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Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season 12 Top 3 Singers: Producers’, Judges’ And Jimmy Iovine Choices


American Idol

By: Rosanne Simunovic

Because I am busy over the next 4 days, I have evaluated these singers as concisely as possible.

We are reaching the end of another season, so I hope that the more in-depth Vocal Masterclass articles from previous weeks will help fill in the blanks.

Here are my evaluations and, remember, I am reviewing each singer in (first name) alphabetical order. Your comments are always welcome. To quickly access individual singers, simply click on the singer’s link below.

Angie Miller, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison

ANGIE MILLER: “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” by Elton John (Jimmy Iovine Pick), “Try” by Pink (Judges’ Choice) and “Maybe” by Emile Sandé (Producers’ Choice)

Strengths: Angie – your first song, “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”, is one of Elton John’s most poignant compositions. The singer has to bare his/her soul and leave everything on the stage. Everything.

And, that you did – so. very. well! You communicated the lyrics with sensitivity and your impeccable articulate skills were never more important than when applied to this song. Every “i” needed to be dotted and every “t” crossed because the lyrics are the heart of this song.

I loved the purity of your head voice during this number. It was just the ticket for this particular song. You exhibited some beautiful phrasing moments and sustained your voice so perfectly on those pure vowels. Wonderful performance!

Then, you changed it up big time with your second number, “Try”! This Pink number lacked the melodic substance and flow of the other two numbers, it gave you an opportunity to just rock it out and have fun on that stage.
I was hoping and praying that you would lend a more exciting arrangement to this number. It is extremely repetitious and, almost one-dimensional.

And – yes – you did! Of course you did! You’re Angie! Full of happiness and fun! You absolutely sold this song and aggressively used your body to deliver this song. This was a very powerful performance and you looked totally in the element. It was so gratifying to see you perform an uptempo number with ease and reckless abandon.

I actually preferred your rendition to the original. Perfect choice for you, Angie. Just outstanding!

I have never heard of Emile Sandé, therefore I was Intrigued with the opportunity to be introduced to an new artist. And, while watching her performance of the song, I have to say I fell in love with this artist and her music.

This was a stellar song choice for you, Angie. Like Emile Sandé, you are a very emotive artist, one who really connects with and translates the words in a meaningful way.

However, since you were accompanying yourself on the piano, I was interested to see if you were going to station yourself “in the moment”, avoiding the temptation to follow the camera at every opportunity. As I said last week, let the camera find you!

And it did! What a difference this made in your performance. Huge difference! You were totally immersed in the song, ignoring the camera. It was noticeably less distracting.

And your voice just soared through the melodic line – a very passionate, gutsy sound but never losing its center.

You definitely showed tremendous growth and improvement on the stage this week and gave very strong, distinctive performances. Outstanding work Angie! Standing O all the way!

Critique: Angie – I was surprised that you didn’t play the piano for the Elton John number, but, truthfully, it was wonderful to see you just stand there and sing.

And Mariah made a good point about the mike stand grounding you. Wise words because I felt you were in perfect control.

Other than that, I had no technical issues to address in this first number. It was that spectacular.

Ditto for your second and third numbers, Angie! Both were extremely well done and well-rehearsed. Kudos for a stellar trio of performances.

CANDICE GLOVER: Candice Glover – “One” by U2 & Mary J. Blige (Jimmy Iovine Pick), “Next To Me” by Emile Sandé (Judges’ Choice) and “Somewhere” by Reri Grist/Barbra Streisand (Producer’s Pick)

Strengths: Candice – your performance of “One” was very good. Although it was yet another ballad on a night full of ballads, the gentle upbeat rhythmic element moved it forward very nicely.

This song liberated the full power of your vocal dynamic and register. The soulful rock nature of this song explored another facet to the many sides of your performing persona. You are such a chameleon, Candice! You can change gears like no other but, more important, can adapt any song to suit your vocal style and substance.

Your stage technique was confident and believable and you used the stage wisely. This was a well-paced number and you kept control of the reins at all times. Your phrasing was creative and musical, leaving no musical question unanswered.

Your second number, “Next To Me” is such a playful number, a cute love song with musical hooks galore. This song held no tricks for you, Candice, as it is repetitive and not the most sophisticated song from a musical perspective.

The fun is in the lyrics and in the contagious “next to me ooooh, ooooh moments”, which you mastered so well. These passages in the song also provided nice contrast between the head and chest vocal components of your voice. You seamlessly moved from chest to head and back again, emphasizing how grounded you can be with your technical skills.

I would like to add that you looked drop dead gorgeous in that black and blue outfit. Very classy indeed!

And then there was your final number, “Somewhere” – your tour de force!

