Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For American Idol Season 8: The Hollywood Group Rounds


American IdolHollywood Group Rounds will be featured in this February 4th episode – my favorite!

Last night’s show was pretty frantic at times. It was difficult to get a sense of what each singer had to offer as an artist. I could do without all the backstage drama. I would rather that the focus be placed on the singers. I, personally, have had enough of Hurricane Katrina aka Bikini Girl. Does anyone here believe that she will actually make it to the Top 36 position? Does anyone care?

And Norman Gentle should ride this 15-minute ticket to fame all the way to Las Vegas. We get it – you are a vocal comedian, Norman! Now, would someone please sign him already so we can concentrate on the serious singers of American Idol Season 8?

Enough said! It’s time to see and hear some wicked group performances. Let’s hope that some of the talented singers that weren’t featured last evening will get their moment to shine in the Group Rounds.

This article will be written in real time and published immediately after the end of the 1-hour show. Therefore, unlike the full-length Vocal Masterclass articles for the Top 12, my first impressions from the Hollywood Rounds will be abbreviated. I will leave it up to you to fill in the blanks and add your comments.

We are set for the tears, the triumphs and tragedies of Group Rounds, according to Ryan. Oh goodie. More “drahma”. I want to hear the singers, Ryan, pretty please? One hundred and seven exhausted contestants are waiting for another shot at stardom via the ever popular group rounds.

Rose has teamed up with Bikini Girl? Well, that means she’s history. as Bikini Girl is only there for the ratings. Tatiana is having a meltdown and there is backstabbing galore among her group members. So, she moves over to another group. Well, this is insanity and madness, isn’t it? Who can keep track of the quick and sporadic editing of the singers who just cannot get their act together. I can’t! I WON”T! Wake me up when the sane vocalists come together to make beautiful music.

After commercial break, we are finally going to hear some semblance of group harmony. But not before we continue on Tatiana’s travels from group to group before she finally decides she wants to reconnect with her original group. Trainwreck! This episode has aired for 10 minutes and, so far, it has been all about Tatiana and her dysfunctional group. Oh maaaan! Enough!

Is this Idol’s vision for Season 8? If so, it is stupid and ill-advised. What a ridiculous premise for a singing competition. Not all singers are wacked and I feel that this psychotic display does a great disservice to the singing profession. And now, Ryan is announcing another commercial break and we have yet to hear one coherent group performance. Unbelievable!

Twenty minutes into this evening’s episode, Ryan announces we are back to “hell week”. That’s an understatement, Ryan! Oy vey, more of Katrina the Bikini Queen who is ill – she only slept for two hours. It’s okay, sweetie, pretty soon you can sleep as much as you like when you are finally eliminated from this show.

Finally, we see some real talent – quick glimpses – but it hints  that there is a light at the end of this nightmare-like tunnel. Again with Bikini Girl aka Katrina, who decides that she is feeling better. As the camera randomly pans around the members of this group – with no sense of purpose – we are faced with yet another commercial break. So, ladies and gents, this pathetic show is half over and I have yet to see a full group performance.

Finally the performance day arrives and Simon then warns that if they forget the words they are immediately out of the competition. Pressure, pressure!

Matt, Kris, Justin and a girl (sorry, I missed her name) give a great, performance and they are unanimously received by the judges.

Austin, J.B., Shelby and Julissa forget their words and blow their harmonies. What a mess. Guys are through, girls are not!

Alex, Ryan, Ann Marie and Emily are on next and the guys sound terrific. However, the girls’s harmonies are pretty awful and when the guys join in it gets worse. They are trying to move and sing at the same time and the multi-tasking is not working for them.

The judges send Alex and Ann Marie through to the next round, while the other two are eliminated. Ryan – the contestant, not the host -says that he saw evil in Paula Abdul’s eyes. Give me a break! How about she was totally frustrated by that dismal performance?

