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Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12: Las Vegas Rounds -Group One Guys


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If last night’s show of talent is any indication of what lies ahead for American Idol Season 12, then we are in for a great season.

I thought the first group of Top 40 Females were splendid, although I did feel that Isabelle should have remained in the competition. Her voice is glorious and her technique sublime. I was very disappointed to see her leave. Very!

The new line-up of judges have proven to be a very cohesive and intelligent group and I found their comments are informative, generally objective and quite insightful.

Thursday’s show will feature the first group of guys. Performing this week (courtesy of MJsBigBlog) are:

Charlie Askew
Chris Watson
Curtis Finch Jr.
Devin Velez
Elijah Liu
Jimmy Smith
Johnny Keyser
Josh Davila (JDA)
KevinHarris
Paul Jolley

Our Top 20 will evolve from these singers and they will indeed perform live in a couple of weeks, giving the viewers a chance to vote through their Top 10.

Now, I hope to live blog these shows, but, once again, I may not be home in time for the early part of this show. I will do my best.

But, hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t get started over in the comments section, does it? Of course not! Live blog away and then I will play catch-up with you when I connect with the TV.

Live Update

  • Paul Jolley was up first and he sang a Keith Urban number with a lot of feeling. He was a little shaky and, perhaps, that accounted for the constriction in his vocal sound. I like his persona though. Very genuine. And a lovely vocal tone.
  • Johnny Keyser is 23-years-old and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. What a great charisma – very relaxed and the camera sure does love his eyes. I have no idea what he singing but it is a ballad and he is singing quite well. His vocal sound is a bit too spread for my liking, however. He needs more depth in his vocal timbre. Overall, I think he could have selected a better song.
  • Josh Davila (JDA) is next and is 27-years-old. Well, he is distinctive – I’ll give him that. And now he is crawling on the floor. The guy is tres theatrical and has a gutsy vocal sound. Now, the clothes are coming off. Haha way too much fun!
  • Missed a couple of singers because I was away from the television. Sorry everyone.
  • Kevin Harris just performed and it was just okay. He was very, very nervous and his vocal sound was quite hesitant. The falsetto was shaky and unfocused. Not the best night for him.
  • Just an aside – Nikki has to stop making faces at Mariah. Honestly. So high school. Chris Watson is up after the break.
  • Commercial break is over and Chris Watson is in the spotlight. He is singing and wiggling through Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay. His voice is unfocused and poorly centred but he has style – I’ll give him that. But just that!
  • Devin Velez and Elijah Liu are up next after the commercial break.
  • Devin Velez is 18-years-old and selects Listen as his number. He is a very confident vocalist with solid technique. He adds some Spanish lyrics – nice touch. For me, he was the strongest male vocalist so far. A little shaky but has loads of potential.
  • Elijah Liu is 20-years-old and is a real cutie. He hasn’t opened his mouth and I already like him. But when he starts to sing, although I hear a clear tenor sound, he is very green. His voice is still so youthful sounding and he needs technical help in a huge way.
  • Nikki needs a reality check. Seriously. How can you market someone who cannot , well, sing? There is a voice there but Elijah is very inexperienced.
  • Charlie Askew is an enigma, isn’t he? Really different. I like different and I like this kid. He sings Elton John’s Rocket Man with a nice current edge. Working the microphone – the whole nine yards. His voice needs technical help – it is unfocused and undisciplined. Hmm lots of excitement surrounding him here but the voice, for me, is so young and green. No guts to the sound. However, given all that, he intrigues me. He should move on.
  • Jimmy Smith is the second last singer this evening. He has a great look and that translates into instant marketability. But can he sing? Well, sort off. He starts a bit on the soft side when singing through his lower range. And, overall, his voice is too closed for my liking. And the song never really goes anywhere. Oh boy, not a great night for the guys.
  • You know it’s a bad sign when you don’t care who is selected for the Top 20. But, that’s how I feel after tonight’s performances
  • Curtis Finch Jr. is the last singer tonight and he is 24-year-old gospel singer. So, this should be good. And it is. He has a gorgeous, resplendently rich voice. Almost classical. He is in a league of his own and all the other singers have disappeared off my radar. He is very, very, very good. Neat falsetto surprise at the end. Love him.
  • Deliberation time. Results after the commercial break.
  • Curtis Finch Jr. moves on to the Top 20. Jimmy Smith, not surprisingly, is asked to leave the competition. Kevin Harris is eliminated as well.
  • Elijah Liu moves forward to the Top 20. JDA is eliminated.
  • Paul Jolley’s fate was a split decision and Jimmy Iovine had to intervene to break the tie. He recommends that Paul move on to the Top 20. Good I like him. Awesome!
  • Chris Watson is eliminated. Charlie Askew moves forward to the Top 20.
  • Johnny Keyser and Devin Velez are left. Devin moves on to the Top 20 and Johnny is eliminated.
  • That’s it until next week when we meet the second group of Top 10 Girls and Top 10 Guys.
  • 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

