Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season 11 Top 7 Singers: Songs From This Decade


American Idol

By: Rosanne Simunovic

Did you enjoy the show this week? I did, although I have to say that some of these singers fared better than others.

But then, what else is new? Nothing is ever predictable from week to week and, without DeAndre in the mix, I feel that the light is burning a little dimmer on that Idol stage.

American Idol really paid a lovely homage to DeAndre. It was touching and lovely but, last time I checked, he was still alive. A touch dramatic Idol? Methinks so.

However, there were a couple or so singers that stepped up to the plate and made a strong impression on the viewers. Well, at least to this viewer.

Here are my evaluations and, remember, I am reviewing each singer in (first name) alphabetical order. Your comments are always welcome. To quickly access individual singers, simply click on the singer’s link below.

Colton Dixon, Elise Testone, Hollie Cavanaugh

Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips, Skylar Laine
The Duets

COLTON DIXON: “Love The Way You Lie”

Strengths: Colton – as always, you brought your own brand of creativity to your Top 7 performance this week. You are a musician’s musician – intelligent and disciplined in your musical approach. No one can argue the vision and detail your bring to each song and, in particular, this Top 7 number

And this week, you managed to channel some of that intelligence and discipline into your vocal technical skills. Kudos!
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I loved hearing the sound of your pitch-perfect head voice, which also helped you to establish a seamless connection to your natural range. What a gift this was to this performance and to the listeners.

And where did this round mouth and relaxed jaw come from? Where? Like magic, all the tension from past weeks disappeared and guess what? Your voice had more presence and resonance because of the adjustments you made in your upper body.

It is all about singing via a relaxed and open approach, especially in the chest and facial areas. Below these parts of your body, the applied energy and hard work via the diaphragmatic rib cage muscles takes care of the vocal delivery, similar to what happens when one plays a woodwind or brass instrument.

You are still a work in progress but, all in all, what an amazing improvement from last week’s performance.

Additionally, you sang with sensitive artistry and internalized the musical content in a meaningful way. Very expressive.

It was wonderful to see you at the piano once again. It is important to highlight every dimension of your musicianship. And the addition of the strings was a lovely touch, further strengthening the arrangement.

Congratulations Colton. This was, for me, one of the best of the night! Bravo!

Critique: Colton – I was hoping to see whether or not you achieved relaxation in your jaw and neck area. It was very problematic last week but this week – holy mamma – what an improvement!

I honestly was prepared to write pages of critique here but I am a little lost for words this week.

One thing maybe – make sure that you are more distinct when articulating your consonants, especially when you sing through your lower range or with a quieter dynamic. By doing so, you will increase the intensity and energy of your vocal sound, which has already improved with your newly-discovered technical skills.

I think the judges were ready to jump out of their seats but I feel that, since this standing ovation schtick was so over-played the last few weeks, they were hesitant to do so. But, it was in their hearts and it was in mine.

Kudos on a well-rehearsed and well-researched performance. Keep up the excellent work!

ELISE TESTONE: “You And I” by Lady Gaga

Strengths:Elise – I loved the husky vocals at the beginning of this song. This is your trademark and, when you apply the correct technique, your voice comes alive with character and presence.

In a nutshell, you truly lived this song, translating it into another stellar performance.

And your vowels were very pure on all those “eye” diphthongs which I really appreciated. It was wonderful to see you grab this fundamental element of good technique. You wisely sustained those “eye” diphthongs on the first pure vowel – “ah”. Ah yes, it helps to think British, doesn’t it?

You paced this song extremely well. It felt and looked relaxed and, unlike last week, you maintained absolute control over this song. It never ran away from you but rather stayed within your effortless and expressive guidelines.

You looked worry-free on that stage, totally enjoying and embracing this musical experience. And that is key, isn’t it? To find a song that speaks to your artistry and then generously share it with the rest of the world.

This was a superb comeback performance, Elise! Loved it!

Critique: Elise – be very careful of incorporating too much chest voice to your vocal mix. The clarity and ring of head voice is extremely important and must be central to the quality of your voice through every level of your vocal range.

You have a tendency to push the song forward rather than release it via your diaphragmatic air supply. It may sound corny but it helps to visualize your voice as having wings, flying free from your unconstricted vocal chamber.

You have to trust the strength and ability of your diaphragmatic rib cage muscles. They are there for a reason – to direct and shape your vocal sound through every part of your vocal and dynamic range.

