and Kris was modest and grateful in winning. Two more gentlemanly figures, albeit polar opposites in self and style, could not be more worthy.

    YES, Led Zepplin and Queen are rock bands! Zepplin is the progenitor of hard rock genre, I’d say. Queen is Queen – I don’t think you can put them in a genre! I think Adam would make an awesome frontman for bands of different genres. I could see him in a rock-alternative band like U2 or REM (I see Michael Stipe and Mike Mills echoed in Adam and Kris in terms of personality and vocal role), a more punk-alternative band (The Clash, Green Day, The Smiths), a vocally-oriented rock band (INXS, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears), or aesthically-oriented or “story/rock opera” bands like The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Queen, The Who, Pink Floyd (The Wall – could you see him playing “Pink” – Bob Geldof’s role?).

    I think Adam would benefit from a contrasting voice (in tone and register) for harmony. I think of Lennon-McCartney, Stipe-Mills, Bono-Edge, Waters-Gilmour, help me with some more vocal pairs …

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  59. Lynn wrote: “I feel that Kris and Adam have both won. Where would they be without Idol. It is definitely a great platform for them to kick off their careers. Congrats to both.”

    Now, THAT is the right kind of attitude to have! Well said, Lynn. I completely agree!

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  60. My goodness, Lynn we were thinking the same thing at the same time. just read your post

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  61. Jessica T wrote: “I think if you are a true fan of an AI contestant, you have to accept the voting for what it is. The contestants jumped in the ring knowing the rules and the possibility of unfair things happening.”

    Brilliantly worded, Jessica. I could not have said it better myself!

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  62. Jeanne – Let me take a shot at answering your “range” question. =) I feel that you’re grasping at some of the right concepts with your questions. I feel that more generally, your question is: what limits a person’s comfortable singing range? Then you mention the factors of chest versus head voice balance, diaphragmatic support, and tension and ask whether those elements adequately explain the question of range and comfort.

    All righty, so if you remember, singing on the level of the vocal cordds is mainly the coordination of several different muscles working together (and different manipulations of the vocal tract). The key to having a “free” voice is to maintain a balance between all these muscles—to activate the right muscles to the proper degrees and to deactivate the unhelpful ones. “Constriction” occurs when there’s an imbalance between these muscles. One possible kind of constriction occurs when a singer has the right muscles activated (a good head/chest balance) but ALSO activates unhelpful ones. The vocal cords do not vibrate optimally when there’s an imbalance/extra tension, so the constrictor muscles are activated in an attempt to help, but this just makes everything in the throat very tight. Here is a simply worded article that explains this.

    I feel that this type of constriction is Kris’ main problem. His head/chest balance is actually quite good most of the time, which is why his tone is so gorgeous and full despite the tension. On the contrary, many people who suffer from tension also lack “head resonance” in their tones (so their voices are imbalanced in multiple ways!), which makes their voices sound reedy and unpleasant.

    You’ll notice in the article that the writer mentions an improper amount of air pressure as a common source of tension. Air pressure is related to diaphragmatic support. You don’t want your tiny vocal cords having to resist all that air; you want your whole body to do so! This resistance in the body is also called “support.” (It’s also called a body “hook-up” or “connection” because that’s what support feels like. When I’m supporting correctly, I feel completely in tune with my body.)

    Now, the range of “No Boundaries” covers a little over an octave and a half, and easily with training, Kris can freely vocalize in this span of notes and more. Currently, though, he is constricting in his higher notes because he is tensing up and trying to push the sound out from his throat, rather than relaxing those contrictor muscles and relying on diaphragmatic support. If he works on correcting this, he will no longer need to strain on those notes. Bottom line: You had all the elements in your post, Jeanne; you just needed to put them together! Hope this helps. =)

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  63. As for the lower range issues, I believe MCL addressed this. With lower notes, the main issue tends to be lack of focus, so to be able to project lower notes better, a singer needs to support them properly.

    Also, I should add that the key to support, as my friend says, is “to give the right amount of air pressure for any given note.” Over-supporting doesn’t do a singer much good either because then the singer has too much air going through the vocal cords (and then constriction can occur, etc.). When a singer becomes more “in tune” with his or her body support system, he or she starts to gain an intuitive sense of what the right amount of air pressure for any given note is, and this is developed over time. ;)

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  64. Hi MCL and all participants,
    I want to thank all of you for the great discussions and generous information sharing. I could’ve never imagined that I would learn do much, from both questions and answers… I feel priviledged to have witnessed the birth of the iconic star, and your companionship and wisdom were invaluable in this journey. I do hope that this forum will continue beyond AI 8, and that we will be following the respective careers of our favorites together.

    It took me about a day to recover from the “voting results” shock, but I now truly believe that it is a win-win-win-loose outcome: Adam – better off without the “AI winner” stigma, especially in the rock world, he gets relative freedom and full freedom faster; Kris gets the title that will enormously help his future in the industry; AI wins by getting 2 stars instead of one (which would’ve been the case had Adam won) and the only looser is America (I am sad to say), as we do look collectively “stupid” in the eyes of the whole world.

    On a side note: we are planning to have a Glamberts picnic next Sat. in Central Park in Manhattan. Please let me know if you are in the area and interested and I’ll get you the details (you can send me a Personal Message on the AI Adam forum – I use the same name as here).

    I want to mention that I am enjoying the “interview” rounds, I love seeing the comaradery and genuine affection among AI 8 contestants and especially between Adam and Kris! They are wonderful!
    And of course the best of luck to them all!!!

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  65. Hey guys, here’s the article about Adam’s pushing for a lot of creative control and wants to break out the industry by mixing up styles on the album. Adam really knows what he wants and knows his music. Can’t wait!

    http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/american-idol-runner-up-adam-lambert-thrilled-1003976209.story

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  66. cookiemonster May 23, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Thanks Lena; Adam said:

    “My view of the record industry is that it’s a little too specific; the labels tend to try and put one box around every artist and keep them in one genre,” says Lambert. “We don’t really have to go about it that way. Obviously we want the album to have a cohesive sound, but I think it can be a collection of different styles with me at the center of it. Everyone knows I’m singing, so that’s the common thread.”

    How cool!! Can’t wait

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  67. Don’t have time to go into all the details about the victory of Kris. I urge everyone to go Yahoo and its homepage and read Clay Aikens post…and yes ignore is opinion of Adam and Kris …he admits never saw more than one of thier performances but his take on the direction tha AI has taken in the last 4 years from a show for real people….undiscovered with RAW untapped talent and allowed to grow and shine to a show that has become more about slick productions and polished performers. He also says that the voters have gotten it right every year including his. Many other insights from a man who has been thru the process and feels that Kris and his victory was the only just and fair outcome. I would like to read some feed back about his post.

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  68. MCL, what a fine article you have written regarding these two talented young men. I do believe this season has been a joy for you to critique! Such a diverse array of Idol hopefuls, highlighted by Adam’s unique talents and Kris’ sweet soul. As always, it has been a pleasure to read your articles. Even after five years, there have been surprises. You must have an opportunity to meet Adam, Kris, and the other Idol contestsants.

    This season has seen your blog expand with many new participants and a shared number of viewpoints. It has been enlightening with all the spirited discussions. It will be good to see many return to “our” community for the next season. Thank you for all you have done in making this the best AI blog around!!

    Prayers continue for your Mother, wishes for a happy (smooth-running) wedding, and a lovely Grandbaby this fall.

    Hugs,
    Kariann

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  69. Adam said:

    “My view of the record industry is that it’s a little too specific; the labels tend to try and put one box around every artist and keep them in one genre,” says Lambert. “We don’t really have to go about it that way. Obviously we want the album to have a cohesive sound, but I think it can be a collection of different styles with me at the center of it. Everyone knows I’m singing, so that’s the common thread.”

    Yippee – my Cabaret Idol is born! I knew it! He is going to be a master of all the genres and take it to an International level. Cabaret wil no longer be small – it will be HUGE! So excited here!

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  70. KariAnn – thank you for your kind words and best wishes for all my personal events. You have been an enormously dedicated reader and participant of this site and I fully appreciate your continued support and encouragement.

    I have been extremely overwhelmed by the depth of commentary this season. It was and, hopefully, will continue to be extremely diverse and intellectual in content and spirit.

    I am looking forward to the next season already, but extremely anxious to see what fate has in store for Adam, Kris and the rest. And, of course, Season 7 will always hold a special place in my heart.

    Thanks again KariAnn :) xo

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  71. Hi – I’m heading off to sing in a concert with my church choir – I think these posts are absolutely brilliant & I so appreciate the feedback. I was reflecting on my comments yesterday (I am a little less sleep deprived today which is a good thing) that the only reason I can even have a discussion about Adam’s vowel choices is that his diction is so incredibly good, it sets the bar SO much higher. I am going to sit down tomorrow & write a letter to him about the value of singing in languages other than English. Wouldn’t he sound amazing in French (the language I’m currently tackling with intermittent success – Faure’s setting of “Icibas” and his amazing setting of “The Ruins of the Abbey” (Blanking on the French on that one) – good stuff. In my opinion (and please feel free to knock me off my platform on this one) 5-10 minutes of Vaccai every day would be SO helpful to Adam – the Italian vowels would allow him to preserve his voice for as long as it can – I know this is a little dramatic but I would love to hear his voice on the radio or on my iPod with new stuff when I am on my deathbed. Finally, I thought Kris & Adam were amazing on LKL last night – what consummate gentleman, I hope they are able to begin a lifetime friendship (I’m pretty sure they will). OK, enough for now, must go, thanks for letting me share.

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  72. richard lee,

    I read the article by Clay Akin…I’m not a happy camper!

    I will not go into what I actually feel about it…Clay is the last person in this world that should be dissin’ Adam. For him to say that he and Reuben were worthy to be on that stage and leaving the air that no one else since is???……Only my thoughts!

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  73. J, that is SOOO helpful. It is very interesting to me how singing technique actually works — I’m going to have to do some more reading on it (and maybe a little practical work on it myself will really help to make the concepts clear.) Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions of a neophyte. I really appreciate it!

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  74. richard lee,

    Clay’s got an awfully long blog for someone who admits that all he really knows about the two finalists is one song that he didn’t particularly like. I don’t know that I’d have the guts to express so many opinions based on so little information. In a case like this, it’s usually better to keep them to oneself.

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  75. I’m sorry if this is repeated information (I tried to check and didn’t find anything, but I may have missed it), but I thought people might want to know that Adam’s official website has opened. There are already hundreds and hundreds of moving and supportive comments there. Including mine — lol, I couldn’t help it and joined and wrote a huge comment expressing my feelings about Adam and his music. Here’s the url: http://adamofficial.com/ The initial “welcome” post is the one that hundreds of people have attached comments to.

    I think it’s a great tribute to Adam (and Kris) that almost all the comments are positive and not dwelling on the negative. Adam has made it very clear that that is what he wants, and Kris has made it easy to want the best for him, even if one was rooting for Adam. What a shining example, on both guys’ parts. I will admit to being saddened and angry at the results — not angry at Kris, but at America — but realized quite quickly that that was not productive. The actions, words and behavior of both guys have, in my opinion, been one of the most mature and generous things I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve been around for a while.:) Kudos to them for showing the way.

    Along with thanking Adam for massively enriching my life with music, I also expressed my gratitude to him for gently but firmly standing up for the “weird kids” of the world (I work with teens), and for exhibiting nothing but kindness, generosity and utter class throughout the season and especially since the finale. I also decided what the heck, and expressed my fond hope (which I know MCL shares) that Adam not restrict himself to one genre, though I also said I was guessing he’d wouldn’t, since his judgment and self-knowledge has been so stellar.

    One thing that’s pretty awesome is how so many of the comments are from all over the world. I think we all suspected that Adam would be popular worldwide, and if the comments are any indication, that’s definitely going to be true!

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  76. Clay needs a serious reality check. There are a lot of good therapists in New York City. I urge him to see one. And I can say that with a little more credibility because I’m a psychiatrist and I also see a psychiatrist. Then again, he probably already sees one; in that case he might need to consider a change. Let’s not talk about Clay any more. Let’s talk about Adam & about music & where this amazing artist is going to go next. He has been pretty clear that he wants to record & I think that is exactly the right thing for him to do first. His studio recordings (non-videos) of “Tracks of My Tears”, the redo of “Feeling Good”, “Cryin”…you name it – absolutely mind-blowing. THat’s a record that I would wake up to & go to bed by. It’s a wonderful time to be alive.

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  77. Addendum: or does he live in Raleigh? If that is the case, I know someone very, very good in Raleigh. End of Clay comments, I rest my case.

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  78. Just read where Clay has posted SOMEWHAT of an apology to Adam. Says he based his criticism solely on “Ring of Fire”.

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  79. I have stayed away pretty much, still trying to come to term with Adam’s loss. I thought I was okay, but when I realized I still wasn’t I just decided to take a little breather to get myself together. I have two people to whom I wish to respond.

    Jeanne – I LOVED your post about Adam’s future prospects! I loved the analogy with Prince and Bon Jovi. I also thought your thoughts about Adam being a true musical genius along the lines of a Mozart or Beethoven, was truly brilliant. It is hard to categorize or pigeonhole true musical brilliance. When someone comes along who is one in a million, unique, extraordinary, out of the box, then I think there is a tendency to pull away or try to put them in a convenient, safe place. You just can’t put Adam in any kind of specific box or place. He has changed this show and I sincerely hope he will be able to change the face of music today.

    Darlene –

    Thank you for having the courage to address the issue of Idol’s voting system. I wanted to come here and say the exact same thing, but to be honest I was afraid of offending people. So I stayed silent. The persistent stories about what happened with the voting is one reason why I am struggling to come to terms with Adam’s loss. I wish I had been able to post what I really thought the way you did.

    Yes, I know very well that life is unfair. But that’ doesn’t make it okay to have a flawed voting system that could take something away from someone who has earned and deserved it. I have always disliked Idol’s voting system, but I don’t see them changing it. But I finally realized that it’s a waste of precious energy to continue to focus on it. I have to move on and just let it go. What helps is seeing how wonderfully Adam is handling his loss. He has managed to turn it around and make it something positive. Congratulations to him! I have learned a lot watching this young man. He is a generous, kind, loving soul. He seems to be totally okay with the result and truly happy for Kris.

