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Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 9 Top 6 Show: The Music Of Shania Twain


Shania Twain and the Top 6

Picture Courtesy Of AmericanIdol.Com

 This week country artist, Shania Twain, will mentor the six remaining singers of American Idol Season 9.

The singers will be performing numbers  selected from Shania’s catalogue  of music. 

As I have previously stated, this will be no easy task as Shania’s music contains a multitude of pitfalls. 

 You rarely hear singers performing covers of her music and for good reason.  

Many of the upbeat numbers are scaled perfectly for Shania’s voice and performing style.

 Nevertheless, the ballads should work fine for all the singers – the lyrics and the music are memorably cohesive and will strongly resonate with the listeners.

 Although I am tentative about the show’s format,  I still sense we are in for some great surprises this evening. Sometimes a ton of good escalates from the unlikeliest sources. Time will tell!

And Shania will, undoubtedly, be a very supportive and knowledgeable mentor to these singers and will impart some stellar performance hints that should aid them in tonight’s showcase.

Best of luck to the Top 6  Finalists and feel welcome to add your comments before, during and after the live telecast on Tuesday, April 20th.

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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

40 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 9 Top 6 Show: The Music Of Shania Twain”

  1. Here’s a link to an article about the contestants rehearsing for tonight’s show . . .

    http://www.okmagazine.com/2010/04/american-idols-top-six-rehearse-for-shania-twain-week/

    Like

  2. And another article about tonight’s performances . . .

    http://tvwatch.people.com/2010/04/27/american-idol-shania-twain-rehearsals/

    Like

  3. Louise,

    The description of Siobhan’s rehearsal from your second post sounds like she may perform Honey I’m Home. It is upbeat, has the hand claps that are at a tempo suitable for the over the head style described in the article and features both dobro and fiddle.

    That should be a decent song for her and follows the general wishes of the group here for an upbeat song choice this week. It presents a better image than Wild and Wicked, which is important given she is finding new fans among younger girls, largely due to her fashion forward style. She said in one of her interviews, available on the Idol site, that she takes the responsibility of being someone that people look up to very seriously.

    Anyone have a guess about what the other contestants may be singing?

    SAVE THE ARTIST

    Like

  4. I don’t care what Siobhan sings as long as it’s uptempo and she comes out with some attitude and has fun. She has to change the dynamic here and this is the time to do it. The judges, in particular Kara and Simon, have sent out the same message every week. Siobhan is too much like a “musical”, people won’t want to buy her records, she has lost who she is, doesn’t have confidence. These are all catch phrases that send a powerful message to the viewing audience. Their words have a strong negative connotation. The judges want a Crystal/Lee finale because they believe that they are the most commercially appealing singers.

    Siobhan has played a part in this by focusing too much on the technical aspect of her performance and not connecting emotionally. That is a huge part of what made her great right from the beginning. I don’t think that the fact that she doesn’t know who she is as an artist is the problem. If that was the problem, then she wouldn’t have been able to deliver strong, vocally powerful performances every week in the semifinals. She was quirky, unpredictable, brimming with talent and managed to find a song every week that she connected with on an emotional level.

    I think she has been taken aback by the judges and their harsh criticism. Trashing how she looks is a good way to undermine her self-esteem. There is an old saying that, if you repeat something often enough, it becomes accepted as fact. That is what the judges are doing. Siobhan still has the power to change this dynamic and throw a big monkey wrench into their plans. It’s up to her to seize the moment, realize that she needs to come out and just have a good time and let her great energy and personality come out. This is her trump card. The voice will always be there.

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  5. Here are the songs as posted on mjs blog.

    Lee Dewyze – “You’re Still the One” – Phenomenol
    Mike Lynche – “It Only Hurts When I Breathe” – Sitting on the staircase
    Casey James – “Don’t” – plays guitar, sings in front of judges
    Crystal Bowersox – “No One Needs to Know Right Now” – very country, new carpet
    Aaron Kelly – “It’s In the Way You Love Me” – on the stool, with a piano
    Siobhan Magnus – “Any Man Of Mine – She’s fantastic – blew it out of the park. Her new tattoo is on her stomach.

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  6. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I read the the judges’ comments so far, and they were very positive about Siobhan! (The judges also pulled back on their praise for Crystal, apparently. I haven’t seen the performance yet, so I don’t know if I agree or disagree, but I think measured, rather than gushing feedback is actually better for Crystal right now. It helps to counter the notion that she’s being overpraised.)

    I wonder if the judges have been reading online blogs, lol.

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  7. Siobhan was great, although I always think she is, but tonight she got her confidence back, and now it should stay that way.
    I think Aaron was 2nd best.

    Surprisinly, Crystal sounded squeaky to me. And, she got very defensive…very!

    I do think Siobhan can win this. She deserves it more than any of the others because she is the best singer and will go on to be a huge star.

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  8. I thought Crystal revealed her true colors tonight with her defensive attitude. And I felt it was a slam against Siobhan re the loud versus soft singing comments. Will comment more during the Vocal Masterclass article.

