American Idol Season 8 Vocal Masterclass Discussion For the Top 3 Performance Show: Judges’ Choice And Own Choice

Picture Courtesy Of AmericanIdol.Com

Picture Courtesy Of AmericanIdol.Com

Each year, I find the Top 3 show to be the most nerve-wracking show of the entire season. Personally, I have always believed that Final 2 are the true stars of the the current American Idol season. The gala Finale centers around their individual and combined talent, allowing them to sell their musical package to an international audience one more time before the winner is announced.

Therefore, it must be a little more than upsetting to have reached this Top 3 placement in the finals, then realizing that, because of a shortage of votes, you have been deprived a coveted spot in the Top 2 showcase.

However, Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, Kellie Pickler and Jason Castro would beg to differ and it is through their example that the eliminated singers should turn to for inspiration and guidance. This is only one stepping stone – albeit it a huge one – on the road to success and each of the singers have to take what they have learned and experienced on American Idol and build more steps. Hard work and determined effort – that’s what it takes to become a star and that will never change.

Best of luck to Adam, Danny and Kris. It has been an immense pleasure to write these Vocal Masterclass articles for you.  And to my readers,  thank you once again for your lively and thought-provoking commentary.

Enjoy the show! And, if you haven’t yet done so, visit and follow my Twitter page for further updates!


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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

81 Responses to “American Idol Season 8 Vocal Masterclass Discussion For the Top 3 Performance Show: Judges’ Choice And Own Choice”

  1. Adam should be the next American Idol. I hope he makes it through. Most artistic often go home on CI at top 3. He’s the best singer, most unique, most interesting, and best performer so he should win. My favourite idol in all 8 seasons, hands down.

    I LOVED his interpretation of U2. Very pretty. I liked the Aerosmith song too, but I kinda missed crazy eyeliner wearing Adam tonight. LOL. Cryin was great and rock, but I prefer when Adam goes bat $hit crazy on the rock numbers. LOL. Still, it was fantastic nonetheless and the crowd loved him both times.

    Kris was weak vocally, but I liked his arrangement on the second song. Still lacks star power though.

    Danny earned his ticket home, but he has yet to make a trip to the b2, so who knows.

    In all, they were all pretty good tonight. I wish Allison were still in it. Would have loved an Adam Allison final 2.


  2. They all did a good job tonight–now we just have to wait and see . . .


  3. I’m impressed. I thought each of the guys gave arguably his best performance yet (One, YASB, and Heartless).

    But Adam… wow. “One” just may be my favorite performance of the season. That was nothing short of BRILLIANT. One of my favorites ever, in fact… this is in a league with Tamyra’s “A House Is Not A Home,” Fantasia’s “Summertime,” etc etc. I can’t ever remember cheering at the end of a performance as I teared up.

    Ah, back to voting!


  4. WOW!

    I thought all 3 guys were good tonight. Really liked “Heartless” from Kris – very original with the guitar. Really enjoyed Adam rocking out on “Cryin” – but what was up with that super loud back up singer?

    Totally loved “One” – my total favorite tonight. You could see/feel how much Adam was feeling the lyrics. And how gracious was he at the end? Simon asking people to vote for Adam & he is saying how talented his competition was tonight. Adam totally deserves to be in the Final 2!!!


  5. Wow, Kris did a very respectable job with “Apologize,” considering that he sang it in the original key. The head voice didn’t trip him up as much as I thought it might.

    [Sidenote- Snarky comment from Kara to Simon: “Have you ever interpreted a song in your life?” I actually agree with Kara here. She’s a singer-songwriter, and she’s had more firsthand experience with interpreting songs than Simon does. Check out her version of “Taking Chances,” which she co-wrote. Good stuff!]

    Also, I love the a cappella intro of “Heartless.” Great interpretation. Thank you, judges, for giving Kris the credit he deserves!


  6. Yeah….something was up with the backup singer on Cryin. She was off-key and horrible. She wasn’t even in sync with Adam. Someone needs to be fired. Adam was still great, but you could tell he knew something was wrong b/c he pulled the ear piece off.

    One of the backup singers has been twittering- I’ll bet it’s her. She twittered that the “pimp spot is in effect”. Guess she is a sucker for underdogs. I don’t think she should be allowed to twitter. Now it just looks like sabotage. How is that for a conspiracy theory??? hahahaha.


  7. J, I was actually cheering for Kara when she confronted Simon. She did something tonight many people wish they could have done. She put her hand over his mouth. Brava!

    Oh, and then there was Paula hitting Simon and causing a commotion that even the camera guy didn’t want us to see. Brava!

    Now what a minute here…there wasn’t time for three performances, but there was plenty of time to focus on the judges’ activities? Sorry folks, but I am not buying it. And just how much time was actually focused on the homecomings?

    The mismanagement of Season 8 has been atrocious! Focusing on the judges and not on the contestants this week was an insult to Danny, Kris, and Adam.

    The contestants know that they will be singing 3, 4, or more songs consecutively on the tour. This was not asked of them tonight. Other seasons, this feat (of singing three songs) has been done successfully. At this point we have seen 5 less performances than other seasons.

    This should anger the fans of these three contestants. I know I am angry and my guy did not reach this point.


  8. The back-up singer was definitely out of sync with Adam. My guess is either the sound technicians didn’t get the mic levels right (somewhat likely) or the back-up singer was singing louder in the live performance than in rehearsal (very likely). At least for performances I’ve been in, the sound technicians usually take note of the ideal mic levels during rehearsal and use those same levels for the live performance. Any discrepancies would arise from singing at a different volume between those (or singing closer/farther from the mic, etc.).


  9. Kariann1 – Definitely; power to Kara! 😉

    The third paragraph = too true. As interesting as watching the judges’ bickering was, all that time could have probably been converted to more performances if the producers, judges, and such tried a little harder to accommodate them.

    It is definitely a shame that these top 3 contestants have had five fewer performances than top 3 contestants in the past. Hopefully, next season will be better in terms of time management? *sighs*


  10. I just saw Carrie Underwood’s Idol Gives Back segment. Did anyone else find it refreshing how down-to-earth Carrie looked in this segment? It reminds me of her way back on Idol when she was a T-shirt and jeans kind of girl. In the past few years, I feel her stylists or whatnot have “glammed up” her look beyond recognition, and I’m not saying that that look isn’t lovely on her, but I find it very refreshing to see Carrie with natural make-up and everyday clothes.