    Finally, I really enjoyed reading Bryan May’s comments about Adam. What an incredible compliment! Now I know I wasn’t imagining it when I saw him looking at Adam while they were performing, and thought I saw a look of complete amazement on his face. Adam will certainly have a lot of career options ahead, but for Bryan May to hint at a serious discussion about having Adam be their lead singer, is just the icing on the cake.

    I am hopeful that I have now come to a place of peace with all of this. It’s been consuming me and I want to be able to put it to rest, for my own sake. Seeing Adam so happy and relaxed and just fine with everything, has helped me to get to a better place.

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  80. Clays blog really said little about Adam or Kris and thier merit he admited that he had seen little to none of thier performances. The main thrust of the blog was to point out that AI has changed over the years from a reality show that featured raw talent pretty much with an even field of experience ..real amatuers to a show that has become a slick production featuring polished entertainers with years of professional experience. Vonnie did you read the same blog? He did not say that no one worthy has been on the stage since season in fact he said that American has gotten it right every year including the year they chose Ruben over him… you need to re-read the blog. Darlene…what in this blog makes you think he needs a therapist…because he saw only a few minutes of the show this year …and has an opinion different from yours? And your a psychiatrist who sees a psychiatrist who wants someone else to see a psychiatrist….ok.
    I am gonna ramble a bit here and get a few things off my chest. Yes Adam is super talented but lets get real here he is not the second coming there are hundreds of performers like him out there. No we have not seen some one with this level of professionalism before because as Clay said the amateur aspect of the shows original concept has morphed to more of a showcase for the polished professional over the last few years. You can almost gage the ratings decline of AI as this agenda gets pushed harder each year. There are other places to showcase professional polished performers…Simon has AMERICAS GOT TALENT for one …as the charm and cinderella aspect of the show has gotten lost so have many of the viewers tired of the crass manipulation of the show.

    I am one of those viewers that if things don’t change will not be viewing AI with as much intensity. I and many others have not in past seasons and would not in any season vote for someone who is a seasoned professional competing against amatuers no matter how much they impressed me this is not the right venue for them and its not fair. Melinda Dolittle was my favorite from season 6 but I did not vote for her because of her professional background…but I have her new cd and believe that Jordin earned the title that year. Did anyone watch GLEE that followed AI …some of the cast on that show have amazing voices …the lead female and the flamboyant male students would give Adam a run for his money if not blow him off the stage…so maybe if the pilot doesn’t get picked up AI would like to have them try out for the show because as far as I can tell ..AI would consider them as acceptable as long as they don’t have a CURRENT RECORDING CONTRACT. Putting a seasoned polished professional …Adam Lambert …up against 16 year old amatuers would abe like being invited to compete in THE GOLDEN GLOVES boxing event and finding out you where gonna fight Mike Tyson…every one in the stands would cry not fair and they would be right.

    AI is not a singing contest it is a reality show/singing/contest/entertianment/freak show/whatever hybrid ..where viewers vote for who they like and want to see stick around another week and when it comes down to the final two the viewers support …vote …for who they think …many things considered …and it rarely comes down to who has the best techinical vocal skills…earned or deserves or they want to win and he who gets the most votes wins..no right no wrong thats just the way it is. No need to get your panites in an uproar just because your favorite didn’t win …somebody very talented usally wins and the runners up don’t do so bad either

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  81. sorry for the typos ect…having problems with the window jumping around..will continue my rant

    The other aspect that is turning viewers away is the extreme manipulation that the show has been using..some of this applies to Danny Lil, Scott …as well as Adam. Now again I will state Adman and Danny are very talented thats a given.
    Take a contestant show thier audition …create a large profile piece..show them getting thier golden ticket…give them as much screentime as you can..state over and over again from the very beginning that they will be in the finals..give them more facetime..stack the semi-finals so the chosen ones don’t go face to face and are a shoe in for the top 12 then have the show /judges pic 4 out of the top 12…then change the rule and let them pic 5 out of 13. So when it all comes down to it we the voters ..picked…without them being pimped/shoed in only 4 of the 13 on our own if even that many..they kinda pressured us on Jasmime …Now…start the you move mountians praise for thier performances …make sure they get the vote bloating last performance of the night pimp spot as often as they can…give em lots of stage magic… create a new rule that if we stupid voters get it wrong you’ll correct us and when after all this TCO start to faulter tell us to vote vote vote for them. Oh and when some of the amatuers who could use some repectful kinda crituqe to help them imporove are subjected to horse play from the judges..classy. And if you are a judge by all means on behalf of a contestant personally make it your duty to get a song cleared for them …or hell if that doesn’t work write one for em. And on finals night pic a song for one artist to sing that he has never done before..Kris ..WHATS GOING ON.. and pick one that the other has done in his act before..Adam …A CHANGE IS GONNA COME…then all but tell the unchosen one and the viewers at home.. we’ve made up our minds please do as we say.

    Kris had 9 seconds of screen time before the semi-finals but from his MAN IN THE MIRROR performance there was a glimmer something that got him into the top 12/13. Starting from a modest beginning he quickly learned the ropes gained confidence and performing skills and then started to suprise us with some of his musical choices and direction. He had one or two minor setbacks but always keep stiving and improving…and impressing then stunned us with HEARTLESS..and propelled himself into the finals.Yes Adam is supremely talented and has awesome skills and would def be one of the most polished and accomplished Idols ever but given all that he was up against and how he embodies the orignal spirt of AI Kris earned and deserved the title American Idol and as Clay would said ….every year America gets it right.

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  82. Richard, Your “rant” (as you yourself called it) was exactly that and a dissapointment to read… anyone saying that there are lots of people that can do what Adam does is highly misguided… sorry…perhaps you need to educate yourself – the best place to start is to read everything MCL wrote about Adam right here on this site.

    One question to you: how many people you think can do what our current crowned American Idol can do?

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  83. Richard, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your “rant”! LOL

    I agree completely with EVERYTHING you said. Though I admit to be a Danny fan through and through, I have enjoyed watching Kris this season as he rose from obscurity and won it all. He didn’t have a lot of screen time, stylish clothes, or a decade of experience, but he stayed humble and good-hearted all the way through. It is the classic story of the underdog defeating the more polished individual. I am SO happy that Kris (the Rocky Balboa) of this season won! Thank you, America, for getting it right!

    Oh, and richard, feel free to “rant” any time you wish!

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  84. I don’t have time to respond completely to the “rants,” but would like to point out something that Kris and Adam said in an an interview together. I can’t find the interview right now (I’ll look for it after church if necessary), but in response to a question about their prior experience, Adam pointed out that Kris had experience singing in bars and clubs, and Kris agreed, with the comment: “I have just as much experience as Adam, except for his being in the cast of Wicked.” So please stop trying to make this a contest between a professional and an amateur.

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  85. Thank you, Karen, for that good point. I know that Kris has had SOME experience, but I just think that Adam has been the frontrunnner ALL season and most everybody’s favorite. Therefore, it is kind of cool to see someone like Kris come out of nowhere and claim the title. Look, they’re both extremely talented and I happy for both of them.

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  86. richard lee,

    I went back an re-read the article…maybe you and I didn’t read the same one, not sure, but I highlighted some of the things Clay said in the article as well as found another that I thought was very interesting and may play a HUGE part in why Clay is dissin’ Adam and American Idol.

    First let me say though, that if you are truly looking for a raw talented Idol, then Jason Castro is your man, he is the only one (I think) who never sang in public before coming to the show, by all rights he should have won! According to your assement of idol. Clay never heard Kris sing, so how does he know America got it right!

    I’m not trying to argue with you on any point that you’ve made, I respect your rights to your opinions, you put the question out there, so I answered based on my right to my opinion.

    Here is my highlighted version of Clay’s article, as well as the other article I found.

    Clay Aiken Trashes American Idol, Adam Lambert.
    Last night millions of American Idol fans tuned in to watch the show’s season finale. But you know who didn’t?—-Clay Aiken, who basically trashed everything about Idol today on the subscription-only message board of his website, going so far as to say Adam Lambert made his ears bleed!
    Here’s how Aiken responded today to a generic “what did you think about the show?” question posed by a fan on the site:
    Now that it’s all over, and for the record…. I couldn’t be happier about the way AI ended this year. I only turn the show on once a season, and only to see what the set looks like each year. This year, I happened to turn it during the minute that Adam Lambert was singing “Ring of Fire” and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed. Contrived, awful, and slightly frightening! I wasn’t really a fan and found myself surprised whenever folks told me that they liked him. Granted, I never saw another performance (and many folks who I trust said that he was great) but I can’t imagine I would have enjoyed it. Just not my cup of tea at all. To each his own. I never saw Kris sing on the show, but whether he was good or not is really relative. It’s usually a matter of taste, right? But Idol is not always a matter of musical taste only. It’s about the person you like. From what little I saw, Kris seemed likable. (That’s not to say that Adam isn’t just as likable as anyone.. maybe more so… I don’t know) When Ruben and I were standing next to each other every night (many years ago) you had two equally talented, equally unlikely, equally unpolished contestants…. so it really was a matter of taste as to who was voted for
    I was the nerdy little girly boy who some didn’t want to see win, so they may have voted for Ruben. I don’t know. .. But again, I feel that Ruben and I were fairly matched. We both had our detractors and negatives, but I feel we were both very worthy of being on that stage in that moment, and either of us would have been worthy of winning. The show was different then, and folks made it in seasons 1-3 because they were “real” people who happened to sing/entertain well. But, somewhere along the way, AI stopped being about real people.
    Those votes for Kris were also votes to return the show to its roots of finding “real” contestants with undiscovered talent and giving them the chance to grow and shine. They were votes that said “we’re tired of seeing contestants who already seem to know it all”.
    “Enough with the pretention. More Rubens, more Clays, more Fantasias and Tamyras and Kellys please.”

    However, we can’t help but wonder if it’s derived from the fact that Idol producers recently did everything they could to crush Aiken’s dream of doing a duet with Lambert. Hmmm, you think?

    BY BILL ZWECKER Sun-Times Columnist
    Though it looks likely Adam Lambert will be the next ”American Idol” winner, ex-”Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken already is reaching out to Lambert — looking to team up with the edgy singer for a possible duets album and concert tour.
    That was just one reason for the backstage tension on the ”Idol” set in Hollywood last week, when Aiken showed up unannounced but expecting the VIP treatment. ”I don’t know why Clay felt that way,” said a show staffer who has been on board since the reality talent show was launched. ”Everyone knows — and certainly Clay knows — he’s persona non grata around here.”
    Clay Aiken showed up unannounced but expecting the VIP treatment on the “American Idol” set last week.
    (AP)
    The reason for the ”Idol” folks’ lack of affection for Aiken is related to his being the first show contestant to dump 19 Entertainment, the management company that handles all the recording deals, merchandising, tours, sponsorship, film deal and virtually all aspects of all things ”American Idol”-related.
    ”And not only did he drop 19 Entertainment, but everyone knows he also talked Kelly Clarkson into dropping us, too,” said the staff member.
    ”To say the least, it was tense around here when Clay showed up — and boy, did they hustle him off the premises as fast as possible. If he didn’t get the hint after that — he never will.”

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  87. I’d like to expand a little on my earlier post about the similar levels of experience between Kris and Adam. Some of the criticisms leveled at Adam are that he is too professional for this show, and that he is voice only and doesn’t play any instruments, as some of the others do. I would just like to point out that Adam considers his voice to be his instrument, and has devoted much time and effort in perfecting it. Some of the other contestants, including Kris, have spread their time and effort over learning/perfecting several musical instruments, sometimes with the result that they are proficient, but not spectacular, with a variety of instruments. This has been a matter of personal choice and those CHOICES should not be a basis for comparison. IMHO, it is the RESULT of those choices that should be used to compare the contestants. And because musical preference is subjective, some people will choose one result over another, which is what keeps the world from becoming a boring place .. *smile*

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  88. I Think Kris was being very gracious in saying they have the same performance experience..singing in bars and clubs in Arkansa is not the same as experience in stage craft learned in professional productions on stage and in and around LA. Check out some of Adams ZODIAC club performances ..very slick very professional. How do you think Admam came to his level of shownmanship I assure you it was not singing in a bars now I applaud his honing his craft and working hard but lets get real and be objective Adam is a professional and I bet you the majority of viewers felt this way…now some not have cared but I bet you many longtime viewers did and care not to support the inculsion of professionals on AI.

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  89. Regarding the issue of Adam’s level of professional experience: I’m probably going to get a little bit emotional here & say: I don’t care. To be honest, I am not a long time watcher of AI, nor do I think I will be able to develop into one because I simply can’t devote that kind of time. If it took AI to bring this wonderful, amazing, talented artist to light, so be it. He earned his place on that stage and went on to earn it week after week after week (have watched every single video multiple times). I respect Kris, I think he’s a great guy & a wonderful artist, he is the one who will benefit most from winning, Adam Lambert did not need the win. And the other problem with this question – where would you draw the line? Where does “amateur” end and “professional” begin? But, again, I personally don’t care – I respect your right to care, Richard – but in my opinion, this will never happen again – we have been blessed and fortunate to watch the birth of something that I think will be as big as Elvis, as big as the Beatles, a quantum leap forward. I hope I’m right – I think I am – I’m 54 years old (as of Wednesday) & have been watching life progress for a long time now. Good luck to Kris & all the other Idols, but I will be watching what Adam Lambert does (and I also hope to see Allison Iraheta do well – what a talent in a 17-year old!!).

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  90. Addendum: This will never happen again in my lifetime. Maybe in yours but not in mine.

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  91. Let me start by apologizing for the length of this post. First, to the Master Class Lady – I have to thank you for allowing these discussions to be posted – many are certainly off-topic in regard to vocal issues. But at the same time, clearly nothing exists in a vacuum – ever. My singing teacher, whom I clearly idolize :o), often says that the difference between playing an instrument and singing is that with singing, the human body is the instrument and anything that impacts the human body – emotion, sleep, stress – will effect singing. And I think the result of this year’s Idol is one of those complicated scenarios – so many things impacted on the result.