It’s now mid-afternoon and Simon needs Advil. That’s it? How about some Gaviscon or Imodium to compliment the Advil. This is a diverticulitis breeding experience.

Danny, Jamar, Taylor’s and ???? group is outstanding and all are sent through to the next round

Jeremy, Adam, Matt and Jesse do a rocking version of “Some Kind Of Wonderful” and progress to the next round of auditions. They were just brilliant!

Lauren, Katrina, Jasmine and Rose perform better than expected, however, Katrina comes under the gun from Simon for her diva-like behavior. The judges decide that Jasmine will remain in L.A. and thankfully Bikini Girl is outta here, along with Rose and Lauren. Too bad about Rose – I liked her.

It is now late afternoon and group performances are coming to a close. There goes David Osmond -it’s all over. So sad. I loved him.

Here comes Tatiana’s team, and, from the little bit I hear, they are not too bad. However, the judges do not look too thrilled. But, surprise – they are moved through to the next round. Oh dear, Tatiana is really too much with the “thank yous”. See, this is where the Gaviscon comes in handy!

Next up is a group called Compromise since they didn’t get along. Great first impression for the judges! They sing a “Mercy” song. Nathaniel, Nancy, and Kristen are the members of this group. This was beyond awful, but Nathaniel and Kristen are given another chance tomorrow, while Nancy is given the ‘ole “heave-ho”.

And, just like that, this crazy show is over. I truly loathed the format, half of which focused on less talented singers like Katrina and Tatiana. What a desperate ploy for ratings. Awful, just awful!

Alright readers, it’s your turn. I am speechless here. I was expecting more from this episode. What say you? The Masterclass doors are now open.

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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

26 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion Thread For American Idol Season 8: The Hollywood Group Rounds”

  1. MCL, have you seen the rumored top 36 list, and if not, do you want me to tell you a few names, or would you like to wait?

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  2. Hi Tomboy. I have seen it over at JoesPlaceBlog.com, but thanks so much asking. Spoiler alert: Here is the link everyone

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  3. OMG…it said Norman, aka Nick, made the Top 36!! Interesting. I think you’ll be happy about some people on the list, MCL. I do agree that David Osmond shouldn’t have been cut, same about Rose but I think her messing up the words was her biggest downfall.

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  4. I love love love adam lambert! I love his voice I love his look!!

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  5. MCL, I believe you used the word “Trainwreck” to describe this episode–and you could not be more correct! It is nothing short of ridiculous that David Osmond got cut, and yet Norman “the invincible” Gentle is rumored to have made the Top 36. The judges seemed to have it in for David from the start considering their lukewarm reception to him when he auditioned in Salt Lake City. I do not care how badly his group came off in Hollywood Week. HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CUT! To me, the judges were waiting for the moment he would perform less than spectacular to eliminate him from the show. Why? Who knows. Maybe the producers (who so far this season are turning this show into anything but a singing competition) thought the popular ‘Osmond’ name would give him an unfair advantage. Maybe they just don’t want really nice people on their show–because nice is boring. You know, not goot for the ratings and all that. After all, I remember how David Archuleta was constantly teased last season for his too nice, “PG” personality. Apparently, those traits weren’t desirable qualities for an American Idol. So, they went for the gritty bartender instead (No offense to David Cook). Had Osmond made it to the Top 36, I believe he would have been a true contender and potentially the American Idol. It is nothing short of tragic that his dream was cut short. I also find it very interesting that he was given virtually no screen time in Hollywood. The producers did a smashing job of phasing him out.

    Well, to those who are fans of David Osmond, I have some good news. Since his unjust dismissal from Idol, he has been doing quite well. It is even rumored that he may be David Archuleta’s (who is good friends with him) opening act on his spring tour (which is sold out). It is very interesting . . . if not just downright fishy . . . that Osmond would not be good enough to make it through the cheesy group round of Hollywood Week, and yet he is good enough to perform on stage alongside last year’s true American Idol. Just because he has been eliminated from Idol doesn’t mean that I will stop watching his career with great interest and expectations. After all, being independent of Idol has worked very well for Archuleta. I believe that David Osmond will excel as well. Like Archuleta, he has what is most important (what no American Idol title can bestow): a strong faith in God and the steadfast support of his family.

