Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 9 Top 10 Results Show: R&B Music With Usher

American Idol Season 9 Top 12 Results Show

Picture Courtesy Of AmericanIdol.Com


So, who is leaving us tonight? Hard to say but I would be surprised if yet another girl was eliminated this week.       

I am looking forward to Usher’s performance tonight, along with a performance by American Idol Season 2 winner, Ruben Studdard. Long time, no see!       

Hope to comment further this evening as the show unfolds and don’t forget to add your opinions as well. You can start now or come back later!       

BOTTOM 3: Katie Stevens, Didi Benami, Tim Urban   

BOTTOM 2:  Didi Benami, Tim Urban   


ELIMINATED: DIDI BENAMI  (what a shame)     


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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

27 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 9 Top 10 Results Show: R&B Music With Usher”

  1. What a shame! I am truly upset over Didi’s elimination. I think she had far more potential than Tim (although I love him too) to grow into a real star on this show. But then, they have already crowned the winner, haven’t they? (sigh)


  2. I, too, am sorely disappointed to see Didi leave. I loved her vocals and anticipated hearing her every week. I really didn’t expect to see her go so soon and was hoping for her to make the top 6 at best. Sadly, this is one cutting one of the few ties that keep me watching Idol. I’m only watching for a few contestants now.


  3. Oh my, what a shame! I completely disagree with this decision (even though Didi didn’t have her best week).

    I really want to applaud Didi for the strength and bravery she displayed on this show. (I wrote more about this in reply to this week’s masterclass article.) I think it’s easy for us, as audience members, to forget how incredible difficult it is for a performer to get up on a stage and give a performance, week after week, when almost every time, without wavering, the judges have given negative feedback in response.

    It’s so demoralizing. I don’t know how a singer can erase all of these judges’ comments from his/her mind and give a performance completely unaffected by previous comments and the knowledge that this performance might be received in the exact same way (negatively). I really think such negativity messes with a singer’s mind and definitely deprives singers of their confidence, concentration, and ability to perform their best.

    At the worst, I feel as though a show like this sends contestants to be lambs to the slaughter, asking them to willfully assent to abject humiliation. It’s cruel that no matter how well certain contestants do; the judges always seem to dislike their performances.

    Anyway, Didi, please keep singing! You are beautiful inside and out, and you are very talented, indeed. And don’t let anyone stomp on your beautiful spirit.


  4. J, The judges do give a Pep Talk to the contestant once the show is off the air. There is also a psychologist on staff for those having any problems. I still hate the Judge’s Save!

    I thought Didi was a sweetheart, too! I wish her the best.

    I am so happy Siobhan wasn’t in the bottom 3. I am looking forward to seeing what she will perform next week! I don’t think they want any more girls going home since there are still six guys left.


  5. I was truly sorry to see Didi go. Very unfortunate! I think this girl had a good deal of potential and wonderful talent. I was quite upset when it was announced. I think for a moment, it took my breath away. I do think Tim should have gone home. I do not dislike him in any way. But if it’s a choice between those two, then I believe that Didi had more innate talent as a singer. I am so sorry that she’s gone.

    I can’t believe that there are only three girls left! I must agree with MCL that it would appear that the winner has already been crowned. That does not make me happy at all. The other contestants aren’t blind and deaf! They can see what the judges are saying about Crystal. It can’t be easy for them to feel as though the judges have already made up their minds. I am not a judge, yet I try every single week to keep an open mind and be fair to all the contestants. Siobhan is my favorite, but that doesn’t mean that I have stopped listening to the other contestants or think that they don’t have a chance. That would be foolish!

    What really concerned me was seeing Siobhan break down when first Katie was in the bottom three and then when Didi was voted off. She looked quite distraught tonight. I found myself thinking that, at times, this is a dehumanizing process.


  6. I really think such negativity messes with a singer’s mind and definitely deprives singers of their confidence, concentration, and ability to perform their best.

    They are messing with their minds and seem more cruel than usual, especially Simon. Didi went through a lot, but look what they did to Siobhan. I have never seen a contestant receive so much evaluation time. They were just dragging it out. Then on the Results Show they present that clip about being defeated. I loved her response.

