Vocal Masterclass Discussion for American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Show: Motown


American Idol Season 10 Top 12

American Idol Season 10 Top 12

Tonight’s performances will determine who will move on into the coveted Top 10. For those new to American Idol, only the Top 10 Finalists will enjoy the privilege of being part of the American Idol tour this summer.

I am still on vacation and enjoying the break immensely. However, beginning next week, Vocal Masterclass articles will resume -just in time for the Top 10 show.

My readers have been very busy adding their comments and suggestions for the Motown Theme this evening in the Top 12 discussion thread below this topic and I thank them so much for this.

Enjoy the show everyone. I am expecting some great performances tonight and I am hoping that all of the singers step up to the plate and come out of their boxes with some pleasant and interesting song choices.

Good luck to all and, as I often say to my singers: Drop! Your! Jaw!

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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

36 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion for American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Show: Motown”

  1. MCL…So glad you are having a wonderful vacation!

    I am so proud of us! Usually when the teacher steps out of the classroom, the students bounce off the walls…not in our case; we have all played very nice with each other! We have entertained ourselves while waiting on our teacher to return! No gum in anyone’s hair!

    The only one we were worried about was that Gene W. (he can get a little rowdy ya know) but even he was very good, he came to “class” and shared, without throwing one temper tantrum, and was all in all he was a good boy! ;-)

    We sure have missed you!

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  2. Vonnie – you are way too funny. I have missed all the interaction as well, but, next week, the fun ends for me and I resume a normal schedule.

    So, enjoy the “teacherless” classroom while you can. :). From the sounds and look of it, all of you have been having a great time and your insightful comments have been wonderful to read by the beach. ( had to rub that in!!)

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  3. MCL,

    We will have our hair combed and pencils out, waiting for your return to class!

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  4. Looking forward to relaxing with Idol tonight. :-)

    MCL, sounds like you have quite the vacation! And well-deserved, I must say! Can’t wait to read the articles next week.

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  5. Jessica Turner March 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    MCL,

    I was the brownnoser, playing teacher’s pet the whole time. I took names. ;)

    Jess

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  6. Stefano was outstanding. But he needs to relax and become more immersed in the song. The judges are right – his approach is too studied. He works too hard on that stage.

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  7. Pia = outstanding but she needs to move and groove. Just as some of the others need to sing ballads rather than solely uptempo songs.

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  8. Loved Naima like apple pie. Outstanding. Perfect pacing, perfect key for her rich, low voice, great dancing skills and overall performing ability. Beautiful work!

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  9. James Durbin is incredible and unstoppable.

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  10. Ugh. what an snorefest tonight. Not too many stood out for me. I’m not a fan of Naima, but totally LOVED her tonight too! She actually had me swaying to the music and bopping my head while she was singing. :-)

    I was interested in the judges comments on Stefano. He hasn’t really grown on me, although he does have an amazing voice! But I think it’s because he doens’t connect with the audience – he constantly sings with his eyes closed. I know he tried this tonight, but he resorted back to what he is comfortable with. It must be hard to change what he is use too. I feel he is connecting with the music well, but not with us. So perhaps that’s why he hasn’t really grown on me.

    Hard to call who is going to go home tomorrow. My bottom three. Lauren…Hailey…Thia. Just because they have been there before and I found they didn’t really do anything different this week…although Luaren was better this week than in previous.

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  11. Stefano and Pia have the most gorgeous voices, but they chose the wrong songs. This was the week for them to rock it out! David Cook sang, “Hello!” Right? He did an outstanding job. I am truly worried about Stefano – but I want Haley to go home.

    Glad they had one of the Funk brothers working with them tonight.

    Naima and James were fantastic! Just awesome. Some were saying the Motown theme was boring. No way – the contestants rocked the house! Must try to get my votes in for Stefano, otherwise next week I’ll become a active Durbinator.

