A Special Shout-Out To Siobhan Magnus

siobhan 9redux @ Yahoo! Video

Here at MasterclassLady.Com, we are not confused by brilliance. We applaud it and cherish it, feeling privileged to discover a rare and exciting talent such as Siobhan Magnus.

Therefore, I thought I would add her Top 9 performance here, so that we can celebrate the birth of a new and exciting star.

She may not presently enjoy the love and appreciation of those associated with American Idol, but she has developed a strong legion of fans who are determined to propel her to the top of the pack this season.

Keep doing exactly what you are doing each week, Siobhan. Never change because, in terms of American Idol, no matter what you do –  it will never be quite enough.  

I believe (although I have no proof) that the contracts have already been “inked”  and the agenda is crystal-clear.  The producers and some of  the judges have determined the winner of this competition from Day One.

So now, you must use this performing platform as a marketing tool for what lies ahead of you once this show is over. You are an extraordinary artist and extraordinary people will come knocking at your door post-American Idol.

But, for now, perform your little heart out on National TV, knowing that thousands upon thousands of fans love and treasure your extraordinary artistry.

To view Siobhan’s Top 9 performance, click on the photo above or here.


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

219 Responses to “A Special Shout-Out To Siobhan Magnus”

  1. EXACTLY!!! Thank You for doing this – it’s about time the record is being put straight…
    I’d like to change one little thing though:
    Siobhan Magnus, sing your BIG heart out on National TV, because we know, big it is!!!


  2. God bless you, Masterclasslady, for telling it like it is. Siobhan is unique & as you have so eloquently noted she is destined for very big things. Can’t wait!!


  3. I can’t thank you enough for this, MCL!!!!!!! I hope Siobhan and her family and friends read this. Every week I look forward to hearing her beautiful voice. In spite of a couple of judges on AI who seem to fear Siobhan getting in the way of their chosen few, she has captured the hearts of millions of fans who see that she’s getting a raw deal. Every year Idol judges try to sway the voting–sometimes they get their way, but sometimes they don’t. It is always infuriating to me because it is so unfair to the other contestants. I hope Siobhan just keeps doing what she does so beautifully and her fans keep voting as much as they possibly can.


  4. MCL,

    Thank you so much for posting this beautiful tribute to Siobhan! It is true that she is being tested as she probably never has been in her young life. I wish that she could see this and know that she has many people sending her love and support.

    It is true, as louise said, that sometimes the judges get their way and sometimes they don’t. What I would love to see is a huge backlash generated against the judges. I wish the people watching this show would rise up and just finally let the judges know that they are not going to be manipulated in such a crude manner. Siobhan deserves a fair shot in this competition. She deserves the right to succeed or fail on her own merits, not on the pre-ordained wishes of some pseudo-judges who have forgotten what it means to treat contestants with dignity, respect and decency.

    To Siobhan – I am in your corner and will be every single step of the way. You are not alone! Always know that there are many who hold you close in their hearts and remember that in times when your spirit and courage is being sorely tested.


  5. Thank you all for your comments. I felt it was time for somebody – all of us – to stand up for Siobhan. She has given stellar peformances every week and this week I felt she really hit her stride. I couldn’t even fathom any negative comments coming from the judges,as this particular performance was incredibly strong. It was extremely distressing and upsetting to witness. My heart was breaking – the treatment cast in her direction was beyond cruel. And misguided!

    I hope that somehow this blog topic will encourage the voters to rally further support in her direction. I know that, after Idol is completed, she will be approached by many illustrious people in the music business who will embrace all that she has to offer.

    She is a unique and distinctive artist and no one can erase this fact or remove the special brand of artistry she has to offer.

    As Siobhan herself said: “Nothing is going to change her world“. However, an appendage to this statement is this: Whatever changes do arise will only be for the good of her illustrious career.


  6. MCL, I am loving what you have written. I share all the love and emotion being felt for Siobhan! I am part of her Fan Club base and have given to Idol Gives Back in her honor. She is such a sweet young lady who has been blessed with this beautiful voice! This is such a positive message.

    I am been quoting brief statements from MCL’s blog and know that she is getting these message through a family member or friend. This support is so heart-warming! Thank you so much!


  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to defend her, she deserved praise for her performance. I was so happy to see her smile as the music died down, I think at that moment she thought she hit it out of the park.

    I was confused by the two different singer comments. Elvis did nearly the same thing but she was trying to squeeze a lot into a very short timespan. Had the judges not remembered the tempo changes and transitions? I hope you are wrong about the “crystal-clear” but I can’t believe they could do anything but proclaim it the performance of the evening. The studio audience certainly thought so.


  8. I agree 100%. I really think that she is that good. She has such charisma, is addictive


  9. I read this elsewhere and came here to say that the unrelenting Pollyanna-like positivity of Masterclass Lady is sorely lacking in this strongly worded “shout out” to Siobhan. Thank you for your great, informative and ever-cheerful blogs and, especially, for stepping up and saluting Siobhan because she really is talented and something special.


  10. MCL, I went to post a few sentences but someone already quoted your article. I left two posts there which were one sentence each. I anticipate others will view your blog because you have taken such a positive stand and shout out for Siobhan. Simon and Kara are not being fair in their analysis of her performances.

    In no way does this mean the other finalists haven’t done a good job. On the contrary, Crystal has been giving some wonderful performances, and the judges have been very fair regarding her work.

    Maybe this will wake Simon and Kara up to actual reality.


  11. kariann,

    You know for a certainty that Siobhan is getting these messages? Because I dearly wish that I could speak with her or tell her to stay strong, let what the judges say go in one ear and out the other and just give a great performance next week. Make them eat their words! It would make me sleep better if I knew for sure that she was aware of how much we care for her and want to reach out and give her all the strength and support possible. Her voice has been an inspiration to me.

    I also thank you for stating that this is in no way meant to disrespect any of the other contestants. They are not at fault because the judges cannot give reasonable, honest critiques. The responsibility for that falls solely on them.

    Interestingly enough, I read on another site that someone wrote an article which had specific suggestions for improving the show in general. One comment stood out to me. I really should look for the exact quote to get it right, but suffice it to say that this person requested that the judges give constructive criticism in a time frame of about 30 seconds, brief to the point specific advice without all the shenanigans and nonsense. I heartily agree!

    Finally, I just want to say that I think it hurts all the contestants when the judges don’t try to meet the very highest standards. Crystal can’t be happy that she is being so highly praised while her fellow contestants are receiving such harsh criticism. These young people share a common bond and care for each other. Aside from the issue of bias against Siobhan, I don’t think the judging overall has met the kind of standard I would like to see. Reaching for the same old cliched phrases like “a million, billion times better than last week” or “high school musical” or “karaoke” or “you’ve gone from zero to hero”, are meaningless and pointless. The contestants learn nothing from this gibberish. The judges should strive for a certain level of excellence.


  12. Mindy, I have heard that Siobhan is getting messages and certain articles are passed on to her. She appreciates her fans AND the fundraising done through Idol Gives Back. With my very limited budget, I did manage to give a small donation. Her fan base is so organized!

    Here is the contact address for all the Finalists:

    American Idol
    7800 Beverly Blvd.
    Suite 251
    Los Angeles, CA 90036

    I have been told if you want a response, to send a stamped, self-addressed envelope. If anyone wants a signed photos, they should send a big envelope. This is a good way to contact her and provide support! I like to send postcards.


  13. MaryLee Schulte April 16, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Thank you for the comments about the idol contestants and the judges. Randy shows his musicianship in his critiques, Ellen her appreciation of the idol’s attempts, Kara and Simon attack the idol personally, a real turn-off. I have watched all the seasons of Idol, and find these comments to be the most scathing. The judges have forgotten when they were young, just starting out, filled with hope and a song. Siobhan will have a great career because of her inate, raw talent and the IT factor, which I heard and saw when she sang that first note and opened her heart to us with her sensitivity. The Idols should not have to defend themselves on national TV. As for Adam Lambert, an exciting entertainer, out of the box, on his own, I can see the sibship in he and Siobhan, Broadway and beyond, here they come!!!!


  14. Wow, wonderful comments from everyone. Like Mindy, I too hope that Siobhan is getting thse messages. I am astounded & appalled at the judge’s reaction to “Suspicious Minds”. It was a glorious performance. I downloaded the video & have watched it several times now. I just don’t get Kara’s & Simon’s reactions at all. I also agree wholeheartedly with Mindy regarding the issue of how this must feel to Crystal. She deserves better too. There is so much to like about her but to me she is fairly predictable; she will stand behind the mike, play the guitar well, sound good, smile. There really isn’t a lot of adventure going on with her. The judges’ relentlessly positive accolades are not particularly helpful to her either. But I am not optimistic that the judges are going to change & I will not be listening to their comments once I am back in SC (I’m in NJ right now). I have TiVO & thankfully can zip right through their nonsense.


  15. I won’t say anything about the judges anymore except that they should realize that these people are in this competition not only to fulfill a dream, but also to create a better life for their families. Listen closely to what they are singing; don’t take these people (and their talents) for granted. The path they’ve chosen is hard enough as it is, the least they can do is to give sensible advice to these contestants…

    Thank you for posting this, MCL. 🙂 Now if I can only vote for Siobhan… 😦


  16. SurelyUCan'tBSerious April 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Ditto 4 me. Eye also don ‘t understand why the judges are not jumping out of their seats with Siobhan. I loved her from the very beginning when she sang, “Respect.” They gave her accolades then. But I personally think that the judges are using reverse-psychology so she will push herself to do even MORE. Remember what Kara said in the very beginning that Siobhan reached (or still reaches) notes that Kara never heard of and she asked Siobhan if that has to do with glass-blowing to give her those notes that Kara never heard of (and was in awe). I truly believe that Siobhan is insecure and I am wondering why she is changing her appearance at every performance. I really like her “persona” at the very beginning when she was “different,” and when Simon made a comment about how she looked, thus she took it personally and changed it up. Oddly enough, when Crystal changed her “persona dreadlocks” to fancy-mancy with the red dress and piano; Simon made a contraditing remark that “she should stay the way she usually is.”

    Nevertheless, I am not complaining. Just my observation.



  17. Thank you so much MCL for your strong and extremely articulate defense of Siobhan. She is indeed on the road to being a superstar.

    It is apparent that a lot of love has gone into shaping Siobhan into the wonderful and fascinating young woman that we see small glimpses of each week. I would like to offer a sincere thank you to her Mom, Dad and other family members for taking the primary roll in guiding and molding her, as well her teachers for their part in developing and refining her skills, and to her community for coming out on cold nights to fill that large auditorium (that they had the foresight to build) to support and encourage her, and other young people, performing at the high school level. I would also have to include, if somewhat reluctantly, American Idol for the roll they have played in placing her on the national stage. That is where we come in, her fans, who have to play our part for her to fully realize her dreams. MCL has used her platform very well in personally supporting her and providing a place for us to share our thoughts. It is Siobhan herself that deserves the most credit for the hard work that she has put into making the most of her gift, so Thank You to Siobhan to each of you who have helped her along the way!

    With her heart for children and family and her demonstrated vocal prowess, next Tuesdays night’s inspirational theme will be a great opportunity to showcase her talents to their fullest and a great night to be a fan. I can’t wait to see it!


  18. I, too, have been on the Siobhan train since early on. Her Paint It Black was the highlight of the competition for me so far. She has the pipes and the imagination to deliver Lambert-style entertainment (and that’s about the highest compliment I can pay) as long as she keeps her nerve. She’s so young (only 20!) and has, I believe, led a pretty sheltered life, and it’s so obvious she takes the judge’s careless critiques to heart. My wish for her is a thick skin. Take a page from Adam’s book: take from the critiques what you think will improve your performances, and FORGET THE REST! You go, Siobhan!


  19. Dear Siobhan,
    If you read anything online, please read the information at this site!!! You’ve got the MAGIC! Please follow the examples of David Cook and Adam Lambert – listen to whatever CONSTRUCTIVE information you receive and put the rest in a BOX to LAUGH at a year from now. You might want to listen to Anyway by Martina McBride –
    “You can pour your soul out singing
    A song you believe in
    That tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang
    Sing it anyway
    Yea, sing it anyway
    Yeah, yeah!

    I sing
    I dream
    I love anyway …”


  20. Okay, I can’t stand it any more. I wasn’t going to post, but someone has to. All you Siobhan conspiracy theorists, you may want to skip this post.

    Would 19 Entertainment prefer Crystal, Lee, or Casey to win over Siobhan? Undoubtedly. They are more marketable at this point than Siobhan is, and selling CDs is the name of the game. Why are they more marketable? They are older and have had the chance to figure out who they are as artists. The fact that Siobhan thinks that not knowing who she is as an artist is an asset shows her naivete about how this business works as well as her youth. I’ve got news for her: it isn’t an asset and it won’t sell CDs. Before I plunk down $15, I want to have an idea of what I’m getting.

    Is the vision of $ signs making 19E twist the judges’ arms and make them trash Siobhan? Doubtful, because quite honestly, no matter who wins this year, 19E has pulled the boner of a year than it was when Jordin Sparks won. None of the contestants are going to sell enough records to make back what new artists typically need to make to get themselves a second record deal. But the AI franchise knows that some years are going to be better than others, and they aren’t going to worry too much about the loss. They make a ton of money off the TV show.

    I understand that they might nevertheless want to minimize the financial hit, but isn’t it just as likely that Kara and Simon don’t like Siobhan as she’s been in the past few weeks any more than Vonnie or I do? I thought Siobhan was terrific in the first few weeks, but I’ve been as underwhelmed as the judges in the last few. And while she has a ton of fans here and elsewhere on the web, there are plenty of people who seem to feel as I do: oodles of natural talent, but I sure wish she had waited a couple of years and gotten some vocal training and club experience under her belt.

    Natural talent is terrific, but it only goes so far. I know. I was a professional actress when I was younger, and I shared Siobhan’s youthful arrogance that I was incredibly talented. And I was, as is she. But when I got out of my small community and into the larger world, I discovered that there were plenty of other actresses with the same amount (or even less) natural talent, but with the technical expertise to know how to use that talent to its greatest effect. And eventually I managed to put my ego aside and got the training I needed.

    As for whomever said that Kara glared at Ellen when she was critiquing Siobhan this week: I’ve replayed it several times, and Kara’s supposed glare happens before Ellen even opens her mouth. I suppose you can argue that she was really glaring at Randy, but quite honestly, it looked to me like the look of someone who is trying to figure out just what she’s going to say in 15 seconds.

    Do I think that Kara and Simon were unnecessarily cruel? Well, I don’t know that Kara was cruel so much as inarticulate. Why she dragged Randy and Ellen into it, since they both loved Siobhan’s performance, is beyond me, but I think she was really referring to comments from previous weeks. And I get the “two voices” thing – because she has so much head voice (I forget, J, is that too much twang or too little) in her lower register, it does sound like a voice from a different person than the one who creates the beautiful sounds in her upper range. It’s something I notice, and I like voices where I don’t notice that large a quality difference (I’m not talking about prime vs. select quality, but rather quality as in tone) between someone’s voices.

    As for Simon, he started off the season unusually kind to the contestants, so kind that someone actually wrote an article about it. One could look at recent weeks as him just returning to form. Would I prefer a kinder and gentler world where even the Sanjayas get criticized in a softer and more constructive way? I would. But this is American Idol, and anyone who chooses to participate in the show, especially if they’ve ever watched it, has to know that they may be on the receiving end of Simon’s sometimes harsh candor. Even the really talented ones. And since they are apt to hear a lot more Simons than Paulas if they choose to pursue a singing career, I’m not sure he is doing them a dis-service. If you can’t take what Simon dishes out, you’re in the wrong business. Better that you figure it out now.

    Lastly, when I watched Siobhan’s performance the first time, it seemed to me that somehow her voice was staying inside her body in the first half. One of the bloggers wrote that she was having trouble projecting, and I understand what he’s talking about, although I wouldn’t have phrased it that way. It didn’t bother me nearly so much the second time, but now that I was no longer trying to figure out why she was swallowing the sound, I noticed something else: she was smiling through the first half of the song. Not the sort of thing I would expect for “Suspicious Minds.” If we’re going to criticize Tim for smiling his way through “Under My Thumb,” shouldn’t we do the same for Siobhan (and, yes, I have a problem with the judges’ treating Crystal with kid gloves, although I guess we now know why.)

    Look, I think Siobhan is loaded with talent and may be unique enough to make it in this business, and I wish her all the luck in the world. I do think she has had the misfortune to follow on Adam’s heels and not do what Adam does as well as he does, for the simple reason that he had years to hone his performing chops as an adult and decades of vocal coaching. I also can’t blame the judges or anyone else for not wanting to sit through two consecutive seasons with rock screams in every song, no matter how well done (and I don’t mind the screams, personally), and it is her misfortune to be in the second of those consecutive seasons.

    But having loads of talent doesn’t mean that she is ready to be wildly successful in this business, and those of us who prefer exhibited expertise to potentiality aren’t going to be able to get behind Siobhan in the same way that those who focus on the talent and originality can. Which doesn’t make us or Kara and Simon wrong, any more than you are wrong for loving her just as she is. And it doesn’t mean that the Evil Powers are out to get her, either.


  21. Jeanne, that was a long post & definitely well-written but I disagree with you on almost every point. Firstly, I would plunk down $15 for a CD of Siobhan any day of the week. In fact, I would plunk down $20. Siobhan is going to do well no matter what, in my opinion. It’s just sad to see her so negatively received by two “judges”. Secondly, I disagree with you regarding the first half of the song. She sounded fine to me. In my opinion, Siobhan connects more with every song that she has sung than almost anyone else singing in this season of Idol. Possible exceptions to that would be Casey on “Jealous Guy” & Mike on “In the Ghetto”. I also don’t understand your remark about “Siobhan’s youthful arrogance”. When has Siobhan been arrogant? Her response to Kara & Simon this week was hardly arrogant, in my opinion; it was heartfelt and if anything overly humble. How else could you go in front of millions of people week after week without a little arrogance? I haven’t sensed that at all from Siobhan. Regarding the two different singers issue, who cares, honestly. That can be fixed. There is so much raw talent there that a little bit of time with a good teacher will smooth that out. In some ways, it would be best for Siobhan not to win. That way she won’t kill herself on the AI tour as Kelly Clarkson may have in her time.