It would help you, I think, to work on specialized sustaining exercises to assist you in discovering your head voice. Start softly, sustaining one note and then focusing your voice in your masque to establish a ringing timbre. Then, apply pressure from the diaphragm to increase the dynamic level of your voice, remembering to keep that head voice in the mix.

This should help and it can be frustrating at first. But, it is worth the effort and is a wonderful way to discover the true potential in your voice. Good luck, Elise!

HOLLIE CAVANAUGH: “Perfect” by Pink

Strengths: Hollie – my goodness I love your voice like crazy. Your technique, your tone, your delivery – it all comes together for you every time.

I loved the quiet ambience you introduced at the beginning of this song, sitting quietly on the stage alongside your guitarist.

And then, when you stood up to move, you not only added a lovely visual dimension to this number, but also gave your body a chance to free some of that inherent tension that plagues most singers at the top of every performance.

You really worked hard on that stage, Hollie, and I so appreciate your determined effort and strong work ethic. Congratulations!

Critique:Hollie – something was not quite right about this number. It was the first time that I didn’t feel totally relaxed watching you.

First of all, your pitch was not spot on throughout and it had nothing to do with your technique. Well, not fully. First of all, you were over- thinking every single note coming out of your mouth rather than feeling the words coming from your heart.

Secondly, although everything looked good in terms of what we could see – the relaxed jaw, the cohesive vowels, the sustained phase line – it’s what we didn’t see that was problematic for you.

You pushed far too hard when you sustained your notes and, in doing so, you lost some valuable head voice. And without head voice central to your vocal mix, the pitch will falter and it did.

I always tell my singers to sing easily onto a powerfully sustained note and then quickly crescendo once you establish the stability of the head voice. This way you lessen the risk of missing the mark pitch-wise.

Also, stylistically, your approach to this song was misguided. You approached this song like a balladeer and this is an angst-filled rock song. We needed some grit and grime in your vocals.

I am not quite sure if this song was the correct fit for you. In fact, I am certain it was not the correct fit. I was longing for the free and easy Hollie when she sang “I’m So Excited” with DeAndre a couple of weeks ago. This is what we needed to see at this stage of the competition.

However, I am a huge fan of your voice. Always will be. Now pick a fast song next time and pace yourself wisely on stage. Good work, nonetheless!

JESSICA SANCHEZ: “Stuttering”

Strengths: Jessica – I never heard this song before but it doesn’t really matter. You sang the juice out of this song. Seated quietly on top of a grand piano, we all knew that this song was going to be very special.

This song allowed you to show every nuance, every dimension, every facet of your prodigious voice. We heard the highs and lows, the gritty, the husky, the gorgeous head voice, the lyrical.

You told this story like no other. I loved how you crawled inside the song and explored every nook and cranny within the song structure. You are a detailed singer, one who feels the music from the depth of her heart and soul.

What a strong, emotive performance! You never had to leave the piano to connect with your audience. We, instead, were drawn to you and your impeccable, extraordinary talent.

What a showcase! What a talent! Along with Colton and Skylar, the best of the night!

Critique: Jessica – be very careful that you fully support your natural range. I say “fully” because I believe there is a good level of diaphragmatic skill in your technical approach.

But, I did feel that, at times, some head voice was lacking in your mid range. And because the majority of the melodic line sat in that area of your range, you let your guard down.

Melodic repetition does that to the most seasoned singer and you are still so young. There is so much to learn and every song will pose new challenges for you.

When you sing through your mid range, you have to be very careful not to allow the chest voice to take control. I found your voice lacked transparency throughout this song – you almost sounded tired. You have to visually lift your voice when singing through your mezzo range and the clarity will reappear like magic.

However, this performance was all about the artistry and you possess this in spades, Jessica. Brava!

JOSHUA LEDET: “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars

Strengths: Joshua – this was an interesting song choice. Bruno Mars? I wouldn’t have connected that song to you. But, you did a great job with this number.

I loved the choreography and the big band back-up. You really captivated the audience with this performance. No one can ever say that you are a one-trick pony. With this song, you proved that you are capable of many different styles of singing.

And yet, this song was given new life through your particular brand of singing. It spoke to your soulful, retro roots and the uplifting tempo allowed you to showcase your strong performing skills.

You came to this Top 7 performance with a sole purpose: to entertain and capture your audience with your individual style. And, that you did, Joshua! Congratulations!

