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Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season XIII Top 12: Home


American Idol

By: Rosanne Simunovic

As i mentioned last week, I am presently on vacation for the month of March, so I may miss a couple of Vocal Masterclass submissions. 

However, this week, I did manage to watch the Top 12 performances and overall the singers were on par with what happened last week. Pretty much still trying to find their groove.

Also, just an aside, but would it be so hard to flash the names of the songs across the screen so the viewer knows exactly what the singer is performing? In the video intro, the singers mumble the name of the number and then Ryan Seacrest does not consistently introduce the numbers before the singers hit the stage. So frustrating!

Anyway, let us move forward to my Vocal Masterclass evaluations and I welcome your commentary and suggestions after the read!

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

Ben Briley, C.J. Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson

Jessica Meuse, M.K. Nobilette, Emily Piriz

Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson, Sam Woolf

BEN BRILEY: “Turning Home” by David Nail

Strengths: Ben – another country boy! Love that Southern charm!

You established a peaceful ambience at the beginning and throughout this song, even when the vocals became more powerful.

And, thank you for keeping that mouth round – this allowed your voice to project in the right way. Vocally, it was a strong technical performance and, yet, I still felt that the expressive element was very well conveyed.

Congratulations Ben. Good work!

Critique: Ben – be careful not to raise your head when you sing through your upper vocals. This constricts your throat – even if you are supporting from the diaphragm. Think over your upper notes and never “reach” for them. Sing over them and hit them down – as you would when serving a volley ball. This visual is a strong one and it will help you – I promise!

And bend your knees when you sing with a louder dynamic in your upper range. Squeeze your butt as well. It really helps and no one will know the better.

Also, keep that head voice central to your vocal mix. I can hear it amid the meaty vocals but I need to hear a bit more clarity and transparency in your voice. It seemed to me that you were on the borderline of pushing your sound so I caution you to remember that less is more. And the diaphragm rules as does a freely focused voice.

You are on the right track – I can see it in the shape of your mouth alone. I just want to caution you not to veer from this.

Good luck, Ben!

C.J. Harris: “Waiting On The World To Change” by John Mayer

Strengths: C.J. –  this was a solid performance and a great song choice.

You are becoming increasingly more comfortable on stage. I loved watching you open up to the audience – it shows that you are in time with them and wanting to establish strong rapport with them. Always a good thing, C.J.

Critique:C.J. – you need to work on establishing a stronger center to your voice and presence. As I have mentioned to others this week, a HORIZONTAL mouth position, tense throat, little to no diaphragmatic support are all causes for disaster.

A circular mouth position is key here, especially when you develop the technique of focusing and gluing your vocal sound to the pure vowels within your words. Do. It sustain through all the syllables – only the first one – and avoid grabbing all the vowels within the diphthongs.

If you adopt the idea of singing like a Brit – this will help you combat half the battle. The other half is strengthening and supporting your voice via your diaphragm with absolute certainty and conviction.

Your voice lacked presence because the technical skills were just not there.

And there was a sameness to this performance – I was waiting for a “moment” in this song and it never happened. This a repetitive melody and, when faced with this, you have to tap into your creative side to make it interesting to the listener.

I also felt there was little nuance in your voice – everything sounded too linear. So work hard to combat these problems and you will emerge a stronger artist as a result.

Good luck C.J.

JENA IRENE: “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall

Strengths: Jena –before I start my evaluation of this week’s performance, I have to say I loved the camera work as you walked from backstage to onstage. It was very neat and accentuated what you, as a singer, experiences when walking on stage towards your designed spot. Kind of mind-blowing actually! This explains the nerves that some of the singers are experiencing!

However, in your case, if you were nervous, I did not sense it. This was a wonderfully performed number. I loved how you physically, as well as vocally, embraced the song. You were strong rhythmic presence on that stage and felt the music with every part of you being.

I love your voice – it is technically proficient and artistically you are not afraid to take risks with this or any number.

