Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread American Idol Season 7 Top 10 Performance Show

American Idol Season 7 Top 10 SingersAs I write this, I am a few hours away from boarding a plane enroute to Florida. The warm weather and hours of relaxation will be most welcome.

As, I stated in my last Vocal Masterclass article for the Top 11, I will not be writing a formal Vocal Masterclass article for the Top 10 because I will be too busy having fun in Florida. 🙂

However, I am opening the floodgates to you – my intelligent and insightful readers – to take over the reins. I know that many of you have given in depth commentary on this site and this is the perfect chance to expand on it.

Additionally, it will give me an opportunity to gain your perspective on the performances, as I won’t be able to watch them on Tuesday ( but, I am sure that YouTube.Com will save the day there.)

Feel free to use the whole “Strengths” and “Critique” format if you wish, but, certainly, that is not mandatory.

I will have my laptop with me, so I will be online from time to time and join in the fun.

Good luck to the Top 10 singers. I really think we have a competition brewing here!

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

14 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread American Idol Season 7 Top 10 Performance Show”

  1. MLC – I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing time … but don’t get sunburned!
    Hugs, Anita


  2. As per usual, I missed most of Idol tonight (seems to be the story of my busy life lately; I will definitely be watching youtube later). Anyway, I was able to catch Michael and Carly..I was absolutely blown away by Michael…wow did he ever bring it tonight. His song choice was perfect and he definitely “was the champion” tonight! His rendition actually sent chills down my spine…wow!

    As for Carly, she was just okay. I agree with the judges in that I felt that she was too tense which inhibited her voice from shinning. I really think she just needs to relax and let the music guide her! She seems to be so focused on “getting it right”. Her vocals were just okay for me; I really like the song she chose, if only she would lighten up a bit, I think it would have been a lot better!


  3. Oh My Gosh. David Cook was nothing short of a superstar up there. It was one of those jaw-dropping performances that just can’t be denied, even if you are not a fan. He made me forget I was watching Idol. This guy is a pro and holy moly has oodles of talent. He also has a mesmerizing stage presence. He was so polished, professional…it was perfect and a standout.

    My second favourite was Michael Johns. I was a bit nervous when I heard he was doing “We Are the Champions”, but boy did he deliver. After Greg’s terrible performance on CI, I thought this was a song that should never be done on Idol, but Michael sang it the way it should be sung. Very good job.


  4. Two words: David Cook.

    I totally agree with idolina said about David. I might write more later, but what he did with “Billie Jean” was brilliant!


  5. David Cook was absolutely brilliant. I also enjoyed Michael Johns. Syesha would round out my top three of the night!

    I am getting really tired of Jason’s performances, and I can’t tell if he’s really serious about the competition or not. And it’s too bad, because I know he’s capable of better, and I’ve liked him a lot more in the past.


  6. Hey everyone:

    I actually saw the show. Flight delays can be a pain, but in this case, our flight arrived so late that I was too exhausted Tuesday to move very far from my beautiful villa here in Florida.

    I went to bed right after the show with a smile on my face, mainly after The Cookster’s performance.

    David Cook is a genius. That was one brilliant showcase. Strong secure vocals, inspiring interpretation, stellar artistry. I don’t think we will ever see this guy fall flat on his face. His is much too intelligent.

    So wonderful to see Michael sing within his comfort zone and he really rocked out the Queen number with muscular, robust vocals. Still a great deal of tension in his voice – that jaw was shaking at the end of the number (not a good sign) and he almost cracked midway through the song. But performance -wise – excellent – and he is such a great guy.

    Syesha sang with impeccable vocals (although that spread mouth gives me cause for worry at times) and heartfelt artistry this week. Good for her.

    I thought Carly and Chikezie were treated unfairly by the judges. They were very very good and the judges’ commentary left me a little confused.

    Kristy Lee – loved her song choice. It was inspired 🙂 Good solid vocals though.

    David A.s song choice was a strange one, but he sang it really well. A very sophisticated approach to a very sophisticated song. The lower vocals were a bit compromised this week, but, nevertheless, still a solid performance.

