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Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12 Top 10 Guys


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Photo courtesy of AmericanIdol.Com

Live Update For Wednesday’s Show At The Bottom Of This Article

Well, Tuesday’s show was quite the ride! The majority of these talented young ladies came out fighting and had the goods to back their fight. This is an extremely gifted crop of female vocalists this season – sort of something for everyone.

Now that the bar has been raised incredibly high by the Top 10 Female Singers, the Top 10 Male Singers have a great deal to prove when they perform live Wednesday night.

Set to perform are:

  • Curtis Finch Jr.
  • Elijah Liu
  • Paul Jolley
  • Devin Velez
  • Charlie Askew
  • Vincent Powell
  • Lazaro Arbos
  • Cortez Shaw
  • Burnell Taylor
  • Nick Boddington
  • I am not expecting the sun and the moon and the stars from this crop of guys as so many talented guys were eliminated last week.

    However, maybe they will surprise me – who knows? But, from what I saw last night, these gals are hard to beat. They seem more seasoned, more professional and, definitely, more focused.

    Make sure you come back often and add your comments and see what I have to say during the live updates.

    Good luck to the Top 10 Guys tonight!

  • Live Update begins now!
  • Elijah Liu is up first. And, right out of the gate, he sounds terrific. This is a terrific song choice for his voice ( sorry, don’t know the name of the song). His voice is crystal clear and he sings with genuine expression. I love how well he punctuates his words – very communicative. This, for me, was a much better performance than his Top 40 performance. And he does have a great look on stage. The song may be called Stay by Rhianna. Am I right? Nicki and Mariah loved his song choice while Randy felt that the song didn’t show enough diversity. I apologize – I missed Keith’s remarks but I am thinking that he probably enjoyed it.
  • Cortez Shaw is up next. Why can’t they post the song across the bottom of the screen? Why? Would that be so hard? Anyway, Cortez created a lot of waves with his Titanium Top 40 performance. Tonight, he singing an upbeat number that I don’t feel right off the bat. He has a good voice, but his tone is not distinctive and his approach is tight and constricted. The key is totally wrong for him. Keith felt that this was the best song for him. Nicki wants him to look sexier. Oh Lord help me. Just shut it! Randy felt that he was straining for the upper notes and I agree. Mariah said that she enjoys his ballads to a greater extent and she, as well, commented that the key was too high. Update: Thanks to MCL reader, Mikey for telling me that Cortez’s song was Locked Out Of Heaven by Bruno Mars.
  • Ryan says Charlie Askew sings a Genesis song after the break. Perfect. At least we have an artist name this time around. Ha!
  • Charlie Askew intrigues me. He is different. Let’s see how different tonight. The song, Mama by Genesis is a slow one and very intense in character. His voice is very free in the higher rock end. This is a strong and believable performance. His voice has a very distinctive quality and that ascending passage at the end was outstanding. That song had a Bohemian Rhapsody like quality. Keith felt the performance was disingenuous. Woah! Nicki thought the song was too drastic a change for him. The song was not in his lane. Randy is worried about the song performance. He didn’t like the singing at all. Hmmmm. Mariah knows that he likes the classic rock songs and that he adds diversity to the group. She was pretty non-committal to this performance. Call me crazy but I liked it. Charlie said he needed to vent and that is why he chose this song. Meltdown time. Poor kid. Good on Ryan for supporting him so well.
  • Nick Boddington is up next. And he is back at the piano which I love to see and hear. Judges’ suggestion! Thanks Judges! His song choice, Iris by Goo Goo Dolls is gorgeous and is so suited to his voice. His voice soars easily and expressively throughout the melodic line. And the arrangement was very unusual, very ethereal quality to this vocal performance. Keith loved the vulnerability in his tone. Nicki wanted him to keep the original melody more intact. Randy didn’t feel it was his best performance but was happy to see that he rearranged the song to his suit his singing style. Mariah was happy to see him at the piano and felt that he really kicked in at the end.