    Now I know why Siobhan seemed uncomfortable with the song. It was a suggested producer’s choice, not her choice. She gave it her best shot, but why are the producers making these suggestions for the contestants. This is at least the third time that we know of.

    Mindy, you are so right, it is a dehumanizing process! I am not liking Season 9 like I thought I would. Again, as with Season 8, there is no problems with the contestants. It is the producers decisions. I hate the Judge’s Save and have been unimpressed with the musical guests the past three weeks. Now we have the camera scan to show us some backstage reactions. I hope things start to pick up as I am getting very discouraged!


  7. Kariann,
    How did you learn about Siobhan’s song being suggested by a producer? That just wasn’t a song that I expected Siobhan to sing, so I find that to be really interesting. Siobhan said that it wasn’t her favorite Idol moment and then didn’t she say something about it not being a good week? I wonder what else she was referring to.


  8. I was of the understanding that the producers and judges could not suggest songs to the singers. I would be curious to see the source of that information as well, Kariann. Please post a link when you a free moment. Thank you so much.


  9. *votes WITH

    And I apologize for forgetting to end my link. Oh well. Too late now. =P


  10. I must say that I am really concerned after reading one of the links to an L.A. Times article about what happened behind the scenes last week.

    The moment I heard Siobhan would be singing “Through the Fire”, I thought to myself, no, not a good choice at all! Why would she sing that? From what the article said, it appears that the producers “suggest” or “coax” the contestants to sing certain songs. This happened with Alex in the semifinals when he wanted to sing one song and was pressured into singing “Trouble” because he was told it would garner him more votes.

    This is disturbing. If the producers were doing it with the sincere intent of helping them to stand out and realize their full potential, then that would be fine with me. But this kind of backstage manipulation doesn’t sit well with me at all.

    I now have a better understanding of why Siobhan seemed so annoyed and upset by the judges’ comments. I truly hope that Siobhan stands her ground and does what feels right for her. She has good instincts about song choices. Now I am getting a better idea of why things went so terribly wrong. What a mess!


  11. If I may I would like to respectfully disagree; it should not matter who picked the song whether it had be Siobhan or the producers, part of the game is being able to deliver the song. There have been times over the seasons that I remember contestants songs changing at the very last minute (Taylor Hicks, Adam Lambert, etc) and they went out and delivered.

    There will come a time on this show when the judges will be picking the contestants songs. Siobhan, I have no doubts will still be very much in the competition at this point, will then have to take what is given to her and deliver it.

    I’m not picking on her, I just think that there are times when songs don’t work, even when the contestants choose them, they sometimes fall flat.

    If I may; my thinking is that she just wasn’t happy with the judges not liking her song.

    MCL, is Crystal whom you are thinking is the winner this season? In years past I would have agreed with you, but after last year, boy, I don’t know! I think that they judges have a couple of favorites this year. I don’t know, I think it could be any of these kids to win right now. I loved your critiques!


  12. Vonnie, Mindy’s response is directly to this quote and blurb in an LA Times article:

    Still bumming at the end of the show, Siobhan resolved to stay true to her instincts rather than listen to other peoples’ advice. “I need to do what I feel good about from now on,” she said. “I kind of fell into the trap of doing what other people wanted me to and I lost track of being Siobhan. It was like Siobhan was compromised by other people’s suggestions.” Once again, there’s that touchy issue of producers exerting too much influence on song choice. And we’re not just saying that because we heart Siobhan big time — she had a rough night, no doubt, and was first to admit it: “It was a hard week overall.”

    I do agree with you that it matters more about whether a contestant delivers and less about who chose the song, but at the same time, I do find it very troubling that the producers are pushing contestants to change their song choices (Adam Lambert) and/or not even trying to clear their song requests (Lilly Scott).

    In this case, I agree with Mindy’s analysis of the situation. My guess is that Siobhan had originally intended to do a different song, but “other people’s suggestions” (her words) pushed her into doing “Through the Fire” for the sole reason that she thought it would please the judges and earn her more votes. Clearly, the opposite happened (at least in the first case; who knows about the vote totals). That’s why she felt particularly upset, I feel: she thought she was compromising herself (see the quote: “It was like Siobhan was compromised…”) for a particular goal, and the compromise didn’t pay off. (Neither judges nor the fans received the performance particularly well.)

