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Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Show Part 2: The Music Of Elton John


American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Singers

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Singers

 
I am back from a wonderful vacation and feeling very rested and invigorated. Thank you Mickey Mouse!  
 
That being said, I am looking forward to resuming my Vocal Masterclass Articles for American Idol Season 10. 
 
Tonight’s show focuses on the music of Elton John. There is a wealth of music in this category and I expect all the singers to do very well. 
 
However, I do hope that some of the Top 11 performers come out of their shell and add some spark and creativity to their performances.
 
Some still have to find a balance between “oversinging” and/or “overperforming” and others have to come alive and move on stage. Y’all know who you are, so let’s bring it!
 
As always, I look forward to your commentary.  I am blessed with intelligent and supportive readers who love to give comprehensive reviews of each singer’s performance.  It is exciting to view these performances through so many experienced eyes and ears  – this is what growth is all about. And growth is what this competition is all about.
 
So, here’s hoping that tonight’s show will give us a glimmer of  star power – a diamond in the rough.   Good luck to all the singers.
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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

59 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Show Part 2: The Music Of Elton John”

  1. Okay everyone…Masterclass is back in session, all eyes on to the front of the class please!!! :-)

    So glad to have you back MCL! And equally glad to hear that you have a wonderful vacation.

    I’m looking forward to tonight; am wondering if Casey will take the advice of the judges and tone it down a little OR alot! I would like for him to sing a ballad, just so we get a better idea if he can sing without growling!

    I’m no good at all at picking songs that I think contestants should sing; so I won’t, but am hoping that others who have that gift will share their thoughts, cause I’m always amazed after someone puts a song and a singer together, THEN I can hear it in my flat spotted head!!!

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  2. This article could lead to an interesting discussion among the posters here–which season of AI has been the most talented?

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/42310730/ns/today-entertainment/

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  3. Welcome back MCL! Glad you had a very restful vacation. There is absolutely nothing like spending time with family!!!

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  4. Thank you Louise. It was just a beautiful vacation with family members, but it’s time to embrace reality! :)

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  5. Embrace reality? Nawwwww. When you get that far away, KEEP RUNNING!

    I’m glad you had a good time, and from a selfish point of view, I’m glad you decided to come back. I left an apple on your desk if Vonnie didn’t eat it.

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  6. Welcome back! :D I’m glad you had a wonderful vacation! I feel as though I just returned from one myself and must also embrace reality now, but that’s life, isn’t it? =P I’m looking forward to the Vocal Masterclass Articles as always. As you said, “Let’s bring it!” :D

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  7. Apple? What apple…I didn’t see an apple!!! ;-)

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  8. Vonnie,

    Actually, you and Jessica were the best of the song guessers last week. The aptly named “Horse Shoe” award (because close only counts in hand grenades and horse shoes) goes to you for three near misses. You correctly identified three artists but failed to correctly guess any songs. Jessica led the pack with one correctly identified song. Mindy and I had nothing to show for our efforts except a few pretty good song choices.

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  9. Gene W,

    WooHoo!!! I love being the “Horse Shoe” almost winner! I’m dancing around like Steve Martin on the front porch in the movie the Jerk…!!!

    So whadaya gonna give as an award for tonights picks???

    I pick; an Elton John song by all of the idols, on the idol stage, with the microphone!!!

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  10. Gene W,

    Thanks from the son on the info…question from him to you! Where can he get “tabs” from? Also, which is bettter; tongue blocking or using all the notes?

    He is on harptabs.com!

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  11. Rosanne,

    Welcome back! I’m happy you had a well rested vacation!!! Yes, Vonnie has done a FABULOUS job as your substitute teacher. I love how everyone gets along with each other on this site, even when we have a different perspective on people! Vonnie, you crack me up with your sense of humor! Let the games begin TONIGHT!!!

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  12. Here are my song choice guesses for tonight. I tried to stay away from the most popular songs like Daniel, Tiny Dancer, Candle in the Wind, Your Song etc. and tried to find songs that suited the contestants. There could be one that is less than serious.

