by Rosanne Simunovic
This week’s Top 7 male performances were extremely strong. All of these guys deserve Top 10 status, but we know that two will be, heartbreakingly, eliminated.
What can you do? That’s Canadian Idol and I have to applaud the judges for choosing singers that celebrate the depth and diversity of our Country’s talent.
Next week, I will write Vocal Masterclass articles for the Top 10 in my familiar style of including “Strengths” and “Critique” assessments in the evaluation. However, these are mini-masterclasses until we get into the more serious performances of the Top 10.
Have a good read everybody!
To quickly access individual singers, simply click on the singer’s link below.
Brian Melo: “Drive” by Incubus
Brian – you exhibited a mesmerizing presence on that stage. I love the manner in which you create the perfect mood for every song performed during this competition. It addresses the high level of professionalism and experience that you are bringing to this competition.
Although your vocals were, perhaps, too reedy and thin at times, the passion that was coming through your voice was truly exceptional. Now you need to work on rounding out that mouth when you sing through your melodic line, remembering to sustain on the pure vowels within your lyrics. By doing so, you will allow the diaphragmatic rib cage muscles to work with increased efficiency and continuity.
Also, make sure your upper body, especially your facial muscles (including the throat), is open and relaxed. If not, then this will impede the airflow when you vocalize and your voice will continue to sound strained, lacking pitch centered presence and head tone purity.
That being said, I though your vocals improved this week, so perhaps you are slowly making some progress with your vocal technique. Yes, you had a crack or two throughout the song, but, generally speaking, I felt that more effort was taken to ensure a memorable vocal performance. Stage presence will never be an issue with you, Brian. That performing element is your saving grace thus far, but you want to ensure that your voice remains healthy over the long run.
Great work, Brian.
Dwight D’Eon : “Bright Lights” by Matchbox Twenty
Dwight – you absolutely exploded this week when you appeared on stage with guitar in hand. You are an incredibly gifted and exceptionally musical; I so appreciated the energy and professionalism you brought to this Top 7 performance
Your rock infused vocals had purpose and presence. You voice sounded energized and quite secure from a technical point of view and you exhibited a great dynamic range as a vocalist and as a guitarist. There was superb dimension to this performance – always a forward momentum that was well paced and rhythmically secure.
Now make certain that the diaphragmatic support is at the core of your vocal production. At times I felt that there was some throat constriction blocking the freedom of your vocal projection. However, overall, your voice had a wonderful head tone ring throughout your range and, as I previously stated, your showcased extremely well rehearsed nuances, both as a vocalist and as a guitarist, throughout this song.
This was a performance packed with punch and purpose and I absolutely loved the entire presentation. Extremely memorable indeed!
Greg Neufeld: “Daughters” by John Mayer
Greg – I love the intimate atmosphere you created with this very special performance. Special because it emphasized that you are an artist that wants to tell a story through his music. Your sensitivity and warmth as a performer was beautifully highlighted in this showcase and I loved the understated passion and emotion you produced while performing this song.
Vocally, your stronger, upper range singing was pretty secure, even though, periodically, your throat was a little constricted at various points of the melodic line. Additionally, some of your lower notes suffered some intermittent pitch problems, indicating that you were, perhaps, compromising your diaphragmatic breath support.
I felt that, perhaps, your nerves affected your singing this week. You didn’t look nervous, but I could hear it in your voice. This is totally understandable and yet, at the same time, heightened the vulnerable aspects to your performance – so a negative was turned into a positive.
You were totally exposed on that stage and really took a creative risk in this song selection. Good for you, Greg. I hope you will continue to do so in future performances, as this will define you as a performer who brings interest and creativity in his song selections. Great job!
Jaydee Bixby: “Sold” by John Michael Montgomery
Jaydee – after I stopped laughing and reflected on your performance, I realized that this was quite the remarkable showstopper. This is a very tricky song – all those words – it just never stops. I thought you entertained and worked the crowd extremely well. What was even more remarkable was the well – paced format of this performance. There was an element of control throughout this song, even as you moved throughout the crowd, past the judges and then back on stage.
Now, I want to challenge you young man! The time has come to surprise your audience and sing a slow, sustained ballad. I want to hear the depth and dimension of your singing voice. And, try to drop the “twang” when you sing and adopt a more country pop sound. I feel that it is aesthetically a more acceptable manner in which to present your voice.
