Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season 11 Top 3: Personal, Judges’and Jimmy Iovine’s Choices


American Idol

By: Rosanne Simunovic

This week, our Top 3 performed three songs apiece – their Personal Choice, Judges’ Choice and Record Producer Jimmy Iovine’s Choice.

This was, as expected, a very big week for this triumvirate. They were grandly treated to individual homecomings, where they had time to visit, perform and thank their hometown supporters. This was a very emotional journey for all three.

However, their performances on the Top 3 show were even more important, determining their spot in the Top 2 Finale. It was an evening of surprises, peppered with some peculiar song selections, to say the very least

So, let us move forward and explore those reasons with a look at my Vocal Masterclass evaluations. I welcome your commentary and suggestions after the read!

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.
Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Phillip Phillips

JESSICA SANCHEZ: “My All (Mariah Carey), “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (Aerosmith)” and “I’ll Be There (Jackson 5)”

Strengths: Jessica – I loved your first song, “My All”, wisely selected by Jennifer Lopez. You performed this song exquisitely, with the tender vocals that the emotion called for in this number. I even loved the intentional breathy quality in your vocal timbre, making certain that the purity of your head voice still glimmered in the mix. Perfect! Such a beautifully, expressive performance.

Your second number by Aerosmith was a surprising choice but a great one. It allowed you to once again showcase your sensitive vocal style. You moved seamlessly from key change to key change and from soft to loud dynamic levels.

While watching you, I realized that this is actually a very difficult song to sing. Lots of tricky intervals and key changes, dynamic shifts – the whole nine yards – but you adorned this song with your personal style and gave an expressive performance from beginning to end.

Now, I loved your “I”ll Be There” performance but I question Jimmy Iovine’s decision to saddle you with your third ballad of the evening. However, you sang this song so beautifully and your vocals soared on this number so maybe Jimmy was on to something. And you looked relaxed and glowing throughout the song.

This was a lovely showcase, Jessica. I was hoping for an upbeat song but you had little choice in the decision process for two of those songs, possibly three.

Critique: Jessica – remember to enunciate those words when singing softly and/or through your lower register. Your Mariah Carey number was a sultry song, so I understand that you wanted to inflect those words properly, but a little more crispness to the consonants would have added more direction to your voice throughout your register.

Also, at times, I felt that your voice became a little vague and lacked some bite. Intensity is important at every dynamic level, so make sure that your bring this element to your quieter numbers, using the diaphragm to harness your sound.

Your second number, “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” was, unfortunately, missing head voice – big time! Your voice sounded very tight, almost tired. I am sure, given your schedule this past week, fatigue was a huge factor here. You are burning the candle at both ends. Therefore, when the body is tired then a singer cannot adequately support his or her voice with continuity and energy. I feel this is what happened with this song.

Your face looked tight and strained and so those resonators were blocked, not allowing you to focus your voice with freedom. Therefore, these was too much chest voice in your vocal mix.

Your final song was beautifully showcased but you do have to watch that horizontal mouth position when sustaining your vowels. A circular mouth would assist the focus and ease of your vocal projection, ensuring that head voice is always central to the vocal mix.

However, because you were more relaxed and open in this performance, the chest voice did not overwhelm your voice as it did during your second performance. Amazing what a relaxed demeanor can do for a singer, isn’t it?

Great work Jessica! Congratulations. You are so very talented and the sky’s the limit for you.

JOSHUA LEDET: “I’d Rather Be Blind” (Etta James)”, “Imagine (John Lennon)” and “No More Drama (Mary J. Blige)”

Strengths:Joshua – your Etta James song was nicely paced from start to finish and a strong selection by Randy Jackson. I loved how you milked your lower range. You have a beautiful baritone range – rich and resonant. I wish you would visit this area of your range more often.

Loved the scat singing at the end and the way in which you totally immersed yourself in the heart and soul of the music.

Your second song, “Imagine”, was beautifully performed in a perfect acoustic environment. How I loved the exposure of your pure head voice on the word “you”. You added some lovely inflection and nuance in this performance. You reined in the screaming and, for me, I could totally enjoy and feel the music. This song is so beautiful – it just needs a sincere connection to the lyrics, which you have, and nothing else is necessary. Just beautiful sincere vocals.

“No More Drama” was a genius song choice by Jimmy Iovine. And, I have to say that, even with all of the yelling during this song, you transported me to another world. I was absolutely astounded at the depth of your emotion and how willing you were to share it with all of us.

And, yes, Jennifer hit the nail on the head. There is spontaneity in your delivery. It is not learned or cultivated, it just “is”. You don’t know how to NOT sing expressively – your musical passion is inborn and very special.

Congratulations, Joshua!

Critique: Joshua – in your first song, “I’d Rather Be Blind”, you started the screaming and yelling again, particularly in your upper range. I honestly wish you wouldn’t go there. If the diaphragmatic support is used correctly, there is absolutely no need to implement the screaming element into any area of your range.