    11 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12: Las Vegas Rounds -Group One Guys”

    1. For me the show began and ended with Curtis…I LOVED him!!! OMGosh!

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    2. Vonnie -hear! Hear! Loved him. Thanks for your comments everyone. :)

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    3. Hi Vonnie,
      That was me pulling your hair at school! (From your comment on the previous thread)

      I have to agree Vonnie, Curtis was the only one that I would have kept from tonight, but I didn’t really like his take on “Superstar.” I’ve known that song for over 40 years and it took me about 30 seconds to recognize it! The first guy was ok, but just ok.

      I take back everything nice I said about Nicki. She seems too invested in “representing” this group or that rather than finding the best vocalist and is too strident in her opinions. Her worst fault is that she pouts when others disagree with her. I never have been a fan of Simon but he couldn’t wait to express an opinion different than the rest of the group. I wasn’t very impressed with the judges table as a whole tonight.

      We may have seen another step toward finding the next “female” Idol tonight. This was not the most masculine group of male contestants I have ever seen; quite the contrary and they sent the pretty boy home so they are limiting the contestants the young girls are likely to fixate on.

      BTW, did you or anyone notice the Kia commercial on last night’s show? The “where do babies come from” one. It was both very cute and funny with several double entendre. Very well done for an entry level product. Watch it if you get a chance and haven’t already seen it.

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    4. Ouch Gene…if you don’t stop pulling my hair, I’m telling Mrs. MCL…. ;-)

      Yes! Nikki went backwards last night…crossed the line a couple of times! Keith and Mariah tried hard to keep the judging as judging!!!

      Wasn’t crazy about The song choice for Curtis either, but mercy the boy could sing the phone book…I’m not a gospel voice kindof gal, I love contemporary Christian music, in fact it is all that I listen to. (Colton Dixon has a beautiful song on the radio right now, as well as Jason Castro and Mandisa, there is another idol that has a beautiful song out but can’t remember his name at this moment, I’ll think on it and get back to ya, Rueben is also doing really well) anywho…I love Luther and think that Curtis has that smooth vocal sound like Luther…

      Do agree, we are on the girl bandwagon this year! Now, while I don’t have a problem with that, I don’t want to see someone who has the potential to be the next American Idol get the bus treatment just because they don’t have the Y Chromosome!!!

      Have seen the Kia commercial…Wheels on the bus everybody!!!

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    5. Grrr…X or Y Chromosome!!! Equality is what I am in search of this year in otherwords!!!

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    6. Oh boy. Idol, what happened? Everyone (except Curtis and Devin) was equally bad. I almost want to blame the vocal coaches, just to blame SOMEBODY for the disastrous night! And I agree with you all about Nikki – she’s clearly a different person when the boys are in the room, lol.

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    7. LOL janey…Hadn’t thought about it that way,but yes, put a boy in the room and Nikki certainly goes ga-ga and forgets what she is there for!!!

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    8. Am I the only one who is sick and tired of Nikki asking the guys: “Do you have a girlfriend”? Is this high school or what? What does this have to do with his singing?

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    9. LOL MCL…hopefully she leaves it at just asking!!!

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    10. Vonnie. – one can only hope. It’s tiresome though. She is grating on me big time. Everyone is a superstar in her eyes. Lol

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    11. Wow! For the most part, the guys were just not bringing it. As much as I agreed with Randy about Kevin’s performance, I thought he should have gotten a spot instead of Charile. Or even JDA. I’m really going to miss JDA! He’s too much, LOL!! Devin and Curtis were amazing and really stepped up to the plate. I hope the second group of guys do much better. It’s too bad they didn’t have a place for Isabelle. I agree with you Rosanne. She did a beautiful job! She seemed upset that they didn’t choose her.

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