    I respect your points & your response but again, I don’t agree. At all.


  22. Hi Jeanne,

    I’m thinkin’ and will respond to your post when I can say what I want to say, but not come across sounding negative…I agree with your post!

    I have issue’s with Siobhan as all are aware of, but I do not want to sound disrespectful!

    I’ll be back!!!


  23. First, MCL, I’ve been a fan of your blog for years but until today, a lurker. Your recaps and critiques are always wonderfully constructive and positive and I hope the Idols actually take the time to read them.

    Jeanne: “Would 19 Entertainment prefer Crystal, Lee, or Casey to win over Siobhan?”

    Actually, I think Casey is being thrown under the bus right along with Siobahn, but I agree that the plan seems to be a Crystal/Lee finale. I don’t actually have a problem with any of the contestants, but I do have a problem with the obvious favoritism and the dismissive, confusing and insulting comments of the judges towards those who are not The Chosen One (or Two). This is nothing new, of course. The judges have always been a little too obvious about who they want – or don’t want in their Top 2. They did it to Kris Allen last season. They did it to Taylor Hicks in season 5. I hope Siobhan bucks up and uses this to strengthen her resolve.

    I fell in love with Siobhan’s voice when she sang “Wicked Game”. Since then, I confess, I have not loved everything she’s done – just like with Adam Lambert last season about whom I felt the same. There is no denying that Siobhan and Adam both have incredible instruments and a style that sets them apart from others. I respect that, even if I don’t always love their artistic choices.


  24. Jeanne,

    I respect your feelings and a different point of view is always welcome, but I also disagree with you on many of your arguments.

    First, there is no one in this group of contestants, except maybe Mike, who has complete control and knowledge of how to use their voice. Siobhan need not be pampered and coddled, but where does it say that you get to use one standard for someone and another standard for another? I have a lot of issues with the judges’ comments this season, and it hardly begins and ends with Siobhan. If anyone thinks that a guy like Casey is in full control of his vocal instrument, then they need to listen again. I have been baffled at the praise for someone who seems content to just get by week after week. One week he really did step up and challenge himself with excellent results. That was his “Jealous Guy” performance. But all too often, Casey has remained content to just stand behind his guitar, smile nicely for his female fans and give technically inferior performances. Yet he is regarded as consistently good. Not in my world and not according to my ear.

    Lee is another one who has struggled to master his vocal instrument. But he seems to having more success than Casey. Still, when you think about “Hey Jude”, a performance that gave new meaning to the phrase “off pitch”, then I don’t see how he can be seen to have control and command over his voice. His performance skills are still weak, but hopefully he can work on them and get better every week. That is part of what this Idol journey is all about. No one, with the exception of Adam, comes into this competition as a fully realized, seasoned performer. This process is supposed to help these young people find themselves. There is no written in stone caveat that anyone HAS to know who they are as an artist. Many have found themselves along the way. I would also argue that someone like Adam was criticized for not having an easily identifiable artistic identity. He couldn’t be neatly boxed into a specific music genre. Yet he has managed to forge a career. It is true that he came into this competition with formidable vocal skills and years of stage and theater experience. That is why he was able to handle the judges so much better. But that doesn’t mean that Siobhan has to be able to handle the criticism the way you or anyone else thinks she should. Also, comparing her to the likes of Tim in any way, shape or form, is quite astonishing to me. No one should ever benefit from low expectations, yet Tim is a perfect example of it. He is being judged with the bar set so low that it would be almost impossible for him to fail. There aren’t two separate standards for evaluating contestants. Tim should be held to the same standard as all the others. However, Randy said flat out that he was going to judge Tim by “Tim” standards! This is utter nonsense. I have complimented Tim on the way he has handled the judges. In fact, I did say on another site that Siobhan should take a page from his book and just smile and let it go in one ear and out the other. I don’t think Tim, Siobhan or anyone else should ever be subjected to gratuitous insults or cheap shots. That is NOT what judging is all about. That doesn’t make you tougher, it eats away at your sense of self-worth. These are amateurs we are talking about here. You can be tough, while still leaving these young people their sense of dignity and self-respect.

    No one here needs lectures on the fact that the music business can be a cruel and heartless one. The idea that Simon throwing vulgar insults and idiotic cliches at these kids, will actually toughen them up and help them survive, is simply false on its face. Rejection is one thing, cruelty and callousness is quite another. This is a difference.

    Kara and Simon may very well not like Siobhan. But nevertheless, their comments are just tired, well worn, recycled banalities and cliches. Since when does “I don’t get it!” make for real, honest, constructive criticism? Not where I come from. They are using the easy out. Or are you trying to argue that they are entitled to blatantly insult and demean this young woman in front of millions of viewers, merely because they don’t like her singing? That’s a lazy way of getting out of doing some real critiquing. When did constructive criticism become obsolete? When did the judges get to coast by on repetitious, lame, meaningless slogans and phrases? That is not judging!

    I respect the fact that Siobhan tried an ambitious, risky performance. If the judges didn’t feel that it worked, then let them say WHY, without resorting to childish, petty words that add up to absolutely nothing. I did not think her performance was schizophrenic. I think she has ONE voice that has many facets. She attempted to show that in her performance. This girl is challenging herself every single week by taking on difficult songs and working hard to give them a unique, original interpretation. Dislike it if you will. That is your right. But don’t take shots at someone and project character traits onto here that aren’t there. She isn’t arrogant, she just wants a fair chance to evolve, discover who she is and learn. What on earth is wrong with that?

    I don’t think Siobhan needs to be handled with kid gloves. However, when Ryan gave Simon the chance to say how she might change what she is doing or how she is singing, how did he respond? Did he give her one shred of real advice and sincere constructive criticism that might actually help her to improve? No! He came back with some pathetic answer reiterating that this was Elvis week and it was important to choose the right song! Wow! How exactly is Siobhan going to learn anything from those words? So go back, Siobhan, and you better get the song choice right or expect more of the same from us – that was what Simon essentially was saying to her.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist. If necessary, let’s throw that all out for the sake of this discussion. I want the judges to say something meaningful to these young people. No matter how Kara looked at Ellen or Randy, the simple truth of the matter is that she took their words and deliberately twisted them to make them seem something that they are not. Let’s leave out the why. Let’s assume she just doesn’t like Siobhan, thinks she stinks, can’t stand her singing, thinks she’s not ready. Okay! So what should Siobhan do? Give up? You are talking about a young girl who just turned 20, just out of her teens. Think back to when you were that age and then judge how she is handling this situation.

    In conclusion, all I can say is that we agree to disagree.


  25. To all the naysayers re Siobhan – the reason this topic was added here was basically to support and congratulate all that she has achieved this far. If Crystal and Lee are finalists, so be it! I truly do not care any more. However, Kara and Simon have been absolutely disrespectful to Siobhan this season and I want answers. If it comes down to personal taste – fine – but don’t give the viewers the impression that this girl cannot sing or is headed in the wrong direction. Surely, after this week’s performance, they could have found something lovely to say about her. It’s becoming way too personal now and very uncomfortable to watch.

    And, just so everyone is clear here, I do enjoy Crystal – I think she needs to grow and work on her stage and technical skills, but she has undeniable talent. I also adored Katie and am a huge fan of Michael. The remaining singers are up and down with me each week – I am rooting for all of them, but some of the singers – like Siobhan, Michael and Katie and, to a certain extent, Crystal, have been incredibly consistent from week to week and have demonstrated tremendous growth as well.


  26. I respectfully disagree that she would not be marketable. I download the SXSW sampler every year. This year it contained almost 3000 songs or about 5 gig worth of MP3 music and there are at least 50 Crystals, probably that many Lees and couple hundred Caseys. The winner might have 19 behind them but I don’t see them doing any better than some past Idols.

    I disagree that she arrogant. If one of the male competitors had spoken as she did we would be speaking how brave and that he is in control. A woman does it and she’s arrogant or bitchy. Seems to me she knows more about what she wants than Lee who thinks he’s going home every week or Crystal who’s won’t do anything she’s uncomfortable doing.

    While I’m sure you’re experience is relevant, she is getting a lot of exposure right now, becoming a known quantity and I think her situation is probably very different.
    I see kids like Siobhan in sports all the time. Once they are discovered they get the training and direction to help them reach the next level.

    My experience with sports is that it is very unrealistic to expect a kid to come in ready to perform at any level. Waiting for real talent to train themselves is unrealistic. In fact, lots of really talented kids are a bit lazy because they have not had to work hard to be successful. It appears to me that Siobhan is not lazy and has done what she could given her circumstance.

    I don’t think there is a sign up at the Idol tryouts that says come back after you have x years experience. I think that musicians who are tired of beating their heads against the wall try out to get exposure and an opportunity but every once and a while a Siobhan shows up that just stands out regardless.

    Successful coaches at the collegiate know that they are getting mostly raw talent and know what to do to mold that talent. Very few freshman start. Maybe the music business is expecting polished acts but there appear to be plenty of music professionals like MCL that recognize the talent in Siobhan and would jump at the chance to work with her.

    I think the agenda is pretty clear, Kara and Simon are used to prepackaged commodities, Randy is used to working with artists and performers, so I would agree that there is probably not a conspiracy, there is a contestant that defies conventions and everyone is finding it hard to define her.

    The producers of the show lurk in the shadows granting camera time and performance slots and they do their best to understand a fickle audience. On a show with such a big and varied audience it is probably difficult to determine who will be chosen so they guess. With money on the line they probably tend to guess safely on predictable commodities.

    My personal opinion is that Kara is out of her depth and Simon is mailing it in so he is going to criticize anyone that won’t bend to his will this year. Regardless of your feelings about her performance of “Suspicious Minds”, his comments were unusually cruel after what appeared to be one of her strongest performances. There was no helpful suggestions, there was a ravaging of her performance without a much in the way of guidance.

    Kara insists that she pick a lane and will not just sit back and listen to the performance. After her comments I really wondered if she was spending her time talking to Simon or listening to the performance. Siobhan is an very sophisticated amateur that lacks experience in production and arrangement but once she’s away from Idol she will have that kind of help to make her a success or she will set trends that right now she’s ahead of the curve on.

    I remember when Linda Ronstadt first arrived on the scene and how she changed and was comfortable in many genres once she broke out. Emmeylou Harris is another that could be comfortable in several genres. They are musicians musicians, artists artists, not genres.

    I’ve rambled on longer than I intended but I mean you no disrespect, I just disagree that she could not sell her music. She is an instrument that can be played, the rest are genres that need an audience. She will cross boundaries, the others will struggle to break out of theirs.


  27. Yes –
    1 ) The American Idol (AI ) staff has selected “RAW” talent this season and must deal with the consequences of this decision, including the raw nerves that seem to be inhibiting and affecting their performances.
    2) Siobhan is an unpolished gem.
    3) The AI staff has tended to be inconsistent in directions and critiques – and because the contestants are so inexperienced, this shows more this year than in previous years.
    4) Each contestant (Crystal, Lee, Mike – glorious, Casey, Tim, and Aaron) has a natural instrument (and with the proper coaching) could have careers.

    However, when I see and hear Siobhan perform, I detect the talent and the passion for the craft that I just do not perceive in the others. I heard Adam Lambert say something to the effect that the time after American Idol is WORK that takes time, dedication, and passion.

    Yes, I am biased toward Siobhan because I sense that she may just have the drive and intelligence to make it in the meat grinder of today’s music industry.

    And yes, I will buy her music as I have purchased others before her (for example, I was pleased to pre-order the post-AI CD from Melinda Doolittle, who had the benefit of YEARS in the business to perfect her technique before she entered the whirlwind of AI).


  28. Just a thought… to add a point that I missed – Siobhan seems to be an actress trying on roles and costumes to fit the genre or theme of the week. Last Tuesday, she attempted to channel the spirit of Elvis-themed music (not an easy task for a female since Elvis symbolized maleness) while modifying it to her own experiences and talents and she almost nailed it. Is that NOT the purpose of the THEME of the week? If not, why bother frustrating these poor contestants? Let them sing their own compositions (they seem to be songwriters this year) or choose the music that suits the genre that the AI Staff seems to be pushing this year. Why play bait and switch?


  29. Three comments: I did not mean that Siobhan as an individual is arrogant. Quite the contrary. But youth in general is arrogant, because it doesn’t understand that there is something to be learned through time and age. All I was trying to say is that very young people generally think they are further along than they are, because they generally don’t have anyone better to compare themselves with. We all grow up in small communities, and it is easy to be a big fish in a small pond. I don’t believe that any of us, Siobhan included, is immune to that very universal human characteristic. I thought by comparing my own example of youthful arrogance to hers would help clarify that. Apparently it didn’t. I didn’t think everyone would take it as external arrogance rather than the internal and unconscious arrogance we all possess at that young age. My mistake.

    Mindy: I’m not trying to defend the judges. Quite honestly, I think they are all terrible in different ways. But they are part and parcel of the show, and we knew entering the season what to expect from three of them. Why anyone should be up in arms over their poor performance is beyond me.

    Reboho: I love your sports analogy, but the music business in particular and the performing arts business in general doesn’t spend the sort of time dealing in developing talent that sports does. Professional sports talent is far rarer than performing arts talent is, as has been evidenced by the NFL strike and various league expansions. There aren’t enough quality first string quarterbacks to fill the NFL. If there were, Oakland and Buffalo wouldn’t still be begging. The performing arts can usually afford to wait till the performers in question work their way up through the ranks and develop their skills accordingly. And for the record, I didn’t say that Siobhan couldn’t sell any records; obviously everyone who posts here would buy them. I said that I wouldn’t disagree with 19E if they felt that Crystal, Lee, Casey could sell more than Siobhan. Not that I think that ANY of them will sell many.

    What disappoints me most, MCL, is that what attracted me to this site years ago was your even-handedness and constructive support of each and every contestant. But since Season 7, you have become very partisan outside of your weekly critiques. It’s your site and you have every right to express yourself any way you like. But you’ve lost me as a fan.

    You guys have become very politically correct and “agree to disagree”, and I guess that’s an improvement. But you sure make me feel like the subtext is that I am nevertheless completely wrong in my own feelings. I’m sure my previous post made you feel the same way (I know this because of Vonnie’s post), and it is my own failing that I gave in to the temptation to give you some of your own medicine. No one wins by doing that.

    No wonder Galen stopped posting. I understand how she feels.

    No need to respond on my behalf; I won’t be coming back.


  30. Jeanne – I am sorry to hear that you will not be back – we all need to hear constructive comments.


  31. Hi Jeanne,

    Okay can I admit that you have me a liitle confused; “I’m sure my previous post made you feel the same way (I know this because of Vonnie’s post), and it is my own failing that I gave in to the temptation to give you some of your own medicine. No one wins by doing that.”

    Did I say something wrong?

    To All,

    I have made comments about Siobhan sounding nasally, and that I don’t care for her lower register. Would it be so farfetched that Simon and Kara hear the same thing as I do, and it is not a conspiracy in the making? That they just don’t like her voice…?

    Sometimes I feel as if what I hear is treated as if there must be something wrong with my hearing. True, I am not a technical musician, I can’t sing, but I know what sounds good to me!

    I can’t paint a vase filled with beautiful flowers onto a canvas, but, when someone does and captures that beauty, I can appreciate it, and can see the talent for what it is…I can also tell the difference between someone with raw natural talent from someone lacking the gift of artistry! I don’t see raw natural talent in Siobhan, nothing personal against her, her voice just does not appeal to me!

    Where was everyone when Simon was being cruel to Andrew, Tim, and Katie?

    “To all the naysayers re Siobhan – the reason this topic was added here was basically to support and congratulate all that she has achieved this far. If Crystal and Lee are finalists, so be it! I truly do not care any more.”

    Why not rejoice in all of the contestants?

    Again; Vonnie hangs head, gently shakes it and walks away!

    Jeanne, Sweetie, can you hold the door for me I’m coming with you!!!


  32. OK, sounds like some housecleaning is happening here…


  33. … and, apparently Siobhan Magnus does stir emotions…


  34. i.e. her artistry and presentation somewhat create polarity & get people to talk about her, which means she is doing something right (and naturally tastes are different…)


  35. To all the naysayers re Siobhan – the reason this topic was added here was basically to support and congratulate all that she has achieved this far. If Crystal and Lee are finalists, so be it! I truly do not care any more. However, Kara and Simon have been absolutely disrespectful to Siobhan this season and I want answers.

    MCL…I greatly respect your knowledge and up until now your genuine care for all of the contestants, but this is so unfair to Crystal and Lee…if they are the chosen ones, it isn’t there fault, and I am sure that it puts an incredible amount of pressure on them that they would rather not have. Plus it puts them at a great disadvantage when they are placed in this postion by persons who should be un-biased. Voters quickly turn into haters when they think someone has an unfair advantage over their favorite, this could jeapordize these two contestants.


  36. … and, it seems to me ’em judges & producers are right on target in achieving their goal/ pursuing the somewht hidden agenda… – it is a TV show…


  37. My goodness, there are so many new responses – so I have a lot of reading to do. First, did anyone see the interview Kara gave after Wednesday’s show? Kara was asked what kind of an Idol she would be? She said, “A nightmare…”. She mentioned that she jumps from genre to genre and cannot be pinpointed to one genre.

    So, my question is, if Kera doesn’t know who she is, how can she expect a young lady just out of her teens to label herself? I don’t know where Kara is coming from, but I bet Siobhan will set the record straight.

    OK, sounds like some housecleaning is happening here…

    He Lee! Can you help me understand what this means? Thanks!


  38. Jeanne, we have posted her together for awhile, and I have enjoyed your posts. No need to agree with everything that is said, though. I hope you will reconsider.


  39. Jeanne – I was just in the midst of writing a post where I was saying I was glad you didn’t leave us after all. *sighs* My post is still half-formed, but in case you come back, I thought I’d give it a shot anyway. This was in response to your first post, but reading your second post, I’m glad to see that I did understand you correctly.