  11. I thought that perhaps the AI Gives Back took up too much time!! But yes, Carrie is down to earth.

    I think, now I am thinking that there are no 3 songs is because AI strategy team wanted more people to buy AI tickets to get the full Monty.

    The show was too rushed for me. But they are da bomb songs. I love it when Paula told Kris that he has to be the bravest contestant ever for singing “Heartless” TO Simon. Kara was brave if you ask me. woot.


  12. Are the parades presenting tomorrow night? I kinda miss them and decided that I do like them after all.


  13. Was it just me, or did the songs seem extraordinarily short tonight? And couldn’t they have aired the Idol Gives Back segment during the results show and give the contestants more time to sing?


  14. I noticed that Adam did ripped off his earpiece. But he congratulated them after his song.


  15. Why show the AI Gives Back at all? With all that money raised; they only gave away mosquito nets? That is not feeding them is it?


  16. Another here chiming in on how off Adam’s back-up singer was (as in on the moon). Did you see his face when she hit that one particular note? Ouch! He tried to compensate by backing off and softening his approach (practically swallowing it) – but it didn’t do much good. She was off throughout. I say yea to him that he managed just fine in spite of it. Boy – how frustrating was that? Arguably the most important night of his life dependent upon some strange woman’s sense of pitch?

    I want to take a moment to laud Kris’s masterful interpretation of ‘Heartless’. It WAS better then the original – and he sang it beautifully. Another ‘Sunshine’ moment there. I hope he makes it into the final along with Adam. Danny sounded OK – but he didn’t ‘wow’ – not like Kris or Adam. Adam’s still my guy – but Kris is also very special. No matter how it works out – all three will most likely end up with stellar careers.


  17. TFLS –

    You’re not kidding about that backup singer! That was truly awful! I know Adam realized what was happening and tried to sing through it, but that was so unfortunate. There’s a reason that they are called “BACKUP” singers. That’s because they are supposed to blend into the background and not interfere with the singer. He did his best and powered through and managed to finish strong, but that really hurt his performance. But Adam just managed to compliment his fellow contestants and be gracious. It’s what I have come to expect from him.

    I loved his version of One. But I am wondering if he should have done the whole song softly, as he did in the beginning. I will have to listen to it again tomorrow with my eyes closed, to get a better feel for it. The expectations are so very high for Adam each week. I wonder if he can manage to keep pulling out all the stops.

    I have to say that my enjoyment was severly compromised by the behavior of all of the judges. I truly think this was a new low. I was screaming at them to just SHUT UP and let the contestants sing. I would much rather have heard three songs from each of them, rather than listen to their self-indulgent fighting and nastiness. I definitely think we should have only three judges and more singing, please!

    There seemed to be a lot of tension amongst the judges tonight. I don’t know the reason for it, but it’s obvious that there is no love lost between Simon and Kara. I thought they all showed extreme disrespect for the three finalists.

    I thought Kris was much better with his version of Heartless. I did not love Apologize. I don’t think he changed the key and he had trouble hitting those high notes, from what I heard. It seemed as though he lowered the key in mid song, but I will have to listen to it again tomorrow to be sure. He seemed much more comfortable and relaxed when he sang Heartless. For the first time in weeks, I saw him at ease, comfortable and enjoying himself. This is his strength.

    Danny did not do anything memorable with Dance Little Sister. I don’t know that I loved his version of Joe Cocker’s You Are So Beautiful. I am such a huge fan of Joe Cocker and feel he is a tough act to follow. It was definitely better than his first performance, but a vocal master class – no way. Sorry, just my opinion.


  18. Kris did a great job with Heartless. I have the original on my iPod, but I think I’ll listen to Kris’ more often. My husband still likes the original version better, but he’s never been a big Kris fan.

    It’s too bad that the backup singer couldn’t have reigned it in on Cryin’. I hope Ricky takes her to task for it. Maybe the saxaphone player is her boyfriend, and she was striking back for the comment Simon made about the solo sounding like he was playing a toy.

    Mindy – I agree that I maybe would have liked it if Adam had sung One more restrained all the way through. I think that this is an example of how his songs sometimes seem too compressed to me (I want more!!) To me, this happened when he sang “Feelin’
    Good.” The glory note came, but I felt that he hadn’t had the right amount of time to build on it. When you listen to the studio recording, however, he has plenty of time to build to the crescendo (I absolutely love his recording of this song!) and the glory note is beautiful and sweet and breathtaking. I think that we’ll see this happening with “One” too. Given the proper time, he will flesh it out and it will sound even better. I just wish they could work it out so he could sing more of the verses during the performances. Adam’s songs always seem so much shorter than Danny’s. Is this just because I’m (obviously) an Adam fan? Has anyone ever clocked the performances? I’ll have to go back and check this out.

    Looking forward to your critiques on two songs each, MCL!


  19. Why show the AI Gives Back at all?

    Again, time that could have been devoted to the Top 3 contestants. It was nice seeing Carrie, but was it really necessary this week?

    This bickering between the judges ruined the show not enchased it. What are these people thinking?

    I agree with you, Mindy. The first part of “One” was sweet. Why didn’t Adam keep this ballad soft and clear? He would have picked up more casual votes. Indeed, he does have a beautiful voice.

    I was rooting for Kris to do a terrific job with “Apologize” but was a bit disappointed. His “Heartless” was much better. He’s just such a likeable, humble guy.

    “Dance Little Sister” left no impression upon me. I don’t think it was fair to give him a song that many people would not know. Taylor Hicks did such a nice job with “You Are So Beautiful,” so yes I was disappointed in Danny’s version. It was funny seeing Danny’s reaction to the judge’s bad behavior. It was a likeable moment for me. Were they perhaps drinking something other than Coke?

    There was no special “moment” tonight. It is rated “OK” when compared to other seasons. The one song I will remember is “One” and I hope Adam gets into the Finale. I did vote for him tonight and encountered several busy signals.

    Please, someone explain to me why the judges behaved so badly. Is this a way to prepare us for Kara’s exit?


  20. Correction: This bickering between the judges ruined the show not enhanced it.


  21. Seriously Surely, you’re joking about the mosquito nets, right? Do you realize that a million people die of malaria every year, and that a simple $10 net can prevent the disease? Donating all that money for the nets has probably saved tens of thousands of lives.

    Anyway, I thought Kris was really lovely tonight. His opening to “Heartless” was beautiful.


  22. I cringed when I heard that Danny picked “You are so Beautiful” because I loved Taylor’s interpretation. But I really liked Danny’s version–it was different and I didn’t have the sense that he was trying to copy Joe Cocker. Unfortunately I know zilch about a lot of current music, so it was one of the few songs that I actually recognized tonight.

