Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For The Top 4 Performances


Time to beat the Masterclass Lady to the punch. Your comments are most welcome following tonight’s exciting show, featuring our Top 4, Lakisha, Blake, Jordin and Melinda performing the music of the Bee Gees.

You know, every year at this time, I had an idea who would win this competition, but this year? Nada. This has been the most confusing American Idol competition ever – or is it just me who thinks it is? Anyway, blab away, oh wise ones!

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

38 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For The Top 4 Performances”

  1. Honestly, I was disappointed. I’m guessing that the introduction of two songs took focus away from getting one song just right. Jordin had the best performance of the night. Blake’s were the most disappointing. But, even Melinda was off. I’ve been downloading their songs and I’m not sure I will this week. I didn’t even feel like voting tonight. Hmmm.

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  2. This was a tough week IMO. How in the heck do you sing solo when the songs have been created for three guys harmonizing? 😕

    Here goes:

    Melinda

    Love You Inside and Out

    A bit tentative in the beginning, got it going ok, decent job, but not up to her high bar. I am hoping her 2nd song is better.

    How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

    Starts out calm then she goes into that other place. Ok – I’ve got chills. La la la la! Ooh! This woman feels it. AWESOME. She got a standing O for this song. Tore it up again.

    Blake

    You Should Be Dancing

    Am wondering if he can sing that high? Spooky effects, a few off key notes, then he kicks into another realm. WOO! He got a standing O.
    Kind of surprised me that Randy wasn’t feeling it. Simon hated it – big surprise . . .

    This Is Where I Came In

    Again, some iffy notes, but he rocked it. Got that reggae vibe and minimal beat boxing. Not sure what was going on with him, but he seemed a bit subdued.

    LaKisha

    Stayin’ Alive

    She decided to slow the pace of this song, which was a bit weird for me. She cracked me up when she sang “my dancing sista”. She seemed to have a bit of fun with it, which hasn’t happened much with her. Randy criticized her for changing the song up (as he did to Blake) but if they had cloned the original songs, the judges would have complained about that. Simon made an outlandish point, saying she was scary. 🙄

    Run to Me

    Nice start. Err, a bit flat, briefly? Is she behind the music for a bit? Hmm, one could say she is screaming and ended on a bad note?

    Simon says she and Blake will likely be in the bottom 2. I concur. However, Jordin still has to sing her 2nd song, so the pimping of her goes on. It is getting on my last nerve. With that comment, y’all will know for sure that I am a Kentuckian. 😆

    Jordin

    To Love Somebody

    Sounds great in rehearsal. Comes out on the stage and methinks Miss Jordin is back! She is calm and purposeful. She looks great too. A 180 from the last two weeks. Audience likes it. Judges love it.

    Woman in Love

    Yeargh! Screaming in rehearsal, though Barry says she could be a great singer. On stage she seemed pitchy and pushed her vocals.

    Wow, the judges didn’t like it much and Simon said it was “pageanty”.

    I am exhausted; sorry for the stream of conscience.

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  3. I thought Jordin made the best song selections tonight. Vocally, I thought Melinda was wonderful as always although I’m not sure if the songs she picked were too old-fashioned. I don’t think this is the best night that the contestants have had.

    I also have no idea who will win either. Each of the four contestants has his/her own personal strengths.

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  4. AI might have a problem. A mod on the AI boards made a mistake with Blake’s number. And since they are not having the contestant thank the caller for voting for him/her the caller would not know it was the incorrect number. Here is a screen shot of it:

    Blake Lewis
    1-866-IDOLS-02 – 1-866-43657-02
    1-866-IDOLS-08 – 1-866-43657-06
    Text 5702

    Not sure it will cause a big problem, but if many people dial 08 instead of 06 their votes will go to Jordin, who has been pimped very hard by AI.

    This AI has been very weird . . .

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  5. Last night’s show was indeed very strange.

    Melinda and Lakisha were the best of the night, with two solid performances.

    Jordin was amazing on her first performance. Her rendition of “Woman in Love” was terrible.

    Blake was bad on both performances. He actually showed us last night what a limited vocalist he is.