    [What I wrote so far]

    Jeanne, thanks for stepping up and being willing to take some hits in order to provide another perspective, which, until now, had not been elaborated upon. I have tremendous respect for you. I’m sure you knew that many people would disagree with you and not see things from your perspective, but you posted knowing that anyway, which takes remarkable courage. You made many valid points that I agreed with.

    I think some of Michael Slezak’s comments complement yours nicely.

    As for me, well, I had mixed feelings tonight about The Glassblower’s ”Suspicious Minds.” There were some lovely, impassioned moments (especially when Siobhan broke it down on the bridge), but I get the sense that her voice is like a wild mustang: It’s lovely and powerful and doesn’t want to be corralled, but it’s also uncontrollable and a little dangerous and not always terribly elegant. The white business suit with rhinestone lightning bolts on the front and Frederick’s of Hollywood day-wear cutouts on the back did little to enhance Siohan’s star power, and while it seemed incredibly naïve that Siobhan thinks musical artists don’t need to have a consistent vision of what kind of music they want to make, I did love watching her earnestly disagree with Simon, and watching him earnestly want to explode with fury. [SOURCE]

    I know I keep saying positive things about Kara, but we’re all at a point where that’s not super-troubling anymore, right? Okay, good. Because I thought her feedback about needing time to digest and process Siobhan’s ”Across the Universe” was a moment of rare, unself-conscious honesty from behind the judges’ table.

    Let’s be honest: Singing is an art form. Art is subjective. And it’s crazy to think that in the course of judging 100 or so performances per season, we almost never hear the kind of uncertainty Kara confessed. I felt the same way. On one hand, we desperately needed Siobhan to show some restraint, to remind us of the lovely lilt in her voice, to connect emotionally with her material. And in that sense, it was mission accomplished. But clad in what looked to be a wedding gown that got caught in the Jumpin’ Jack Flash shredder (with un-matching gray vest), Siobhan cut a rather jarring picture, and the fact that she maintained a somnambulant pace and super-deliberate phrasing from beginning to end the whole thing slightly inaccessible — or ”sleepy,” as Randy would say it. With a couple hours to (Gokey reference) ”meditate on it,” I’m not sure this is a performance I’ll play back again and again, but it erased some of the shrill memories of ”Through the Fire” and reestablished The Glassblower as a legit season 9 contender. [SOURCE]

    [And this is coming from Slezak, one of Kara’s greatest detractors, even from last season. He’s repeatedly pointed out all of Kara’s gaffes: “early Aerosmith,” “Studio 57,” “package artists,” and so on. Go HERE.]

    … isn’t it just as likely that Kara and Simon don’t like Siobhan as she’s been in the past few weeks any more than Vonnie or I do? I thought Siobhan was terrific in the first few weeks, but I’ve been as underwhelmed as the judges in the last few. And while she has a ton of fans here and elsewhere on the web, there are plenty of people who seem to feel as I do: oodles of natural talent, but I sure wish she had waited a couple of years and gotten some vocal training and club experience under her belt.

    I completely agree. That’s very likely.

    Your discussion on natural talent is right on. People may nitpick your choice of the term “arrogance,” but for the record, I know what you’re getting at. I don’t think you’re trying to say that Siobhan’s acted arrogantly in some explicit way, but rather, you’re making the (pretty spot-on) observation that one of the traps of being young and notably talented is pride or arrogance. Any very talented person who’s completely honest to him or herself has struggled with pride. (Myself included, my pastor [who’s very intelligent and vocally gifted], and so on…) Pride doesn’t make someone a “terrible” person, but it’s a reality of the human condition. And it especially comes with the territory of being very talented and particularly young at the same time.

    [For the record, I certainly don’t think Siobhan is characterized by arrogance, and I don’t think Jeanne is trying to say that either. Siobhan has shown herself to be an incredibly humble, down-to-earth young woman, and I like that she defended herself, even though her comment, as Michael Slezak also pointed out, was a little naive. I don’t think the comment was arrogant, though. She was very reasonable in defending herself. More than anything else, Jeanne was trying to point out the existence of “youthful arrogance” and how easily it creeps up at times on people in Siobhan’s position. I hope I’m explaining your position correctly, Jeanne!]

    Well, I don’t know that Kara was cruel so much as inarticulate.

    Agreed. Now, for all the people who are reading in on this, I’m not saying that the judges are never cruel. For example, I don’t know think Simon’s “manslaughter” comment can be considered anything but cruel. But there’s also the aspect that (as Jeanne said in the first quote I have in this post) sometimes, the judges just don’t like it.

    Also, I completely understand the “two voices” comment as well. What you (Jeanne) and Kara are pointing out is the inconsistency in Siobhan’s tone color. Her lower register is heady, dark-colored, and muddy (lacking in twang, for the record), and her high register is very bright, twangy, and laser-like. Kara wasn’t articulate enough to put it in particularly technical terms, but she’s referring to the slight gap between Siobhan’s “registers.” It’s extremely common for sopranos to have a slightly weaker middle register. Classical music emphasizes this aspect of having “one voice,” seamless from bottom to top, and Kara’s pointing out that Siobhan hasn’t quite achieved this consistency in her voice yet, particularly in terms of tone color.

    [to be continued]


  40. [continued from above]

    I understood you completely, Jeanne, and I’m sorry that more people do not. I don’t think you were wrong in your feelings at all. I think you made some completely spot-on observations about the music business, the human condition, and so forth. And I don’t know if I can say anything that will make you stay, but I must say that you’re much braver than I. Of that, I am certain.

    I can’t emphasize enough to everyone that there are so many valid ways of being. Earlier I mentioned that, being an anthropology major, I always try to multiply complexities; I try to point out the shades of grey. And what Jeanne was doing is along those same lines. Life isn’t a dichotomy of black and white. Saying that the judges’ comments can be understandable is not the same as defending the judges’ behavior at all times. [And indeed, Jeanne just said that they can each be terrible in different ways.] The key point that Jeanne was making is that there are multiple ways of being. She explicitly said:

    … those of us who prefer exhibited expertise to potentiality aren’t going to be able to get behind Siobhan in the same way that those who focus on the talent and originality can. Which doesn’t make us or Kara and Simon wrong, any more than you are wrong for loving her just as she is. And it doesn’t mean that the Evil Powers are out to get her, either.

    Speaking only for myself, I realized that I started understanding people a lot better when I tried to place myself in their shoes and earnestly sought to understand the validity of their viewpoints on their terms. Because before that, I often would seek to understand a person’s viewpoint only inasmuch as I could latch onto bits and pieces of it and tear it apart. I’m not condemning anyone here. I’m just condemning myself for having done it in the not-so distant past.

    Many of Jeanne’s points were on the human condition in general (such as the “youthful arrogance” point). For example, her point about the music industry was excellent. Yes, there are individuals who will buy Siobhan’s album as is. That’s not the point. Jeanne’s point was that, generally speaking, the whole of the American buying public will not put down money for a singer who has no consistent artistic vision. This is true. There’s no getting around it. Even the most versatile singers who refuse to be pigeonholed have a consistent internal artistic vision, at least, even if it looks haphazard from the outside. Here are two key sentences from Jeanne’s second post:

    And for the record, I didn’t say that Siobhan couldn’t sell any records; obviously everyone who posts here would buy them. I said that I wouldn’t disagree with 19E if they felt that Crystal, Lee, Casey could sell more than Siobhan. Not that I think that ANY of them will sell many.

    Jeanne does a lot of the same things I try to do. She’s trying to see where 19E is coming from, even if she doesn’t agree with them.

    This leads to two other points I want to make: (1) if I agree and/or understand Jeanne completely, that doesn’t mean I completely disagree with everyone else either! And (2) trying to explain a viewpoint doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with it.

    Let me start with the first point. I’ve noticed in so many situations that I’ve mediated that the parties involved often overlapped and agreed on many issues, but the points of disagreement had a way of creating blind spots to that fact.

    For example, I completely agree with Mindy‘s comment that the judges apply different standards of judging to different contestants. Gene W insightfully mentioned that Carly Smithson is an example of another contestant who was unfairly judged during her entire run. The sad truth is that superior vocalists are often judged at some different standard, and Carly hardly got any credit for what she did right during her run.

    Jeanne isn’t trying to deny that these other positions are valid and hold true for other people. She’s just trying to point out that there are so many other possible factors involved in why a judge says what he/she says; these factors can’t be simply reduced to one. In one situation, Simon might feel like lashing out at the world, so he takes it out on the contestants by being cruel. In other situation, he might genuinely dislike a performance. In yet another one, he quite possibly might be manipulating the audience. The same reason doesn’t have to apply in every case. Humans are so internally inconsistent, and what we witness in the judges every week is the display of this very human inconsistency.

    Ideally, the judges would apply the same judging standard to every contestant. But no process or institution or anything involving humans will ever be ideal. And I completely understand the Siobhan fans who are upset at the judges’ comments, but I also understand Jeanne’s point that not every judge’s comment is hell-bent on destroying Siobhan. Certainly, some of them very might well be. Simon’s been honest in the past that he does make manipulative comments, especially towards the finale (top two or top three). However, sometimes, what the judges may really be more guilty of is inconsistency and insensitivity, rather than deliberate malice (but that’s not to say that malice doesn’t factor into some comments.) Jeanne is simply trying to add more layers of complexity to the discussion.

    This leads me to the second point. Alternative viewpoints, even ones that seemingly oppose previously expressed ones, don’t have to be in conflict with other viewpoints. The conflict only occurs in interpretation. I choose to look at alternative viewpoints as different parts of the same picture. In addition, I want to clarify that just because someone presents an alternative viewpoint doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she agrees with it, thinks it’s “better” than another viewpoint, or is trying to invalidate other viewpoints; the goal has much more to do with achieving richer understanding by embracing and entertaining other vantage points.

    I hope that makes sense. I know that you (Jeanne) are leaving anyway, but I just wanted you to know that I have your back. And I have everyone’s back. It’s my blessing and curse; I have the gift of understanding. It’s great for mediating, but it also gets me in trouble sometimes when people misunderstand my intentions. I’m not ever here to take sides. I’m here to say that all of you—reasonable, honest, free-thinking individuals with your own opinions—are all right in different ways. No one is necessarily wrong, and no one ever has to be wrong. And honestly, if you (anyone who’s reading this; yes, I just changed my pronoun usage! lol) earnestly believe something, you don’t have to accept the alternative viewpoints. But I appreciate and defend Jeanne’s right for trying to present an alternative viewpoint. Thanks, Jeanne.


    P.S. To vonnie, don’t worry; you didn’t do anything wrong! I think what Jeanne was saying is that by purposely choosing to write a short post agreeing with Jeanne, rather than a detailed one, you implicitly acknowledged that other people might’ve seen your opinions as “wrong” or troublesome if you had chosen to elaborate. Does that make sense?

    Also, what you wrote here:

    this is so unfair to Crystal and Lee…if they are the chosen ones, it isn’t there fault, and I am sure that it puts an incredible amount of pressure on them that they would rather not have. Plus it puts them at a great disadvantage when they are placed in this postion by persons who should be un-biased. Voters quickly turn into haters when they think someone has an unfair advantage over their favorite, this could jeapordize these two contestants.

    Very wise words, vonnie. Very wise. The contestants can’t help what the judges say about them… *shakes head*


  41. Kariann1 – this was a comment on the emotions tht were flying a little very high and causing people to announce tht they are leaving the blog – i.e. energies being trapped in unfortunate personal offense (as I see it, all unintentional) – but I guess stuff like tht just happens…


  42. Lee Lee Moss,

    The smile that had once graced my face has been removed by great saddness in my personal life these days…but I must say the one line from you caused my frown to tip up-wards into a small grin, but none-the-less a grin!

    “energies being trapped in unfortunate personal offense (as I see it, all unintentional) – but I guess stuff like tht just happens…”


  43. Gah, I have to run; I have somewhere to be in five minutes (literally).

    But here’s another version of what I said, in a very short recap:

    (1) Everyone who is upset at the judges’ comments are completely right in doing so. Yes, the judges are horribly inconsistent, often unhelpful, and sometimes, just mean. At the same time, there is a possibility that not all the comments are actually meant to be manipulative at all times.
    (2) Speaking for myself, I definitely find it useful to mute or skip the judges’ comments altogether. All of us on this site are free-thinking individuals. We can form our own opinions. I say, to everyone, if the judges’ comments aren’t improving your experience of the show, feel free to tune them out! I know I do! =P
    (3) Also, I completely with dearest Mindy’s assessment that anyone who cannot acknowledge Siobhan’s talent at all is being dishonest on some level (conscious or unconscious, what have you…). I think all of us, even the ones who aren’t keen on Siobhan’s voice all the time, acknowledge that she is talented. Jeanne acknowledged it. Vonnie acknowledges it. The talent is raw, which might not appeal to people (which is highly understandable), but it is definitely there in spades. And those who are honest to themselves admit it. So, I completely understand why people would be upset that it’s becoming less and less acknowledged over time.

    … And that is really on the judges. I completely understand and agree with Mindy’s second post above about how not constructive the judges can be. I also agree with Jeanne that since this is television and humans are humans, however, we can’t ever expect the judges to be wholly consistent or even good at what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s a shame.

    For me, I just try to put every week behind me, and I try not to get riled up too much by the judges’ comments. Let us all hope that Americans really are smart enough to see through what the judges are doing and decide for themselves. I really do think that Americans, for the most part, give the judges less credence than we sometimes think. Speaking for myself, I don’t think the judges have ever convinced me that a good performance was bad or vice versa, and let’s hope that most people can say the same. 😉

    Okay, gotta run!


  44. One last point. I am definitely fed up with the Idol machine. I don’t care for the Idol machine at all. Sometimes I really do think this show is soul-destroying.

    I just watch because I love watching people sing. And we have some really talented young men and women up there.

    So, definitely, *hugs* to Siobhan! Don’t let the judges destroy your confidence and get to your mind. Whether or not they’re malicious all the time is beside the point… they’re still saying these things, and you still need to believe in yourself regardless. Just think of the comments as preparation for the harsher comments that will be made in the world, but remember, no matter what anyone says, they can never take away your talent. Brava to Siobhan!

    Also, shout-outs to all the other contestants! I’m sorry all of you have to deal with the judges’ shenanigans, but keep on performing your hearts out and don’t let the fame, the comments, anything get to you.

    Peace out for now!


  45. Oh, thank you Lee! Sometimes I get overwhelmed by so many comments. I hate to see people leave this blog because of all the debate over a variety of issues. Blogs like this stimulate conversations and debate – these things happen. I hope everyone calms down and returns to discuss Tuesday’s performances and Wednesday’s Idol Gives Back.

    Real life issues always take priority over what is going on regarding my favorite television show!


  46. vonnie, Kariann1 (and all)

    – first, promise me to smile every single day at least once, no matter what… 🙂
    and yes, life often dishes out more than we expected, but art, and especially music,
    is wht can make this much easier to carry, recharge us and even remind us why we are here.
    so, to music & song – rejoice & enjoy! And a big THX to the people who decide to walk this not easy path and develop their gifts to pursue a career in the per-forming arts…


  47. Jeanne

    i think you ask for the response you got and even you know it.

    “Okay, I can’t stand it anymore. I wasn’t going to post, but someone has to. All you Siobhan conspiracy theorists, you may want to skip this post.”

    First, I don’t totally disagree with your initial post but I totally shake my head with your walkout. that’s a classic response of someone who wants to be always right. walking out doesn’t make your arguments hold.

    Second, this post is a shoutout to siobhan so of course the people here will disagree with your post. it’s nice of you to offer your two cents but face it you’ll receive some flak. you need not walk out in a huff over that. i imagine what you feel is an inkling of what the AI contestants feel when they think they did something good and then be slammed by the judges for it. you never see these young contestants walk out in a huff.

    third, if you really feel that MCL has been partisan then you need not have posted on this shoutout. using that as your excuse for your walkout after being slammed doesn’t give credence on your objectivity.


  48. PS: and you see, the reason why I personally root for Siobhan Magnus, is because she does have this trans-formative quality and does sing from a much bigger place than the ego; no discredit to the other contestants, but a) this is a shout-out for Sio for above repeatedly stated reasons and b) to me she does have the greatest presence and potential in this very regard, which is the essential element for art and the necessary force tht can make for a great & long career – granted effort & opportunity meet at the right time; which they usually do when you follow your quintessential own path from your own center – no matter how young or old in the physical world… so, again, for me personally, Queen Bon Bon FTW!


  49. I’m glad that MCL added this topic about the judges being unnecessarily harsh with Siobhan. But I also agree with others who point out that they are equally harsh with some of the other contestants. I think it seems worse with Siobhan sometimes because she looks so incredibly hurt. I suppose it’s possible that they just don’t like her voice for one reason or another, but because I do like her voice, it’s not something that I can easily grasp. Hearing their critiques brings back memories of Season 5 when Taylor Hicks rarely received any positive feedback from Simon. But Taylor had to bite his tongue week after week.

    Each year I’ve been disillusioned with the judges because they tend to show favoritism. And this year is certainly no exception.

    Also as much as I like Siobhan’s voice, I like most of the others too. In previous seasons there were contestants who sang well, but for one reason or another their personalities didn’t appeal to me–mostly because I perceived an arrogance in them. But I can honestly say that none of their personalities have turned me off this year. For a time I thought Andrew was a little cocky because he seemed rather confident that his fans were going to keep him around. But I felt sorry for him when he was voted off last week because I know he had a dream of making a better life for his family. I get the sense that most of the others have not had easy lives either and it would make me happy to see them succeed.
    So at this point as much as I like Siobhan, I honestly wouldn’t be unhappy if someone else won, but I would definitely like to see the judges treat the contestants fairly and with respect.


  50. Lee, I watch my Grandbabes while their Mommies work. I do a whole lot of smiling every day! I had to laugh at my three year-old Grandson. He wanted to watch the space lady’s song again. Last week, we watched American Idol and he thought Shobhan was singing in space with the special lighting set-up for Across the Universe. He says, “That’s my Grammie’s favorite person.” LOL. 😀

    I think we’d have to go way back in time to find another finalist who is as unique and talented as Siobhan is. It is my wish to see her in the finals. Yes, I do see her as having a successful career!


