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Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12 Top 6 Results Show: Bacharach/David And Songs You Wish You Wrote


20130411-112955.jpgJudge Mariah Carey christens contestant Candice Glover with glitter onstage at FOX’s ‘American Idol’ Season 12 Top 6 Live Performance Show on April 10, 2013 in Hollywood, California.
Credit: USMagazine.Com via FOX via Getty

Well, since everyone else is saying it, I may as well join the club!

Last night probably was a singular moment for American Idol in the sense that we heard one of the worst and best performances in Idol history. What! A!! Mess! And then, WHAT!! A!! MOMENT!!

Poor Lazaro – you have to feel sorry for the guy. He has no business being on that stage and we all know the reason he is there is to ensure a female win. This is probably the worst things I detest about this show – where a candidate is included in the Top 10 for cannon fodder. So ridiculous, mean and bordering on desperation on the part of the producers.

Candice Glover – what did I just see and hear last evening? Oh my goodness, as wonderful as the other women have been in this competition, none can hold a candle to Candice. The only one who comes close is Amber and even she pales in comparison.

How interesting that our Season One winner, Kelly Clarkson, will be adorning the stage tonight. I think American Idol has been desperately searching for a true pop diva ever since Kelly was crowned in Season One and they may have found one in Candice.

She is more of an R&B, soulful, jazzy pop diva, but she certainly different from other singers who have won this show since Kelly Clarkson. She brings artistic depth and genius to her performances that cannot be taught. It just is…..!

Also, appearing tonight is Season 10 winner, Scotty McCreery, whose career is going stronger than ever.

Tune into Fox at 8:00 P.M. Eastern to catch all the action. Will a female be singing for the save? All bets are on Janelle as the lowest vote getter, but anything can happen. This is the last week they can use the save, unless they have changed the rules this year.

Join me in the comments section. This topic is up early because there is lots to talk about.

I will be live blogging tonight’s show, so west coast people, if you don’t want to be spoiled, then read no further. :)

  • Live Update
  • My heart just broke when they showed a quick clip of Janelle crying and saying: “I’m just doing the best job that I can”.
  • Medley of Bacharach/David hits with the Top 6. Janelle stars off as a soloist. Uh oh. Does that mean she is the lowest vote getter? Here comes Angie. Both girls sound great with their solos. Kree is up next and singing out of tune. Oh dear! Lazaro follows with some more tuning issues. Lord, this is the worst ever. Thank heavens, here come Amber and Candice. They are singing “One Less Bell To Answer” and are killing it! Wow they are really being featured big time! Now they are both singing “A House Is Not A Home”. The whole group is singing “That’s What Friends Are For”. Honestly, this arrangement was a cut and paste disaster. I felt everyone was sight reading the score for the first time. No one was singing with any kind of commitment.
  • Jimmy’s Comments
  • Kree is discussed first. Jimmy raves about her but he says if she wants to win he needs to see more personality. Angie did a competent job but he doesn’t think she won the night. Lazaro hit him like an Ambien milkshake and if the band changes key, he should change key.
  • Pairs are being formed tonight. Angie is told to go to the far side of the stage. Lazaro is in the middle and Kree is on the near side of the stage. Scotty McCreery is up next after the commercial break.
  • Woo. Kevin Bacon is in the audience. I love me some Bacon. Haha. The Following scares the !!??? out of me though.
  • Scotty has enjoyed some amazing success. I am impressed. He is back to perform his hit, “See Ya Tonight”. Some things never change. He still sings with his head turned to one side and it looks just so strange. And his voice lacks lustre. Sorry Scotty fans.
  • Jimmy’s Comments
  • Janelle is critiqued by Jimmy. He says she is doing literal interpretations and it doesn’t work. She joins Angie at the far side of the stage. Candice is praised by Jimmy. She is leading this competition now with both performances last night. She has a great sense of what she should sing. Candice joins Kree. Amber is the entire package and is baffled why America doesn’t get her. He says she shouldn’t change a thing. Amber joins Lazaro.
  • Ryan says that one of the pairs is the Top 2, one is the Middle 2 and one is the Bottom 2. We find out who is who after the commercial break and Kelly Clarkson’s performance.
  • A Kelly retrospective is shown. So great to see her again. And she looks and sounds gorgeous. She has worked so hard and is one of the sweetest gems in this business. Her voice is so rich and controlled, a little problem in the head voice area but it was fleeting. She is such a pro.
  • Kelly gave such a strong performance. I hope the Idols are watching and learning . Mariah comes up on stage to hug her. Apparently she tweeted Mariah last night saying: “I hope I don’t suck” and Mariah tweeted back her support. Apparently, when Kelly first met Randy Jackson during Season One, she was so taken aback that he worked with Mariah. So cute.
  • Kree and Candice are America’s Top 2. Lazaro and Amber are the Bottom 2. Angie and Janelle are safe.
  • I don’t get all this Kree love but whatever. Amber will probably sing for the save.
  • Amber is safe. Lazaro sings for the save. Woah!
  • Lazaro is singing Feelin’ Good and dang if he isn’t singing the heck out of this song. Go figure. He must be relieved.
  • Randy says they are not using the save and he thanks everyone. I feel sorry for this kid. He was in way over his head.
  • Next week is Divas week or something and Birth year, I believe. Will confirm later. Good night everyone.
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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

    90 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12 Top 6 Results Show: Bacharach/David And Songs You Wish You Wrote”

    1. I Lazaro was getting the sympathy vote because of his story. And it is the voters that keep him there, not the producers. But enough already. A few of the men who were voted off should still be there.

      I think that the judges are holding on to their save just in case we see a repeat of other years – voters get so sure that the great ones will have enough votes and end up not voting and that one person is voted off. We saw it last year where they did save one of the male singers (name escapes me) and I am sure they had this a number of years ago.

      By the way I watch it on CTV, not FOX :)

    2. How many coincidences can we believe at one time before our heads explode?

    3. The next few weeks with the remaining five girls should be quite interesting. I wonder who will step up their game and who might falter. At this point, my three favorites are Candice, Amber, and Janelle. Angie just hasn’t grown on me this season. And sometimes I like Kree, and other times I’m just indifferent.

    4. Well, I figured Amber would end up with the lowest vote total tonight, and the judges would use the Save for her. I’m glad America finally woke up and sent Lazaro home. He should have never been chosen to be in the Top 10 in the frist place. I’m with you Rosanne…AI was using him to ensure a female winner this year. My dream finale is Candice & Amber. Frankly, I feel that’s what it should be. I would love to see Candice win, but if she doesn’t, I’d much rather see her lose to Amber than Kree!

    5. Anita – here! Here! An Amber – Candice finale would be a first for Idol and so exciting. But, unfortunately, I think Kree will have one of those spots. I don’t get it, but that’s Idol I guess.

    6. Louise – those are my favorites as well.

    7. Hey everyone! I want a Candace/Amber final too! That would be my dream final! Unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think it will be Kree/Candace, especially if the judges have anything to say about it.

      The show will just begin airing out here on the west coast, but of course I had to check out the live blogs here and elsewhere to find out the results. Finally Lazaro was voted off, but I was disappointed to see Amber in the bottom two. I had a feeling it could be her, because Janelle’s fans would rally after her bottom two finish last week. I also wondered if Amber changing it up and going with upbeat songs could have an effect. I just think that for whatever reason, she’s not connecting with the voters. That’s the way it has been for other female singers that I have loved.

      We know who TPTB want in their top three. It remains to be seen if the voters give it to them. I expect to see them get that bus out for Janelle next week. Kree is their chosen country girl and they would want to get rid of the other country girl. I am bracing myself for it.

      I could handle either Candace or Amber winning. But things don’t usually turn out the way I want them to with Idol. That’s why I have been determined to keep my emotional involvement in check this season. It’s too much energy at this point in my life.

    8. Rosanne-That sure would be exciting! Two exceptionally stellar female artists!!!

    9. Mindy-Let’s keep our hopes up for a Candice/Amber Finale!!! THAT would be all kinds of awesome! Besides, the Idol finales over the last fewe years have been rather lack luster. I’m not hating on Kree, but if she’s in the Finale, lack luster is what it’s going to be, partly anyway.

    10. I love Candace, and definitely think she’s the best up there, but I also love Kree. I’m not really a country fan, but Kree doesn’t sound country to me. Her voice is SO smooth and silky, and she makes it seem effortless when she sings. There is a quiet confidence that comes across in her performances. Of course I have an untrained ear, and may be missing something, but I think many others are hearing/seeing the same thing in Kree that I do.