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  6. Blake was really weak last night, I agree. His beat boxing detracted from the songs, and they just didn’t have the oomph they needed.

    LaKisha was just so-so. Her singing was pretty good, but the arrangements were not. She oversang to a degree.

    Jordin did well the first time, but the second song was really pitchy.

    Melinda’s singing was – as Randy sometimes says – the bomb! She delivered, as ususal.

    I think Blake or LaKisha will go home.

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  7. I don’t think it was that bad of a night. Melinda delivered nearly perfect vocals again but her song choices weren’t that good. Still, I think she could make any song enjoyable to listen to.

    I thought Blake’s first performance was awesome. Had some technical problems with the falsetto (especially when he went from the falsetto to scatting, then back to the falsetto) but it looked very difficult to me and he handled it well. I felt like I was watching a modern day Prince. His second performance had a strange arrangement (or maybe it’s the song, I don’t know it) but I still enjoyed it a lot.

    LaKisha was pretty good as well, only her arrangements were lacking. Like when she was singing “stayin’ aliiiiive” and it kept going lower she suddenly just stopped, rather than holding it. I thought Barry Gibb gave some bad advice for her second performance, I liked the more subdued singing of the first chorus. The way she did it now there wasn’t any build-up.

    I enjoyed Jordin again, her vocal imperfections don’t bother me that much because I just love her tone, facial expressions, and the emotion she puts into the words. But she definitely had some issues, especially with the second song.

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  8. Not a good week for Masterclass Lady. I did watch the show and will write my article as planned, if, for no other reason, than to provide distraction. Thank you for your patience once again.

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  9. I’m really hoping that Melinda will win…but scared she may be the shocking cut this week.

    It was the first time that I noticed that Melinda didn’t seem to be her usual perky self. Wonder if it was because she didn’t like the songs this week.

    I also suspect (not sure?) that the keys of the songs were not changed to accomodate the singers and this could be a reason why none of them really sang particularly well save Jordan’s first song (not a Bee Gees song).

    Generally I really enjoy Blake but last night his beat-boxing seemed overdone in the first song. His second song could have gone better. It was a strange arrangement….seem it was just voice and a bass line without any sustained chords to fill in the harmony. This may have contributed to his pitch problems.

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  10. Jordin needs to go NOW!!!.. she and Blake were the worst of the night. But it seems the powers that be and the judges have turned on Lakisha so she will likely be out… but I hope it will be Jordin the pimpin is beyond obvious at this point. Her breathing technique is horrendous

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  11. I am so disappointed, this was a great theme but incorrect song choices and presentation made much of the show a bit boring. I do believe Melinda had the best performance of the night.

    I am quite angry with Simon’s comment to her. The “backup singer” comment was uncalled for.. This is Melinda’s vulnerability issue; he was sabotaging her confidence level which surprised me. Then Paula wants her to drop her technique?

    Jordin did pretty good on her first song, but Barry really overdid the praise. Lakisha made a good effort, but will probably go home tonight.

    Blake tried but I am afraid he was not successful. It was like a cop-out for actually singing.

    Deroc, although you may be right, Jordin is the one TPTB want to win.

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  12. I’ve decided I truly hate listening to BeeGee songs not sung by the BeeGees. The high falsetto leads, disco beat and tight harmonies were instantly recognizable, innovative and hot… uh… in the 70s. I thought last night was a craptacular of huge proportions, I thought no one did exceptionally well. Why doesn’t Idol quit panning to the “celebrity” judges and introduce Gospel night, Hip hop, Blues or Jazz night?? Even country night is hardly country. I really don’t see a lot of true range here in stylistic choices. *sigh*

    At the bottom, Blake and Lakisha.. no question. Although Jordin’s “A Woman in Love” earned dishonorable mention in that race. I won’t rant on Lakisha this time, because I think she’s already packing her things, but I was surprised at Blakes demise this week.

    I am generally a fan of Blake’s beatboxing, but his versions of two Bee Gees songs seemed like now he’s just trying too hard. First, he beat boxes his way through You Should Be Dancing. The rhythm is off and he falls into the trap of actually trying to sing the song in falsetto. (Suddenly I’m missing Chris Richardson, Ace Young and yeah, my man Sanjaya.)