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  9. I was busy tonight and only caught Siobhan’s performance, and I quite enjoyed it! Like Ren said, she got her confidence back and it improved her performance. While her vocals weren’t 100 percent perfect, it was a markedly better performance than her last couple

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  10. “I thought Crystal revealed her true colors tonight with her defensive attitude. And I felt it was a slam against Siobhan re the loud versus soft singing comments. Will comment more during the Vocal Masterclass article.”

    It’s your website and you can say whatever you want but I have the unfortunate feeling that you have shown your true colors with your obvious favoritism towards Shiobhan. It seems almost as if Crystal has offended you personally. What it could be I have no idea. I didn’t feel that she was being defensive, I felt that she was almost discussing her performance with equals and having an actual conversation. Why does she do that? Because she is THAT good. I guess that kind of thing doesn’t play well with some.

    Thank you for letting me comment.

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  11. Maybe I was just in the right mood for country/pop because, for the first time this year, I can honestly say I enjoyed the whole American Idol show — Casey, Mike, Aaron, Lee (even Crystal was not THAT bad) and I was happy to see Siobhan let loose (yes — not perfect, but a joy to watch).

    Way to go Siobhan!

    Kudos to Shania Twain as mentor!

    Add to that — one of my favorite performers – Kristin Chenoweth – was on GLEE this evening.

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  12. MCL,

    Thank you for saying what I was afraid to say! Just looking at one response here is enough to give me pause. But you said it and all I can say is – AMEN! I saw it exactly the same way that you did. Now it’s my turn to rant. For weeks now Crystal has been given nothing but unconditional and overweening praise from the judges. They have been positively obsequious towards her. Last week they anointed her the winner and dissed the rest of these young people who are working their hearts out every week. I spoke about it in my comments here last week, but it bears repeating. There are six contestants here and every single one of them has the right to believe that they each have a real chance of winning. They deserve at least that!

    This week reminded me of the old saying – it’s not over ’til the fat lady sings! Well, let me amend that to say that it’s not over until the last contestant sings! This was a great night of performances and I am just thrilled! We were all so worried about how these young people would manage with Shania’s distinctive songs. I think Shania was an incredible mentor! Thank you, Shania, for urging these kids to think about the word and feel the emotion and, yes, tell a story! I think she should take some credit for the stellar results.

    As far as Crystal, I was disappointed in her comments. For someone who has been treated virtually with kid gloves, she came off petulant and annoyed. It wasn’t necessary. After last week, it was always going to be hard to surpass that moment with People Get Ready. It’s not easy being the frontrunner or the chosen one. Now Crystal is getting a taste of that. Of all people, she should be the one to just smile graciously and nod and say a nice thank you to the judges who have all but pre-ordained her the winner. I think this was one of her weaker performances and with the others stepping it up, it was a much needed jolt of adrenaline and excitement into what has seemed such a somnolent season. Her song was cute and full of whimsy and she displayed some lovely range and lilting high notes, but it was not memorable. She will find that the road is not always easy on this show.

    Aaron sang his little heart out tonight! He has been struggling so much in recent weeks, but this kid never gave up on himself. I thought he gave a controlled, vocally nuanced and lovely interpretation of this song. He was more on pitch than I have heard him in weeks. This song was a ballad, but not the kind of power ballad that would overwhelm his voice. Great job!

    Where has this Casey been? My goodness, what a brilliant vocal he delivered tonight! I didn’t hear any of that annoying vibrato, that sound that seems like a goat, although I don’t like to use that word. His vocals were on pitch all the way. Even when he went for those higher notes, he held on so well. With less guitar, a stripped down arrangement, his voice could shine on its own. This guy has a great voice when he can get it right. I think he really needed this performance. Last week he was in the bottom two and seemed to have lost all of his early promise. I have never heard his voice sound better. Congratulations!

    Mike made me think of the late Luther Vandross for the first time with his performance tonight. It was a really heartbreaking, beautiful vocal delivered with power and conviction. I don’t like to compare anyone to Luther, because to me he was one of a kind, but tonight I heard that quality in Mike’s voice. He has toned down the shtick and over the top performing style and now seems to be really connecting with the songs and the words. Since he was saved, it seems as though he has been inspired to go out and do his very best. So nice to see!

    Lee is the one that didn’t overwhelm me this time. I have been struggling with his performances for a few weeks now. I didn’t want to say anything until I felt that I could pinpoint what was bothering me. It’s not just the obvious, continuous pitch problems that my ear picks up. I think it’s also the lack of performance value. I felt it again tonight. I was thinking about what Adam said to him on Elvis week. He said from the neck up, nothing is happening. I think Lee is very good looking with those beautiful blue eyes, but he isn’t using what God gave him! He could smile with those eyes, look soulfully into the camera, pretend he was singing to some girl in the audience. I just don’t see any expression when he sings. It really detracts from the performance. I don’t need him to jump all over the stage, just look more animated facially. Also, J said something about hearing a different quality in his voice on the chorus of “The Boxer” last week. When he tried to do that tonight, he lost pitch completely. I love things about his voice, but I think he is still underperforming, especially at this point in the competition. I don’t like the fact that he has been anointed as the co-star in the judges dream finale with Crystal. I don’t know that he’s there yet.