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  12. Grammie – I must be tired or something tonight but, overall, the show did nothing for me. James, Naima and Pia were outstanding but Pia, along with Stefano need to sing uptempo next week or they will be in trouble. In fact, all of the singers need to start adding some surprises to their performances – like Naima- or the show will suffer.

    Starting next week there will be full Vocal Masterclass articles for each show.

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  13. I’m not going to critique the contestants tonight; I would rather critique the judges!!!

    It’s so great this year because so many genres are being covered (not by the themes) by these kids, we have a;

    Country singer, gospel singer, jazz singer, blues singer, and rock star, with a couple more thrown in for good measure!

    I really think this is anyone’s game right now! But, these kids have got to become more self serving and savvy, cause the judges say one thing but they mean another.

    They tell Scotty, we want you to push your self, take a risk…wham, he does and what does Jennifer say, I like your deep voice! Let the kid sing with the gift he has been given, I can honestly say, it will be that deep voice that sells out concerts one of these days!

    I will not even guess who will be in the bottom three tomorrow, I think they all did great, some better than others, but I thought it was a great night!

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  14. LOVED Naima! Best performance of hers thus far. Well-sung, upbeat, and the dance showed how unique and fun she can be. She deserves to stay and go on tour, for sure.

    James picked a great song that suited his voice flawlessly, and had fantastic stage presence. He’s winning me over!

    Despite her penchant for ballads, Pia continues to amaze me with her beautiful vocal ability. Another pitch-perfect delivery. Can she ever go wrong? Hopefully next week she makes good on her promise to go more uptempo and rock the stage.

    Stefano tackled his song with gusto… perhaps too much? He sounded just lovely, but I agree with the MCL: he’s overthinking it. He has the ability to connect emotionally with his songs (as proved by his stunning Wildcard performance), so next week I hope he does that.

    Lauren also chose a good song for her voice, but her technique needs some improvement. She’s noticeably breathy, but otherwise she did very well.

    Scotty’s song worked in its ‘countrified’ makeover. I thought he adapted nicely, but like Pia, I think he needs something uptempo next week, because he’s been singing slow-tempo songs all this time. He’s not the best singer, but his voice is perfectly suited to the country genre.

    This is actually the first week I liked Jacob. The past few weeks have not been very pleasant to listen to, but he’s very good when he dials it back. I thought the praise was over excessive, but I applaud his passion and heartfelt delivery.

    Haley took a song that suited her voice well, and sung it in her familiar manner. I enjoy her performances, but this week she needed a knockout, and I’m not sure that she delivered.

    I’m glad Paul brought his guitar on stage, and his vocals were not too rough… but I wasn’t convinced by his delivery. That song is certainly not one that can be sung cheerfully. I wish he’d taken a page from Adam Lambert’s book, because Mr. Lambert truly did this song justice back in Season 8.

    Casey’s performance was much better than last week, but “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” has been done far too often. It didn’t seem like much of a challenge for him. Also, he didn’t really dial back the growls as he should of. In the end, it was a good performance visually, but so-so vocally.

    Speaking of overdone songs, “Heat Wave” should be retired. It’s one of those songs that doesn’t showcase much vocally. Fun, yes, but hard to pull off well. Thia did the best that she could, but I’m still not picking up a connection with her. It was rather… forgettable.

    Overall, I felt it was a pretty strong night. If I could predict a bottom three, I would say Thia, Haley, and Paul, with Haley or Thia going home (probably Haley).

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  15. Vonnie – I think you say it best when you critique the judges rather than the contestants. And you are definitely right when you say they say one thing, the contestants to it and then the judges say something else. I noticed that too.

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  16. The show is scripted. That is the why the judges’ comments seem disjointed and off the mark at times. Steven Tyler has to step up to the plate- he says the same thing to everyone. But Jennifer Lopez has been surprisingly good and Randy has definitely improved except for his excessive use of the word “dude”

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  17. In all honesty, I was a little bored by Pia’s performance the first time I heard it. Now that I’ve re-watched it a couple times, I’m blown away by her elegance, her depth of expression, and her nearly flawless delivery. This is one of those songs you have to listen to more than once to fully appreciate.