And it becomes even more grating when you employ the screaming approach of singing to your upper range. Everything sounds the same, the words lack nuance and inflection and, for me, I don’t hear a melodic sound – just noise. Sorry, but it’s true.

In your John Lennon song, there was less screaming, therefore less to critique. However, in a melody like this one, where the words are so important, it would have been wise to eliminate some of the pumped up singing which was evident toward the end of this song. It just detracts from the message and is not necessary with this song.

Also, because your singing was more pure, I could more fully assess your voice. All in all, you sing with far too much chest voice in your vocal mix. There is incredible tension in your throat and your mouth has a horizontal spread which diminishes the head tone clarity in your voice. All that push and pull from your throat is wreaking havoc on your voice.

During “No More Drama”, you were back to the screaming and yelling but at least I felt that it worked with this number. However, you cannot continue on this self-destructive road – you risk irreparable injury to your vocal cords. And, as I previously stated, it is not necessary if you are powering your vocals via your diaphragmatic support muscles.

I really hope you heed this advice – it will only make you a much better singer in the end.

PHILLIP PHILLIPS: “Beggin” by Madcon, “Disease (Matchbox 20)” and “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger

Strengths: Phillip – I never heard your first song by Madcon but I thought it was a great selection by Steven Tyler. You are so musical. It’s crazy! This song truly exemplified the depth of your musicality. I loved how, during the midpoint section of this song, that you just closed your eyes and magically slowed the pace. It was one of those: “What the heck just happened, here” moments. Truly special!

Your second song, “Disease”, was unfamiliar territory for me yet again so I could be truly objective. And once again, I loved the quirky style you showcased during this number. Every word was crystal clear and expressively communicated.

Your third song, “We’ve Got Tonight” was an exquisite pick by Jimmy Iovine. I loved that you ditched the guitar and simply sang this song from your heart – because you have a great big heart! I loved the gentle bend in the original melodic line toward the end of this song. This was a tasteful rendition of this song, so sensitive and heartfelt. I loved it!

Congratulations, Phillip! You have a wonderful future ahead of you.

Critique: Phillip – during your first song, your vocals weren’t perfect but, that’s okay because you truly worked within the limitations of your vocal ability. And I mean this in a good way. Sometimes the mouth was round, sometimes not. But, what I did appreciate is that you never over sang.

That being said, you must work on maintaining that circular position to your mouth, keeping that jaw relaxed and free. There is incredible tension in your facial muscles and this tension is inhibiting the resonators located in your vocal masque. I think you would be surprised at the depth and focus of your voice once you make these changes and apply stronger diaphragmatic support.

Your second number, “Disease”, was a little sleepy for me. It wasn’t challenging enough for you and I question this choice of yours. Was this really your first and only choice or was this a last-minute switcheroo made at the whim of the producer?

I felt your vocals and performing style looked and sounded so one-dimensional. And yet again, all that tension in your face really impeded the full complement of your vocal strength. It makes me wonder, given your health problems, how well you can support your voice. Hopefully, once you regain some strength via rest and medical attention, you will work on enhancing the diaphragmatic support for your voice.

During your third number, I was aching for you to become more inventive with your phrasing. Your breathing was very square and block-like. I was hoping to hear a couple of phrases carried through in one breath.

In a song like this, it was very important not to repeatedly breathe after the same number of bars. By making this change, the momentum and intensity would have increased, adding excitement to this number

You need to be more creative in this respect, especially with the slower numbers where, obviously, your phrasing is very exposed. This is what keeps the song moving forward with a fluid and cohesive sound.

However, it was still a solid showcase, although your first number knocked the other two out of the park!

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

40 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season 11 Top 3: Personal, Judges’and Jimmy Iovine’s Choices”

  1. Your remarks are much kinder than anything I would have said. Knowing what could have been is what is so disappointing. I know of two or three that should have been put through to live shows but were passed up. Lauren Gray, Candice Glover, Richie Lawson.

    Yes, I said Richie Lawson. LOL He wasn’t very likable but actually had just as good a voice as Scotty McCreery with a wider range in his vocals.

    Hollie and DeAndre could have done so much better on some of these songs tonight too.

    But we have what we have and your assessments are probably right. I just found Joshua’s voice especially annoying tonight. I also found Jessica lacking some flare and her lower register doesn’t appeal to me. Phillip is like that car with all the dents that you put in the shop and they fix 3 corners and leave one still dented. The car is looking better to anyone who saw it before but if a person sees it for the first time it still looks bad. That is speaking of his vocals of course. Not his appearance.

    That’s just the way I feel about it. Sorry if anyone is offended. Best wishes for each of your personal favorites to win.

  2. That guy’s name was Richie Law, not Lawson. Oooops!

  3. MCL,

    I am amazed how much I agree with your thoughts on the performances tonight. I did think there were some strange song choices, to say the least! I was also a little underwhelmed, if I am being honest.