    Siobhan is back! She came out with sass and attitude and did a fun, uptempo number, just as I hoped. I loved her voice tonight! I thought she managed to stay on pitch even with all the moving around in this performance. I love how she went into the audience and engaged with them. This is what has been lacking in her recent performances. I cannot get over what this girl can do with her voice. She did the scream and it was a long one, but I still loved it! Those notes at the end, that little growl in her voice that she did once before, that range. I don’t know what else to say! I loved it! Even Simon had to grudgingly admit that it was good! Like pulling teeth. Kara said Siobhan was BAAAACK! I didn’t know she ever went away.

    Siobhan needed this kind of performance to really establish herself as a girl with a powerhouse voice who can rock the house!

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  13. After watching the performance over again, I can say that Crystal’s comment that”bigger isn’t always better” was directed towards herself, not Siobhan. How could it be? Siobhan hadn’t even sung yet. Her comments towards the judges bother me not at all and do not come across to me in any way as petulant or childish or annoyed.

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  14. I do not have a favorite at all this year. I really felt all the Idols did well and after reading some of the comments pro and con on the AI board I came here to get the opinion of a professional and expert…one I have admired for years. I was really disappointed to find the only comment from you at this point was
    “I thought Crystal revealed her true colors tonight with her defensive attitude. And I felt it was a slam against Siobhan re the loud versus soft singing comments. Will comment more during the Vocal Masterclass article.”

    I am really disappointed that an expert in musical voice and performance would be judging a contestant on her personal perception of her character and interpreting comments made to the judges as though she knows what they meant because of course you must know Crystal? This has what to do with her performance? Please leave the mind reading of the contestants’ thoughts and feelings to those who are expert in that field. It is your expertise in voice, music and performance that brings me here. I am really not interested in your catty opinions regarding any of the contestants…and that is exactly how your comment came across. Since you promise more about this later in your VOCAL Masterclass article, I am not sure I even care to come back. Just so disappointed.

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  15. J. May, I also thought the comment was directed towards her song choice rather than towards Siobhan’s performance. I felt it was like, “Look at me, I can sing this little ditty – a light weight song and it still can be good.” When she made her comments to the judges, she had a bit of a smile on her face and a bit of a twinkle in her eye. After 9 seasons of watching this show, I think – wait, I believe Crystal was encouraged by the producers to tell the judges how she felt!

    My thoughts were, “See Siobhan isn’t the only one to ‘talk back’ to the judges. Good job, Crystal.”

    I don’t care what Siobhan sings as long as it’s uptempo and she comes out with some attitude and has fun.

    Mindy, Siobhan’s song achieved what you desired. I love those last notes, including the growl. Yes, Siobhan is back… uh, not that I ever thought she left! At least Kera has seen the light. I wasn’t particularly fond of her dress this week. Maybe pants for next week?

    Both Casey and Aaron improved, but I think Aaron is on shaky ground here. I couldn’t figure out why Casey had his eyes closed so much. He was cutting off communication with the viewing audience. I did love the lighting aura surrounding him and his beautiful hair. :wink:

    With Michael, it was some of the same and I was not impressed. I would have liked an uptempo song. Just my opinion, here. Lee had an excellent song choice, probably the best of the night, but his voice was uneven. Yes, he needed to smile a bit. I am anxious to hear what some will write about his delivery.

    Overall, it was a good show!

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  16. @J.May Since I am not a fan of either Crystal or Siobhan that is exactly what I thought she was saying. I did not read any hidden meaning into her comments. But then I have never taken the behavior, or held the comments of the judges, against the contestants themselves. Yes, the judges have been completely unfair to Siobhan and overly praising of Crystal, but in no way do I hold that against either young lady. They are both good in their individual ways…actually I have only voted for Siobhan so far because I was concerned other voters might be influenced by the judges’ negative comments, and I most certainly did not want her to go home. Siobhan has always defended herself to the judges, I certainly don’t have a problem with Crystal defending herself now that she is in the same situation. Siobhan fans need to lighten up on Crystal.

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  17. To the people here who are bashing some of us for our perception of Crystal’s comments, it would be nice to remember that we all get to have our opinions. That is what this is – a forum in which one gets to say what one feels, thinks, likes, dislikes, etc.

    We have this due to the generosity of MCL. I think that even when we do have some criticisms, this is still a far more civil place than anywhere else on the blogosphere. I have just come from mjs blog where the hatespeak for Siobhan and the adoring worship for Crystal is at a fever pitch. After reading some of what was said about Siobhan, I have no problem with what I said about Crystal. That was my initial impression and it was pretty mild compared to the garbage that permeates the various online blogs.

    I guess that I will have to say it again, for those who have never been here before or for those who have and choose to ignore what I have said previously – I like both Crystal and Siobhan! Surprise! Yes, one can indeed like and appreciate both of these talented young ladies. Siobhan is my personal favorite, but I have been more than appreciative and supportive of Crystal. What I have NOT like is the incessant overpraising and fawning of the judges. I have made that point repeatedly. It’s beyond annoying. I do not blame Crystal for it.