  51. Thank you MCL! I appreciate the shout out to Siobhan. The judges are so biased but I believe that Siobhan’s legion of fans can bring an upset and help her get the gold. We have to vote harder than ever.
    She is the only one screaming artistry in this competition and pushing herself by bringing something new every week. She is a star and will be the one successful after this rigged show is over.


  52. theo,

    You have more guts and honesty than I do. You pretty much said everything that I am thinking and feeling right now. You did it without all the emotion that I might have put into it, so for that I offer you my sincere thanks. I happen to think that you are completely correct in your feelings.

    The price for standing up and speaking your mind is that some will disagree with you, maybe in stronger terms that you might like. I felt that Jeanne made a strong, reasonable argument for her point of view. But if you are going to come on strong and be an intense advocate, then expect people to come back and refute your arguments and give their reasons why. I think that’s what a discussion is supposed to be. I do think that my comments were strong in response to someone who spoke strongly. I tried to make my points in a reasoned manner. I did take exception the comment about Siobhan’s supposed “arrogance”, but that has been clarified.

    As far as the rest of what I wrote, I stand behind it. Those are my thoughts and feelings. It’s not about right or wrong for either Jeanne, me or anyone else here. It’s about having the right to think for yourself. I honestly would be sorry to see anyone leave over this kind of disagreement. But if people post their opinions, even saying in advance that they know it might be offensive, then I don’t think it serves any purpose to feel shunned or maligned and make a dramatic exit.

    Emotions are running high right now. This was a tough week. For the first time, I could see these young people all struggling, each in their own way. They are in a pressure cooker and must put themselves out there in front of millions of tv viewers every single week. They also have to face the judges. Enough said about that! For some reason, I felt very connected to all of them. I could see the disappointment and almost fatalistic attitude in Andrew after his performance. I could see the fear in Aaron’s eyes after Simon’s critique. I saw Mike dig deep to give probably his best performance, as if to let everyone know that he deserved to be saved. I still see Lee being too introverted or shy to fully let out what I think is a great personality inside him. I watched as Katie gave a defiant performance as her way of coping with the conflicting comments from the judges. I see Crystal quietly doing her thing week in and week out, seemingly unperturbed, but with a great deal of turmoil inside her.

    I see them, I see all of them and I feel for them. They are what this is all about, not us. I don’t just like Siobhan to the exclusion of everyone else, and I think that I’ve said it a number of times. I don’t know how much plainer I can be. For the first time since the semifinal results, I cried during this week’s results show. I felt compassion and empathy for Andrew and Katie. I realized just how undignified this Idol process can be at times. I wish I could have reached out and hugged every single one of them. I think they needed it. The price can be high to go for your dream. Hopefully, when all is said and done, the sacrifice is worth it in the end.


  53. I don’t think I have much to add to all of this. I think Jeanne’s walking out is symptomatic of something bigger than her disappointment in MCL. Not sure what that is exactly but I hope she gets it straightened out & comes on back. If my saying that I didn’t agree with her at all was perceived by her as my saying that she didn’t have a right to feel the way she felt, I don’t know what to do about that. I feel pretty strongly about what I think & I’m not going to back off of what I think because it doesn’t jive with someone’s else’s opinion.

    I do want to respond to a question that Vonnie raised which was: were Kara & Simon reacting to what he perceives as the nasal quality of Siobhan’s voice? I don’t think that’s the case because they have not always been so relentlessly negative regarding Siobhan. They liked her performance of “Paint It Black”, which, by the way, for all its beauty contained, in my opinion, one of the true “screams” in all that she has done. Even I flinched a bit but I still loved her because of what she did right after that “scream” which as finish with a phenomenally beautiful softer sequence. But they were very negative by the following week & then even more so the week after that. In my opinion, the negativity of their reviews is not related at all to Siobhan’s actual performance. For instance, “House of the Rising Sun” was actually better than “Think” but Kara & Simon were pretty negative (actually, Kara was less so than Simon but then sucked up to Simon with “I don’t know who she is as an artist” or something ridiculous like that.

    I have absolutely NO problem with people not liking Siobhan’s voice. No problem at all. We all have our own preferences when it comes to singers. Isn’t it wonderful that we have so many great singers to listen to? And the judging problem will cease to be an issue for me because I will no longer listen to them. They have no relevance here. I honestly don’t think many people listen to them, in the sense that anyone gives their opinions any weight.

    Finally, I have no history regarding the Idol process/machine. I came into Season 8 in the final 2 weeks. So I don’t know how things are this season vs. other seasons. I just know that I see someone very special & gifted & I want her to do well & feel good about herself. So she needs to ignore the judges & do what feel right to her. Hope she can do that in the weeks that are left.


  54. For the first time, I could see these young people all struggling, each in their own way. They are in a pressure cooker and must put themselves out there in front of millions of tv viewers every single week. They also have to face the judges.

    Mindy, isn’t this the truth? I do believe this is true with each season; however, I believe it has gotten worse with each passing season. Idol has got them on such a strict schedule of having to do a list of things. Unfortunately, getting a good night’s sleep is not on that list.

    Darlene, I have watched American Idol since season 1 and there have been changes over the years. The first season had such a sense of innocence about it. We really didn’t know what to expect. Over the years, it is more and more obvious how manipulative, edited, judge motivated, and scripted it has become. I know all reality shows have scripted moments, but it is becoming more and more obvious. Regardless how Siobhan sang, Simon knew ahead of time he would say it was terrible.

    It seems this year the Idol Machine and its process has become desperate! Being beaten two weeks in a row by Dancing With the Stars really bugged the producers. In the end, it is the contestants that are the stars not the judges.

    One other thing Darlene, you missed some terrific seasons in the past!


  55. Kariann1 – I completely agree with what you said about season 1. Season 1 will always be my favorite, not only because Kelly Clarkson is my favorite singer, but because there was this purity in the way the show was run back then. The Ford commercials were down-to-earth skits, rather than commercialized music videos. The stage was very humble-looking (especially compared to the current stage). Paula was coherent(!). The contestants even dressed themselves! (I loved that the contestants often dressed up to match the theme of the week. ;))American Idol wasn’t a “machine”—a blatant commercial, marketing venture aimed at making money. The show was more about the contestants than a star-studded cast of mentors and results show performers. For me, season 1 was real in a way that more recent seasons just can’t be.

    You remind me of an interesting article I read, though. I can’t remember where I read it, but apparently, at times, the judges do “rehearse” their comments in the sense that they watch the rehearsal performances, make comments then, and afterward, use those same comments for the real performance (which they conveniently “zone” out on). [Remember when Paula started giving Jason Castro critiques for a performance he hadn’t even sung yet?] Oy. *shakes head*

    Honestly, the less I think about the machinations of TPTB behind American Idol, the better. In this case, I don’t think the judges are deliberating trying to “sabotage” the contestants, but I admit, I’m not immune to some of the conspiracy theories in past seasons when it comes to the producers’ actions. For example, I’ve read that TPTB behind American Idol admit that the “bottom 3” can be manipulated. Of course, they ensure us that the results are never tampered with—in the sense that the eliminated contestant in any given weekis the one with the lowest number of votes—but this week was a total case in point that the producers purposely set up the results to make contestants appear to be in the bottom 3/2 when they’re not even close to the bottom (i.e. Big Mike).

    Bottom line: I just want to hear people sing! I try to ignore everything else.


  56. And by “everything else,” I mean everything else about the show (the on-air/backstage politics, etc.). Of course, I love the discussions I have with all of you about the singing and so on. 😀


  57. J, over the years, former Idols have said that they were told to say certain things. I think the most famous scripted moments were with Kellie Pickler. She spoke about eating calamari the night before the show in which they made a big deal because she didn’t know what it was. She said she ate it several times before but that the producers thought it would be cute if she came off as a ‘dumb blonde’.

    What angers me is when the producers ‘suggest’ the finalists select a different song. This has happened several times this year (Alex, Katie, Siobhan, Tim, etc.) and often the contestant is not comfortable with the song. In Alex Lambert’s case, he was eliminated.

    Some day, there will be a “tell all” book.


  58. Kariann1 – Wow, thanks for sharing that bit about the calamari incident! I had no idea, but I’m not surprised at all! Kellie seems much more self-aware than the show painted her out to be.

    Oh, and I completely agree with you concerning the producers’ intrusion (what else can one call it?) upon the contestants’ song choice. (I actually posted two LA Times articles discussing that topic.) I still shake my head every time I think about poor Alex, being told to switch his song choice because the producers said “Trouble” would earn him more votes. All I can say is: That clearly did not happen. (!!!)

    Not only do the producers “suggest” different song choices, in Lilly Scott’s case, the producers didn’t even bother trying to clear requested song choices. Here’s the blurb:

    “Radiohead’s ‘Nude’ was the first song I asked for over the first three weeks,” she explained. “[The producers] said, ‘That’s not a very common song, nobody’s going to relate to that.’ And I was, like, ‘Well I know some people that will.’ ” If she had things her way, Lilly added, “I would’ve pulled out some Devendra Banhart or Animal Collective — two artists who really inspire me that nobody really knows about in the ‘Idol’ world.” Instead, Lilly contends, she was encouraged to stick closer to classic rock territory. And that Radiohead song she hoped to clear? “They didn’t even try,” she says. “Because they claimed it was not a good choice.” [SOURCE]

    No wonder the last few seasons have been full of rehashed songs…

    As for that tell all book, I’d be highly interested in reading it, just because a show like this really makes me wonder sometimes. 😉


  59. vonnie,

    I have honestly tried to reassure you as much as possible, that what you are hearing in Siobhan’s voice is real. I don’t know any other way to say it than the way I did in an earlier post. I don’t think that because I have perfect pitch that I am the last word. For myself, I have to rely on what I hear. For you the same thing goes. I don’t expect everyone to love Siobhan. People all have their own personal likes and dislikes. It will always be this way.

    I have also said that there are other people I like besides Siobhan. If I didn’t care about Katie so much, then I wouldn’t have cried when she got eliminated. I don’t know why, but for some reason I just didn’t see it coming, so it caught me off guard. I was so proud of her for doing better every week. I care about all of these contestants as people. This week that feeling of wanting to reach out and just hold them close, became very strong.


    I have never been comfortable with the manipulations and machinations that are an inevitable part of this show. It does seem to be getting worse every year. I have seen the judges do this before with other contestants in past seasons. They have their own special favorites and then there are those who they treat with scorn. People have mentioned Carly and I remember only too well what happened to her on season 7. David Archuleta was my favorite that season, but as always, there were a few that I liked. Carly was one of them. But Simon got in her head and that was pretty much it for her. She kept trying to please him and was so psyched out that it really undermined her performances. It’s a cautionary tale.

    I actually am planning to take you up on your suggestion to just hit the mute button when the judges talk. It’s not like I need them to tell me what to think of a performance. I agree with everything you said in response to vonnie’s question about Kara and Simon. I am honestly too exhausted to even get into it all over again.


    Well, this has been quite the discussion! You are a great negotiator and peacemaker. I never like to see someone feel the need to leave. I hope it doesn’t happen. I appreciate your ability to see the big picture. I usually love a good argument or debate, but after this I am quite tired. This was a tough week, losing little Katie. But I am sure she has learned a lot and will move on to great opportunities.

    Thanks for understanding my feelings about Siobhan’s talent not being acknowledged. That is the thing that I think has really gotten under my skin. If Kara and Simon had prefaced what they said with, we know you have a great voice, or, we think you are extremely talented, then maybe it would have gone over better with me.

    Well, it’s on to next week. I hope we are still here to discuss it!


  60. Dearest Mindy,

    Thanks for understanding. *hugs* ♥ This certainly has been a tiring discussion, hasn’t it? I feel there’s more I want to say, but I really would like this topic to rest, so maybe it’s better that I let the topic wander in the direction it’s going now. 😉

    I have to say that it’s a shame we won’t get to hear Katie sing “Over the Rainbow” next week. Her pre-Idol performance of this song is stunning.

    I wish she was able to connect with the right songs while on the show. Her performance of “The Prayer” was also beautiful:


    Also, I just wanted to say, on the topic of encouraging all the aspiring singers out there, I found Christina Aguilera’s piece on VH1’s Driven incredibly inspiring. Christina endured so many hurtful, hateful acts committed against her—ridicule, rude and hostile behavior, having girls throw balls at her in gym class in an attempt to harm her, having her family’s car tires slashed, having plugs pulled out on amplifiers while she was singing, etc.—to the point that she had to move and keep her talent a secret. (Many of these incidents occurred while she was still in elementary school!) Christina’s family and friends mentioned how hurt Christina was by this type of behavior.

    Even after achieving success, Christina was still treated poorly by some other people (who were envious of her, no doubt). For example, at a prom Christina attended (she was 18 at the time), every single person on the dance floor walked off once the DJ started playing Christina’s single “Genie in a Bottle” (which was #1 on the charts at the time).

    Yet, Christina persevered, and now, she’s highly successful and respected for her vocal talent.

    Her mother, Shelly Kearns, made some beautiful comments about Christina’s journey, including these:

    “One thing I did tell her was, “You know, Christina, the only thing I can think of is that maybe you’re being prepared for something really big.”

    “Maybe, in a strange way, it was a blessing from God that [she went] through all that misery, you know, just to help prepare for what she had to face later on.”

    The lyrics to Christina Aguilera’s “Keep On Singin’ My Song” definitely serve as an inspiration to every singer out there who’s had his/her fair share of naysayers. (Isn’t that all of us? I suggest everyone does a Google search for the lyrics. ;))


  61. Mindy,

    I truly am assured that you, J and Jeanne do understand what I was referring to in Siobhan’s voice…I was just making a statement that maybe that too is what the judges are hearing…that said, I’m not always sure what the judges are hearing! I can hear a good or bad performance and they will think the exact opposite. “Shrugs”

    I am a little upset with the direction of this site…in the discussion of Crystal; Siobhan was brought up again as being treated badly.

    Maybe this year for me not having one favorite and liking so many of the contestants, I’m not looking through peep hole blinders. I see bad treatment all the way around, from Simon telling Tim that he will grade him on a curve just for Tim??? Their blatant not grading Crystal and Lee, what’s up with that…I personnaly do not think that they are the chosen ones, Simon knows what happens to the chosen favorites (Daughtry), when he continues to praise them and treat them differently than the other contestants. Katie couldn’t get any praise for a long time, MCL was the only one telling her weekly that she was doing a good job. Lacey was abused week after week, Didi started out okay and then she was slammed, Andrew couldn’t get any where because they tried convincing him that Straight up was his best performance and that he wasn’t going to top that??? When you know you are going to be slammed even before you open your mouth, then what’s the use! With Casey the are on again off again with him…same with Mike.

    So for me it is kind of like, this has turned into the Siobhan Magnus fan site. Most all of the atricles has something about her along with pictures of her at each heading!

    I really like Lee this year, is he my Adam, Taylor or Jason? No, not yet, because I am enjoying so many of them, and would love to be able to come hear and enjoy each one of them with my friends here on this site!

    Do you know how, when someone has an injury that is chronic and each time you see them they tell you how much pain they are in and what all hurts, then you want to start avoiding them when you see them out because honestly, you love them dearly but have gotten to the place that you really don’t want to hear anymore! This is me with the Siobhan pity parties (not a good analogy, sorry, couldn’t think of what I was trying to relate it to).

    My walk out isn’t of this site, it is of the discussions of Siobhan only. I check this site everyday and can’t wait to read everyone’s comments…!

    MCL, I must apologize to you! My comment about you being biased towards Siobhan and not caring about the others was not fair, I know in your critiques you are always fair…please be that fair when opening a topic for us to discuss, Crystal’s topic should not have included Siobhan…I would love if you were to open a general topic, just for us (me, I guess I’m the only one) who would rather talk about all of the contestants instead of just one!


    I hope you reconsider!


  62. Oh Gosh, there are so many typos in my post that I am not even going to try and fix them, Blah!!!


  63. Wow! What a great way to spend a Saturday morning without the kids – reading such interesting and insightful posts. Thanks!! And to Jeanne – you can’t leave! This discussion thread may not have had 62 responses had it not been for your comments! And as I read your response, I found myself nodding my head at some, but not all, of the things you said. You made me see and think about this whole situation from a different lens, which is great. Having said that, however, this is a shout-out to Siobhan – words of encouragement to her so I will try to keep that in mind as I write. Siobhan IS my favourite and I wanted to write something here last night but it got too late (and once I start on the computer, I can’t get off so I stopped myself). But I was listening to my Ipod, on which I have Siobhan’s “Painted Black” and I must encourage all of you to really sit down and take a good listen to this truly brilliant piece! There are so many wonderful things that she has done with it – I can’t even begin to articulate how great this piece is (and it wasn’t even my favourite song of hers!). I do agree about the one “scream note” that she hits in it – it is evident in the recording too, but that can be worked on and polished with training. What can’t be fixed with training, however, is the artistry behind it. That comes from within her. (and probably a little from who is working with her on the show but they can only create that with her, because of who she is as an artist). HAving said that, I also listened to Crystal and I absolutely love her as well, but these two remarkable young ladies are VERY DIFFERENT! I figures this out yesterday: for me, Crystal relaxes me when she sings. I can sit back and totally/ completely enjoy what comes out of her mouth. Siobhan, on the other hand, moves me. Truly good music moves me. Brillian artisty moves me. I sit back and listen to Siobhan and I get excited. I am entertained. Two different artists – two totally different responses – one VERY SATISFIED listener. I would buy both of these girls’ CDs and my dream finale would be Crystal and Siobhan. So Siobhan, my dear hang in there!! Don’t forget what you told the judges on Tuesday – stick to your guns!!
    I want to respond to all of your responses because each of you had something brilliant to say! But then this would be rediculously long and very repetative.
    I will say that Lee Lee, you put a smile on my face today!
    And Theo, I liked your candid response.
    Julia – I loved your 4 point response – so straight to the point! I especially love your point about these DARN theme weeks and you are RIGHT!! Siobhan is trying to be true to the theme of the week AND at the same time trying to be ‘current’ because that is what the judges seem to want. She is an actress! An entertainer. You have made some great points here.
    Mindy, Vonnie, J , Darlene, Karianne – the regulars Keep writing I love you!! Vonnie, great quotes!! Gene – glad that you’ve come on too – I like how you put things – I’m not as articulate as you so it’s great to read what I am thinking from you!
    And of course MCL – thanks for having this site and an opportunity to talk about music and performance. You are very passionate about music and I think some people may have interpreted your comment about Crystal and Lee in the finals wrongly because if people HAVE been reading what you are writing about these artists then they know you are not “very partisan outside of your weekly critiques”. You go with the flow of the responders and, as all of us do when we are emotional about something ie Siobhan, we emote these feelings in writing – sometimes without thinking of how it may sound or be interpreted. Again, going with the flow of your readers and responders!! And NO we are not going to think of every other singer if the discussion is about Katie. Or if the discussion is about Casey etc… Siobhan seems to be a focus in MANY discussions and so you will respond and write about Siobhan. If the readers kept writing about Lee, I’m sure you’d have some nice things to say about him (not your style of music, I know, but if the readers want to talk about Lee we will). You are human and along with the rest of us, you have your favourite singers, your favourite styles…your taste in music. Crystal and Lee may not be your favourtie style of music, but I have NEVER got the impression that you did not like these artists or that you thought they were bad. My interpretation : By saying “I don’t care anymore” you are not saying that you don’t care for these singers – you are realizing that what’s going to happen is going to happen and it’s not going to affect you and your enjoyment and passion of music. And it’s not going to change what the future holds for SIOBHAN!!! (trying to remember this is a shout out to her!!) Keep making us proud Siohban! Keep entertaining us!