  • Burnell Taylor sings his original audition song after the break. And he is sounding superb. I love his voice. He has a theatrical quality to his voice – his articulation is perfect, so clear and meaningful. His vocal range is expansive and even from top to bottom. I love this kid – he is so open and free with his voice and singing style. A breath of fresh air. Keith gives him a standing ovation. He says Burnell’s voice is instantly recognizable and I think he hit the nail on the head. Nicki says he is one of a kind and hears the struggle and pain in his voice. Randy said that the urgency in his voice grabbed the listener from the beginning. Very true! He loves this kid. Mariah has been waiting to hear this song again and said that tonight he matched that tangible moment he achieved when he first performed this number.
  • Paul Jolley is live after the break!
  • Paul Jolley is one of my favorites but, in the first hour, I have gained a few more favorites. Let’s see what happens tonight. He has worked with some big name artists, such as Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts etc. Wow those are big credentials that he is bringing to the show. He is singing some ballad that, once again, I do not recognize. I need to get out more – or turn on the radio or something. I love his performance but his voice seems locked in his throat. Very chesty in timbre and, yet, once in a while, I hear a glimmer of head voice. Keith asks him what genre he sees in his singing style and Paul says pop country. Keith said that it was a believable performance at times. Not consistent though. Nicki felt that it was a solid performance and I do as well but it was not memorable in my mind. Randy didn’t like his louder dynamics and I agree. He likes his sweeter timbre. Mariah didn’t realize he wanted to be pop-country. She sort of talks in circles here and defers to Keith’s opinion as he is the expert in this field.
  • After the break, Lazaro Arbos hits the stage.
  • Lazaro Arbos is set to go with Michael Buble’s Feelin’ Good. I love his voice but his performing style is too stiff for this song. Everything seems too rehearsed. And yet the ending is a strong one – he sort of redeems himself. He needs to loosen up his singing style though – relax Lazaro. Keith said it was a great performance and Nicki enjoyed his song selection. Randy pulled out his in it to win it critique which means he loved the performance. Mariah said that she is impressed with the manner im which he throws himself into his music. However, she does say that the song was too low for him in parts and I agree. He needs to add inflection and nuance – sing/speak – when he performs.(MCL words)
  • Curtis Finch Jr. is up to the plate after the break.
  • Curtis has a vocal gift and is,probably has the best voice of all the male singers. His song choice, I Believe I Can Fly by R. Kelly is perfect for his vocal style. His voice soars and soars and all four judges are on their feet before the song ends. He just pours his heart and soul into this number and reaches for the stars. There is a great deal of facial tension which is worrisome. However, Keith loved him, Nicki is going insane and says we needs his kind of music in a world that is hurting. Wow. I am impressed with Nicki’s insight and sensitivity. Randy loved him and Mariah loved that he added a spiritual component to this song that she personally felt and that everyone needed. Wow! Strong, passionate words from these judges.
  • Devin Velez loves singing in Spanish. It helps him stay in touch with his roots. Hi Mom is his rock it seems. He sings an old classic called It’s Impossible. Great, great song choice. And I believe there are Spanish lyrics to this song. Yup. Here they come and I am loving it. He sings the song beautifully and with credibility. He is a genuine, sweet young man with a lovely voice. Not a great voice, but he knows how to use it correctly. Very soulful. Keith loved him and Nicki did as well. Randy loves his vibrato. Mariah said the performance was incredible. She said his performance was effortless and that he has international appeal.
  • Vincent Powell ends the show with a Boyz II Men number. Last week he received a standing ovation from the judges. Let’s see what happens this week. He starts a tad shaky – the pitch is a little off center but then he finds his groove. His voice is very light and, at times, murky. But he hits a mad falsetto note that is pretty impressive. His riffs are very fluid but, for me, it was just am okay performance. Keith said nerves for to him tonight and Nicki agrees. She loved his song choice though. Randy said he overshot it a little bit and Mariah said there were moments of brilliance in this song.
  • That’s it except for the recap. Time to vote! See you tomorrow for the Results Show!
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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

    19 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12 Top 10 Guys”

    1. MCL, Elijah’s song is “Stay” by Rihanna and Cortez’s is “Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars. Elijah did sound better from last week and he has the look to be marketable. He has a nice, gentle tone.