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  18. Well, this was a trip down memory lane back to my teenage years. It was a mixed bag, with some outstanding performances and some not so much.

    Casey Abrams – “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye” – He is an accomplished and confident performer on stage, who always engages this audience. However, I must confess that this was my least favorite performance from him. Vocally I just didn’t like his constant growling and raspy vocals. I think he isn’t pushing from his diaphragm and the sound comes out harsh to my ears. Also, changing it up vocally would have been nice. Let’s hear the softer, melodic sound to his voice. Too much reliance on growling and screaming. He did it last week and it’s getting old, getting to be like a crutch for him. I want something different.

    Thia Megia – “Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas – She needed to go uptempo, but this was not the song for her. I agree with Tom who said this song really needs to be retired. These songs were written specifically for these singers back in the day. This is a power song, one that requires some raw, gutsy vocals and that’s not Thia. It didn’t work, I didn’t believe it.

    Jacob “Lusky Stank” Lusk – “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel – Jacob did dial it back a little. I would have preferred that he do it even more, but I think the backup singers were too loud and he was trying to be heard. He still gets a little too caught up in the runs and the histrionics. With a great song, just keep it simple and convey the meaning of the words. He added a few extra notes that were totally extraneous and unnecessary. Better, but still needs to pull back.

    Lauren Alaina – “You Keep Me Hanging On” by the Supremes – I am surprised that I actually liked this performance. I think she really got into the song and the performance and was having a lot of fun. It’s interesting that this song has very little range. Since I haven’t been too interested in Lauren, I don’t know if she has a lot of range in her voice. This song has about five or six notes and it seemed to work for her. I think this was her best performance yet. That doesn’t mean that I am a huge fan, just telling it like it is.

    Stefano Langone – “Hello” by Lionel Richie – I would not have chosen this song for him. I wanted to hear him do “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, something a bit more uptempo. He concentrates so much on his performance and his singing that he does lose the meaning of the song. We know that he has a great voice. Lionel Ritchie sang this in a soft, heartfelt style that conveyed the meaning of the song. Stefano has to read the words to his songs, connect with the meaning and then tell a story to the audience.

    Haley Reinhart – “You Really Got a Hold on Me”- What is with the backup singers tonight? You could barely hear her over them. They are supposed to be background, not drown out the singer! This was her most natural, organic performance yet. She found her artistic style. She is an r&b, bluesy soul singer. She had a few off notes, but I am not going to complain because I think she connected with the song. The question for her is – was this enough to keep her in this competition? I really don’t know, maybe not.

    Scotty McCreery – “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder – I think Scotty did go out of his comfort zone, but he really didn’t have much choice. He still did it in his own style, but also did more performing and emoting than I have seen. I think he did get in touch with the words and the feeling of the song. I don’t mind him going for some higher notes and stretching it a bit. Then all he has to do is hit one of those LOW, LOW notes and you get the chills. He’s not going anywhere.

    Pia Toscano – “All In Love Is Fair” by Stevie Wonder – I love that she started off softly, restrained. It is so hard to sing well this way. She has one of the most astounding pure voices I have heard in a long time. I cannot emphasize enough just how difficult a song this is to sing. Stevie Wonder made it look easy, but he was a boy genius. The melody is challenging, there are different keys and lots of range. She does it all effortlessly. The only slight vocal criticism is that she at times still raises her head and then the higher notes come out a little harsh. I definitely feel that she has to do something uptempo next week for sure! Move around on the stage, engage the audience, bring them in and keep that connection. She has the vocals, now change it up, take a risk and grab that audience by both hands and don’t let go!