Think of Martina McBride and you will immediately understand the direction in which, I feel, you should go. However, you are an entertainer and a “crowd pleaser” and, at the end of the day, this is what allows a performer to truly shine. You connect with your audience and they connect with you and it is all one amazing ride.
Excellent work, Jaydee. Now find a ballad! HA!
Liam Styles Chang: “Over My Head” by The Fray
Liam – you have an exquisite timbre to your voice and it has been refined and polished with stellar technique. You delivered this song with artistic enthusiasm and passion and, stylistically and vocally, this was just a super showcase.
There is a seamless quality to your voice, which I love, and you have a wonderfully grounded vocal technique that is always at the core of your performance. Your stage movements were graceful and smooth and never detracted from the beauty of your tenor vocal projection.
Both the choreographic and vocal elements were nicely balanced and coordinated and underscored the successful delivery of this week’s showcase. Additionally, I loved the diversity of song selections that you have brought to this competition thus far. It has really defined you as a distinctive artist.
Wonderful performance, Liam!
Matt Rapley: “I’ll Be There”
Matt – I thought his was an exceptional performance and you looked totally relaxed and comfortable while accompanying yourself on the piano. Your upper voice, particularly, sounded resonantly beautiful and well projected.
Be careful that you are fully supporting your lower register with the same level of consistency, for, at times, your lower voice sounded less refined than your upper. You are only 18 years old, so the depth and dynamic range of your lower register will mature with time and technical study. But, for now, you are an outstandingly gifted tenor
You exuded a really genuine and open charisma throughout this very sincere and heartfelt performance. I felt that you were trying to connect with your audience in a very real and memorable way. It seems that the piano provides an element of comfort and ease in your showcases, so continue on this journey, Matt.
Also, it is so refreshing to see a singer/pianist, as most of the singers in this competition are guitarists. This fact alone will make you stand out from the crowd.
This was an inspired song selection, better than the weeks previous, so continue to find songs that will distinguish you as a unique artist. Very good work, indeed!
Tyler Mullendore: “Rock’ N Me” by Steve Miller
Tyler – you are a unique entity in this show and I think your amazing talent is unstoppable during and beyond this competition. I loved everything about this performance, from the vocal growl to the ever so cool vibe you emanated throughout the showcase.
Be careful that you are controlling your screaming vocals from the diaphragm – (yes you can do this, as actors do this all the time), as you want to make certain that you are vocalizing in a way that is technically healthy and secure. You are a self- taught artist and I applaud you for this, but you must make certain that you grab some serious technical skills to ensure the longevity of your voice.
However, you bring great performance dimension and range to this competition. Like the judges, yours is the performance that I do look forward to each week because of the element of surprise and diversity that you always showcase in brilliant fashion.
You are a master of song selection – you know what works and what doesn’t and this will ensure your success throughout this competition. Additionally, you have a naturally resonant timbre in your voice – very deep and rich –and this will distinguish you from some of the other male competitors.
Now, start vocalizing on pure vowels, allowing the diaphragm to support and project your voice in your vocal masque(face). You need to equip yourself with serious technical skills or you will, at some point in time, start to experience some serious vocal issues. The vocal cord is a muscle – it needs to be treated with proper care and technique.
I will be commenting regularly throughout this competition and will be contributing Vocal Masterclass articles for the Top 10 performances.
Please feel free to comment and become part of the vocal masterclass process.
SCHEDULE AS OF JULY 11th, 2007
Top 14 Males Performance
Monday July 9 at 9pm ET & PT, 8pm MT, CT & AT.
Top 14 Females Performance
Tuesday July 10 at 9pm ET & PT, 8pm MT, CT & AT.
Top 14 Results Show
Wednesday July 11 at 9:30pm ET, PT, MT & AT and 10pm CT.
Top 10 Performance Show
Tuesday, July 17 at 8pm ET, PT, MT & AT and 7:00pm CT.
Top 10 Results Show
Wednesday, July 18 from 9:30pm ET& PT, 10:30pm MT & AT and 8:30pm CT.
Top 9 Performance Show
Monday July 23 at 9pm ET, PT, MT & AT and 8pm CT.
Top 9 Results Show
Tuesday July 24 at 9:30pm ET& PT, 10:30pm MT & AT and 8:30pm CT.
Top 8 Performance Show
Monday July 30 at 9pm ET, PT, MT & AT and 8pm CT.
Top 8 Results Show
Tuesday July 31 at 8pm ET, PT, MT & AT and 7pm CT
Visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times.
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