    Anyway, it seems that Siobhan has a good head on her shoulders, and I hope she bounces back this week and sticks to her own instincts. 😉


  13. Oops! That was me above. =P


  14. In other words, I’d be upset too if I picked a song just because everyone else told me to, and then the song choice backfired in a major way. That’s how I read the situation.

    Again, though, Vonnie’s right that if Siobhan had delivered, it wouldn’t matter who picked the song, would it? That said, I do think that Siobhan’s response was more complicated than just being upset that the judges disliked her performance.

    Her quote really does suggest that feeling that she compromised herself in trying to entertain everyone else’s suggestions played a big role in her disappointed reaction.


  15. *ALEX Lambert. My, oh my! I keep making typos. It gets confusing having two A. Lambert’s on the show, doesn’t it? My apologies!


  16. Dearest J,

    Thank you for coming on here to clarify the issue. I wanted to make it perfectly clear that this is not something that I am making up out of thin air. My comments were based on the links to articles that have indicated that the contestants are being persuaded or influenced in some way to sing a song other than the one they initially chose.

    Alex was the one who first spoke up about it. He said that he wanted to sing one song, but the producers told him that he would get more votes if he sang “Trouble”. That was reported on mjsbigblog as well as other blog outlets. Then Paige Miles spoke out in interviews after she was sent home. MJ had an interview in which Paige said that there is more that goes into the song choices than what we are led to believe. Now we have some information via the article in the L.A. Times, to indicate that something went on with Siobhan’s song choice. All these reports would seem to indicate that something is going on behind the scenes. I am not trying to say that it’s necessarily sinister. But I did express my concern. I think that’s completely reasonable.

    I also indicated in my critique of Siobhan’s performance, that I thought it did not work. I was honest and forthright. She is responsible for giving a good vocal performance once the song has been chosen. So in that regard, I will agree with vonnie.

    But I also agree with your comments above. I definitely had the feeling that Siobhan was bothered by more than what the judges had to say. She has shown herself to be quite composed when receiving negative critiques from the judges. I thought she handled Simon’s absurd comments after her performance of “House of the Rising Sun”, with poise and grace. So her demeanor on stage that night was unlike what I have seen in the past. There was something else bothering her. Also, if Simon really hates someone’s performance, then it would really be nice if he would take the trouble to give them at least a little constructive advice as to how to improve. I am getting more than a little tired of his annoying and coy attempts to come up with increasingly obnoxious phrases and words to demean and embarrass a contestant. Simon displayed extreme concern and gave considerable advice to Crystal. He practically implored her not to lose what makes her so unique and special. His bias in favor of Crystal is getting on my nerves. I like Crystal, however, I would appreciat it if the judges could somehow refrain from displaying such obvious bias at this point in the competition. There is a reason that MCL said that she feels that the winner has already been crowned. That’s because Simon has been positively effusive and over the top in his praise of Crystal. She doesn’t need that kind of blatant pimping.

    Siobhan is my personal favorite, however, there are a few other people that I also like. Mike, Lee and Crystal would be the others. I am still trying to keep an open mind about those that I did not mention. I will do my best, but as the weeks progress, my opinions get firmer. I usually have one big favorite, but two or three others that I happen to enjoy.

    My advice to Siobhan for this upcoming week’s Lennon/McCartney songbook theme, would be to keep it simple. Don’t overthink, go with your instincts, don’t try to do too much with your vocals and go back to basics. I would like to see something in the vein of “House of the Rising Sun”. There is more than enough great material from which to choose. I hope Siobhan will get it right and do herself proud.


  17. Hey Guys,

    I do agree with you all on the thought that the producers should not be involved at all in the choice of the songs…this should be left up to the kids until time for the judges choice! That said, make the best of the song you choose or are given!

    I would love to see Siobhan go back to a “House of the Rising Sun” performance! I think that was her strongest vocal for me, that is when I took notice, I don’t really care for her “scream” (not sure what to call it). There’s a place in her voice that I think is so pretty, but then other times especially her lower register that I don’t find appealing. I still need to ask J about that!!!

    My critiques of Siobhan are not fueled by my fear of her stealing the crown from my favorite, Lol. This year I have a couple that I really like, but no one favorite. I will not be disappointed with who wins this year…well, maybe one would upset me, Tim!