    It seems odd to me at this point that there is so much grousing regarding Adam’s professionalism, his style, his song choices. Adam lost. Can we let that part of it rest? Yes, Adam in many ways is a professional – but anyone who watches him perform, watches the videos, can see that he absolutely loves to perform, that his focus is to elevate people, to make them smile, to make life a little more joyous for them than it might have been before. You can see that in the Cabaret videos. You can see it in everything that he does. You can see it in the way he interacts with the other contestants. If he is faking any of that, then he is a better actor than anyone out there today in that profession. I don’t think that’s the case at all. But I have read a lot of comments implying that there is something “fake” about Adam.

    To Mindy: Thank you for your response to my concerns regarding the voting system. I have tried to sort the whole thing out in my head since the result became known on Wednesday but I think the bottom line is that I don’t understand enough about phone technology to make any sense of it. Adam had 3 lines, Kris had 3 lines. Some people could text, some couldn’t. Certainly Adam’s fans had equal access to AT&T phones compared to Kris’s fans. Danny was very popular, obviously – he made it to 3rd – and Danny’s fans by nature would gravitate to Kris. Adam’s comment on LKL that he had mentally prepared himself for Kris’s win showed (to me) incredible maturity and grace – and one of the major factors that he thought played into the result was Danny’s fans as the “wild card”. Adam also said some other incredibly insightful things about the result – & again, if those comments were somehow scripted, he’ll have his Oscar very soon – that it came down to his being something entirely different, unexpected, and that he would not appeal to everyone, and that certainly is true – and Thank God for that.

    Having said that, I think that my own experience with voting (having never done it before – and again, I just have to mention that I’m 53 going on 54 & that staying up until 1 AM voting – I had a 8AM dentist appointment the next morning in which I totally lost it – it was just so important to me that Adam win – I have to admit now, with 5 days space between Tuesday & today, a little too important – smile – was sheer torture. I intend in a bit to write a letter directly to AI encouraging them to reassess their voting system to make it more accurate – it must be possible to limit phone calls from one number (although I personally have 3 cells phones – true, one’s personal, one’s work, & one is work emergency – & a land line – but still, should I have been able to vote 250 times (rough estimate, didn’t count each vote)? And if I could vote 250 times from a single land-line – turned out that was the most efficient way to vote, my personal cell (Sprint) was useless, what might someone else be able to do if they could generate phone calls faster?

    In the long run, the thing that is most important in my mind is this: that Kris Allen & Adam Lambert stay healthy, that they stay safe, that they both have rewarding careers doing whatever it is they want to do, that they have as much fun as possible – not that life is all about fun, obviously it’s not – but it is through having fun that both will be able to share their joy with other people – those of us that adore Adam will enjoy him, those of you who enjoy Kris will cherish his CD’s, downloads and life performances. What comes to mind in the context of how important it is to be having fun while performing is a concert that I went to probably about 15 years ago with the Eagles. Don Henley looked absolutely miserable during that concert & it absolutely affected my experience. A while back I went to a local concert given by a soprano. Wonderful voice but it was painful to watch her – this is something my singing teacher has said to me from time to time – she looked like some important organ was being removed while she was singing (in my own case, it was the liver).

    This next statement reflects my chronic anxiety – mostly controllable with positive self-talk but occasionally it flares. I am the kind of person who has to go back into the house a lot of make sure that the coffee pot is turned off – I usually only have to go back in once. I am little worried about both Kris’s and Adam’s safety – given the level of emotion that has been stirred up by all this – not many musicians have been killed by crazed fans but it could happen. Let’s honor these two talented men but trying to be kind to both of them.

    OK, thank you for listening.

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  92. Addendum: There was supposed to a smile after the statement about my idolizing my singing teacher – clearly I suck at textual emoticons, I probably just need to avoid them for now.

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  93. richard lee:

    The vote is over. You can continue to be angry about it, which won’t bother any of the contestants or the producers in the least. The only one who will feel your anger is – you.

    American Idol’s producers have chosen to draw the “professional” line at whether or not someone has a major record label deal. The fact that we see more “professionals” in recent years than in the early years is probably a function of AI growth in credibility in the “professional” ranks.

    If you want to produce your own show, you can set different rules, but since it is still 19E’s show, they will continue to set rules that they think are in their own best interests, and since everyone – including the audience – knows those rules going in, I don’t see anything unfair about it.

    And since the “less” professional person won – what’s the big deal?

    If you want to say, “I enjoyed it more when I thought the contestants were rank amateurs,” I think that’s a perfectly legitimate comment. But to rail against the producers because they don’t happen to agree with you seems – well, silly to me.

    To Galen: At church today, I got a little gift from God that I thought I’d share with you:

    To reach Love, you have to pass through Acceptance.

    It isn’t about whether or not other people can find their way to acceptance (of whatever), but rather about whether or not we can accept the fact that those others may not yet be able to accept what we can, and whether we can forgive them for that.

    To move on to the music:

    After church today, we went to brunch and some of the music that was playing was salsa. Or meringue. I have no idea. It was Latin. But as I was listening to it, I started moving exactly the way Danny moves, and I absolutely got his connection to Latin music. You know, when I heard him say that he hadn’t heard most of the songs he sang on AI before, I assumed (given his background) that he tended to listen strictly to Christian music (which comes in enough varieties to satisfy any musical taste.) It wasn’t until after he was voted off that I heard him speak about his wife’s preference for Latin music and how much he had come to love it and wants to incorporate it into his own music.

    It also explains why I don’t have the problem that Kara does with his dancing – I understand those moves.

    It also makes me excited to hear what he might do, because some Latin music is just too Latin for my tastes – it’s sort of like seasoning – sometimes a little goes a long way. So a modified version could be really cool.

    I was thinking about this in part because I realized that Kris is the only one of the top 5 about whom I can say that I think I know what to expect from them in the future. Everything Kris sang sounded like Kris and like no one else (and I like that sound a lot, so I’m hoping that put good composers with him and the result is stellar.) Danny I wasn’t sure about because I couldn’t imagine the combo of Latin and R&B, but now I can (although Marc Anthony’s “I Need to Know” probably hits close to the mark.)

    Allison I’m a little concerned about, because she has the kind of rock’n’roll voice I grew up with, but no one (current) is making music like that. Are they even writing the kind of songs she was born to sing these days? Or what would today’s music with an Allison twist sound like?

    Adam, of course, is a crapshoot because he is such a chameleon. But I don’t think he’ll go with Queen (at least, not on a permanent basis), because I think that as much as he admires them, he isn’t going to be satisfied doing covers, even covers of Freddie Mercury. He doesn’t “like to blend in”; to join an existing band would be tantamount to that.

    As for Matt, I’m not sure whether he will get a record deal or not. The dude’s got talent, but he has to decide what kind of artist he wants to be, and I don’t think he’s done that yet. Maybe being free of the need to please the judges and America will help him with that. The question is: will a label be willing to take a chance on that? For one CD, maybe.

    Who else will get a record deal? Well, Kristy Lee Cook is the third artist from Season 7 to get a record deal, and if Josh Gracin could find a career in country, I’m sure Michael Sarver, who is a better singer, can. Jorge Nunez ought to find success in Puerto Rico – his sound is solidly Puerto Rican, and he has a beautiful instrument, I think.

    I’m afraid to make this next comment, because I know how much MCL likes Scott, and heaven knows she knows tons about singing and I know next to nothing. But I’ve never liked his voice and was disappointed that he made the top 13 over some other singers. It lacks, for me, a clarity that I apparently feel is important. The best way I can describe it is to say that it sounds like the voice is trying to escape his throat, but something is holding it back. Almost as if he is swallowing it, if that makes any sense. However, the fact that MCL (and I’m sure others) like his voice, combined with his sight issues (I’m not trying to “blame” his success on his disability, but Americans do like people who overcome challenges) says to me that he is apt to get at least one CD out.

    The one who I am sorriest about is Alexis Grace. I really felt that she left us too early. Just shows how important song choice is; choose the wrong one on the right week, and you may be hitting the road.

    Anyway, it will be interesting to hear what they all do!

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  94. Jeanne, as I have said before, your posts are a joy to read. Thank you so much for sharing that “gift from God” with me today. You want to know something really cool? The sermon at my church today was quite similar to that message! Coincidence? I think not!

    What you said about Danny (and all of the contestants) could not be right. I see Danny coming out with some music sort of similar to Marc Anthony’s. “I Need To Know” is a perfect example of the kind of sound his album is probably going to have. I admit that I also hope a few of his songs also have a Christian vibe to them, as I think he could really connect emotionally with them.

    I expect truly GREAT things to come from all of this year’s crop of contestants! I can’t wait!

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  95. Jeanne, the first line of my second paragraph should have been:

    “What you said about Danny (and all of the contestants) could not be MORE right!”

    Sorry about the typo. It completely changed the meaning of that sentence! LOL

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  96. lol Jeanne I am not angry not at all I …Like Clay…think the voters get it right every year and this year they voted my choice thru…I couldn’t be happier. I was just trying address the angry Adam fans that besides talent there are many factors that determine the winner and point out that the produceres I feel are killing the gooose that laid the golden egg with all the maniupulation and changes they are enacting. One of my alltime favorite shows sorry if I go overboard trying to keep it true to its original and percieved purpose.

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  97. I certainly know what you mean about how many changes could be weakening the show, richard. Here’s some of the changes that have occured this season and my thoughts on them.

    1. Top 36 as opposed to a Top 24: I didn’t like this change at all. The Top 24 format allowed the people to get to know all of the singers much better and allowed the contestants more performances than the Top 36 format did. This year by the time the Top 13 (not 12) were chosen, I felt like I still did not know hardly any of the singers at all really, having only seen them perform once before.

    2. Top 13 as opposed to a Top 12: Really, I don’t mind this change THAT much. It didn’t really affect the proceedings of this season at all in my opinion. Top 12 or Top 13, it really is the same thing overall.

    3. Unbalanced Gender Ratio in Top 13: This was one change that I admit to liking very much, and I honestly hope it continues into the next season. It has always bugged me how Idol always tended to divide the Top 12 into an even number of males and female. Here is the reality. A lot of great talents gets left behind with that kind of system all in some dumb effort to keep the show balanced gender-wise. The Top 12/Top 13 should consist of the BEST 12 or 13 singers of that season. Period. Gender should have absolutely NOTHING to do with it. Only talent.

    4. Wild Card Round: I admit to kind liking this round. It is fun, a pleasant change of pace, and gives the judges one last burst of power before the finalists are chosen. I truly wish this Wild Card factor could somehow be incorporated into the Top 24 format! That would be the greatest format EVER!

    5. Judges’ Save: Okay, let me begin by saying that this concept certainly amounted to a more exciting and unpredictable results night. I admit that there was a part of me that liked the drama this Save brought with it. Plus, I do agree with the Judges’ decision to save Matt. Sorry to those who disagree, but I preferred him much more than Alexis (though she is very talented for sure). However, in retrospect, I am just not sure this Save should continue into the next season. I think part of what makes American Idol fun is the chance of there being a Shocker elimination at some point in the season. It shakes things up and puts a fire under the voters to vote harder the rest of the season. I believe that when we reach the Top 12 or Top 13, the contestants’ fates should be entirely up to America, regardless of whether or not America screws up a few weeks along the way.

    6. Four Judges: I do not mind Kara as much as I thought I would, and she certainly a little bit on me as this season progressed. However, I just think there is an undeniable chemistry between Simon, Paula, and Randy that just plain WORKS! Why fix what isn’t broken? Still, with Paula considering quitting next season (I pray she doesn’t), we may very well end up with THREE judges again next season, with Kara smoothly replacing Paula. I just want three judges again, however that may play out.

    7. Duets: I LOVED these this season and I hope they continue into the next season! Danny and Kris’s “Renegade” performance was one of my favorites out of the ENTIRE season! “Slow Ride” was terrific as well. I like this change VERY much.

    8. No Idol Gives Back: Well, I think it has been confirmed that Idol Gives Back will be a part of next season, so I am very happy. Something just felt WRONG this year without it. It does so much good that I felt it was selfish of Fox to do without it this year. Plus, I LOVE the inspirational songs that are always performed on that week! Oh, how Danny would’ve LOVED that week. I bet Kris probably would’ve enjoyed it as well.

    9. The Mansion: Okay, totally not necessary and a WASTE of money. Take a wreaking ball to it and leave it behind in Season 8.

    That’s all I can think of for now.

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  98. Richard, who are you talking to when you say “you can continue to be angry?” It’s not clear. THe viewers get it right? Who defines right? I probably should not feed this line of debate any more because I will not be watching Idol again. It has given me what I have been looking for – an amazing talent & voice & I don’t think it could possibly get any better. Sorry. Although a few years ago, I didn’t think it could get any better than Susan Graham – and then I discovered Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (who unfortunately died in 2006) and now I am going on a cruise to Alaska in August/September with the amazing mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato. My life is not defined by American Idol, and I sincerely hope yours isn’t either. But frankly, there is no one – no one – like Adam Lambert. And I will not comment on Clay Aiken – not worth my finger energy.

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  99. Addendum – I don’t seem to be able to get my thoughts into one post – the word “right” really bothers me. “Right”??? Must be a “wrong” then. How about “the American public voted for the singer they liked better”? And how about “the people who voted for the runner-up count too?” In this country, we are obsessed with winners – the Super Bowl is a great example – doesn’t it count for something that you even got to the Super Bowl? But wait…you didn’t win.

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  100. Sorry – I goofed. I thought Richard was asking a question when in fact Jeanne was making a comment. So sorry. Obviously I’m still quite emotional about this whole thing – I need to get a full night of sleep, that hasn’t happened since Monday night, the most I’ve gotten is 6 hours & I’m an 8-hour girl.

    Life is short. I was this close to seeing Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in 2004 – I had tickets to see her at Kennedy Center – she cancelled because of back problems which in retrospect was metastatic breast cancer. If you want an incredible vocal experience, download “I Hear You Calling” from Baghdad Cafe, album “Recital at Ravinia” – it is her 3rd encore after an incredible program – it is very short but it will yank your heart out. It is clear from listening to it and listening to her other song choices that she knew she was dying. She was only 52. So I have seen Joyce DiDonato 3 times – once in Atlanta, twice in New York – and I don’t want to look back & regret that I missed one chance at seeing her. You can check her out at http://www.joycedidonato.com.