    11. Wow! So Lazaro goes home…

      Katillac,

      That would be my favorite top two also…Candice and Kree

    12. Anita,

      Did you see that duet with Candace and Amber at the beginning of the results show? Dynamite! Those two girls rocked it together! Usually the numbers they do can be corny or awkward or silly. But these two ladies just owned the place! That’s what made me think about a final between them! A sing-off!

      However, given that Amber was in the bottom two again I don’t think it’s going to happen. I am happy to see her in the top five. At least now we have five young women who are extremely talented and worthy of being there. This should be a real treat for those of us who love great singing.

      katillac,

      I have said here that we all like who we like for our own reasons. It’s subjective and personal. There’s no right or wrong. I understand your feelings for Kree. I just happen to feel that way about Amber. I have expressed my issues with Kree and why her singing doesn’t resonate as much for me. That’s only my opinion. Obviously there are people who love her and that’s why she hasn’t been in the bottom yet. She’s getting the votes. I don’t think it matters if you have an untrained ear or not. I think you explained why you like her and what it is about her voice that works for you.

      It’s all good! :)

    13. Mindy . . . I agree completely with your comments about the Candice/Amber duet last night–very entertaining!

      I also agree that I would be shocked to see a Candice/Amber final. Right now it seems it will be a Candice/Kree final, but everyone should keep in mind that we still have a few weeks to go and the individual performances in these last few weeks can change everything. I think they all need to watch out for Angie. She’s my least favorite, but I don’t think she can be counted out by any means. All of these girls are so talented that they will each need to make the perfect song choice each and every time, and will need to make sure that none of their performances sound karaoke. This is also the point in the competition when people on the blogs start to get really nasty (if they haven’t already). I saw a nasty comment last week about one of my favorite singers that really surprised me. I’m not going to say who it was about or repeat it because I don’t want to add any fuel to it, but it seems people have the need to do this in order to build up their favorites.

      I also want to add that I wish Lazaro luck in his future doing something he loves.

    14. Louise…I ditto your well wishes for Lazaro, I truly think he was a nice kid that got put into a bad situation! He was a PTB pawn; I’m not so sure that he got the lowest votes, I think maybe an executive decsision was made to cut him so that the save would not have to be used on a girl and then have the possibility next week of two girls going home!!!

    15. Vonnie – I think you are right. He looked very relaxed when he saw that he was in the Bottom. Not a care in the world. Like a great big weight was lifted from his shoulders. I said as much in my live blog.

    16. Mindy – OMG that Candice/Amber duet was spectacular. In a perfect world they would be our Top 2 but we all know this is not going to happen. It’s sad and frustrating but that’s the way this show goes.

    17. Oops! Sorry MCL, I haven’t read live blog yet…just hoped on a little while ago to catch up on posts! I wasn’t home last night to watch, so I had to tape it and then watch it late last night, usually I am watching it and reading your live blog!!! My bad!!! ;-/

    18. Vonnie – no big deal. I think this has happened more often than one would think over the years. Remember John Stevens? Season 4? Nice kid but he went though a rough time on Idol and I always wondered if his journey came to an end based on mutual agreement.

    19. Yes! The red headed Crooner?

    20. Louise,

      I really appreciate your way of looking at how this all might play out. Angie would also be my least favorite among these five young women, but you are right in saying that we can’t rule out the possibility of her gaining momentum. I don’t think she needs to win this competition, though. If she does want to go the route of Christian music, then a good finish here would be all she needs. Colton Dixon has gone that route and he was the shock boot during his season. I don’t remember, did he make it to top 9,8 or 7? But he has gone on to a career in Christian music. I think Angie will be okay no matter what happens in this competition.

      When Angie gets the song right, it makes a huge difference. I think that’s going to be critical as we head into the critical weeks. I also wonder if Kree playing it safe will ultimately work for her. Is she in that strong and secure of a position? We know that the ones who take risks are the ones who are usually rewarded. That’s what Candace did the other night and it could give her a lot of momentum going forward.

      I am happy that Amber made it top five! She’s still in it. I have this feeling that next week the judges are going to criticize Janelle no matter what she does. They don’t want that country vote being split, even though it appears that right now Kree is the one getting the most votes.

      For myself, I simply choose not to speculate about TPTB quietly behind the scenes manipulating the results to get Lazaro off the show. If that ever became public knowledge, that would be the end for Idol. Also, there are FDA regulations so the show has to be extremely careful. I think sometimes we can read too much into a contestant’s facial expressions or behavior. I have to believe that Lazaro was relieved to be going home. Why would anyone want to continue to be fodder for the judges and Jimmy Iovine? He acted like the comments didn’t hurt, but they had to bother him. I put the blame for this on the judges and TPTB, who decided to stack the deck in favor of the females this season. Lazaro was put through by the judges who knew all too well that he was nowhere near ready. It was a cynical and even unethical move, in my opinion. Then they had a field day trashing him every week. This is a low point for a show that seems to be in real decline.

    21. Mindy – I am not saying that they eliminated Lazaro without his knowledge. For all we know, there might be an escape clause that allows a singer to leave the competition if he or she is feeling that they cannot handle the pressure. With Idol’s consent of course. I mean – Lazaro looked so stressed when he performed. They cannot let the guy have a mental breakdown on stage – how would that look for the show?

      I think you are correct about poor little Janelle. No matter what she does from here on in they will trash her until the cows come home. She looked so upset after the judges’ remarks. It was heartbreaking.

      I wish just once that the judges would critique Kree properly. Just because she is a nice person does not mean she is critique-free. That’s crazy! At Jimmy Iovine called her out on her lack of personality.

    22. I wouldn’t count Janelle out yet.

    23. Mindy-Believe it or not, no I haven’t seen Candace’s and Amber’s duet. I’ll check it out for sure! If she goes home next week, I’ll be royally disappointed! My goodness, that girl’s vocals are out of this world, pure and effortless sounding!!! She really shows personality as well. For me, Angie is in my Top 3. Her second performance of that Christian song was so beautiful and moving to me. I find she’s more in her element when behind the piano. She really shows her magic there! I was frustrated with her performance of Shop Around. I thought it was a disaster! Then she said to Ryan that she just wanted to have fun, and at that point I wanted to shake her and tell her “Not at the expense of choosing a better song for yourself and giving a stellar performance!” I still love her though. Angie just drives me nuts sometimes, LOL!!!!

    24. MCL,

      Thanks for clarifying your comments about Lazaro. The scenario you described actually makes sense to me. I could see something like that happening. I would like to think that there is some kind of escape clause, especially since in this case the judges were guilty of knowingly putting Lazaro through when it was obvious that he simply was not vocally ready for it. I think you might be on to something with that theory. It was getting to the point where it was almost unconscionable to let this young man go out on that stage and perspire profusely and possibly fall apart. I think it makes perfect sense in this situation to find a way to get him off the show.

      I have made my feelings clear about the absence of any constructive criticism for Kree from the judges. I get that they like her voice and sense a commercial and appealing sound, however that doesn’t mean that she should get a pass on every performance. Jimmy Iovine said that she’s not putting enough personality into her performances. To me that’s just another word for a lack of emotional commitment. She’s not feeling the words of the song. There’s nothing wrong with any of the judges suggesting the same thing they said to Angie – don’t just sing the notes, think about what the words of the song mean and try to tell us a story. No one should be considered above critiquing. That’s the only way a singer can grow and develop. They are not doing Kree any favors by not challenging her.

      This is the difference between Idol and the Voice. The judges on the Voice give the contestants solid advice and suggestions that they can implement and continue to use as they pursue their careers. Only one person can win, but valuable insight and advice on improving all aspects of their performance can help the others as they try to become the best they can be. Why it has to be different on Idol, I have no idea. With the millions they are spending on these judges every season, why not at least ask them to live up to those salaries by sharing their experience, wisdom and knowledge of the industry and performing with these young people?

    25. I hope you’re right, Gene, about not counting Janelle out yet. I think she has it in her to give some incredible performances. But I do think that the judges will try to get rid of her so that she doesn’t split the vote with Kree.

    26. I hope that Gene is right about Janelle, too. I really like that girl. She has a wonderful stage presence and charisma and a lovely timbre and tone in her voice. She has shown some real artistry and hopefully will be able to show more of that.

