Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For The Top 3 Performances

Quite a show tonight. Quite a show! I thought the two Davids were mighty nervous but Syesha looked like she was having a blast. And the American Idol agenda was all too obvious, but, then, why should we be surprised at this point?

So, once again, you are invited to voice your comments. However, just a gentle reminder to new visitors: please be respectful and constructive in your commentary. Let’s agree to disagree – or agree, but let’s also be civil in the process.

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

58 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For The Top 3 Performances”

  1. Hi MCL. Are you feeling better? Hope so. And good point on the being civil.

    I’ve said this before, but it merits repeating: David Cook is incredible and a superstar. I loved all 3 of his performances and his voice is amazing. He has the entire package: Looks, voice, artistry, stage presence. A very rare talent. And I love what he did with the Aerosmith song….a very original interpretation. I thought his voice was soothing on the Flack song, and although the second song felt a bit truncated, I still enjoyed it. With no disrespect to the other 2 contestants (who are also talented), David Cook is in a completely different ball game. I think it was very obvious tonight that he’s the star of the show, and the crowd was completely behind him. I don’t know what was up with Randy tonight. He’s fast becoming my least favourite judge.

    Syesha. In fairness, I think she sang much better than David A, although not quite on par with David C. I also think she has taken the Broadway comments a bit too literally. I have to admit that I would prefer to see the 2 Davids battle it out, if only because I think it would be interesting. HOWEVER, if I am going to be fair, it’s Syesha who should be in the final 2 with David C. She has earned her spot in the finale, and was much better than David A tonight.

    David A. I enjoyed the first song. The second song was a bad choice and he seemed nervous singing it. Third song was very boring, but you can’t really blame the kid because he did not choose it. He is still remarkably talented for his age, and I wish him the best. I want to see the 2 Davids in the final 2, but I have to admit that he did not do it for me tonight.


    In my opinion, David Cook has earned the title this year. He has the entire package. The only problem that I have with him is that he is not on Canadian Idol. Hahahaha.

    Anyone who did not catch his acoustic performances at his homecoming really should. I highly recommend them. He was in very good voice.

    On a final note, good luck to all the contestants. I’m sure the final 3 are very tired at this point and I hope they can sneak in some rest prior to the grande finale next week.

    David C (love you), David A, and Syesha: Congats on making it this far.


  2. Hi Idolina!

    Yes, I am feeling better. That nasty flu is all behind me now. Thank you for asking.

    I like all three singers for entirely different reasons that should be apparent in my Top Vocal Masterclass article.

    So, hang in there. It should be online sometime tomorrow – or early Thursday.

    Your comments were wonderful and I appreciate your feedback very much.


  3. I’m glad you’re better, MCL. Because I selfishly love to get these reviews from you. (Kidding — I am a fan of yours and am truly happy that you have recovered.)

    To me, the show itself was a bit boring, maybe because the agenda seemed all too obvious. Many of my online friends thought we caught a judge indicating to Syesha that she was third???? Strange. None of the performers seemed too high energy. (And why would they be after they’ve been worked to the bone? I hope we get to see more footage of their homecoming weekends on tomorrow’s results show. They could cut out the entire question and answer period and I’d be fine.)

    I thought the Davids’ first songs were great in their own ways. Again, David A. gave a brilliant vocal and David Cook a brilliant performance. Syesha is also quite a performer — she’s so cute, too. I’m too old to really appreciate Archie’s second song, but I’ll bet his younger fan base liked it. My 12yo daughter, who doesn’t watch Idol, stopped to give it a listen. I thought the backup singers were too loud in a couple of the songs — esp. in David A’s Longer.

    My favorite of the night, and granted I’m an Archuleta fan, was And So It Goes. So gorgeous. Again I’m mad at Simon for his comments. Oh well.


  4. Just wondering why Syesha and David A. were given difficult-to-make-your-own songs by the producers and then Simon finding fault with the contestant’s “song choice”. I would think it would be in AI’s best interest to give these fine performers something that really suited them. David A. excels when he can add a soulful vibe as he did in the last 3 lines of “And So It Goes”.


  5. Hey MCL, seems like you passed on the bug to me, woe! *lol* My head feels like exploding and breathing is kinda strained right now, but at least I can still type.

    I thought it was a weird show last night, from the song choices (especially the producer’s one) over the odd transitions from one contestant to another to the judges’ reactions.