    I do agree that Philip’s first number was very good, but you helped me to understand exactly why it worked. His second performance was by far my least favorite. Sleepy, indeed! I was not feeling it from with this song. There had to be a better song for an important night like this. I do think that Jimmy’s choice was a stroke of genius. I actually know and like this Bob Seger song very much. I loved seeing Philip without the guitar. Very nice! The vocals were good, but thank you for pointing out the lack of creative phrasing. I still think that Jimmy gave him a hearthrob moment, guaranteed to get the ladies dialing like crazy.

    I do appreciate Philip’s artistry, musicality and commitment. His singing style and music is not for me, but I can still respect his talent. I have heard some real technical issues with his voice, but you basically explained it much better than I ever could. I am actually amazed that he could get through the competition, given his health problems. I am sure that it’s not helping the quality of his vocals.

    Joshua is going to lose me if he continues with this shouty, screamy stuff. I am on overload and this is coming from someone who loves his voice! Please, enough already! Not every song has to have this kind of over the top interpretation and Joshua needs to learn when to leave it out. I thought the first song was good, playing to his strength as an r&b soul singer. There are much better Etta James songs, but it was still a chance for him to showcase what he does best. I think that I liked “Imagine”, because there was almost none of the screaming and shouting. I needed a break! I think there are better versions of this song, but Joshua’s r&b take on it was very well done. He has such a lovely tone in his voice and it’s too bad that he feels the need to go there with the over the top shouting. He really doesn’t need it. I also worry about his voice. It is such a harsh and unpleasant sound to my ears because he isn’t doing it correctly. This is where I wish the judges would come in with some constructive criticism, instead of encouraging him to keep doing it.

    His last performance of the Mary J. Blige song, was his signature Joshua type performance. Throwing the jacket off and even losing his ear buds, showed how passionate he gets when he is feeling it. You are right. It is organic to him and just a way of being in the moment. That’s why in this song, at least, I can’t fault him for going there. This song was the time to do it. If he only did it on this song, that would be okay. Otherwise it risks becoming a crutch or schtick. Thanks for pointing out too much chest voice. I hear something off at times, but have been unable to identify what it is. That’s what I am hearing. As good as he is, with some intelligent advice and guidance, he could be that much better.

    I loved Jessica’s first performance. I thought this gave her a chance to show off the colors in her voice, the nuances and little things she does. She gave a beautiful interpretation of the song. Thank you again for pointing out what was wrong with her second performance of the Aerosmith song. I just thought her vocals were off and couldn’t figure out what was going on. No head voice! That makes a big difference. I read on MJ’s blog that Jessica was having some throat issues today. I thought that last big note kind of cracked at the end.

    I really don’t understand Jimmy’s choice of “I’ll Be There” for Jessica’s last performance. It was probably my favorite Jackson 5 song back in the day. I really love it, but this didn’t quite work for me. I thought Jessica’s voice sounded kind of ragged and it was most likely a combination of fatigue and maybe some little respiratory thing.

    I have a feeling it will be Philip and Joshua in the finale. But what do I know! It was great seeing all the other Idol contestants in the audience tonight. I caught some interesting facial expressions from them when the camera happened to focus on them. I wish Hollie had made it to the final three. I saw her cheering like mad for Joshua. Too cute!

  4. What I find so sad, is that when things go wrong the fingers start pointing to who’s fault it is. You blame song selection, you blame everyone else on that stage other than the one who delivered the song.

    When life gives you lemons what do you do with them…you change the song up and make it fit your voice!!!

    You guys drag Phillip over the coals week after week…he isn’t your favorite, I get that, but he is my favorite and obviously alot of other people’s favorite.

    I, like brotherkarl do pay attention to who’s getting votes and why!

    Phillip is the best of us all, we watch him each week, smile, be humble and gracious, we watch him make the best out what is given to him, what guy wants to sing, you’ve lost that loving feeling with another guy? He did it with grace and humor…he is what and who we love about our country, it is what we hope our world could be, a beautiful place, a place where a smile wins over a conflict, where a kind word and a hug takes the place of pain, anger and the worst this world offers.

    Phillip and all like him who have graced the stage and won have won maybe not because they are the best technical singer, but because they have heart, a kind and gentle spirit…

    My participation here at MCL’s is over, when we find it so easy to tear down instead of build up, it’s time to move on.

    3 kids took the stage last night, 3 totally different people and voices, we need to be proud of them for making it this far, we also need to understand that these kids need our support and love not our disgust that our favorite isn’t there, or that song choice made one lose votes over another!

  5. nothingspecial May 17, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Um…the Righteous Brothers, two guys performing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” Having two males perform it is hardly a big deal. And no I don’t see Phillip as the panacea to all; I see him as a fairly generic bar band/collegiate singer who would benefit tremendously from better vocal technique. Though he doesn’t produce as dynamically large sounds as the other two he is as shouty as them insofar as he is singing usually from the neck up.