    As far as making an analogy between Crystal talking back and Siobhan talking back, I must say that it does not apply in this case. Siobhan has been pounded for weeks by the judges. Nothing she wears or sings is right. She is too loud, screams too much, then she is too soft and sleepy, then she has lost herself, lost her confidence, the judges don’t know who she is, no one would want to buy her record. Need I go on? I think the point has been made. Siobhan spoke in response to a question from Ryan. I actually expressed my personal wish that she not continue to do this, because I felt that it was unnecessary and may be taken the wrong way. But her initial instinct to defend herself against repetitious and relentless attacks after each performance, was both natural and reasonable.

    Crystal is in a decidedly different position. It would be disingenuous to pretend otherwise. She has been fortunate to have received lavish adoration and praise every week. In contrast to Siobhan, who couldn’t do anything right in the judges eyes, Crystal could do no wrong. Given the fact that Crystal has been treated with such deference and has been virtually immune from criticism, I don’t see that she should have felt the need to defend her performance. I did not take her comment to be a direct attack on Siobhan. I took it to mean that she sang a more lightweight song this week. But I did think she was a little too edgy and a bit defensive. There was no reason to say anything. It gives the appearance that even the slightest criticism doesn’t go over too well with her. That may not be the case, but that is how it could be perceived.

    I don’t need to lighten up on Crystal, because I haven’t pounded on her the way the judges have pounded on Siobhan. Some people here need to stop taking so much offense at someone’s opinions or feelings. It’s not as though we are accusing Crystal of a capital offense. So Crystal fans should lighten up, too!

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  18. Hi,

    First time posting this season but have been faithfully reading all the excellent commentary. In defense of Crystal’s comments tonight I honestly don’t feel that she was taking a shot at any of the other Idols and was just commenting on her own choice of song and performance. I wish she hadn’t because I knew that she would be scrutinized. I don’t think it’s easy to be considered the front runner and I actually think she’s pretty sensitive about it. I’ve thought all season that anyone left could win and still do, it just depends on how they perform each week.

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  19. To be fair, I read earlier today that Crystal has asked her fans NOT to denigrate the other contestants.

    As for this evening, I thought that Crystal wanted to lighten up tonight and her comments were a reply to the judges comments. It seemed to me that she wanted to show that she is able to perform BIG & soulful music and “little ditties” — her performance just did not work tonight.

    On a different note, I think that we have seen a similar situation before on Idol – sometimes the ladies do not always perform the female stars material as well as the gentlemen contestants. I think MCL alluded to this when she mentioned that even Carrie Underwood had issues when she dealt with material that has been tailored to and identified so closely with this big star. [I had to hand it to Siobhan for picking one of the STAR’S BIGGEST HITS – this gal is fearless.]

    And, although my country tastes lean to the Mary-Chapin Carpenter end of the spectrum, I enjoyed the performances this evening and thought that (what I could see) this evening showed Ms. Twain providing needed guidance in how to convey the emotion and character of the material.

    However, I have NO idea how the actual votes will fall. The last time I looked dialidol.com had Aaron as the only safe contestant so it may be that (on top of a heart-felt performance) Aaron is pulling votes that had been going to Tim Urban. Then again, dialidol.com does not measure text votes. Lastly, it seems that Casey (who I think performed well this evening) is the last contestant from the South and that may affect perceptions).

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  20. This morning I’m going to re-watch last night’s show, because I didn’t have the feeling that Crystal was talking about anything but her own music when she made the “bigger isn’t always better” comment.

    Although I wasn’t crazy about the songs and had only heard one of them before last night, I thought everyone did a good job. It was definitely Crystal’s weakest night although not a bad performance. I was quite pleased to see Siobhan getting the “pimp” spot and it was well deserved!

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  21. Not liking a performance based on the performance itself is one thing, not liking it (or liking it) based on how the judges respond is so something else. Whether the judges praise or pan a performance the only thing that matters is what YOU felt about it. It’s childish to suggest that since the judges SEEM to be pushing one contestant over another that the contestant deserves to be taken down a peg. Siobhan, imo, started this AI process in the right way but somewhere along the line she lost me. The judges opinions have nothing to with it. By the way, it is certainly not the first time an AI contestant has lost me. Danny Gokey, anyone?

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  22. I watched last night’s performances again this morning while reading the newspaper. In just listening to all of them, the performances I enjoyed the most were Mike’s, Crystal’s and Siobhan’s. I know that the judges really praised the other three guys–Lee, Casey, and Aaron–but honestly they didn’t do much for me. And listening to Crystal the second time, I thought it was much better than hearing it last night for the first time. I loved Siobhan, but do have to agree with Simon on this one that the note near the end was held a little too long.

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  23. This show is such a pleasant surprise, no one really seriously messed up. :) Now, I don’t know how the votes will go…

    Lee — I could almost hear his thought process while singing “I’m gonna deviate from the original notes juuust a little”, “Oh, ok, maybe it’s better to go back”, “I’m gonna make a face like–this”, “I’m connecting emotionally now, I hope it shows in my face”

    Okay, that was a joke. (I hope nobody will be offended by this) Hmm, this is the only Shania song I know very well, and compared to the original… Eh, I wasn’t feeling it. It was nice, at first, but on playback, not so much. But for the first time ever I’m looking forward to the studio version of Lee’s song.