    For me “And so it goes” was a very weird experience, too. I didn’t get to see the performance first, just had an audio and was still waiting for the video to get uploaded. The funny thing was that judging from the audio alone I didn’t quite like the performance, but the video changed that. So I guess David A. managed once again to completely communicate and connect with me through facial expression and body language and his voice was just beautiful as always. Still not as good as Billy Joel’s original version though in my opinion (then again, I’m biased because Billy Joel is my absolute favourite artist of all times). To me And So It Goes is a very contemplative, intimate song, and while I liked and admired the a cappella part David did, I thought he did belt it out a little too much. I would have loved it if he had approached the song more quietly, tenderly like he did with Love me tender last week.
    I absolutely enjoyed little David’s “With You” – the little lyric flub at the beginning aside, I thought David’s joy and fun attitute during his performance was quite infectious. Probably not the best vocals, but I had a blast watching him singing, dancing and communicating with the audience. The girls in the moshpit clearly loved it, too! I didn’t quite get why Simon didn’t like David’s dancing. I think it’s rather refreshing to see him so unoccupied and carefree, even if his dancing is a little dorky. He’s 17 years old, for pete’s sake, I’d be put off if he moved around the stage like a wildcat in heat or grabbed his crotch Michael Jackson-style. His little bounces and hip-/shoulder-shaking and arm movement were just precious to watch in my opinion. *LOL* I think his uberhuge and overwhelming homecoming where he was greeted by 10,000 of fans gave him quite a nice ego-boost! I loved it!
    David’s last song “Longer” was vocally strong, but good Lord, I hated the song choice! I don’t know what Nigel was thinking, picking a song like that for D’Archie. I absolutely agree with Simon on that. It almost feels like Nigel picked a song that David would do well enough to get to the finale with, but that’d be bad enough to make sure he’d not steal the show once again.

    I didn’t have time yet to watch all of Cook’s and Syesha’s performances, so I will not comment on those. I’m sure they did the best with what they got handed. I was not a fan of the song choices made for them either, especially Syesha’s. Can’t help but feel that maybe she was thrown under the bus yesterday to make sure the finale will be: David vs. David ?


  6. Anys77 – sorry to have passed my cold on to you. Online viruses have taken on a whole new meaning, haven’t they? 🙂

    Rest, rest and rest some more and drink plenty of fluids. This is coming from an expert here.

    Thank you – and everyone else – for your comments.

    I am off to check out Wadahoot’s links and then I will get busy with the Top 3 Vocal Masterclass article in between teaching my students.

    This my first week back teaching, but, with only three singers to evaluate, the writing should move along faster.


  7. This is all I know. If tomorrow I were on my death bed and nearing my last breath, and I had to pick one of last night’s Idol participants to sing me out of this world and into the next, it wouldn’t be David Cook, and it wouldn’t be Syesha Mercado. It would be David Archuleta. And I’m pretty sure that if I asked a million people this question and they searched their soul and answered it honestly, most of them would say they would want David Archuleta to sing them out of this world too. Why? Because more than David Cook or Syesha Mercado, he sounds like what we imagine and hope the angels to sound like. There’s not much I know, but I do know a beautiful voice when I hear it. Much to his critics’ dismay, while they may fault him for other things, even they know, David Archuleta has the voice of an angel. If Idol were truly about the best singer winning, there’s no debating who would walk away with the title.


  8. Last night Syesha was the one having fun. And why not? Paula need not have cruelly pointed out that Syesha was unlikely to break the long-planned-for finale of the Davids. Syesha has a better voice that Cook and I wish she could be in the Top Two, but this is about television more than talent.

    Cook is not as good as he, Simon, and Paula think he is. He’s no Chris Daughtry. Given enough time, the public would finally see beyond the ‘smoke and mirrors’ of a Cook performance. Last night, and several other nights, he sang offkey, and Randy was the only judge to say so. Cook’s voice is either muffled or screeching. I know it’s rocker style, but come on, it’s so typical. You can hear that sound in bars across America.

    David had good reason to be nervous. Just twelve days before the finale, and while he was at his Murray homecoming, a well-timed leak about his father focused negative attention again. I suspect it started when Cook failed to step up his game on Rock ‘n’ Roll night. AI had to take David Archuleta down a peg. Still he managed to sing two ballads beautifully and put his heart — and a little hip action — into a contemporary song. I had never heard “With You”, but the girls sure loved it and they made sure Simon knew.

    Last night the judges were awful and, if this show is to survive, all of them should be replaced. At one low point, Simon said of David’s “Longer” that he sang it very well, but then criticized the producers for choosing a “gooey” song. This business of song choice is getting out of hand. David should have been judged on *his* performance of the song given to him.

    As a David Archuleta fan, I am torn. I want to see him run as far away from Freemantle and 19 Entertainment as possible. However, I suppose he could bow out if he didn’t want to continue in the contest. Now wouldn’t that be a shocker! “Top Two contestant quits this shabby show.” It would serve them right.