    He will probably win though; he is generic male caucasian guitarist number five, and we know how much the AI audience loves those.

  6. Vonnie – I am sorry if you feel that some of the comments have been too harsh on the singers. I think it has been a difficult year for the viewers. In this community, we support all the singers.

    However, I know I get frustrated when, technically, the singers lack refinement week after week, while the judges could care less.

    And then you have someone like Hollie who worked her little butt off every week, was the most gracious contestant ever in the face of “over the top” criticism and it makes one wonder why? Where is the heart in this show? And the common sense and decency?

    I hope you will reconsider your decision to leave this community. You have been wonderful – a valuable resource. We are just frustrated and certainly do not mean to offend anyone.

  7. Thanks for the article submission, Louise. Couldn’t agree more!

  8. MSNBC has a poll about the Top 3 performances here:

    http://tinyurl.com/bnryjfm

    Of about 10,000 votes, here are the results:

    Favorite performance:

    45% Phillip: “We’ve Got Tonight”

    12% Phillip: “Beggin’ ”
     
    8% Joshua: “No More Drama”
     
    8% Joshua: “Imagine”
     
    8% Jessica: “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

    6% Joshua: “I’d Rather Go Blind”
     
    6% Jessica: “My All”

    5% Jessica: “I’ll Be There”

    2% Phillip: “Disease”

    Phillip’s two songs were also my favorites of the night, although I share the view of most others here that he is the weakest vocal talent of the three.

    This poll illustrates what has become obvious about Idol — that technical vocal excellence is not the key voting issue for most viewers. They are attracted to performers that appeal to their hearts as well as their ears. Of the top three, Phillip has been the most successful at establishing an emotional connection with the viewers.

  9. Malden – thanks for the poll results. Based on last night’s performances, Pnil was the strongest of the three.

    However, they saddled Jessica with mundane song choices – nothing upbeat and current that we all k ow she is capable of doing.

    I don’t know what’s going on with this show, but it is truly weird, wild stuff. Like they are making up the rules as they go along.

    I would be very surprised to see Jessica in the Top 2 now and I would never have thought this weeks ago.

  10. MCL: Did you have any luck in finding those vids?

    Vonnie: Since WHEN have we ‘ripped apart’ the vocals of Mr. Phillips. He reminds me alot of Kris Allen with his reserved and introverted personality:) Plus the fact that he also is a songwriter. BTW, I would HAPPILY buy songs from him.

  11. James – which vids? Sorry. Senior moment here. Haha

  12. MCL: Should be on the AI site.

  13. I’m assuming it’s his health issues, but does anyone know why Philliip has been missing from the past 2 Ford videos? TIA!

  14. I think the Spanish TV show that Jennifer is doing with her husband is or was already on.
    I’ve been disappointed with with Steven Tyler moreso this year than last. He’s rarely critical and is absurdly (and not very helpful) in being happy with every performance.

  15. Really? You see? Too many shows. Who can keep track?

  16. Vonnie,

    If you are reading, then I would like to address this post to you. When I write my thoughts about the performances, I am giving my opinion. It’s my interpretation, what I hear, what I feel. It’s has not ever been personal. I am not necessarily thinking that your comment was addressed to me, since you lumped us together, but I take great excpetion to some of the accusations and things you said about us.

    I think it’s important for each of us to keep some perspective. This is not life and death. It’s a singing competition. We don’t know these young people. We have never met them. But we are here to say what we think about their performances. That is how I approach it. I may not like Philip’s singing style or genre of music. I may find it boring or uninteresting or just not appealing. However, I have not insulted him personally.

    I actually don’t even know why I am bothering to write this. I don’t have to defend myself or what I say on here. Maybe you haven’t been around on other blog sites, but there are far more offensive comments about Philip and the other contestants all over the internet. This is the most civil site I have ever found.

    I think you are overreacting. Nobody hates Philip as a person. I don’t know how you could think so badly of people who come on here merely for the purpose of discussing the performances. It’s interesting that you apparently have no compassion for someone like Hollie, who was ripped to shreds and insulted on national television by Jimmy and the judges for weeks. But you didn’t have to see that, because Philip has been praised to the heavens no matter what. I will tell you that no one is that perfect. Everyone can benefit from some criticism and Philip is no exception. Do I think he coasted on mediocre performances at times? Yes, I do. Does that make me the horrible person you are saying I must be? No.

    That’s all I have to say on the subject. It’s your decision whether or not you wish to continue to participate here. But you should know that your comments can make some people feel intimidated and hesitant about expressing themselves. I think that is a real shame.

    I am sorry that you feel the way you do.

  17. Mindy,

    At first your post made me mad, and then it mad me really sad…

    I will continue to read here, because I greatly enjoy Anita, brotherkarl, gene w, louise, aand karianne…and I like to read MCL’s reviews each week.

    But after your post I will never post on this sight again!!!