    The skunk hair isn’t working for Blake either, now he just looks even more emo. His beat boxing is drowned out by the music, so it’s way less effective this week. Randy calls the beatboxing corny. Simon thought it was terrible.

    Blake’s next song was worse. The vocals were off, I didn’t get it. Randy tells Blake that he doesn’t have to beat box in every song. Of course last week, the judges told him to beat box more often. Why do the judges contradict themselves so much? (Because they’re kind of idiots.)

    I have some favorite Blake moments, but isn’t it interesting that he can come off as daring and inventive beatboxing a familiar Bon Jovi song, but overused and inappropriate on a BeeGees song? Such a fine line for these kids.. so much to learn, so little time…..

    MCL: I have no idea who will win this season either. If I were looking at who’s the best singer, who conveys the energy and message of the lyrics, and of course, who will sell the most albums? Melinda. Even if she’s been dubbed no-neck Shrek looking.

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  13. Hi Rosanne. I had a question about Jordin’s second song and I wanted to see if you heard the same thing I was hearing. I thought that she started off pitch from the first note and majority of the song was out of tune, especially after the bridge/key change. I have had discussions regarding this issue with many people who insist to me that my ear has gone bad. Was she really having intonation issues or was it just me?

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  14. Mikey, I would certainly agree that Jordin had problems with the second song right from the start–I would think it has to do with her lack of that solid technique that Paula seems to want Melinda to drop! Jordin just seems to wilt under the pressure of emotion or, in this case, two songs. Also, not so great to sing two ballads–if any of the others had done that, they’d have been called on it by the judges.

    I think Blake made a tactical error last night—while he needs to use that beatboxing to stand out (and he is very creative with it, I usually really like it), doing that twice in one evening does make it sound like he’s a one trick pony. He probably should have sung his first song straight and beatboxed up the second.

    I thought Lakisha was solid on the first performance, but her voice sounded a bit tired to me on the second; there were quite a few places where she seemed to be really pushing her voice (too much chest?).

    I thought Melinda’s first song was solid and lovely, not “background” at all (sorry, Simon!). The only criticism I had for it was that she didn’t really do anything with it–it was just vanilla. (Should I mention that I love vanilla?) And I loved her “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”–she really took wing on the second part of that, I got chills (literally!). And I have to note that it seems to me she was the only singer to sound better and stronger on the second song than the first–so don’t listen to Paula, Melinda, hang on to that technique!

    A quick side note–should Melinda make it to the finale (pretty please? knocking on wood, spitting three times to ward off the evil eye), I would love her to sing Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind”–it would show off her fabulous range, it’s got emotional immediacy, and it has those three distinct parts for her to play with. I can see her putting the whole house in tears with that one.

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  15. Rereader, Yeah I was just flabbergasted when Paula told Melinda to drop her technique. I’ve rewatched it and I really can’t even comprehend what she MEANT to say. That’s how much sense she was making in my opinion. Maybe Rosanne could clarify??? I have been around Voice Culture for eight years now, and I know my ear hasn’t gone bad, I just thought that it could be possible that I might be “hearing wrong?”

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  16. Last night I attended a dinner and didn’t make it home until the second half of the show. So even though I Tivoed the show, I already knew that the judges didn’t like most of the first songs. It wasn’t good to watch it that way–I like to make up my own mind.
    I thought Melinda’s second song was especially good. And I didn’t agree that Lakisha’s first song was bad. Jordin was good on the first song, but not the second. And as much as I love Blake’s beatboxing, I wish he had only done it on one song last night. Really liked his first song, but the second one–not so much.
    If I were a betting person, I’d bet that Lakisha goes home tonight–unfortunately!!! But anything can happen on Idol. I remember how shocked I was when LaToya London was voted off and then Chris Daughtrey last year. The only shock for me is if Melinda would be voted off. And I REALLY hope that doesn’t happen.

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  17. Hi everyone.

    Bust trying to finish the Masterclass article.

    Mikey – I have no idea what Paula was trying to say and neither does she. hahaha.