    I agree with all of the postings about the judges bickering. It was disrespectful to the contestants on such an important night. I checked out Dial Idol which has all of them fairly close. It looks like it is anyone’s game.


  23. See Melida Doolittle’s comment regarding Adam’s performance, She’s so nice, Love Her. Since I’m a huge fan of Adam, I just post Melida Doolittle’s comments about Adam here. For the other contestant, pls see She’s very positive for every one

    DUDE!!!!! That’s skill. That’s artistry. That’s perfection! I mean, I actually jumped to my feet for the majority of the performance and didn’t sit down until the commercial came on. That was a great choice by Simon and an even greater performance by Adam. Coming from the best vocal coach in the world (Janet Kenyon)…she was so impressed with his ability to start off tender, ten blow us away and end up going right back to that amazing tender sound. That’s really hard to do and he nailed it. Also, I’m not sure how anyone can call him scary when he has the best attitude. The fact that he credited the song’s lyrics for why it was so beautiful speaks volumes. He never takes full credit. Amazing!”

    First of all, if you don’t know me, Aerosmith is one of my very favorite bands. I think Steven Tyler is out of this world and I am such a fan. That being said, Adam is now my hero…not just for knocking that song out of the park, but for also giving Steven Tyler credit for being brilliant. Adam is a very gracious contestant and I was also blown away by how he credited Kris and Danny for being wonderful at what they do too. This was an amazing Top 3 and he didn’t take that for granted.”


  24. Thank you, Lena for the link!

    So…here go my thoughts for the best top 3 night in Idol history in my opinion.

    I disagree with Melinda (God love her), but it wasn’t all that grand. Season 7 was pretty awesome. Oh, and Season 5 blew me away. Wait, wait… who can forget Season 2? Kimberly Locke was so strong that night, I expected Clay and Kimberly to be in the Finale. Last night was no way near the best Top 3, especially without three songs.

    Louise, I do agree the Judges’ behavior was disrespectful! Who cares if Paula is hitting Simon or Kara is strangling him or whatever? Why behave like that? Can you tell I am upset?


  25. Kariann 1 wrote:

    Oh, and Season 5 blew me away.

    There’s no question about it, Kariann! This is the favorite Season of Idol for so many people I know, and for so many different reasons. I think Bo Bice’s stint on Season 4 opened the door for what was to follow, (and really turned the show into what it is today) which in short, was one Taylor Hicks. Love him or hate him, Taylor was the first person to come on the show who was an all around “entertainer,” and he added a whole new dimension to the show that just wasn’t there before he arrived on the scene. I’m not sure that others who were “different” types of performers, (Blake Lewis, David Cook, Adam Lambert) would have tried out for the show had they not witnessed for themselves that being “different” could be an asset and not a hindrance. Am I writing that in a way that makes sense?

    Sorry everyone about going off topic, but Karinann’s post just “struck a chord” with me (no pun intended) and I had to reply.


  26. I so agree with Kariann and Skid about Season 5–that was the most exciting season ever. It’s too bad that the contestants were not able to play their instruments that year–can you imagine what it would have been like with Taylor and Chris playing their guitars as well as Taylor on harmonica?

    And Skid, I think you’re absolutely right about Bo Bice opening the door for a different kind of contestant. Taylor would certainly never have tried out if Bo hadn’t made it the previous year.


  27. Lena, thanks for the link!

    I really loved both performances and just felt Adam had a gutteral connection to the lyrics of “One” that made it so powerful for me. I actually liked the arrangement (though I fully agree it should be better in the full length song), especially the very end (“sisters, brothers”) where it’s so soft. It was like emotional exhaustion for me, which I thought was incredibly effective for the song’s message.

    I have a feeling the arrangement of “One” was largely due to Simon. I’ve read that the judges this year were also given the option to attend rehearsals and help the contestants with judges’ pick. Reportedly, Simon is the only judge who showed up to rehearsal (which is where is criticism of Randy and Kara came from with “Apologize”) and helped with the arrangement. Ryan and Adam had a little exchange about it at the end of the judges’ comments, but I’m not sure it was clear what they were talking about without the backstory. So, love it or hate it, seems Adam did what Simon wanted, which is very respectful.

    And, yes, the backup singer on “Cryin” . . . dreadful! At first, I was blaming the sound techs, but I suspect they set the soundboard based on rehearsal, which would suggest backup singer lady sang louder during the live show. So distracting!


  28. Good morning everyone:

    Have to begin teaching soon, but wanted to touch base with all of you. Thanks again for your commentary. Good stuff!

    Have been working on the VM article and it should be up and ready for reading either later on today or tomorrow morning.

    Have to agree with your comments about the back-up singer during Adam’s “Cryin'” performance. Ouch! My ears. I want names! What was that primal sound coming from her mouth?

    I was typing while he was singing and had to stop and look at the screen -it seemed so weird for Adam to be having pitch or vocal issues, but that singer totally “threw him for a loop”. Wow!


  29. You know, I understand that everyone has their own opionion and I respect that, and I do respect the one who pointed out that the mosquitoe nets are crucial and saved million of lives and thank you. Isn’t there another way to get rid of misquitoes? I live in an area where there are misquitoes and I can understand, although we do not get malaria but they sure can be pesty and itchy. Although, I think mosquito nets are just a band-aid.

    Brazil, Eritrea, India, and Vietnam have, unlike many other developing nations, successfully reduced the malaria burden. Common success factors included conducive country conditions, a targeted technical approach using a package of effective tools, data-driven decision-making, active leadership at all levels of government, involvement of communities, decentralized implementation and control of finances, skilled technical and managerial capacity at national and sub-national levels, hands-on technical and programmatic support from partner agencies, and sufficient and flexible financing.

    I also like to point out that the mosquito nets are being used for fishing. They have to eat.


  30. Pertaining to the judges’ “bickering” That is just the live show for you; it is not rehearsed or taped. I like it because it is down to earth, don’t we bicker? We sure bicker in here. 🙂 I dig the live shows, it reminds me of the 50’s or the 60-‘s when the shows were live and the bickering, mistakes (the backup singer) is what’s make it real. IMHO


  31. MCL wrote:

    What was that primal sound coming from her mouth?

    If I was that close to Adam, I’d probably do the same thing!:-)


  32. an you imagine what it would have been like with Taylor…..playing guitar as well as Taylor on harmonica?