    Newsflash: The judges loved Lee’s performance! That’s new! LOL

    Mike — He has a very beautiful voice, and this performance, IMO showed that well. For once his, er, attitude took a backseat and he just let the song take him away.

    Casey — WOW. :) If only he would take the show seriously, he’s really gonna give Crystal a run for her money. I wonder if he likes the rock genre? Because that would explain why he rarely chooses songs like this. I earnestly hope he’d realize that his voice fits this type of songs (I dunno what genre this falls into..).

    And I liked in the intro when Shania sang a little bit with Casey, Their voices blend well.

    Crystal — This was nice. I dunno what Simon was talking about. Or maybe it was because she performed next to Casey that she sounded forgettable? The praise they heaped on Lee should’ve been given to her. But of course it’s just me.

    The joke about teeth at the start… That was a bit rude, no?

    Aaron — Everyone’s been talking about how this week is the perfect time for Aaron to showcase his talent, and I must say I agree. Unlike last week, he hit the notes this time, and then he actually connected to the song. However, I did not like the way Kara took great care to mention how Aaron changed the lyrics to fit his age… Oy. It’s not always a necessity to have a personal experience just to be able to connect to the song. Siobhan connected to HotRS, and that song was about a man who lost a lot in life…

    If I remember correctly, he also had a problem with “Blue Suede Shoes” (something about drinking liquor..). To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a lyric is just a lyric…

    Siobhan — (from a very biased fan perspective) I was so nervous, considering that nobody really faltered in their performances, plus the judges gave very positive comments (they seemed to have connected to their happy places! LOL). Well, turns out there wasn’t really anything to worry about! I just loooooved that she looked like she was genuinely having fun with the song. I can breathe easily knowing that she has not totally lost that side of her.

    The song had a few bum notes, but that note near the end…WOW. I hope there’s nothing wrong with my ears, because I thought she hit that note right on the head! And apparently Kara thinks Siobhan should insert glory notes to every performance because she dropped her “I’m confused/I don’t know what kind of artist you are/I don’t know why I’m a judge” comment. Just kidding about the last part. LOL

    Lastly, Kara should have the decency to at least let Simon finish talking. It’s not as if Simon (or the other judges) makes her shut up whenever she speaks, so for her to do that…

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  24. Look everyone – I am entitled to express my opinion and to have favorites as well as the next person. Did you even read my article last week where I gave Crystal glowing reviews and delved into a critique about Siobhan’s need to improve areas ion her vocal delivery? I may have my preferences but I have never allowed it to affect the Vocal Masterclass articles.

    That being said, I apologize for offending the Crystal fans. I don’t like to add inappropriate comments about any contestant that are layered with supposition. It was made in haste and a clogged head because of my cold. :)

    This will not reflect anything I have to say about any singer in this week’s article. And, I think you may be surprised with the outcome of this article once again re the critiques.

    However, I still did think that her comments were unwarranted, especially given the fact that she has been praised to high heaven each and every week. And, the judges were actually supportive of her depsite their generally negative feedabck about this week’s performance.

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  25. Having watched the show back, I was impressed by Aaron, Casey, and Crystal. Siobhan did pretty well, as I mentioned earlier, and I’m glad she got her spark back.

    I honestly didn’t find Crystal’s remark to be derogatory, as I feel she was simply explaining her reasoning behind the song choice. As Siobhan has been explaining that sort of thing nearly every week, I liked hearing Crystal’s intent for the song. I agree, it is frustrating when judges heap praises on her. However, for the most part, I think she deserves it. Although she is not as technically secure as Siobhan, the way she reveals her soul in each performance is quite astounding. I’d compare her to Melinda Doolittle from season 6. Obviously, Crystal is not nearly as good technically compared to Melinda. However, each week, Melinda delivered solid performances, and the judges rightfully praised her every week. Now with Crystal, they are taking it too far, I do agree. And I do not condone them continuing tearing down other contestants while heaping praise on their favorite. They did this ruthlessly to Katie and Didi, and I wasn’t impressed. Crystal just stands above the other contestants, in my opinion, because she is consistently good.

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  26. I don’t really know whether or not Crystal was referring to someone else (not that I care), but I still feel that Ryan should stop asking the contestant questions that will only lead to self-defense. It’s like trying to give critics more ammunition to slam a certain contestant.

    It was nice to see Bon Bon smiling and laughing at the end. :D

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  27. To Mindy:

    I love reading your comments each week, you write from your heart and you’ll so knowledgable that I feel I learn from you. (I learn from Masterclass Lady too and others on this site).

    One comment to everyone. I thought the remark Crystal made to her boyfriend was so embarrassing “Man Up”! If I said that to any guy I knew in my single days in front of millions, I think they would bolt.
    Is that another trait of her personality?
    Still, she’s a good singer. It was said in response to her being told that she wasn’t feeling the song and at last we see how she takes criticism.

    I thought Aaron was the best last night, he seems like a wonderful human being.
    But as always, all my votes went to Siobhan.

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  28. Last night I said Siobhan was my favorite and today I said Aaron.
    After listening again to both, I’ll stick with Siobhan. Aaron is such a sweet person and if he waited 2 to 3 years, I think he would be in the top tier.