  64. Cookie Monster – thank you so much. I will hold your kind words close to my heart. It was a timely show of support and I can’t thank you enough.

    Also, when I did say that I didn’t care anymore about the outcome of the show, it was said out of frustration with a ton of reality thrown in. American Idol has always had an agenda with the show from Day One and, unfortunately, when it doesn’t mesh with what the viewers are hearing and seeing, it becomes a very frustrating process to watch.

    I know Siobhan will not win – in fact, I pray that she doesn’t. THis way, she will be open to more opportunities that will, undoubtedly, come her way.

    For all the Crystal fans – and that includes me – I removed the TMZ article. It was not necessary and totally inappropriate and I take full responsibility for the backlash. Chalk it up to a bad day – we all have one, don’t we?

    Jeanne – come back – we love your commentary and, the last thing I want to do here is insult anybody for their beliefs.

    However, thank you – all- for your support over the last 24 hours or so. The day is shining brighter now even though there is snow on the ground in mid-April! 🙂


  65. I agree that since some of the runners-up in past years (Jennifer Hudson, Kellie Pickler, Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, David Archuleta) were able to follow alternate paths, they often do well (if not better) outside the AI machine. I wish the best for all of the contestants and that they will be able to enjoy the roller-coaster ride now and always shine in their own spotlight. Please keep up your fine work providing CONSTRUCTIVE and USEFUL comments.


  66. Lee Lee Moss,

    I do promise you that I will try to smile everyday, as long as you keep posting and making me smile!!! I love your awesome attitude!


  67. MCL, why is it that I knew exactly what you meant about the outcome of the show. You love this show too much; however, the judging this year has been horrible at times. It has been proven in the past that not wimming Idol can still produce some career building moments. The list is endless of the successes that can come your way. I would like Siobhan to be in the final two; no lower than three because I want her to have the ‘going home’ gathering for the TOP 3.

    It has been an interesting discussion to follow, but now let’s look forward to some wonderful performances coming up on Tuesday. J, I will admit I’d rather hear Katie perform than Aaron, but her fan base wasn’t strong enough to carry her through. :frown:

    Enjoy your day, everyone!


  68. cookie monster – Beautiful post! Thanks for writing it. It was very encouraging. 😀


    Maybe this year for me not having one favorite and liking so many of the contestants, I’m not looking through peep hole blinders. I see bad treatment all the way around…

    I know exactly what you mean. I definitely suffered from the “peep hole blinders” syndrome thoughout season 5, and now, I have to say, I hear the contestant whom I followed so passionately during that season in a completely different way. It’s very interesting how perceptions can change so drastically with time.

    I haven’t had one obvious favorite since season 7 and onwards (although I didn’t have a favorite in season 4 either, and season 2 is a blur to me even though I watched it), and I’ve realized in these past three seasons (7-9) that not having a favorite puts me in an interesting, slightly oddball situation. I can be a “fan” of multiple contestants, and I can be a “fan” with a small f and have “unconventional” opinions. I find that not being so invested in one particular contestant allows me to see every contestants’ strengths and weaknesses, which can be strange when I proclaim to be a fan and realize that I’m not so keen on some of a particular contestant’s performances. (And yet, I can also realize that for any particular contestant, a particular performance may actually be one of the best vocals that he or she is capable of, even though the performance still fell short for me.)

    I also have that added element of having to reconcile the tension between my technical expertise and my personal tastes. Even within myself, those two sides of me pull me in multiple directions. I’ve realized that different technical limitations hold different weight on my like/dislike scale, and different preferences can override (or not override) particular limitations. I try to be impartial, so I try not to show favorites in my posts. (And it’s easier when I actually don’t have one favorite!) But I do have preferences that I tend to keep to myself or slightly veil by being positive about everyone. I have to say that, personally, I am a stickler for tone. Tonal quality makes a huge difference in how much I enjoy a contestant. Interpret the following statement as you may, but I’ve realized that if given the choice between a technically superior contestant with a tone that doesn’t appeal to me and a technically weaker contestant with a tone I find gorgeous, I usually pick the latter. Now, the technical limitations can’t be super drastic, but if the contestant is pretty well-coordinated and, especially, if the contestant also possesses great artistry, his/her tone is going to elevate him/her on my preference scale. The other factor that weighs heavily in my preferences is coordination. For me, gaping holes in coordination and extremely unhealthy-sounding coordinations are hard for me to overlook. Remember that even with “strain” or “tension,” there are different levels of “unhealthiness” associated with particular sounds. Extreme tension will interfere with my experience of listening to a singer, but slight tension may be able to slide (although I still worry about those singers!). I don’t consciously think of all these factors at any given moment (my brain processes everything rather quickly), but I do take them all into account on some level in how much I enjoy particular singers and performances. 😉

    Anyway, sometimes, I really wish the judges were actually vocal coaches or singers. Vocal coaches have a way of seeing the best in singers, even the ones with quite a long way to ago, and singers know what it feels like to be in the contestants’ position and to be in the business. I start missing Paula when I think of the latter. Incoherent moments aside, I think she brought a unique set of experience to the judging table, and the show really isn’t quite the same without her.


    Kariann1 – I think Aaron has so much potential, but as Jeanne noted, potential only goes so far in this business. I know you are not alone in your sentiments. Even MJ, who hasn’t been a fan of Katie, expressed that she thought Katie should’ve outlasted Aaron. 😉 I have high hopes for Aaron this week, though; when he harnesses his instrument, he’s really capable of lovely moments.


    Just saw this clip of Andrew Garcia on Ellen’s show. I’m so glad that Ellen gets it; she’s so compassionate as a judge. It helps balance the panel.

    Ellen talks about how she realizes it’s so hard to be judged and how it must’ve been frustrating for Andrew to be constantly compared to “Straight Up” and so on. 😉


  69. These pictures of the top 7 contestants at Dodgers Stadium are adorable! I love how they’re all rocking their own styles. I love Siobhan’s style. =P And Crystal looks tiny!


  70. Okay, I have calmed down.

    For the record:

    I have no problem with anyone thinking Siobhan is far and away the best singer this season and as deserving of a record deal and massive career as anyone who has appeared on American Idol. I don’t have to agree with that position to understand and appreciate that someone else may feel that way. I have no problem with anyone gushing about her talents, either, but I would like the room to respectfully disagree without being made to feel that I am wrong in that disagreement.

    I don’t have a problem with anyone objecting to the judges making critical remarks that seem designed to humiliate her. However, such remarks come out every year, have been directed to more than just Siobhan this season, and quite frankly, are one of the reasons that some people tune in to the show. Do I approve of such remarks? No, but I expect them, and so don’t get quite as up in arms as some people do when they occur. Do I have a problem with people who get very upset over them? No. However, I do become frustrated when people start ascribing devious motives to people they don’t know (and sometimes to people that they do. Usually, when we do so, it says more about us than it does about the ones we are talking about. I know it does when I do it.)

    Sometimes, the simplest answer for a negative critique – that the judges just did didn’t like the performance – is the correct one. Sometimes the simplest answer for a singer being voted off the show – that not enough people voted for them, and maybe just didn’t like them enough to vote for them – is the correct one. And I really think that when it comes to voting, most people are quite capable of thinking for themselves. Given the sentiment on this site, I think it is safe to say that anyone who loves Siobhan is not going to give up voting for her because of anything Simon says. Could he sway someone who is on the fence? Perhaps. But the very fact that they may be on the fence says that they aren’t as wholly devoted as it sometimes seems her fans think they should be.

    When you criticize the judges for being negative about Siobhan because they have ulterior motives and say their inability to recognize the brilliance of a particular performance is incomprehensible, you are implicitly saying that Vonnie and I are nuts for not recognizing her brilliance, too – regardless of what you may have otherwise said to us. And that is disappointing and frustrating for me.

    It has been great for me to be in the minority position with regard to Siobhan on this website, because it reminds me that there are lots of ways to see things in the world, and mine is not the only way. I look at my favorites being voted off in the same way: what I thought was so terrific just didn’t have the same appeal for others. Unfortunate, but that’s life. But I would like the room on this website to respectfully disagree. Did I overreact yesterday and was my post at least a little disrespectful? Probably, and I apologize for that. But I suspect that if I felt more comfortable in speaking my feelings about Siobhan, the judges, the voting system, whatever, perhaps my frustrations would not have built up to the boiling point. That said, it nevertheless does not excuse any bad behavior on my part.

    I just read your post, Louise, and it made me think: we may not like the judges’ favoritism, but WE all have OUR clear favorites. Is it realistic to expect the judges to put their human response to singers completely aside? I think they probably could work very hard to do so, and there is a good argument for having such judges. But I don’t think I would enjoy the show as much if they eliminated their own feelings. I love it when they love my favorites as much as I do. The flip side of that is that sometimes I have to shake my head and wonder if they just heard what I thought I did.

    And no, Darlene, my reaction wasn’t symptomatic of anything else. I’ve had these feelings about this site for the entire season, and it just reached its peak yesterday. My personal life couldn’t be better right now.


  71. Jeanne, I’m glad you’re back. I really, really enjoy your insightful commentary. As someone with no clear favorites and some of the same thought patterns as you, I really value what you have to say.

    I really liked these parts in particular.

    It has been great for me to be in the minority position with regard to Siobhan on this website, because it reminds me that there are lots of ways to see things in the world, and mine is not the only way. I look at my favorites being voted off in the same way: what I thought was so terrific just didn’t have the same appeal for others. Unfortunate, but that’s life…

    I love it when [the judges] love my favorites as much as I do. The flip side of that is that sometimes I have to shake my head and wonder if they just heard what I thought I did.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking discussions. 😉


  72. I don’t even know where to begin with all of the comments since I last posted. Let’s go one by one –


    I am so glad that you responded and seemed to understand what I have been saying to you. You can never be wrong when it comes to what you like and do not like in a singer. Maybe I mention my perfect pitch ear too often, but it’s not in any way meant to demean or question anybody’s opinions on what they are hearing. For me, I kept silent through much of my life, because I always heard things differently from most people. I thought that I was the one with the problem, that there was something wrong with me. When the music director told me that I had perfect pitch, all those years ago, I had no clue what she was talking about. I just sang the only way I knew how. The fact that she allowed me to become a member of a very select chorus, told me that this quality must be good. It’s only been in the last few years that I have finally started to feel comfortable with everything that my ears hear. I can not trust it and know that it’s okay.

    I understand better than you might think what you are hearing with Siobhan and why you don’t like it. I have the ability to see outside what I hear and love and also realize that it might not be well received by others. I love the sounds that you don’t, so we are just different in what we hear. I also don’t believe in blindly following someone without questioning some of their performances. I didn’t love “Through the Fire” and heard some pitch problems. I thought Siobhan didn’t seem comfortable throughout the performance, but I don’t know why. Something was off and I noticed it and commented about it. I loved her softer side with “Across the Universe”, but even there I thought there was room for improvement. So I don’t think about Siobhan as this picture of perfection. She is going through her own special journey. Along the way, I hope she learns more about her voice, how to use it to realize all its potential, find out who she does want to be as an artist. Whatever happens on the show, I think this journey is a life long one. Most great singers are never content to just stay static. They work hard to keep refining their instrument, perfecting it, finding more nuances and aspects of it. It’s part of the journey of life.

    I understand your feelings about wanting a blog on which you can discuss all of the contestants. I appreciate the fact that MCL addressed the need for this particular blog to be created. I am thankful that she let us come here and express some of our frustration and unhappiness. MCL doesn’t need me to defend her. She has always been her own person, with such a passion for voice and a love for teaching. She has a kind and generous heart and always wants the best for the young people who go on the Idol journey. I needed this space to talk and just let it all out.

    I wanted to make one more comment about Kara. When she asked Tim if he understood what they were talking about, I got up out of my chair and yelled a few choice expletives at her. I think this woman has shown a lack of class and sometimes talks before she thinks. It was inexcusable for her to talk to Tim like that. Tim handled it well, but no one needs to stand there have their basic intelligence insulted. I have zero respect for her. I would have been happy if they did not bring her back this season. Paula had her issues and could be quite out of it at times, but she at least displayed a concern and kindness in her critiques. Ellen has tried to fill that void, sometimes quite well and sometimes not so much. I think Kara is inarticulate and full of affectation. Her critiques I prefer to avoid.

    There is nothing new with the judges having their own personal favorites and individual bias, but I still would appreciate even an attempt occasionally at some constructive criticism and advice that the contestants can actually put to good use. I may be dreaming, but one can always hope. It is risky for the judges to overpraise one contestant. It could actually create a backlash effect. I don’t know that the judges can control the outcome, but they can and do exert influence. I would like to think that America relies on what sounds good to them, when all is said and done.

    cookie monster,

    I loved reading your latest post! You showed an innate understanding and appreciation for MCL. I think we know where she is coming from. She cares so very much, as many of us do. I would love to see all of these young people blossom and continue to improve and be the very best that they can be, no matter who wins this season. I am one who shares MCL’s view that it would be better for Siobhan if she doesn’t win. I hope Gene doesn’t give me a stern lecture for this sentiment. I will continue to vote for her with all my heart. But I think she might benefit by being outside the Idol machine.

    I loved how you described your different feelings when you listen to Crystal and Siobhan. I share that same feeling. I have to commit more when Siobhan sings, but the reward is great. I truly am moved and taken to a special place. Crystal is like my favorite glass of wine – soothing, relaxing, quite enjoyable, an overall pleasant sensation.


    I am really happy to see you back here! It’s great that you are willing to participate. There is something my Mom once told me that I would like to share with you. I think you might appreciate it right about now. I wrote something on a forum concerning a movie that provided me with a very profound experience. I had a specific point of view that was quite strong and not in the mainstream of the discussion. Once I wrote it, people jumped in everywhere to criticize, sometimes quite strongly and vehemently, with what I wrote. But my wise Mom, who is in her 80’s but still here, told me that she was very proud of me. I asked her why. She said it’s because I wrote something that made people think. It’s not whether they agree or disagree, but the fact that they were motivated to share their thoughts and ideas. I have always tried to remember that. I hope it helps you!


  73. Oh no, those typos! I meant to say that I can NOW trust my ears!


  74. I’m glad you’re back, Jeanne, & I’m also glad that nothing else negative is going on with you. I have a relatively short history with this website as I do with Idol itself so I have very few reference points regarding what your experience here has been. I will say that in my initial response to you I said at least several times that I respected your opinion regarding Siobhan but that I didn’t agree with it. And I will absolutely stand by previously stated decision to no longer listen to the judges at all because I honestly do not think they have anything whatsoever of value to say about any of these singers. So on to next week & let the chips fall where they may. Again, very glad you’re back.


  75. Jeanne said, “I just read your post, Louise, and it made me think: we may not like the judges’ favoritism, but WE all have OUR clear favorites. Is it realistic to expect the judges to put their human response to singers completely aside? ”

    You made a good point, Jeanne, however, I personally believe that it’s their responsibility as judges to try as hard as they possibly can NOT to show such OBVIOUS favoritism. It’s really not that hard to do–mothers do it every day!!!!!!!


  76. Jeanne,

    So glad you decided to stay! I hope that I didn’t upset you when I didn’t respond right away to your post…there’s lots going on right now with my family and I wanted to make sure I sorted out my feelings before I posted, I didn’t want to drag emotions into a post that didn’t necessarily need to be there. I probably lashed out more than what I had intended to anyways and feel very bad for it. I lashed out at MCL and shouldn’t have, so I am trying to think a little before I post right now!


    So glad that I didn’t upset you or make you feel that I wasn’t getting what you were saying! I have come to terms with the fact that I don’t hear what most all of you hear concerning Siobhan, I’m okay, I have quit questioning my ears, LOL.


    I must say that this has been kind of a unique year for me, one that I have for the most part really enjoyed, not having an addictive favorite can be a good thing, it does tend to make one listen and appreciate singers that I never thought I could before.

    Kariann 1,

    Good advice…I’m looking forward to Tuesday!

    Gene W,

    I hope that we haven’t scared you away…I think we are the one’s who may need a spankin’…! :-0


  77. I have four comments (I thought I had 2 but they expanded into 4). First, to J: thanks so muc h for the tip regarding Katy pre-Idol videos. They really are very good. I think she was a strong performer & she was getting better. I was very sorry to see her go.

    Second, I also was extremely sorry to see Lilly Scott leave so early. She deserved to stay. She was interesting, creative, & had an individual style. I so hope someone will see that & support her in making a career in music.

    My third comment has to do with my appreciation for what MCL has done in regard to supporting all the contestants. I think the criticism regarding her possible favoritism of Siobhan have been a bit unfair. This is absolutely MY opinion & in no way should be interpreted as an infringement on the right of anyone else here to have a differing opinion. She has been very supportive of the other contestants in her critiques. As a student of someone whom I regard as an incredible teacher, I have to say that the advice that MCL has offered regarding singing has been spot on. I especially support her emphasis on keeping one’s mouth rounded. I have spent years now producing the vowel “E” through the “O” opening & it has paid off. So has singing French where it is even more essential to maintain a round opening than it is in English.