    Another conflict I’m battling: I so want this show to be OVER! But then I won’t get to hear David Archuleta singing every Tuesday and Wednesday.


  9. I am so with you on your last paragraph, scrip. I’ve heard through the Archie grapevine that he had a different version of Longer planned, but the producers wouldn’t allow it. Also, he had a different song chosen for his personal choice, which he was denied and then the song was sung by a different singer! It’s just so … odd. I don’t know if any of this has happened in previous seasons, but I’m just so disappointed.

    But grateful that I was introduced to the teenaged David Archuleta, who I had actually ‘met’ on Star Search years ago.


  10. Taking a break from writing the Top 3 VM article plus waiting for my first vocal student to arrive.

    Interesting and timely comments here. All coming to David A.’s rescue.

    I feel for this kid, I really do. The pressure must be tremendous and all the gossip is distracting the viewers from the true essence of his talent, except those of you who can see through the smoke and mirrors that is American Idol.

    So, bravo to all of you and keep the commentary active. I love it!


  11. scriptype – I think David C. really IS that good. On one hand, I do think he did respectably well last night, but I also don’t think that’s the pinnacle of his vocal capabilities. MCL noted that she thought he was rather nervous, and what I can say is that his voice didn’t ever pick up its full richness during his performances last night. (Compare to, say, “Billie Jean.”)


  12. … So I’m saying I can understand your critique, but I don’t think those performances of David’s. BUT I am not making any excuses for him.

    For the record, I also like all three singers for different reasons. David A. truly does have an angelic tone, and I think he’s a sweetheart. And Syesha is a fighter, and it’s a shame how the judges are so begrudging to praise her. I liked her third performance. I thought it was fun, and vocally, she hit the notes well.


  13. I don’t think those performances of David’s… are his best. (to complete the sentence)

    Aaah, I keep on making typos! lol. =P


  14. Agree, MCL, the pressure on a 17yo must be tremendous. I have a fourteen year old, and I can imagine the hysterics if she’d have to deal with anything near this. (And she is a remarkable child in her own right.) I have a friend who is in touch with people in the Archuleta camp, and she made me feel much better today. She said that David keeps clear in his head his goals for this contest: to sing for people, to build a fanbase, to further his career. Thus he maintains his joy. I am completely amazed at his ability to do so.


  15. I so agree with you scriptype. I want DA to win AI, but I don’t want him stuck with 19 Entertainment. I’ve heard their contracts are very restricting, especially with $$$. Clay Aiken sued 19 to get away from them a couple of years ago. Hopefully, when this is finally over and DA is recording his record, he has better luck with album songs than Clay did. Clay hated some of his songs he had on his debut album then they made him do a cover album that he didn’t want to do.

    Guess everyone with AI is doing their best to make David Cook the winner. Judges keep harping on David A to do an uptempo song and everytime he does, they tell him its not him. Syesha gets ripped for not changing up her song, yet David C did a straght cover on all his songs. I just hate David C’s voice. Its not clear and he mumbles all the time. There’s no emotion in what he’s singing and all he does is plod along until he gets to the end & the glory note. But then again that is what most singers in the industry are like nowadays.

    Good luck young David A. Stop listening to everyone at AI and do your own thing. TEAM David will take you very far and us fans can’t wait to enjoy the ride with you. This will soon be memory and you can finally get away from Nigel and Co. I personnally can’t wait for your album. If you have even half the career Clay has now, you’ll have a great time.


  16. I have never watched American Idol before this season..but I watched the auditions with my daughter and David A caught my eye…have watched him and enjoyed him immensely ever since and voted faithfully!!
    David’s voice , to my ear, is nearly flawless. I love listening to him and watching him perform.He listens to the judges, the mentors and makes changes that have only made him better. His obviously gentle soul shines thru in his singing….BUT he must have an inner toughness to be able to compete as he has and to put aside all the horrendous negativity that has swirled around him. Bravo, David…not many people are both sweet and strong.
    David C…eh..his voice is ok…just so same old,same old for me. I absolutely believe that when Simon called him out for being smug and cocky several times..he decided he needed to play a different game…and he has the ability to do that.I don’t believe David A would even know how to try to make anyone believe he is anything but the genuine kid we see each week.(Does that make sense?)
    I wish David A the best..I hope he wins this thing…I will help vote him thru and I can’t WAIT to buy his music!


  17. davidawillwin May 14, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    I thought it was a bit of a off night for everyone. The strain is really beginning to show with the contestants.

    David Cook. I think this was one of his weaker nights. He had alot of trouble staying on pitch throughout all of his performances which made him very difficult to listen to. It was particularly off-putting on the final Aerosmith song. None of the judges seemed to notice this however, or didn’t care to mention it.