Also, visually, I appreciated the fact that you moved away from the microphone stand, drawing yourself closer to your audience. And you did so flawlessly without losing touch with the music.

Your voice had presence and was beautifully centred. And you exuded a confident and welcoming presence on stage. Beautiful charisma. I have to say I loved the “look” this week, Jena! Much improved.

Brava! Brava!

Critique: Jena – keep striving to select perfect song choices. Up until now, you have been superb at this task so stay true to your artistic vision and never stray.

Other than this advice, this is all I can offer you at this point because, vocally, this was a slam dunk, m’lady! Congratulations!!

CALEB JOHNSON: “Working Man” by Rush

Strengths: Caleb – oh what a performance! Mr. Rock N’ Roll! You are a pro of the highest degree. You really understand the importance of establishing strong communicative energy with your audience.

Your voice has a meaty substance – which I love for this genre of music. And you project your voice so very well. There is a strong diaphragmatic presence in your vocal delivery. Bravo!

I was happy to see that circular mouth position and the manner in which you glued your vocal sound to the purest of vowels. There is a strong technical presence in your delivery which I applaud and celebrate!

You moved with ease and energy throughout the stage and really engaged your audience.

Great, great work, Caleb! Loved it!

Critique: Caleb – I have little to critique in this performance.

My only concern is that, up to this point, you have been singing numbers that require high energy and, at some point, we need to hear something different from you – like a ballad. It will expose another side to your artistry, which is very important as you move forward in this competition.

Good luck and good work, Caleb!

JESSICA MEUSE: “White Flag” by Dido

Strengths: Jessica – accompanied by your guitar, you exuded a beautiful and relaxed presence on stage this week.

I love your voice very much. You have a bright timbre and, with proper support, it can project easily and cleanly.

I also loved the fact that you stopped playing the guitar at the end, and used your arms and body to express the lyrics. This added a nice visual dimension to your performance.

Good work, Jessica.

Critique: Jessica – you have to work on you mouth formation. Your pitch was unsteady and I felt it was due to the placement of your mouth.

The circular mouth position will add depth and uniformity to your voice. You have a very bright voice and you need to work on developing a richer sound. The correct mouth position – CIRCULAR – , coupled with stronger diaphragmatic support will assist you in this respect.

Also, do not be afraid to sing the lyrics as you would speak them. This song required more energy and verve and, for me, it was too linear and one dimensional. Practice speaking your lyrics – expressively – and then apply the same level of nuance to your songs when you sing them.

Good luck, Jessica

M. K. NOBILETTE: “Drops Of Jupiter” by Train

Strengths: M. K. – oh how I love Train and Drops Of Jupiter. So, I was intrigued to hear your individual take on this song.

You added a folksy vibe to this song that became more complex as it moved along. You were more loose this week and, vocally, slightly more efficient.

Good work, M.K.

Critique: M.K. – you need to work on your stage craft. You tend to create very little space around you and, in reality, you need to use the HUGE space allotted to you on the stage. It is like you are singing in a box! You need to sing out of the box and move away from it – even for just a small distance.

Embrace your audience and conquer your fears. You are on this show for a reason. There is inherent talent in your being so become strong and purposeful when you stage a performance, okay? Okay!!

Each week I see improvement. Small increments, yes, but you are moving forward. I take that as a good sign.

Also, work on solidifying your diaphragmatic breathing skills so your voice sounds more resonant and charismatic.

Good luck, M.K.

EMILY PIRIZ: “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez

Strengths: Emily – this was a fabulous song choice. Very smart song choice! Good for you.

And you embodied the Spanish inspired flow of this number. You moved and you grooved with professional ease. You were a playful presence on that stage.

Also, throughout this song, your voice never, ever faltered. This is what I mean when I say that singers must perfectly balance the choreographic and vocal elements in a number. You managed to do so without compromising your vocal delivery. Your voice sounded secure and centred throughout!