    Yes, the scenario would have gone like this. “Would someone please clean up the puddle on the floor formerly known as skid?” 🙂

    And Skid, I think you’re absolutely right

    Can we please have this comment bronzed? 🙂


  33. The Backup singer had me lost for a bit. I thought Adam had something on his mic that was echoing his voice and making it sound higher. When I finally got it figured out I thought, “Man, he had his voice in such a nice spot in his range, not too high and this voice from space is making it sound shrill. Such an important night too. Looking forward to your review MCL.


  34. Seriously Surely, here’s a site with information about why mosquito nets: Remember, a lot of these nets are going to countries where money sent to aid the government does not reliably reach people, but the nets do–and the nets yield the most lives saved per dollar spent.

    YIKES, that backup singer was unbelievable–WAY too loud even if she had been on key (which she was nowhere close to).


  35. So she was off key as well as seeming to be off on timing…at least the timing seemed odd to me. Like an echo. Very much looking forward to hearing the studio versions.

    I also noticed that I was not able to recognize some words when Adam sang, especially whatever he belted out on One. I do not know all the lyrics so I have no idea what he belted out. With a song that is all about the words it was a bad time to fall back on that.

    I still voted my little fingers off for him though. He still is the best IMHO.


  36. I’m just curious as to why Adam had someone singing back up any way! I’m not very observant, has he used the back up singers in the past? If so, were they subtle and I didn’t hear them?


  37. I was underwhelmed by the performances last night, mostly due to the song choices. The only one I truly enjoyed was Kris’s version of “Heartless”. Adam really disappointed me with both of his songs. The arrangement of “One” did not work (thank you Simon) but even vocally I expected more from the second half of the performance. For some reason his high notes were boring me; perhaps he too was suffering from vocal fatigue.

    As for “Cryin'”, I don’t like the song and the back-up singer ruined the first half of it. And again, the belting wasn’t working as well as it usually does. I’m disappointed that this crucial night ended up being his weakest. I’m curious to see what MCL has to say about his performances.

    Danny was competent, but as I expected the other two have much more star quality and simply outclassed him.


  38. Two words, judges: SHUT UP.

    Danny was all right — Paula didn’t choose a great song for him in round one, and YASB was fine, but I hate that song. You could really hear the wear on Danny’s voice in that one, too. Too many breathing issues and wobbly (not off-pitch, just wobbly) notes in there for it to be a “vocal masterclass.” Sorry, Simon.

    Kris was my favorite last night. He did a good job with “Apologize,” and after his second song it was obvious why he chose not rearrange the first one. I liked the moments where he chose to use full-voice instead of falsetto on the chorus. It was a good performance of a good song, as opposed to Danny’s good performance of a bad (IMO) song. “Heartless” was absolutely brilliant. Loved the a capella intro.

    Adam… oh boy. Something about him seemed a little off last night, and I’m not referring to the backup singer. The first half of “One” was fantastic, but he went WAY overboard in the second and lost any semblance of the melody. It felt like two different songs. I have no particular attachment to “One” even though U2 is my favorite band, so I don’t feel like he ruined a “sacred” song. I just hated the way he approached the second half of it. Love ya, Adam, but I did not love that performance. I wish he’d exercised a little (or a lot of) restraint on that one and saved the wailing for Aerosmith. And speaking of which….

    “Cryin'” was a great song choice, but I can’t critique the performance fairly because of that atrocious backup singer. Poor Adam. If she’d actually been on-pitch I could have dealt with the excessive volume (on which I blame on the sound techs), but she completely ruined it. Remember Carrie’s “Alone”? Can you imagine how different that would have been with a poor performance from the backup singer?


  39. Vonnie – have you heard the original version of “Cryin'”? The backing vocals add a lot to the song (it has the same sort of effect as the backing vocals on Heart’s “Alone,” which I just mentioned in my previous post), so I can understand why he’d want them. It adds a little extra oomph to the song. I hate that the sound mixing and the backup singer’s pitch were so off.


  40. Erin…Thank you for your response!

    I know nothing about the technical part of singing! That said, wouldn’t it be hard to be a back-up singer for Adam? (I only think this because of reading this site and getting to be privy to some posters discussions on his range) especially the way he changes notes (am I right?)

    I apologize up front for sounding ignorant!


  41. Seriously Surely May 13, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Oh-hum, Skid; please spare us. Bronze, indeed. U took it out of content.

    This season is the best I have ever witnessed. Is that meaningful enuff?


  42. No problem, Vonnie. 🙂 And while yes, a lot of people might have trouble singing backup for Adam (I can’t imagine attempting a high harmony to that huge note he hit at the end of “Feeling Good,” for instance), I don’t think it would be that much of a problem for a female soprano. And the backing vocals on “Cryin'” shouldn’t have been a challenge to AI singers at all. There really is no excuse for how bad that was.


  43. Seriously Surely May 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    It is getting pretty irritating how people complain abt the insipid things. The judges are extremely entertaining and funny. Do u want robots? rehearsed? talking heads? taped and take out all the human interactions, mistakes to make it perfect? Very misleading for children who may think that life has to be perfect. Excuse me for being blunt, some of you have very low-tolerance, if I may say so. Try to enjoy every moment of your life. I’ve had cancer and am a survivor for 13 years; and vowed that I was going to enjoy every moment. In other words, why can’t you? Like Rosanne said (without myself being arrogant)let’s try to remember that parents, relatives, friends of the AI judges/staff/contestants read this board. Sorry if I seem to be offensive but not any more than some of you. 🙂


  44. Seriously Surely May 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Well, Adam had been perfect all along, again, it is a live show and the mistakes cannot be edit, so he made one mistake to have a back up singer. He looks human when he tore out his earpiece and carried on the professional “the show must go on,” attitude. What a pro! He was smart to smile no matter what, say thank you no matter what (he congratulated the screeching back-up) and hardly a peep from him except graciousness.


  45. Hi all. Longtime lurker. Um, I have to say I had high hopes and was actually disappointed in the show. Much to my surprise, I thought the single best performance of the night was Kris’ “Heartless.” Despite everyone’s obvious talent, I still think he is the one most likely to sell records.

    Adam is the best singer, hands down. However, I thought he was a little screechy last night in both performances; much moreso than usual. I know the background singer and all, but still.