I absolutely love this arrangement of this classic song from “West Side Story”. Barbra Streisand put her signature stamp on this song many years ago and now this outstanding arrangement found a new home with you, Candice.

Like Barbra Streisand, you have a voice that can paint the perfect mood for this song. This was a very ethereal arrangement and you physically and emotionally captured this quality so very well.

Although this is a very slow ballad, the song is not dismal or gloomy but rather very positive and peaceful. And, through your expressive performance, your listeners believed that their future can indeed hold elements of hope and promise.

You interpreted this song with a bluesy style of singing which I loved. It was very distinctive and made the song even more personal.

This was powerful way to end your showcase, Candice. Brava!

Critique: Candice – your first song, “One”, was overall a great number but, for the first time, I actually heard some major pitch problems with your voice. A few times! Boy, someone must be tired!

And, where there is fatigue, there is too much chest voice at the expense of your head voice. Without the proper amount of head voice in your vocal mix, tuning often suffers.

Be very careful that you do not push your voice – ever – by constricting the throat muscles. All the effort and all the work must happen from the diaphragm -your chest cavity and the rest of your upper body must feel relaxed at all times.

And, although you second song, “Next To Me”, was more successful, pitch-wise, I still heard the fatigue in your voice and, almost, in your stage presence. However, the emotional playback of your home visit probably had a strong effect on you as well, so, considering all of this, you still came out and entertained the masses as only you can. Great work.

And then there was your final number, “Somewhere”. Brilliant performance. And yet, that chest voice was overwhelming your head voice at times. You have to learn to trust your diaphragm to guide your voice.

And, I was hoping to hear more head voice delivery at the beginning of this song – to add contrast to the powerful ending. You let out so much sound so soon and for so long that you were over pumped, I fear. And, as a result, you lost your center and the tuning problems became an intermittent issue throughout this performance.

But, I cannot deny that this was a powerful performance. Amazing. The stuff of goosebumps.

KREE HARRISON: “(Fuckin’) Perfect” by Pink (Jimmy Iovine Pick), “Here Comes Goodbye” by Chris Sligh/Rascal Flatts (Judges’ Picks)
and “Better Dig Two” by The Band Perry (Producers’ Pick)

Strengths: Kree – I actually like the “Pink” song but, until this performance, I had no idea that there was a touch of profanity in the lyrics.

So, in a way, not to sound like a prude and all, my first impression was: “Is this a true reflection of Kree’s image”? However, you dissed the naughty word, so all was good.

At any rate, as a song, it was a good number. You delivered the angst-like emotion convincingly enough and I felt that the nature of the song, perhaps, challenged you to become more connected to the soul of the song.

Now, your second number, “Here Comes Goodbye”, is an incredibly moving and heart-wrenching song. If you have seen the original video, you will understand the power and the emotion buried deep in this beautiful song.

And, Kree, more than any other time this season, this was a song that came alive and moved mountains through your sensitive vocal artistry. Your fluid phrasing and efficient technical skills helped to deliver a touching and memorable performance.

Your vowels were so pure and you glued these pure vowels to the soaring melodic line. This is quite possibly one of the best – if not the best – performance I have ever heard from you. You really left everything on the stage, Kree. Everything! This was a genuine and real performance rooted in your personal experience and ! thank you for sharing your poignant journey with us. Beautiful! Inspiring! Exceptional. Standing O!

“Better Dig Two” was an inspired song choice for you, I thought. This uptempo ballad, with it’s catchy percussive rhythmic foundation, made for a very exciting and memorable performance.

And, during your rendition, you captured the clear, ringing head voice quality of the lead singer from The Band Perry to perfection. You have a translucent quality to your voice which I love and it is very relaxing on the ears.

Dynamically, the song never becomes too large and you wisely observed this, choosing, instead, to punctuate your lyrical sentences in order to add energy and momentum to this performance. There was good use of inflection – the song calls for it – and I applaud your effort in this regard.

I loved how you interacted with the musicians. Good times! You body looked loose and relaxed and fancy-free. Wonderful to see!

This was a great night for you, Kree. Your strongest to date. Brava!

Critique: Kree – during your first number, I noticed that you raised your head on the upper notes and that always works against your vocal delivery. It causes tension in your throat and you lose the full connection with your audience. Your eyes leave us.

And, as an arrangement, it was far too brief. To be fair, you had little or no opportunity to have a “moment” with this song. I know this was not of your choosing, so I am disappointed that you were not given a longer time to immerse yourself in this number.

Your second number was stellar. I have nothing to add to such a memorable performance.

I loved your third number, “Better Dig Two”, so I am confused over the judges’ remarks. Perhaps the placement of this song after such an inspiring performance of your Rascal Flatts number took the steam out of its sails.