    James- Pinball Wizard or Border Song (Holy Moses)

    Scotty- Blue Eyes

    Jacob- Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me

    Paul- Sixty Years On or Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word or Madman Across the Water

    Casey- Razor Face or Someone Saved My Life Tonight or And The House Fell Down or Hey Ahab

    Stefano- Something About The Way You look Tonight

    Haley- Honky Cat

    Thia- All the Young Girls Love Alice

    Lauren- Crocodile Rock

    Naima- Island Girl

    Pia- Don’t Go Breaking My Heart or Sad Songs

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  13. Some songs being done tonight, courtesy of Mjsbigblog: Tiny Dancer, Country Comfort, Candle in the Wind, Daniel, and Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

    My guesses… Paul for Tiny Dancer, Scotty for Country Comfort, Thia for Candle in the Wind, Pia for Daniel, and Casey or Stefano for Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

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  14. Awwwww! Thank you Anita!!! :-) :-) :-)

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  15. Yay, Scotty! He surely found the perfect song for him.

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  16. Sure enough! Once again we get seranaded with
    “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” Pia did a fabulous job! I still love David’s take on this best, though!
    I know, I’m just terrible at being quiet about him!!
    Sorry, Hee, Hee!!

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  17. Welcome back Stephano! Woo!!! Hey! Where is everybody? Quit watching those commercials!

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  18. I’m on the East Coast and go to bed early, but here’s the songs:

    Scotty – Country Comfort
    Nadia – I’m Still Standing
    Paul – Rocket Man
    Pia – Don’t Let the Sun . . .
    Stefano – Tiny Dancer
    Lauren – Candle in the Wind
    James – Saturday Night
    Thia – Daniel

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  19. Great night! Scotty and Haley my favs of the night! :-)

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  20. I thought Haley was excellent tonight! She’s just gotten better and better.

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  21. Hi everyone. All in all, this was a great show with some nice surprises. Will have my Vocal Masterclass online Thursday or Friday. The star of the night was……..totally obvious to me. Was it to you? Wait, now that I think about it, there were two shining stars.

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  22. Just saw Casey’s performance. Wow, what a difference his brush with elimination makes! The vocal isn’t perfect, but this is the purest performance we’ve seen from Casey since the voting rounds began. I loved seeing Casey dial back and bring back the musicality and sensitive phrasing. Beautiful. This is the Casey I was waiting for. ;)

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  23. Loves Scotty, as usual!

    I didn’t like Hailey at al tonight….I don’t know why. I think I wasn’t a fan of that whole raspy thing and then the long hold on the “S” on “jets” – I thought there was snake on stage for a moment.

    Stefano was definitely back tonight!

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  24. Tonight was one of the best Idol shows I’ve seen in a long time. I absolutely loved Haley’s performance of Benny and the Jets! Casey was terrific too! I thought most of them did really well tonight.

    I’m guessing the bottom three might be Thia, Naima, and perhaps Paul. However, I think Thia did connect more with her song than in previous performances, but not enough to make her go very far in this competition.

    I guess if I had to rank everyone based simply on the performances that appealed to me as a listener who doesn’t know anything about the technical aspects of singing, this is what I’d do:

    1. Haley
    2. Casey
    3. James
    4. Scotty
    5. Pia
    6. Stefano
    7. Jacob
    8. Lauren
    9. Paul
    10. Thia
    11. Naima

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  25. Bizzee-Elton does the sustained “s” in the original recording. It didn’t quite work for Hayley, though :)

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  26. My favorites tonight were Pia, Lauren, Scotty, and Thia. I wasn’t crazy about Haley’s performance. Too much growling, and it came across as too staged? I don’t know… something just wasn’t right.

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  27. Katillac,

    I know what you are getting at regarding Haley. When she first started singing, I was thinking it sounded a bir “Broadway”, but maybe not. As she got to the middle of the song, it didn’t sound Broadway anymore. For the most part, I think Haley did a fantastic job tonight.

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  28. Yes, MCL…I completely agree. :-)

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  29. I think I’ve figured it out about Haley tonight… it was almost like a spoof of the song. I didn’t believe the performance at all. I usually like her, although I don’t like the way she slurs the words sometimes.

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  30. I really wanted Pia to sing something more fun tonight, but as soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she’d chosen the right song. Loved it!

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  31. Well, here goes with my thoughts. I am always late to the party, because I am on the west coast in L.A., so I see it hours later.

    Scotty – “Country Comfort” – he is staying with what he knows best and it has worked like a charm. He brought his guitar and that was a nice change of pace. There has been some mention of his stage mannerisms, the little eyebrow raises and his winks and hand gestures, but with the guitar it all was much more natural. He still needs to use his diaphragm more to hold those notes. I am dying to know what that last note he hit was – is there such a note on the musical scales? That was LOWWWW!

