Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12 Top 10 Guys
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.
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!