Excellent work, Emily! Brava!

Critique: Emily – you are crItique free. This was a excellent showcase. Kudos!

ALEX PRESTON: “I Don’t Want To Be” by Gavin Degraw

Strengths: Alex – armed with your trusty guitar, you gave a very good performance this week. You were more open and expressive in your demeanor this week. Good for you.

Critique: Alex – your tone was very problematic for me. You have a very nasal and constricted timbre to your voice.

There are many reasons for this.

First of all your mouth was stuck in a horizontal position throughout your entire showcase. This created tension in your voice, encouraging you to constrict your throat muscles and lower your soft palate – and this created the nasality in your tone.

Banish the horizontal spread of the mouth and, instead, form a circle. Just try it. Hold a note with a horizontal spread and, while holding the note, slowly adopt a circular position in your mouth. Hear the difference? The sound is more pure, more centered and is enjoying the addition of natural head voice.

Second of all, because of all the tension in your upper body and, in particular, your facial and neck muscles, this distanced you from the correct diaphragmatic support. And this is when we heard problems with intonation and breathing.

You really need to work on the technical approach to your singing voice or will continue to ensue further and more serious problems down the line.

Good luck, Alex

DEXTER ROBERTS: “Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry

Strengths: Dexter – as I said last week, I love your Southern charm so much. I think I am a “belle” at heart. Ha!

Performance-wise, this was as real as it gets! You are country artist and you delivered a very strong, very honest country performance.

You also have a very meaty sound in your upper range that was accentuated through the melodic range of this song. The key choice was just right. Any lower and you would have landed in trouble!

Good work, Dexter!

Critique: Dexter – again this week, you allowed your lower range to disappear. You need to properly support and focus your lower range.

Also, as much as your upper range had punch and purpose, I felt that, like so many others this week, the vocal sound was very strident and tense. That mouth position was horizontal rather than vertical and, as a result, I felt that we lost a great deal of inherent beauty in your head voice. There was far too much chest voice in your vocal mix and you need to work at balancing these two elements.

Relaxation in your upper body combined with diaphragmatic support for every level of your vocal and dynamic range will achieve all this – but this will require work and effort on your part.

Are you up for it? I hope so Dexter! Good luck!

MAJESTY ROSE: “Fix You” by Coldplay

Strengths: Majesty – I love this song so, so much. You don’t know! I was squealing when I realized you were singing this number. Your voice and presence was the perfect vehicle for this song.

You gave a heartfelt performance of this song and, though technically not as proficient as last week, it was still a good, perhaps valiant, showcase. At the very least, you made an attempt to change the mood and ambience from last week’s performance and I congratulate you for this.

Good work, Majesty

Critique: Majesty – you need to work at eliminating the chest voice from your upper voice. Instead of pushing your voice to the front, rather think of releasing your voice – like a butterfly floating on air -via the diaphragm.

Your performance last week was quite superior to this one so it had me a little perplexed this week. I think the slower tempo accentuated all the flaws in your vocal delivery – the faulty breathing, the presence of far too much chest voice in your upper register, the lack of creative phrasing, the higher lack of absolute control and support in your voice when singing at a slower, sustained tempo.

You need to work on developing control when singing a song with a slower tempo. Glue your voice to the pure vowels within the words, thus establishing a cleaner, centred and seamless vocal sound throughout your range.

And relax your jaw, keeping your mouth round. This will open and relax your throat muscles which are now impeding the liberated projection of your voice. And, it will encourage you to add more head voice in your vocal mix.

Of course, all of this advice assumes that the diaphragmatic muscles are working efficiently and consistent. Support from the diaphragm is integral and cannot be minimized or forgotten.

Also, you need to pull back when moving toward a louder dynamic in your higher vocal range. Due to your nerves or perhaps lack of preparation, you had a tendency to over compensate. Do not allow your voice to go there. Only sing the forte passages as strongly as you can produce them in a technically solid manner.

Good luck, Majesty!