    Danny is just not my cup of tea, I admit. However, I do generally like the tone of his voice and he has skills. However, I really disliked both performances. The first was so wrong — the timing seemed wrong, the pitch didn’t wow me (or maybe more precisely he just couldn’t get that tone of his into the tune) and the dancing was distractingly bad. As to that lovely Joe Cocker tune, I gotta say: meh. Intended to be stripped down, and it instead sounded overproduced. Competent, for sure, but not the best. And I wonder about singing something that’s been done to death on the show.

    Anyway, I miss Allison. Hoping for a more interesting finale.


  46. Seriously Surely –

    With all due respect, I don’t think the comments about the judges are insipid or inappropriate in any way. This is supposed to be a singing competition. That’s why I watch. It’s nice that there are judges to give us a point of view, but I do not rely on them to tell me what was good or bad. I can make up my own mind. I watch for the performances. I feel cheated having only listened to two songs. I wanted to hear more.

    I don’t think that anything said here was disrespectful to the families of the judges. After all, they are here to do a job. They are well paid to be professionals. I don’t find it appealing to see adults carping at each other, hurling insults and grabbing each other and covering their mouths.

    What about the contestants and their families? These young men have sacrificed and worked hard for this opportunity. That deserves the respect of the judges. If they have personal issues with each other, then let them deal with it off stage. But it should not be brought out in front of millions of viewers.

    I found their behavior incredibly boorish. I don’t think that’s carping or being petty. It’s how I felt and there’s no getting around it. I also felt empathy for the ones doing the performing. They really do deserve so much better.


  47. Oh, hahahahahaha!! Slezak, in TV Watch (,,20007164_20247027_20278579,00.html) described that incident during Adam’s “Cryin'” thus (and I hope I’m coding this correctly!):

    A fearsome howler monkey wrestled the mic away from a backup singer and offered aggressive, unwanted support to Adam Lambert as he performed Aerosmith’s ”Cryin’.”


  48. lol! I enjoy reading Slezak’s comments as well. (Although he really seems to dislike Kara. *shrugs*)


  49. Exactly, Mindy. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for someone like Simon Cowell, who earns $36 million a year to judge a singing show, to… y’know, actually judge the singing. He is usually my favorite judge, but he’s been particularly off this year, IMO. He fights with Kara, criticizes wardrobes, draws on Paula’s face, and calls contestants “that one” instead of by their names. Kara doesn’t know the difference between early Aerosmith and mid-90s Aerosmith, Saturday Night Live and Saturday Night Fever, or Studio 54 and Heinz 57. Randy sweeps actual performances under the rug and just says, “You can sing!” rather than telling us what he actually thought about what he just saw and heard. Paula… well, she’s been the most cogent one all season, strangely.

    I don’t want robots, I just want them to actually do their jobs. The show isn’t about them; it’s about the contestants.

    Seriously Surely – the only thing insipid here is the judging panel. Something is wrong when the judges arguing back-and-forth about their song choice takes longer than the actual performance of the song! And I don’t understand how disliking the way the judges are handling themselves has anything to do with my ability to enjoy life; I’m not sure where that line of logic came from, but I don’t think it applies here. I haven’t enjoyed the judges this year because, for the most part, I haven’t found anything about them to be enjoyable.


  50. Seriously Surely May 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Mindy, thank u for being diplomatic and that is what I am talking about. I appreciate another point of view and you did make your case very well. I didn’t think of it that way. Ppl were sniping about the judges’ sniping in here and it does get tiresome in my view. But yep, the contestants are being insulted at times; but that is what makes good TV and there is no way around it. The top 3 picked out of thousands of young ppl audtioning, and that is something that they can deal with regardless the insults. I think by this season, the contestants are tuning Simon out because they know it is just good TV and not to make anything of it. The top 12 knows it is grueling and they did not have to audition, in my opinion. The parents and family knows that too. But I was also referring to the cutting remarks about the contestants in here etc. etc. I just feel sorry for the parents who lurks for their kids in here and hopefully to find some compliments but only to find cutting remarks. I feel them if they are feeling badly about their own “child” or “baby.” We the people are judging and have cutting remarks; they’ve heard enough from Simon. That is like calling the kettle black.

    I appreciate your intelligent post.


  51. Mindy, nicely worded and respectful response. I completely agree with your take on the judges’ behavior. I remember Megan Joy saying in one of her post-Idol interviews that the judges would taunt each other and were obviously not paying attention to her almost every time she performed. Now, Megan was not my cup of tea, but she worked hard to earn her spot in the Top 13 and at the very least deserved a respectuful, attentive listen from the judges. To do anything else is just rude and childish. Reportedly, this is why she literally sang in the judges’ faces during her swan song.

    Seriously Surely – That was sarcasm in your response to Skid’s post about bronzing the quote, right? I’m sure you weren’t trying to be rude or degrading, because, to me, it was clear Skid was just joking around.


  52. That ‘fearsome howler monkey’ (how fabulous a description is that?) may end up costing Adam the win. Some national polls have him listed as the one who’s going home tonight. That’s why Simon made such a fuss about voting. And I can’t help but wonder if what she did was intentional. That back-up singer was Tweeting up a storm both before and immediately after Adams performance. Their overall tenor indicated she didn’t approve of how the judges were treating Adam – felt they were ‘pimping’ him far too much. Now – personal preferences should not enter into a professional situation – but you never know. I truly cannot recall this ever happening before. And it was egregious. She really drowned him out. He had to pull out all the stops to try and counter it. So we’ll see how tonight unfolds – but I have to say, I’m worried for Adam. Oh – I know someone has to go (unfortunately) – but looking at the entirety of each contestant’s performances – Adam should have a clear shot at the title. Cases can be made for either Kris or Danny (both pro and con) – but Adams excellence has been consistent – as was the case with Melinda Dillon. Her abrupt departure came as quite a shock. Well…..I have a bad feeling we may be in for another such shock tonight.


  53. Seriously Surely May 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Erin, thank you for your point of view. However, you are still complaining about the judges and have low tolerance for ppl’s errors that is just plain human. If we have someone like Rosanne on the show; there would be no time for her to critique. So Simon fights with Kara, so he drew on Paula’s face, so what? Kara, not everyone knows the history of all the songs, I really think it was misunderstood; again, so what? I think my problem is that I get attached to them and I get attached to the contestants and love them all. I am human too, I complained about Danny’s shirt, but I felt that I was being a big sister and not once have I criticize his singing. Oh well, I guess there is no end to peace on earth.