    When I go to different sites, I’m so amazed at what a polarizing contestant Siobhan is; so many haters. I believe Adam had the same effect last year. People seem passionate about her one way or the other. Why is that?

    Could it be, and I ask you experts: Would Siobhan have been better off studying Opera?

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  29. I dislike comments that imply personal attacks on people here. Saying that someone is childish is not giving an opinion, it’s saying something extremely unflattering. None of us here are childish in any way, shape or form. I think we should try to respect each other as people. There is also some rather bizarre logic here. I don’t see anyone suggesting that Crystal needs to be taken down a peg because she is being blatantly pimped by the judges. I have no idea why anyone would even suggest it.

    I think that I have made my points as clearly as possible. Saying it all again will not ensure that someone will hear what they do not want to hear. There is simply no reason for Crystal’s backtalk to be blown out of proportion. I dislike the fact that I feel uncomfortable even giving the slightest criticism of Crystal’s performance. I have felt this way for a while. I don’t like it. Some seem to feel that she is virtually untouchable. The judges have certainly encouraged this kind of attitude. They are not helping Crystal by giving her unqualified praise every week. No one is ever so good that they don’t need to work to be better. Professional singers are always working to improve their vocal intrument, incorporating more technical skills, honing a few things, smoothing out other aspects of their voice. Crystal could certainly use some advice in that regard.

    I am of the opinion that it is the lack of any real criticism that caused Crystal to react the way she did last night. It must be jarring to suddenly hear Simon say – Suprise, we don’t like Crystal this week! She is not used to hearing anything like this and frankly, it showed. I will say one last thing about this and then I am done. I do NOT think that Crystal’s comments were directed at Siobhan.

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  30. ur kidding, right? April 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    As an ardent Siobhan supporter, it also flashed across my mind that Crystal could have been referring to Siobhan. But with a clear head I realized that Crystal is a really sweet genuine person and I can’t imagine her saying that to put down anyone else.

    I actually liked Crystal’s performance and I agree with her. A whole album full of big songs is tiring. Unfortunately, the “small” songs rarely play well on the AI stage.

    Let’s not create controversy out of thin air.

    For those of you who doubt how good Siobhan was, please watch her performance again. You may be converted. It can indeed be difficult to process Siobhan’s performances because there is so much going on. She did a great job while running around the stage imo.

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  31. Siobhan is different and touches peoples tender sensibilities – some for the good and some not. Many artistic types of people have this catalytic quality that presages change – some develop into positive influences – I hope this is true for Siobhan. However this will take time and work.

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  32. Found this site recently, and have been enjoying the articles and comments. I really enjoyed the Shania evening, better than I had expected.

    I felt Siobhan was fantastic – even though she was less than technically perfect – at the begining – she really connected – and it made all the difference – you could she a fun loving young person again. I could do without the high notes at the end though – she can sing high beautifully – but I don’t like the edge in to what Simon (unfairly) terms a scream. She is turning into a favourite of mine mainly becasue of the unfair comments from the judges.

    I felt Crystal was a bit boring – that song should have been a lot more fun – and it would have been great. (I loved her last week though)

    Loved Casey – good as Jealous guy – he should do this more often.

    Thought Aaron was better than for a long time – I wish he had waited until he had grown into his body to match his voice before doing this show though. While some 17 yr olds look like men Aron still looks like a boy.

    I never really got Lee, I can’t see why people like him so much.

    Mike, great voice but I didn’t like it at all – opposite problem to Aaron for me – he looks to big for that little high voice. I didn’t agree with Simon’s first label of wet (meaning lackluster) but his second comment of girly nailed it for me as that’s what I was thinking. Could he have sung it in a lower key?

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  33. “I don’t see anyone suggesting that Crystal needs to be taken down a peg because she is being blatantly pimped by the judges. I have no idea why anyone would even suggest it.”

    Because it has been said here and elsewhere. I was tired of it, both for Crystals’s sake and others in the past. America seems to like someone who performs well but only up to a certain point. Or they take their anger out on the contestant that they feel is being pimped too much but gives great performances regardless. Part of my proof lies with MCL’s comment’s about Crystal apart from her performance which she is an expert on (she can make any comment that she wants–it’s her site). Also, suggesting that Crystal or any really good contestant NEED to be taken down a peg because it will help them is disengenuous at best. I discovered this site and liked it because it afforded me a view into the actual musicality of the show on a technical level. If I want personal comments about the contestants there are plenty of places I can go.

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  34. Thank you for the site MCL and a place where we ALL can express our opinions and support our favorites. I look forward to your unbiased Master Class review of last night’s performances. I particularly enjoied reading your last evaluation of Siobhan. It was like seeing and hearing the performance all over again. If this whole music thing doesn’t work out for you, you could have quite a future pushing a pen!

    Good job Shania and to all six contestants with a difficult assignment. I may have guessed one song choice right, which is 100% better than last week.

    Shania seemed to bond well with the contestants this week and was able to draw good performances from each of them.