MALAYA WATSON: “Take Me To The King” by Tamala Mann

Strengths: Malaya – I was so happy to see you at the piano. Singer – pianists always intrigue me, mainly because I happen to be one. Ha!

This was a great, great gospel performance.

And right off the bat, I loved the visual and dynamic aspects of this performance – the fact that you became more energetic as the song moved along and stood up in the latter half of the song, moving with confidence toward the audience.

There was a very well-paced, well-rehearsed performance, very expressive and purposeful!

Great work, Malaya!

Critique: Malaya – you need to work on lessening the chest voice in your upper register and tapping into your head voice.

Head voice adds clarity, beauty and precision to your upper range. In this song performance, I felt there was too much push when you powered through your upper vocals.

It was really too bad because I felt the first part of this song was just beautiful. The quieter portion of this song was gorgeous – I felt that, in an important way, you connected more believably with the listener.

It is a balancing act, Malaya, so make sure that you do not get over-pumped when working up to a louder and more passionate dynamic. There is no need for this. Use your voice properly and the microphone, along with your physical expressiveness, will do the rest.

If you allow the diaphragm to guide and focus your vocal sound, you will come to enjoy a stronger sense of security in your performances. Your voice grows with you – always remember that! Your vocal cords are muscles and they will develop, via the proper the technique, with time and maturity and practice.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the complexity of your performance this week. You are challenging yourself and I applaud this! Brava!

SAM WOOLF: “Just One” by One Pilot

Strengths: Sam – you looked way too comfortable playing guitar, surrounded by girls. I love it! You gave a pleasant performance and I loved your look and presence very much.

You have a naturally beautiful voice that, although not technically proficient, is still lovely to hear and appreciate.

Good work, Sam!

Critique: Sam – you need to connect, Connect, CONNECT. All those girls where looking at you and you did not establish eye contact with any of them. Many performers can connect when on the stage and here you were, surrounded by adoring fans, and there was little to no connection.

You looked so tentative and distracted when you sang and as a result, the song held little meaning for you and for us.

This is not a road you want to continue on – you need to expressively connect with your lyrics and then your voice will sound more dynamic and nuanced.

Also, once you become more expressive, your voice will have presence and vitality.

Good luck as you prepare for next week’s show, Sam!

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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

47 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season XIII Top 12: Home”

  1. Also, just an aside, but would it be so hard to flash the names of the songs across the screen so the viewer knows exactly what the singer is performing? In the video intro, the singers mumble the name of the number and then Ryan Seacrest does not consistently introduce the numbers before the singers hit the stage. So frustrating!

    AMEN!

    Like

  2. Drives me crazy! How difficult would this be?

    Like

  3. mcl, i’m thrilled that even though you are on vacation, you’re doing the masterclass ‘lesson’. i love to hear your comments!!

    i haven’t yet watched the show, but i now know what to look forward to, thank you!!

    Like

  4. Vonnie 🎵🎼 March 6, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Wow! What a weird night…was it just me or was Philip a little “off” tonight?

    What’s with Emily going home…I don’t think I am going to waste my time on watching idol any more; on to the Voice!

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  5. I just came in the door. Emily went home? For me, she was the best last night. So much promise. Will have to catch Philip online I guess. Can’t say it surprises me though. Who were Bottom 3?

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  6. Vonnie 🎵🎼 March 6, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Emily, Jena and MK were bottom 3

    Like

  7. Jena should not have been there. Very sad.

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  8. Vonnie 🎵🎼 March 6, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I agree…she and Emily should have both been safe and not in the bottom 3 at all.

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  9. Absolutely. Boy, this show is a bust this year.

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  10. I think J-Lo hurt Emily. Contestants have to have broad appeal to do well on Idol and I think she put to much emphasis on Emily “representing” etc. Emily performed pretty well and I suspect that she did something that J-Lo is unable to do herself, which is perform one of her song and dance numbers with live vocals.

