Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For Top 7 Performances


I really loved tonight’s show – but, until my Vocal Masterclass article is completed, I will refrain from voicing my favorites. However, I will say that Mariah Carey seemed like a wonderful mentor – very supportive and kind to all the singers.

Please share your comments.

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

27 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For Top 7 Performances”

  1. For me, tonight’s show was very inspiring! I favourite performance of the night was David A.’s! The song he chose is one of my all time favourites as it reminds me that no matter how bad things may be, we should still believe….he nailed this performance!! Not only was it vocally perfect, he had incredible technique tonight: I noticed him singing with one foot slightly infront of the other and with also a slight knee bend..which he utilized perfect when reaching into his upper range (I’m taking your job here, MCL..ha!)–and I’m sure he had some butt squeezes in there too…haha! By far the best performance of the night for me.

    Of course, my second favourite of the night was David C. His performance was very moving; seeing his brother in the audience tonight must have been hard for him yet at the same time very helpful, I’m sure it helped David perform his song very well. His tears that were shed at the end were probably due to all the emotions he has been feeling and then to get the praise he did from the judges, he just had to let it out. It’s nice to see the soft side of the singers.

    As for the rest of the singers, they were good. I enjoyed Brooke’s lower range version of Hero, but the two David’s were definitely my favourite songs!

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  2. Hey – you are starting to sound like me, bizzee. Good call on David A’s terchnique.

    It was, overall, a very strong showcase. But, man, those judges have truly lost the Carly love. Something must be brewing behind the scenes.

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  3. David A-
    On a personal note, I was annoyed when I first learned his song choice. 🙂
    I have been a fan of his since his Star Search days and have been really missing that little boy with so much soul.
    We haven’t really been seeing too much of that David and I was starting to reach my limit of message/inspirational type songs from him. I really wanted to hear him do *Vision of Love*.
    CR-AP was I wrong after tonite’s performance! Oh my goodness, I didn’t even CARE anymore that it was an *inspirational* song once he started siniging.
    🙂
    He had me at the first note.
    🙂
    I noticed his stance as well, and his nostrils, actually, which sounds strange probably, but I haven’t noticed that before.
    I liked his falsetto but thought it was a bit on the quiet side, not enough power behind it? Not sure 🙂
    I LOVED his little growl, his sass, and the delivery at the end-
    the control of the lower tones was magnificent to my ear.
    I am excited to read your take on it, once again, MLC 🙂
    Best of the night.
    Go David!

    Carly-
    This was the best I have ever heard her. She connected emotionally, made some weird facial expressions but really sounded quite good overall. I do think she’ll be in the bottom three tomorrow night though I don’t think she’s the one who’ll be leaving.

    Syesha-
    Holy crap did she surprise me.
    Vanishing is one of my favorite Mariah songs and it is not an easy one to take on.
    She did some really nice runs that made it her own, was a bit pitchy in parts, but overall I was impressed by her. She’ll be joining Carly in the bottom three though will not be the one leaving either.

    Brooke-
    Ahhh. Well, I think she made a huge mistake not playing the guitar. With her rich warm tones an acoustic guitar accompainment would have been stellar. Too bad for her. Her performance was all over the place, she was the *worst* of the night and is the one I think will be leaving us tomorrow night.

    KLC-
    I thought this was a perfect choice for her and she did it justice. She’s never gonna sound like Mariah and didn’t try to, she sang it her way and for her, I thought she was excellent. Best of the girls. I can absolutely see people buying that single. She’ll be safe.

    David C-
    I was horrified in the very begining, then I liked it very briefly and then very quickly disliked it again only to be really drawn in by the big glory notes. I thought the vibe was really creepy, stalker-like, the vocals were both *meh* and excellent in parts, and the performance was pretty good. His fans will love it. He’s safe. The crying at the end was very endearing as well. 🙂

    Jason-
    ! Absolutely the most original performance of the night. ! See how excited I am by it? 🙂
    I am a HUGE MC fan and Jason did a great great job tonite.
    He really made it his own, I liked the tones of his voice, and I thought overall it was just a really great performance.

    🙂

    Overall I think MC night was the best performance night across the board so far.
    Yay for that 🙂

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  4. Denise – i retrieved your wonderful critique. It was in my spam box and I have no idea why. So your hard work and excellent observations were not in vain:)

    Thank you so much for adding them to this discussion thread.

    I was so moved by the vision of David C’s brother. I cannot imagine the stress and unbelievable range of emotions that the entire family must be feeling. This canNOT be easy for any of them.

