Vocal Masterclass Discussion Of the Canadian Idol Top 9 Performances

Well, the jury is still on out whether this group of singers will collectively garner positive interest from the viewing public. Personally, I find this Top 9 mixture very strange, almost surreal, like something from an Idol “bizarro” world.

I still don’t understand the judges’ thought process and ultimate decision in selecting some of these singers. Only a half a handful of the remaining singers possess the singing technical skills necessary for this “vocal” competition, while many of the other singers have to resort to acrobatic performances to get their showcase across to the audience in a memorable and meaningful way.

I do feel, however, that Theo Tams and Amberly Thiessen are outstanding, charismatic vocalists, both of whom offer something truly special and unique to this year’s competition. I thought that both have given consistently strong performances each week and have made intelligent selections in their song material.

Amberly, however, must release herself from her guitar and, as Theo did this week, showcase her vocal and performing ability.

One note for Theo – try to maintain a classically circular mouth formation when singing in the pop idiom. Stylistically, not only can you be faithful to your pop mode, but also the bel canto approach will afford you endless possibilities in your melodic ornamentation, phrasing elements and dynamic levels.

Both American Idol David Cook and Runner-Up David Archuleta are perfect examples of vocalists who sing rock, pop, soul etc., while remaining faithful to the correct technical process. Therefore, I hope that all the singers in the Top 9 can take a page from their book and adopt a few lines when working on their technical skills over the coming weeks.

Your comments are most welcome! Have a “masterclassing” good time!

MCL NOTE: I am on vacation this week, but will begin my regular Vocal Masterclass articles of the Canadian Idol performances starting next week with the Top 8 Performances.

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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

5 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion Of the Canadian Idol Top 9 Performances”

  1. Hey MCL.

    I agree that Theo and Amberly show the most promise, with Drew Wright a close third. Drew is a pretty good singer too, but I think he took the request from the judges that he be more “animated” too literally. I also think he has to watch his timing, but other than that he has decent technical skills. These are the only 3 singers who I think have the potential for a show-stopping performance. While many of the others have charisma, their singing is just not strong enough to get me excited.

    This week was much better than last week, thankfully. Let’s hope it continues next week.

    I think Sebastian is adorable, but he earned his ticket home. He’s had many chances to show us he can sing, but he’s fallen short. Tonnes of charisma though, so I am sure he’ll be okay when he leaves Idol (not as a singer).

    The judges finally gave Drew the credit he deserves. I hope he sticks around along with Amberly and Theo. They’re the only reason I watch!


  2. Hi! I would love to hear a more detailed critique of the show. I have always enjoyed reading your analyses and have learned a lot about music along the way!



  3. I thought that, vocally, Katherine St-Laurent gave a better performance on Monday night than her previous times (notwithstanding her “misinterpretation” of the song). I’m not sure if I’m right, so let me know if you disagree, but I think she usually overpowers her vocals but this time she showed a little more control and nuance.

    But then the judges razed her and now she’s off the show. I thought that she was one of the better singers in the competition. If I were to rank them vocally, I’d probably go with: Theo, Amberly, Katherine/Mark, and Drew.

    Simon Cowell used to say that American Idol is a singing competition, primarily. And it originated in Britain as the show, Pop Idol. But it seems our judges are more looking for “indie artist idol”. I think that might help explain the frustration you’ve expressed in the past 😛


  4. I’m very disappointed that voters didn’t get behind Katherine. She has a huge, expressive voice. Certainly better than most of the other contestants. I trust the voters will use their votes in the next few weeks to dismiss Mark and Sebastian; while there is some entertainment value there, their vocals let them down.


  5. Hello fellow posters. Paulman, I too am disappointed to see Katherine go as she was one of the better singers. She has had some control issues, but then again she also chooses more difficult songs to sing. I think it’s crazy that there’s only one girl left in the top 8. With Katherine leaving, the show just got a whole lot more boring. I was also disappointed to see Amberly in the b3, especially since I thought her performance was the best one this week.

    Theo is in a league of his own in the competition and Amberly’s voice is beautiful. Drew actually has a good voice too, but is majorly underrated so I’m worried about him going home early (the judges took too long to give him props, so he may be in trouble). I like that he has very clear vocals, while still being able to swing into the rougher stuff. I think he took the “animated” requests a bit too far though as this week’s performance wasn’t my fave of his. He also needs to make sure he’s staying in the pocket (I actually agreed with Zack this week).

    Anyway…next week we have Gavin Rossdale as a mentor. I’m very excited about that! It’s also going to be unplugged week. Woohoo!


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