    Syesha. I think Syesha has a very nice voice, but her performances are too dramatic for me. I don’t think anyone will be suprised to see her go tonight.

    David Archuleta. Song #1 And So It Goes: This song was not my favorite choice for him, but it was not his decision. He sang it beautifully however. The a capella section was really stunning. It was typical David. Very pure and beautiful. i loved it! Song #2 With You: I may be in the minority here but I enjoyed With You once he got past some stumbles in the lyrics. In the second half of the song he sounded great. I think this is the perfect genre for him. I am looking forward to the studio version. Song #3 Longer: I was a little dissapointed with this one. I do like the song but I was really hoping for an updated version. As some of you have mentioned, he was planning on doing something different with the song but AI nixed it. He still sang the song well, though I thought he was sounding a little tired by the time he got to this song.

    Overall I do not think any of them “won the night.” I do think that David Archuleta is the best of the 3 remaining contestants. Unfortunately, despite my screen name, I think the tide has turned and David Cook will win it all. I hope I’m wrong.


  18. I really love this show but last night was THE worst. IMO the blame cannot be put on the contestants. For the first time ever I am almost convinced that TPTB made serious, and possibly intentional, blunders. It has indeed left a very bad taste in my mouth. First of all, the one hour time format was not nearly enough time for 9 songs to be sung where it would allow each contestant an opportunity to properly showcase each of their songs. The producer (s) responsible for choosing the songs, especially for David A. and Syesha, should be shot. The audio mix was just awful, especially on
    David C’s. last song, the background vocalists on David A’s ” Longer ” were way off.
    I watched it on high def the first time and the second time around on regular, it sounded slightly better. And last but not least the judging, was it really necessary for Paula to have been so cruel to Syesha?

    I’m sure that all of the contestants were exhausted after having been dragged all over the place for their homecomings, at this stage of the game I think that someone should re-think the process. Could someone please try to explain to me with two weeks left in the competition why they suddenly decided to not to let David A. have
    his Father with him? I’m not getting much from the Nigel interview, totally lame,
    and I really sort of used to like the guy. I was particularly concerned for David A.
    last night, it was a travesty that he and his family were thrown to the lions during the past week and the mere thought of someone hurting one little hair on that beautiful kid’s head sickened me. Must be the mother in me. I wasn’t blown away by any of them last night, for me David A’s vocals on ” And So It Goes ” was the best and best overall perfomance was Cook’s ” I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing “. They all deserved a better environment to showcase their talents.


  19. Well said, AuntieAudie. And the news stories on the Archuleta family continued today, with more intense focus on Jeff Archuleta’s every move. Do none of these news people have families? Surely they recognize that family relationships are complex? I’m watching the show until David A. is gone, and then I’ve simply had enough.

    I’m also very disappointed in the behavior of people online. Maybe they’ve always been rude, but I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at YouTube videos until David Archuleta sent me there. Why bash so violently? What does it do for a person? Ah well.


  20. “None of the performers seemed too high energy.”
    Kathylmh, I felt the same as you did. With Season 2 (Rewind) Finale so clearly in my mind, Season 7 did not measure up to its excellence. I can’t believe what the producers did to David A. regarding song choice and delivery. Clear manipulation, again.

    I am another one that just doesn’t understand the producer’s choice. It soon be mandatory that all three receive a high quality selection. The judges’ choice is the one which should be a challenge. Or vice versa?

    To address the issue of the judges being replaced, Randy must go. Period. It has been a couple seasons since he did his job. The slang and the “pitchy” remarks are overworked and tiresome. Paula needs to get back to therapy – whatever kind works. Simon is Simon, and I don’t see him changing.

    David A. is clearly the BEST singer, but it may be to his advantage not to win the AI title. David Cook may be able to handle the pressures more maturely. Syesha should be proud of the way she has performed this past month, but I am not sure her fans can carry her into the Finale.


  21. Some very good points, auntieaudie. Last night was a testament to some major problems with the AI format: Not enough time for preparation, too many songs to prepare, too short time limits for each song.

    I think each of the contestants did the best they could with the situation at hand. I know that, especially in creative fields, when people are stuck with very short deadlines, they fall back on their favorites tricks–whatever has worked best in the past. (At least all three of them have all been in the music field long enough to HAVE fallbacks.) While this can produce perfectly serviceable work, it never produces the best work. At this point in the competition, we’ve been primed to expect their best work; with too much to do and even less time than usual, that was impossible. Hmph.


  22. davidawillwin May 14, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    It would be so much better if AI would have them sing 2 full length songs rather than 3 shortened versions! I think the contestants and the viewing audience would appreciate it!