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  5. I am suffering from Idol fatigue- seriously, did Mariah Carey not sing one uptempo song ever? I’m kidding, of course, but for me, the show lagged due to a line-up of slow ballads. If Jason or David Cook sang songs that weren’t ballads, I couldn’t tell.

    David A.- I thought he did a wonderful job but am starting to be really concerned with the raspy quality of his voice. Has it been like that since the beginning? Or is it worsening, either due to fatigue or something like vocal nodes? David! Rest your voice (no talking, as much as possible, and drink warm decaf tea.)

    Carly sounded great. I don’t know why the judges’ don’t show her any love. I liked Kristy tonight, surprise! Jason did a typical Jason performance- he actually sounded stronger to my ear. Syesha sounded beautiful- I just feel like she’s singing for herself. Nothing wrong with that, I just prefer a singer who’s a little more “vulnerable” (well, not the Brooke kind of vulnerability! Something in-between 🙂 )

    I think Brooke was distracted by the piano for “Hero”. Not sure why, unless it was just too much for her for this performance. Why does she have such a hard time beginning a song in pitch when she plays? Maybe she should play an intro so that she can lock into her first note better.

    David C. is such a strong performer. I’m sure singing while his brother in the audience must have been very emotional for him. I hate to nitpick but his voice sounded nasal to me tonight. Is this a trait of his? I never noticed it before. Maybe it’s more pronounced when he’s trying to sing with a softer, quieter sound?

    I don’t think I can watch tonight if “Mimi”(Mariah) is in the house. She’s got a big talent, that’s for sure, just not my cup of tea.

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  6. Ok, I’ve had coffee now- I’m happier!

    I guess I’m just judging with my emotions now, I’ll have to leave the vocal stuff to the MCL. Interestingly, if I just listen to the performances, I have a very different reaction than when I watch the show. Hmm.

    I liked David A., Syesha, Carly, and Kristy the best. Pretty good were David C., Jason. Did not love Brooke’s “Hero”. (And she DID play an intro- oops.) Maybe learning a challenging song in a few days is just too much when combined with trying to accompany yourself. Perhaps that’s why the Davids and Jason were more successful last night.

    Upon relistening, the various runs that some attempted just seemed strange for one reason or another. Things like Jason’s “pay-yay-yay-yain” and some of the “ooh-oohs” of Syesha (and ??). David C. vocal quality still seems nasal to me on this song.

    I have no idea who will be leaving tonight. I hope it’s not Carly. Based strictly on last night, although all the singers did a good job, Brooke’s performance was the least stellar.

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  7. Yes Katherine – it was a strange night and I never listen to the performances once they are over. Sometimes I have to because I cannot remember a lyric in a certain segment of the song that I am analyzing.

    What happens then is, similar to mastering a CD in a recording studio, you start to notice all the little flaws and then everything sounds flat tot he ear.

    of course, a live performance will always less refined than the recorded version so we have to give these singers some leeway.

    Anyway, I am glad the old caffeine worked it’s magic. I love my coffee -I am confined to two cups, but I cherish those two cups! haha

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  8. Hey !
    bizzee24 , i agree with you so much
    David A’s performance was so beautiful , and those high notes were so impressive !
    By far the best performance from my point of view anyways

    But David Cook was really good too , he reminds me alot of Chris Daughtry though , hah not that I have a problem with that ! I just think that we need someone differernt (like little David ) to win. There needs to be more singers like him! His voice is really pure and identifiable! I just thought that David Cooks beggining of the song wanst as good as the end , while David A was dead on with the notes the entire song!
    But boy can DC rock out. wow 🙂

    Eaither way these two will be getting some great record deals , thats for sure !

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  9. Ahhh,
    thank you MCL 🙂

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  10. Hello everyone,

    Just a short into: First came upon MCL during season 5 of AI, when reading her reviews of the contestants performances. Might as well spill the beans upfront and tell you all I was a HUGE Taylor Hicks fan. (And it didn’t hurt that MCL was too) Haven’t been back at all, except recently, as I was very curious to know what MCL thought of this group of recent “Idols.”

    Only on the most basic of “scales” do I have a clue what most of you mean when you refer to upper, middle, and lower registers, timbre, and many of the other “vocal” terminology used on this site. I only know what sounds good to me, what moves me, and what generates enough interest that I want to hear more.

    I see David Cook as the “overall” total package on the show, and to me, he sounds really good the majority of the time. He fascinates me with his ingenuity, and he has a way of holding my interest that makes me really want to hear what he will do next. He is a mini-concert all his own!