Critique: Joshua –sorry, I sound like a broken record but I am just not a fan of the screaming vocals. You presently sing with far too much chest voice in your vocal mix.

As a result, your voice doesn’t project with clarity. I found myself straining to hear you over all the instrumental back-up. And, I don’t feel this was a problem with the sound mix. No, the problem lay in the lack of transparency in your vocal quality.

The proper balance between the choreographic and vocal elements needed more attention. I have said this many times but it bears repeating: make sure the vocals are never compromised for the sake of choreography. The technique must be central to the performance.

In the end, the artistry does win the day but the vocals have to be there – front and center – grabbing the prize as well. I just feel that you are presently giving little attention to how you are manufacturing your vocal sound.

Each week, your voice is sounding more tired and less prominent. This means that your technical skills are lacking or cast aside for the sake of “selling a song”. This may be fine and dandy now, but talk to me a year from now and let me know how your voice is faring.

Vocal health is integral to your long term success as an artist. You would be wise to start working on technical exercises that will correctly strengthen your voice, developing it to its full dynamic potential.

Good luck, Joshua!

PHILLIP PHILLIPS: “Give A Little More” by Maroon Five

Strengths: Phillip – when you moved into the more energetic portion of this song, I felt your vocals come alive. Your technique is not the strongest but, what you lack in technical skills, you make up in energy and charisma.

You delivered the song with ease and comfort and with your customary relaxed vibe. You seem pretty relaxed up there on that stage – perhaps too relaxed?

Critique: Phillip – oh dear, your technique needs work. All this tension in your jaw and throat is such a bad road to travel. You, more than anybody left in this competition, need to adopt the yawn effect when you sing.

Although your voice has tons of personality, you need to understand that technique will assist you in developing a wider and healthier vocal range.

A circular mouth and relaxed jaw while sustaining your vowels will encourage you to draw from the strength and support located in your diaphragmatic breathing muscles.

Presently, you are pushing your sound via your throat muscles. This bad habit also diminishes the precise pitch quality in your voice.

And I was hoping you would finally put your guitar to rest and just attempt to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way. (sigh) Oh well. And I’m not even sure if you were strumming it correctly at the beginning of this song. (more sighing)

I guess what I am trying to say is that everything is sounding the same from week to week. You, the guitar, standing behind the mike, singing an uptempo song – the act is getting old Phillip and, more than that, your technique is not moving forward.

In order to take this competition seriously, you need to challenge yourself and make us sit up and say: “Wow, we didn’t know he could sing like that”!

For me, that statement hasn’t arrived yet and I am hoping that it will. Question is – are you? Are you up for the challenge?

Good luck, Phillip!

SKYLAR LAINE: “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You”

Strengths: Skylar – this was a great song selection. Originally recorded by Kellie Pickler. this really worked for you. You embody some of Kellie’s style and yet are distinctive in your own way.

It was nice to see you accompany yourself on the guitar. It provided lovely contrast to your past performances and reminded us that you have depth as a musician.

Your technical skills are superb – I can find little to criticize in this respect. And, it seems to me that some of the nasal component in your voice – the twang – was less obvious.

You sounded and looked so “in the moment”, performing with confidence and poise. You really live your lyrics, don’t you? This is what defines a true performer.

And, even though you remained stationed behind the microphone, you still managed to strongly connect with your audience. Your phrasing had a forward, fluid momentum that grabbed your audience in a meaningful way. Brava Skylar!

Critique: Skylar – remember to keep your head level when you sing through your upper range. All in all, this was not a huge problem but there was a slight tendency to lift the head when singing through your upper range.

Remember – sing over those notes (mentally) and keep your eyes level with the audience.

However, this was a strong performance – artistically and technically. I could find very little to fault in this number. Along with Colton and Jessica, one of the best of the night. Brava!

General Comments For The Duets

Elise and Phillip: “Somebody That I Used To Know”: This was a good combo. Your voices are very similar in quality – gritty, husky and yet endowed with a bit of head voice in the vocal mix. Your harmonies were very good and there was a cute camaraderie between you.

However, I would have preferred if you had not been glued to the microphone stand for the first part of this song. Because the time frame for this number was so short, it really didn’t allow you to fully connect – with each other and with the audience.

And Phillip – it was great to see you minus the guitar for a change. See, that wasn’t too hard was it? And, it’s more fun to grab on to Elise anyway, right? Good work you two!