    Vonnie

  18. Vonnie – I’m confused. What’s going on? C’mon. Everyone needs to take a deep breath. I agree that Mindy’s comments are strong but I don’t think they were meant to hurt you in any way.

    And there are so many people, myself included, who really value your participation here. Plus, who is going to mind the class when I’m away? :):)

    I am sure Phillip is winning next week. I actually am happy that he is in the Top 2 as his performances were so, so good during the Top 3 show. And, he is ill as well. Hopefully, after he has his surgery, we can hear the full extent of his potential.

    If you could read the negative stuff written about me (probably have), then let’s just say that it’s not the most complimentary. Haha.

    So, hopefully, you will be here to celebrate the Top 2 ride. I think BrotherKarl is waiting for you – big time! We all are!

  19. MCL! Thank you so much for your kind words, you will never know how much they mean to me.

    I came to this sight, gosh how many years ago, because of your reviews of the contestants. I will still come and read your reviews, but I stand by my decision to not post any longer. Mindy’ s words were harsh and I didn’t know that I was an intimidating poster; so hopefully you will now get more posters to this site, because you deserve to have an over abundance of people reading here.

    I have been a fan of Hollie’ s and have posted many times that I felt that she along with Elise couldn’t do anything to please the judges. I was sad to see Hollie go home, but so proud of her determination and perserverance that she displayed on that stage each week, to make it to the top four is a great accomplishment.

    But I must say, we can only blame the judges and Jimmy so much, these kids all have the same opportunity to take the songs, good or bad, and turn them into something that will make them stand out. We watched Taylor, Adam, David C, Bo, and many others take chances and risks with their songs and make them work.

    I will be cheering and celebrating with you all, silently, next week, which ever one of these two wins will be okay with me they are both Awesome, my heart wishes a Phillip win, he as many have said is the weakest singer, but not in my eyes, he is the strongest, because for the time that he is singing, he makes me smile, and make me think “What a Wonderful World” and that is what music is supposed to do for us!!!

    Again MCL! thank you!!! :-)

  20. Vonnie,

    I think you should go back and read what you wrote again. Because you used some pretty strong language that you are conveniently forgetting. We all have to take responsibility for what we say here. I don’t like being the scapegoat as you now say that you won’t post here anymore. That is incredibly unfair to me. You started this. You came out and attacked us as a group. You accused of being so mean and unfair to poor Philip. I read back what I wrote in my critique of his performances on this topic thread and think I was extremely fair. I even spoke about his health issues. I have no idea what is going on with you, but this has gotten way too personal for my liking.

    You also unfortunately misquoted and distorted what I said. I am not about to let that go unanswered. I said that your angry comments condemning those of us who don’t love Philip the way you do, could have an intimidating effect on other posters. How can we come here and say what we think without fear of retribution?

    I don’t think anyone here deserved the things you said. The fact that you don’t realize how hurtful your comments were, is concerning to me. It’s not like I just decided to go after you on a whim. I also so not appreciate you making me the reason that you won’t post here anymore. You said in your initial post that you weren’t going to post here anymore because of the mean-spirited comments about Philip. Yet after I wrote my response, you now say that I am the reason.

    I respectfully wish you would reread what you posted and think a bit about how it might have made some of us feel. Take some responsibility and realize that your words were very strong and quite harsh. I was taken back when I read it. This is not like you at all.

    I don’t like anyone playing the martyr and pointing fingers at someone for simply responding. I felt that there were some things that needed to be said to put this all in perspective.

    MCL,

    I am sorry this has happened on this site which I love so much. Maybe I should fall on my sword and say that I will leave and not post anymore, since Vonnie has decided that I am now the problem. This is unfortunate. I have tried to give back to this site and be as respectful as possible in my comments about the performances, but when someone gets so carried away and takes things way too personally about someone they don’t even know, then I really don’t think I can come here and feel free to speak honestly about what I think.

  21. Aww Vonnie. I meant it from the heart. Please re-consider posting – not in the immediate future but at some point down the road.

    I honestly don’t think Mindy meant to hurt you or any of the other readers here. But she is very attached to Hollie, as many of us are, and sometimes we say things in the heat of the moment that we later regret.

    Not everyone is going to like every singer. And, I do feel that we are not seeing everything that is going on behind the scenes. It is a confusing mess this year. After this week’s performances, I thought Jessica was out and now she is Top 2. Very strange.

    Is it just me or has this show been topsy-turvy? I instinctively knew that Lauren and Scotty were Top 2 last year and pretty much picked out the Top 2 at the early stage of each competition.

    This year? Wow! Crazy.

  22. Marsha Wihiel May 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    MCL, you are amazing and undoubtedly know your subject. I have one more passover that I thought was odd. Johnny Keyser. We saw so little of him, but his artistry is awesome. I go to school in the same town with Richie Law. That cowboy does opera! I was shocked. There’s a youtube video of him singing Arlington. I wish you would comment on it on your blog. Is he as good as I think? I still don’t think he could beat Jessica or Phillip. Theyare both phenomenal.