    IMO, David A. has perhaps the best vocal ability and technique of anyone that has ever been on Idol, but as moving and mature as many of his performances are, like missdenise, (who so aptly put it) I want to know, “What happened to the little boy with so much soul?” When you wrote that, missdenise, did you feel a great sense of sadness in having to ask that? I know I felt sadness when reading it; perhaps a sadness much in the same vein as yours.

    I too have opinions about the other folks on the show, but for the time being, have chosen to keep those to myself. At any rate, I am glad I stopped back by after such a long absence, and remember why I came in the first place; which was to read stellar reviews of the Idols vocal performances, written in a way that shows respect to them, and for music in general. The Idols, if they stop by, have to feel a sense of relief reading your reviews, where you offer them constructive criticism as to how they can improve, without attacking them personally.

    I anxiously await your recap of last night’s performances!

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  11. Hi skidster 🙂

    I have been coming to terms with my feelings about that little boy with so much soul not being around so much anymore. 🙂
    I was confused for a little while, and a little sad too.
    It’s what really got me about him, his vocal ability but more than that his emotional connection, how much s o u l this kid had.
    I was in shock the first time I heard him sing 6-7 years ago and was ecstatic when I saw him during the audition rounds this year.
    Everything pointed to him still being that little boy with so much soul and he was that for a little while but then I’m not sure what happened…
    I’m not going to lie though,
    every week I hope that this will be the week we see that little boy with so much soul again.
    Last night we saw a glimpse of him, I hope we get to see more.

    🙂

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  12. lorbeej…I can’t stop raving about David A’s performance…just stellar! I agree that David C is somewhat a reminder of Daughtry…good point!

    I just went back and watched Carley’s performance one more time and agree that it was quite good. MCL, you are right, the judges have definitely lost the “love” for her!

    It definitely would have been nice to see Brooke with a guitar instead of the piano or even without playing any instrument and letting the band do it for her.

    Looking forward to the review, MCL!

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  13. Hi Skidster! If you missed it from a couple of weeks ago, MCL has a wonderful link that explains all the terminology … it has made me sound Oh-so-much-smarter! http://www.foxesonidol.com/cgi-bin/ae.pl?mode=1&article=article1200.art&page=1

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  14. I found a couple of interesting things to pass along. Remember the song David A. sang about “down the barrel of a gun”? It’s called (as you know) “You’re the Voice” and I came across two interesting posts regarding the song.

    1. David Archuleta was kind enough to sing for our charity when he was 12. He sang from his heart (as always) and received two standing ovations! Here is a link to our charity for the prevention of unintentional shootings: http://www.StopOurShootings.org . Stop Our Shootings is not an anti-war or anti-gun organization. We go to schools and have children who have been shot talk to school kids about guns. We support safe storage of guns to keep children from playing with guns and being accidentally shot or doing Columbine-type shootings.
    We are so blessed to have David and his beautiful family in our lives. We ALL send our prayers and love to our soldiers in Iraq! Be safe everyone!!!

    2. Hi – Just to clear things up: David Archuleta picked this song because he knows our daughter who was accidentally shot through the head at 12 years old by a friend who found her dad’s gun and was playing with it. Our charity is to stop Columbine type shootings and accidental shootings of children. We are not against guns, we are just for keeping them safely secured so kids can’t get them. David sang for our charity at an event where California Senator Scott attended, and his son was killed in an accidental shooting. So this song has a personal message for us and our children, victims of curiousity. Be safe everyone!

    And, lastly, regarding Elliott’s Mom dying, here is a nice article
    http://newsroom.mtv.com/2008/04/01/pouring-one-out-for-a-beloved-idol-family-member/

    Anita

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  15. Simon has said on numerous occasions that he thinks Carly is the best singer of this crop of Idols (whether or not one agrees is beside the point), but with his recent string of critiques, it would be hard to guess that.

    I think the reason for Simon’s lukewarm comments is not just the comparison to Mariah’s version but to those of two of his favorite singers on this type of show—Kelly Clarkson and Leona Lewis. I think he was looking forward to seeing Carly sing this song to see how she compared to those two ladies as well to see if she is really in that “league,” and I guess to him, the comparison fell flat. Vocally, I actually thought this was one of her more solid showcases. The spreading of the lips was there, but she toned it down a bit. This outfit was also the loveliest look for her. They really ought to have given this performance more credit at least on its technical merits. The other performance aspects can be debated (Carly’s star quality, emotional connection, power, whatever), but I think they should have commended her for her efforts.