    Part of where I’m coming from is outside of the AI experience. I hope you can forgive me for excess. What I feel when I hear Adam’s voice is something that I can’t put into words. It’s an incredible instrument, an incredible gift. I am blessed to be able to hear it. And for that I am grateful to AI.

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  101. Richard Lee said “I Think Kris was being very gracious in saying they have the same performance experience”

    Actually, I believe what Kris said was that he and Adam had had the *amount* of previous experience, just that he [Kris] hadn’t been in ‘Wicked’. There’s a difference.

    Most Idol competitors (at least in the past 2-3 seasons, but I’m sure there were many in earlier years) have been ‘professional’ singers in one way or another. The only difference between everyone else and Adam is that audience members have taped a lot of his performances and the clips have ended up on youtube, so there is just more ‘Adam’ stuff to find out there in cyberspace. Time to do some deep breathing and move past it. ;-)

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  102. Galen … I don’t have a problem with most of your suggestions, but I disagree about the mansion. There have been many comments by Idol staff and the contestants themselves that this year’s group got along better than any previous season, and contestants have attributed that to living together in the mansion, giving them a better opportunity to get to know each other and bond. Too easy to separate into cliques when being lodging in hotels.

    Also, a change I would like to see next season is getting rid of the multiple voting. America didn’t vote for the singer they liked best … power voters did. Many people who didn’t understand the whole power texting concept thought their few votes counted, but they really didn’t. 1 person x 1000 votes is meaningless; 1 vote x 1000 people says something.

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  103. richard lee,

    I’m sorry if I overreacted. I find Clay’s remarks so irresponsible and disappointing that perhaps I couldn’t see beyond them to your points. Thanks for clarifying.

    Let me give you a more reasoned response. First, I think Darlene’s point is a good one: where do you draw the line in terms of “professional”? As someone who used to make a living as an actress, I will say that getting paid for your work doesn’t necessarily make you the sort of “professional” that some people seem to dislike on AI. Since they are looking for a recording artist, saying that contestants cannot have had a deal with a major record label is a measurable restriction. To try to make it broader would be subjective, I think. Playing small clubs years can give you the chance to hone your skills just as much as larger clubs. Performing in the chorus of a show like “Wicked,” where you’re doing the same thing night after night for two years (except for the 3 times you get to fill in for a supporting role) doesn’t necessarily give you a leg up on other contestants, and given the hard time the judges have given contestants over the years for being “Broadway,” I’m not sure that that can be said to be an advantage, either.

    If we were to eliminate singers with any kind of training, we would lose Ruben Studdard, Constantine Maroulis, and Katherine McPhee, all of whom went to college majoring in vocal performance or musical theater. How many of the other contestants have taken voice lessons in their lives? And if they have, should they be allowed to compete against someone like Megan Joy, who has zero experience or training?

    You see how muddy this can become.

    Raising the age in Season 4 brought us Constantine Maroulis and Bo Bice, both of whom brought professional experience with them. Taylor Hicks and David Cook also had performed professionally, and again, it was partly an age thing. But I liked them raising the age because, quite honestly, I want to see at least a few people who know what they’re doing in terms of performance. And apparently, with respect to the last two, America did not begrudge them their professional experience.

    Chris Daughtry also had plenty of band experience. I’d hate to have missed all of these singers because they were too professional.

    On the other hand, Carly Smithson and Michael Whatshisname (I’m sorry, I can never remember it) were both slammed for being professionals and both made early exits. But quite honestly, I thought both were missing “It,” and I don’t think either of them would have won even if there hadn’t been professional backlash against them.

    Why do I watch AI? Four reasons.

    One is that I love listening to good voices, and I know that there are voices – like Clay’s – that I would never get the chance to hear without AI. Even if they don’t make it professionally after the show, I love having the chance to hear them on it.

    Two is that I love watching the singers grow. There is always at least one contestant who shows remarkable and noticeable growth throughout the season. Kimberly Locke is a great example of this. In the Top 12, I thought she should have been the first to go; I hated her version of “Heat Wave.” But she had won me over in a big way by the time she got to the end. Kris Allen is another example of someone who showed a glimmer of something early on that grew into a really solid string of identifiable and (oops) professional-quality performances.

    Three is that, as a performer, I am fascinated by what makes stars. I find that when we get to the final 36, there seem to be so many people who have a solid chance, but once we get to the top 12, 11, and 10, you begin to realize that there is a big difference between having a great voice and having what it takes to have a very successful career in this business. AI is a great opportunity for the Lockes and Allens of the world, whose appeal is not as readily apparent, but for most of the others, separating the wheat from the chaff can be done in a matter of seconds. (I’ve also learned that being successful really is about knowing and being true to yourself. Carly and Michael would be more successful, I think, if they stopped trying to be Stars and just relaxed into being themselves.)

    It has helped me to understand, in hindsight, that while I am a really good actress, I was always destined to be chaff.

    Lastly, I watch AI because I want to be entertained. I want a couple of people each season who have the whole package: talent, performance skills, and charisma. I want someone to make me stop ironing.

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  104. As I am rereading my post, it suddenly hits me! Would the journeys of Kimberly Locke, Elliot Yamin, and Kris Allen be nearly as meaningful and fun to watch if there wasn’t someone more polished in their seasons to compare them to and to root for them to beat? Seen in that light, I think the variety of backgrounds is actually an advantage.

    Galen, I think they probably skipped “Idol Gives Back” because of the recession. With lots of people out of jobs, they probably didn’t want to remind them of that fact. When the economy improves, it will be back.

    I also think that three judges — whoever they are — is the right number. But I do find it interesting that THIS is the year that Paula finally became lucid (and consequently, one of the best judges.) Who knew?

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  105. Karen wrote: “There have been many comments by Idol staff and the contestants themselves that this year’s group got along better than any previous season, and contestants have attributed that to living together in the mansion, giving them a better opportunity to get to know each other and bond. Too easy to separate into cliques when being lodging in hotels.”

    Wow! Is that true, Karen? I have to be honest, I thought last year the contestants got along fantastically. I never heard of any disputes between them at all last year. However, I have recently heard of a lot of supposed friction between Adam and Michael Sarver. I personally believe all of that is blown WAY out of proportion, but I don’t know for sure. They all seemed to get along fine on the show and in the interviews. However, there just seems to be a bit of tension between some of them this season, or so people claim.

    Still, it gladdens my heart to hear that the majority of those rumors are most likely erroneous. I am happy to hear that (despite what I have heard) the contestants got along great this year. I guess if the mansion makes them a tighter bunch, then maybe they SHOULD keep it next season.

    Thank you, Karen, for that information. Good stuff!

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  106. Oh, and good point, Jeanne, about Idol Gives Back! I am certain the economy played a part in its absence this season as well.

    About Paula, I also noticed her being more lucid this season. Go figure. Maybe Kara brought out the best in her. Who knows? Anyway, I do really like her and I hope she sticks around.

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  107. Overall, the Season 7 Top 10 were a much more cohesive group. There was a wonderful, positive camaraderie between the singers. I saw the love that existed between all of them at the “meet and greet” party in Toronto Ontario Canada. It was genuine and strong. Youc an’t fake that – it’s just there!

    And, don’t forget, many of the singers last season were young -David Archuleta, Ramiele, Jason were under the age of 20 and many of singers were bonded by their faith – Brooke, David A., Jason. And David Cook was like David Archuleta’s big brother. Carly was like a big sister to all – it was just a wonderfully rounded group of singers with great diversity in vocal style.

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  108. This very possibly could have already been shared as there is so much commentary on the site this year (which is a good thing) that my eyes get tired. So I’m apologize if it has bee. But if not….enjoy Adam’s version of “The Prayer”:

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  109. Hi Soccer:

    Yes, I have seen this at some point, but it does bear repeating. My only regret is that we did not see enough of this kind of performance from Adam. He did give vulnerable performances, but they were not aimed at Middle America and so it may have cost him some voters over the long term.

    But Adam is this precious gem -a rare commodity in the music industry. He is an eclectic, sophisticated artist with a vision and his vision is too extraordinary for the American Idol stage.

    However, on a global basis, his vision is a perfect fit. It’s only a matter of time!

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  110. To Galen: After watching both this and last year, I noticed that, while the contestants got along, it was really the two Davids who were what I would call chummy. When Matt was saved, it was quite obvious that his fellow contestants had bonded very well with him and liked him very much as a person. I believe it’s more than a coincidence that they lived in the mansion together in regards to how well they get along. There has been a noticeable connection between Kris and Adam, they seem like they’ve been friends for years, I’m not sure this would have happened if they had not had the opportunity to share space for those weeks. It’s possible, but probably not as likely. I like the comaraderie of the contestants this year, it helped me a lot in getting over the fact that Adam did not win, to know that he and Kris have so much respect for each other. I guess I haven’t really picked up on any tension between anyone. It could be that those who were together longer just have a stronger bond. Adam and Allison are also quite close; and Allison looks to Kris, Adam, and Danny as she would older brothers.

    The Michael/Adam thing, I believe, stems from a video that Michael posted during the week where the top 13 were doing rehearsals together for the finale, and there was reference to two guys loving each other in “the Godly way.” He was referring to his own friendship with Danny Gokey. A lot of people, perhaps myself included, felt that he was taking a shot at Adam. I don’t want to get into a religious debate here. This is what I understand from the situation. If anyone has better information, please let me know. I think it’s sad, myself, and I feel sorry for Adam that he has to deal with all of that on top of the pressure that he was already under. No one else was ever questioned about their sexual preferences. This topic has been beaten to death, so I’ll stop, just my two cents. :(

    nica-I wish I could go to the picnic for the Glamberts on Wednesday! Does this coincide with his Regis and Kelly guest spot? I’ll be stuck here in Minnesota, but will be there in spirit! ;) Also, I agree that there is noone, not anywhere, who is like Adam. He is one in a gazillion.

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  111. Oops! forgot to mention:
    If anyone is interested, and I’m sorry if someone has mentioned this before (there is an incredible number of posts in this thread!) but iTunes has “Is Anybody Listening?” up for Adam as an audio recording. It’s sooo nice! I had audio from a uTube video before, but this is so much richer and fuller. Not sure how much longer they’ll be up.

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  112. MCL-sorry for the triple post! I’m happy that the Season 7 contestants were a tight group, too. I only went by what I saw on tv. I didn’t read the blogs at all last year (well except for Slezak), and I think that it’s a great way to get the behind the scenes info that you don’t see on tv.

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  113. MCL, I totally agree with you. I just feel like Season 7 was the most cohesive bunch ever. I also was blessed to be able to see them live when they performed during their tour last summer. We have tickets to go see the Season 8 bunch this year, and I have a question for you. You mentioned that you got to experience a “meet and greet” with the Idols. How does someone go about getting a “meet and greet”? Is there some sort of contest or do you have to pay more money? I am just curious, because even though we were able to get the Idols’ autographs last season, we would have LOVED to have been part of the
    meet and greet”. Anyway, thanks for whatever info you can give me!

    Sparky, thank you for your post as well. I definitely can understand what you mean about how there was a camaraderie between a lot of the contestants this year. The way they were all screaming for Matt to be saved was evidence of that. They’re a good bunch of people, and I look forward to hopefully meeting them during the tour.

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  114. soccor247 –

    Thank you So much for posting that performance of The Prayer. I e-mailed the link to my Mom and she called me this morning to let me know that she watched it. She loves Adam and was raving about it. I knew she would enjoy it. It brought me to tears. I do wish we had seen more of this from Adam during this season.

    I have one comment regarding Clay’s boorish comments -he’s jealous of Adam! Period! ‘Nuff said about him.

    I have read most of the comments, in particular the discussion about Adam’s so-called professionalism as opposed to the Kris and the other idols. I have read the rants, lively discussions and now I am ready to give my point of view.

    The following is the story that I saw on this season of Idol –

    On the very first night of the Top 13, a young man came out and did a rousing, inspiring rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”. I immediately sat upright in my chair and found myself unable to take my eyes off him. My very first thought was – early Elvis! No one has EVER reminded me of Elvis before. Never. I knew in that moment that I was seeing something extraordinary. Adam commanded the stage like no one I have seen in recent memory. He displayed the same attitude and confidence and charisma as the one and only Elvis.

    Once I heard “Ring of Fire”, well that’s when I knew Adam also had a voice like no other. I thought of Freddie Mercury when I heard his tremendous range and that gorgeous head voice/falsetto. I knew I was going to watch this season to the very end. What I absolutely loved about Adam was his fearlessness. I was in awe of his artistic integrity. Here was this guy with his jet black dyed shag haircut, complete with cobalt blue highlights, guyliner and outrageous outfits. Yes, he was way outside my comfort zone, but there was no way I could resist his magic spell.

    I also came to learn about his personal life, his sexuality, shall we say. Those controversial pictures surfaced fairly early on in the final competition. I thought for sure that he would be gone. He was way too different, too controversial, too far out of the AI mold. But, surprise of surprises, he stayed. Week after week, he thrilled us by displaying a range of styles and vocal virtuosos unlike anyone else. I watched as he always managed to be polite, well-mannered, poised and gracious. He was treading in unfamiliar territory and doing it with ease.

    I learned a lot more about him. He was a young man with hopes and dreams who had been toiling in obscurity for years. He tried theater and stage work, all the while perfecting his God given vocal instrument. He struggled with despair and a brief bout of depression last year. This was his own admission in a confessional interview for Idol. My heart ached for him as he revealed that he thought himself a failure at the tender age of 26. He spoke about how he had been made fun of all his life, but that he developed confidence in who he was. He spoke about being the weird kid, uncool, unpopular. I was getting to know Adam week by week. I watched his uncommon grace under pressure as the judges heaped praise on him and declared him a shoo-in for the finale. Yes, he was the judges’ darling and that can be both a blessing and a curse. But I never took anything for granted and I don’t think Adam did either. He knows better. Nothing is certain when you are a true original, someone new and unique. Some recoil from that as though it was the return of the plague. But some embrace it as though it was a fountain pouring streams of water in the desert.