      However, I agree with Louise that the judges are going to make it difficult for her by going after her regardless of how she performs. We have seen them do this all too often. I also agree with Louise that it’s all about splitting votes with Kree. The judges have made it crystal clear that Kree is their chosen country girl and have compared Janelle with her at time unfavorably. They are not known for their subtlety! I hope that Janelle can pick the right songs that will work for her and go out there and show everyone what she’s got! She has also shown incredible grace and poise in the face of some unfair criticism from the judges.

      I have to say that I really despise this business of throwing a contestant under the bus with biased and unfounded criticism, just for the purpose of promoting another favorite. It’s quite dreadful and tasteless. So they are paying the judges millions to shill for the chosen ones and trash the ones they don’t want? Pretty sad!

    27. I am fed up as well. Janelle is a gracious, talented and charismatic performer and I am at a loss as to why the judges would want to “bus” her in favor of Kree.

      I wonder if Idol’s ties to Nashvile are so strong that a deal is on the table before the season begins?

      They already have their blonde sweethearts -Carrie and Kellie – so another would be less favourable, perhaps?

      For the life of me, I can’t see anything marketable in Kree. She is just a nice girl with a nice voice. Case closed.

      Seriously, Idol, how can you not want a Candice – Amber finale. How?

    28. MCL,

      That is the question! Indeed! Just seeing those two in a brief duet was enough to make my mouth water! I also think the audience found it just as exciting and wonderful as we did! They are two power house singers and a finale with the two of them would be a sing-off to end all sing-offs!

      But I have to remember my promise this season not to get too emotionally invested and suffer a big letdown. Amber has been in the bottom more than once and that’s not a good thing. I just want to enjoy her voice for as long as she is there! Staying in the moment! That’s what I am trying hard to do.

      I know how this show operates. They will try to get rid of the ones they don’t want. So far they haven’t gone after Amber. I just think Janelle will be getting the worst of it next week, because it already started this week. It’s also quite obvious. People watching know that both Kree and Janelle are country singers. We have seen this divide and conquer strategy every season. It’s really up to the voters to put a stop to it. It’s a wretched thing.

    29. Mindy – I have been trying to think how this little ‘ole blog can turn this show around. It is driving me crazy this year because I am so fed up with Idol and their crazy agenda. Grrrr. What to do, what to do? Suggestions anyone? Mindy?

    30. I have to be careful because many here love the other three girls. I do as well. I just see such potential in an Amber/Candice showdown.
      What a moment it would be for Idol.

    31. I really like Kree, I think she has a very marketable voice and style…she is the simplicity of “older” country music…I thought both of her performances were beautiful.

      Allison Kraus, is an un-assuming young lady with a beautiful voice, that doesn’t have all of the bells and whistle’s, but has won so many awards it would leave one shaking their head…right Gene??? Allison is a brilliant artist…I think Kree could be too!

      Don’t get me wrong, Janelle has a pretty voice, but she is cookie cutter right now…where Kree brings maturity and an ability to cross genre’s.

      I don’t think idol is dropping the ball with choosing Kree over Janelle…

      Candice is my number one girl, with Kree being my number two…either one winning would be great…for me!!!

    32. Vonnie – you bring up some valid points re Kree. I do like Alison Krause but she is just not my style. Too low key for me. But, I can understand the attraction for others.

      It’s great to see everyone embrace Candice. What a gift she is to this show. To all of us!!

    33. Mindy-I watched Candice’s and Amber’s duet. WOWZA!!! Now that would be a picture perfect finale as far as I’m concerned! I’ve never disliked Kree, and I think she’s got a very nice voice, but I’ve always preferred Janelle. Janelle has shown much more artistry, and I think she’s more talented than Kree.

    34. I’ve also been thinking about the judges unfair comparisons between Janelle and Kree. That’s the same as comparing one’s children–never a good thing to do!

      But as much as I don’t think Idol would want a Candice/Amber final nor a Kree/Janelle final because they’d be afraid of losing some of their viewing audience, they did have a final a few years ago composed of two country singers–Scotty and Lauren. So anything is possible. But since Amber has already been in the bottom two even after wonderful performances, it’s obvious that she doesn’t have a large fan base. I figured that she would gain Burnell’s fans when he was voted off, but I was obviously mistaken about that.

      I understand that some people love Kree. I’m not at all doubting her talent, but her voice and her delivery just don’t usually move me. And I guess I feel the same way about Angie. I believe that she is super talented and I understand why some people like her, but as a performer and singer she does nothing for me.

      When I watched Amber do the Bacharach song on Wednesday night, I watched her very closely for a few seconds because I wondered if she was lip-synching since she sounded SO amazingly good!!!

    35. MCL,

      I have tried to offer suggestions, but I honestly don’t see it happening with Idol. Others here have offered some excellent suggestions on how to change the panel of judges and also stop paying out millions for these people that could be used to get clearance for a bigger song catalogues.

      I would like to see guest mentors back on a regular basis. It’s true that some were there to promote their own music or projects, but most of them seemed truly interested in helping and guiding the contestants. I definitely think we need to go back to three judges. Too much talking from them and not enough singing. The most important thing is for the judges to find truly qualified and deserving candidates in the audition process. They are supposed to have the expertise to see potential, a commercial and marketable sound, stage presence, personality and creative artistry. If they do their jobs well, then the audience should see a diverse group of singers from different genres of music, both male and female. They should be the best of the best, regardless of gender.

      Guest mentors, a more encompassing song catalogue which would give these young people a real choice and the right song for them, judges who are genuinely interested in giving real constructive criticism and advice that will help guide these young singers, but only three judges! That’s enough!

      I don’t see this happening, but those are my suggestions for what it’s worth.

    36. Anita and Louise,

      I wanted to address both of you in a separate post. I also want to make it clear that I believe that Kree is quite talented. I think that she could benefit from less cheerleading and unqualified praise from the judges and a some honest constructive criticism. None of these young women is so perfect that they can’t find ways to improve. I have said in previous comments that Kree has a sound that seems to be commercial and marketable. I think that is what the judges like about her. I have also said a few times that we like who we like, the one whose voice resonates with us and moves us. I don’t connect with Kree, but others certainly will. That’s what makes the world go round. I think she could be even better than she is with a few good suggestions, much like the ones that MCL provides in her vocal masterclass critiques. That’s all I am saying.

      I do personally prefer Janelle over Kree. I love her personality and infectious enthusiasm on stage and her voice has such a lovely, clear, beautiful sound. Again it’s not about right or wrong or good or bad. She just happens to appeal to me. I truly dislike it when it seems like the judges are giving misguided criticism or when they pit one singer against the other. They did that this week in comparing Janelle unfavorably with Kree. That is the one thing that I truly despise because I consider it destructive, negative and toxic. Janelle needs to be proud and confident of who she is, not be told why she isn’t as good as Kree. That serves no purpose, except to further the agenda of the judges and TPTB.

      Finally to Louise – I know what you mean about watching Amber to see if she is lip-synching. She sounds too good to be true! She is scary good the way she can tackle key changes and tricky melodies so easily. Simply mindblowing!

      We do have an abundance of riches in both Candace and Amber!

    37. I think for me it helps to understand a persons background, what makes them the person they are…I think Kree’s backstory tells me that she is a young lady that had to grow up too fast, with hard life blows, who stood her ground…one who truly does know who she is and where she is going, whether it be through idol or the connections she is making, this young lady is on her own road to success, because she is who she is…

      She and Candice are both artists who knows exactly who they are and what they want to sing, they choose songs that fit them!!!

      Read this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kree_Harrison

    38. MCL…I borrowed this from the link you posted above! :-)

      The buses are lined up, gased up and ready to roll next week………. :-(

      This ALL COMING after Candice was in no one’s except for Mariah’s top 3…

      After Candice Glover blew away the competition on the April 10 episode of American Idol, the producers of the hit FOX show have decided that they want her and Amber Holcolm in the finale! HollywoodLife.com can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that after five male winners in a row, the producers are doing “everything in their power” to get Candice and Amber as the final two. Read on for all the details!

      ‘American Idol’ Finale — Will Amber Holcomb & Candice Glover Be The Final Two?

      On the April 11 elimination show, Lazaro Arbos was finally eliminated, making Idol history because the final five contestants are all girls — that’s NEVER happened before! And apparently, the producers couldn’t be more thrilled!

      “The producers are doing everything in their power to get a finale that consists of Amber and Candice; they want to change the Idol mold that has consisted of a white guy winning, so nothing would be better in their eyes then to have two African American women in the finale,” a source reveals EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife.com.