    A friend phoned me and said: “What did she want Melinda to do? Do a strip tease on stage?” haha

    Article will be up tomorrow.

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  18. Lakisha went home. Blake was in bottom 2, Jordin was 1st safe, Melinda 2nd.

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  19. I’m so glad that Melinda made it through and wasn’t in the bottom two. I always fear voter complacency when it comes to her.

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  20. Not a surprising results show. They have been predicting Lakisha’s exit for weeks. Too bad. She did not deserve the overwhelmingly bad reviews last night.

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  21. I was sorry to see Lakisha go–and I hope she has a successful musical career in her future.

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  22. Hmm. They didn’t say who was in the bottom two. AI might be masking everyone except the one that does go home.

    MCL, is there an edit feature here?

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  23. Xena – I have been meaning to ask about an edit option. I cannot seem to find it in my administrative panel.

    I have one, but there doesn’t seem t0 be an option for those leaving comments. I will check tomorrow.

    Good night all

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  24. “What did she want Melinda to do? Do a strip tease on stage?”

    LOL! I think Melinda can do almost anyything vocally–but I really don’t want to see her try that!

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  25. I was glad to read that you didn’t think Lakisha deserved the judges’ bad reviews this week. To me it was just another example of manipulation on their part because they didn’t think AI would make a lot of money from her if she would go on to win the title. I just talked with my adult son about Idol over the weekend and he said he would never buy any CDs from Melinda or Lakisha because they wouldn’t sing music that he listens to. He preferred Chris Richardson and “country” Phil.

    So MCL, which of the remaining three contestants do you think will sell more CDs?

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  26. xena -I did inquire about the edit function and, unfortunately, the WordPress.Com blogging format does not allow editing bypeople posting comments. This is for security reasons.

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  27. elaine -who will sell CDs? Honestly? I have no idea. I think they want Jordin to win and I suppose, with creative marketing, she would do well.

    Blake has a shot – he is very unique, extremely gifted.

    Melinda may surprise everyone if she releases an adult contemporary CD with her distinctive style.

    So, it is hard to say. I thought Taylor was going to do gangbusters this year and would never have thought Daughtry would outsell him. His shows are positively received though so that’s a huge plus.

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  28. I don’t know what it was about Blake’s second song that everyone thinks he beatboxed in it. He didn’t. He just did a very tiny bit at the very end. I watched his performance again just to be sure.

    I think the schedule AI has these contestants on is hurting their performances. In one week they are doing commercials, guest appearances, two solo songs, group song, two live broadcasts, rehearsals with guest judges, and who knows what else. Then add 3 hours everyday of schooling for Jordin. It’s got to be a killer agenda.

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  29. This comment is not about Jordin’s talent versus the other remaining two–it is about the production of the show overall:

    There is no doubt they want Jordin to win. Jordin has sung last three times and ALL of her times were in the top 12: last of the top 12; last of the top 6 (inspirational songs night, too); and this week, last of final 4.

    Melinda has sung last three times as well; twice in the top 12: last of the top 8 women; last of the top 11; and last of top 6 (second round of top 6).

    Lakisha has sung last twice; once in the top 12:
    last of the top 12 women; and last of the top 9.

    And that leaves us Blake–who has sung last only once–last of the top 7, country night (not really his forte, either).

    So, we have Jordin singing last THREE times in the top 12 and Blake only once? And only once the whole season?

    Why is singing order so important? Because the boot this season has never been from the person who sang last, and the majority of the boots have been from someone who sang in the first three spots of the singing order this season.

    IMO we will see this singing order next week: Blake /Jordin/Melinda–unless they just flat out give Jordin the last spot again.

    Couple this with last night’s flattering “man of the street” comments for Jordin (Ryan’s results shows interviews) and a featured “Who screwed up last night?” question and “Blake” answer in the same segment–could not show their agenda any more clearly.

    Going all the way back to the auditions…the judges were telling the audience then that Jordin was their favorite; then there have been many interviews with producers, judges and even Ryan this season proclaiming Jordin as the one; and add in judge’s comments like Randy’s to Jordin’s a couple of weeks ago that her performance was the best of any idol any season EVER…is there any doubt?