  23. Thanks to Kathylmh and rereader for your comments. Although not surprised I am very saddened that the negative publicity continues for the Archuleta family today. I am trying to stay away from reading anything further because I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know what the REAL truth is and while it still matters to me the damage has been done and can never be taken back. My good name and reputation are the most important things to me and I can’t imagine being unjustly crucified in the court of public opinion in this fashion and have them forever taken away from me. I am now hoping more than ever that David Archuleta wins this thing not because of all the controversy but inspite of it and because he DESERVES to.


  24. auntieaudie, I do think David A. is the BEST singer! If you (and others) think he can handle the pressure, then maybe he should win. Nigel is again saying there will be a surprise tonight. I wonder if that surprise is that Syesha is in the Finale?


  25. Haha….I guess everyone does not share my love for David Cook, but that’s ok. I’m not saying we got perfect pitch from him last night, and that really doesn’t worry me. We’ve seen him deliver astoundingly good vocal performances so he’s definitely capable. We’re also very far into the competition, so some fatigue is expected.

    For me, the grab with DC’s voice is the range, textures and nuances. His vowels are just so beautifully sung, and this is why his Itunes recordings are outstanding. I also recommend that you listen to him sing “There goes my Hero” and “Living on a Prayer”….he sang them at his homecoming and there weren’t any pitch problems there….maybe being free from the stress of the competition is what enabled him to sing so beautifully….his natural voice is stunning….

    Okay. I’ll stop now. LOL.


  26. Hi Kariann….What will be will be, let’s hope not, we don’t have to wait too much longer. I’m just focusing on what he’ll be able to handle for now and I think that’s
    been extremely impressive so far. I actually think that placing third for him wouldn’t be such a horrible thing because I believe he wouldn’t be under contract to 19 and he could explore his future whatever way he may choose without them on his back. On the other hand I’ve always thought that he wants to win just because singing is who he is and what he’s always wanted to do and if that’s the case then I want it for him also. Keep your fingers crossed…

    Hello Idolina…Take heart, I love your guy also and wish him the very best, win or lose. I watched all of them on live streaming during their homecomings and was very touched by all of their performances. I’m 61 and still love me some rock but I have always preferred Little David’s style of singing. I hope you’ll stick around in here and share your opinions and thoughts because it really is a very civilized place.


  27. idolina – I think it just happens that this post wasn’t particularly inundated with David Cook love, but I’m sure you’re not alone. =)

    I agree–and I think MCL would too–that David Cook DOES have those qualities you described about his voice. He doesn’t always get his due credit as a vocalist. Objectively, I think the judges may have overpraised him last night, which might explain some of the audience response, but based on his overall body of work and his full capabilities, I think he deserves the praise he gets.

    Thanks for mentioning “There Goes My Hero.” I hadn’t heard it before! A lovely natural tone, indeed. And I *love* this arrangement of “Livin’ with a Prayer.” Wow! And he definitely isn’t mumbling here! Just clear, full singing.


  28. I was insanely excited for last night’s performance, then unfortunately missed it because I was enjoying a nice lengthy nap (3 hrs!!)…have been very very tired lately. Anway, I did manage to catch the youtube version of the show and I echo all the comments written on here.

    Syesha: looked like she was truly enjoying herself. I thought the vocals could have been a tad better, but she definitely brought her stage presence last night

    David C: I wasn’t really feeling him last night…but he did sing well. I truly enjoyed his performance of “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing though”

    David A: Hard for me to decide how he was last night…just okay for me, I guess.

    Well off to watch the results………..

    Glad to hear you are feeling better, MCL.


  29. I’m so happy to have found this site. I have avoided watching AI for the last 6 years because I believe the creative process doesn’t flourish in a culture that’s manipulative and mean spirited. I tuned in to see David Archuleta and have watched since the top 8. I have so much respect for all of the artists. To perform under so much pressure and stay true to yourself takes incredible strength of character – I believe they all managed to do this.

    I like most all music and what I choose to listen to depends on my mood and what role I need music to fill at any given moment. I enjoy listening to David A when I want to “think about the music” because I love his transitions, interpretations and the clearness of his voice. David Cook has demonstrated such innovation – he deserves a record label that will support this skill. Seyesha has a beautiful voice and really understands how to sell a song in live performance. Listening to the performances without the video is a very different experience – I recommend it to everyone as you’ll get a different perspective when it’s “just the music” which is how I consume most of the music I eventually purchase so I feel that’s the truer test of what I’ll like.

    As far as the “big machine” called AI goes…well, let’s just say that if this were truly a performance of Phantom of the Opera then I guess we’re at the part where the mask gets ripped off to reveal the monster beneath. I’m horrified at what the press (with help from the producers at AI) has done over the last week and disappointed at the song choices assigned Seyesha and David A for the producers pick.