  54. Seriously Surely May 13, 2009 at 6:19 pm



  55. Seriously Surely May 13, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    About Megan Joy, deal with it.


  56. TFLS – I hope the back-up singer situation doesn’t affect Adam’s chances at the title. I actually enjoyed his performance of Cryin’ minus the back-up vocals. If those rumors are true (that she intentionally sought to sabotage Adam), that sort of behavior from a back-up vocalist is very unprofessional. I would be worried about my job! For me, even when I’m singing a duet (where the person and I are on equal footing), I am very conscious about my volume, making sure that I don’t overpower the other person, but for a back-up vocalist to purposely try to overpower the lead vocalist, that really crosses the line.


  57. Wow, Seriously Surely. What if Megan Joy’s parents are lurking?


  58. Also, to answer someone’s previous question, I think it’s normal for the contestants to have back-up singers. Actually, I feel most songs do (including “One” if I remember correctly). The difference is that the back-up singers usually blend in more. Someone made a comment earlier about how Carrie’s back-up singers in “Alone” really enhanced the song. A flip side of that is that some people disliked the volume of Gina Glocksen’s back-up singers in her version of “Alone.” I don’t think it was a mistake for Adam to have a back-up singer; he simply had no control over how loud she was going to sing.


  59. Of course I’m still complaining, Seriously Surely. My point was that our criticisms of the judges are completely valid. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable it is for the contestants when they work hard on a song and a performance, wait nervously to hear what the judges thought about it, and then have to stand there while the judges bicker about things completely unrelated to the performance that just took place. It’s insulting to the contestants to have to stand there while Simon and Kara show that they’re more concerned with zinging each other than with what’s happening on the stage.


  60. Doolittle – Melinda Doolittle (whatever in the world is wrong with my brain today?). Melinda Dillon is an actress.

    Maybe I need a vacation 🙂


  61. We’re used to the judges sniping at each other, but occasionally this season they’ve gone a little over the top, i.e., last night when Kara covered Simon’s mouth so he couldn’t speak, etc. Their verbal disagreements are all part of the schtick of AI, however, the other stuff is just a waste of time and just too childish for my taste–that’s what I think shows disrespect to the contestants. I don’t know if any of you also watch Dancing with the Stars, but if not, the judges on that show often disagree, but somehow they come across as being hilarious IMO. But hilarious just isn’t a word that normally comes to mind for me with the Idol judges.

    I’ve been reading the comments here throughout the day, and I must admit to wondering this morning if the backup singer sang too loud intentionally. TFLS raised an interesting development if that’s true about the backup singer disapproving of the treatment Adam was receiving.

    Also I haven’t read anywhere about the fact that Simon said he helped to arrange “One” for Adam. But Randy said he didn’t think that was allowed. Now just what are the rules? Don’t you think that all of the judges should have known that they could help the contestants with the arrangement of the song that they chose for them?


  62. I listened to the performances again today, with my eyes closed and my trusty musical ears ready to go.

    First of all, I just have to say that listening to Cryin’ again with that backup singer drowning out Adam’s vocals, was just plain bad. I must say that I am disturbed by the comment about possible sabotage. That would really be beyond my comprehension. But it was truly bizarre to hear something like that. I don’t recall it happening before, at least not this season. Adam’s vocals were actually really good, but that backup singer just ruined it. I noticed Adam taking one of his ear things out at one point. The fact that he managed to stay on pitch throughout is a testament to his professionalism. I know he will never make excuses, but this was unacceptable.

    We will find out tonight if this costs him a spot in the finale. I haven’t looked at the polls online. I am trying not to make myself crazy. It is what it is and there’s nothing I can do about it. I would be okay if Adam goes out having done his best, but not this way.

    I still do not understand Adam’s choice of this song. After doing Whole Lotta Love last week nailing it, why go there again? He proved that he can sing an iconic rock song brilliantly. He has always been smart with his song choices. He never repeats himself. I thought he would try to just scale it back, dial it down and show us his lovely softer voice.

    Listening to “One” again, I had to marvel at Adam’s vocals. I think part of the problem here is that this is a long song, a message song, and when you have to compress it for time constraints, then you risk losing some of the melody. I believe that the studio version will be fantastic. It’s kind of like what Adam did when he sang “If I Can’t Have You”. He started soft and slow and then built to a crescendo and then quickly brought it back down. Some music critics felt he lost the melody, but when they listened to the studio version they realized what he was doing and loved it. I am thinking that is what may happen with this song, too.

    I will not be okay with Adam going home tonight. Not after his consistently strong, brilliant, artistic performances. He has brought so much to this competition. I will be really sad if he loses the chance to sing for the title. But I always say that things happen for the best. I don’t know that I always believe it, but that’s what I tell myself. I thought it was interesting that Simon felt the need to remind people to vote for Adam and not assume that he would sail through to the finale. That says a lot.

    TFLS – Do I really want to know which national polls are predicting Adam to go home?


  63. I just had to come back on here before I forgot to include my comments about Kris doing Apologize. When I listened to it again, I realized that he didn’t hit the falsetto notes in the chorus of “too late, too late”. He realized it at one point and on the second or third refrain he sang it in a lower key. He did that for the rest of the song. So he had an awareness that he wasn’t getting those falsetto notes and corrected it in mid song. I am not sure if he sang it in the original key or not. That would be up to someone with more expertise, like MCL! Or J!

    I think Kris did great with Heartless. I loved the acapella beginning. What I have realized listening to Kris, is that he doesn’t have the kind of voice that I love. MCL said he has relative pitch, rather than perfect pitch. That may be what my sensitive ears are hearing. I have enjoyed more laid back voices, like the great James Taylor. But James Taylor has such a distinctive voice with such purety of tone, that I just can’t help loving it.

    I can see why many love Kris’s vocals. There is a place for this type of laid back, stripped down singing. It’s engaging and enjoyable. I think this performance was his best vocally in the last few weeks. I thought he was much more relaxed and I even saw that wry smile toward the end. He knew he did great!

    I think this strong performance from Kris may just derail the plans of TPTB, who want an Adam/Danny finale. I think the voting will be close and it’s anyone’s guess who will make it to the finale. Everyone here knows who I want to make it. I have not made it a secret.


  64. In regards to Simon helping with the arrangement of One, this was twittered by Sy, one of the AI backup singers:

    “In short, the backstory to what Simon said to Kara. I was told that all the judges were given the opp to work w/ each kid…

    …they were told the time slot for each kid’s rhrsl. They could come & advise the contestant on how 2 get the most of their song.

    But on rhrsl day, only one judge actually showed up and did that… guess which one.”