    Paul McDonald – “Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson – Well, one thing we know now is that he does better when he stands till and doesn’t move! This started off shaky, but then he seemed to get more comfortable. Again, I thought he was struggling to be heard over the backup singers. I would have preferred that he did this without any backup at all. He has a softer voice and it would have worked much better. His sound is distinctive, but I just don’t know if it’s enough when all is said and done.

    Naima Adedapo – “Dancing In the Streets” by Martha Vandella – Well, what a surprise! I would never have thought of this for her. I grew up dancing at parties to this song. It is one of the all-time feel good, dance songs ever written. One thing they did that was smart was to limit the dancing, so that Naima could focus more on the vocals. She stayed on pitch all through the song and moved sparingly and appropriately when needed. She seemed to totally immerse herself in the song and get the joy of it. She is different, unique and gave her best performance. I hope this is enough to keep her here and make the tour.

    James Durbin – “Living For the City” by Stevie Wonder – This guy is like a force of nature on stage. He is totally in his element and takes the audience right along for the ride. I did think it took a little bit for him to hit his stride, but when he did – WOW! What I love about him the most, is that he actually does think about the words of the song and tries to get the meaning. He spoke about that in his video package. This is the secret to why he does so well in his performances. We know that he is a natural on the stage and has an incredible voice, but he tells a story with every song! He was absolutely right about what Stevie Wonder was saying in this song, that it’s meant to be upbeat and full of hope and love and life. Beautifully realized interpretation and sublime stage presence!

    I think James, Pia, and Naima were the best hands down. Stefano is right behind them with brilliant vocals, but must connect with the song.

    I think it could be Haley and Thia in the bottom. I think Paul should be there as well, but I think his fan base will keep him safe. I honestly don’t know who else will be there. This is going to be tough. I have this sinking feeling that there won’t be any guys in the bottom again.

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  19. Technical question here – lots of people say Scotty doesn’t have much range – what is the range of his voice. How does this compare to the other contestants.

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  20. I just had a few more thoughts before I finally call it a late night, or morning.

    I didn’t love Lauren’s performance and it kind of reads as though I did. I just think that for her it was better than what she has done lately. I still feel that she is simply not ready for this competition.

    Also, there is one thing that is starting to bother me a bit about James, but I have been hesitant to bring it up. When he said that an Aerosmith song would be done for the finals, it was funny and cute at that moment. However, I think contestants have to be careful not to appear too cocky or take anything for granted. This time James was milking the reaction of the crowd and it really wasn’t necessary. It’s just kind of a niggling thing I have been feeling with him. It doesn’t take away from the quality of his performances, but it’s just something that can come across the wrong way.

    I also forgot to mention that Thia messed up the lyrics near the end of Heat Wave. None of the judges called her out on it, but maybe they didn’t hear it or notice. This was another performance from her that just didn’t get the job done.

    I am reading some contradictory opinions about Naimi on some blog sites. I think there were better songs for her to sing, but I still think she managed to pull off this song in her own way. I don’t know how America will respond. I would hate to see her in the bottom again or not make the tour. I think there is some real potential.

    As far as Jacob, I don’t want to take away from his innate vocal ability. It’s just that I think he’s not using his gift in the best way possible.

    I actually think that Scotty pulled off a tough song because he has such charm and incredible likeability and stage presence. He seems so natural and real. It’s kind of refreshing. I wish I knew what note he hit and just how low that would place on a music scale.

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  21. Casey Abrams – “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”
    I’m not happy, he was my fave coming out of Hollywood/Vegas, but this style and presentation is not doing it for me. I’m quite bored now – what worked before was the contrast between the growl and the voice – just the growl is not good. However he is unique.

    Thia Megia – “Heatwave”
    She did what she needed in changing the type of song, and it could have been good but she didn’t really grasp it. She has the loveliest voice but doesn’t know how to use it properly yet. Maybe in 5 yrs.

    Jacob “Lusky Stank” Lusk – “You’re All I Need to Get By”
    Sorry but I’m just bored by him, couldn’t wait for it to finish. The backing singers were very loud but again this sounded like it was intentional to drown out Jacob and keep him approximately on the melody. Judges gave some really great comments here – want to see more of this.