    I think people have a problem with the fact that her performances seem very “rehearsed” as Simon said, but it’s kind of hard to blame her for that, I think. I can tell she’s very diligent in the way she prepares for her songs, but she just has to find that balance in order to capture some spontaneity on stage as well. I think the phrasing could have been more inspired, though. Maybe that’s one of the issues people took with it. She didn’t do anything particularly inventive with the song, which simply inspires direct comparisons. Simon was right that the guys didn’t have the problem of sounding like Mariah because they simply couldn’t. The girls on the other hand weren’t so lucky.

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  16. Ding-dang it! I was planning of putting the lyrics of You’re the Voice in that last post, so you could see how it applies to gun security.

    We have… the chance to turn the pages over.
    We can write what we want to write
    We gotta make ends meet before we get much older.

    We’re all someones daughter,
    We’re all someones son.
    How long can we look at each other,
    Down the barrel of a gun?

    You’re the voice, try and understand it.
    Make noise and make it clear,
    Woaaaaaaah, Woaaaaaaaah.
    We’re not gonna sit in silence,
    We’re not goinna live with fear,
    Woaaaaaaah, Woaaaaaaaah.

    This time… We know we all can stand together.
    With the power to be powerful,
    Believeing we can make it better.

    We’re all someones daughter,
    We’re all someones son.
    How long can we look at each other,
    Down the barrel of a gun?

    You’re the voice, try and understand it.
    Make noise and make it clear,
    Woaaaaaaah, Woaaaaaaaah.
    We’re not gonna sit in silence,
    We’re not goinna live with fear,
    Woaaaaaaah, Woaaaaaaaah.
    (repeat, instrumental)

    We’re all someones daughter,
    We’re all someones son.
    How long can we look at each other,
    Down the barrel of a gun?

    You’re the voice, try and understand it.
    Make noise and make it clear,
    Woaaaaaaah, Woaaaaaaaah.
    We’re not gonna sit in silence,
    We’re not goinna live with fear,
    Woaaaaaaah, Woaaaaaaaah.
    (repeat until end)

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  17. I just wanted to add that I thought Mariah was really sweet and surprisingly helpful. I liked that she actually demonstrated things for the singers—melodic twists and so forth. For some reason, the mentors rarely sing themselves, so it was nice to hear her so freely do so.

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  18. For me what stands out about this top seven (actually I’ll make that the top eight with Michael Johns) over pretty much any other season of American Idol is that they are ALL good, and they each have their own unique vibe. It’s hard to think of any of them going home. Looking forward to your analysis of their voices. MCL!

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  19. Hey everyone:

    Lots of chatter here tonight. Nice to see all of you adding lively discussion to this thread.

    I am almost finished my Vocal Masterclass article.

    I see Kristy -Lee was eliminated tonight. It was inevitable but still sad to see her leave.

    And wasn’t Brooke a sweetie – supporting her and pumping her even before her elimination was annouced.

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  20. Oh – welcome Skidster. A Taylor fan – yea! I still love this guy and hope that his career remains solid and fruitful. He is talented and deserves the very best.

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  21. Here’s a sweet little article in the Terre Haute paper about David C’s brother visiting AI
    http://www.tribstar.com/archivesearch/local_story_106234025.html

    Anita in Indy

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  22. I downloaded the studio versions of my 3 favourites (David C, Carly and David A). They’re all good, but Always Be My Baby by David Cook is phenominal. He has such good range and just enough of that rough edge. I suspect that they listened to the Studio Versions before the performance show on Tuesday, especially with all the recording references they made regarding David Cook’s performance.

    Carly’s version is fierce and David A sounds angelic.

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  23. MCL–Thanks for the welcome. Much to my delight, I was able to see Taylor four times after his Idol win; once while touring with the other Idols, once with LIMBO, and twice during his tour. As a young girl, I was fortunate enough to have seen Elvis twice with my father, and in many ways, I find Taylor’s method of performing to be reminiscent of Elvis. Although, as much as I adore Taylor, unlike many of his other fans, I simply cannot bring myself to say he is better than Elvis was, because IMO, that would take A LOT! Elvis was a phenomenon; the likes of which, I don’t think, we’ll see again for a long, long, time.

    missdenise–I understood your initial comment, and fully agree with what you posted as a reply to my question to you. As I suspected, you and I are in complete agreement. I too, keep waiting for the moment when little “David” returns; when he stands out on that stage and belts one out, putting to rest the rhetoric that he is only capable of singing ballads. Moreso than anyone who has ever been on Idol, I want David to come”come out swinging” and take the roof off the place!!!! Surely, I’d try my best not to be smug when reminding his detractors all about it! (insert smiley)

    There is something very special about this young man. Something that goes well beyond his singing talent. He has that far away look in his eyes; a look I’ve not since seen, but that I have seen, in the many clips I have watched of Judy Garland. There is something that sets him apart; something very obvious, yet very undefinable.