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  6. MCL, you are right on the money. If someone missed the first half hour, they didn’t miss much. Fine, if they must have drama so we can get to know the contestants better, but why waste such precious time on Katrina? I want to see those who will be part of the TOP 36.

    We have gotten a glimpse of some of the potential TOP 12. Yes, Adam is quite talented! However, my views about professional singers on AI remains. I do like Danny, Michael, and Kris – but Tatiana is driving me crazy!

    BTW, Nick Hendrix is a 17 year-old black teen from Orlando, Fla. according to VFTW. There will be much racial diversity in the TOP 36, and I do see Jorge (from Puerto Rico) building up a fan base.

    Most of the contestants do have a nice voice, but at this point I don’t see myself voting for anyone yet.

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  7. IMO We see too much of some and nothing from others? Is Cody aka Horror flick kid even there? Kai, Michael Castro, Stevie are all singers I have wanted to hear more from yet we do not hear a note. MCL I also liked Rose. Too bad bikini train wreck was in her group. I doubt David Osmond was so bad he had to be sent packing.

    Too much drama and not enough singing.

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  8. Ah, you’ve seen it, MCL. So I take it you were surprised with some of the names on there (Kristen, Nathaniel, Normund, Von and Tatiana)?

    I think they are catering to VFTW this year because they kept complaining that last year was the worst and most boring one ever. Hopefully none of the five people I mentioned above makes the top 12, and we get a well-rounded, diverse group like last year.

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  9. I liked Rose as a person but saw her as an okay singer and she totally joined the WRONG group. I loved Danny Osmond and wish they showed WHY he was eliminated rather than all the Tatiana drama. I would’ve also liked to have seen more Adam Lambart who I think will go far in this competition based on his voice and looks. I agree, more focus on the singing, less drama. I missed Simon’s witty criticisms this episode too. On anothr note: isn’t it ironic that the best singers didn’t join groups where there was drama (Anoop, Danny Gokee, Ann Marie Boscovitch, the latin guy)? Mentally they are better prepared for this competition, and the singers who were affected by it will not last much longer, imho.

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  10. CookieMonster – I’m with you about Adam. Did you see my latest blog about him? It’s the second blog topic on the homepage.

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  11. Galen – very well put! Your comments are spot on!

    I would pay big dollars to see these two Davids back to back in concert. Also, as ridiculous as this sounds, they probably didn’t want another “David” in the competition. Something in the name, perhaps? haha

    All I know is this young man is a class act and he left this ridiculous Hollywood experience with dignity – a smile on his face. Love him.

    Norman as Top 36 = ratings for all the wrong reasons. I think this guy is talented, but not talented in the sense that he belongs on American Idol necessarily.

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  12. Oh, dear–I was watching with my mother, and we kept asking each other when there was going to be some SINGING!!

    You know, I think AI is making a major miscalculation–they are trying to pick up their ratings by making themselves more like other “reality” shows. But AI became a success as a TALENT competition, and personality is not the largest part of that–and “drama” is not a part of that at all. From what they are showing us they are not looking for singers, they are casting for personality conflicts. Blech.

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  13. ReReader – I totally agree. I cannot stand all the craziness this season.

    After Season 7, I thought American Idol would understand and embrace the ingredients of a successful format.

    Season 7 will always be my favorite American Idol season because it focused on the talent and charisma of the individual and combined talent of the Top 12 singers.

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  14. Your assessment of last night’s AI is right on the money masterclass lady. If subsequent episodes continue down this path of drama and personality conflicts instead of the music, I don’t see myself continuing to watch the show. Last night’s show was the worst AI I have ever seen. Just dreadful. It’s hard to tell if there are any really talented artists this year because so little emphasis and time has been spent on letting us hear them. My main hope was on David Osmond and how he is gone. So sad.