    I still can’t form a bond with Lee. I liked him during Hollywood week but since then I don’t see anything unique about him. He strikes me as a morph between Chris Allen and David Cook, so does that mean there is a ready made market for him or an over crowded one? I don’t know. He did a fair job of personalizing this song for his performance style.

    Mike, truth be told, may be the best singer remaining. Since abandoning the cheese he has delivered some very good performances. I think he risk being minimized as an R&B artist when, IMHO, he could fill the broader demands of the larger pop market. If he ever connects with the perfect song he will knock it out of the park.

    I knew Casey could sing better than what he has been doing week after week. It wasn’t quite what I had hoped for, and it was too little too late, but an improvement none the less. Keep in mind that I like most of the songs that he has performed this year but, with the exception of his performance of Jealous Guy, Casey hasn’t taken this competition seriously. Shania hit the nail on the head regarding his lack of confidence and shy nature.

    Crystal is my second favorite contestant this season; however, I found her performance last night to be not on par with her previous work. Her vocals were weak, she seemed to rely on the back up singer and the two of them didn’t have a good blend. In my understanding, it is the responsibility of the backup singer to make the blend work, so maybe she was at fault. Crystal has lacked confidence in your guitar playing on several songs and looks at her hands in a way that makes this obvious. Most players will look at their hands occasionally, but if you pay attention to Crystal when she does it, you will likely agree that she has a lack of confidence. The same was true to a much higher degree when she played the piano. I really liked where she was going that night but the performance needed more work. It was uncomfortable for me. I would like to see both Crystal and Casey take a hand mic and move a little bit while they are singing. As for her comments to the judges, it didn’t strike me in the way that it did MCL, but I’m open to the possibility that she may have been referring to the other contestants. I thought that she was referring to her own previous work or just the delivery that she chose for this particular song. One of the things that I like about Crystal is the genuine ease with which she communicates with the judges and with the mentors. She is a very smart young woman and has made several well measured remarks to the judges that seemed appropriate at the time. It is against that background that I tend to doubt that she would intentionally make a snide remark about Siobhan’s song in defense of her own. In regard to an earlier comment on this topic: The contestants have heard one another’s performances several times during practice sessions and dress rehearsal prior to the evening’s performance, so Crystal had heard Siobhan’s song, even though she hadn’t yet performed it on the show.

    Aaron had a good week, but I don’t think it had anything to do with the country theme. He chose a ballad that feel nicely into his range and performed it confidently. I still think Aaron’s best performances are delivered in front of the mentors. He always looks like a confidant little pro when he is toe to toe with a superstar but seems less confidant on stage. This week was the exception for him because even though he was feeling his oats during the mentoring session
    He was pretty much on pitch, not shaky and appeared to be comfortable during his performance. Except for the fact that he is the most likely benefactor of last week’s elimination of Tim I would have predicted him to be the guy holding the bus ticket home tonight.

    I couldn’t believe that Siobhan got the pimp spot last night. I believe what we witnessed was the second judges save of the year. No, they weren’t saving Siobhan; they were saving themselves, two of them anyway. I believe Randy has been honest throughout the season, even when he said that he didn’t like her performance. Ditto for Ellen, even though she made one unfortunate remark several weeks ago, I know she was trying to be funny but it just wasn’t working on that occasion. The other two are dead to me. I wash my hands and feet of them. I don’t believe there is any correlation between Siobhan’s performance and Kara’s comments to her. The first thing that Kara attacked her on was the high notes, a.k.a. “screams,” then she decided that was the part of Siobhan’s “two voices” that she liked.

    My guess is that her vote totals and iTunes sales are so high that, as much as they would like to, they knew they couldn’t keep kicking her or they may end up in the odd position of kicking the next Idol. There is no credible evidence that she isn’t winning. It is all speculation, no matter how convincing. The same can be said for any of the other contestants, so I chose to say that Siobhan is winning.

    I wasn’t that keen on the song Siobhan choose but I have to give her props for doing something that no other singer has ever done as far as I know and that is to do a cover of one of Shania’s specially crafted show tunes. During the intro, when she was doing the big over head claps that we saw from a pulled back camera view, she actually looked like Shania. She delivered it well, although she seemed just a little slow getting up to speed. I loved the growl in the last line on the word “man.” If you liked that as well, you get two growls on the itunes version of When You Believe. This song choice should work well for her in the competition but it isn’t what I would prefer to hear her sing. Siobhan and Shania seemed to get along well and I noticed that Shania told her that she always looked beautiful when they first met. That small gesture from a superstar, who is a very beautiful woman herself, may have been the little confidence booster that Siobhan needed in order to deliver her song so well last night. I also noticed that Shania gave her a that-a-girl when they were all standing together at the end of the show. The generosity of the established stars toward these young artists is one of my favorite parts of American Idol.

    Much has been said about her past song choices, who she is as an artist and whether anyone would buy her album. I have bought her album and the songs contained therein (9 so far) work quite well together as a body of work. It’s not hard to tell who she is as an artist if you listen to the songs together, one after the other, in there full length versions.

    My dialing finger is in a splint today. I hope yours is to.

    Apologies for being so long winded.