    Naima – “I’m Still Standing” – this song is like the anthem of my life. I suggested it on the previous blog as a good choice for someone. However, I think that rearranging it into a reggae song simply did not work. This is a powerful song with something important to say. With the Jamaican accent that Naima used, it all just seemed to dilute the emotional impact of the song. I hate the word karaoke, but for me that is how it came across.

    Paul – “Rocket Man” – He was so off key throughout this song that it made my ears hurt. I thought last week was his best performance and maybe sitting or standing in one place was the right idea. He really needs to use his diaphragm and not strain from the throat so much. I realize that he has this raspy, distinctive vocal sound that many people love, but I cannot listen to someone who goes absolutely flat in too many places. I just don’t think he has enough voice and the ability to use is properly.

    Pia – “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” – This was a song that I didn’t want to hear again. However, I am not going to criticize Pia for playing to her strength once again if I have not criticized Scotty for doing the same. I liked the way she came out and moved toward the audience and seemed to engage a bit more. She definitely felt the emotion and words of this song. The only issue I still have is the raising of her head on those big high notes. The sound would be so much richer and purer if she would keep her head level. She showed some gorgeous head voice near the end. I truly hope that she does try to take a risk and show that she has the versatility to do even more.

    Stefano – “Tiny Dancer” – He chose such a difficult song tonight. Talk about range and high notes. Yes, he did keep his eyes open and tried to connect more with the audience. I sometimes hear him sounding a bit strained on the high notes, but I thought this vocal was much better than last week.

    Lauren – “Candle in the Wind” – I thought she started off shaky and was even ahead of the piano in the beginning. She settled down and gave a heartfelt, beautifully realized vocal performance. She has been getting better every week and this was something different from her. I was pleasantly surprised.

    James – “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting” – I get what James was going for here – just a raucous, wild, over the top show stopper of a performance, complete with a piano on fire! This song has very little range throughout most of it, with a lot of repetition of the same notes, so he was able to stay on key as he moved all over the place. Then he saved those high power falsetto notes for the end. I do appreciate this performance and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. However, at this point I would really like James to tone it down next week and let us hear more of his actual voice. This can get old over and over again.

    Thia – “Daniel” – I appreciate the choice of song and feeling behind it. I think she did her best to convey the emotion and connect with the audience, however, I just don’t know if it was enough at this point. She does have such a lovely tone and sometimes I wonder if she is focused too much on her vocals or just doesn’t yet have the maturity to interpret the songs. I really think she is not ready for this competition and fear that she will once again be in the bottom.

    Casey – “Your Song” – Now this is more like it! Yes! Casey has a voice! This was stripped down, simple and beautifully interpreted. If Casey can learn to use his diaphragm and breath properly, he will be able to hold those notes longer. I think this was exactly the right song, the right style, the chance to show that he does have a voice. Well done!

    Jacob – “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” – This was a good song choice for him. What I loved was the first half of the song, where Jacob held back and sang in a more restrained, yet still emotional way. I wish he would have waited and just built to the climax of the song more slowly. If he had just ended with that unbelievable note that he held for what seemed like forever, then it would have been brilliant. He always seems to have a problem with his natural tendency to oversing. He has so much voice and doesn’t have to do the runs and the vibrato and everything.

    Haley – “Bennie and the Jets” – This performance has me divided. I did hear that extended “S” sound, which did not work for me at all. It was a highly stylized performance, with the growls and the sexy vamp thing going on. There is no question about the talent with this girl’s voice. I just don’t know that it totally worked for me.

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  32. The trouble by now, I feel I lose objectivity as I favourites grow on my. I have to fight my inclination to excuse those I like and put down the others.
    I really enjoyed it this week’s performances. As there are no stand out diasters, I really have no idea whose going home. Maybe that’s why I’m enjoying this season – usually I can pick the one going home, but the last 2 weeks has really been anyone’s game.

    Scotty – A safe choice, I was really hoping he would take something less likely and turn it country. It was OK, but didn’t really hit the sweet spot in his voice until the end. I liked it better the second time I listened though.

    Naimi – In the intro did brave=stupid? I felt the verse was really good, although the accent she put on was corney. The issue was that the chorus didn’t work as well with the beat.