  23. MCL, Mindy, and All,

    Please accept my apologies for anything that I may have said to cause anyone to be hurt.

    My initial post was not out of malice, only frustration. Sometimes when we post things we don’t mean for them to sound cross, but I guess they do sometimes hit people the wrong way.

    Mindy, you are not the cause for my decision to not post here any longer, I had already decided to not continue on here before your post; I am so sorry and ask your forgiveness if I made it sound that way.

    I apologize too for putting a damper on the fun here at MCL’s, this is the best site on the web to post, everyone on here is the best.

    I still stand by my decision to not post any longer, and it’s not because of anyone here; I’ ve been obsessed with this show long enough to know that when idol runs it’s course I will need to seek therapy…I need a new hobby other than idol.

    Again, please accept my apology, and forgive my ability to always have both feet in my mouth at the same time!!!

    Blessings and friendship to you all, :-)

    Vonnie

  24. Vonnie – Thank you so much. I really hope that, over time, you will be back. You have been wonderful and everyone will miss you.

    Everyone needs a break and you certainly have earned that right via your wonderful contributions to this site.

    Feel free to jump in anytime you want. You know I’ll be here!!

  25. Marsha – if you could add the link to Arlington, I would be happy to comment on it. And I loved Johnny so much. I was shocked when he was cut but, hopefully, he will be back next year.

  26. Marsha Wihiel May 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Here you go…..and thank you for your Johnny comments. I just love him.

  27. Marsha Wihiel May 23, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Sorry for the prior. This link should work.

  28. Mindy,

    I simply cannot stand someone being mad at me for more than 10 minutes…please accept my apology and come back to MCL’S.

    You and I have been on this site too long together and have enjoyed each others friendship for quite a few years now (I have enjoyed your friendship, I hope you have felt the same :-) )! Please don’ t let my ability to keep both feet in my mouth while still trying to carry on a conversation stop you from posting…I think MCL is depending on you to give a review of last night!!!

    Nothing that was said on here has made my decision to stop posting, and as kariann said there truly are more things to fight for…

    I hope that you will return and share in this fun time her at MCL’S Place…I truly am sorry if I hurt you in any way, please know that was not my intention…my husband says I have a gift in that area, my shoe size and mouth size are one of the same.

    But if you can’t forgive me, I understand; but please come back for MCL’S sake, she works so hard to make a place for us to come and chat about these crazy shows!

    Vonnie

  29. Marsha Wihiel May 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I’m new to your sight, but what an amazing heart you have. I love the way you care about the people on the site. I went back and read the whole issue with all these folks and I think they are lucky to have a friend like you. In this electronic age, it’s so easy to use imaginary power and move on. The fact that you care is unique and is due acknowledgement!!! Back to business. Do you think that if Jessica wins she can sustain a commercial career or will she just be a fade away Idol winner. I know Phil is very commercial. I downloaded a song of his and it is just beautiful. His original song last night was good.

  30. Hello Marsha and welcome. And thank you for your kind words. We have become like family here, so it disheartens me when there is animosity of any kind. I just want everyone to get along and add their feedback in a civil manner. And, for the most part, it has been that way. Sometimes, though, we overstep boundaries – I am as guilty of that as anyone else. But then, it is good to laugh and move on and continue the MCL ride. We are human – and to err is human! Wish I could take credit for that phrase but no…! Ha!

    Anyway, I really feel Jessica is going to have a huge career in the music industry. It frustrates me that Idol didn’t do enough over the last two weeks to promote the diversity of her vocal gifts. So strange. But, I have no doubt that she will be very, very successful.

    Phillip is very marketable and his original song is a gem. So beautiful!

  31. Marsha Wihiel May 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Curious as to what you thought of the cowboy’s video singing Arlington

  32. Marsha – I apologize. I meant to respond sooner. My goodness Richie has a gorgeous voice. The tone is so rich and velvety. I think that, because Idol was so country-oriented last season, they didn’t want to go there again. Perhaps, he will come back and re-audition. He really should. Thanks for adding the link. :)

  33. Vonnie,

    Oh my goodness! I haven’t been back on this site and just happened to be reading this thread again. I have been so upset and beside myself after what happened. I was sick about it. Your apology has moved me to tears even as I write this. If I had not come back here on a hunch, I would never have read it.

    Saying what I did was the hardest thing I have ever done. I have enjoyed talking with you here so much. You and I have had wonderful times here and that I could never forget. When we were both on the same side loving Scotty last year, that was some great times!

    You are a special person and that’s why I was so hurt. I thought that I said something bad about Philip that made you say those things. I also get very passionately involved with my favorite. It’s what we do. I really tried my best to be fair to Philip every step of the way. If I didn’t love him the way you did, I am sorry for that. But I absolutely believe that he is talented and deserving of the win this year. He has something, maybe not the kind of voice that I love to hear. But there is a passion, an artistry and a decency and humility that is part of him.