    I didn’t think MK was very good at all last night and she is purposely limiting her appeal and depending on special interest voting to keep her in. It may work.

    Jena didn’t belong in the bottom three. There have been several instances of contestants choosing good artist to cover but not choosing the right song from that artist. Jena did it this week. CJ, Dexter, Ben, Malaya should have all been ahead of her in the line for the bus. Emily couldn’t make lightning strike twice with her save me song. I wonder if it is the magic of Hollyweird week editing that made her original rendition of “Stars” so strong or if it was just the pressure tonight that made it not so good this time. There were a few moments, particularly at the end of the song, when her nerves settled down, and she showed some nuance and artistry but I think she knew it wasn’t enough to offset the rest of it.

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  11. Vonnie,
    I didn’t think Philip sounded very good tonight either.

    And I would never have predicted that Emily would be the one to go home. But I don”t think it helped her to stress her Latina ancestry. I’ve noticed before that whenever contestants sing in Spanish, they are gone from Idol shortly after that. It’s quite unfortunate, but true.

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  12. i think phillip was just nervous. he said he was. but people liked the song. it is catchy and easy to sing along with. it was #9 on itunes the last time i checked.

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  13. With the exception of bringing back the top 24 or the contestants from the super seasons, the Idol folks have addressed virtually everything that the public has been asking for and / or complaining about and it appears that no one likes the results.

    Few if any clown auditions
    All contenders auditions were televised
    Limited sob stories
    Growth arc contestants instead of pro ringers
    No Idol / Ford commercials (I liked them, but…)
    Qualified judges who also get along and are entertaining
    Honest (relatively) judging
    Stop stacking the deck with WGWG, i.e., cute guy, contestants for hormonal voters
    Current artist and song list
    Less restrictive themes
    Contestants should show who they are / want to be as an artist
    Change the voting system
    Didn’t like Jimmy carping about the performances
    Didn’t like the heavy hand of the producers manipulating the results
    Less… much less Dawg time (a work in progress)

    All of these changes yet the result is one of the least satisfying seasons ever. I don’t think I have seen much if any acknowledgement of any of these new features. It’s as if nothing changed for the good, only the obvious bad changes. Nothing can be done about those mistakes this season. My guess is that if they survive until next season, they will smooth out the elimination process and correct a few more problems

    The Voice, which I like as much as anyone, has it’s problems too. We are still in the honeymoon period with them.

    Like

  14. I was reading over at MJ’s that Harry apparently said tonight that this is the best talent AI has ever seen since Season 1!??? What on earth is he smoking? Sigh….

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  15. gene, jimmy was tough, but i rather enjoyed him. i just can’t take the dawg seriously. i never really complained about him as a judge, i thought, ‘what is, is’, but now that he is acting as mentor, i just want him out of there.

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  16. i far prefer this season to last.

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  17. Hunter,
    You reminded me of two more newer features which are supporting the current reining Idol and featuring past idols on Thursday nights. Another area that received a lot of complaints in the past was the selection of guest performers that seemed to have more to do with how many CDs were stacking up in a warehouse than who the audience might enjoy seeing. The new system of allow each judge and Randy to introduce someone on their radar has, as yet unfulfilled, potential to be better.

    It’s interesting, to me anyway, that a lot of the artist being covered this season have been on my favorite little internet, now cable TV show, Live From Daryl’s House and after Idol went off tonight I switched to the Palladia channel and there was a Rush concert on. When it went off, “Latter With Jools Holland” (my second favorite music show) came on and two of his guest were KT Tunstall and Ray La Montagne. We have seen two of them covered this week and one a few weeks back. I think LFDH can be seen on VH1 now as well as Palladia.

    I liked Jimmy’s mentoring sessions personally, some didn’t, but it was the Thursday night thing where he acted like he had great insight when what he most likely had were notes from the producers as well as the voting results when he described how the performers had done the night before. The list of complaints were not necessarily mine, some were and some were not, but I think all of them have been expressed very vocally here by many posters past and present, so it just seemed odd that with so many of them addressed mostly in this season that we are largely unsatisfied with the result and there is almost no mention of how many of our requested changes have been fulfilled.