    Paul – Back in the game – this was a really good choice for him, and showed for the first time in the finals why he was picked. He performed with his guitar, didn’t just hide behind it. I never want to see him without it again.

    Pia – Not surprised but a little disapointed that she sang this. Yes a great cover, she sang beautifully – still mssing the connection for me – she didn’t make me feel the song, and J-Lo did allude to this. Great idea to do the walking at the begining of the song – it’s a start. One another note, I realised this week that Pia sang Grenade in the groups round – I loved her in this – contemporary, and she was walking while singing.

    Stefano – Just Ok for me, I think he’s in danger.

    Lauren – I am probably going to be alone in this but it din’t do it for me. Yes it showcased her voice, and it was HER best performance, but it fell a lot short of what this song is capable of in the right hands. She performed it well, with looks to the camera and a catch in the voice, but I think what JLo said to Stefano last week (i think) applies here – you have to perform as if it comes from the heart and not just because you want to do well.

    James – Unleash the rock beast. Ok not his best vocal (how could it be on this song) but what a performance. You know what I get from James – his sheer love of what he is doing and that makes me smile. he is also very consistent – no bad performance yet but plenty of variety. Of all of the finalists I can see James in his own concert giving a mix of songs and entertaining for 2 hours. (Ps/I wrote this down before I saw the judges critics – probably the first time I’ve ever agreed with Randy – Steve din’t look impressed during a quick shot to the judges – do you think he’s getting worried he might have to sing with James in the final?)

    Thia – the song fits her style and tone very well. I liked listening to this, but there is no urge to hear it again. I have loved Thia’s voice since hollywood week, and loved the semi-finals performance. However in the finals I continue to wish she had waited 3-5 years to grow up. Also take a note from Pia this week, it is allowed to move during a ballard – maybe take 2 steps forward at one point as a start.

    Casey – No surprise after last week – ballard, groomed hair and beard and only one angry face. Actually Casey should look to his father who sports a beautifully trimmed beard. At the start I felt that it had been pulled back too far and what made him individual had been lost, by the end it was Casey singing this. What works for Casey I think is a mix of a little growl next to the clear tones it’s his differnce.

    Jacob – I am not a Jacob fan, but he nailed this song. I loved the first part, got a little afraid in the middle that the beast might get unleased, but then the end was fantastic as he held control. He has a lovely tone to his voice and he can certainly hit the notes and hold them when he chooses to do so. The critism is that I can feel him fighting to reign back his voice and that creates tension in me when I listen – will he/won’t he succeed.

    Haley – This really suited her voice. Mind you I loved the first part on the piano better than the second half with her strange knee bends and arm windmills.

    Bottom 3 are hard to pick as I liked many of them, and none were really awful, but probably Casey should be safe and Haley with the pimp spot.

    Personal bottom – Jacob, Stefano, Lauren with Jacob & Lauren going home

    Expected bottom – Naimi, Thia, Stefano with Naimi & Stefano going home

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  33. Im back from the dead!

    just thought i’d stop by tonight cause i missed most of idol but what i saw was awful…..rocket man is one of my favorite oldies and apprentley it was butchered??!?!

    ugh :(

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  34. Rosanne,

    What did you think of Stephano’s performance? He sounded great to me, an improvement from last week’s “Hello”. I still feel that his Wildcard performance was his best. Why can’t I remember the name of that song?

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  35. Hi Scott…glad your back!!! :-)

    Who I liked last night; Scotty, Haley, Stefano, and Thia!

    Who I like, but didn’t care for alot last night; James, Casey, Paul, and Jacob!

    Who I didn’t like last night; Lauren, Pia, and Naima!

    Who I think will be in the bottom; I really don’t know, dial-idol has Stefano at the bottom, but I hope he stays…I would rather see Naima and Lauren go home!

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  36. Welcome back, MCL. You do sound refreshed from your vacation. Now, I know what is missing from my life. A vacation! Good to see so many of my classmates, too! I’ll save Louise’s artible for later today. Thank you, Louise!

    I just couldn’t get into Haley’s performance. I can’t seem to warm up to her.

    I am fearful for Stefano. He was so nervous and it showed. I voted like mad for him, but many are predicting that he’ll be going home. I do like that he approached Jennifer at the end. I wish I would have seen Stefano rockin’ it behind a piano. I don’t know if he’ll have the chance to do so. I think Idol really wants him to leave.