    SAVE THE ARTIST

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  35. J. May,

    You seem determined to pursue an argument here. Since you directly quoted me this time, I am responding directly to you. One thing that I really dislike is anyone twisting and distorting my words to mean something that they do not. You are doing precisely that. Maybe you think that any criticism is essentially taking someone down a peg. That is simple not true. Constructive criticism, which is the only kind that I endorse, can help someone to realize their true potential. I did NOT say that Crystal needs to taken down a peg. You are putting other people’s words in my mouth. That is not the way to have a mutually respectful discussion.

    If you have a problem with what people have said about Crystal elsewhere, then you need to address that in the appropriate forum. But please do not take your frustration out on me or anyone else here who dares to say that Crystal should not be immune from fair and well-intentioned critiques. That’s the only way anyone can grow and become an even better singer. Or are you saying that Crystal is untouchable and cannot be given contructive criticism? Is she perfect? No one is perfect!

    It is true that this is MCL’s site and it’s worth remembering. MCL need not defend herself or her words. To those of us who have been here for a while, MCL has been a passionate advocate of young singers, supporting them actively on this blog, always setting the highest standard for herself with her stellar critiques. There is a veritable treasure trove of valuable information in her weekly critiques of the performances. She has always been objective, fair and generous in her praise of all the contestants. She always looks for both strengths and weaknesses. She will never engage in petty carping, destructive attacks or any of the nonsense that passes for critiques among the judges on Idol.

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  36. Sorry, typos again. That is SIMPLY not true!

    I did not say that Crystal needs to BE taken down a peg.

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  37. Of course MCL is entitled to her own opinion. But on a website such as this, that opinion should be focused on the performer’s singing abilities, not a personal psychoanalysis. All due respect, if MCL would just flat out say that she doesn’t like the dirty little hippy who stands at a mic strumming her guitar and singing with an annoying voice, and prefers the amazingly-talented, beautiful, artistic young singer with the huge range, that would be keeping it more real for me. I come here to lurk and read the posts during all the American Idol Seasons; I always enjoyed reading MCL’s critiques. But never in the past were they so obviously biased in favor of any one single contestant as they appear to be now. It seems things have changed this year. Thanks for letting me state my objective opinion.

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  38. “You seem determined to pursue an argument here. Since you directly quoted me this time, I am responding directly to you. One thing that I really dislike is anyone twisting and distorting my words to mean something that they do not. You are doing precisely that. Maybe you think that any criticism is essentially taking someone down a peg. That is simple not true. Constructive criticism, which is the only kind that I endorse, can help someone to realize their true potential. I did NOT say that Crystal needs to taken down a peg. You are putting other people’s words in my mouth. That is not the way to have a mutually respectful discussion.”

    Determined isn’t a word I would use. If you feel you didn’t say it, well then, you didn’t. I simply felt, perhaps wrongly, that in this forum and elsewhere the critique of a contestant was warranted both in terms of how the judges feel about their performance in the critical/constructive sense and in terms of how far they go to heap their own personal praise on a contestant. How much they are “pimped”, in other words. As far the final 10 are concerned praise or criticism by the judges is ultimately irrelevant because it has by then been placed in the hands of the voting public, fickle as they seem to be to me. So why do people feel it necessary to criticize the contestants for the judges generosity? I would guess that it’s 1) because of jealousy and 2) the feeling that AI has their own agenda. I don’t actually disagree with the 2nd point, but if anything, IMO, AI has an agenda to cause drama by having a 2 or 3 good singers alongside more middling to outright bad singers. Sanjaya? Tim? Lil Rounds, Megan Joy, Brandon Rogers, Kevin Covais, and on, and on, and on.
    Crystal is certainly not immune from criticism but if she (or anybody) gives a performance that the judges like and that the voters like why is a bad thing for her to praised for it? I mean, what do you want the judges to do? Say tepidly, Randy style,” for me for you it was a’ight”, and move on? The judges are there for drama, comic relief and some perspective. I just wish that people would take it for what it is and then make up their own minds.

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  39. Ok, I haven’t even watched this season. I don’t have a favorite. That being said here’s what AI is: AI is a reality TV entertainment show. The producers will do as they please. The judges will do as they please. They will do everything to guide the viewing audiences to vote the way they want them to. They don’t care about the contestants, they care about ratings and putting money in their pockets. This very controversy between Crystal and Siobhon is what they crave. Brings the ratings up. Will Crystal win if she’s the chosen one. I don’t know. I am on Twitter and my timeline does not like this season, AT ALL. They say after 7 and 8 this season is boring. Like I said I don’t watch. Stopped after season 7. This show is a joke. It’s not about finding talent anymore. It’s about who they can make the money from and control the most. Which largely is the viewing/listening/radio audience. Which for sake of not mentioning names, the music industry is going down the tube along with AI. Singers can’t sing live anymore. How boring it is to hear them sing? OK, end of rant. I’ll end with this: Don’t waist your time voting. The votes don’t matter.

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  40. You’re partially right: AI is a reality show devoted to its own bottom line. However, as Adam Lambert has said and others have echoed, one of the best ways these days to be seen/discovered is to be on AI. It’s an opportunity like no other to be showcased in front of millions of people, if you are smart and savvy and lucky enough to navigate your way through the machine.

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