    Lauren Alaina – “You Keep Me Hanging On”
    She performed this really well. However her voice has an edge that I don’t like. Shame you can’t mix Thia’s tone with with Lauren’s performance.

    Stefano Langone – “Hello” by Lionel Richie
    He needs to take a leaf out of James’ book – play to the audience. FOr example turn to the camera, open his (beautiful) eyes and sing “I love you” to us at home.

    Haley Reinhart – “You Really Got a Hold on Me”
    Haley is growing on me, I enjoyed the song. I do agree that the backing singers were too lound for her – she didn’t need drowning out like Jacob and so they should have been dialled back.

    Scotty McCreery – “For Once in My Life”
    He sure did put his country stamp on this and I enjoyed it. His voice did sound a little forced in the higher notes, but then he drops back to the rich deep notes and it’s lovely.

    Pia Toscano – “All In Love Is Fair”
    I can appreciate that she can really sing and hit the notes. However who is Pia, apart from the great wedding singer, her character is not coming out and the connection is missing.

    Paul McDonald – “Tracks of My Tears”
    The good – anchored with the guitar at the mike stand he could at last sing in tune and he does have a lovely tone. The bad – this was the wrong song – it is a sad song and it was too happy/smily – bit like Thia he is singing the tune but not understanding the lyrics

    Naima Adedapo – “Dancing In the Streets”
    Ooh I wanted thia to sing this song. It was great, the tone of her voice came through. I loved the way they dialed the dancing back but still let her free at one point – and she nailed the notes after.

    James Durbin – “Living For the City”
    James really knows how to work the song, the crowd and the camera for the folks back at home. He really connects with the lyrics as well. I enjoyed watching this and re-watched it as well. Is his voice getting a little rough compared to a coupld of weeks ago?

    The bits with the producers this week were much better and some great advice was being given. The trouble her is they spend a day or so at the studio and the producers pick out 2 sound bytes.

    Bottom 3 should be Jacob, Thia, Paul – with Jacob going home – but won’t be, so I can’t call it this week.

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  22. Is this show scripted? I know with Paula’s “faux pas” concerning Jason, we did come to learn that they take notes during rehearsals! I don’t like thinking it is scripted, really???

    My problem with the judges; Jennifer talks way too much and more often than not talks over the other judges, Steven tries to give a critique or comment, and she pipes in. Not always saying he is going to say something grand, but who knows, he never gets to say it. Jennifer is starting to remind me of Kara…sorry!

    I just wish that if they were going to make suggestions to these kids they would make them more about song choice, not telling them who they think they are as an artist…and stop telling Scotty to sing in any other voice other than that beautiful Baratone, that is and will be his money maker!

    I think this weeks bottom three could be a shocker, I don’t think we will see the same one’s there this week as was last week…!

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  23. I haven’t been commenting this year much because I honestly LIKE all these contestants and we still have a long way to go. I also had the opportunity to attend the AI9 Concert Tour and remarkably the standouts in the live concert were not necessarily the best on the televised show.
    However, if I had watched just last night this year and had not listened to the judges, the following contestants would have stood out for me:
    Pia & Stefano (vocals),
    James & Casey (heart),
    Naima (bravery), and
    Scotty (just plain likability)

    The other contestants just seem to be in the middle and I have to admit I am a bit disappointed that we do not have a true rocker gal in the mix, but some of the contestants may yet surprise us.

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  24. While most of the contestants were good last night, I just didn’t get really excited about any of them. So I played it again this morning and basically just listened to them. The performances that appealed to me most were from Pia, Stefano, and James. But I do understand what the judges are telling Stefano about connecting to what he’s singing. And I do agree that Pia needs to do something other than a ballad although she does them beautifully.