    I would like to see Siobhan take a Taylor Hick’s attitude! Taylor knew how to play the idol game, as did Adam…! I thought that Crystal was going to be like Taylor and Adam but she is trying now to please the judges. Hopefully she will get back to doing what she does best, just sing! These two girls (Crystal and Siobhan) need to become idol savvy! Last year the glitz and glam worked for Adam, because it was Adam…Crystal is very much the soul filled guitar singer, Siobhan needs to connect with who she is and present that! Right now I think she is searching, and allowing others to tell her who to be. I may be wrong, but it just seems that way to me. You know how sometimes you go into something thinking, “I can do this, I am good at this” and then you get there and others are better or you don’t get the feed back you were thinking you would, and your confidence gets shaken and you start trying to re-invent yourself, only to find that that doesn’t work either? This is what I think Siobhan may be doing! Again, I may be wrong!


  18. skylarksong,

    I am sorry that I didn’t thank you in my previous post. Sometimes I come on here and am not careful enough to read additional posts that have been made. But I am most appreciative that you posted the exact link quote. I think it’s important to emphasize that this discussion has come about because of actual reporting. I would never have brought it up on my own, or even thought that there would be any undue influence on a contestant’s choice of song.


    I have to say that I loved your last post! Even though we may disagree, it’s always with respect and kindness. As you know, I am in complete agreement that the performer must deliver once the song is chosen. I think Siobhan realizes that and takes responsibility for her less than stellar performance.

    I don’t think for one minute that your critiques of Siobhan are fueled by any fear that she might take the crown from Crystal. You speak from your heart and are always honest and true to yourself. It is true that there are a few who are deserving of being the next American Idol – except Tim! Sorry, but I think he’s out of his depth here. But at least he’s having a good time and enjoying himself.

    I thought your last paragragh contained absolute pearls of wisdom! I think you are right on in your thoughts that Siobhan should try to emulate Taylor Hicks and Adam. But it’s good to keep in mind that these two guys were a bit older than most of the contestants. Taylor had experience from years of singing in small clubs. Adam had his years of singing on stage. They were smart, savvy guys who knew how to play the Idol game.

    I absolutely agree that Crystal was trying to please the judges. I think she also felt the need to step outside of her comfort zone. She seems cool and collected on the outside, but I think she has her own insecurities and definitely feels the pressure that Simon has put on her as the odds-on favorite, the one to beat. Siobhan doesn’t have a strong artistic identity, like Crystal. I have felt all along that this was Crystal’s big advantage over Siobhan. I hope that Siobhan can find herself and discover who she is as an artist. That is what this journey is all about. I do think that Siobhan let others tell her who she should be. It’s a lesson learned and hopefully, she will move forward being a little wiser.

    I think you are absolutely 100% right! I just hope that Siobhan realizes it and learns. She must trust her own instincts above all else. These producers don’t always know what’s best and may have their own agenda. So you have to stand your ground. One thing that Adam did so brilliantly was to change it up from week to week. One never knew what he was going to do next. He kept his wits about him and pushed the boundaries, but not too far. Now is the time for Siobhan to dial it back and go with what worked for her so well on “House of the Rising Sun”. I hope she stays true to herself and does just that. I really want her to show us more aspects of her vocal instrument. The screaming isn’t necessary. I sincerely hope she understands that it’s time to leave that familiar crutch and reveal more of her spectacular voice.


  19. Dearest Mindy,

    No problem at all! =) And I am actually skylarksong, so no worries there either. =P I forgot that the “Name” line contained that username from a previous session, and it wasn’t until after I posted my first comment that I noticed I had accidentally posted the comment under an atypical username! ;)

    Also, I don’t know if you noticed, but I answered your question here. 🙂

    vonnie –

    There’s a place in her voice that I think is so pretty, but then other times especially her lower register that I don’t find appealing. I still need to ask J about that!!!

    Feel free to ask away! 😉 I think many have also noticed the “less appealing” places in her voice as well, so you’re not alone. Siobhan’s fans enjoy her voice despite them, however, and I completely understand either way. I really like this quote I saw by a YouTube user once: “All singers have their faults and all listeners have their own pet peeves.