    Count me as one who embraced Adam as though I was starving for thirst. I found myself enthralled, excited and feeling so alive that all my sensations were more intense. I have lived long enough to know that someone like Adam comes along once in a generation, if we are lucky. His combination of stage presence, and a voice that at times sounded otherworldly, was impossible for me to resist. I was almost obsessed with him. But again, I took nothing for granted. I knew he was never the odds on favorite in this competition. That belonged to Danny. Adam was the true long shot who somehow managed to stay in the competition to the end.

    I saw a humble, sensitive young man who worked his heart out and finally got his big break. He handled the effusive praise of the judges the same way he handled his defeat. With charm, class and generosity. One of my favorite sayings is – ‘It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness”. That pretty much sums up Adam. He was the kid who was different, who didn’t fit in, the shy overweight kid who sang at his graduation as his fellow graduates snickered or just didn’t pay attention.

    Adam’s journey to worldwide fame is the real story of Idol this season, as far as I am concerned. He will never be unknown or obscure again. He was a champion right to the end, even in defeat. But in defeat, he was the victor. Everyone is talking about him, the media is buzzing and offers are coming in from everywhere.

    Adam, you are not only a one of a kind talent, you are my hero. Others can say what they will, but you triumphed over all the obstacles in your path and saw it through to the end. I couldn’t be more proud of you. The sky is the limit. Reap the rewards of your fame and enjoy the success that is sure to come your way. I will watching and smiling every single step of the way.

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  115. Mindy, thank you for sharing. Everything you have said, I have felt so much of the same. You just expressed it more eloquently than I ever could.

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  116. Mindy, thank you so much for your lovely, thoughtful post. You have provided words for my thoughts regarding Adam. I will be counting the days until his first CD is released. He is an enormously talented true original, and as you have so eloquently stated he is also a genuine, sincere, kind individual. I hope he can always remain that.

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  117. Vonnnie says: ” First let me say though, that if you are truly looking for a raw talented Idol, then Jason Castro is your man, he is the only one (I think) who never sang in public before coming to the show, by all rights he should have won! According to your assement of idol. Clay never heard Kris sing, so how does he know America got it right!”

    There were a few others like Anthony and Elliott who had limited exposure. Kris doe fit into this group. I just adored Jason.

    Clay was a great contestant and I am sorry to read what he has recentl written. It was so unnecessary.

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  118. Jeanne said, “On the other hand, Carly Smithson and Michael Whatshisname (I’m sorry, I can never remember it) were both slammed for being professionals and both made early exits. But quite honestly, I thought both were missing “It,” and I don’t think either of them would have won even if there hadn’t been professional backlash against them.”

    I only watched Idol sporadically last year, however, Michael Johns was one of my favorites and I was sorry to see him voted off early. Did you by chance see the David Foster and Friends special on PBS a few months ago? Michael Johns was on this show, along with Michael Buble, Josh Grobin, Katharine McPhee, Celine Dion & Charice, etc. Pretty good company to be in, I’d say!

    And to change the subject, Clay’s remarks were really unfortunate, but as much as I supported Clay on Idol and think he’s a wonderful singer, he has found himself in one little unfortunate episode after another since leaving Idol, i.e., the airplane incident, putting his hand over Kelly Ripa’s mouth, getting a bad rap for treating a school choir performing in one of his concerts badly, etc. I’m not sure if it is simply the fact that fame may have gone to his head, or if it’s more complicated than that. Anyway his remarks about Adam just made Clay look bad. He certainly had every right not to like Adam’s music, however, the way he said them made him look snippy.

    And as far as writing about contestants who had experience versus those who didn’t, Elliott Yamin is a perfect example of someone with not much more experience than singing at a karaoke bar occasionally and with a local jazz band. He didn’t have good performing skills, however, he made it to the top three because of his beautiful voice and way of delivering a song. I think Elliott was one of the best Idol contestants ever!!! Plus he was a REALLY likeable person. I wish we’d be hearing more from Elliott. I miss him.

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  119. Kariann 1,

    Jason…Ditto

    Thank You! I wasn’t sure how many other contestants had limited exposure, only that there wasn’t very many. I would just hate to see this show limit itself to only the raw talented. I would never have gotten to hear my Taylor or Adam.

    I have decided that I will not be watching Idol next year. I will follow the career of my top three, Taylor, Jason and now Adam.

    I was also sad to hear Clay’ comments. It’s kind of like;

    Clay…Sweetie…Really?…Where’s your people?

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  120. Just to add to Sparky’s comments about this season’s Idols getting along, I thought there was great chemistry between them. Who could forget Anoop imitating Kris or Allison imitating Danny in one of the results shows? I just watched some videos on Access Hollywood’s website of the top 10 (excluding Kris and Adam), just chatting about various topics, and it was clear that they did get along well together. You can find them here: http://www.accesshollywood.com/american-idol/dish-of-salt-idol-2009-runners-up-dish-the-dirt-part-i_videotab_110996.

    http://www.accesshollywood.com/american-idol/dish-of-salt-idol-2009-runners-up-dish-the-dirt-part-ii_videotab_1109963

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  121. Yes, the imitations were extremely funny! I bet if Matt Giraud had stuck around longer, he would’ve imitated Danny’s classic “scream” in Dream On! Though I’m not sure anyone could do it quite like Danny! LOL Oh, and as a Danny fan, I mean no disrespect to Danny. That moment was the most hilarious for me this entire season! It DID sound like something RIGHT out of a horror movie!

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  122. Kariann1,

    Do you or any one else know the specifics on Jason’s single…When is it due to drop?

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  123. Vonnie, I don’t have any specific information, but if you check the right hand side of MCL’s blog, there are Jason Castro links.

    Speaking of Jason…

    TV Guide released “American Idol’s 25 Sexiest Stars”

    1. Carrie Underwood
    2. Katharine McPhee
    3. Chris Daughtry
    4. Kimberly Caldwell
    5. David Cook
    6. Kellie Pickler
    7. Michael Johns
    8. Justin Guarini
    9. Haley Scarnato
    10. Jason Castro
    11. Constantine Maroulis
    12. Syesha Mercado
    13. Kelly Clarkson
    14. Kristy Lee Cook
    15. Kris Allen
    16. Ace Young
    17. Brooke White
    18. Nadia Turner
    19. Blake Lewis
    20. Tamyra Gray
    21. Chris Richardson
    22. Bo Bice
    23. Megan Joy
    24. Taylor Hicks
    25. Bikini Girl & Antonella Barba

    http://slimtainment.com/idolblog/?p=3064

    There seems to be one problem with this list – where is ADAM LAMBERT?

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  124. Roseanne, thank you for your response!

    I was not aware that Allison wears braces. Wouldn’t this be part of her problem with enunciation?

    From the Ryan Seacrest interview of the Idols on the Larry King show tonight: Anoop was selected as the Most Intelligent, and Most Likely to Run for Political Office.

    It was fun to see the Idols in a more relaxed atmosphere!

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  125. Beth-thanks for the links to the Access Hollywood interviews. I watched them all and thought it was really fun to see them interact (I missed Kris and Adam, though!)

    Kariann – I agree, where is Adam? WHAT is Bikini Girl doing on that list? She’s not even a serious contestant; didn’t even make it into the top 36. She also had no place in the finale. I would have rather heard Matt and Scott’s dueling pianos than to have to see her or, worse, listen to her sing. They cancelled that performance because Billy Joel pulled out of the finale, and then they had her on there? UGH.

    Anyone else think Kris and Adam looked tired on Larry King tonight? They must be running them ragged.

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  126. Hello. I would encourage everyone to discontinue their subscription to TV guide. They appear (to me anyway) for reasons that are unfathomable to dislike Adam. Their coverage of him (vs Kris & Danny) was reprehensible. People magazine, on the other hand, did very well. I agree – Adam Lambert should absolutely be at the top of that list. Absolutely.

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  127. I tried to find that list on TV Guide’s website but couldn’t … does anyone have a link there? The poor guy who blogged it at slimtainment.com got slammed with comments, but it wasn’t his list!

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  128. I also was unable to find this list on TV Guide website. But I stand by my suggestion to cancel subscriptions. Adam deserved better.

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  129. So do we know this is really TV Guide’s list, or is it a hoax?

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  130. Karen, there are over a dozen references with this. This list doesn’t seem to be related to TV Guide, the publication, but rather the TV show guide. It seems Michael Johns and Kellie Pickler will be involved in the countdown.

    It doesn’t seem to be a hoax, but rather some personal opinions. Adam just oozes sexiness, so it does seem in accurate!

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  131. MCL, I found this audio of Adam Singing “My Conviction” from ‘Hair’ on youtube. Can you tell if this is really Adam? It’s supposedly from 2005

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  132. Wow, KariAnn – this is excellent. And it does sound like Adam. If he had taken the classical route, he could have made a gazilliion dollars as a countertenor. The beauty of his head voice register is truly special and so natural. Thanks so sending this YouTube video.

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  133. Thank you for your comment MCL. It’s said that Adam’s character was a drag queen, haha, I could picture his image while listening, hilarious

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  134. Re: “Conviction” – that is SO Adam. The control he has over his voice in multiple registers, multiple dialects, multiple styles – it’s beyond comprehension in someone who I suspect (not 100% sure of this, but reasonably sure based on my teacher’s assessment) has never sung anything other than English. He could absolutely have done well in opera or high level choral singing (Chanticleer etc.). Amazing stuff – thanks for sharing.

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  135. Well, I am very annoyed at our president right now!

    Kris Allen was supposed to be on the Ellen Degeneres Show this morning, and I was excited to see him on there. Then, literally RIGHT BEFORE Kris was scheduled to come out, Barack Obama interrupts the show with some special message that last a HALF AN HOUR! It wasn’t even that big a deal. He chose someone for the Supreme Court. That was basically it. Needless to say, by the time the Ellen show came back on, the whole interview with Kris was completely over! I got to see him sing an extremely short version of “No Boundaries”, but that was it!

    I have all the respect in the world for our president, but is it just me or is he taking control of television more than president ever has before? There needs to be a special time set aside for his broadcasts unless there is some dire national security crisis. Interrupting normal, everyday programming all the time is going to cost him some fans I think. I bet McCain wouldn’t have cut off Kris Allen! LOL (Just kidding)

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  136. Galen,
    Where I live, Ellen is on at 4:00 pm. I’ve set my TIVO to record it today so I’m assuming the entire show will air at that time. Any chance you could get Ellen at that time?

    Kris was also supposed to be on Regis and Kelly this morning and I think Danny is supposed to be on Regis and Kelly tomorrow.

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  137. Louise, thank you very much for that information. I will certainly see if Ellen is on at a later time my area, though unfortunately I doubt it.

    Thanks also for the tip about how Danny will be on Regis and Kelly tomorrow! I certainly look forward to THAT! God bless!

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  138. Hopefully the interview with Kris will also appear on YouTube or somewhere as a video. The telephone interview of Adam with Ellen did. I agree, I don’t think that the pick of Supreme Court justice warranted interruption of regular programming – that could have been carried during normal news time. Sorry to hear that.

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  139. Galen- If for some reason, you don’t catch Ellen, MJs Big Blog should have Kris’ whole interview and his performance.

    Also, Danny Gokey is scheduled to appear on Regis and Kelly on Thursday (May 28); Adam is scheduled to be on R&K tomorrow (May 27). I watched the show this morning and taped it for my daughter, who is a huge Kris Allen fan. She told me I needed to get over it, ha!

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  140. I’ve SO enjoyed the discussions here. Another reason to be sorry Idol is over. I likely won’t be watching next year, however. Adam kinda broke it for me. How can anyone else compare? I’d listen to the competitors and think: “He/She’s no Adam Lambert”. Adam really was the most unique talent. We were present at the birth of a supernova my friends. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

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  141. Darlene, I absolutely agree that Obama’s appointment of a new justice could easily have waited until a regular news time as well. I think interruptions of regular daytime programming should only occur if there is a major crisis. If Obama continues to interrupt programming every time something relatively insignificant happens, then when something major DOES happen (God forbid) people will not pay as much attention to it. It is the equivalent of “calling wolf”.

    Sparky, thank you so much for your information! I am sorry I missed Kris today, but I look very forward to seeing Adam tomorrow and Danny on Thursday! They’ll be DVR’d for sure! I just hope Obama doesn’t appoint any new justices on those days! LOL

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  142. TFLS wrote: “I likely won’t be watching next year, however. Adam kinda broke it for me. How can anyone else compare?”

    I sort of understand how you feel, TFLS. Not about this year (I was a Danny fan), but last year. As much as I like and respect David Cook, I was SO disappointed last year that Archuleta did not win. I didn’t understand how Archuleta could win all THREE “rounds” of singing during the Final Two performances and then end up losing. It just seemed so WRONG. I am sure you (as a massive Adam fan) probably feel that way about this year.

    Anyway, I told myself after David lost that I would not watch Idol again. Then, as the year went by and I realized how BOTH of the Davids were enjoying monumental success, I became a little less bitter towards Idol. I even began to look forward to the next season, and I absolutely do not regret watching it this season! I enjoyed Danny Gokey this season no doubt as much as you enjoyed Adam, and I would’ve hated to miss out watching him perform each week had I not watched the season.

    My point is–I hope you continue to watch next year. Don’t worry about Adam. The sky is the limit with him. You KNOW he’ll be successful. I know you probably don’t like me for saying this, but I really think that America got it right this year between Kris and Adam. Here is why. Adam doesn’t really need the title of American Idol to excel. I mean the guy was on the front of Entertainment Weekly for goodness sakes! Kris, however, is someone who probably needs the boost that comes from winning to really get his career (which I am sure will be fantastic) off the ground. You will see in a year’s time that they are BOTH winners, TFLS. Anyway, I really hope you watch next year. There is plenty of awesome undiscovered talent left in America just waiting to be discovered! I can’t wait.

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  143. Lena –

    Thank you so much for posting that performance by Adam. I do think it’s him. His voice is so distinctive, but here he is using that unbelievable head voice and it’s beyond beautiful. What an instrument he has! I have been thinking about whether or not he might want to sing opera at some point in his career, maybe down the road. He certainly seems to have the voice for it. Now that I have embraced opera, I seem to have so many questions.

    I think my Mom is in shock that I have finally embraced the music she and my grandfather loved all their lives. I grew up hearing opera and classical music, but wasn’t able to appreciate it. Now I am positively enthralled by the magic of what the human voice can produce.