    Ramiele was punching out her vocal sound. Too forced, too one-dimensional. And, this song is getting very tired, as it has been performed numerous times on this show.

    Brooke was just okay tonight. I didn’t really like her song choice, so, for me, the entire performance was lacklustre.

    Jason – will he ever sing with good technique? I am beginning to think not. I could barely hear him.

    So, in the end, the night belonged to Mr. David Cook – he is untouchable as an artist and as a vocalist. Bravo!


  7. I don’t know if you listened to the judges comments about Ramiele. She was sick & therefore didn’t perform her best. I still think she could be in trouble tonight, though. Carly was good but she still has that tendency to tense up her face when she sings in her upper range & I agree w/Simon that she needs to lighten up a little bit.


  8. I agree with you, MCL – Carly and Chikezie were not as bad as the judges commented, especially Carly. I thought it was one of her good performances, and I’m not a fan of her. Chikezie’s song choice might be trouble for him, just because it’s better to be downright awful than forgettable. He has a very nice voice though.

    David C, Michael and Syesha were the best of the night, IMO. No major bum notes and actually gave great performances that matched the mood of their respective songs.

    Jason and Brooke were okay. I love Jason’s song choice and that’s just who he is – a raw performer, unlike Michael, Carly, or both Davids who are probably more polished than Jason. I love Brooke’s first half of the song, but it’s not a good song choice for her. I thought she would be better singing Joe Jackson’s ‘Breaking Us in Two’, it’s right up her alley and has beautiful melody.

    David A picks the weirdest song choice ever. I know that 1990 is not a great year for him to choose but I can think of a lot better songs than that – and he mumbles the words, right? So it’s not just me. Totally agree with Simon. He should’ve pick NKOTB ‘This One’s for the Children’ for his ‘inspiring’ song pick or if he wants to swoon the girls, Stevie B ‘Because I Love You’.

    Kristy Lee and Ramiele – well, we got two polar opposites here. Kristy Lee doesn’t have the best voice, but she does a shrewd assessment of her situation on Idol and this week choose the BEST song choice available for her. Now that’s what I call strategizing! On the other hand, we have Ramiele, who have a great voice as proven by her Hollywood auditions and her first semis performance but afterwards she just picked the worst repeat tired songs there is on Idol. Against All Odds? Check. Don’t Leave Me This Way? Check. And Alone, which was Carrie Underwood’s signature song during her AI season? Check. I mean, c’mon Ramiele, you can pick better songs than those! Yes, she is sick, but that have nothing to do with her song choices. And she used to be my favorite female this season. My pick for her this week was actually ‘Somewhere Out There’ – at least it should have been memorable and if she can nail it, she can have her ‘moment’. Please pick a better song next week (if you’re still here)! Oh lo…..


  9. David Cook’s take on ‘Billie Jean’ was a good choice. It was a well known song treated to a different interpretation. Archuleta, in contrast made us think too hard with a completely unfamiliar song, although replaying it made me feel it better. We may end up with two Cooks in the final three if Kristy keeps plugging in the right song choices to stay in the game. Brooke seems a little tired.
    I want to address the rumors about David A.’s stage dad. That’s what they are, rumors. Some people have posted under the usual internet cover of anonymity with what seemed convincing arguments, but the failure of a real person, willing to give their name, to step forward must be seen as proof that this is still innuendo. Who would benefit by orchestrating such a thing? Just look at the bets that are being placed on this event. Some people will make a lot of money if David A. loses the game. As a person he seems fairly untouchable, but if smears on those nearest to him can be made to stick, it will alienate some of his fans.


  10. Best: David C. although I would like to hear a different approach to a song other than “angsty rocker” but hey, it’s working for him. He was a weird-looking baby, I must say!

    Better: Michael, Chikezie, Syesha. I thought Chikezie was judged a little harshly as well. I agreed with Paula(!) about the wonderful nuances of vocal texture and color he brought to his song. Michael did a pretty good job but was troubled by his long “e” vowels when he went high and loud. Very tight and strained. I also didn’t like how he had to take so many breaths in order to belt. Syesha sang well but I still can’t connect to her as a performer.