Colton and Skylar: “Don’t You Wanna Stay”: Even though your styles are entirely different, I do love your voices together. You both have incredible energy when you sing – and so much emotion. Your harmonies were so beautiful and your chemistry was lovely to watch.

It was great to see both of you grabbing your mikes and moving along the stage – and to each other- right from the beginning. I think, because of this, the song resonated very strongly with the audience.

And, unlike last week, this was a more even performance. Colton- you were more in the zone and your voice sounded much stronger and more evenly matched to Skylar’s. Great work!

Hollie, Jessica and Joshua: “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson: This was an interesting trio and you all looked like you were having a great deal of fun. Too much fun in fact? Did you have time to really practice this number?

To my eyes and ears, it looked thrown together at the last minute and, given your time constraints, maybe it was.

The harmonies were not always secure but I think this had to do with the mix of big voices. It seemed that everyone was trying to out-sing the other. The blend is so important in ensemble work and integral to harmonious pitch.

However, Hollie, your descant was incredible. Yet, I felt that your voice worked so much better with DeAndre last week.

Joshua – you need to articulate more clearly and stop screaming at the audience. Use your diaphragm to create and mold your power vocals.

Jessica – you sounded radiant throughout but were some times over-powered by your team-mates.

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

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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

16 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season 11 Top 7 Singers: Songs From This Decade”

  1. This is an excellent review and analysis, MCL! Thank you so much! There really wasn’t a bad performance last night. I agree with your comments about Phillip. He really is the weakest singer, but with his good looks he’ll probably get through this week. I can’t imagine the judges using the Save on him. The things that surprises me is that he sounded pretty good in his duet with Elise. In fact, I played it a couple of times. Without his guitar, he seemed better, but it seems he doesn’t want to make changes which will help him. This was my favorite duet of the night.

    Elise has a special voice but I don’t know if she’ll make it in the music undustry unless someone like Tony Bennett or David Foster takes her under their wings. Her main competition isn’t on the show this season. The comparisons to Haley are obvious. She should quit singing songs done by Haley.

    I really do see a Jessica and Colton Finale. Jessica has done an outstanding job but I feel she hasn’t had the moment that will define her. I also see Colton becoming a recording artist for a Contemporay Christian label. There is just something about him that I find attractive.

    I did feel sorry for Hollie and dread to hear what Jimmy will say tonight. Yes, Josh does oversing and he doesn’t need to do this. Idol wants him in the TOP 5 so he can go to Disney World. I am thinking it will be Skylar who will open up the Idol tour. Her high energy is catchy!

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  2. Thank you Kariann. I can sort of foresee a Colton – Jessica Finale but it becomes cloudier with each passing week. I think originally it was all about Jessica and DeAndre, I really do.

    Then, when DeAndre was not receiving the anticipated number of votes, they eliminated him and jumped on Joshua’s bandwagon. My beef is this – Joshua has had many ill-conceived vocal moments on that stage and has never been called out for it.

    Then, there is someone like Hollie who has been ridiculously critiqued in a negative way – to the point that we have watched her being destroyed before our eyes.

    The manner in which J-Lo and Steven treated her last evening was abysmal and mean. Horrible, in fact.

    And no standing ovation for Jessica or Colton but for Joshua? Ridiculous. Stop the standing ovation madness!!!

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  3. I know I’m not the expert here, but in spite of the problems mentioned with Joshua’s voice, I actually prefer listening to his music over all of the others, even Jessica. I agree that she’s wonderful, but I wouldn’t buy her music. To me Joshua was the most entertaining performer of the night, which is probably the reason that Randy gave him a standing O. The other judges seemed to reluctantly stand up.

    I will certainly give credit to Colton and Skylar for their talents, but I would NEVER want to listen to either of them outside of Idol–just not my cup of tea.

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  4. MCL,

    I agree,my heart broke for Hollie last night…I think the judges has a Josh, Skylar, and Jessica top three, with Colton rounding out the top four!!!

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  5. MCL,

    I was so upset with the judges comments to Hollie that I voted furiously for her as much as I could. However, I don’t know if I did her any favors. At this point, I am kind of thinking that she may be better off is she is voted off. I cannot bear to see her have to face the kind of cruel, heartless criticism she faced again this week.

    Did you notice how silent the audience got after what Steven Tyler said to her? Even Randy felt the need to comment on how quiet it got in there. Then I thought that he just might have pulled back a little on what he was going to say to her. I wonder if the judges realized that the audience was in shock and that’s why they were quiet. I thought this show had changed, but I see that it’s still the same old, same old.