    I do support James and Pia, but I think my voting days will be limited. James is just fun to watch. Pia needs to bring it on. I guess she is doing Tina Turner next week. She is a beautiful woman but she needs to relate to her audience more.

    Naima provides some excitement. You just don’t know what to expect from that girl. Her vocals aren’t the greatest, but I find her quite entertaining. She does seem to be a polarizing contestant, but she has that determination I don’t see in some of the others.

    I think it will be Thia that goes home. But I am so undecided on the other person.

    I loved Scotty’s dedication to his Grandma. OK, I will admit that I got tears in my eyes. Lauren did a nice job but she really, really wants us to like her. I do, but something’s not right. She’s going to be in this for awhile. Both Casey and Jacob did a nice job. I do like Casey’s new looks – ah, the make-over. Jacob seems to need help that the producers aren’t willing to help with. I can already see the favoritism of Jimmie Iovine. He does no favors for Stefano, either.

    MCL, I am curious as to what you think of Paul’s voice. I am fearful that he is doing some damage to it and going home would really help him prepare for the tour.

    I may be in the minority here, but I actually liked the MOTOWN week better. There is no one here that excites me the way Siobhan did. There are several I enjoy, but…

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  37. Vonnie,
    I hope Stephano stays this week too. I voted for the first time this season last night quite a bit for Stephano, and also for Pia. I really enjoyed both Pia’s and Lauren’s performances! The Country twist Lauren put on Candle In The Wind was neat. Naima’s performance sounded kind of odd to me. I didn’t like it, but have enjoyed most of her performances, and don’t want to see her go. I wouldn’t mind seeing Thia and Paul go home tonight. My mom likes Paul’s singing alot. He doesn’t have a bad voice, but it’s just not enough of a voice for my taste.

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  38. My biggest complaint with Lauren and Naima last night was; for Lauren she seemed behind the song, when she was singing it seemed to drag, but then she would cut words off to catch up…like when she would sing the line, “I was just a kid”, she would cut of kid, and then rush into “your candle”, does that makes sense? Plus, her maturity level really bothers me; Thia and Scotty so outclass this girl.

    Naima; had she left out the accent, I would have liked it a whole lot better, came off as cheesey to me!

    This is why I have these two in my bottom this week!

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  39. I mentioned that I did like Naima’s performance. I wanted to share what vocal coach Debra Byrd says:

    NAIMA ADEDEPO — “I’m Still Standing”

    DEBRA BYRD: She immediately connected to that [song]. She had no doubt. It struck her in terms of her position in the competition, having been in the wild card and having been in the bottom. [Smiles] It was very literal, there was no subtext there. Don Was, the producer of her track, hired Ziggy Marley’s band to play on that track in the studio. It’s so authentic, I was very surprised by the responses from the judges. You can’t get any more authentic than that. She wasn’t putting it on. It’s where she lives. Everybody’s waiting for her to do reggae; she did it, and everybody’s like, “Eh.” I’m a bit baffled. But Steven Tyler loved it.

    It was a risk. The fact that she sang it in the [reggae] patois is a whole other risk she took. I give her a medal for bravery. We’ve never had a contestant do that. Don Was turned to me and said, “Has anything like this ever been done on American Idol?” I said, “No, this is a virginal experience.” So I really hope that people embrace it.

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/03/31/american-idol-top-11-elton-john-coaches/

    WOW!!

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  40. Now that people have mentioned what they noticed about Lauren, that is exactly what it was about her I couldn’t figure out. There was something, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it..but yes, she did seem behind the pianist at some points and ahead at others; although I did like her rendition. Personally, I prefer the version of the song that Elton did for Princess Diana’s funeral…would have been nice to hear that version.

    I really didn’t like Naima last night. She took a risk with her version of the song, and it backfired – I don’t think Elton John’s music is meant to be sung reggae. I think she has overstayed and quite possibly could be going home tonight.

    I’m not even going to attempt the bottom three, because I was way off last week. But my personal choices would be Naima, Haley and Casey (not really a fan of him…hence why I would like to see him here).

    Anyone else think that the judges’ comment of Haley song “being the best performance of the night” way off base? Personally, I don’t think it was at all.

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  41. Vonnie, I know nothing about [reggae] patois but what Naima did now sounds so much more impressive. I hope she gets to stay so we can be entertained more.