    And yes, last year was largely boring for me as well. At least half of this group have a fair amount of potential so I’m not giving up on this season either. I’m pretty used to my favorites not seeing the confetti. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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  18. I don’t think Phillip sang a song all the way through anywhere close to on pitch the whole season he won. Given that, I thought he was much improved tonight. His performance skills have improved considerably as well. He has added Dwight Yoakum’s left foot action to his bag of tricks. You could also hear the influence of having toured with John Mayer in the opening lines of his song .

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  19. HCJ and KU delineated the problem best last night, unintentionally. HCJ said his role is judge, not mentor. KU told MK that she had to find a way to connect with the audience (and MK literally said she didn’t know how to do that). Until the show finds a way to select contestants with minimal singing and performance issues and/or resolves the judges’ issues with the performers (connect with the audience or die!) by creating a staff and process that can actually do that, it will continually be behind the 8 ball. (I would submit Randy Jackson is not the correct mentoring person. Frankly, seeing footage of his interaction with the contestants in their preparation, glorified cheerleader, and listening to his apologia with Ryan about the contestants crummy performances reinforces my belief that this year he is the major reason for the duddy performances.)

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  20. Gene,

    You are too funny! I have been Youtubing Dwight Yoakum for a couple nights and watching his foot! (I have been waiting forever for a contestant to sing either “I Sang Dixie” or “This Much I Know”. – Hello Dexter Roberts or Ben Briley if you want to win!)

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  21. Don B – I highly agree. Something is clearly wrong with these singers this year. It is like a high school talent show , which, in fact, can be better than what I am seeing every week. I was expecting so much more.

    I don’t know what they were thinking when they chose this Top 13 and now two of the most promising singers have been sent packing and another was in the B3.

    Thanks everyone for your comments. Keep them coming!!

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  22. Harry is smoking something as this is the worst group of finalist ever. Most can’t remain on pitch, they lack the control, lack the IT factor, performance ability, do not emote well, facial expressions are lacking or do not match the song.

    Also why did Emily go home? She was one of few I enjoyed. Sam does have a smooth as butter tone. The tone draws me in but his deer stuck in the headlights facial expressions and scared rabbit eyes just ruin the performance.

    Tell me again why Spencer Kenz and Savion are not a part of this years finalists? It is almost like AI wanted to suck on purpose.

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  23. Donny you are 100% correct. Randy is a Terrible Mentor. He is not working on correction and performance and it shows. He is only comfortable playing cheerleader. Also the stylists this year are terrible. Remember when Adam Lambert told Lee DeWyze that he had nothing going on in his face. LOL But he was right. Someone needs to coach these kids on making their facial expressions matching their lyrics. How to put life and sparkle in their eyes. How to connect. Heck bring Jason Castro in to mentor. He never had the best voice but he knew how to emote and draw you in.

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  24. It wasn’t Philips singing last night it was whatever he was doing with his eyes…Creeped me out and at the end when Ryan was talking to him! bizarre!!!

    This show had the potential to be one of the best seasons in a while, but they left that group sitting on the chairs on elimination night!!!

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  25. Vonnie, I thought Phillip was awesome. Love the new song, Love how he emotes and I really like his quirkiness. The leg going and eyes. Phillip just becomes his song. He is a true artist. IMO

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  26. I love Philip too and have been on his and wagon from day one, but that was weird last night! I dunno…but I do agree love the Dwight Yoakum style…Dwight is my fav country singer followed closely by Garth!