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  15. Season 7 will always be my favorite American Idol season because it focused on the talent and charisma of the individual and combined talent of the Top 12 singers.

    This is EXACTLY what I feel! I only hope someone injects some sanity into the show in the next week or so–if they keep up the way they’ve begun, they are doing these young people a great disservice.

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  16. Eep! I wanted to your words in a quote thingie, and it didn’t work…but that first paragraph is from MCL’s last comment!!

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  17. I agree, MCL! I was very pleased that David Osmond responded with dignity and kindness when he was unfairly eliminated. He would be the kind of star that parents would want their kids to look up to, if you know what I mean. Being a good role model is an important part of being the American Idol in my honest opinion. I also liked when it showed David Osmond’s mom telling David that everyone knows he CAN SING despite what the judges said. That lady was spot on! Way to go!

    Rereader, I agree with you completely as well. Last season was the “perfect” Idol season (minus the ending) by far! That was a formula for success that I fear we may never really get to see again. I feel like the Top 36 (who I have so far refrained from finding out who they are) is going to be comprised of people who are like total strangers because Idol hasn’t taken enough time to let us see their individual singing style, except for of course Norman Gentle. As unpredictable and chaotic as this season has been so far, I would not get too attached to anyone until the Top 12 is announced.

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  18. I have thought from the beginning that David’s health problems might have been a consideration in his abilities to fulfill the riggerous expectations of AI. His name recognition probably gave him an unfair advantage as well. I can see all the press gathering if the “clan” appeared each week as he performed. Also the judges expectations for him might be unrealistic because of his family connections. Although all of this might be unfair, it is a real possibility. His family can “push” him if it is what he really wants. He is a very talented young man who seems very grounded.

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  19. I fixed it for you Rereader! 🙂

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  20. I just read on mjsbigblog.com that David developed laryngitis during the day, and just completely lost his voice. You can read the excerpts of his interview on that site. I guess other members of his group forgot lyrics but still got through that day. Seems to me it was a convenient excuse to cut him. I bet they worried about the Osmond clan taking over the show…

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  21. To go along with what Sara said, here’s David Osmund’s blog about what happened. It’s so sad. That really is a singer’s worst nightmare.

    Hope this helps people understand, although I don’t agree with it.

    http://www.davidosmond.com/blog/?p=14

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  22. MCL, it’s always a pleaure to read your thoughs on Idol. Your Gaviscon comment was priceless!

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  23. I agree, Sara. The judges or producers were just waiting for a convenient time to eliminate David, and the laryngitis proved to be just what they needed. I find it really appalling that the other members of his group got through even though they forgot their lyrics. What sickens me more than anything is that the judges knew David Osmond would never get another shot at Idol if they sent him home. He is 29 so next year he will not be able to audition. Considering his audition and round one performance in Hollywood were both really good, they should have given him mercy because of his laryngitis and allowed him one final chance to save himself in the next round. Just imagine if David Archuleta or David Cook had been plagued by laryngitis during Hollywood Week last season. Think of how tragic it would have been if the judges treated them like they treated David Osmond this season. If memory serves me right, didn’t Syesha have voice trouble last season, and yet the judges gave her one final chance to save herself? Why does Syesha get that privilege, yet it is denied to David? I’m afraid the answer is one I do not like. The show simply did not want David Osmond to be a contender this season, and I think they really passed up an amazing opportunity. Who knows? They just might very much regret cutting him someday.

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  24. Res – thank for dropping by. Honestly, if I had to sit through some of these singers, I would have a bottle of Gaviscon on the judges’ table. It really is hard to “stomach” (pardon the pun – ha!) some of these singers. 🙂

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  25. Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good night.

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  26. I was just curious as to how I go about changing my password on here? Couldn’t find it when I did a quick scan, thanks.

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