    I will share one thing with you. I cried when he broke down trying to sing his coronation song after he was named the winner. It was so moving and touching. In that moment, you could see what it meant to him. All the struggling, being so ill but never using it as an excuse, the hard work, the integrity to do it his way. I really respect him a great deal. His single is doing great right out of the gate and this should mean good things for him. So I really do like him. I just wanted you to know that. Maybe I didn’t say it well, but I do feel that way.

    Finally, I want to give you a heartfelt apology for maybe responding in a way that also hurt you. MCL was right – I did not mean to hurt you. I just wanted you to read back what you wrote and see why it made me feel bad. But I am sorry for this misunderstanding with someone I have grown to love so much. You are a special person to me and always will be. I wish now that I had just let you vent and said nothing. I think that’s all you were trying to do. Just vent your frustration like we all do. And I came down too hard on you.

    I care about you and have been so sad since this happened. Maybe God led me here so that I could read your beautiful words. This is a time for me to take a break after this long Idol season and the Voice, too. It leaves me kind of exhausted. I don’t know if I will be back. I don’t even know if I will be watching Idol next year.

    Please know that whether I am here or not, you will be always in my thoughts. I am a richer person for knowing you here. You have a good heart. If I don’t come back, you won’t be the reason. But I need some time to see where I am at now. I have taken some breaks from this site in the past.

    Thank you so much for writing what you did. I am happy that you aren’t mad at me. Enjoy Philip’s well-earned win and your family and life. I am so,so sorry that this happened at all.

    Love you always,

    Mindy :)

  34. Mindy,

    I too have just been sick over all of this, and I come back everyday to see if you have posted….and was blessed this morning with your post. I have prayed so hard that you would forgive me…thank you! :-)

    I have been needing to take a break for a while now…I post year round here at MCL’s, and this year for some reason I just got exhausted.

    I do love Phillip, but that is no excuse to blast anyone who has ever said anything negative about him, my goodness I know I have probably made many comments about others favorites and I’m sure they have wanted to give me a scolding!!!

    I am so glad that you came back, I now have a sweet peace! God is good, isn’t he?

    You and I have been through thick and thin here together, but through it all we have gained a friendship, one that I hold very dear.

    Please continue to post here, and I am going to try and pop in from time to time, I was not going to watch anymore singing reality shows for a long time, but found myself watching Duets, and absolutly falling in love with the judges and one contestant…Jennifer Nettles and her duet parnter John, Oh! My! Can he ever sing, so yes I am sucked in once again…

    Mindy you are a sweetheart and I love you to pieces, again I am so sorry for causing you any hurt, please know that my venting wasn’t in any way directed to you, just me letting off steam and I think my steam got a little to hot, I am so sorry!!!

    But now my world has been righted and I am happy!!! :-)

    This is why I love this site so much…it feels like a warm cozy blanket on a cold day!!!

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend, Mindy!

    Love you always too, :-)

    Vonnie

  35. Vonnie,

    I am so glad that you got my message! I was worried that you wouldn’t bother to come here and read it. I can sleep better now. I feel like I know you, even though we have not met. You have been such an important part of this forum. I cannot imagine it without you.

    I am glad that you could forgive me. Sometimes I just don’t think things through. I totally understand what was going on with you and it had nothing to do with me or anyone else. I do hope that you come back to this site. I am struggling with whether or not I can continue to watch Idol. There are so many things that bothered me this season. It’s not just about the judges. It goes much deeper than that. It’s the way they demean some of these contestants, the manipulation and games and misdirection and misguided comments. They did it with Erike, Deandre, Elise and Hollie. There are some serious problems with the show. I will have to see where I am at next season.

    See how I need you? I forgot about “Duets”! Totally! You got me into The Voice and now I will have to make sure to watch this new show. I will be going back east to see my Mom on Wednesday, May 30th. I postponed the trip in March because I got very ill two days before I was supposed to fly back east. It broke my heart, because I was supposed to celebrate my birthday and my Mom’s. Also my sister and brother-in-law flew to Florida so that we could all have a family reunion. My sister and brother-in-law can’t be there, but at least I can be with my Mom. I got sick earlier this month again and my asthma flared up. So it’s not been a good time for me. But I don’t like to talk about that here. I hate flying, but it will be worth it when I see my Mom.

    I will probably check back in here once in a while. This is the busiest part of the tennis calender year, so I am going to be on my tennis forums talking at length about the players and the tennis. I know that you have been here exclusively. That’s why I hope that you will consider continuing to post. I am not trying to put pressure on you at all. It’s up to you. But if you have been reading here, there are people giving you a shoutout and good wishes. You are so loved. I come and go, but you are a constant presence.

    I hope you do what is right for you. Did you hear that Philip will be having his surgery on Tuesday? He is cancelling his New York media appearances to get it done now. I think it’s a good decision. I have read about what he went through and it sounds awful. He has been suffering so much and now he can get well and hopefully be ready to go on tour.