    Anita, so glad you decided to vote. I hope it helps Stefano. I did hit a few busy signals, so that is hopeful!

    I can’t wait to find out what happens!

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  42. Hello everyone. Just a short note to say that I am looking forward to seeing the performances. I was at the Prince concert last night :). He was absolutely spectacular. He is 52 years old & he moves like a 20-something. And the voice is still there. Mindy, I will figure out what Scotty’s low note is. Now, I am going to say this: as much as I would like a woman to win – guys have been the winners for the last 3 years (???) – I don’t feel that much connection to any of the women. Sure, Pia’s good, Haley’s got a nice voice, I really like Thia’s voice although I don’t think she has the performance skills to place highly in this competition, Lauren’s cute, & Naima is creative. But my love goes to James & Casey. I’m especially excited to hear that Casey had a good night – he needed it. Well, enough from me – more later. Thanks!

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  43. Vonnie,

    I’ll have to listen to Lauren’s performance again, because I don’t remember her being behind the song. I trust your evaluation though.

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  44. Hi Grammi Kari,

    Naima just hasn’t won me over! I really wanted Kendra and Lauren Turner to make it in the wild card, and instead Ashley and Naima made it, so maybe I am a little miffed at Naima and maybe that’s why I’m closed off to her. I don’t know, she just doesn’t appeal to my ears!

    I’m not really sure where the accent came from; is she from Jamaica? I used to work on a horse farm with a wonderful young man who was from Jamaica and his accent was so thick and rich…I used to pester the tar out of him just so I could hear him talk; he knew what I was up too, and would laugh such an amazing laugh, and then chat up a storm to me! I didn’t get that same feel from Niama; it sounded almost to me what my southern drawl would sound like trying to speak like someone from England!

    I did want to ask you though; how your husband is doing?

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  45. Vonnie,

    I will post an answer to your son’s questions on the previous thread instead of this one.

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  46. Hey Gene W,

    Okyday!!! Thank you! :-)

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  47. As far as Lauren, I clearly heard her behind the piano in the beginning. Also, what Vonnie was talking about sounds like phrasing to me and also possibly being behind the beat. I have this feeling that she was very nervous in the beginning of the song.

    I am amazed that I liked it as much as I did, since Lauren is someone with whom I have issues. She did smile inappropriately in parts of the song, but I attribute that again to her immaturity. However, I cannot deny that this young girl has a great voice and has been improving each week. I still think she needs to grow up a little, but I am willing to give her credit for solid vocals.

    I really like Naima and would like to see her stay, however, it is difficult to know when/if to change a song. I love that she takes risks and tries to be true to herself. I simply did not think that the reggae arrangement worked with this particular song. I did not get the message of the song at all and that’s a shame, because the words are quite special.

    I have been trying to figure out what bothered me about Haley’s performance. I am feeling quite ambivalent about it. I think it’s those performance mannerisms and affectations. I thought last week she gave her best performance so far. Her movements seemed natural and organic and there was a connection to the meaning of the song. I am reading a lot of very different opinions about her performance online. As I said, there is no question regarding the quality of her voice. It’s the performance aspect of it that left me cold and that “S” dragged out over and over honestly made me want to scream. I think the judges were way over the top with their praise.

    I would have liked to see Stefano at the piano last night, something different from him. I just don’t know if he did enough after being in the bottom last week. It seemed like he was trying too hard.

    James will need to go back to some real singing next week. For now I am done with the bells and whistles and burning piano stuff. This song didn’t showcase his naturally gifted vocals. I understand why he did it, but it can risk getting old.

    It’s really hard to predict who will be in the bottom this week. I think Paul should be there, but sense that his fan base could get him through again. My sense is that it could be Thia, Naima and Stefano. I don’t want to see Stefano or Naima leave, but I am concerned.

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  48. Last night was great in that it’s polarising everyone. I really like to see the different opinions.

    About Naimi – I felt that the Jamaican accent was totally put on – she doesn’t talk like that. Rather than making it authentic, it sounded totally put on. Vonnie put it very well in her comparison.

    If you are not from the Caribbean then I prefer reggae to be sung in your accent – a great example of this is UB40 whose reggae covers were great.

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  49. Just read the blog from Debra Byrd – one thing really struck me was the comment

    “I think there were only 20 songs on the song list”

    Wow with 11 singers – that is not a lot of choice

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  50. How does the bottom work when two are going home; are there four in the bottom and then two of those go home? I can’t remember!