    If J was here I would be pestering her will way too many questions about Maria Callas. I have been listening to her performances on youtube and she was absolutely indescribable. I read the comments to get a sense of her technique. I keep hearing about “bel canto”, but I am not sure what it means. I know that her voice deteriorated in her forties and have read a lot of speculation about why. But in her prime she had no equal. This is such a joy. Now I can add this music to the rest of my collection.

    As for Adam, it would appear that there is almost nothing his voice cannot do. It will be interesting to follow his career and see how it unfolds. He continues to astonish me.

    I also wanted to take a moment to celebrate the friendship between Adam and Kris. It’s obvious that these two young men genuinely like, admire and respect each other. I was thinking about some of the intense discussions here about red states vs. blue states, conservative vs. liberal. Adam and Kris are a shining example of how two people from such different backgrounds have been able to embrace each other. It’s a symbol of hope for all of us. Kris has been more than generous in his praise of Adam’s talent. He seems willing to share the spotlight. His parents should be proud that they raised a young man who is able to see past the flashy exterior, the makeup and hair and manage to see Adam for who he really is. Their affection for each other is so real.

    I sincerely wish Adam and Kris the best of success as they embark on their new careers.

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  144. MCL, I wish I could view YouTube; however, I have Dial-up service and could not pass along the wonderful recordings of Adam Lambert. I believe the thanks goes to Lena!

    I doubt there will be another Adam in the near future; although, there possibly could be a Cabaret EVE. Adam is so unique to the show, that finding another with his talent may be near impossible.

    I will be watching American Idol next year, but if they have the ‘Judge’s Save’ I will NOT be voting.

    There has been some wonderful talent this year, but the “total package” was not up to par, IMO. TPTB need to go back to the TOP 24 format. Can you imagine 5 extra performances of Adam and Kris? Overall, Seasons 2, 4, 5, and 7 were much better!

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  145. Hi Mindy. It’s interesting that you should bring up Maria Callas’s name. There is some resonance (in my opinion) between Maria & Adam. Maria was absolutely not afraid to take risks, to throw everything she had into a performance. Her singing may not be as “perfect” as some other singers are but in performance (from what I have read) she was mesmerizing. I have a recording of her and Giuseppe (sp??) di Stefano singing “Lucia di Lammermoor” (which was recently broadcast as part of the Metropolitan Opera HD series with the stunning Anna Netrebko as well as a relatively new phenomenal tenor, Piotr Beczala and an amazing baritone, Mariusz Kwiecien). Those performances are now available on line as part of the “Met Player” series although there is a subscription fee. If you’ve not had the opportunity to go to the HD broadcasts, you should. Here is a link to the upcoming season http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/broadcast/hdevents/index.aspx?id=8334. Maria Callas also believed in the value of daily Vaccai which is something I think would be of immense value to Adam. I am planning to compose a letter to him (along with the other 50 tons of unsolicited advice I’m sure he’s getting on a daily visit) but I’m hoping that somehow it will get through. With that kind of exercise, he could be singing the way he is singing now when he is 47, maybe even longer. He is a precious, precious jewel.

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  146. Louise — I’m glad you liked Michael Johns (thanks for the last name!) and am sorry I didn’t. I thought he had so much potential, but never thought he followed through on it, even on the nights the judges praised him. But maybe that’s just me.

    TFLS (and someone else said they weren’t going to watch again next year, but I don’t remember whom) — I agree with Galen. Will there be another Adam? Or David or whomever else you liked in years past? Of course not! We are all different — but there might be someone else in the future who is just as exciting and fun to listen to, albeit in a different way, as the ones you now love the best. Certainly you didn’t expect the ones you are now devoted to to come along — why close yourself off to the possibility of even more wonderful talent and variety in the future?

    As for the sexiest Idols — I don’t think these lists are put together in any scientific way — I imagine there are three people in the room who put it together. And I imagine Adam was left off so as to not ruffle any feathers. TV Guide Channel is a mainstream channel — they can’t afford to alienate anyone.

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  147. Addendum to Mindy: I have other recordings by Maria – I just happened to mention that one and then went on a sleep-deprived tangent on Met Opera HD. But the Lucia di Lammermoor recording is great – even though I think the year is 1957 which supposedly was past her true prime in the early 1950’s. It is very sad that she deteriorated so badly in the 1960’s. Natalie Dessay, the awesome French coloratura soprano, mentioned Maria a lot in a article in Opera News from not too awfully long ago. Do you subscribe to Opera News? Would highly recommend it – great reviews of CD’s and great articles.

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  148. Another Addendum: here is the Wikipedia link to bel canto. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bel_canto I know that I reference Wikipedia at some personal risk as some people “pooh pooh” Wikipedia – I on the other hand love it. I think the article is accurate in that there really is no accepted firm definition fo bel canto although it is used a lot. Juan Diego Florez is a tenor whom you have probably heard of who (I think) sings firmly in that tradition. Hope this all helps.

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  149. Hello to you all. I’ve just recently come across this site and I’m so happy I did. I have learned a lot from MCL and from your posts. Thanks a lot. I wanted to post earlier but I had no internet access while on vacation. Just got back. Anyway, a piece of my mind about Adam.

    Adam Lambert

    On his vocal abilities – The first thing that caught my attention is his phenomenal vocals. It’s truly beautiful! Actually I stumbled into this site in my desire to know more about how good his vocals are (and what a gem of site have I found, Really!!! Thanks MCL). I believe this is really a God-given gift. Whenever I listen to him, I am moved to thank God for this unique gift and for the opportunity to hear and appreciate this. What I admire the most is how he took hold of this gift, studied it, mastered it and uses it to bring beauty and meaning to life through his music. I like the way he plays his range but I am really blown away by his lower and middle register especially how light and pure his voice sounds at this level.

    On his song interpretation – In one of the reviews I read, it said that one of his strengths is that he commits to the lyrics of the song. To this I agree. Then, I heard him say in one of his interviews that his song choices were based on how the songs lyrically resonate to him. I have looked up the lyrics of the songs, and did try to listen to the original and other versions of some of the songs for comparison. As a result, I came to appreciate most of Adam’s versions even more because I found them to be very meaningful. He doesn’t change the songs simply to fit into a favored genre or style or competencies of the singer but to fit how he feels about the song. His performances (including the movements, outfit and lighting) so aptly capture the message and meaning conveyed by the songs. He really gives new life to the songs. I think this is TRUE ARTISTRY; because art always conveys a potent message. Here is how some of his songs come across to me.

    Ring of Fire- the Middle Eastern flair may be strange to some but it totally captures the mystery of finding oneself falling into a fiery desire. And to close it with a moan, what could be sexier than that?

    Mad World – In the other version it seems that the person is so depressed that at the end of the song, he/she is fading into despair. I like Adam’s version because it feels like the depressed person has a fighting chance amidst the madness, with the interplay of the shadow & light and white costume. And then it became a song of a tormented madman, so dark and mysterious. (Yeah, MCL, I thought of Phantom too, and still the song fits!)

    Tracks of My Tears – If he did his live version in that stripped down, poignant, contemplative way after his conversation with Smokey Robinson; then it shows that he really is a sensitive artist who has great respect for the song and songwriter.

    If I Can’t Have You – what a beautiful love song about broken heart, but that message was somehow lost in the disco tempo.

    Upbeat songs – his full, strong, roller coaster (going up and down his vocal range) vocals are for the wild (BTBW), those who wants to lose themselves (PTFM, Satisfaction), and those whose views need to be challenged (BOW).

    I could go on and on but the gist is – he has the amazing talent and sensibility of conveying his message while showcasing his vocal abilities. He is really a master class act.

    On his persona – Even from the start, Adam has such a strong personality but in addition, as Simon puts it, he and Kris are unusually incredibly nice people. Well, throughout the AI season, I’ve witnessed what a gracious, appreciative, eloquent, genuine person he is. He takes his craft seriously and strives for excellence but apparently genuinely enjoys life and its opportunities at the same time. He is committed to his goal but seems to take life in stride. I like his attitude. He is a joy to watch and hear.

    As for his future, I ‘d like him to maintain his cabaret edge, providing music of different genres, which he said “what he really wanted to do and who’s to say that’s not going to work?” This would be really, really great. There were a few who said that he is not for the radio. Well, perhaps that’s because he is not someone to be heard only, he is someone to be SEEN and heard!. I love his live performances more than his studio versions (although his voice sounds even clearer and crisper in the studio recordings) because they are so stirring and arresting. I can’t wait for his record and videos (maybe not the MTV type for me; I’d be happy with videos of his live performances).

    He didn’t win the title but I applaud him for achieving his goal. This is what I gather from his various interviews. He wants to be a recording artist and he has definite ideas of what kind of music he wanted to do. According to him, one of his motivations for getting into AI was to be taken seriously as a recording artist. I think from the beginning what he wanted to do was to make the “dope record” of various sounds he envisions but it wasn’t taken seriously. Well, of course not, what recording studio would take such risk from an unknown artist? So I think, AI is the appropriate venue to showcase his talent and he was consistently saying this has been his goal all along. He needed to build credibility that as an artist he can do all those different kinds of music. He wanted to reach the end in order to sing as many songs, and show as many dimension of his talent and at the same time gauge the public’s response. He is a great strategist. I hope and I support him in reaching his vision, and perhaps set new directions for the music industry. However, in achieving this, it takes more than talent but strength of purpose and character. If he remains true to his craft, committed to his vision and if he keeps his focus and perspective; I believe he will make it big and he will last. Congratulations, Adam and more power to you. I extend my accolades to his family, too, especially to his mom who apparently keeps him grounded. Way to go Adam!

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  150. Flor, what an eloquent post – it absolutely captures Adam in a way that I could not really put into words – the incredible magic of his performances. I personally think that some of the studio performances utilized very heavy instrumentation and I hope that in Adam’s album that this will be toned down a little – I suspect it will be because Adam will have more freedom. What a gift he has brought to all of us! And as you also wrote, he is a nice person, kind, modest, supportive to his fellow contestants. I’m tired so I’m stumbling a bit on words but I wanted to respond to your post. I will read it again tomorrow. THanks so much.

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  151. Wow. Thank you for that extremely in-depth analysis of all things Adam Lambert, flor. I can tell you put a TON of work into that, and I enjoyed reading it!

    Jeanne wrote: “Will there be another Adam? Or David or whomever else you liked in years past? Of course not! We are all different — but there might be someone else in the future who is just as exciting and fun to listen to, albeit in a different way, as the ones you now love the best. Certainly you didn’t expect the ones you are now devoted to to come along — why close yourself off to the possibility of even more wonderful talent and variety in the future?”

    Jeanne, you are absolutely 100% RIGHT ON THE MONEY! Now, this is the kind of positive attitude Idol fans need to have! Certainly, “getting over” the elimination of the contestant you just KNEW should’ve won is not easy. I am still reeling from Danny’s elimination (who I always just had a gut instinct would win). Still, I realize that regret and bitterness won’t help him at all now (nor will it help Adam or any other non-winning contestant). As tough as it may be, you just have to make peace with America’s decision, continue to show devotion to your favorite, and then comes the hardest thing of all–MOVING ON. There are a lot of things that I didn’t agree with this season, but I feel blessed to have found a favorite (Danny) and support him relentlessly to the bitter end. I can honestly say that I did not fail Danny when it came to voting, and I like that feeling.

    I just look forward to seeing what comes next for all the contestants and look SO forward to next season. Other “Adam’s” are out there, people. God made a great big world full of talented individuals, and I don’t think He just gave ALL the talent to Adam (or any other contestant respectively). There’s someone out there right now who dreams of becoming the American Idol next year. The odds may seem overwhelming to them, but come this time next year, he or she will be standing in Kris’s spot! I find that extremely exciting, and there is NO WAY I could possibly not watch the best show on television next year! What a loss that would be!

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  152. So many people to whom I wish to reply –

    First to Darlene – Thank you so much for all of the links! I am just beginning to learn about opera and have been reading voraciously as fast as I can. My Mom told me to listen to Rosa Poncelle and she is mentioned among the bel canto sopranos. My Mom knows her opera. Now we can have discussions as I listen to more and more of this beautiful music. I can say that I was moved to tears quite often listening to Maria Callas. I love her dramatic style and it did remind me so much of Adam. I believe it adds a whole other dimension to singing. Maria Callas did things with her voice that I have never heard before. There was a recording on youtube with Maria Callas explaining trills to a musician. My goodness, that woman had such a knowledge and intelligence about opera and how to sing it. If bel canto is her style, then I have to say that I am in love with it. She went to places that astounded me. She truly was one of a kind.

    To Galen – Aha, something on which we are in complete agreement – David Archuleta! Now you know what I meant when I said that Adam was way out of my comfort zone. I was quite disappointed when David Archuleta didn’t win last season. There was a lot hatespeak online about him and it was incredibly offensive and mean-spirited. I had already decided to skip watching Idol this season, in large part due to David A.’s loss. I didn’t tune in until the top 13 and once I heard Adam, I knew that I was in it for the long haul. I never thought anyone could move me the way that my little Archie did, but I found myself swept away by Adam’s magnificent vocals. I got even more emotionally involved this season.

    I haven’t decided whether or not I will watch Idol next season. But I have learned never to say never. I will keep the door open and see where I’m at next year. It is true that there are many unknown singers out there yet to be discovered. But I will never forget either Archie or especially, Adam. His singing has meant so much to me. When you have been through difficult times in your life, when nothing seems to going right, when you lose courage and hope, then hearing someone like Adam scale the heights of greatness and sing notes that shouldn’t be sung by ordinary mortals, is a source of true inspiration. I owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

    To flor –

    What a brilliant and perceptive post! I loved reading it. You summed up my feelings about each of Adam’s performances perfectly. I couldn’t have said it any better. “If I Can’t Have You” is a personal favorite. It touched me deeply and profoundly. Anyone who has loved and lost will understand that song. “Mad World” was so haunting that it stayed with me for days. I loved both of Adam’s performances. It’s so true that he needs to be seen to be appreciated, although I agree with you that his studio recordings are things of beauty.

    Thank you for sharing your intelligent, insightful thoughts about this man that I have comed to love and cherish.