    We know it was Simon because it was mentioned on air last night (can’t remember if Simon or Ryan said it). I’m not sure Simon actually did the arranging because that doesn’t seem like a skill of Simon’s. But, I suspect he strongly suggested how he’d like it arranged to both Adam and Michael Orland.


  65. J

    That was my question about the back up singers. I guess I just never heard them try to over sing one of the contestants quit that loud before. Could it be possible that it was on purpose? Either way I thought Adam was extremely gracious about the whole sitiuation. He turned and gave them credit.


  66. May I just say that I’ve been reading this website for years, but this is the first year I’ve contributed a comment.

    I’ve always been impressed by how respectful all the posters have been to each other, even when they have disagreed with each other’s comments. In recent weeks, I have noticed a more partisan reaction, and the tone has changed. Instead of focussing solely on the quality of the singers, the posters are also focussing on a number of other issues. And that seems to reflect the bickering this season amongst the Idol judges.

    There are all kinds of singers in the world, and none of them will appeal to everyone. All of the top 4 are completely credible in the kind of music they would like to make, and should be praised accordingly. Will I buy all of their CDs? Probably not, but I don’t go crazy in buying music. But I can appreciate all their respective talents, even if I have my favorites among them.

    When people bicker, for whatever reason, especially things as (relatively) unimportant in the grand scheme of things, such as singers (and I love singers, but let’s get some perspective here), I think it’s a shame. But when bickering becomes our entertainment, I think that’s a problem. I don’t believe that the AI judge’s need to argue in order to keep us tuning in. As many people have pointed out, this show is supposed to be about the music; provide that, and everyone will tune in.

    But even if I disagree with you, I think you’re all terrific. Despite the change in tone on this board, you are all still a cut above what you can read on most boards.


  67. One possibility to ponder….Perhaps the background singer was not able to hear her monitor if she was using an earpiece?

    I’m thrilled that Kris made it into the finale’…..He has been my number one pick from week one! Matt G was my #2…..


  68. Megan Joy is a very cute,pretty girl with the gorgeous hair and the quirky voice. I admire her guts being a single mother (however, I don’t think it is a good role model). Most of all, I admire the way she loves her child, it was heartripping. She knew what she was getting into and for her to complain about post AI is not kosher but she is young. Sometimes, young ppl don’t know how good they have it such as being one of the top 12 in AI. Comments like that will bite her in the heinie and she may not be accepted in the music business. But I wish her the very best and all the girl power goes to her.


  69. Mindy – Thanks for naming me as someone with expertise! I am very humbled. =) To comment on Kris’ version of “Apologize,” he didn’t change the key; the parts where he sang “too late” lower, he basically sang an alternative melodic line (i.e. changed the melody). As I mentioned earlier, he sang this song in the original key as OneRepublic, so considering that, he pulled it off better than I expected. I felt that he was actually quite close on the first two “too late”s, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you have perfect pitch, Mindy, so anything short of of spot-on pitch will stand out to you. 😉

    I think with your sensitive ears (as you mentioned), it would be difficult to “love” Kris’ singing. *nods* Normally, I’m not attracted to voices as raw as Kris’ either, but the potential he has is so immense that his voice just jumps out at me. There definitely is an aspect for me, at least, where I have to slightly ignore the the extra sources of tension in his voice to truly enjoy it because that tension is the only thing that really detracts from his singing for me. For you, it would be much harder to ignore the tension (and the corresponding pitch problems, which are slight enough for most people to ignore but not for people with absolute pitch). The extra tension definitely prevented me from enjoying “Man in the Mirror” the first time around, but his voice has really grown on me throughout the competition. 😉 I think his instrument would sound gloriously “pure” if the tension disappeared from it.


  70. J –

    I love chatting with you! Thanks for the explanation of what Kris did on Apologize. My ear is quite sensitive and sometimes I try to turn it off a little. I know that it’s not always necessary to listen to perfect pitch. As MCL said, there is relative pitch and for most people, that would probably sound really good.

    I will say that I have enjoyed some of Kris’s performances. I just try to ignore what my ear is telling my brain and just focus more on an emotional level. I can sometimes overcome the sensitive ear thing and truly enjoy a singer without perfect pitch. I used to ask my Mom if there was a way to turn it off and she said no, I was born with it. I started listening to music when I was really young and my parents bought me my own little record player. My mom said I listened to it so much that I ruined it. So I have had a love affair with music and singing all my life.

    I can say that Kris’s performance of Heartless was almost flawless for me. Even my delicate ear couldn’t really hear anything disturbing. If Kris can stay reasonably on pitch, then I think his vocals work just fine. He really does have a lovely tone to his voice. I agree that it’s a good idea to try and ignore some of the tension in his jaw and neck and just sit back and enjoy!

    I think some of Kris’s tension problems will be corrected as he progresses in his career. He is quite talented. His phrasing is marvelous. So I focus on what I like and then I can enjoy it. If I just wait for singers with perfect pitch, then I won’t have a lot of music to choose from.

    I think at times I have the ability to just get into a performance and let the ear go or try to ignore it. But it’s voices like Adam’s that just connect with me so intensely.

    I have decided to listen to some opera singers. My Mom loves opera and we were discussing it the other night. I heard Monserrat Caballe when I saw a special about the late Freddie Mercury. I never knew that the two of them got together and sang. I listened to some of their performances and it was very emotional. I never really got over Freddie Mercury’s death and miss him still. To see them sing together was so moving. My Mom’s favorite female opera singer was Maria Callas, with Monserrat close behind.

    Maybe listening to opera will make my picky ear happy!

    Many thanks again for your patience and taking the time to answer my questions and explain the various aspects of vocal technique.


  71. There are all kinds of singers in the world, and none of them will appeal to everyone. All of the top 4 are completely credible in the kind of music they would like to make, and should be praised accordingly. Will I buy all of their CDs? Probably not, but I don’t go crazy in buying music. But I can appreciate all their respective talents, even if I have my favorites among them.

    Couldn’t agree more, Jeanne! Exactly so.


  72. MCL, could you please explain the difference between perfect pitch and relative pitch? Thanks!


  73. ReReader – perfect pitch is when a singer can perfectly match the pitch of a note without hearing it played in advance. It is a mixed blessing, actually, because some singers with perfect pitch have difficulties adapting to the music if it is not perfectly tuned to the written note.

    For example, if a singer is reading music in a different key than what is being played by the accompanist, this becomes problematic. And ensemble singing can be a disaster for someone with perfect pitch – they have diffculty adapting to subtle changes in pitch that other singers may exhibit.