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  27. Here’s an example.The theme this week is apparently songs from the movies. What song would MK choose? For her, I would choose Linda Eder’s version of Help (Beatles). Why? It’s slowed down and actually turned into a heart wrenching plea for help. (I think John or Paul wanted to do a slowed down version at one point.) MK is screaming for that help right now. Sit her on a chair in the middle of the stage, one spotlight, everything else blacked out, no hat, no guitar (take away all her defense mechanisms). Make her sit in the chair and plead for help from the audience through a song. Everyone will be drawn in. It’s like the first step in a thirteen step program. Admit you need help. (Is anyone advising her to do anything like this? I hope so, for her sake and the show’s sake.)

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  28. Quite frankly I am tired of all the guitars. It inhibits the singing for the most part. It acts like a crutch. I want to see a singer SING and MOVE around. I thought we did away with this nonsense last season.

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  29. Vonnie 🎵🎼 March 7, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I agree MCL…I think they should have a theme night that allows them to play an instrument, the rest of the time without!

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  30. Actually, MCL there are more guitar players this year than last. I agree, some need to move around; interact with the audience. Some need to get rid of the hats. Period. If MK wants to go on the tour, she’s going to need to change a bit – both in presentation and appearance. Just a few slight changes. After she’s in the TOP 10, she can do whatever she wants. I really do enjoy Caleb’s performances. He has a strong voice and would do well with a ballad. I agree, Sam needs to open up and reach out to his audience. I hope he improves as well.

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  31. MK does need to loose the hat and the gangsta movements. They do not match her voice. DonB love your suggestion of Help. MK has a purity to her voice that would make that version heart rendering. Just sit MK and plead into the camera for Help.

    The other one who needs help is Sam. Teach the kid how to look into the camera verse avoid it like the plague. LOL Interact with the screaming adoring girls. His like butter tone and good looks will only get him so far if he doesn’t learn to connect.

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  32. Sam needs to watch Sinead O’Connor sing Nothing Compares to U on Youtube for about five days straight, maybe even the head shot only camera version of wrecking ball by Miley Cyrus. If the songs go for 1:45, his minimum eye contact with the camera should be 1:30. Pay Angie Miller to give him eye and movement lessons.

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  33. Don, maybe you need to be the Idols mentor & coach? Your suggestions are on point. Except anything Miley makes me hurl.

    Angie, my fav last year and she wasn’t signed and has gone no where. SO SAD.

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  34. Tons of great suggestions on this board. Keep them a-coming!! I love it!!

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  35. Aubry-I just love Angie Miller so much! To me, she has it all, and such a bubbly personality. I thought for sure by now she would be signed. I don’t quite know what’s going on there. She toured with Michael W. Smith which was a wonderful opportunity for her. Those two XMas songs she released last year are stunning! O Holy Night just blows me away!!

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  36. Anita, Angie should have won IMO. The back story on Cre got the sympathy votes and bounced Angie out. IMO she had the best performances top 3. Cre’s cd went no where and I do not think Candace’s will either. Angie has it all Voice, Personality, Performance.

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  37. I remember loving MK’s voice during the first night’s performances, but unfortunately she seems to not have many performance skills, and I have the sense that she’s sorry she’s there.

    I also wish the contestants would do away with the baseball caps!!! (A minor issue, but it does nothing for them.) When I saw the pictures of Ben without the hat, I didn’t realize who it was!!!

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  38. I agreed with Harry’s comments about Emily’s performance, but don’t think she was the one who should have gone home. And I definitely don’t think Jena should have been in the bottom 3.

    Can’t stand Randy, but that’s nothing new. I was so happy when he “retired” from the show last year, and so disappointed to find out he was coming back as a mentor. What a waste of time since he says nothing when he speaks.

    And last year I never liked Phillip Phillips performances, as he always sang out of tune his entire season. I was VERY pleasantly surprised though with his “Home” song, and I think the studio version we hear on the radio and tv commercials all the time are excellent. It’s his live singing that is always so awful, and he proved that again this week with his new song/performance. And am I the only one who thinks his new song sounds too similar to “Home”? It’s like he was trying to copy that same formula for an instant hit, but that was a huge turnoff to me.