    I agree with MCL that the Davids looked nervous – I’m not sure if it was because they were afraid of losing…or winning?


  30. I heard that David Archuleta’s voice coach was interviewed this morning and said that David had chosen the song “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (I think it was for last week) and AI rejected the choice. Syesha wanted to use a string orchestra for one of her songs and AI wouldn’t let her, but allowed David C on the above mentioned song. Also, David had been practicing ‘Longer’ as a faster song and very late in the game AI told him he had to sing it in its original form. According to him there is something up behind the scenes.

    I think the timing of the “banishment” of DA’s father, along with the leaked stories, was a clear manipulation. I truly believe Carly’s and Michael’s bad critiques and thus early exits were to ensure there were no surprises to the way AI wanted it to end.

    I love David A’s voice. I feel it in my soul. Wow I was going to write something even more sappy but erased it.

    David C: He is not for me because he doesn’t sound different to many others I’ve heard, but judging from his fans I am sure he affects people in the way David A affects me. He is definitely talented though.

    Syesha: I really appreciate how far she has come and how strong her voice is. I love her attitude.


  31. Wow – this has been a busy place tonight. Well, we are headed for a Davidx2 finale.

    What a surprise (she says sarcastically). However, this should make for a very diverse, very exciting showcase next week. I am pumped!

    I wish the very talented Syesha the very best in what I am sure will be a most promising career.

    The Vocal Masterclass article will be up sometime tomorrow. I have a very busy schedule tomorrow, so it may be later than usual, so you patience is very much appreciated.


  32. I had kind of figured it was going to be a “David Finale” 🙂 But I’m sure Syesha definitely has a promising career and too wish her the best.

    Looking forward to the finale….eek!


  33. bizzee24…Don’t forget to set your alarm clock next week!!!!


  34. I am sad to see Syesha go. I think she grew on everyone as the weeks went on and didn’t she handle herself with class? Beautiful spirit in that girl. Loved David A’s homecoming video. What an uncomprised character he has.

    MCL, I would love to hear your thoughts on the Fantasia performance. I was so stunned by all that was going on onstage I don’t think I even heard the words she was singing.


  35. I loved all 3 top singers in totally different ways! It’s like when my son asks me which of the kitties I love best and gets mad when I tell him they are all my favorite, in different ways! I only have one human child, but I imagine it’s the same with fur/fin/feather-kids, too!

    Each of the singers just make me happy in different ways, and I’m SO proud of all of them!



  36. waikiki – I was just slack-jawed watching Fantasia! Here it is again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UmhUtlB0OI the look on Simon’s face at 2:55 is priceless! I don’t even know what I think about the whole performance.



  37. I don’t usually just cut/paste comments here, but a couple about Archie from Time Magazine (yep, Time covers AI!) just cracked me up this week!

    1st song – As Simon says, he didn’t exactly step outside his comfort zone, but I doubt his voters want him to. David Archuleta _is_ a comfort zone.

    Longer- True story: my wife, a.k.a. Mrs. Tuned In, predicted weeks ago that Archuleta would break the Dan Fogelberg barrier on Idol, and tonight the producers made her dream come true. Three decades after the ’70s, this ballad still pours like molasses, and David A. turns it into the prettiest love song an elf ever sang to a unicorn.

    Ah, to be so sweet and innocent again!


  38. Fantasia had me mesmorized – sort of like the Simon look which was pricelss.

    Don’t ask me what she was singing about! Who knows? It was quite the spectacle, wasn’t it?


  39. LOL…thanks auntieaudie 🙂 I’ll definitely make sure to do that 😉

    Just a comment about the Fantasia performance last night. I was never a fan of Fantasia. I never did like her stage presence or her voice and her performance last night only ensured that for me. Although she was entertaining (or should I say the background was entertaining), I just felt she was screaming and shreaking through the whole song. I would also like to hear what you think MCL!


  40. Bizzee – far too much screaming for my taste. But, she can move – I’ll grant her that.


  41. I have to add my two cents to the whole Dad Archuleta-nonsense. I think it’s very, veeery odd that “they” decided to exclude David’s Dad from the song editing process and rehearsals after David’s tremendously huge homecoming.