      Like

    2. Thank you Mikey!! You rock!

      Like

    3. Kudos for Ryan supporting Charlie. I loved that.

      Like

    4. Yes, very classy. Very real!

      Like

    5. I just love Burnell’s voice. It is really distinct and just makes me feel emotion. I’m not good at describing what it is but his voice has it. He’s my favorite this season. Can’t wait what he sings next. He has to be in the Top 10.

      Like

    6. Yes, I agree that Ryan handled Charlie well.

      As for my favorites tonight, Burnell, Devin, Curtis, Nick, and Lazaro/Vincent were my favorites. I wanted to like Paul, but I didn’t particularly like the song that he sang. I think he’s probably better than that performance.

      Like

    7. Still Curtis for me!!! Still no absolute favorite for me which is good in a way, I am enjoying hearing all of the singers and being able to listen with an open mind!!!

      Like

    8. Call me crazy …..

      I was thoroughly enjoying Charlie Askew’s performance, loved his look as the pony tail fits him well (yes, shut it Ms Niki) and was taken back by the judges comments. Came here to see what MCL thought and glad to see that we are both crazy!

      Ryan went up a notch in my book too.

      Like

    9. Yes ArchieFanDoc. It almost seemed that they had based their critiques on a rehearsal performance or something. Or that they couldn’t view him objectively. They were into the schmaltz big time tonight. I am as schmaltzy as the next person but I thought Charlie’s song choice was an artistic and creative one. I will be disappointed if he is sent home.

      Like

    10. I think Ryan was the best part of the show. Lol.

      Like

    11. I think Ryan handled Charlie quite well. I am just wondering if he can handle the additional pressure of the show. I know they have a Psychologist on staff which might be useful. I am still impressed with Paul, Lazaro, and Nick. There really wasn’t an outstanding performance tonight. Having 18 Ballads out of 20 performances from the Girls and Guys was a bit boring. Hope they pick it up a bit!

      We’ve been discussing THEMES, and the music from WOODSTOCK came up. Sounds excellent to me!

      Like

    12. KariAnn – yes my daughter said why are there so many slow songs? I agree. This is why I thought Charlie was so good. He changed it up and took a risk. I still do not understand why the judges jumped down his throat. I thought their comments were out of sync with his performance.

      Like

    13. Janey – yes thank heavens for Ryan

      KariAnn – Woodstock theme sounds like a great idea. I wish they would bring back the Big Band theme. Loved it!

      Like

    14. I don’t know guys…I think that I am pulling out of this season of Idol…Great talent this year and I really like Keith Urban, but no one has me jumping up and down and wanting to spend two nights watching!!!

      Gene,

      Still watching Nashville and Dancing so I will watch for posts from you to chat about these two shows!!!

      Like

    15. Dear Charlie has charisma and would fit in a rock-art genre. I feel horribly for him. He needs that psychologist. And a handler. And he needs a PR/image person who can create a persona for him to act on stage. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be himself; he just needs a controlled presentation. He makes me a bit uncomfortable because I just don’t think he is comfortable in his own skin. Sometimes you have to be comfortable in your discomfort. Many an artist has his or her demons that drive performance. He needs to learn to leave it all on the floor. I think Keith’s comment that he would fit with a band was the most constructive. He reminds me of the lead singer in Simply Red …or Simple Minds.

      Like

    16. Aw Vonnie. I hope you stay. And you reminded me that I should be adding blog topics for DWTS! :)

      Like

    17. Not going any where MCL…just not to interested in Idol this year!!! We still have dancing, and AGT, and The Voice, and X-Factor…

      Dancing has a great cast this year!!!

      Like

    18. i finally watched the show. once again i soooo appreciate your live comments. i too really liked charlie’s performance and i didn’t understand why they didn’t like it. i’m so glad you agreed with how i felt.

      Like

    19. Hunter – I am still upset about Charlie’s elimination.

      Like

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