    Finally, I think it must be incredibly difficult for all these contestants to cram so much into 2 verses. This was a point that someone raised somwhere last year – might have been here. It’s somewhat more satisfying (for me) to listen to the studio versions because all the contestants are allowed to sing for a longer period of time. I probably should spring for a studio version of Crystal so I can appreciate her artistry more. Does anyone have a suggestion regarding a particularly good studio performance by Crystal?

    Thanks to everyone for the time & thoughtfulness put into all these comments.


  78. Just thought of one more comment – for MCL – I happen to think Siobhan CAN win – her fans (like me) are very dedicated to her. BUT like you I also would be equally happy, even perhaps more so, if she DID not win. I think in the long run the mantle of being the winner doesn’t help all that much & may in fact be a hindrance. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only winners so far to have done really well are Kelly Clarkson (because she is SO talented), Carrie Underwood (ditto) & David Cook (equal ditto). I could be wrong but I think Kris Allen is struggling a bit (although it’s certainly early in the game for him). Jordin Sparks has done OK. Other winners – not so much.

    I am convinced that Siobhan has a great career ahead of her. But I am absolutely equally convinced that she could be better than she is. Vocal training/lessons would help her so so much although the trick with her would be not to derail her but to strengthen what she already has. Am keeping my fingers crossed on that one. Good teachers are hard to find.


  79. Darlene – No problem about the Katie videos! 😉

    As for a studio performance by Crystal, I recommend “Come Together.” I love her phrasing and her vocal inflection in this performance, and in terms of technique, her voice is more balanced than in the live performance. She just oozes effortless artistry in this song!


    And you’re absolutely right that good voice teachers are hard to find. I remember my friend Dante assembled a list of questions that any good voice teacher should be able to answer and issues that a good voice teacher should be able to work through. And he said that if a teacher had no idea what one of those questions/issues meant, that teacher was one to avoid! I think there are plenty of good voice teachers out there, but I’m also wary because many don’t even properly understand the voice and, thus, teach potentially harmful techniques. I would definitely check the credentials of a voice teacher before taking lessons from him/her. The voice is a precious instrument.


  80. Hi Jeanne! Good to see you’re here again!

    J, thank you for posting that information about Andrew and the Ellen Show! Very often, I am watching Sesame Street when Ellen is on. 🙂

    There are several new participants here, and I just want to welcome all of you! We appreciate your comments and allow plenty of room for discussion and debate. MCL has provided us with a good forum!


  81. Louise —

    I guess the problem is that none of them are mothers! 🙂


  82. Cookie Monster –

    Thank you for your comments to me and your encouragement for all the contestants. I feel for them all.

    Reading your response let me know that my bias toward the “theatrical” is showing now. Perhaps that extra effort that these contestants put into their performances just appeals to me.

    What I see and hear in the present Internet Protocol (IP) world is “short form” presentations that do not allow the more complex compositions in the lively arts to develop. Remember LONG PLAYING (LP) music formats and albums that had a cohesive or coordinated theme?

    Today, even opera in cyberspace has been reduced to ARIAS and short video clips. While this provides a wider exposure, the experience is not especially deep. My hope is that the “new” media provide outlets for longer forms of entertainment in the future.

    The question is – will we have the time and attention span to appreciate these works in the future?


  83. Compared to last year this year, for me–with the exception of Crystal–is pretty boring. Siobhan is kind of an enigma to me. She sings well, I guess, but it’s really not my cup of espresso. Besides that, she has the most distracting and wildly out there fashion sense that I have ever seen with an AI contestant. You wouldn’t think that that would matter, but I guess it does to me, especially since she makes it a point to dress “quirky” all the time. Last week she looked like Frankenstein’s Bride and for some reason it took away the enjoyment of the song.

    Last year Kara made a good observation about Adam’s singing/performances during hollywood week: She said that she kind of felt that he was playing the part of someone who was singing on a reality show rather than just really FEELING the song. That’s my take on Siobhan. I don’t know whether she is taking this seriously or not. That might not be her fault, of course. The corporate meat grinder that is AI tends to suck all originality from most performers.

    Except, of course, when it engenders controversy and conversation.


  84. Darlene,

    You can hear all the studio version on youtube and then just download the ones you want to hear repeatedly.

    I don’t think winning AI has anything to do with whether or not these people have successful singing careers. Perhaps it mattered for Kelly Clarkson, but I don’t think it has made a difference since then. I think the bottom line is that when you are talking about “stardom”, there are very few people who qualify. There are lots of talented actors in the world, for instance, but very few of them become successful movie stars who can “carry” or “open” a film. The Robert DeNiros, Clint Eastwoods, and Meryl Streeps of the world have had long-term careers playing leading roles because they bring something to films that has mostly universal appeal and that we don’t tire of seeing (Clint is hardly the best actor in the world, but we like to watch him nonetheless.)

    The same thing applies in music. There are the real “stars” and then there are people who have a smaller fan base but can nevertheless make a living in this business. Then there are the singers who will be the flash in the pan — popular for a while, perhaps even extremely popular, and then flame out and are never heard from again, or who spend the rest of their lives living on the success of those few hits and playing the smallest of clubs, but nevertheless managing to stay in the music business, even if most of us have forgotten them.

    The expansion of cable tv and the internet have made it possible for the smaller artists to hang around the fringe longer than they used to be able to. Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, and Jordin Sparks have all benefited from this. I don’t believe that any of them would have made it in the national music business without American Idol. I do think that winning has helped them have better careers than they would have had without winning, but the bottom line is that they are missing the “star” quality necessary to become a mega-star in the music business.

    Remember that this isn’t just a singing competition, it is also a television show. Ruben and Taylor were very lovable contestants that America enjoyed rooting for. They were the dark horses with good voices and the right personality to capture our imaginations in those seasons. They didn’t win because America expected them to become successful recording artists. They won because we just wanted to see them win the competition. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into huge success off the program. Did anyone really think that Taylor was going to become the next superstar? (Sorry, Vonnie!) He’s a fabulous entertainer, but we’re talking about radio airplay and selling CDs, where you can’t see him perform. He’s also a blues singer, which was not the biggest selling genre at the time, and sort of throwback musically, as opposed to a contemporary artist. He’s very entertaining to watch, and will probably be able to keep earning a living by singing, but the only reason he is a household name is because of American Idol, and it will soon become, “Taylor Hicks? Oh, right, he was on American Idol, wasn’t he?”

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that Chris Daughtry has been more successful than Taylor, and maybe not even that Kimberly Locke will probably still be making small but successful records ten years from now when Ruben has disappeared and Clay has become a permanent Vegas star.

    I know hindsight is 20/20, but I am honestly not surprised at those AI alumni who have been most successful and those who aren’t. The only ones I can say that really surprise me are Kimberly Caldwell, who I find very annoying on that half hour show (is it still on? It was last year) about AI, although at least I don’t have to hear her sing (sorry, but I agreed with Simon’s assessment that she was very cruise ship) and Carrie Underwood, who I thought would be very successful in Nashville, but not to the degree or with the speed that she took the town by storm. Oh, I take that back. I am stunned that Kelly Pickler has been successful enough to be nominated for Best New Artist at the CMAs, and a little surprised at the success Josh Gracin and more particularly Bucky Covington have enjoyed in Nashville.

    Trying to figure out who are the real stars and who aren’t and why they are different is really the reason I watch AI. Musically, there isn’t much reason to watch in years like this or Season 6. But while I have one ear open to just hear what I personally like and what I don’t, I also try to watch it as if I were a record executive. I know that when I direct plays, I can tell most of what I need to know about an actor in the first minute of his audition, and often in less time than that. I find the same thing applies in the AI auditions; there really is a reason why most auditions last no more than 16 bars. You can tell that quickly whether or not someone can sing and capture your attention.

    It becomes really interesting for me when they get to Hollywood week. You see the same contestants a second time, and some of them turn out to be one-trick ponies or singers who just had a good day the first audition and can’t reproduce it under the extra pressure in Hollywood. Then you get to the Top 24, and you think that they are all terrific possibilities, and this is going to be the best season ever. But after the first week, it’s pretty easy to come up with a list of 12-14 singers, and you’d gladly say goodbye to the rest right then.

    Once you’re in the Top 12, You can still probably pick out 4-6 singers that you think have real potential, and dispense with the rest of them. Occasionally you get fooled — a frontrunner disappoints, or someone you wrote off really starts to grow on you. But once we’re in the Top 12, then I really start to think about the whole package: is this a stage persona that is appealing to watch repeatedly, can they sing, do they bring original interpretations, do they have performing skills that will make for an interesting concert, and what do they sound like when I close my eyes? Would I like to hear this person repeatedly, or am I content with a song or two from them and then I want to switch the CD? And how are other people likely to feel about their music? I’m 50, and it is unlikely that I share the same music sensibility as today’s 20-year-olds. So I try to hear it as they might, because they are going to be the ones driving a singer’s success.

    There are a lot of people with beautiful voices out there, but what AI has really taught me is that having a beautiful voice isn’t enough. You have to have just the right combination of so many qualities. And the truth is that when you see it, you know it. You don’t have to debate it. But even among THOSE singers, probably at least half of them won’t make it, either because they don’t have broad enough appeal, they are mismanaged, they don’t get the memorable songs to make a successful album, someone else comes along who everyone likes more, they don’t really have the stomach for the business, etc.

    So someone like Siobhan will probably have the same career whether she wins or not. But she’s a puzzle to me; I can’t yet figure out what sort of career that is. I could tell you with Kimberly Locke, Elliot Yamin, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Katherine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle, David Cook, David Archuleta, and Kris Allen. Adam had potential to go great or small depending on the choices he made, and at the moment I’m seeing smaller, although I think he could remake himself in a couple of years. And I can tell you what sort of career I think everyone else left on AI this year will have. But I am clueless about Siobhan. It will be interesting to see.


  85. J. May,

    I’ve been thinking about this, too, because there was something just a little stagey about “Suspicious Minds” for me. I cut her some slack on this because I suspect that the contestants don’t really have much time to rehearse the performance aspects of their songs and get them to the point where they look completely natural. They have so many demands on their time, and I think this area probably gets shortchanged. If they choose, or are talked into, movement that is too complex, involves too many cameras, etc., it is difficult to make it seamless unless you bring a lot of performance experience to the stage, a la Taylor Hicks, Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry, and Adam Lambert. I think this year’s contestants are best off with fairly simple movement that keeps the performance from being boring and probably helps their emotional connection to the song, but not so complex that you can see the wheels churning in their heads (“okay, I have to be at the downstage left corner on the word ‘world’, and then turn back to look into Camera 2”).


  86. Jeanne said, ” . . . Ruben and Taylor were very lovable contestants that America enjoyed rooting for. They were the dark horses with good voices and the right personality to capture our imaginations in those seasons.”

    I actually never thought of Ruben as a “dark horse.” If I’m remembering correctly, he was one of those contestants who was never criticized. I always had the impression that he was the judges’ number one pick and Clay got in the way–just as it seems to some that Siobhan has gotten in the way of Crystal’s win. Season 2 was the first year I watched Idol and that was the beginning of my displeasure with the judges pimping certain contestants.

    Jeanne also said, “. . . So someone like Siobhan will probably have the same career whether she wins or not. But she’s a puzzle to me; I can’t yet figure out what sort of career that is.”

    I have no experience in show business as you do, but I can see Siobhan being especially suited for the stage, although I certainly enjoy just listening to her too–think of Barbra Streisand!!!

    And J May said, ” . . . she has the most distracting and wildly out there fashion sense that I have ever seen with an AI contestant. You wouldn’t think that that would matter, but I guess it does to me, especially since she makes it a point to dress “quirky” all the time. Last week she looked like Frankenstein’s Bride and for some reason it took away the enjoyment of the song. ”

    I’ve had the impression that Siobhan has not grown up in a family who could give her a lot of material things, so she probably carved out a look for herself from second-hand and vintage clothing stores. This, combined with her interest in theater, clearly explains the fact that she tries to create a look to go with the music she’s singing. I’m sure that not everyone appreciates her “look,” but I think it adds to her uniqueness.


  87. Hello. I honestly (and respectfully) have to disagree. I’m not going to go into a point by point rebuttal because I’m more of a big picture kind of person. I think Siobhan is an incredibly sincere person. She definitely is experimenting with performance style bit that’s one of the things that we who are fans of hers enjoy. She takes risks. Most of the time it works; it didn’t work quite as well with “Through the Fire” but I admired her courage. I got a lot more out of whatshe did that week than what the other contestants did which for me seemed pretty safe I.e. “Midnight Train to Georgia” which in my opinion most decent singers could sing pretty well.

    Regarding looking into the camera, in my opinion, this is something Adam did all the tome. I have watched those videos hundreds of times. I like the way she looks into the camera.


  88. Hi Jeanne. I didn’t see your longer response to me above – am on the fly so to speak right now. Am looking forward to reading it. Thanks!


  89. Speaking of Taylor Hicks, I just read an article in the newspaper about him this morning. He’s going to be performing in Grease next weekend in a theater near my home. Surprisingly, after his run with Grease, he’s interested in pursuing acting and more theater. Without Idol, I doubt if that would be on the horizon for him.


  90. You’re right, Louise, I chose my words poorly. Ruben wasn’t necessarily a dark horse, but rather a dependable, steady singer who kept turning in solid performances but did not, for me, get my attention as a serious contender until Trenyce flamed out by mailing in that one performance and pouting onstage. The other contestants were all a lot flashier and got more attention — Josh Gracin, as a military man, received more press early on than Ruben did, Clay, whose pure voice and physical transformation got a lot of early attention, and Simon was inexplicably promoting Carmen Rasmussen, whose vibrato I found incredibly irritating.

    While I agree that he was universally loved by the judges, I don’t remember getting the feeling that they had strong preferences for him to win over Clay. Perhaps that is because I was rooting for Clay that year. I do remember that the voting was terribly close.

    I could see Siobhan being successful in musical theater, but I somehow don’t sense that that is the direction she wants to go, and that is one reason I am hesitant. I don’t really know where she sees herself five years from now. Of course, where one wants to go in entertainment isn’t always where one ends up. My sense about Katherine McPhee, for instance, was that she actually did want, in a perfect world, to become a pop recording artist, but that she would be delighted to settle for any sort of career in the entertainment industry, and that she would probably be best suited for either musical theater or television. I could be wrong about the singing part; she may have just seen AI as a way to get exposure, period, and was happy to go whatever route seemed to open doors for her.

    But Siobhan is different. For all her “I don’t know who I am as an artist”, I think she does have an inkling; she just isn’t able to verbalize it in any coherent way yet. But she is unique and the problem with musical theater is you play a character, and you play the same one every night, and your uniqueness to some extent must be sacrificed to the needs of the character and the musical. I’m not convinced that she would be satisfied with that. Constantine and Kat and Kimberly Caldwell just wanted careers in entertainment; Bo Bice and Chris Daughtry wanted careers in music, and only on their own terms. I am wondering to what extent Siobhan is more like the two of them.


  91. Is he really, Louise? I knew he was enjoying “Grease”; I’m glad he enjoys it enough to want to pursue other theatrical ventures. He has such great positive energy; I wish him the best with this new direction.


  92. Jeanne Wow just about said it all….Everyone go back and read her last post above. Just sooooo many factors that go into becoming a star or even winning AI, to be good at just singing or any other aspect is not enough and really even with the most talented its still a crap shoot if you will hit the right combination to win and connect with enough people to become a major star. Kimberly Locke … 8th World Wonder …alone should have made her huge IMHO its just a perfect sublime pop song….who knows why she isn’t bigger. Adam Lambert surely came to the AI stage with more vocal training, performing expierence and natural talent than anyone…yet he didn’t win and has not become the huge star that was expected…clearly other factors come into play ( yes I would agree his post AI career choices had a negative impact ) .

    I for one am enjoying this season I prefer the raw talent…yes its amazing to watch the seasoned older contestants strut thier stuff but that is not what hooked me from season 1….I like to see them discover thier talent…is it frustrating sometimes …heck ya…why why did you choose that song…sing it in that style …go for that note….wear that …move or not move that way . I don’t get that the judges hate Siobham , they see the great potential in her and I think they are frustrated with her that she is not honing and making the most of it ( I too agree with them and I know I am in the minority here) and that the last few weeks she has been a little bit off and its kind of hard to pinpoint just what it is but for me at least …something is just not working. To me she is a bit like Adam maybe you can change up and jump thru all the stylistic hoops with ease but sometimes if you are all over the map I just can’t connect with you if I am not sure who you are. For me at least I need to feel a genuine personality up there not just a performance. I get Crystal she just oozes a naturalness and a genuineness that overrides any perforance skills she may lack. So far she is my favorite …but that is not to say someone may start making artistic strides and leap frog over her.

    I always have to laugh when it appears the judges have picked there favorites and start the pimping, it hardly ever works and sometimes just plan backfires. Last year was the worst and if you had any doubt they wanted Adam to win just look at last week ….Warwick admitted one of the reasons they had Adam on was to help him because he felt sorry he was struggling more than they thought he should be in his career and wanted to give him a boost. Well I would say Kris Allen is struggling even more but you don’t seem them give him the same opportunity. Yes Kris came on to sing a non album song for charity and David A. was on also …but I guess if you arent a former chosen one like Adam or Rueben or a former CO who didn’t pan out, you can only come back if you sing a Beatle song .


  93. I tend to agree with Darlene when it comes to Siobhan. The very things that might put some off, are the qualities that I love about her. I really appreciate the effort she puts into creating an ambience and flavor for each performance. She seems to really think about what the song is about, what story she is telling and then creates the atmosphere. I love that! I do realize that this is more difficult, given the time constraints on the show. But I applaud her for trying to be unique, reaching for the stars, stretching and testing herself. I think this is the only way to grow as a singer and performer. I would much rather have someone take big risks, than to watch someone play it safe every week.