    It’s like they knew his homecoming would give David an ego-boost and they wouldn’t want him to get even more ahead of everything, since he clearly owned the Rock’n’Roll-night already… so to me it seems as if they went “Hmmm, what to do? Oh yeah, let’s throw Daddy Jeff under the bus! (If you’re interested I’ve written a short rant about all that here: http://anniescorner.wordpress.com/ )

    Of course, now everyone connects the wrong dots and thinks that David’s seeming more relaxed and confident last Tuesday is all due to his Dad not “hovering over” him anymore. What nonsense! No one seems to even consider that it was David’s homecoming that gave him more confidence – some of us fans have been in contact with family friends and David’s best friend who got to spend some time with David last Friday, and they all said David returned to Hollywood with a suitcase full of new found confidence.

    Also, I’ve chatted with some Archie-Fans who were lucky enough to me the Archuletas personally at the Murray High School extravaganza last Friday, and all of them say that Jeff was the sweetest man.

    At this point I don’t even want to get into the whole “song choice”-controversial. To me it seems as if TPTB just decided to put a damper on David’s march to victory.

    Another thing that totally bugs me: the producers won’t let the contestants wear ear monitors anymore… because they think those look ugly!!! That’s just absolutely ridiculous! I thought AI was about singing and not a beauty contest! Ridiculous, just ridiculous…


  42. in a way im happy that AI is almost over…but sad at the same time coz i wont hear/see DA anymore….he has been a big help on me specially during these trying times in my life….whenever he sings i could feel a sense of happiness….that things will be okay…that this is just a phase, it will pass, my friend asked my why am i so affected by DA winning, i told him even though AI is just a tv show and i dont know DA personally, i feel im a part of his journey and he has affected me in a way he wouldnt even imagine…times are hard but whenever i listen to his voice, he brings smile to my face, and for that i will always be grateful….


  43. fluffysasha, it is good that David’s music affects you as it does. I hope you were able to get his iTunes so you can listen to it beyond next week. Karen Carpenter’s music did have the same effect on me.

    Since I was a Jason fan, I really don’t mind either David winning. I think casual fans may be the deciding factor based on their actual performances next week.

    Fantasia was just awful, but as MCL says, “But, she can move – I’ll grant her that.” I have no idea what she was singing or if it was from Broadway. Syesha did sound quite nice last night.


  44. David C has a great idol story, doesn’t he?

    He was not as heavily pushed early in the season, and didn’t get the heavy positive edit that Carly, Michael Johns and David A got (my other favourites….miss them). HOWEVER, by giving consistently outstanding performances, he earned his fans and his place in the competition. A lot of people are harping on last night’s praise, but he’s earned it…..I don’t think that anything was “handed” to this kid….at some point the judges realized that they couldn’t ignore him and that he really has something. It kinda saddens me that people are shelving the fact that he worked so hard to earn his fans, and how quickly they forget that he’s been the recipient of some of the harshest criticisms this year (smug, arrogant, pompous, no charisma). Simon also said NO to David in round 1 of Hollywood week. I’m sure that these smug comments were hurtful, given that we know he’s sensitive. How would you feel if people kept calling you a creep?

    I think that probably more than any other season, David Cook has earned the title. Debra Byrd recently came out and said that he comes to each practice already prepared and knowing where he wants to go with a song and arrangement….called him a visionary and professional.

    I just don’t see this kid skating. I see the complete opposite happening, in fact. Maybe some others have skated, but certainly not David Cook. I respect everyone’s opinion, but I still think some of the comments are way off-base!

    Anyway, let’s all enjoy the finale, and wish the final 2 the best of luck.


  45. Hi Everyone, I’m in a much better mood today…The results show last night was actually pretty good and I was sorry to see Syesha go and wish her well. I hope that she is very smart in making her choices and will surround herself with good people to help her further her career. Many times she mentioned about her nerves and how she struggled with getting them under control and I think that by the time she did it was too late in the competition for her to make up for lost ground. She really did shine the last couple of weeks and I am really looking forward to seeing more of her and how she might grow. I think all of them struggled with nerves to some degree, which i can relate to because I couldn’t even speak in public without my knees knocking until I was about 50.

    Fantasia….you either get her or you don’t. I didn’t get her last night but I was crazy about her when she was performing during Season 3.

    Idolina….I understand your frustration and need to defend your guy, I really do. I think everyone in here understands and unless I’ve missed it I’ve never read where anyone said he skated, not even in the insane AI General Discussion Board. I have always taken issue with personal attacks on any of the contestants or pitting one contestant against another by the judges, specifically Simon, it’s just so very unnecessary and cruel. I believe that David Cook has earned the position he is in today with his talent, hard work and dedication, I wish him well.

    Fluffysasha…I have been in a similar situation these last few months. My brother became ill in December and passed away in mid-March. AI has always been a welcome diversion for me but this year even more so. I share your feelings for David and am glad that he is giving you comfort.