    39. Vonnie. I love it!! You make me laugh. Thanks for posting the article. I was going to add it as a separate blog topic but I was concerned that it may be just a rumor since no one less from the media picked up on it.

      But, what the heck … Maybe I will. It stresses what everyone is looking for on American Idol. Something new and fresh and exciting in the Finale.

      So, let those buses roll… But they better not role over Candice and Amber!!!

    40. MCL…I think the outpouring for Candice was so overwhelming that they had to get on the boat or drown!!!

      Just makes me sad though that 3 other young ladies are going to be thrown under the bus so that they can get the results that they want…and not even the one’s they want, the one they now are forced into with Candice…I just don’t get their not wanting Candice in the top three…Keith is the only one right now feeling regret for selling out!!!

      So who was the other one that they had planned to be in the finale with Amber…Angie or Kree??? Since this was the top three!!!

      Well my top two is still Candice and Kree…I hope their buses won’t start!!! :-)

    41. Well my Top 3 as of this writing – because anything can change – is Amber, Candice and Janelle. Oh the wheels on the bus go round round, round and round, round and round…..

    42. I believe it’s inherently suspect to try to rank artists, each with a different artistic visions. Having said that, there are cases where one artist clearly outshines others to the point where superiority has to be acknowledged. Candice is such an artist.

      But Amber (IMHO) is at least her peer in her technical mastery and innate ability. So why is she not getting the votes? Again IMHO, the other singers remaining (the women) each has an individual style–each knows who she is as a musician: especially Janelle and Candice. In fact, at this stage, it’s that’s what is getting Janelle over (and, quite honestly, I love her for it–music is, centrally, a means of conveying culture, and in order to remain relevant has to remain so, regardless of the ability of the artist).

      But Amber seems intent on becoming the next Whitney Houston–a worthy goal, but the world has already had a very excellent Whitney Houston. I would love to see Amber step out of her box and give us some Martina McBride (How Far), Jason Mraz (I Won’t Give Up), Death Cab for Cutie (I Will Follow You), etc. Something with a dramatic edge. I think she would kill it and, more importantly, she would grow as an artist.

      She is still very young.

    43. RayRay – welcome!! Great comments. And, yes, I agree that we have not yet witnessed a true “moment” from Amber. She needs to select a song that has either not been performed before on Idol or is totally out of her artistic box and then mold it with refined artistry. She needs to take this risk and, hopefully, this week will reflect this.

    44. Thank you, Masterclass Lady. I come here often, but don’t often comment. I love the intelligent commentary from you and the other participants.

      I think Amber is the kind of artist the labels will love–a great voice, good technique, legs all the way to the ground, and not too much of her own artistic concept–someone they can mold to their liking. If that works for her, that’s fine, but for her own sake (and especially for mine as a listener), I hope she strives for more.

      What I love about this season over prior seasons is a focus on tone. All of these women, but especially Kree, Amber, and Candice have great tone (compared to us mortals, anyway). I suppose that’s partly due to competition from the other singing shows (or maybe an overhang of Hollie’s influence last year) but, whatever the reason, it’s a welcome development.

    45. RayRay – you totally hit the nail of the head and, at some point over the last few weeks, I was noticing this as well. You rarely hear any screaming or push in the vocals. Everyone sings within their vocal capabilities and with pretty solid nuance within the melodic line. It’s wonderful.

      Even when the singers are green in terms of their technical skill, they never seem to over sing to compensate for their lack of dynamic range.

      I think this may be the result of great coaching behind the scenes and/or, in the case of the ladies, the singers have come more prepared.

    46. I don’t know that I buy what’s in that article. The producers may well want an Amber/Candace finale, but getting it will be another thing entirely. The fact that Amber has finished in the bottom is not a good sign for her. I do think that she needs to find that special song, one which she can interpret in her own unique way. I don’t think we have seen her best yet at all. She has an unbelievable way of navigating through very complex and tricky melodies and makes it look easy while she’s doing it. The sound of her voice is absolutely sublime. She has great confidence and stage presence. I also love how she feels the words of the song and most important of all, never over sings!

      RayRay and MCL are right – no screaming this season! Yay! I don’t want Amber to try and be the next Whitney. You get one in a lifetime if you’re lucky. She should aspire to be the best Amber she can be. In decades past, someone like Amber would have had the time to develoip with a record label that would get her the best material and help her hone her skills. But that’s not the way it is today. If pop singing is going to be exemplified by Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen, then I want no part of that! We could use some quality voices on the musical landscape today.

      I am with MCL regarding my top three – Amber, Candace and Janelle. They are my favorites. However, I do expect the bus to be gassed up and ready to roll next week. I am expecting Janelle to be the primary target as she was this past week.

    47. My approach is probably a little bit different. For me, an artist must understand what he/she is trying to express. If that is a scream, then by all means scream–but learn to do it correctly (I know there may be no correct way to do it, but some ways are better, or less bad, than others). I am, I must confess, a Halien. I understand that bel canto may be more protective of vocal anatomy, but I find value in all musical forms.

      And I agree with MCL that screaming (or raspiness, or twang, or any other vocal trick) should never be used to cover up lack of skill.

      Whatever your style, you have to learn your craft. I don’t understand why the phrase ‘that’s not learned, that’s natural talent’ is seen as a compliment. If you care about art, you will learn it. You’ll learn the best way to express what you’re dying to express.

      And don’t get me started on record producers that crank up ‘loudness’ so high that differences in tone, indeed the difference between a trombone and an oboe, get lost in the production.

      But this way supposed to be about American Idol, right? For me, I’ll be sad to see any of these women leave. They’re all getting better on a weekly basis–and it’s fun to watch.

    48. I don’t think it is a singing contest. If it were, the contestants would sing from behind a curtain. Each year a co-worker and I always argue about who we think will. This year he picked Amber by a mile and if not her, then Candice. He chose them for their singing ability, and I agree with him that they are the better singers. However, I chose Kree or Angie because they can sing well and they have other non-tangible qualities that in particular Janelle and Amber seem to lack. I picked Curtis as the first person out for that very reason.

      Because it is not solely a singing contest, there are significant other elements at play in gaining voter appeal and loyalty. If Amber consistently is in the bottom three, that is a good indication that she is missing a critical general appeal element. She still may win but she has a severe uphill climb.

      I am/was fascinated by Angie and Lazaro. Whether I read it here or somewhere else, someone noted that they thought that Lazaro had a speech and hearing problem. It would explain a lot of things for Lazaro if hearing were an issue. For sure Angie does, so my two bit explanation for her “organic” (as Mariah Carey puts it) compatibility with the piano is the piano is structured for the proper sound and Angie knows she doesn’t have to hear it to know it is correct. I call it her tone metronome comfort zone. (Oddly coincidental she moves with the same kind of herky-jerky motion at the piano, almost at odds with the beat and rhythm, as Ray Charles used to do, especially when things speed up as if they are hearing and feeling something completely different than what they are playing. She does it with her shoulders, Charles did it with his head.) MCL can speak to the difficulties of speech and singing for the hearing impaired, and the inevitable march to nasality for the hearing impaired because they lack a feedback mechanism in hearing their voice correctly. In Angie’s case when they speak of her sort of otherworldly tone, I just take it as an adaption to her hearing loss. I have great admiration for her and what would have to be significant mental discipline if she sings as well as she does with that sort of impairment. (In fact a couple times Keith Urban has said he can see Angie go in and out of total involvement with the song and has chalked it up to Angie paying alternate attention during the song to what the judges/Iovine are saying and getting lost in the song. I actually think it is a more a hearing related issue, but that is just me.) For her to get to the top five in any year is/would be a major accomplishment and I think the world of her for that reason.

    49. Don

      Once again I agree 100% with what you say. I never look at this show thinking the best singer is going to win anymore because I figured out a log time ago thats not how the Idol game is played. I think the judges and the producers all would love the best singer to win. Its no benefit to any of them in anyway to the have someone not the best to win. I think all of them have been pretty clear that Lazaro is not one of their favorites, yet he is still there. If they had it there way he wouldn’t be there. Thats why I have a problem when people say is set up for certain people to win. They have all raved about Candice and Amber throughout the season (who are clearly good singers) yet both of them have
      found themselves outside of the the top 3. I’ve always said the winners reflect the kind of music the overall majority of the Idols audience likes. and unfortunately there support hasn’t been for R&B in a long time.