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  153. Flor – thank you for introducing yourself to all of us and even greater thanks for your eloquent words. Like you, I am hoping Adam goes in the direction of a multi-genre route – therein lies the secret of his immense talent.

    And you are so correct when you stated the irrelevance of radio promotion in his career (although I do believe he wil be on the radio and they will have to invent a station just for him haha). I want to SEE Adam – not just hear him, but we will be able to do both and the naysayers will be eating crow in the near future.

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  154. Hi Mindy – so glad to hear that you are enjoying Maria Callas – she was truly a gift to the opera world, a dedicated artist who believed that the singing, while extremely important in opera of course, should be secondary to character. I wish I could have seen her live but I was born in 1955 so obviously I missed the window for that. Is your Mom a singer? I know I’ve stated this in previous posts but in case you missed it I have had the joy and good fortune to be able to take lessons with an extremely good teacher for the past 7 years – currently I am going twice a week. I really need to settle down into a better practice routine but this year has been a bit of a struggle for various reasons – my day job takes up too much of my time!! Smile. I guess I need it to pay for my lessons. Anyway, I really feel quite strongly (& so does my teacher who also has been swept away by Adam) that one of the best things he could do to maintain his amazing voice as long as possible would be to speak languages other than English, in particular Italian, with its glorious open pure vowels.

    I hope that you will have time to check out some of my mezzosoprano faves – Susan Graham (wonderful, wonderful artist – French especially, an awesome CD of songs by Reynaldo Hahn, turn of the century French composer – have had the good fortune to see Susan twice in concert – it’s one of her earlier CD’s & it’s just lovely); Lorraine Hunt Lieberson who unfortunately left us too soon at the age of 52 in 2006 but like Callas an artist of fierce dedication to the music and the character; and of course the astonishing Joyce DiDonato, someone who again is fearless and whose singing is driven by the character. She has recorded (recently) a CD of Handel arias “Furore” – if you are able to download it, download the last aria “Where Shall I Fly” from Hercules – I think it may even be on YouTube – there was some interesting criticism of it as “bitchy” – excuse me, this is a woman whose consuming jealousy cost her the life of her husband – wouldn’t you be a little bitchy under those circumstances? And a mezzo that I just discovered because she sang the “pants” role on a new recording of Alcina along with Joyce who sang the title role which is traditionally a soprano role (Joan Sutherland particularly favored it – I think there are at least 2 or 3 recordings of Joan performing it). I’ve been very fortunate to see Joyce in concert 3 times now & will be going on a cruise to Alaska in August/September of which Joyce will be a part (it’s an “Opera Odyssey II” cruise – something I really could not afford but decided to do anyway because it may never ever happen again).
    And no list of mezzos would be complete without Tatiana Troyanos, who also died very young in the 1990’s. Oh yes, Marilyn Horne, of course – a distinctive artist, not everyone loved her voice but you can’t deny the artisty and technical brilliance.

    Then there are the contraltos: Ewa Fodles’, Sara Mingardo (recent discovery). I haven’t really figured out the true different between mezzos & contraltos except that contraltos tend to have a fuller lower register – but Ewa especially can put notes through the roof. Have not heard either of these artists in person – Sara stays in Europe but Ewa tours and performs in the US. Dolora Zajick (sp??) is technically a mezzo but has a fuller lower register than some mezzos – have not listened to her a lot but she gets a lot of the juicy mezzo roles.

    There are so many good sopranos that it’s hard to put them all down. Deborah Voight is phenomenal & Karila Matilla (hope I’m getting the first name right as far as spelling) is also wonderful. I am going to risk being barred from this board by saying I am not crazy about Renee Fleming – I will say that she is an incredibly hard working artist but she has a register break (probably not the exact right terminology) between her middle and lower voices that is quite noticeable at times. Maybe it’s something that just can’t be fixed. She also does some things with English vowels on occasion that is scary. But Garrison Keillor likes her. And she was very good at the opening gala for the Met this year – more so in the selections from “Manon” (Massenet) and he Strauss (Capriccio??) than La Traviata. Oh, almost forgot Anna Netrebko. She just put out CD “Souvenirs” – her favorites – lovely, lovely, lovely. Now she has an amazing lower voice & is not afraid to use it.

    I’ll stop now – maybe in a later post I’ll tackle my favorite countertenors, tenors, & baritones/basses.

    I highly recommend the HD performances – they are fabulous – my teacher thinks in some ways they’re better than live (although he says that you do lose the sense of the room in which the performers are singing) but oh the close-ups – you can’t beat it. He & I do wish they would perform more Verdi. I do think “Aida” is on the schedule this year which is cool.

    OK, my day job is calling. Hope you’re having a good day.

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  155. Addendum – got swept away somewhere in the mezzo paragraph – the new mezzo is Maite Beaumont – she is definitely on youTube. I just ordered a CD from England – lovely, lovely voice and great technical skill. I think she is “one to watch”.

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  156. I just also want to say a heartfelt “Thank You” to Master Class Lady – this has been a delightful place to post, I feel welcome here. Hope we can continue to post for a while. I may even watch Idol next season although definitely on TiVO so I can fast-forward through some of the non-musical stuff. Who knows what we may discover. But (you just knew I had to sneak this in) I don’t think there will be someone like Adam, not in terms of how he has captured my soul (at least for now). Thanks again.

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  157. Thank you Darlene! I am glad that this site has been a rewarding experience for you. We had our “moments”, but, in the end, I am glad that common sense and intelligent commentary won the battle.

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  158. Oh my gosh, I just watched the clip of Adam singing Mad World on Regis and Kathy Lee(sp?). It’s hauntingly beautiful, ethereal, and he’s accompanied simply by some gorgeous, subtle piano. I thought you might like to hear this!

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  159. CS –

    I recorded Regis and Kelly Live, because I knew Adam would be on this morning. I think that was one of his best performances of “Mad World”. That’s saying something! Every note was brilliant, impeccable, lovely to hear. He continues to astound and impress. Now that more of America can hear him, they will be witness to the magic. Not everyone watches Idol or gets as invested as many of us here.

    Adam comes across so poised, gracious, kind, and charming in these interviews. It was clear that both Regis and Kelly were quite impressed with him.

    To Darlene –

    I hope that I have not caused you too much work in gathering all of that information about great sopranos. My Mom isn’t a singer, but she is a devotee of music, particularly classical and opera. I just wish I had been able to embrace this music before. I missed out on a lot. But better late than never. I appreciate you singling out specific operas, because it’s overwhelming when you are just beginning to listen to it. Maria Callas has so much in her catalogue, that I hardly know where to begin.

    It’s wonderful that you are actually singing in your spare time. No wonder you are so knowledgeable. I realize that this is a new journey of discovery, so I will take my time and enjoy all of these great singers.

    But I will never let go of Adam. He is my one and only. I actually found myself tearing up when I listened to his performance of “Mad World” on Regis and Kelly. Somehow it never gets old or tiring. He manages to infuse his performances with a freshness that is impressive.

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  160. First of all, Mindy, thank you for that excellent post of yours! Your eloquent words are always a blessing to read. I am glad that we found something we can finally agree on! LOL

    About Adam, I saw him on Regis and Kelly today as well. It was great to see him off of the big Idol stage, without any zany outfit, and no huge band to support him. I have to be honest. I enjoyed his performance of Mad World today on Regis and Kelly more than I did when he sang that song on Idol. Why? Because I could really appreciate the sheer power of his voice without all those other distractions getting in the way. Great job, Adam! I am SO excited about seeing Danny tomorrow, and I am curious as to what song he will sing! Oh, how I’d love to hear him sing “Hero” or “What Hurts The Most” again!

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  161. To Mindy: I have a wonderful teacher – he is a true blessing in my life. He is a teaching legend here in Charleston. I actually “googled” him yesterday (I think) & didn’t come up with anything, which was surprising. But I think it’s because he works pretty much “behind the scenes” – he travels to NYC, Chicago, and Europe fairly frequently, essentially to problem solve issues with singers & choirs. It was not a problem to compile the singer list – I love everyone of them & it’s a pleasure to share them. If I had to pick out 2 in particular, they would be mezzos (of course): Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Joyce DiDonato.

    To other posts: I agree that the renditions of Mad World outside of AI have been spectacular. I watched a video of the performance outdoors (think it was CBS Early News) – the final note was amazing. I can hardly wait to see him live in Charlotte (along with the other Idol finalists). It’ll be a blast.

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  162. Hello! Did anyone watch Kris and Adam on the Today Show? I am curious if Adam’s performance was as good out-of-doors as the indoor performance with Regis & Kelly?

    He did an outstanding job! What. A. Talent. I know both guys aren’t getting much sleep, but it is so nice seeing them sing without that additional pressure.

    Thank you for such interesting conversation on this thread!

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  163. Adam’s performance outdoors (which I only saw through someone who was recording the performance either through a cell phone or maybe something a little more sophisticated – fair amount of background noise & he wasn’t always facing the device) was, in my somewhat biased opinion absolutely phenomenal. The final note (I believe it’s an A) was absolutely flawless, emotionally captivating and mesmerizing. He is amazing (but again I’m obviously biased). I can see him singing with opera people at some point – many “popular” singers have had joint concerts. All I can say is: it’s going to be hard to get tickets.

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  164. Galen – Oh my goodness, more areas of agreement. I LOVE you choices of songs for Danny. They would have been my two choices for him. I guess we will have to wait and see. It’s so nice that he is getting his moment to shine.

    What a relief that the competition is over! We all sound a lot more relaxed here. It’s a joy to watch the performances of this talented group and not have to listen to any of the judge’s comments anymore.

    To Darlene – You are a generous soul. I am learning so much about opera. It’s a pleasure to listen to the gorgeous voices. My sensitive musical ear, with that perfect pitch that is at times both a blessing and curse, has never been happier. No sour notes from those great opera singers. I get tears of happiness in my eyes, now that I have discovered the joy of opera.

    To Kariann – I have recorded ALL of Adam’s performances this week. I played back the Today show and heard Adam sing “Mad World” again. I never get tired of it. He just seems to get better and better. His voice is a wonder to behold. It is so nice to see him sing outside the confines of the show.

    I really do hear the “opera” in Adam. He has that kind of voice. I hope that somewhere down the road he might consider recording doing some opera. I am just as hopeful that he will collaborate with Queen on some songs, as he has been hinting.

    We have a lot to look forward to as Adam moves into the next phase of his career.

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  165. So did anyone see Danny on Regis and Kelly today? I’m wondering what people thought? On a couple of interviews since he was voted off Idol, I’ve heard him say that he is glad he was able to get as far as he did among such a talented group. In some ways, it comes across like he is patting himself on the back and I can see that people who don’t like Danny would be turned off by that. But it seems to me that he wasn’t that confident in himself when he heard how good some of the others were, so he was actually relieved that he had made it as far as he had. Any comments about that?

    I’ve also had the impression that although music is important to Danny, he probably never seriously imagined that he could make a career out of singing until he was on Idol. That’s why I don’t think he took the season quite as seriously as Kris, Adam, Allison, and Matt–and from previous years like Taylor Hicks and Chris Daughtrey. They all seemed to have a plan. I think they put more effort into looking like a performer (well maybe not Kris), and into their song choices. That’s why I think he coasted for a few weeks while the others improved. As much as I like Danny, I have the impression that he’s a guy who knows he has a good voice and really enjoys singing, but he didn’t have that HUNGER that drove some of the others. When he was voted off, I felt that he was sort of relieved that it was over for him.

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  166. Hi Mindy. It’s an absolute pleasure to share with you the wonderful singers who have brought me joy. Right now I am having a hard time breaking away from listening to Adam but there is a Sara Mingardo CD in my car that is begging to be listened to – maybe over the weekend. A countertenor that I like a whole lot is Andreas Scholl – I like him better than David Daniels, who is the fave in American countertenor circles. Among the currently active tenors, Juan Diego Florez is my current favorite. Ramon Vargas has a wonderful voice too – he paired up with Renee at the Met opening gala for the selections from Massenet’s “Manon”.

    Speaking of Massenet, have you ever heard Massenet’s Werther based on the Goethe novel? There is a mezzo aria in there “Vai laisse couler maes larmes” which I have sung – granted to a small Christmas concert gathering that 2 friends of mine try to do every winter, along with a spring recital. I hope I’ll get a chance to perform it again at some point – I really love.

    Among mezzos, I forgot to mention the fabulous Janet Baker – English mezzo revered in that country and elsewhere. If you can download this from iTunes, it would be worth listening to her version of “Che faro senza Euridice” from Gluck’s Orfeo? Or listen to it on YouTube. Right now I’m actually listening to Andreas Scholl sing it – never heard him before. I prefer mezzos singing that role – but he’s pretty darn good – smile.

    OK, enough information for now – will share more later.

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  167. Also forgot to mention opera in regard to Adam – he would be amazing – can you imagine that dedication to performance in an opera? People would go crazy. But he needs to sing Italian – it would help him so much in regard to maintaining his voice for decades to come.

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  168. If J was here I would be pestering her will way too many questions about Maria Callas.

    Mindy – I’m still here! I haven’t posted in a while, I know; I’ve been drowning in schoolwork this week because of the end of the term, lol. I’m so glad that Darlene was able to answer your questions instead! I just wanted to add that Wikipedia’s article on Maria Callas is very interesting, especially the whole section on her voice. Her voice really defies categorization, it seems.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Callas

    Also, as Darlene mentioned, there are a TON of very talented sopranos. (I listen to mainly sopranos, being a soprano myself, but there are gorgeous mezzos as well. I know that MCL is a big fan of Celia Bartoli, whom she “the best classical singer in the world today.”) I just wanted to add a few more. In terms of dramatic sopranos, Kirsten Flagstad and Birgit Nilsson are top notch. And for light lyric sopranos, Barbara Bonney’s voice is absolutely beautiful. Oh yes! Dame Joan Sutherland is one of the greats. I can’t believe I almost forgot her. The list go on. (Also, like Darlene, interestingly enough, I’ve never gotten into Renee Fleming’s voice either, but she certainly is a hard-working artist!)

    Also, I agree with Darlene that Juan Diego Florez is an excellent tenor! His passion when singing is just lovely to watch!