    As listeners, we decide which pet peeves we can stand and which ones we cannot. Liking a singer is a decision, and the singers we like are ones whom we love the “pros” and forgive the “cons.” Different individuals might be less forgiving of certain faults, based on their particular pet peeves, and that’s completely understandable. Speaking for myself, I know that I’ve had a harder time warming up to singers who, by many accounts, are fine singers, but they have some vocal mannerisms that I just can’t get past.

    You know how sometimes you go into something thinking, “I can do this, I am good at this” and then you get there and others are better or you don’t get the feed back you were thinking you would, and your confidence gets shaken and you start trying to re-invent yourself, only to find that that doesn’t work either? This is what I think Siobhan may be doing! Again, I may be wrong!

    I think this is very good conjecture, actually! I am positive that many other singers have faced a similar dilemma and undergone a similar thought process, at least one time or another. As a singer, it really is difficult to trust in one’s ability after receiving negative feedback or performing poorly, and singers, particularly talented ones, really need to learn to own their ability through good performances and bad.

    I really like the analogy between a singer and a chef. As the ones consuming the food, customers don’t always like every dish a chef prepares; that doesn’t mean the customers dislike the chef’s cooking or that the chef doesn’t possess great skill at his/her vocation. Similarly, a talented singer can’t expect everyone to like everyone performance, even their fans. The key is for singers to believe in their talent, even when they’re shaken, especially when they know, objectively speaking, that they honestly are very talented. I feel that singers (and any artists, in general) tend to have a particularly difficult time separating criticism of their performances (the dishes) from criticism of their talent (their ability and skill). “I didn’t like that performance” sometimes sounds like, “I don’t like you. I don’t think you’re talented,” and singers really need to remember that those two lines of criticism are completely different.


  20. *everyone performance = each and every one of his/her performances
    * their fans = his/her fans (just to be grammatically correct! =P)


  21. Mindy and J,

    Thank you both for your responses…I hope that I came across that I am not dissing Siobhan in any way. Like I said in my post there are places in her voice that are so pretty, and I always wonder why she doesn’t stay there and sing!

    I guess I am not sure how old Siobhan is, I don’t think that I have ever heard her age. I do agree that Taylor and Adam are both much older…I still think in the top 24 rounds, she seemed so confident. Since then she seems more vulnerable! I hope she can pull herself together this week, she really does deserve to be in the top three, just my opinion. I would love to see Crystal and Lee there with her. With Casey and Mike making a top five, Am I asking to much? LOL!!!


    My question; and I’m not really sure what to ask! When Siobhan sings in more of soprano (I think) clear voice, somewhere before her scream (!) it is beautiful, there is a place in the middle of that, that I love. But then she seems to take it up an octave (?) that gets screetchy for me. When she sings in a lower register, it feels heavy and nasaly. See I told you I don’t know how to ask this, Haha!

    She has a register that reminds me of Sarah Mclaughlin, it is soft and pretty, but then she takes it up and I don’t care for her voice at that point.

    Thank you for trying to make sense out of my messy question!!! 🙂


    I loved your post back…thank you!

    Do you have any song choices for this week?


  22. vonnie – Siobhan just turned 20 a few weeks ago (on March 15)! 😉 So, she’s barely out of her teens. The website hasn’t even updated her age yet. =P Taylor Hicks barely made the upper age limit; he was 29 when he won the show. Adam Lambert was also much closer to the age limit; he was 27 during his run.

    As Mindy said, huge age difference there! 😉

    In fact, a lot of the contestants (former and current) this year are unexpectedly young. We have a lot of 19-20 year olds in the top 24, besides Siobhan; others include: Tim Urban (20), Alex Lambert (19), Joe Munoz (20), Katelyn Epperly (19), Lilly Scott (20), and Tyler Grady (20). You can check out all the contestants’ ages at the official American Idol page: http://www.americanidol.com/contestants/season_9/


    Hehe, don’t worry, vonnie. I know what you mean. I’ve actually answered questions that dealt with the same issues before. =) I will try to find some of the exact links, but here is a “nutshell” version: (1) for the very high part of her voice, the coordination Siobhan uses is a twangy head voice, which naturally sounds screechy because of the amount of twang, and (2) for Siobhan’s low notes, her tone has a certain muddy quality because of the balance of head voice/chest voice and twang she’s using.