    Relative pitch is a better option and can be developed, although some singers come by it naturally. When one has relative pitch, it means that your ear is finely attuned to the distances between notes in a melodic line.

    However, the difference here is that people with relative pitch can adapt to different keys wih increased ease, even if the music they are reading is in a different key. They are more attuned to the intervals between notes rater than the exact pitch of every note.


  74. Seriously Surely May 14, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I have to apologize. I wish y’all the best until Season 8.


  75. Thank you, MCL!! I’ve been told I have relative pitch because I can pick out tunes quite accurately on a keyboard (in my own charmingly incompetent one-fingered style!), but I never knew exactly what that meant.


  76. Mindy – I love chatting with you too! I am thankful to be able to have such intelligent questions to answer! 😉 Your mom is right! Most people who have perfect pitch (also known as, “absolute pitch”; it’s the same thing) are born with it. To those who are reading, though, there is a misconception about the relevance of perfect/absolute pitch. People with perfect pitch are NOT incapable of having pitch problems while singing; it just means that they will always notice when they are off-pitch and that it will bother them more than most people. Perfect pitch really relates to the ability to hear whether pitches are spot-on or not, but it does not necessarily correspond with one’s ability to produce those pitches perfectly.

    Thanks for mentioning some of the lovely attributes about Kris’ voice! =) I definitely agree.

    I listen to opera as well (and sing it as well; although I love to sing everything)! I definitely should check out the duets with Montserrat Caballe and Freddie Mercury. 😉 Precise intonation (i.e. pitch) is definitely very prized in opera. In terms of dramatic sopranos, Kirsten Flagstad is wonderful (and so is Birgit Nilsson). On the other end, a lovely light lyric soprano is Barbara Bonney. For reference, Montserrat Caballe is a full lyric soprano. (This is actually my voice type as well!) And of course, Callas whom you mentioned is legendary. (Her voice type is actually very difficult to categorize. You can read about this in her Wikipedia article.)

    MCL – Great explanation about perfect pitch and relative pitch (especially about the downsides of the former)! As I mentioned, though, perfect pitch in the broadest sense refers to being able to hear these pitch and assign them their absolute “values,” moreso than being able to reproduce them. For example, if someone played the Bb above a Middle C, a person with perfect pitch would be able to tell you exactly what pitch that is without checking a piano. However, there are non-musicians with perfect pitch as well.

    I prefer the term “absolute pitch” to perfect pitch because it’s more accurate in my opinion; it is what it sounds—an absolute sense of pitch. Also, you made a brilliant point about ensemble singing, MCL! In a cappella pieces, the ensemble may start going flat, and all the parts in the choir must adjust accordingly (to the basses, usually) in order to maintain the appropriate relative intervals between all the parts. I’d imagine that someone with absolute pitch may have a hard time adjusting to this. (I myself do not have absolute pitch, but I have very good relative pitch.)

    Wikipedia article:

    And as a last note, I just wanted to say that it is a joy to be able to answer your questions about vocal technique, so the pleasure is mine! =)


  77. J- thank you so much – as always – for your intelligent commentary. You are extremely knowledgeable and all of us value your opinion and expertise very much.

    Also, about the perfect pitch/ensemble issue – I experienced this very problem with a singer when I was conducting my choir. She had perfect or absolute pitch and had a great deal of trouble adjusting her tuning to those around her. She was, indeed, an excellent sight reader, but found it difficult to adjust her voice to even the slightest change in the absolute pitch of the melodic line.


  78. J –

    Thanks so much for your thorough and informative answers. I am learning so much here! It’s exciting!

    When I auditioned for the chorus in high school, the teacher told me that I had perfect pitch. I really didn’t know what she was talking about at the time. My friend got me the audition. It wasn’t easy to get into the chorus. It was a difficult process. But I was told that I was a second soprano and made it into the chorus. I actually had a really easy time singing in a large chorus with different singers. We had first sopranos, altos, everything. But I never seemed to have a problem adjusting, even with my perfect pitch.

    I have always been able to sing on key quite easily. Unfortunately, God did not bless me with a great voice to match my brilliant ear. I was okay, not great. That’s why I let go of singing. I knew that was not what I was meant to do. I decided to focus on singers and devote my time to learning as much as I could about them. I grew up idolizing the late Judy Garland and then there was Barbra Streisand. I always loved Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, all the great singers. They could all do the things I wanted to do.

    I grew up hearing classical music and opera. My Mom and maternal grandfather always listened to it. I appreciate the female opera singers you mentioned. I am definitely going to listen to them.

    You are obviously an experienced and skilled singer and it’s a treat to pick your brain. I am glad that my questions do not pose a burden on your time.


  79. Skid, I know it’s been awhile but I just had to tell you that I agree with your comments about Taylor Hicks! Louise we also agree.

    Erin, thank you for your point of view.

    J, I am also learning a lot of things from your posts. Thank you so much!

    Love your comments, Mindy!

    Louise, I do watch “Dancing With the Stars” and the judges are usually right on with their comments. They offer helpful criticisms.

    The judges have not done well this season. It’s not just the 4th judge, but the fact that they do come across as boorish. I am so late to adding further comments, so I’ll just leave this disucussion with the comment that the right two are in the Finale.

    Congratualtions to Adam and Kris!


  80. Kariann, speaking of the judges–have you noticed this year that with the addition of Kara, Randy seems to be taking a back seat? After he makes his brief comments, there is often a disagreement among Kara, Paula, and Simon–and it rarely seems to include Randy.

    Also I mentioned once before that I think there is a similarity between Taylor and Adam–not talent-wise, but in the way they have strategically gone after the title. Also there is no doubt that Adam’s clothing screams “rock star,” and that is one area that was sorely lacking for Kris and Danny. Taylor was always very particular about what he wore–people may not have liked the purple jacket, but he looked quite sharp when he wore suits!


  81. You know, Louise, for the past several seasons I felt Randy was the useless judge I have even thought that he could easily be replaced. Now, this season there have been a few times that Randy has surprised me with useful comments. SHOCK!

    I believe this is because of Kara. She can be a good judge if she could just learn to limit her analysis. She brings a lot to the panel. However, there should never, ever be five less performances as a result of management mistakes. WE DID GET CHEATED THIS YEAR!

    Oh, I thought Taylor looked mighty fine in his purple jacket! 🙂 You never quite knew what to expect with Taylor’s performances. I have never boughten into the mind sync that Taylor was “weak” as a winner. If AI had given him the big push and TV publicity, I believe he would have sold at least 200,000 more copies of his first CD. JMO.


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