    I will guess the bottom four will be (if this is how they do this); My guesses are based on dial-idol.

    Paul, Lauren, Naima, and Thia…with Paul and Lauren going home!

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  51. anyone plan on watching this new show “the voice?” blind audtions wher ethe judges dont see the contestents faces till afterwards…weird.

    btw jackies star continues to rise ;)

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  52. Hey Scott,

    I haven’t seen that advertised! Glad to see you are still following Jackie!!! :-)

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  53. Dearest Mindy,

    Scotty’s last note was an F2 (two Fs below middle C). Very low indeed!

    *

    Grammie Kari,

    Thanks for the link to the EW article with the vocal coaches’ commentary. It was a very interesting read. Poor Pia! Michael Orland mentioned her being exhausted vocally. I thought I heard that last night, but I have so much respect for her to sing through it as best as she could.

    I’m really looking forward to hearing her sing “River Deep, Mountain High.” Big song that she has the voice for and uptempo! Emily Williams sang a top-notch rendition of this on Australian Idol years back.

    I liked the behind-the-scenes look at what went into Stefano’s, Lauren’s, and Thia’s performance. Jacob’s comment (“I don’t think I’m doing enough”) is really interesting. I wish he understood that his voice is so much more compelling when he shows restraint. I guess he feels that oversinging is his safety net or crutch, but he really doesn’t need it!

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  54. i believe its on nbc starting in april vonnie….not sure on the date.

    did you end up getting jackie’s christmas album?

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  55. Hey Scott,

    No wonder I haven’t seen it advertised, my satellite provider don’t provide that station for me…! :-(

    I didn’t get Jackie’s Christmas album…I ended up working so much over Christmas that it was a blur when it was all said and done! Did you buy one?

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  56. your satelite provider doesnt provide nbc? lol how the heck did you watch america’s got talent then? :)

    yes…….it includes a dvd of all her agt performances too

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  57. Dearest J,

    Thanks so much for the information on Scotty’s last note! Wow! I didn’t think it even existed!

    Also, I just happened to check out the previous blog where you posted all of the information about harmonics and resonance and those links. I want to take some time to listen to the links a bit more. However, I wanted to thank you once again for taking the time to explain the technical aspects of the vocals. I also realize that just because I hear it differently or may not like a sound aesthetically, does not necessarily mean that it isn’t vocally correct. I just have a sensitive ear that likes what it likes.

    I do remember Pia saying that her voice was worn out in her post-performance interview backstage. I am really looking forward to hearing her do “River Deep, Mountain High” next week. I am curious what the exact theme is, though.

    As far as tonight’s results show, I am wondering if they will have a bottom four since two are leaving. Paul should be in the bottom, but I am not sure that he will be. I think Thia, Naima and Stefano could all be there.

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  58. Hey Scott,

    Where I live we have to sign waivers for the networks…for some reason we lost NBC!!! So this really is a bummer, I had forgot that AGT came on that channel…Blah!

    Like

  59. Vonnie,

    The other thread will no longer accept new post, so I will put it here with an apology for the off topic nature of the post.

    Here is a link of tab for beginners. http://www.harmonicaclub.com/harmonica_tabs.htm

    The choice would be between “tongue blocking” or “mouth position / puckering.” Neither is better but a matter of personal preference and “style.” The old school blues harp guys, like Little Walter, tend toward tongue blocking. Modern players generally tighten the pucker of the lower lip to blow or draw a single hole and use tongue blocking to make some of the more complex chord variations where the player is blowing or drawing from both sides of his mouth but blocking the center holes with his tongue. The pucker technique shouldn’t be done like a kiss from grandma but more like kissing Christina Aguilera or Steven Tyler, if you prefer. Big, loose, unfolded bottom lip with the harp planted tightly in it at about a 30% angle. From this starting position you have to learn to narrow the air channel of the lower lip to blow or draw from one, two or three holes in the harp. Pressing the harp into the lower lip can help narrow the air channel. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Blow and draw through it as if you are breathing, not in a forceful manner that leaves you feeling hyperventilated. A useful technique for a beginner, in order to hear what sound he is trying to make, is to temporarily block the holes that are not in use with your fingertips and then do a test blow or draw. Once you hear the sound, it is easier to match with the normal techniques. Practice a little bit every day.

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