    Siobhan’s low notes probably sound “heavy” to you because of the dark sound color and the slight muddiness. As for the nasal quality, out of curiosity: do you think Siobhan sounds as though she’s singing through her nose OR do you think she sounds stuffy? (I just want to see what you think!)

    The super “nutshell” version of the answer is this, then: the balance in certain parts of her voice doesn’t quite match the cultural “ideal” that we’re used to.


  23. J,

    Thank you for responding back to me! The nasaly sound, does sound as if she is singing through her nose.

    Her lower register sounds heavy and most times out of tune. But like I said, when she is at that place in between her lowwer register and her scream, it is very pretty.


  24. vonnie,

    I just came back and read your question. It’s odd, because I am kind of drawing a blank with the songs. I know that the last time they did the Beatles, on season 7, I was hoping that someone would sing “If I Fell”. It is early Beatles. The song is in the movie “A Hard Day’s Night”. I love this song and think it’s a beautiful celebration of young love. But everyone usually goes for the later Beatles.

    I will say which songs I think should NOT be sung -“Imagine” – this is owned by David Archuleta; “Yesterday” – it’s been done to death and is almost a cliche at this point; “Come Together” – Kris Allen did it last season;”Blackbird” – done by Carly Smithson and not well received.

    I was thinking of “Get Back” for either Casey or Lee. I think “In My Life” might work for someone. There are so many songs that it’s just overwhelming. This will be a very tricky, difficult theme. These are iconic songs, ones which have stood the test of time, so it will be a challenge to figure out what works with each person’s voice and how much to change it, if at all.

    My mind is a bit of a blank, but I will be thinking it over and if I get more ideas then I will come back and post them.


  25. Hi, vonnie,

    I asked because listeners often (mistakenly) use the term “nasal” to describe two completely different things: “singing through one’s nose” and “sounding stuffy.” I was curious about which one you thought it was. 😉

    Here’s a quote from The Voice Book that explains the difference:

    Nasality is a common problem among speakers; it occurs when the breath-stream is permanently directed into the nose—it is nasal resonance when you don’t want it. Voices which are coloured with nasality are often thin, metallic or ready in quality; in some cases they sound a bit duck-like. Sometimes people talk about the voice being nasal when describing the sound of someone with a bad cold. They call that sound nasal because they are aware of the nose when they listen to it, but actually what they are hearing is a lack of nasal resonance because the nose is so stuffed up that the airstream can hardly get into the nasal cavity to resonate—or if it can get in at the back it can’t come out again at the front through the nostrils. There is another quality of nasality which occurs when most of the breath-stream is directed into the nose and resonates fully there—it is a kind of rich honking sound, more like a fog-horn than a duck. This sound has great carrying power, even though it can be somewhat muffled in character, and there are methods of singing based on placing the voice so that this honk is fully exploited.

    In a nutshell, nasality has mainly to do with the position of the soft palate and the pronunciation of certain vowels and consonants.

    My sister told me that she thought Siobhan sounded stuffy, which is actually the opposite of what you said. To be honest, I haven’t really decided, but I do agree that something to do with nasality (in either direction) is definitely at work here. I will update you on any developments! 😉 Nasality is usually very easy to fix, but for some singers, the issue is more complex.

    The dark muddy/murky quality of her voice definitely could make her voice sound sound “heavy” and even out of tune to certain listeners. I actually think, for the most part, Siobhan’s lower register is very focused and in tune, but I have noticed that people sometimes mistake a dark sound color as being lower in pitch. (Mindy and I discussed this. She has perfect pitch, and she was puzzled by some of the comments about Siobhan being “flat” because she noticed that Siobhan was actually sharp at several parts.)

    For Siobhan’s lower register, I’d definitely love to hear more clarity. Her voice sounds considerably clearer when she’s singing higher (in both her pure head voice and her twangy head voice), so I understand where you’re coming from. I’d love to see her grow in this aspect. The other aspect she could develop is the ability to sing in a “heavy mix” as opposed to twangy head voice, which would take care of the “screechy” aspect in part of her range.


  26. J,

    Thank you for responding to my question! I really appreciate your time in answering my somewhat confusing question.

    I would like to see Siobhan sing a soft pretty ballad this week.


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