    As for the others:
    Casey – good but I wasn’t blown away. I’d love to see him performance again with his bass.
    Thia – good that she tried an upbeat number, but there was definitely something missing in this performance. I really think it’s too bad that she auditioned at such a young age. She has a beautiful voice but there is more to performing than just having a voice.
    Haley – I honestly don’t like Haley’s growl. Normally I like that in a performer, but it doesn’t seem natural when she does it.
    Paul – thank goodness he played the guitar last night instead of dancing! With his guitar and his personality and distinctive voice, I think he is very entertaining, but I don’t see him going very far on this show.
    Lauren – pretty good. I liked this better than her other performances and she looked more polished last night than in previous weeks.
    Scotty – I love Scotty, and I think he did a pretty good job with this, but his movements were not so easy to watch. But he is so darned likeable!!!
    Jacob – much nicer than other weeks when his performances have been way over the top

    And last night I really felt that Steven Tyler was much too complimentary about every contestant. All of their performances were not BEAUTIFUL! Steven needs to step it up a bit. Jennifer is doing a good job of really trying to give them professional advice.

    Tonight I think either Thia, Haley, and maybe Paul could be in the bottom three.

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  25. I had no idea it was scripted either. But now that you mention it, MCL, I can completely see it. They do have those notes in front of them….and I have never seen them write during the actual live show.

    I really like the addition of Steve and JLo…changing the judges had brought me back to watching the show. I watched it last year, but not as religiously as I do this year. I guess I just wish they would not say one thing, the contestants do it and then they are criticized. And yes, Randy defnitely needs to stop saying “dude” – that was way too annoying last night.

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  26. Bizzee- the judges have access to the dress rehearsal and usually base their comments on that. I am sure they are guided in their commentary. That is not to say that they are ” off the mark” , but I wish they would critique the singers more evenly.

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  27. Just a note. For now, only about scripting. Country week. Steven Tyler was speaking to Haley and had to put his glasses on to read “Patsy Cline”. Yes they take notes at rehearsal and those notes are transcribed before the live show. It’s an awful spoonful to swallow, but AI is really not reality. But really all that matters is what the viewer thinks.

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  28. Rosanne—I did not intend to step on your comment. Yours was posted when I finished composing, editing, proofing and posting mine. We certainly are not scripted. Adore.

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  29. Thanks Edmond. Great to receive the validation. This is why the comments never gel with what we see and hear at the live performances.

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  30. The producers and sponsors are not going to like this much, but I have to admit that I don’t care much what the judges have to say — unless they are abusive or absolutely/obviously incongruous. I like watching the performances on DVR; then I can skip over the judges comments.

    If you have ever been in a contest of any kind — singing, acting, speaking, or any of the lively arts; you know that a good evaluation is priceless. I would like to see more comments along the lines of the ones MCL posts — objective and content-rich — these evaluations that can show the contestants how they can improve.

    I like to visit this site, because I learn so much from MCL and the others – Kudos to all.

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  31. I agree…I would love to see comments like what MCL posts on here. Perhaps she should be sitting on the judges panel! :-)

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  32. Bizzee- more than the judging, I would love to be a vocal coach. This is where my strength lies, not in a 30 second evaluation. Given the time frame, it’s no wonder the judges find it difficult to come up with a succinct response. Plus, I feel they are encouraged to promote certain singers at the expense of others.

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  33. Julia,

    My husband also would like for us to skip the judges comments, we also tape the show and then watch a little later so we can skip commercials. I always tell my hubby that I want to hear what the judges have to say, but I am getting to that place where I really don’t care what they have to say either!

    Last night Steven looked mad during the performances…I like what Jennifer has to say, but I don’t like her always butting in when someone else is talking, that is called manners, and hers are rude!

    MCL…I think you would be an excellent judge! Because I believe your critique would be more about how they could become more of a technical singer instead of trying to tell them what kind of artist you wanted them to be.

    You are right MCL, “I feel they are encouraged to promote certain singers at the expense of others.”