    I will listen to my recording again and check out Hollie’s vocals. I didn’t hear anything obvious, just a few things here and there. It’s interesting that you sensed her trying too hard and pushing. That is the exact word I wrote down last night after listening to her. Why? Because of the negative feedback from the judges. I also didn’t think that Jimmy was particularly helpful or supportive in that mentoring session, at least from what we got to see. He’s not on her side. He told her that she wasn’t a professional, so she said that she wanted to prove to him that she deserved to be called one. That’s the problem right there! That’s why she was pushing on every note so hard. Also, remember that they have been calling her out on the so-called “pitch” problems every week. That will only make her focus more on the notes.

    So the judges have gotten the desired effect. I do agree that slowing this song down wasn’t a good idea. I listened to the Pink original and liked the words to the song. It’s supposed to be a powerful affirmation and a protest against having to be “perfect”. However, it loses some of its punch when sung like a ballad. That was one problem. I didn’t think she really got into the emotion and feeling of the song. However, she would naturally be concentrating more on her technical singing because she has internalized the criticism. Sometimes you don’t even realize that it’s gotten to you.

    I didn’t love Elise’s performance. I heard a lot of technical issues. I do sense the singing from the throat and not the chest. I also hear too much chest voice. You always help me to understand what I hear. I thought that there were some really good parts, but overall it just didn’t come together for me. The judges said that they loved it. The fix is in for Hollie. They want her gone because she is taking votes from Jessica.

    I also appreciated some of the critique for Jessica. The judges are acting like she is perfecft and has nothing to work on and that’s not accurate. No one is ever perfect. Your comments about her mid range.

    I especially appreciated the critique of Joshua. I love him, but the shouting was evident in that performance. They judges are not doing him any favors by refusing to call him out for this. It’s a serious technical issue that needs to be addressed.

    For some reason, I liked Philip more this week. However, once he went back to that raspy, growly voice near the end I didn’t like it. He should get rid of that guitar. Connect with the audience, do something different! But I have doubts as to how invested he is in growing and developing. I think he has turned a deaf ear to the suggestions from Jimmy and the mentors. He seems to be very rigid and determined to do it his way. I do see the awkward and tense jaw and throat position. I saw it right from the beginning. He needs to do some work and challenge himself.

    I thought this was Colton’s best performance. I don’t like his music or singing style, but this week I thought he sounded great vocally. It was good seeing him at the piano and he still managed to connect with the audience. There is a real intelligence about what he does and the songs he picks. I thought he was much improved and it’s nice to see. This kid really is willing to work on his vocals to be the best he can be. Good for him!

    So you do think that Hollie ended up having some pitch issues due to her pushing too hard? I feel so bad for her.

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  6. Mindy,

    I agree completely with your comment that they want to get rid of Hollie because she’s taking votes from Jessica. It’s really too bad. I love Hollie’s voice. I understand that she has some other performance issues, but she is definitely not as bad as the judges are saying she is. I could tell by looking at the judges faces that they were not going to say anything good to her. It reminds me of how they treated Siobhan and it’s really heartbreaking to watch. I just thinks she needs more life experience to improve her performances. I hope she doesn’t give up.

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  7. Yes Mindy, unfortunately Hollie’s voice was unsteady. She was sitting on those notes and, when you consider the extreme pressure she was under to be pitch-perfect and stylistically correct, she was doomed to failure. The song did not suit her at all I’m voice or in style.

    She is such a gifted singer and has been thoroughly misguided through this entire American Idol process.

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  8. Could some explain a “descant”? I read the wiki definition, but maybe give an example? You tube? Thank you so much.

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  9. Just a quick note here…I am in a state of shock that Jessica got the lowest votes this week!! How did that happen? I know Hollie got a lot of sympathy votes, and Phillip got a lot of the girlie votes, but was she really the lowest in totals after never have been in the Bottom 3.

    This now lessens her chances for an easy win (of sorts). I know that Ruben and Fantasia were in the Bottom 2 and still won, but can Jessica have that kind of a rebound? I am feeling really sad for her.

    I am happy for Colton but still feel something wrong is going on here. Maybe too much fuss over Jessica and people rebelled?

    James Durban wasn’t as good as I thought he would be. Jennifer did a nice job. The Judges were nutty. What a show!

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  10. Jessica – it is when a singer(s) sing a counter-melody above the main melodic line – to add a different harmonic element at some point during a song.