  46. Waikikibeach…If you go to http://www.myfoxutah.com you can see several of Dean Kaelin’s video interviews.


  47. auntieaudie-Thanks, I will look those up. Loving your posts.

    Idolina-You are right, DC does have a great story. Think back to when Simon critiqued him in the top 24 and said he had no charisma and he said something back to Simon. I remember thinking, “he’s a goner.” But his attitude improved, his performances improved and look at him now. He has even made a complete physical transformation and looks like a star. Gorgeous.

    Even though I feel the manipulation was there, I think this will be the greatest final ever. I would love to see the judges not give any feedback but positive praise this week, similar to the lovely way MCL finds something beautiful in every performance. Do any of you feel the same way?

    I predict we are in for a treat next week no matter who you prefer.


  48. Sorry, I wanted to add that if they curb the critique for this final week, they truly leave the decision in the hands of the voters. I think their comments, especially Simon’s, are hugely influential, even if what he is saying obviously doesn’t match the performance.

    Then, no one can say that AI is telling us who should win. It would go a long way in restoring some integrity to the show.


  49. Last Tuesday night after the excessive wooing of David Cook’s offkey performances, I didn’t sleep well. I was nervous because David Archuleta seemed a little nervous too and perhaps overwhelmed by the previous weekend’s trauma between the producers and his father. I thought the troubles might affect the rest of the competition.

    Then on Wednesday night, something magical happened. The moment I saw him walk out on stage with Cook and Syesha, I felt myself relax. He looked so happy! And he was so well-dressed, a positive presence on stage. Even during the dreaded CUT, he didn’t look as tense as he has in the past. He was able to focus on another contestant, reaching to hold Syesha’s hand and later wanting to comfort her.

    Oh, to be a teenager again — they can be so resilient! So, here’s to David Archuleta, a real trouper!


  50. Anita, I understand where you are coming from. It would be perfect if the judges just gave honest critiques. However, I believe there will be some manipulation going on. Sad, really…


  51. “Cook is not as good as he, Simon, and Paula think he is. He’s no Chris Daughtry. Given enough time, the public would finally see beyond the ’smoke and mirrors’ of a Cook performance. Last night, and several other nights, he sang offkey, and Randy was the only judge to say so. Cook’s voice is either muffled or screeching. I know it’s rocker style, but come on, it’s so typical. You can hear that sound in bars across America.”

    scriptype, I so completely disagree with you on this. I have never found Cook to be screechy and hasn’t been muffled any more than Archuleta is when he can’t remember the words. Reading through the posts here, it comes across as an Archuleta fan site, but I’m still going to post my views in the hope they don’t get deleted.

    For me, Archuleta’s heavy breathing while singing is very distracting and a bit unpleasant to listen to. The strong nasal sound to his voice is down right annoying to me. MCL, I would love to know what your take is on these issues I have with Archuleta’s vocals?

    I would also like to address the issue I have with some saying Cook is being GIVEN a push from Simon and Paula because they gave him a lot of praise. He has had to earn his way in this competition. IMO, it is Archuleta that has gotten the judges push from day one and I think that since some of you have been used to that all season, you now can’t understand why all of Cook’s work is paying off for him in the eyes of at least two of the judges.


  52. “It would be perfect if the judges just gave honest critiques.”

    kariann1, why is it you think they are now not giving honest critiques? Were they honest when all the praise was for Archuleta? I’m sorry guys, but I just don’t get all the judges are against Archuleta and want Cook to win mentalities.


  53. Idolone44 – this is not a David Archuleta fan site. It just happens that many of the readers that comment on here really love this kid’s singing.

    Did you not see my newest post on the homepage: http://www.masterclasslady.com

    No bias there whatsoever. I love both these singers for entirely different reasons.


  54. Thank you, I’ll go read that one. In the mean time, could you tell me what you think of this part of my first post.

    “For me, Archuleta’s heavy breathing while singing is very distracting and a bit unpleasant to listen to. The strong nasal sound to his voice is down right annoying to me.”


  55. For the record MCL, I wasn’t really talking about you, but rather those that seem to think Cook shouldn’t be getting praise from Simon and Paula.


  56. Idolone – actually, I have addressed his breathing issue many times here -in the comments section and also through my articles.

    I think that it stems from his past health issues with the virus that caused paralysis of one side of his vocal cords. Or he may have a mild form of asthma, possibly allergies?

    He may also be utilizing a shallow manner of breathing – through the chest rather than deeper down in his diaphragm, but then, he has such superb breath control that this seems like a remote possibilty. However, he may have adjusted his breathing technique in a way that suits him.

    I don’t perceive a nasal tone all the time. His voices always sounds very focused and pure. Yet, he is still young and that nasal quality is a product of his youth and will disappear as he gets older.


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