    I think it must be a criteria for each of these judges to have their CDL chauffeur’s license, because they all drive buses and don’t mind running over these contestants!

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  34. Loved Micheal Slezak’s Idoloonies with the cuts of Simon’s comments. My mom watched it for the first time this season. She says they need the “negative, quippy” judge.

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  35. I wanted to weigh in on all the comments about the judges. First, like Vonnie I have noticed that Jennifer is talking way too much and does interrupt the other judges. Last night I felt compelled to tell her to shut up when she went on and on repeating things and just taking up too much time. Then there really isn’t much time for the other judges to give their critiques. This is the diva part of her that concerned me when they picked her as a judge. She has to be careful to make her comments brief and to the point and NOT interrupt the others.

    As far as scripting, it has been obvious to me that Jennifer is reading from notes. I know that they watch the dress rehearsals and make notes or maybe they are given some things to say. Jennifer was looking down at her notes in the first two weeks of the finals so much that it was almost like she was reading verbatim. Steven needs to get more involved and not just rely on sometimes feeble attempts at humor. He is sounding the same with all of them and it’s a disservice. These kids need to know how they are doing and deserve real comments about what they can do to improve. Steven’s comments are starting to sound phoned in now.

    Jacob was way over-praised. Steven going up on stage and giving him a hug didn’t seem spontaneous to me at all. I truly cannot stand when this show insists on pimping certain contestants. I think Jacob may have already turned off a lot of viewers with his oversinging and theatrics.

    I think MCL would be great as a vocal coach. I don’t think sound bites of critiques would be something that would allow her to really give these young people the kind of vocal technical suggestions that they need. The reason I wasn’t completely blown away last night, is because there were some of the same old songs that we hear with this theme every season. I tried to suggest a few that haven’t been done over and over. I guess these young people just feel comfortable with the ones that are well known. I thought we were going to get some new themes this season.

    Finally, I really wish they would tone down those backup singers. I don’t know if the sound mix is wrong or what, but they should NOT be drowning out the singers and forcing them to push to sing louder to be heard.

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  36. I wanted to make a few comments about the performances last night and keep it separate from my comments about the judges.

    I do think that James has a lot of natural vocal talent, but have been trying to figure out why his singing sometimes sounds a little off or harsh to my ears. MCL weighed in about lack of vocal technical skill and that may be what I am picking up at times in his performances. Last week I thought he was really off with his vocals, but his showmanship always manages to compensate. I did think it took a little bit for his performance to really get going. This week his power falsetto sounded much better than last week. If he is lacking in good vocal technique, then that could be why he sounds harsh at times. Someone here asked the question if his voice is sounding rougher and I definitely think that is an accurate observation.

    I think that I understand why I am not yet emotionally involved with Pia, even though I really love her voice. She has not really stepped it up with her performance value. Also, she does need to stop singing the same types of songs and show versatility. She has the voice to tackle almost anything. I would like to see her more expressive and moving around on the stage and reaching out to the audience.

    Scotty is so natural that I almost don’t want him to change a thing, however I have noticed how he leans to one side when he is singing and that will compromise his vocals a bit. You need good posture to breathe properly and sing at your best. Scotty seems to have this natural amazing voice and probably hasn’t had a lot of experience performing. I like his organic style, but would love to see him get just a little more polished. He is so real and natural and that is extremely appealing.

    I really wish they would raise the minimum age for this competition. I have said this before, but after watching Thia and Lauren it has really hit home that these kids are just not ready for this. You are only young once and should be able to grow up a little, graduate from high school and then have a bit more maturity. It’s not enjoyable to watch these young people struggling in this pressure cooker competition. A year or two would make a world of difference.

    We may well have some surprises in the bottom three tonight. I personally would be shocked if one of the guys is there. The way the voting goes, it always skews in favor of them. I still think that Haley is at risk and most likely Thia. If Naima is there again, I will disappointed.

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