    OK: David, Carly. David chose a little-known song and I detected some fatigue in his voice. David, get some rest and destress! Maybe Carly could do well with the same advice. Both have great voices, in my opinion, but need to really hit a home run with the audience next week.

    Oh NO: Jason, Kristy, Ramiele. Jason really needs to get to MCL fast and work on his technique. I literally groaned when Kristy started “God Bless the USA”. Ramiele just sounded off the entire song.

    Who?: Oh yeah, Brooke. I totally forgot her. Was it nerves that made her start singing before she got her pitch? Unless of course she’s one of those that has perfect pitch. I did not like her interp of the stalkerish Sting song. Not the best choice as she came across as a concerned nanny.


  11. Carly spreads the corners of her lips far too frequently, and it really detracts from her upper register. I wish someone would make her aware of that counterproductive habit because she seems to be very meticulous about her vocal preparation in her enunciation and phrasing, but it’s such a shame that her spread mouth position severely compromises her efforts at solid vocal technique. Spreading the corners of the lips raises the larynx and hinders the balance in the voice between the heavy and light coordinations. Her last note in the song in particular fell victim to this because her mouth just kept getting wider and wider, which is exactly what she should NOT be doing. She needs to keep her mouth position relaxed, more circular and instead be supporting the sound more through diaphragmatic breath support.

    Ramiele’s main vocal problems this week had to do with her difficulty with vowel tuning and her breath support (although she did run into some pitch problems as well). Several notes sounded a bit shouty or splatty because the vowels were too wide, and the spreading of the corners of her lips hindered the balance in her voice. Problems with vowel tuning also entered into the two higher “alone”s near the end of the song, but those suffered mainly because of her breath support. If Ramiele had dug deeper and resisted those air pressures more consistently (which is needed to retain the amount of compression on the cords for that chesty sound), the notes could have sounded pretty solid. In fact, the second “alone” was rather good if one isolates it from the first and ignores how it starts wavering and gets cut off when Ramiele starts running out of steam. Aside from her vocals, she was oddly emotionally disconnected, and I agree that her song choice was less than inspiring. To her credit, though, Ramiele showed that she does have a BIG voice, but she needs notably more training and experience in order to control it better and smooth out her upper register.


  12. I should add that, for the record, even though “Alone” highlighted some of Ramiele’s technical weaknesses, I liked hearing her challenge herself and really singing full out. The judges always said that she had such a big voice, and this was the first week that I felt we could actually hear how much power she has behind her voice. I am sure that with some time and practice, she will eventually be able to nail this song, but right now, her technique is not quite there yet. She has a beautiful tone and SO much potential, but unfortunately, she has no idea how to distinguish herself in the competition at all. She tends to pick oft performed songs and proceeds to sing them in a rather straightforward, pedantic manner, bringing no originality in her vocal interpretation or in the song arrangement. I think it speaks of her inexperience more than anything. I’m sure she’ll develop a greater sense of artistry with time, but it certainly puts her at a disadvantage that there are a lot of fully formed artists and musicians among this crop of contestants.


  13. Hey everyone:

    All of you have been so generous and so educational with your technical and artistical advice for the singers. You are all very knowledgeable and intuitive and it is a pleasure to share observations with you post-performance.

    Thanks for taking my back while I am away on this very lovely vacation.

    Time is moving too quickly, but it is good to have the time to appreciate. 🙂


  14. RE: Background vocalists. I wish the producers would get rid of the background singers. I think they are hurting the contestants more than they are helping. I literally couldn’t hear Jason (maybe he just needs more technique- hint, hint) and the duetting with Carly on “Total Eclipse of the Heart” was just off. It didn’t match enough to make it work and interrupted the flow of the song.

    Hope you’re having a nice time, MCL! I did miss your detailed recaps I must say, but hey! You’ve got to hide your love away… not really. Just a silly post-Beatles week hiccup 😉


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