Nevertheless, it was a solid performance and I have nothing to Kree-tique. Your vocals were exceptional. Brava! Brava!

For all the latest American Idol News, visit SirLinksalot: American Idol or the American Idol Official Site .

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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

13 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season 12 Top 3 Singers: Producers’, Judges’ And Jimmy Iovine Choices”

  1. Well, I’m in the middle of voting my fingers off for Candy Girl! OMG, her last song especially was beyond words! If she wins, it will be EPIC!!!!

    Why is it though that Randy always wants to deney how great Season 7 was? Now he’s saying that this season is the best Top 3. Lets see…. Hmmm…. David Cook, David Archuleta, and Syesha Mercado. Sorry Randy, but you’re STILL wrong!!!

  2. Anita. I jumped on that too but then realized he said “one of the best Top 3″ I am pretty sure that’s what he said. Can anyone else clarify this? Vote away for Candy Girl – she deserves it!

  3. I am still standing firm that it will be a Candice/Kree finale…

    Candice may not be a Pop Angel, but she is a force to be reckoned with…she fits right in the Adele category…she is fresh, new and they both sng with passion. Candice ups her in the voice category, but both share a unique gift!!!

    I would still love to hear that girl sing “At Last”

  4. Oh, Vonnie, I hope you are right, but I cannot see Angie not getting into the finals. Doesn’t she have a HUGE fan base?

  5. Yes I think that Angie is a lock for the Finale. I would like an Angie/Candice finale but I think it will be Angie/Kree. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.

  6. Louise and MCL…In my opinion, Angie was over shadowed last night by two very passionate, mature singers…Angie’s voice to my ears, goes nowhere; it sounds like the same key thoughout her songs…there is no flavor to her voice for me…that is why I like Candice’s voice so much, the tone’s and flavor that pours out!!!

    I think people who may not have been voting in the past voted last night and also Amber’s votes went somewhere…

  7. I hope they say it is a three person final with cumulative votes again. Having said that, I got home after the show so I watched the replays on youtube. I am probably alone in this, but I thought Candice sounded really really off in two of her songs – One and Somewhere. I physically cringed at the beginning and end of Somewhere. If it were a singing contest based on just the sound, I would not have put Candice first last night. But it is a season vote, fan love affair for all three at this point.

  8. Don B – she was off in all her songs. Didn’t really enjoy any of them

  9. Vonnie, I totally agree. I believe Amber’s votes went to Candice and Janelle’s votes went to Kree. If Candice doesn’t make it to the finale, something is wrong with America, IMO.
    Like Keith said, “If you wanna vote for Candice, dial the number on the screen. But if you don’t wanna vote for Candice, call your doctor, cause you probably don’t have a pulse.”

  10. I have not enjoyed Angie at all this season, but last night, especially on her second song, I thought she was better than ever. She didn’t have the irritating mannerisms that she has had throughout the season. And with Candice being a little pitchy last night, I honestly thought that Angie was the best of the night. Please don’t get me wrong–I MUCH prefer Candice to Angie, but I think the voting public is going to go for Angie.

  11. I will go with song choice last night for Candice…none of the three songs fit her voice or style…Somewhere; think about Barbara singing this song with her brilliant soprano voice…now add the Jazzy, blues, R&B sounds of Candice…???

    One…again; Really! Adam Lambert did this song as a judge (Simon) pick for him at top three…Adams range is amazing, Candice’s range is again, more Jazzy, Bluesy!!!

    I would have given her…At Last…Fire to the Rain…and then let her pick her own, because she does a whole lot better on her own…

    I think too we may have seen fatigue from home trips,concerts, family reuninoins, fan events…for all three of them…plus add singing three songs each this week…takes a toll on voices!!!

  12. I agree Louise. I thought Angie’s best vocal was her first song though and her best stage performance was her second. Candice didn’t have a great night and Kree was just ok. Based on fan support throughout the season, I think Angie and Kree stay and Candice goes home tonight.

    It’s a shame they didn’t get to choose one song as they always have in the past. Angie and Kree both have some good material but I would have liked to hear Kree sing Her original tune about her parents, “You Would’ve Wanted it That Way” right after her hometown visit video.

  13. Hi everyone. I am late in entering the discussion. Of course I voted for Candice without even hearing the performances. So far I have only listened to “Somewhere” & “Next To Me”. And I agree with MCL on her critique of “Somewhere”. Awesome performance of course but Candice was forcing her voice more than she needs to (correction: Candice has NO need to force her voice EVER) to and she went flat in several places. She has a long summer tour ahead of her (BTW I already have my ticket :)) & she has such a fabulous voice. She’s a true star.

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