    There are other things, too, that make you go “hmmmm”–like Jordin having her first custom made dress this week and Lakisha tells us after the fact that there was a screw up with her apparel (among other things that went wrong performance day); and how are song choices really made? We know last season Taylor’s songs were changed on him last minute more than once due to clearance issues or other reasons.

    At this point I wonder if Jordin was selected long before the season started (they knew her from Idol Juniors, after all) and that is why we had the lesser talent pool this season–so she could be all the better spotlighted. They did not count on Melinda delivering so rock steady week after week or Blake’s popularity growing. But, that would be completely cynical to think they went that far to have their chosen one.

    This week we should have the usual three songs: a judge’s choice; Clive’s choice; and contestant’s choice. So, two thirds of the selection is out of the hands of the contestant. Wonder whose songs will best suit their style?

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  30. MCL,

    I always thought Taylor wouldn’t be a shooting star; more of a Jimmy Buffett kind of musician. I am not overly surprised that DAUGHTRY sold well. I liked three songs on his CD, but it just doesn’t work for me. Heck, I thought Savin’ Me was by Chris and I later found out it was by Nickelback. 😆

    Taylor has a distinctive voice and uses horns, etc. a lot. And his persona on stage is just fantastic.

    As for sales, I found this on another blog:

    “Did you know there were 60,000 albums released in 2006 ?

    Did you know that out of that number only 224 were certified Gold ? (less than ½ of 1%)

    Did you know that out of that number only 108 were certified Platinum? (less than ¼ of 1%)”

    Inexplicably, Taylor’s 1st single was released 2 months after the CD came out, yet he has managed to reach platinum status. 😎

    Re: Word Press, I think with the upgrade is where the problems came from. I hope they fix that. There was an edit here for a few hours and I loved it, but I think WP found a problem and I guess you were notified from them to shut that off?

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  31. Longtime listener, firsttime caller. I think I know what Paula meant about Melinda: we are accustomed to getting a vocally perfect performance, usually reasonably well-sold. But that has become, for a lot of people, “predictable” and the only way she can break out of that mold is to either pick a song no one would have figured she could do (Bo Rhap?), come out looking wild, or let totally loose on the emotion. To so break out of her “controlled” mode that the connection with the song rocks everyone in the audience. For those of you who may be opera fans, a little more Maria Callas — the drama. I don’t think Paula’s wrong about that, actually.

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  32. Wannabe.. to continue with your comment about the predictability, I agree. Found a VERY interesting MSMBC interview/commentary about Idol this season that supports that idea that this season is predictable, dull and boring.

    They make an interesting point that Idol started out with an exciting premise, Justin or Kelly, who will win the million dollar record contract.. it was exciting and rewarding to vote for the most deserving. But now, everyone gets a record deal.. (Bucky Covington has a record contract!) What’s so special about the winner when most all the finalists win?

    Also, Idol is now more about the “show” than the contestants.. we know so little about each of them really. Another point made in this commentary is that the show basically ended when Sanjaya left. He was interesting, entertaining and ratings dropped significantly when Sanjaya left. There were no characters left on the show.. boring and predicatble.

    Then take the Ellen interview with Simon where he admits he doesn’t listen to the contestants during the show, but messes around with Paula during the performances.. he goes to rehearsals instead.. as a singer myself, I’d be upset if the press showed up to review my rehearsal!

    I don’t know.. I am caring less and less about this show in general.. it’s been 6 seasons now, ratings are lower than last year and its just too predictable..

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  33. Here is the MSNBC interview link if anyone is interested in it…

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  34. Thanks, MCL. I had the good fortune of seeing Taylor perform in April and he did not disappoint!!! I could not wipe the smile off my face for a long time after the show was over! I just don’t understand why more people don’t want to buy his CD!

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  35. Elaine,

    Did you read my above post? (May 10th 2007 at 2:35 pm) He is doing just fine.

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  36. Blake’s performances prblably didn’t seem all that great to most people the first time, but if you watch the videos again, you can actually see they were both pretty solid performances, I think he did good!

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