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  11. MCL,

    It was still hard for me to hear anything really wrong in Hollie’s performance when I listened again today. I caught a few things but that was when I focused really intently on her voice and closed my eyes.

    Darlene was the one who said that she thinks Hollie has a tendency to oversing at times. Is that what you meant? I did feel her pushing more on the notes, but didn’t think it affected her pitch. I think at this point she is focusing so much on the technical aspect of her vocals, when that wasn’t the problem in the first place. I feared that this would happen. So they accomplished what they wanted to by steering her wrong.

    I was also wondering what advice you might give to Hollie if you were able to talk with her. I thought there were other upbeat current songs that might be very good for her. I don’t know who decided to slow this song down, but it did not work at all.

    I am extremely concerned for her and do believe that she has been terribly misguided and ill-treated. I think this might have had something to do with the voting this week. I think people are outraged and fed up with the treatment this girl is receiving.

    Lousie,

    It is definitely reminding me of Siobhan. I didn’t even want to relive that. I remember how Kara and Simon had Siobhan so mixed up in the end, that she didn’t know what or how to sing. These judges can do some serious psychological damage with their carping and ill-advised comments.

    Kariann,

    I think this might have been kind of a perfect storm this week with the voting. We don’t know what the viewing audience is thinking, but they may be speaking with their votes. It could be that there is the perception that Hollie is being sacrificed for the sake of Jessica. The judges have been far too harsh and inaccurate in their comments to Hollie. We did see something like this last season with Haley, remember? America doesn’t seem to like being told who to vote for. The judges should try to keep it real and stop the obvious pimping of some and the trashing of others.

    No way did I expect to see Jessica in the bottom and the one who was actually voted off! It could be complacency on the part of her fans, maybe people didn’t love this song or just were sick of the judges and their insanity. Maybe all of the above.

    This is a talented group and it’s really all about fanbase and getting those votes in for your favorite. It’s not good news that Elise was again in the bottom two even after getting the pimp spot and singing a well received performance.

    You know what happened with James Durbin last season. Everyone was shocked when he was voted off at F4. The judges were acting like he was already the winner. They should have learned by now that this can have a backlash effect.

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  12. Mindy – I think Hollie’s problem is the same for me every week. She sings well but just has no emotional connection to the song whatsoever.

    I love Pink’s version and you can feel the angst, anger, sadness, etc. when she sings it but I get none of this with Hollie. It’s about being the outcast and misunderstood and that big note at the end was in direct contrast with the intent of the song to me. I mean if you watch the video the girl almost kills herself by cutting ‘perfect’ into her arm. That’s the emotion this song is supposed to evoke.

    Just as a parallel I feel its the same when people sing Adele and don’t have that emotion that comes with a break-up that is so powerful in her songs.

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  13. Mindy – stylistically she was off base with this song. Hollie needs to incorporate more nuance in her voice. This is why the song sounded “off”. She was belting instead of feeling and that is always a bad road to take.

    Wouldn’t it have been great to hear some poignant head voice from her during this song – especially toward the end? It would have taken this song in a new and exciting direction.

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  14. KariAnn – no way did Jessica receive the lowest number of votes. It was to build drama so the Wild Card could be used.

    Those tweets from Ryan and Nigel were strategically planned and timed. Just didn’t ring true

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  15. Greepoman – well put. Thank you!

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  16. MCL,

    I understand now what you are saying. I have wanted to see some nuance and restraint and little inflections and different things from Hollie. She seems to only know one way to sing but this time it did not work with the song.

    I think it does come down to knowing how to interpret the song. I suggested a while back that she might want to read the words of the songs she chooses. This song had a powerful, emotional message. She didn’t seem to get what it was all about. However, now that the judges have focused on the technical aspects and not the performance skills, I think she is somewhat lost.

    I agree about the head voice suggestion. I think that would have made it much more dramatic. I guess that I know now what advice you would give her. Thanks so much!

    greepoman,

    Of course you are right. I have been saying this for some weeks now. Hollie can sing technically well, but doesn’t connect with what the words mean. I thought this song was a good choice because the words are quite true of the situation in which she finds herself in this competition. That was why I hoped that she might be able to connect with it and bring another dimension to the performance.

    I completely agree about Adele! That is why I said that no one should sing Adele anymore. She has lived what she writes in her songs and her greatness is not only that exquisite voice but the anguish and heartache she communicates when she sings. It is such a huge part of her appeal and why I love her so much.

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