    50. I found Don’s comments really interesting. I had never before heard that Lazaro and Angie have hearing problems, but I wondered if that might be a problem for Lazaro. I would never have guessed that about Angie.

      And I definitely agree with brotherkarl that Idol is never about the best singer winning. So many other factors play into popularity with the audience. Jimmy obviously loves Amber, but the audience not so much. I think her main problem is Candice because Candice is so incredible. And I think that brotherkarl is right to an extent when he says that that there hasn’t been support for R&B in a long time. I’m guessing that a larger majority of the viewing audience is now into country because country no longer seems strictly country but it has blended more with popular music. I used to despise country music, but I actually like some of it now. But I don’t think that is the entire reason that someone wins Idol. For example, the year that Scotty McCreary won I believe he won because he was so darn likeable!!! I said over and over that I didn’t like country music, but I loved Scotty. My memory may be wrong, but I seem to remember Mindy saying the same thing. So besides a singer having a good voice, being able to entertain, etc., the viewing audience MUST like their personality. This year, for me, it’s the primary reason I’m not a fan of Angie Miller. From the very beginning I pegged her as being too full of herself, too confident, etc. and that turned me off.

    51. Louise,

      In Angie’s audition she noted to the judges that she had 40% hearing loss in one ear and 20% hearing loss in another ear. That is significant hearing loss.

      I few years back I taught in high school for a couple years. I thought I had entered an alien culture. All the girls in class were a form of Angie. At first I thought they were just as your impression of Angie is, too full of themselves, Valley Girls as they used to be described or Vampire Girls as Jonathan Richman calls them in one of his songs. After a bit I discovered it’s just the modern social media, Hannah Montana culture so prevalent everywhere, that in fact they are just like I and my friends were growing up with exactly the same kind of hopes and fears and dreams. I see it in my granddaughters everyday.

      Candice and Amber are shy, Janelle just friendly, Kree reserved. We all respond differently to those types of people, especially when their personalities infuse their performance. I wish they would declare it a five way tie and just let the girls grow in their performances for the next five weeks.

    52. Don,
      Thanks for the information about Angie. I didn’t see her audition and never knew that about her.

      You’re absolutely right in describing how each of us reacts differently to different personalities. And this is probably the most talented top five I ever remember seeing on Idol so it is too bad that several will be voted off in the next few weeks. Hopefully they’ve all shown enough talent that they will actually have musical careers ahead of them. That’s always the sad thing about these talent contests. I enjoy some of the contestants very much, and then I never hear anything about them ever again.

    53. I am very mindful of the fact that Idol is not just a singing competition. However, I am going to like who I like and nothing will change that. It’s just something that happens when I hear a voice that is special to me. I get a kind of thrill, chills down my spine and a feeling of excitement. I see Amber as a pop singer. I do believe that she knows who she is an artist. I really believe that we need some strong female singers in music today. The best female singers seem to be coming from England in recent years.

      I don’t care to listen to Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Carly Rae Jepsen or any of the other female singers that are so popular today. I realize that with digital technology any voice can be enhanced on recordings. In live shows it’s something else entirely. Adele would never have won Idol. If a Barbra Streisand came along today, she wouldn’t have the success that she did. Things have changed and not for the better. I accept what happens on Idol. It is what it is. But it’s also the reason why so many winners haven’t done well. If it’s just about their personality and likeability, then we have seen that people don’t go out and buy their music.

      Scotty was the first country winner since Carrie Underwood. Louise is right regarding what I said about Scotty. I remember being shocked that he became my favorite, since I don’t like country music. But when he sang “You’ve Got a Friend”, an iconic song made memorable by the great James Taylor, and brought so much heartfelt feeling and beautifully interpreted vocals, he completely won me over. That was a very difficult task, taking on such a classic song that has been done by many great singers and yet he made it his own. That’s artistry!

      I had no idea that Angie has such a hearing loss. She has done very well for herself despite it. My issue with Angie is that I just don’t love her voice. That’s why I say it is so personal and subjective. So many times on this site in the past, I have been accused of only liking singers who are technically skilled. Angie certainly is a technical gifted singer, yet she doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t love the timbre and tone of her voice. I simply don’t connect with her. That doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with her. The same goes for Kree. She has a compelling backstory, but for me it’s all about the voice. I prefer Janelle’s voice because I love the lilting quality and beautiful tone. I think she is quite engaging on the stage, energetic and fun and enjoyable to watch.

      Candace would have an uphill battle, because previous seasons of Idol are littered with great female singers like her who didn’t make it. It’s hard to succeed in r&b music today. I remember what happened with Melinda Doolittle. The things that were said about her online were horrendous. She didn’t fit the image that a female is supposed to have in today’s music. Neither does Candace. Neither did Lakeisha. Neither did Jennifer Hudson or Latoya London. Jennifer Hudson found her success despite Idol by getting the move role of a lifetime.

      I have said that I will enjoy listening to Amber and Candace. I truly hope that these young women can find a place in music today, because I think we desperately need some really good voices.

    54. Mindy

      I so agree with you on so many points here, and Scotty well …. he’s just talented and that combined with the personality made it all that much more enjoyable.

      There was one thing that you said however that I think a little different about. You said “It’s hard to succeed in r&b music today”. I’m not saying your wrong. I just think its a challenge to be a great in the business no matter what style of music a person sings. I may be wrong but I think its no harder to succeed in R&B then it is in any other genre. There’s still a very huge market for R&B. Its sells. It still produces a lot of great stars. Its like rap music. Its big, its just not a style that most are into. Thats why you’ll never see rap music on Idol. Its not because people don’t like it or because its a hard field to make it in. Its got a huge audience, just not a huge Idol audience. The biggest supporters of R&B don’t look at Idol any more, not because its dying or anything, but because there is not enough R&B talent on the show to keep R&B lovers interest ….and I’d say rightfully so because the show has to cater to who its largest supporters are. And after this season they’ll have one less one ….me

      You mentioned Malinda Dolittle. What a talent ! Not a super star but I think she’s doing well, I’m sure you know her background in music is gospel. Another huge market. It produces huge stars but because its not a style that everybody is into, most don’t even know who those stars are.Kirk Franklin is huge in gospel,. Grammys: Hes got them. But most don’t know him. Ex: I’m not into country and before Idol I never (and I repeat never) heard of Keith Urban before. Just because I never heard of him doesn’t mean he’s not big. I’m just not into country.The only 2 country singers I can name are Dollie Pardon and Carrie Underwood (LOL).

      If I remember correctly when Malinda had the opportunity to sing with her Iidols on AI, she choose Bee Bee and Cee Cee Winans. Many people had heard of the Winans but many back then had said they had never even heard of Bee Bee and Cee Cee and they are probably 2 of the most successful singers ever in gospel music history, but people not into gospel would never know that. There are a couple of singers who have been in Idols top 10 who have made some pretty strides in R&B and Gospel who are not super stars but are not struggling, but people not into those genre’s would never know it..

      I said all of that to say, the audience of R&B lovers” in Idol” is not as big as it use to be, but the genre itself probably has more supporters and makes more money today then its ever has in history. Same with gospel. And while Candice and Amber might not win this competition or may not even become superstars (and there are only a few) I can guarantee you, at least one of them, will never be broke. I promise you.

      I don;t know if any of that made sense, but I just thought I’d throw my 10 cents in

    55. Don

      So cool! Whats really interesting is that R&B sells more then country … but you’d never know that from looking at Idol. It just goes to show that Idol does not reflect what music lovers overall like best ….just what people who watch Idol like best.

    56. Hey Don

      I wonder where do pop singers fall in those categories ?

    57. brotherkarl,

      You should know that r&b is my second favorite genre of music, right behind pop. So I am definitely a fan and have been all my life. It may well be that it’s just plain hard to succeed in any genre of music today. Idol hasn’t given r&b fans much to get excited about over the years. I guess that I say it’s hard to gain a foothold because of Ruben Studdard and Fantasia. Neither of them really had the success that I expected. Ruben Studdard was my favorite on his season. I thought that he was headed for a great career. I thought he might be another Luther Vandross or something close to that because Luther was pretty special. But it didn’t happen.

      I am sure that r&b has many fans and is a vibrant genre of music. I have no doubt of that. It’s just that Idol contestants from that genre have not seemed to fare well on the show and after the show. That was what I was trying to say.

      I know that Melinda Doolittle had a gospel background, but I didn’t know that she has had success in that genre of music. I honestly don’t follow gospel, although I do know Bebe and Cee Cee Winans. It’s good to know that there are other genres of music in which some of these great female singers can have success.