    I also am not inclined to get into point by point rebuttals right now. I will say that I approach the show with the hope of finding that certain someone who has a voice that will move me, will transport me to a higher place. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the commercial viability of each person. Some of them have obvious appeal to a wide, mainstream audience. It’s built in to their voice and genre of music. But I do not focus primarily on who may have the best chance to succeed in the music industry. For one thing, I don’t have the knowledge or expertise to really make such predictions. I don’t connect with a good deal of today’s music, so I would hardly be the person best qualified to know what young people like.

    I will say that I grew up in a time when different, unique, exceptional voices were celebrated. I am not sure that someone like Barbra Streisand would even be able to make it today. I think of Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul and Mary and realize that they had extraordinary voices. I remember the unbelievable talent that Motown produced. These were people who really knew how to sing. They actually sounded the same live as they did on their records. You didn’t have a choice back then. The technology wasn’t available to clean up and polish records. In those days singers were given a chance to develop and learn their craft.

    I will always celebrate a great, pure voice. Whether it’s commercial or not, whether this person sells millions of records, makes no difference to me. I have always heard singing and music differently than others, so I am never surprised that I am the odd person out, so to speak. Now I am comfortable with being different in my preference of singers and music. Well into middle age, I have become my own person.

    My sense is that Crystal, Lee and Casey appear to have the most commercial appeal. But one never knows. The public can be fickle and arbitrary and there are no guarantees today. I do think that Adam went smaller in his career trajectory. Watching his performance on Idol, I found myself hoping that he comes to the realization that he truly doesn’t need smoke and mirrors or controversial, explicit performances. He has the voice. Maybe he will come to the point where he can fully embrace it and stand on a stage without all the eye makeup, costumey outfits and just sing his heart out.

    I loved Ruben Studdard! He was my favorite that whole season. He was my teddy bear, everyone’s teddy bear. Clay had a great voice, but it was the tone and sound that I just did not like. J spoke about this in one of her posts here. She mentioned that perfect pitch is not necessarily her most important criteria. I understand what she was saying. I also have to love the ring or timbre or tone of a voice. Singing on pitch is extremely important for me, but it is not by any means the only quality I look for. Tim is a perfect example of this. He sings on pitch for the most part, but his voice leaves me cold. I hear nothing special, no remarkable tone or lilt or that certain something that I need to hear. For me he is ordinary personified, and that will never be enough. I want layers of different sound, nuances, inflections, phrasing, beautifully controlled vocal technical skills. I guess I do want it all, don’t I? But I think Ruben was shortchanged quite a bit with poor material for his debut album. They never really knew how to show off that voice. Also, r&b is such a tough niche in which to carve out a place for yourself. I was disappointed that he never found huge success. I didn’t care for the song he performed in his most recent Idol appearance. It didn’t give him a real chance to showcase what his voice can do. I worry about Mike for the same reason. We he be able to take that exceptional voice and turn it into solid commercial success? The odds are not in his favor. But I have to believe that there is a place for him somewhere. As people have already mentioned, there are a number of different areas in which to pursue a singing career.

    I have always been ambivalent about Idol. But I keep watching to find that extraordinary voice, that one special sound that will take me to a higher place. So I put up with the nonsensical comments from the judges, or mute it and tune them out! I try to ignore the manipulation. I just listen for the voice!


  94. Jeanne,

    Did anyone really think that Taylor was going to become the next superstar? (Sorry, Vonnie!)

    A’right Jeanne…ems fight’n words!!! LOL… Ah, do I love me some Taylor, just the way he is…I think Taylor always knew that he was a little different as far as the pop scene goes, and his one goal was to own a tour bus and tour! He is doing that, he is performing before sold out audiences all over the country and having a blast.

    I don’t think Taylor Hicks was ever a man meant for a polorizing career, instead just a man doing what he loves in the industry that fits him like a glove.

    I hope Taylor does continue to work in Broadway productions and pursue’s a career in acting, that way I know he is working and happy!!!

    I don’t think stardom can be measured by the number of albums one sells, success is a personal quest! Success is when at the end of the day you can look back and reflect and say, yep! wouldn’t change a thing, I did exactly what I was created to do!


  95. You’re a good sport, Vonnie, and I like that about you.

    I think Taylor is a good sport as well, and one of the reasons why he is so likable. He wasn’t my first choice, but I thought it was great fun that he won. And yes, I do think he recognized where he fit into the grand scheme of things and was okay with that. He is also such a positive person that I think he can make champagne and caviar out of anything. Such joy in that man! I need to remember to try to emulate that more.


  96. I could see Siobhan getting inside a character. I can see Crystal continuing her present trajectory.
    I will enjoy seeing Mike on the big stage this summer. Believe it or not I think that Tim has a love for the public arena and a lucky star that makes me think that we will see him again. I see Lee and Casey as ensemble or band talents.
    I see myself getting ready for work 🙂


  97. Jeanne,

    Thank You!

    Taylor was on Regis and Kelly a while back and Kelly said that Taylor was one of the nicest guys in the industry! He still melts my heart!!!


  98. Julia, one of the things that interests me most about this season at this point (sorry, Mindy) is Tim Urban. Usually contestants like him are gone by this time. But he has gotten steadily better — even if he still isn’t great — and maintained good humor about the whole thing, and while he isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I no longer dislike him. I also remember adoring Bobby Sherman was I was a kid, and he really wasn’t a very good singer. Cute goes a long way at that age. I kept wishing he had a better voice than he did, but was happy to overlook his lack of talent as a pre-teen. So I’m not surprised if he’s getting a lot of votes from the younger set.

    I really didn’t like his phrasing last week, but I’ve heard other singers do something similar, and they were people who had records out. So who am I to say? I do agree with MCL, who spotted the beautiful tone he has in his lower ranges, and Adam, who spotted his beautiful head voice. I wonder what would happen if Tim got some decent training? And when he connected his notes last week, it was actually pretty lovely. I also think the lack of communication people feel from his eyes isn’t completely his fault. Some people have eyes like that. Hazel eyes tend to look a little vacant, and I think his are a dark hazel.

    Anyway, I’m curious to see how far he can take this. More curious about that than I am about who wins, actually. And I have no idea who will win. I think the performances from here on in will tell the story. It’s still a pretty close race as far as I’m concerned.


  99. It’s interesting that Jeanne thinks of Bobby Sherman when she thinks of Tim. He also reminds me of the “cute” but not terribly talented boy singers from the 1950’s like Frankie Avalon, Fabian, etc.


  100. Hello Jeanne – I am glad you came back – I enjoy reading your posts here.

    I think that you are right – Tim is one that could truly benefit from coaching to bring out that rich baritone I hear sometimes and to perfect his communication techniques.

    I remember that MCL mentioned something about Tim campaigning for votes and I smiled because I have thought that Tim could use his magnetism to do some good things in this world. Perhaps Tim will use this adventure as a platform for work in the public arena – we may get a glimpse of this during Idol Gives Back week.

    Tim seems to enjoy life and being with people – how can we NOT respond to that quality in him?


  101. whew nice discussion everyone. it’s good to see jeanne is back. i’m mostly a lurker on this site as i enjoyed reading about your discussions and perceptions however reading about jeanne’s “walkout” made me post. i’ve really enjoyed your insights and as i’ve mentioned before i don’t necessarily disagree with most of them.
    i’m the type of person who always likes to hear other people’s perspective. i do appreciate MCL for providing us this site to share our knowledge, opinions and experiences so a big shoutout to her as well. sorry i don’t have the time to post often enough and most of my arguments and sentiments have been expressed articulately by the others anyway (i.e. mindy & cookie monster). sorry gotta run now. again good to know everyone is still aboard. “,)


  102. Jeanne ….Again I am just about right with you, frankly I think the crown is Crystal’s to loose but it is Tim who really interests me at this point, I even voted for him the last couple of weeks. He has all the ingredients there, pitch, nice tone, looks and a truely nice personality, he just needs find the right recipe with a couple of large pinches of yeast to make him grow or maybe an epiphany to tap into more soul and feelings when singing. Just so darn nice and wholesome tho and would be such a good role model like Bobby Sherman who after he left show biz turned to humanitarian efforts.

    JULIE, JULIE TO YOU LOVE ME…HEY LITTLE WOMEN…EASY COME, EASY GO…These weren’t perfect vocals…well I never knew it at the time….I just Bobby Sherman was the coolest.


  103. theo,

    I sincerely hope you post more often! We need more voices here. You don’t need me or anyone else to speak for you at all. I like the fact that you can state a point of view with frankness and honesty and respect. You don’t get carried away with emotion. You just seem to speak from your heart and say what you think. I admire that, because sometimes I have to battle my emotions. As the saying goes, the more the merrier! The one good thing about this discussion is that more people have felt empowered to post their thoughts.

    Jeanne, no need to say sorry. As I said in an earlier post, I am used to being on the outside. I have my own individual criteria that I look for in a singer and when I find it, I always know it as soon as I hear it.

    Louise, you mentioned the teen idols from back in the day. Since I started listening to music when I was 9 or 10, I got to hear them. Dion DeMucci, Bobby Darin and Bobby Rydell were the ones who had real talent. I liked Frankie Avalon’s “Venus”, a classic, but his voice wasn’t that great. I remember, was it last seaon, when Simon turned 50, they showed a clip of Frankie Avalon singing that song and, like magic, the curtains parted and there he was in the flesh. He was still looking pretty darn good and could still sing! Aah, those were the days. As for Bobby Sherman, I remember him very well. But I cannot say that I liked his voice. I was always a different drummer.


  104. Hello everyone. I need to try to keep this post short lest it become somewhat incoherent because I am quite tired. But I am feeling the need to verbalize (in an Internet sort of way). First, thank you, Jeanne, for your thoughtful response to my musings about the real value of winning vs. not winning. You have a much broader perspective both of the history of Idol & also the music industry than I have & I appreciate hearing (again, in an Internet sort of way) your insights. Thanks so much.

    Regarding Tim…hmmmm….I will somewhat grudgingly admit that he was better last week. I will admit that he has acted quite admirably in regard to the judges’ (primarily Kara & Simon, of course) fairly reprehensible behavior toward him. Having said all that, I do not think he is very talented. I would not buy his CD. But I will grant that there are obviously people who like him very much.

    It’ll certainly be interesting to see what happenes over the next few weeks. You can never really predict this.


  105. vonnie,

    First, I want to say that Taylor wasn’t my favorite, but I thought he was a great performer and had a terrific personality. I was thinking of the time he came back to perform on Idol. I am trying to remember if it was last season or the one before? What I had forgotten is how incredibly charming he was. He was so happy and grateful for the opportunity to come back to Idol and perform. I watched the post Idol show and he performed there, too. He was promoting his latest album. I was struck by how happy he was with his life. He had just ended his run in Grease, if I am not mistaken and was touring in clubs. He seemed so comfortable in his own skin, genuinely excited about the way things were going. He always had this positive attitude that was so appealing. Success can be defined in many ways. He is an example of a former Idol winner who may not have sold millions of records, but who has managed to carve out a very nice career for himself. He is a perfect example of how you can embrace your life and be a success on your own terms.

    The other thing I wanted to ask you is if you are okay. You mentioned some difficulties in your life. You did speak about it a while ago. I don’t want to pry, but I care about you and want to give you every bit of support. You are a special person to me. We may not be perfect soulmates when it comes to our musical tastes, but we have a connection and I don’t ever want to lose it.

    In the midst of this craziness with Idol, life does happen for us. I just want to send you my love.


  106. It is good to see that we are talking about a variety of subjects. Few comments here:

    * I am fully supporting Siobhan Magnue and believe she has the potential to become a STAR. Broadway, music, film, modeling, etc.
    * Crystal Bowersox is talented and entertaining, and has the potential to win this season.
    * Tim Urban has much of what is required to make it in the business; that is, he has the whole package and just needs vocal training.
    * Taylor Hicks may not be a top recording artist, but I would say he has a successful career. He says he’s like to play a ‘bad guy’ in the movies or TV. I would love to see him expand his career in this way.
    * Ruben wasn’t a ‘dark horse’ except for the fact that Clay was number one in voting from the Wild Card round right up to TOP 3. One week, Kimberly Locke actually got more votes than he did. IMO, because of telephone problems and an inability to handle the high volume of votes, Clay lost.
    * I also loved Bobby Sherman!

    Does anyone remember Bobby Vee? When there was that terrible plane crash in February, 1959 (Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & the Big Bopper), Bobby Vee (age 16) was asked to fill in for the rest of the concert tour. I could see Tim singing Bobby’s #1 hit, “Take Good Car of My Baby.” He was a major Teen Idol at that time.

    Idol wouldn’t mind marketing another Teen Idol, and Tim could fit the bill. He’s wholesome, and has his missionary work in Africa to back up the image. Now, the TOP 5 will be going to Disney World’s Idol Experience project in May, and I bet they would love to have Tim be a part of it! This would mean the elimination of Aaron and Mike, so I’ll be very interested to see what TPTB do with him in the coming weeks. This also gives the TOP 5 an opportunity to make $50,000 and get a lot of publicity.

    Vonnie, Taylor still melts my heart and remains one of the most unique talents to appear on the show! I also feel that Adam is a master at performing.

    I will say that I grew up in a time when different, unique, exceptional voices were celebrated.

    Mindy, I was also a part of that time and when I hear some of the current stars Idol has presented on their show this season, it makes me ‘sick’. I heard Justin Bieber on SNL, and agree that Tim actually has a better voice without the use of autotune.

    Darlene, I was disappointed to hear that Siobhan’s “Through the Fire” was a producer suggested song. It is my least favorite. This girl can sing, and I am so excited about Tuesday’s performance. As far as her fashion sense… my six year-old Granddaughter thinks she dresses cool, and my 14 year-old niece has informed me that she and her friends want to dress like Siobhan. She has a good fan base, and I hope she can get to the TOP 3 and have the home visit to Marstons, MA. I believe that TPTB do want a male/female Finale, with Crystal being their favorite.

    The exchange of dialogue here has been amazing! I am sure MCL will be pleased. I must run for now; have a great day!


  107. Mindy,

    Thank you so much for your care and concern, I greatly appreciate it…this is a very emotional time right now for my family as we deal with illness, our faith is strong and we know that God has a plan!


  108. The judges may have an agenda but we the public get the final say when it comes to votes. I am confident in Siobhan’s very loyal and strong fanbase. We will not let unfair critique sway us from supporting the wonderful talent that is Siobhan Magnus!!!!!!


  109. Wow, it’s really interesting to read what everyone’s thinking about, I can never be as eloquent as you guys, so I guess I’ll go back to lurking (until the next interesting topic comes along LOL).

    Oops, my comment has nothing to do with Siobhan, no? Well, have a good day everyone 😀


  110. Ramona, after all the bad publicity Simon has received this past week regarding Siobhan, I have a feeling he may be more gentle in his comments. After all, it is IDOL GIVES BACK week. I am so excited to see which songs the finalists chose!

    The question is – will we have the time and attention span to appreciate these works in the future?

    Julia, you have asked an interesting question. I would hope the answer is yes. A lot of a child’s life experience determines how he takes in the world. Activities and classroom exposure might also influence or determine the appreciation for cultural aspects of society. I know there’s more to this but my mind isn’t totally here today. 🙂


  111. Here’s a link to an interesting article about the possibility that reality shows are rigged:


  112. Here’s another good article about all of the contestants:


  113. TV viewers are on some level aware that reality shows are scripted, cast and otherwise finessed, but competition programs that invite viewer participation through voting are particularly susceptible to appearances of impropriety.

    They forgot to say the mentors comments are edited to sometimes give a different impression than what really was said. I think most knew the show manipulates, yet we keep coming back for more!

    Exact numbers of votes per contestant are never broadcast, and those “bottom” performers pulled to the side each week just before the losing contestant is announced may not be the lowest-scoring participants.

    This is what happened last week. We were told that Mike wasn’t in the bottom three which may have left the impression that Tim was. This would motivate his fans to really get those votes out this week. However, many believe that it was Aaron that was in the bottom three (as in the previous week), so his fans won’t panic.

    The view is discussing how Ryan talked Crystal into staying on the show. Why are they doing this? Will it help or hinder Crystal? Or is this a ploy to get Ryan back into our good graces? More drama for the show. What next?

    Thank you, Louise!


  114. Solidarity,

    Hello, you are talking to the Queen of non-elequent! LOL

    I feel the same way, it’s hard for me to type what my heart and brain are trying to tell me! My posts usually come over as botched and you need to be a great read-between-the-lines kind of person to figure out exactly what it is that I am trying to say, but hopefully you guys get the gist of my thoughts!

    So please don’t go back into lurking mode, we all enjoy your comments and participation in the discussions that take place on here!


  115. Vonnie,

    I know this must be a very difficult time–I’ve been there so I can relate. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and hope you stay strong.


  116. Louise,

    Thank you so much! I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends here!


  117. Agreed! *HUGS*


  118. louise,

    Thanks so much for that article about the Idols. I haven’t read this person’s rankings or comments. I am in complete agreement with his rankings. I also loved what he said about Siobhan! Right on!

    I think he is also correct in pointing out that Tim has to keep doing well. One slip and that could be it for him. I love what he said about this being inspirational song week and Tim having trouble connecting with songs. That is one of my biggest problems with him.’s weekly idolatry video was quite interesting. Slezak had this guy Dave Karger do the commentary with him and I loved it! For those who want to check it out, just be advised that Slezak was not a fan of Katie and made some unfortunate sarcastic remarks at her expense. Sometimes I just don’t get him at all. But Dave Karger said some things that really resonated with me. He is not a fan of Lee and thinks he is overrated. They were discussing a potential Crystal/Lee finale. Something has been bothering me about Lee for a while, but I can’t put my finger on it. That’s one reason that I haven’t brought it up here. Until I figure out what it is, I can’t say anything. Dave Karger loves Siobhan and thinks she should be in the finale along with Crystal. That would be my personal favorite two to get there. He also loves Mike. My ideal final three would include Mike and the last two women standing. But I don’t think that will happen. At least one or more guys will be there.