    I also wanted you to know that, like MCL, I was very impressed with Philip on the last two shows. I saw something that I had not seen. There is a passion inside him, an emotion and a dedication and devotion that I could fee. I understand that it’s not just the great technical voices that can move people. Sometimes it’s the imperfect voices with something to say and a heartfelt way to say it. I thought he gave his best performances in those last two shows. I was aware of how ill he was and that’s one reason why I tried to be careful with any criticism. He never said anything, but it was obvious looking at him each week, that he was quite ill. He has been so humble in victory. I am really happy that he won. I think things turned out well this season. He earned that win with brilliant performances, grace under pressure and real talent. I think he will do exceptionally well. I just wanted you to know that I did finally see what you and millions of others have been seeing.

    Our boy Scotty is doing well and will have a great career. So there is lots to be thankful for now. I will keep you in my thoughts always. Stay well, take care of yourself and know that you are a remarkable person.

    I am so happy that somehow God led me back here. There are small mercies in this life and it’s a blessing.

    Love always,

    Mindy

  36. “Blessed are the peacemakers…”

    I think I’m glad that I was away while passions were high. I don’t want anyone to think that I wouldn’t care about my good friend Vonnie and Mindy being at odds with one another so I thought I might say a few words about it. A few days after I returned from my motorcycle trip my youngest granddaughter was taken ill and had to be hospitalized for several days. Thank God, she is well now. The point is that I didn’t have time to check in to see what was going on here at MCL’s house. It also helps me maintain perspective about what is important. On my next brief visit I could see two of my friends were having a disagreement and talking of not coming back here. You guys are like Thelma Lou and Helen in Mayberry. You may not be in every episode, but I know they are right down the street; part of the community. It’s a small town and everybody has an important role in it. I’m glad that you two ladies worked out your differences. I would expect nothing less from either of you. You are BOTH very special people to me and I’m happy to call you both my friends (and sister)I can understand the need to pull back from these programs that, one could say, waste our time and mental energy. Those are personal decisions that I can’t make for anyone else, but I will miss either / both of you should you decide not to visit here anymore. We’ve had some great conversations that were interesting to me, and I hope for each of you as well and I look forward to the next one.

    Mindy,
    Your upcoming trip sounds like a great time of fellowship with your family, and especially your Mom. I know you are looking forward to it and I hope all goes without a hitch this time. Say hi to Mom for me. I have always admired people like you who move great distances away from their family. Travel safely.

    MCL,
    Thank you so much for creating this great community where people of many backgrounds can come together and learn from your expertise, share our common interest and enjoy the company of so many good people. You probably had no idea that you were creating the “Hotel California” where you check in, but you can never check out. Thank you for tolerating my ignorance for another season.

  37. Gene and Mindy,

    My Momma used to say that my tongue was like a bell clapper, hinged in the middle and flaps on both ends!!! And quite obviously typing has not effected that all all…

    You guys are the best, I love you both dearly. We are in the process of building a house, so time is on very short supply with me. But I will try and post as often as I can.

    Mindy, I hope you can watch Duets, it seems like it is going to be pretty good.

    I am with you Mindy not sure about idol anymore, I wasn’t going to watch this year, I didn’t watch any auditions, started watching at the top 24…that’ s where I met Phillip and Elise, and then after a couple of shows Hollie. You know the rest of the story, I think it all fell apart after that, LOL?

    Gene,

    I am so sorry to hear about your daughter, I pray all is well with her now! Yeppers, we do have a Mayberry kind of feel to us don’t we. :-)

    Mindy,

    Praying for safe travels for you, I don’ t like to fly either, but sometimes it is the only way to get where you need to be without spending a week in a car!!! Have a great time with your mom!

    Vonnie :-)

  38. Vonnie,
    Congratulations on your new house. That’s an exciting time but also a very stressful one to go through, so stay on the sunny side.

    You gave me a scare there for a minute. It was my Granddaughter. If I had a one year old daughter at this stage of my life I would have to check into a real insane asylum, not just a virtual one! She is an absolute sweetheart but it’s nice to be able to send her home to Momma and Daddy when I’m tired of playing. She is fine now, and all is well. Thank you for asking. She loves horses, BTW.

    Mindy,
    I watched Duets as well and I think you might enjoy it. It’s a lot lower key than Idol or the others so far.

  39. Gene,

    Sorry, the ole eyes aren’t what the used to be…glad to hear all is well with you grandaughter!!!

    You know there is a reason why we at middle age no longer want to have children…we put them down and forget where we put them!!! I’m looking forward to the grandbaby stage too! Just gotta find my son a wife!?!?!?!? He’s to young for now, only 19, 20 this summer, but nothing like being a forward thinker and planning ahead! ;-)

    This is what we are calling our retirment house…the son says for us not to get to comfy, he’s gonna move us to the nursing home down the road, and he’s gonna live here. :-(

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