      I would like to think that Candace and Amber will find their place in the music world after the show. Goodness knows we need some great voices in music today! I am done with mediocrity. Also as an avowed r&b fan, I have been greatly disappointed in Idol and that’s why I am not nearly as emotionally invested as in the past. I didn’t start watching until after the top ten or twelve and that’s the latest I have ever tuned in.

      I have one question for you – have you watched the Voice? If so, do you think that this show would be better for r&b singers?

    58. brotherkarl,

      One more thing – your thoughts are definitely worth more than 10 cents! :)

      Don,

      I had the same question as brotherkarl after checking out the sales figures you posted. Very informative and enlightening, to say the least? So where is pop music in that list?

    59. Mindy,

      Pop is the great leveler. All those forms are absorbed by and become pop it seems to me.

      My 2 cents. R&B requires some significant life experience to be truly meaningful to the listener- sadness,heartbreak, unrequited love, death. That kind of life experience doesn’t seem in the demographics of the young idol voting audience. Older people listen to and buy R&B, not middle/high school age kids. (In Motown week any of the contestants could have/should have chosen Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, slowed it down to a great R&B version and a whisper – slower than Carole King’s own version, and sung it to the audience as voters, not as a love song. Then again I am not sure the audience would have picked up on the subtlety.)

    60. Hey Mindy

      I did one season of the Voice and I looked at it once a couple of weeks ago. I don;t know what it is about that show that I don’t like. Gene told me to try again so I’m trying but I;m just not drawn to it. As far as it being a venue to launch great R&B’ers , I guess you have to look at he careers of the R&B’ers that have been on the show. I haven;t watched it enough to know. My guess is no though, because it caters to a much broader audience than just the R&B crowd and its got to please its overall viewers who are not overwhelmingly R&B’ers

      I guess I couldn’t add anything to my 11cents this time. Maybe I can get it up to a $1.00 :-)

    61. My two cents–I miss the seventies, when you couldn’t necessarily tell the genre of a musician based on his/her ethnicity. Genres, these days, are mostly about marketing and marketers love to divide us into demographic groups. Lines don’t seem so strictly drawn in England, where most of the white R&B musicians seem to come from now.

      As I sit here I’m listening to Melanie Fiona, a beautiful S&B/soul singer. And she’s not alone–there are a lot of wonderful young soul singers (mostly women, it seems–I mean I like Trey Songz, Chris Brown, etc. as singers, but I have a little trouble with their personae).

      I think these shows will always be more successful at generating new pop and country pop singers because (and I hate to offend, but here goes) those tend to be more manufactured (less organic) music styles. Singers like Ms. Fiona, Keyshia Cole, Melanie, Mary J., etc. relate to the people because that’s where they come from. I think the same may be true (though I’m not an aficionado) of the more authentic country (as opposed to country pop) musicians. Singers like Carly Rae Jepsen can sometimes appear to have come from Mars.

      But no matter how great these singers are, their art is often destroyed by ignorant producers. If you haven’t done so already, look up “loudness wars” on YouTube, and you’ll see what I mean.

    62. Don,

      I believe that Amy Winehouse famously did “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” in a slowed down tempo. Someone told me to check it out on youtube. I had no idea that she loved the 60′s music so much. She did other covers of 60′s music, too. I agree that it would have been a great idea. I loved Janelle’s version of “You Keep My Hanging On”, by the Supremes. She slowed it down and did it her way and it was quite beautiful.

      I also agree with you about having more life experience in order to appreciate r&b music. I listen to it now having experienced heartbreak, loss, anguish, pain and death. I have a deeper appreciation for this music as I have gotten older.

      brotherkarl,

      I have to confess that I did watch the Voice one season, but skipped last season and have yet to watch this season! So maybe I should take my own advice! :)

      There are things that I like about the Voice and things that I don’t. I am debating whether I want to tune in to watch the rest of the season. I have yet to see the blind auditions. I do love the judging much more on the Voice. The process of eliminating the contestants is much different and the judges do have input so maybe that’s why they don’t act like cheerleaders and throw contestants under the bus the way they do on Idol to influence the voting.

      You are correct in observing that the audience for the Voice isn’t as receptive to r&b, so it’s the same problem.

    63. I love RayRay’s comment about not knowing the ethnicity of the singer by the genre of music. I absolutely love soul music (which I think is probably what is being referred to as R&B), and to me it can be sung by someone of any ethnicity as long as you can really feel it–of course one of my favorites comes to mind–Joe Cocker. This reminds me so much of the music from the movie The Committments. I won’t dwell on this because I know I’ve written about it here last year, but I LOVED the soundtrack very much. And it made me think of a singer from that dreadful show Simon’s The X-Factor last year–Josh Kracjik. I really loved his sound and just last week my 17-year-old grandson posted a “like” on Facebook to a recording by Josh. I haven’t yet listened to it but I’m hoping that the recording is soulful and that my grandson likes that kind of music too. Taylor Hicks had moments of being very soulful and I’m sure this is why he appealed to me, even though Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin were certainly better singers.

    64. Louise…Maks is back on DWTS tonight!!!

    65. Louise

      If I remember correctly Taylor Hicks is probably one of the last R&B artist that won on Idol. Now his sound is what you call soulful. Loved him !! And the fact that he was older made it even better for me. He makes you feel it. I remember when I first heard him sing on the show and I pegged him winner, day one. I’m mot a big Katherine McPhee fan, but a huge admirer of Elliot Yamin. To me Elliot would be on my Top 5 list of favorite idols. Ou Wee !! That mans sound reminded me so much of Donny Hathaway !!

      That was a great season and I think it was the season after that season (season 6) that I started to lose interest in Idol. Jordin won that season . I think she was actual the very last R&B artist to win. I loved her, pegged her winner as well on day one, but there were just a lot of factors there that didn’t give me what I call “real soul”. Probably because she was just 17. It wasn;t the Taylor or Elliot soul that I loved. Thought she was very good though but I wasn’t wowed like seasons before and then my enthusiasm began to drop (And the Sanjiyah thing didnt help). Then came season 8 which brought on the WGWG phase with David Cook as the winner. Great artist but I’m not into that kind of music and continued to happen season after season. I think when Idols audience began to see that it R&B winners weren’t turning into these gigantic super stars like Kellly Clarkson and Carried Underwood, and they stopped putting their votes behind them on the show.

      I’m not a big fan of Idol anymore Louise. Their audience has changed and this group wants a different kind of music. They’re voting for what they want and they deserve it. Last year was the last year I voted. Loved Jessica and I was a huge Joshua Ledet fan especially after hearing a “It’s a Mans World”. I knew they wouldn’t win though if you remember I said it through out the whole season. I feel the same way about Candice especially after last weeks performance. They don’t want that though because artist are being sent through that are not even in her caliber and that shows what the Idol audience is interested in and its not R&B and thats why Amber was crying. Its not her though. She’s good. It just not what that audience is looking for. Its sad.

      Ok enough Blah Blah Blah …. Blah Blah Blah.

    66. BrotherKarl – although David Cook started the WGWG trend he was also the first rock singer they had on the show that came with strong technical skills and intelligent artistry. He deserved the win and, if not him, then vocal prodigy, David Archuleta.

      It was a Top 2 match made in heaven. Very diverse but both equally talented.

      I think that maybe – just maybe – we may see Candice in the Top 2. Now, who will join her is the big question? But, boy, if it was Amber, it sure would be an exciting Finale.

    67. Brotherkarl…I could just hug you!!! Oh My! Do I ever love me some Taylor Hicks! I went to see him post idol, like maybe a year post idol tour…he is brilliant, why the industry never picked up on him just shows me that they are clueless as to what music and singing is all about…it is all about the Beibers, Myley’s, and the teenie bopper boy bands!!!

      I want music with meat on it…today’s sound is horrible!!! Aside from Adele, there ain’t much out there on the POP station worth listening to!!!

      I could go for a Taylor Hicks ~ Candice Glover Headlining tour!!!

    68. Brotherkarl and Vonnie . . . I’m so glad to hear that both of you love the same kind of music that I love!!! I also went to see Taylor in concert about a year after he won Idol and was smiling the entire time. He is a wonderful entertainer!!! And I agree with brotherkarl about the year after being a real let down on Idol. It has never been as enjoyable to me as Season 5. I also agree with Vonnie about not listenng to the radio–I like Adele, but none of the other popular music. And I love your idea of a Taylor Hicks-Candice Glover tour. I would also love to see Elliott Yamin in concert. I almost did but had an allergic reaction before the concert and had to go to the emergency room instead. My friends thought his concert was great!!!