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  169. *whom she CALLED

    That comment is in The Rat Pack Era Masterclass article by the way. ;)

    I’m starting to think of so many opera singers now, and I’m fighting the urge to name them all, lol.

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  170. Hi there. I neglected to mention Cecelia – she is awesome – many great recordings & a dedicated artist. You cannot go wrong buying one of her CD’s. Her latest (I think) is “Maria” dedicated to a legendary mezzosoprano of the early 19th century, Maria Malibran. Unfortunately she does not perform on this side of the Atlantic. I have a CD of Kirsten Flagstad – great, rock solid voice. I need to get some of Birgit Nilsson’s work – I really enjoyed an article about her in Opera News a while back (before she passed away) – she had 2 cows named Tristan and Isolde.

    And yes, love Juan Diego Florez. Check out “Voce d’Italia – Arias for Rubini” – recent release. I have seen him in 3 operas now via Met HD broadcast – “Barber of Seville” (with the fabulous Joyce DiDonato), “La Fille du Regiment” with Natalie Dessay and “La Somnambula” also with Natalie. He is fun to watch.

    So many good singers!! Last night had the pleasure of seeing a performance of Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” with a wonderful young mezzosoprano Sasha Cooke. Keep an eye out for her – she’s excelllent.

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  171. Darlene – where do you live? Cecilia does perform in Canada every three years or so and I am pretty sure she has performed in the United States as well? She is such a gifted singer!

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  172. I live in Charleston, SC although I travel to NJ fairly regularly and I love Canada – could be easily convinced to go there. I would love to see Cecilla – I had read somewhere recently that she did not come here much so I was basing what I said on that statement. Thanks for the tip.

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  173. Thank you, Darlene for answering my question about Adam’s wonderful performance on the Today Show. Kris did a real nice job, too. Adam’s stripped down version of ‘Mad World’ was breathtaking.

    I believe that when we reach the Top 12 or Top 13, the contestants’ fates should be entirely up to America, regardless of whether or not America screws up a few weeks along the way.

    Bravo, Galen! As you know, Anoop was directly affected by the ‘Judges’ Save’ and I was so upset!! That week America voted for Matt to go home and for Anoop to stay. Anoop was voted by America to be in the TOP 5. Period. I like Matt, but he was voted out. The judges took control over America’s decision and all those hours of voting were for nothing. There’s my main rant.

    Also, from my previous post you know I support going back to the TOP 24 format.

    MCL, I do believe you will be setting some kind of record with this thread! In the vast amount of posts, a simple question may get lost. I wrote:

    I was not aware that Allison wears braces. Wouldn’t this be part of her problem with enunciation?

    Thank you!

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  174. These critiques are incredibly eye opening (even if I only understand 10% of what is said!!). I know Adam is a great singer but don’t understand all the head voice/falsetto stuff. Masterclasslady you should really be a judge on the show!! Are Randy, Kara, Paula or Simon knowledgeble about all these vocal techniques talked about here I wonder. I’ve heard the word falsetto spoken on the show but usually its pretty general (ie “you sounded great” or some such blather). Always interesting to learn new information! Thank you!

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  175. I’m no expert on countertenor techniques (e.g. falsetto vs. head voice) but am under the impression that “true” countertenors sing mostly in headvoice (although some are referred to as falsettists). However, I’ve continued to listen to Adam & I believe that he sings mostly in true head voice up to and including his high G’s. Which makes me truly envious in that I am a mezzosoprano and have a solid G most of the time. But it’s something I’ve had to work at. To me, his most notable example of falsetto was in “Ring of Fire” on the word “flames”. Otherwise I think he’s mostly in true head voice. I would love to hear MCL’s opinion on this one.

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  176. Addendum: another place where I think Adam is definitely in falsetto is on the studio recording of “Feeling Good”. I’ll listen to it again today in order to state where I think Adam is definitely in falsetto – it’s in the middle of the recording. Also, I tried to read the Wikipedia entry on falsetto & found it very dense & not all that helpful. My sense of it is that it has to do with using the very edges of the vocal cords vs. the thicker part of the cords. What I do know is that Adam is very skilled in alternating between the two so it’s sometimes hard to tell what he’s doing. As you can tell, I think he’s amazing. Whatever he does, it works.

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  177. Darlene- I think the best way to describe Adam’s tenor range would be “pop countertenor”. However, like a classical countertenor, he employs varying degress of nuance and color in his vocal performances.

    I would love to hear and/or see a recording of Adam when he was a child. I can almost guarantee that he had a gorgeous treble voice. Anyone out there have any videos or audios? Adam? haha

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  178. KariAnn – yes, this can be a problem when a singer wears braces. However, I don’t think that is Allison’s problem. She tends to “mumble” her words and I see little effort to articulate her consonants when she sings.

    I have many students with braces and they all articulate clearly. They have to – I insist on it! Ha!

    And they never complain about their braces to me. Initially, it causes problems, but, once they adjust to the braces in their mouth, they are fine.

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  179. Thank you for that definition, MCL – I was trying to explain Adam to some members of my choir Wednesday night & they were wrinkling up their noses at my definitions e.g. “he can’t be a countertenor if he sings in falsetto or something along those lines” – so this is helpful if/when the subject comes up again.

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  180. Darlene, I wrote a rather long post about falsetto versus head voice here if you want to check it out. =) (The two posts below it also pertain to the discussion!) I feel that the term “falsetto” is thrown around SO confusingly in this culture because there is so little understanding about how falsetto differs physiologically from head voice.

    Why do I think there is all this confusion? To draw upon my anthropology class, humans desire order; we like to categorize things. What do we do about things that defy categorization, however? On one hand, some people try to cram these things into existing categories (where they don’t exactly fit, I might add) while others invent new categories, and still others simply accept that certain things may overlap several categories.

    I think classical music has very defined categories, and when a sound does not fit a designated category, people don’t always know what to make of it. When a singer employs “non-classical” technique, there might not always be classical terms to accurately describe what the singer is doing. Personally, I don’t think anything Adam does is disconnected enough to be called “falsetto” in that sense. Admittedly, it took me a while to warm up to Adam’s technique (I’m not immune to being stuck in “tradition” either!), but now that I have, I have to say that his voice is very connected. Falsetto—as the term is commonly used—is disconnected, which is not what Adam is doing. Adam simply chooses to sing in head voice with a brighter color than most classical singers do. (Sound color is influenced by things such as larynx position, position of the soft palate, amount of twang, etc.)

    I don’t know if you’ve read this article where several opera experts weighed in on Adam’s voice, but I find it interesting how the variety of responses (some of which contradict each other, actually) show how much Adam defies categorization. One expert comments that Adam “doesn’t rely on falsetto tricks in the upper register; he’s really singing the notes with his full voice” while another says that Adam uses “a terrific head voice (falsetto) that is incredibly well trained, fluid and able to communicate emotionally.” Note that even though these two responses seem to contradict each other, neither of them accused Adam of singing in a disconnected falsetto (a la what some pop singers do). In fact, I have a feeling that the second expert mentioned simply put “falsetto” in parentheses for the sake of those who completely have no background in vocal technique.

    Personally, I try to absorb as much vocal literature as possible and to learn all the different terminology out there in order to expand the categories in my mind. For me, the worst thing would be to put a sound in the wrong category, lol; maybe it’s some obsession with accuracy. When I hear a sound that I am unsure of how to categorize, in my incredibly nerdy fashion, I research that sound extensively. I listen to as many sound clips as possible in order to find similar sounds and read up on how those similar sounds have been described by other people. And in that way, that’s what I mean when I say that I have extensive “ear training” because even early on, I was never content with the same descriptive labels being applied to sounds that were clearly different; I want to be able to discern what makes one “head voice” sound different from another. Not all head voices are alike (even though some people think they are), but that is always a danger of categorization.

    In fact, the growing dissatisfaction with terms like “head voice” and “chest voice” and the baggage that comes along with them leads some vocal methods to dispense with the terms completely. (Yes, there are vocal methods that do not use these terms!) And sometimes, I really feel myself leaning towards that direction as well—at least when I explain things to myself. On forums like these, I try to phrase things in terminology with which people are familiar, but I do draw upon terminology from many different methods and schools of thought as well (concepts such as “twang”). And I thank people who bear with me and have encouraged me to explain the terms I use as well. I love doing so; it keeps me on my feet. And if anything, I just wanted to clarify why I do that, and that is because I seek to describe things as accurately as I can and to avoid the “easy” categorizations, which are often inaccurate.

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  181. Oh my! I did not expect that post to appear so long, lol. I try to be concise, but maybe I should accept that I will always have a wordy streak! =P

    Also, for the record, I have realized that Adam actually has a good amount of chest presence in some of his mid- to upper- range notes, say, A4-D5ish. For example, I remember, surprisingly, hearing one of Adam’s A4s being very similar to one of David Cook’s in terms of sound quality. I think the fact that Adam chooses to consistently use this brighter sound color throughout his range obscures the fact that he is NOT singing in head voice all the time. Don’t get me wrong; his absolute highest notes are definitely head voice (with a LOT of twang), but some of the powerful mid-range stuff would be considered “full voice” or a “mix” in certain terms. (The term “mix” is a world in itself. To be honest, I HATE these terms, lol, but I’ll deal with them.)

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  182. Wow – I didn’t know this blog topic had 182 comments. I should start another topic – something that will allow the readers to discuss multiple artists and their technical/singing ability.

    Also, although I feel that Adam has wonderfully developed countertenor range, he does have a lovely baritone range as well and he has used it during his performances on American Idol.

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  183. Does Adam have an unlovely range? If so, I haven’t heard it. Double smile. Thanks MCL.

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  184. Hello J. I was in the middle of buying an iPhone when I posted the shorter post above. Smile again – I have been pondering an iPhone for a while now – finally took the leap. Anyway…I had read the article by the opera experts & also was intrigued that they seemed to (at least to some extent) disagree with each other. And I think that, like Adam himself, his voice really can’t be put in a neat categorization. I do know that, with all due respect to the many falsettists out there, that Adam only sings in what sounds like pure falsetto occasionally AND when he does utilize falsetto is not disconnected from the rest of his voice as it is sometimes with other singers. I also agree with you regarding the artificial distinction between head & chest voice – I think that truly good singers do not have that immediate drop from “head” into “chest” voice – although some do. Anyway, lots to think about & read about – thank you for your insights & information.

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  185. Thank you, MCL for your response!

    Did anyone notice that every once in awhile I do slip Anoop into my posts? :grin: Although he isn’t my all-time favorite contestant, I just loved his ballads. And I wouldn’t have any idea of his vocal range or styling.

    I am so totally impressed with Adam, and the conversations taking place.

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  186. Hello Madam Masterclass,

    What a wonderful & peaceful place this blog is.

    Just discovered your blog from MJ’s, looking for more news and substantive discussion about Kris and Adam’s singing ability rather the fan wars. Delightful that I found this and read every single comments listed under this topic – very long indeed.

    Kris has been bashed left and right over his singing ability when compared to Adam.

    I never dispute that Adam is technically a rare singer fitting classical music like a glove if he wishes to. And I don’t need to go through that as mostly every poster here are in awe of Adam’s prowess.

    But I strongly feel that Kris is naturally gifted with a tone that is very easy to listen particularly for emotive story telling songs. Without proper singing training previously, he is a masterclass himself. I suppose viola classical training prepared him a bit, but I think he just sings from heart.

    I don’t know if anyone here has heard Kris’ written work or prior to Idol as much as you all have heard Adam, but if you have time try to visit these links to have a sample. I loved his rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Israel’s cover) and City of God.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3im6mHDxcBs (His own song)

    Appreciate it if Madam Masterclass can analyse Kris’ style further, we can always link him here to improve his singing.

    I would be interested to know the technical analysis of Kris’ accoustic No Bounderies which he sang in his post Idol publicity rounnds. Definitely there were improvements from the first time he sang it in stage. Did he take your advice on this, and practicing more, he managed to find his comfort zone?

    Again, thank you for being such an agreeable and harmonious group of people who focused on the Idol’s singing rather than the unmeaningful fightshere and there. I’ll be here a lot more.

    Ian

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  187. My apologies, Kris’ own songs written by him for his family and friends in 2007 below. I just discovered his collection, and I love the songs below:

    On Our Way

    Lovely

    Land of Smiles

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  188. Ian – thank you so, so much for sending these wonderful YouTube videos. And, I was starting to work on an evaluation of the videos, but then got caught up with family obligations and bathroom renovation job that took a wrong direction. Ha!

    I love Kris and, over the past week I have come to admire and appreciate him so very much. He is the sweetest, kindest human being and extremely humble. I hope that American idol take very good care of him -I want him to continue to succeed and grow as an artist. He is very, very talented.

    So, please be bear with me – I will have something online for all of the Kris fans very soon. Thank you stoping by and being so gracious. :)

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  189. MCL, Mindy, Karen, TFLS, and Louis, my secret has been revealed on the other thread regarding ELVIS. I am so sorry I wasn’t around for the lively discussion. You may even laugh about my Grandchildren and Elvis. Hehehe…

    I don’t like being an AARP member, but I am happy I was able to experience first hand the careers of Elvis and Barbra. Although, I will admit Karen Carpenter is my favorite female singer.

    Thank you, Roseanne for allowing a vast array of musical discussion on your blog! Although, I may not believe (at this point) that Adam will become a legend like Elvis and Barbra. I do believe he will have a successful career.

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  190. To Kariann: I think believing that Adam will be a legend like Elvis is probably a bit hard at this point – it’s early, obviously – but I believe it with all my heart & I’m 54 – I have been around to see a few things although I was a little late for the very beginning of Elvis & also the Beatles. The reason I believe it with all my heart is that I think Adam has a voice beyond anything that has entered the “pop” world in my lifetime. And I would include Elvis (whose voice I have come to greatly appreciate over time) and Barbra. In my opinion, at least for me, Adam has a magic and presence even greater than that. I just hope I will have the opportunity to hear it for many years to come and also that Adam will stay healthy & happy in order to use his talents to their fullest extent. I feel very blessed to have come upon him at the moment that he became known to both nationally and internationally. Regarding Kris, I agree with MCL wholeheartedly that he also is an amazing person with enormous talent and I hope as she does that his efforts are honored by the American public.

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