    I look very forward to Andrew Lloyd Webber week, and in seeing what the two Davids are going to do! I am also quite interested in seeing what Carly will do. She has such power in her voice, and has great control (when she’s on) but she appears, to me at least, to be far to intense. Shouldn’t singing be a release, shouldn’t it be joyful and therapeutic? More often than not, she makes it look painful, and I think this hurts her with the majority of the viewing public. Just my take on it.

    BTW, my favorite performance of the season so far? Micheal Johns on Dolly Parton night. Personally, I think it’s one of the best performances in Idol history. In a word, WOW!

    Nice chatting with all of you!

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  24. Good morning everyone.

    Off to finish my Vocal Masterclass article. It should be online later on in the day – I have to coach some singers – so the disruption is always a constant around here.

    Loved the article about David Cook’s brother. Thanks wadahoot.

    I am really looking forward to Andrew Lloyd Webber week and I am very curious as to what Jason will be singing. Maybe something from Joseph and The Technicolor Dreamcoat? A couple of ballads in Jesus Christ Superstar would work as well. He could really surprise us.

    The other singers have stronger voices – so they will have more song material at their disposal.

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  25. Hi, MCL!

    That’s an interesting thought, about next week’s song choices. Do you know if they have to pick Andrew Lloyd Webber songs or if they can choose anything from Broadway? If it’s the former, then I think you are spot on for Jason’s best choices.

    Jason Castro really interests me. The top 6 are an intriguing lot this year, I must say, and all quite distinctive, but while any of the other five can outsing Jason (both in power and technique), his are the songs I end up wanting to hear again, enough that I actually buy them. I had to laugh last week when Simon described his reaction to Jason’s “Over the Rainbow” because that’s pretty much how I feel about most of his performances–first I’m not sure I like it, then in the recap I decide I rather do, and by the third time around (after I’ve downloaded it) I think it’s great. To me he gives off a singer-songwriter vibe, with fresh-sounding arrangements that both reflect his personality and highlight the song itself–he somehow reminds me, not so much of folk singers but of Paul Simon.

    Of course, as I said, the other five remaining contestants are all truly good. To me, it seems that David A. and Carly have the best natural voices (with David having an edge in either technique or comfort level, I’m not sure which), and David C. seems to have the clearest idea of what he wants do professionally (and the best idea of how to achieve it, as well as the clear ability to do so), while Brooke and Jason are the most about knowing who they are and how to present that. Sadly, for me, Brooke seems to be falling apart–I was so upset this week, watching her perform, because I could see her trembling and I really wanted to calm her down, somehow.

    Oddly, perhaps, I keep forgetting about Sayesha. Her voice is quite good, and her technique seems really nice to my unprofessional self as well, but she doesn’t seem to be bringing anything new to the table. Maybe she overthinks things? Because it feels to me less as though she’s feeling the emotions she’s trying to project and more as though she’s performing the emotions she’s trying to project, which is a bit offputting.

    Interested to know what you think!

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  26. Kristy Lee said in a farewell interview that she planned to sing “Dont’ Cry for Me Argentina” from Evita (I can’t EVEN imagine! LOL!). So, I get the impression that they are to sing ALW songs – yipee!

    I’m thinking:
    ‘Benjamin Calypso’ for Jason (from Joseph);

    ‘Gethsemane’ for David C (from JCS) if he has the ‘religiousness’ in him to do it justice (one of my ALL time favorite songs, if done well)

    ALW produced Sound of Music in 2006, so I don’t know if that counts, but if so, I could see Brooke doing ‘My Favorite Things’ … I mean, she IS our favorite Nanny, right?!

    David A’s voice would be beautiful in ‘Edelweiss’ (SoM) or ‘Close Every Door’ (Joseph)

    Sayesha – “Memory” from Cats

    Anita

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  27. That is a great choice for Jason. Believe it or not I think Jason is one of the most underrated contestants idol has ever had. I know you all say the girls love him but he doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a singer and performer. He hypnotizes you.

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