    69. Louise…I loved Taylor and the Hubby loved Elliott…So we really wanted an Elliot/Taylor Finale…and I loved that those two were such great friends!

      I would really like to go to Vegas to see Taylor…I wanted to see him on the “Grease” tour, but never got around to it…

      That is so sad that you didn’t get to see Elliott, what is he doing these days, is he still recording?

    70. Vonnie,

      Thanks for the tip about Maks!

    71. Louise,

      I loved what you said in support of RayRay’s comment about not knowing the ethnicity of the singer with soul music! I absolutely agree! You also mentioned the incomparable Joe Cocker as a perfect example of what has been called “blue-eyed” soul or soul sung by a white singer. That’s why I don’t want to know about ethnicity! Because it doesn’t matter! I have related how I saw him in concert when I was college back in the day. It was an experience that I have never forgotten.

      I also loved Elliott Yamin! He was my favorite that season. I would have loved to see an Elliott/Taylor finale. Elliott could just sing his heart out. I didn’t love Taylor Hicks nearly as much as Elliott, but the guy certainly could sing soul! Those were the days when watching Idol was must-see tv! It’s also a reminder of how the show has degraded since then.

      It would be amazing if Candace can get to the final two! Maybe last week’s performance will give her enough momentum. As I have said, the music business could use some really great voices! Adele is the only one who gives me a reason to listen to today’s music. She has renewed my faith. This is a young woman who goes out on that stage without any bells and whistles, no flashing neon lights or any fance stage gimmicks. Then she stands there and sings a song with so much feeling and emotion that you just can’t take your eyes off her! Also, she writes her songs so they are from her life experiences. That’s great material, as opposed to some of the bland, boring songs that Idol winners get stuck with on their first albums.

    72. :-)

    73. A lot of singers limit themselves by not considering themselves to be musicians. In my mind, it takes a musician to perform a song. They need not play musical instruments, but they must understand music.

      That, in my mind, is what Adele, more than most of the artists you hear these days, does. I honestly believe that she has weaknesses vocally, but because she writes so beautifully and understands music so well, she’s able to use her voice to great advantage.

      Candice has similar musical intelligence. She knows how to interpret a song, get into the mind of the writer, and convey those feelings to the audience. She understands which notes she can play with, and which she has to read straight. She understands rhythm and how to manipulate it. And she knows how to work with other musicians. She has yet to display song writing ability but, IMHO she has vocal tone and control that Adele can only dream about (heresy, I know, but I’m not into hero worship).

      In the past few years on this show, I think of Haley and to some extent Colton as having similar musical intelligence. But it’s a rare quality.

      On my soapbox for just a second–there are a lot of amazing young musicians out there. But you won’t often hear them on the radio. If you want good music to survive, you must seek it out and support it.

      I agree with your appraisal of Elliot Yamin, and there have been a number of good male vocalists on Idol. But I see it as primarily a platform for female artists. Young female artist, I think, have a harder time making it in the nightclub and touring scene–for reasons we probably all understand. Idol and shows like it provide an alternative route.

      So despite the issues I have with who gets chosen, who gets criticized, who wins, etc., I’m grateful for these shows. And I hope they can continue this mission. Even those who don’t win get recognition that would otherwise be hard to come by.

    74. RayRay,

      Regarding Adele’s so-called vocal limitations, you might want to listen again. Since he had surgery to remove a polyp on one of her vocal chords, her voice is now higher and the huskiness is completely gone. Her voice is even better, if that’s possible.

      For the record, I am not about hero worship. However, I am about recognizing and supporting talented singers. Adele is a breath of fresh air in a music landscape that is overrun with mediocrity. In today’s music world the digitally enhanced recordings are the real star. People with inferior voices can put out records that make them sound a lot better. With the live shows, I wonder if the fans really care. But there’s always the bells and whistles and lights and noise and whatever to distract from the vocals. I didn’t think we could even have an Adele in current music. Her success reveals a desire for great vocals along with strong material. She is a brilliant artist who is exceptional at interpreting the powerful lyrics of her songs. I thank God for Adele. I only wish that Amy Winehouse was still with us. But now we know that people will buy music from talented singers. It’s interesting that it’s coming from England. I dearly wish it would happen in America.

      Candace has an amazing voice, but to try to say that she is better than Adele is really pushing it. When she has sold the millions of records that Adele has, when she has the Grammys and the critical acclaim, then let’s revisit the argument. But until then Adele reigns supreme. She has earned her success. I would love to see Candace her her chance at success, but I am not about to rain down excessive praise. It will take more than one great performance to see if she has what it takes to make it in the business.

      I wish that I had the power to make a success out of some of the great female singers I have seen on Idol. I can’t do it alone. I try to follow these young women and watch their progress, but that won’t make them successful. I loved Holly last year and watched this young woman get trashed and thrown under the bus because the judges and TPTB wanted Jessica Sanchez. While it’s nice to acknowledge that a show like Idol gives these singers an opportunity, it can also damage their confidence and destroy their dreams.

    75. The English do seem to have a better grasp of what’s good in music. Amy was, unfortunately, self destructive–but she also had, in my opinion, great musical intelligence.

      I agree with you, Mindy, about Holly (speaking of the English)–although I think part of her undoing was simply not being ready. She appeared nervous on early shows that year. But she was clearly the superior vocalist.

      I think it’s important for these kids to understand what Idol is. They try to sell the snake oil of instant stardom, but ultimately they are glorified game shows. If a young artist understands that, they can use the exposure to get a boost into the business. But the show itself, even if you win, will not make you a star.

      As far as studio bells and whistles are concerned, I think they at least as often ruin good performances as they help bad ones. I don’t think their autotune magic can make anything that, to me anyway, sounds like music. And their convention of cranking up “loudness” makes everything sound the same–you can’t tell a trombone from an oboe anymore.

      I didn’t mean to say that Adele is a bad singer; I have both of her albums, and listen to them a lot. But everyone has weaknesses, and some of Adele’s (i.e. raised larynx) are probably what caused her problems in the first place. I could probably say the same of Whitney Houston. And Alicia Keys, if I bet right, is next in line. All beautiful singers but, in a sense, ‘using up’ their voices. Sacrificing your voice for your art is, I guess, honorable. But it’s probably a good idea to understand what you’re doing.

      I agree that Candice has a way to go to prove herself to be a peer of Adele (I try to avoid saying better or worse except with respect to particular qualities, because I think it’s meaningless to say one competent singer is truly better, for all purposes, than another–the foregoing appraisal of Holly is a reflection of the fact that I don’t think Idol that year had anyone else who had reached that level–maybe Colton…) But her vocal tone is so good, it just haunts me.

    76. RayRay,

      You obviously have knowledge of voices and music and your comments make for interesting reading! I am pleased that you also thought highly of Hollie. I actually can agree that she may well have not been ready at that point in time. However, I think the judges did her a real disservice with erroneous criticism and not guiding her to work on being a better performer on stage. They had another agenda. I just loved her voice. I enjoy seeing amateurs who come out of nowhere and are incredibly talented with so much potential. I agree that Idol can be a sort of stepping stone if a contestant is able to see it that way. Kellie Pickler is an example of someone who I think overachieved and was smart in using her exposure on Idol to jumpstart her music career.

      It’s also true that winning Idol does not guarantee success. We have seen that happen all too often. Sometimes there is a short period of success and the singer then seems to just disappear. The staying power and success of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood has been a rarity. These two young women managed to create music careers with longevity. I think they both have been intelligent enough to grow and develop and change through their respective careers.

      I know that Adele stopped smoking when she had her vocal surgery! That’s a good thing! I don’t know if she has gotten any vocal training. Singers sometimes have to go through the fear and terror of damaged vocal cords before they realize how important technical skill is in not only making them sound better, but keeping their precious vocal cords healthy. What destroyed Whitney Houston’s voice was her cocaine addiction. It was painful to see her self-destruct and lost that God given gift. She never sounded the same when she tried her comeback.

      I agree with you about Candace. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating a great voice, but I try to keep it in perspective because I have watched too many females on this show with incredible voices who never really had their success. For myself, Amber’s voice just absolutely blows me away. I cannot believe what this young woman can do with her instrument. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of her yet and maybe even she doesn’t realize how great she can be.