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  39. Aubry,

    I was in the Marine Corps many years ago. The MC has great instructors. To be an instructor at the main officer training schools in Quantico, an instructor must attend a speaking school for six months. Like all things MC, the school is highly disciplined in teaching you how to present the subject and yourself as an instructor. One of the keys for student and teacher feedback is everything is filmed. So in Idol terms, everything the contestants do for performance purposes should be filmed and played back/reviewed with them. The AI mentors/coaches should be merciless about pointing out and correcting immediately every potential fault both singing and presentation (I don’t get that sense with Randy) because it is too late when it gets to performance night – off key, wrong key for the voice, eye contact, balance between singing and instrument, interpretation, why that instrument, why did you have the musical intro or bridge, was it to get/keep you in tune, did it get you out of tune, relative loudness of band to the contestant’s voice, why did you choose that song, can you find its essence and convey it to the audience in 1:45 especially if they have never heard it? Get the film to the judges and get their comments also so they feel more a constructive part of the process. You can see they are on the defensive right now, where you don’t want them to be.

    Angie was my favorite simply because I though Kree, Candice and Amber were devoid of stage personality and it affects the song presentation so much for me. (I think they hired a personality coach for Candice last year.) Along with her impromptu banter and song with HCJ, there is a moment in Angie’s Cry Me a River along about 1:42 (if I remember correctly) where she flashes her eyes at the camera in an acting way that is worth the entire season. Truly. Reminded me of Webber – WIth One Look from Sunset Boulevard. Angie is living in LA and writing, She just finished a sing with Lee DeWyze. Just had an interview on VEVO TV. Has a singer/songwriter boyfriend in PA and they are co-writing. I get the feeling she is making some significant life decisions, whatever the options are.

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  40. Katillac I have seen Phillip in person 2 times now. He to me has a quirky voice. Different but not out of tune. It is what makes him unique. Personally I love his voice.He does things that really pull me in and make me feel. His cd is one of the best Idol cd’s ever put out. It is just great. I can’t wait to get my hands on his new cd.

    Don again you prove you should be the Idols coach. That is EXACTLY what should be occurring. The Idols should be filmed and recorded. Then said film and recording played back and dissected so they can hear and see what they are doing and not doing.

    Randy is clueless and just a cheerleader. That isn’t working as these contestants are mostly young and unseasoned and they need attention and direction and not just cheer-leading and hugs. . They need someone who is a true performer who can bring the performance quality out of them.

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  41. I agree that recording the performances are integral to success. All they have to do is play back the previous weeks’ performances – none were over the top perfect. That would be a start.

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  42. Aubry-I was quite upset when Angie didn’t make it into the finale. I think Kree has such a beautiful voice, but Angie seemed to fight so much harder for a place in that final than Kree did.

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  43. Anita, I didn’t enjoy Kree’s voice and felt she had a major connection problem. She just didn’t draw me in. While Candace’s voice was incredible IMO it is dated. She hopefully makes it in Urban or R&B but I doubt she will in Pop. I could see Angie making it across genre. Christian, Pop etc. But Jimmy had other ideas and so Angie was manipulated into going out 3rd.

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  44. Don,
    A sincere thank you for your service to our country!

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  45. This is a bit off topic, but American Idol related–have you all heard that Adam Lambert will be the lead singer for Queen this summer when they go on tour?!? He gave credit for this gig because of his opportunity to sing with Queen on the AI finale a few years ago.

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  46. Yes Louise, I have heard and can’t wait to purchase tickets. If I can get my hands on some without paying a huge ransom.

    That performance is from London. Queen with Adam Who wants to live forever.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season XIII Top 11: songs Of The Cinema | MasterClassLady.Com - March 12, 2014

    […] She was scheduled to sing Pink’s version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” this week. I have no doubt it would have been outstanding and would have provided marked contrast with last week’s upbeat performance of Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud”. […]

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