    77. Well, I hate to break up the Adele party here but I really do not enjoy her style of singing in the least. In a world filled with truly great singers , this if the best we can come up with?

      Her songs are too self-absorbed plus she has belted her way to success.
      Plus, as a person, I find her crude and rude.

      I understand where you are coming from though, Mindy, but if you want to hear the best of the best, then go and attend a David Foster and Friends concert. You will be pleasantly surprised because he only works with singers with exceptional vocal talent.

    78. Hey Everybody !

      I think its all a matter of taste ….what different people like. I happen to like Adele. I personally wouldn’t classify her among great vocalist but I think she is unique and talented. On other hand I wasn’t a Hollie fan (which I’ve never been silent about here). I was shocked to see her go as far as she did. She can sing. There just wasn’t anything there that drew me to her. I think its just a matter of preference. I personally enjoyed Jessica more and I thought Joshua Ledet was dynamic. Everybody here didn’t see it that way though, but others who voted did. Some people are just drawn to different things. And while I personally thought they were two of the better singers, I was pretty vocal last season in saying I knew neither would win because I knew the majority of the Idol audience was not into what I prefer

      I feel the same way about Candice. And by the way, while I thought her last weeks performance superceeded all the others, I don’t see her in anyway as one of the best singers the world has ever heard. I do however think she is the best in this particular competition. Great ? No Lot of potential? Yes . But I’ve said this before …. you can find good singers like Candice a dime a dozen out here, especially in gospel music. Thats not to say shes not a good singer. She is. There are a lot of good singers out here but there are only few that I’d call great. I think Aretha Franklin is one of the greatest singers ever and I’d personally put Mariah up there with her. But I”m sure others would disagree. Because we all are drawn to different things

      And then there is the other point. Do I think Candice should win ? If it was in my power she would win, because I think shes the most talented. but do I think she deserves to win…. No. Because she has got to be able to appeal to all the shows markets … and she hasn’t been able to do that because shes found herself not in the top 3. And sorry to say it but Amber hasn’t either. Its about what THAT particular audience likes best and I think thats Cree. That overall audience doesn’t represent me for sure

      This is what I think … I think Ambers competition is Angie. Krees competition is Jannelle
      I’m certain Candice will be in the top 3 and battle it out with the other two and then at the end of the day it will be a battle of which STYLE the most popular with Idol audiences and not whos the most talented. My votes this week will be for Candice because I want her to win but I just don’t think this audience sees it the same.

      What would be wild and amazing for ratings is to see Kree, Candice and Amber in the top 3. I promise you if that would happen Idol would pull in more votes for that then ever

    79. My wish is that Idol decides that all five girls go to the final and the vote is cumulative from this week on. We get to see all five girls the rest of the way, no one is disappointed until the final show, everyone’s interest stays high, one bad performance doesn’t completely do someone in, they are never going to have five girls as the final five again, the final would be a blockbuster.

    80. Don B = GENIUS. From your mouth to God’s ears. And Idol’s. Standing O!

    81. MCL,

      We will just have to agree to disagree about Adele. In a world filled with the likes of Katy Perry, Carly Rae Jepsen and Miley Cyrus, Adele is in a whole other league. I am not saying that she is the best singer ever, however considering the mediocrity of today’s female singers, particularly in this country, to me she is amazing. I am also grateful that the vocal surgery was successful. I hope that she gets some technical training to protect her voice.

      I think Adele’s songs are masterpieces compared to the material that passes for hit songs these days. She is writing about her life and many times that makes for the most powerful kind of performance. Taylor Swift also writes her own songs. However, her voice is so unappealing to me because there just isn’t much of a voice there.

      I don’t find Adele rude or crude. I find her honest and real. I hope she is around for a long time.

      Yes, it is personal when it comes to the ones we like.

    82. Mindy – I am in a minority here about Adele. Everyone looks at me like I am crazy. Haha But, I like what I like. Her style and her persona just does not appeal to me.

      I do understand, however, that she has opened the door for clean, uncluttered singing. I just wish the songs were more diverse because they all sound the same to me.

      We are alike in one huge respect. I cannot stand Carly Rae Jepson. So one-dimensional and a bit of a little diva too.

    83. MCL,

      You and I agree more than we disagree. However, my respect for you will never waiver. It’s important to acknowledge that we all have singers we like and those we don’t. I totally understand where you are coming from! What I love is that we can disagree, but do so graciously.

      I still have the refuge of my own personal song collection that I have carefully and lovingly downloaded over a period of time. So I can hear the great singers from the past that I have loved so much. I wonder what it might have been like if singers like Hollie Cavanaugh, Siobhan Magnus, Pia Toscano, Melinda Doolittle, Latoya London, Lakiesha and Mandisa had their chance to have a hit song! The radio would sound a lot different! It’s good to know that for Mandisa and Melinda there were other avenues in Gospel and Christian music.

      Carly Rae Jepsen is just typical of the kind of bland, insipid voices and songs that make up current music today.

      Oh and you are not definitely not crazy! :)

    84. Mindy . . . I’m right there with you about Adele. Sorry, MCL, but I see Adele as just being very down to earth, not crude and rude. I guess there was the questionable middle finger gesture, but unfortunately, I’ve been known to do that a few times myself so far be it from me to criticize her!!! I very much enjoy the sound of her voice, and I can’t say that about many singers these days.

    85. Louise – I know. I am in the minority. But she has used pretty foul language in the media so this sort of turned me off. What can you do? I just cannot warm to her. Even my vocal students are confused with me because they love her. Haha

    86. Fun discussion. Here’s my perspective:

      There are great pure singers and there are great musicians–and there are those that aspire to greatness in these areas.

      I think it’s illustrative to compare someone like Mariah Carey to Adele. Miriah has an amazing, and well trained instrument. She breaks some of the rules from time to time, but she does so knowingly, and doesn’t overly abuse her voice. And she can do things with her voice that few in the industry are capable of. But I usually have a hard time listening to Mariah–the excessive ornamentation and all the vocal tricks sometimes overpower the song. I think, with maturity, she’s gotten better.

      Adele on the other hand can’t touch what Mariah does vocally. But (love her tunes or not) she creates new songs with meaningful lyrics and harmonic invention (I think in particular of songs like Melt My Heart to Stone). She comes up much more frequently in my playlist than Mariah.

      The perfect voices belong to people like Kiri Tikanawa and Rene Fleming–and even they keep coaches around to help perfect their craft.

      But an analogy to the art world, I think, fits. Every year, art schools graduate thousands of students that can create a perfect copy of a Gainsborough or a Degas. But precious few of them are capable of creating something something new on par with those artists. So while I love the great singers, it’s those that create something new that I’m most drawn to.

      (An example of both these days is Charlotte Church.)

      Certain singers (and other musicians) have great musical intelligence. They understand what to do with a song–which notes and tempos can be manipulated and which must be read straight. They understand harmonies. They understand that music is a collaborative process–both with fellow musicians and with listeners. I like to say that music is not a spectator sport–listeners have to be involved.

      I’ve seen that spark of musical intelligence in a few (but not many) Idol contestants–most are just very young. But I think in particular of Haley Reinhart, maybe Adam Lambert, and certainly Candice. That, I think, is what distinguishes her from her competitors–all of these girls are great singers, but Candice seems to have an innate feel for how the song should be performed. An innate feel developed, no doubt, from years of study.

    87. RayRay…

      Loved your post ^^^

      This is brilliant…you get a standing O from me… :-) Watching Candice, I couldn’t explain what it was about her that just blew and still blows me away…now I have the answer!!!

      “Certain singers (and other musicians) have great musical intelligence. They understand what to do with a song–which notes and tempos can be manipulated and which must be read straight. They understand harmonies. They understand that music is a collaborative process–both with fellow musicians and with listeners. I like to say that music is not a spectator sport–listeners have to be involved.

      I’ve seen that spark of musical intelligence in a few (but not many) Idol contestants–most are just very young. But I think in particular of Haley Reinhart, maybe Adam Lambert, and certainly Candice. That, I think, is what distinguishes her from her competitors–all of these girls are great singers, but Candice seems to have an innate feel for how the song should be performed. An innate feel developed, no doubt, from years of study.”

    88. Thank you, Vonnie. I sometimes get distracted–I should probably have looked at the dates. I have a lot of opinions, not all of them consistent with one another. But, like just about everyone on this site, I love music, and I love singing.

      Whether it’s in the shower, to your child, your spouse, at church, at an open mic, or to a big audience, keep singing. It’s one of life’s pure pleasures.

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