    Slezak does not like Casey and I am pretty much in agreement with him. He had one great performance with “Jealous Guy”, but most of his other performances were just so-so for me. One reason I have tried to be careful with Casey is that I know that I have an innate bias. I don’t like his voice and style of music. So I have been bending over backwards to try to be fair and objective. I am thinking that Lee and Casey may be competing for the same fan base, so I wonder if both of them will be in the final three. I wouldn’t love that. I would much prefer to see the two women and one guy. Recent voting patterns would indicate that this will not happen.

    I am going to come out and say that I don’t want Tim to make the top five. That would most likely mean that Mike won’t be there. If Tim stays longer than Mike, that would really upset me quite a bit. But knowing this show, I feel that I need to prepare myself. Mike not only brings great vocals, perfectly on pitch, delivered with control and confidence, but he has this ability to interpret the words of a song and give it incredible meaning. That’s why he moved me to tears with “This Woman’s Work”. This is what I want from a singer. But being an r&b singer, he is at a disadvantage.


    I remember Bobby Vee!!! What a trip down memory lane. It’s interesting, because I was still too young to completely understand the tragedy of losing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in that terrible plane crash. I remember when it happened. I saw the newspaper headlines. My Mom was an art teacher, so I used to watch American Bandstand with my high school babysitter and her friends. That is one reason for my early exposure to some of the music of the late fifties. I remember my babysitter and her friends being so hysterical and crying over the deaths of these singers. I didn’t know who Buddy Holly was, but I did hear Ritchie Valens one time on American Bandstand. I liked him. I remember the shock and devastation over the deaths of these young men, but being young shelters you from completely understanding this kind of loss. I did not know that Bobby Vee was asked to fill in on the tour. I only remember some of these singers because I got early exposure to them, courtesy of my babysitter.

    You ask some great questions about how this whole Crystal thing will go over. The truth is, I have no idea. It’s interesting that it came out a few weeks after it happened. I would put nothing past this show, but it would be a shame to exploit one young woman’s totally understandable emotional meltdown. I don’t know how these kids keep it together.


  119. Mindy, do you mean American Bandstand when it was produced in Philadelphia? I watched that show EVERY day! Loved it!


  120. louise,

    You got it!! That’s the one! Good old Philly! I was really young, but I loved watching it along with my babysitter and her friends. That was my introduction to popular music. I was born with this affinity for music. My Mom loves to tell me the story about buying me my own little record player when I really little. I listened to “Tubby the Tuba” all the time. I warped the record. My parents could see that I loved to listen to music and sing along.

    I am really grateful that my Mom dragged my sister and me to concerts, opera and Broadway musicals when we were young. She wanted us to have a real appreciation for the arts and music. It had provided me with a such a great foundation. I sang all the time when I was young. Even watching American Bandstand, I loved to sing and dance.


  121. Sorry, typos again! When I was REALLY LITTLE!

    It HAS provided me with a foundation.

    Goodness, when will I take the time to proofread what I write!


  122. Mindy said:
    I do think that Adam went smaller in his career trajectory. Watching his performance on Idol, I found myself hoping that he comes to the realization that he truly doesn’t need smoke and mirrors or controversial, explicit performances. He has the voice. Maybe he will come to the point where he can fully embrace it and stand on a stage without all the eye makeup, costumey outfits and just sing his heart out.


    I don’t know if you follow Adam’s career much (pre or post Idol), but he has done many acoustic performances both before Idol as well as since Idol ended and he is amazing as “just standing there and singing his heart out”.
    Adam knows he has the voice and mad skills to just stand there and sing; he has done it in the past and will do it again and again…

    What perhaps you don’t get is that Adam loves to dress-up with makeup, costumes and loves the light shows, dancers, etc. It is NOT a crutch. It is a performance style he chooses. I don’t know how many times it has to be said, but Adam chooses the OTT performance style because he LIKES it.

    Adam has fully embraced his talent and it seems a tad presumptuos of anyone to say he hasn’t.

    Cheers !


  123. I was born with this affinity for music. My Mom loves to tell me the story about buying me my own little record player when I really little.

    Mindy, this is MY life story! I was three years old when I got my first record player! The first record I ever bought was “At the Hop” by Danny and the Juniors. Americna Bandstand was MY favorite show and I learned to dance from watching the show! I couldn’t sing very well or play an instrument, but I managed a few wins in dancing contests.

    With my love for music, I was overjoyed to hear there was a museum and Hall of Fame being built to honor the medium. That was when I became a Founding Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

    Deb, you don’t have to convince me that Adam is a true talent! 🙂


  124. Deb,

    What’s great about this site is that we get to come here and express our opinions. You may not know much about me, but if you did then you would know that I was one of Adam’s most passionate supporters last season. I expressed my sentiments here on many occasions.

    I sense that there are some Adam fans who seem to take offense to anything that they deem to be less than fulsome and unqualified praise for this extremely talented young man. I was not pleased with Adam’s AMA performance and was quite vocal about it here. There are aspects of Adam that I love and other aspects with which I do not love. I don’t think Adam expects all of his fans and supporters to necessarily love every single thing he does. That’s what I admire about him. He understands so well that everyone will not love everything about him and just follow him with blind hero worship. That’s not who I am. I have a mind and believe in forming my own opinions. That is what I expressed in the comments you quoted.

    I loved Adam’s performance on Idol and I also love the softer side of Adam. I am aware that he can strip it down and keep it simple. That is the part of Adam that I will always love and celebrate.

    The only part of your post to which I take exception is when you call me presumptuous. That is not for you to say, since you don’t know anything about me.


  125. Mindy and Kariann,
    I was addicted to American Bandstand when I was young and remember how great it was to see live performances on TV every afternoon. The one that stands out for me is seeing Little Stevie Wonder when he was just a kid singing Fingertips! And I definitely remember Danny and the Juniors’ At the Hop. Oh, how I used to love to dance to that music.

    Have any of you heard what the contestants might sing tomorrow night?


  126. I just read this Adam quote on MJ’s blog:

    Adam replied, “I don’t really know. I have four I think are really great singers: Michael, Lee, Crystal and Casey.”

    Gee, I’m surprised that he didn’t name Siobhan.


  127. I just read this Adam quote on MJ’s blog:

    Adam replied, “I don’t really know. I have four I think are really great singers: Michael, Lee, Crystal and Casey.”

    Gee, I’m surprised that he didn’t name Siobhan.

    Me too, Louise. Really strange and kind of suspicious. What can you do? Siobhan will find her way – Idol is just part of the journey for her. The biggest journey is yet to come. And Katie is fantastic as well. Oh well, potatoes, potahtoes!


  128. MCL and Louise,

    I read that comment from Adam on mjs blog and was very surprised. Maybe he doesn’t like that she is being compared to him. I guess to each his own. MJ doesn’t really like Siobhan and she put in a kind of snicker after she posted his comments. It was like she was saying – see? Adam doesn’t think she’s great!

    I haven’t heard anything about what the kids are singing. Gene posted his suggestions on the blog for the vocal discussion this week. I chimed in with my ideas.


  129. I never really got the Adam-Siobhan comparison! I think these two voices are as far apart as the east is from the west! Kara is the one who started this comparison.

    Adam is just like the rest of us, he is entitled to his favorites too! I guess from my stand-point with Siobhan it doesn’t surprise me that he didn’t list her.

    It is really hard to convince someone of anothers greatness if you just don’t hear it! So no matter how much we think someone is the best ever, others may not agree with us. Last year should be a perfect example of that, some of us here thought that Adam was the best to ever grace the Idol stage (I still think that), and others had their favorites and thought that we had lost our minds!

    I just goes back to preference, and Adam like the rest of us, should be no different in his opinions!


  130. Vonnie, I think Adam had a brain fart & he’s going to wake up one morning (maybe today) & go “Whoa, I forgot about Siobhan”. Because Siobhan can certainly sing – whether or not you like or don’t like the quality of her voice, there’s no question (in my mind anyway) that she can sing.

    I absolutely agree with you – I think it was very stupid of Kara (but certainly not the first stupid thing she’s said) to compare them. When she said that, I felt like I had been kicked in my stomach (seriously). In fact, the continuous comparison tactics that have been employed this year by Simon have been infuriating (i.e. “your performance wasn’t as good as….”. What’s the point to that? But I won’t be listening to the judges any more so it’s not an issue for me any more.

    I might tweet Adam just for the hell of it.

    Hope y’all have a great day.


  131. And here’s a really nefarious thought – I’m not at all serious about this – but maybe I am. Simon & Kara & the Idol powers-that-be specifically asked Adam NOT to include Siobhan. Hmmm…..interesting….


  132. Darlene,

    I so appreciate your response! I enjoy getting to be a part of all of the different opinions and fanbases! I love friendly debates!

    I am a little surprised though that the Siobhan supporters are so aghast at the fact that not everyone finds Siobhan so wonderful.

    I don’t have any reason to believe that Adam is part of a Simon~Kara conspiracy theory! If I am to remeber right; Idol made a point to put these two together on the show (Via the picture that is on this site) for their attempt at a comaprison…I’m not trying to be mean, but I don’t remember Adam jumping up and down for Siobhan when he was mentoring! I think that he told most all of them that he liked their voices, I found his critiques to be fair and meant for the person who was at the receiving end of them…meaning, he gave each contestant his personal feelings on them, and in no way compared any one to anyone else!


  133. And here’s a really nefarious thought – I’m not at all serious about this – but maybe I am. Simon & Kara & the Idol powers-that-be specifically asked Adam NOT to include Siobhan. Hmmm…..interesting….

    My thoughts exactly, Darlene. I am sure all of the mentors or former Idol contestants are bound by stifling contracts about who and who not to support.


  134. I’m a big fan of Siobhan (hell, I even bought all her songs in ITunes even if it costs a lot here in our country), so I hope nobody takes offense with what I’m going to say, but what if Adam truly do not prefer Siobhan’s style at all? It’s not really that far-fetched to think about. I personally do not like (and sometimes do not understand) why Siobhan is being repeatedly compared to Adam. Maybe, just maybe, he feels the same way too.

    But anyway, Adam said another thing in this interview if you think I’m just mistaken in my opinion. 🙂

    MJ never really liked Siobhan’s style (except for her Wicked Game performance) that’s why I avoid reading her thoughts on Siobhan’s singing because I know I’ll never agree with her.

    I watch Idolatry too, and although Slezak can be particularly mean, he’s also hilarious. This is not meant to diss Paige Miles, but the Idolatry episode where he used the movie Ringu (The Ring) to describe Against All Odds was just absolutely funny. Also, I like that he points out certain parts in a contestant’s performance that the judges sometimes (or most of the time) fail to address.


  135. When Kara made the comment comparing Siobhan to Adam, I thought it was based solely on the fact that she was doing the “scream” at the end of her songs. That’s the only similarity that I can see in their performances. Maybe Adam didn’t name Siobhan simply because he might not have liked the fact that someone was compared to him when he probably thinks he was the most unique, one-of-a-kind performer to ever grace the Idol stage. Even though I wasn’t a big Adam fan last year, there is no doubt that he probably was the most talented Idol contestant ever.


  136. MCL,

    Elliot has came forward with his favorite this year, he likes Casey! Also, didn’t Randy Travis convince Danny to go the country route? He was a mentor for Danny and I know alot of the other Idols have voiced opinions over the years of who they liked as well.


  137. Vonnie,

    “Idol made a point to put these two together on the show (Via the picture that is on this site) for their attempt at a comparison…”

    I agree with this, and it makes me sad because when I lurk in some other forums it brings unnecessary hate from Adam’s fans. Well, except for the fact that they both hit glory notes/screech/scream/rock wail (whatever), I really do not see any similarities in their styles at all. I just realized–this is probably the reason why Kara is confused about Siobhan, because in her mind she’s comparing Siobhan and Adam, so when she sings differently, Kara can’t quite categorize her performance into that S-A box.

    And the comparison is also hurting Siobhan’s chances in the show, because it created great expectations that she’ll do something dramatic, something spectacular, a WOW moment. People are just not satisfied with her singing in tune (unlike with Tim, but I won’t delve deeper into that), they want something that will move them, something that can make the hairs on the back of their neck stand. In other words, something that Adam brought into the show last season. I was, and never will be, a fan of Adam, but even I can admit that his performances were amazing.

    Great, now I’m ranting… I just wish the comparisons would stop.


  138. Solidarity,

    Thank you for the link that was a really good article! Since you have already posted a link, I would like to use a couple of quotes from it!

    What are the differences between your group and this season?

    It’s a different group this year. I think there’s definitely an emphasis on musicianship, there are a lot of people that play and it’s definitely geared toward more of a singer-songwriter genre and sound. They’re all great singers, they all have great voices, they’re very likable. I think our season was a bit more diverse, musically.

    Who were the standouts to you?

    Vocally, it would be Michael [Lynche], I think he’s probably got my favorite voice. Crystal [Bowersox], then Siobhan [Magnus] and Katie [Stevens] are both really strong singers. It’s kind of early to really pick the favorites.

    What do you make of the Siobhan “Lady Lambert” comparisons?

    She’s a free spirit. … She’s definitely a dynamic singer and she takes risks.


  139. “I was, and never will be, a fan of Adam”
    Oops. meant to say, “was not” there.


  140. To MCL: I forgot to add the “evil cackle” after my hypothesis that it was an upper level decision at Idol to influence what Adam said. I personally think it would be extremely petty & uncharacteristic of Adam to not mention Siobhan because of the comparisons. So I think it was something else. And I’m not all that enthusiastic about my “brain fart” hypothesis. The fact that Adam omitted Siobhan from his list is a little distressing to me because I like Adam SO much. I hope it doesn’t affect Siobhan too much. Sigh.

    To Vonnie: I’m glad you’re enjoying the dialogue here because I sure am. The comments here are in general so thoughtful & knowledgeable. I’ve learned a lot. So I have a bone of contention to pick with you. You said the following:

    “I am a little surprised though that the Siobhan supporters are so aghast at the fact that not everyone finds Siobhan so wonderful.”

    What do you base that on? I don’t think Siobhan supporters in general are aghast at all. I know I’m not. Everyone has their preference for different kinds of voices. When I read the comments on the AI9 Facebook Fan page to Siobhan, I don’t find any comments directed in that way e.g. “people who don’t like you, Siobhan, are nuts” etc. Is there another venue/site where comments like that are being made?

    I have more thoughts on the other wonderful comments but it’s time for me to try to earn a living. Hope to be back later.


  141. Darlene,

    I’m out numbered here; all that you have to do is read the posts above and your answer shall follow…not trying to be a smart aleck, just sayin’!!!

    I will stand behind my comment, alot of Siobhan fans are up in arms because Adam didn’t include her on his favorites list! That is where my comment came from…”Who does Adam think he is, not to include Siobhan?”


  142. Hi Vonnie. I don’t think we know for a fact that Adam’s not mentioning Siobhan in his list equates with Adam’s not thinking she’s a good singer. In fact, the interview that Louise listed above says quite the opposite; Adam used the word dynamic in regard to her singing. And I would ask the same question that I asked above, but in a different way: what evidence do you have that a legion of Siobhan fans are aghast that Adam didn’t include her in the list on MJ’s blog (which I’m not going to read, by the way)? I would say that those of us who post on this page aren’t aghast, we’re just intrigued & perhaps puzzled a bit. But I think it has more to do with the way media reports certain things – who do you believe & who don’t you believe – I think if I had Adam in this room right now & questioned him directly about Siobhan, he would say she’s a great singer.

    And now, I really do need to try to make a living :). Thanks for your thoughts.


  143. I would like to ask a serious question, if I can do so without offending the Siobhan supporters:

    I cannot find a logical reason for why AI would want to sabotage any contestant in any serious way, which I think is what some of you think is going on this year with respect to Siobhan. What follows is my logic. If there is another way of looking at this matter that is credible, I would very much like to hear it:

    AI and, more importantly, the Fox Network, is interested in maximizing ratings. AI is also interested in selling the tour and the winner’s CDs after the show is over. I don’t know that Fox makes any money off these two things, but clearly they have a financial interest in the publicity for their product (the show) that those other two aspects can generate.

    The beauty of AI, from the record producer’s point of view, is that you generate the market for your product (the CD) over the course of a season. Even if the winner turns out to be a lemon once they leave the show, you’re pretty well guaranteed to make money on their debut album. Because the viewers vote, they are essentially voting for whose album they want to buy. No matter who wins, that’s the case.

    Do they see more $ signs for some singers than others? Probably, but Chris Daughtry proved that if you’re meant to have a successful career, you don’t have to win American Idol to do it, so I think they are probably not as concerned as they once were about having their favorite candidate win the whole thing. I believe they still get right of first refusal on anyone’s record contract for a certain period of time after the competition is over. So unless they really get a contestant angry, they are apt to get the first record, at least, of anyone on the show.

    IF they are working a little bit harder to promote Crystal and Lee – which they can easily do without overly stomping on the other contestants – it is probably because they know what the voting numbers are, they know what the downloads are, etc., and they have tangible evidence that says to them that the fan base for these two contestants are the strongest of the bunch at the moment. So why not take your solid base and try to build it? If you can sell 500,000 records instead of 400,000, why not? (And believe me, if Michael or Siobhan turns in two incredible performances back to back, you’ll see AI promoting the heck out of it.)

    But I really think that all they are actively doing toward this end is being nicer to the two of them than they need to be. No one, for instance, is saying, “C’mon, Crystal, can you change things up a little?” I’m just not convinced that the record deal is a sufficient financial incentive for them to work too hard at stacking the deck. You work too hard at it, it becomes evident what you’re doing and it backfires.

    Plus, there is still the matter of what impact “stacking the deck” has on the show itself. Remember, it isn’t just the AI producers that are involved here, it is the Fox network brass as well, and network brass tends to be very opinionated. They also hold a lot of power, because they hold the purse strings. Nothing happens on TV without the Money Men & Women okaying it.

    Before the season started, they were talking about a Girl-Girl final. Obviously, they had no idea which two girls were going to make it down to the finals, but the odds seemed to favor that, and when we knew who had made the Top 24, we all agreed with that position. But we and they have been fooled, and the girls are now in the minority. If they are now thinking Girl-Boy, it is probably just because the odds have swung in that direction – just in terms of numbers. Five to two, that’s pretty simple math. But do I think they are gunning for that? No. I think they want to maximize their audience, because that, in television, is the name of the game. The bigger the audience, the more you can charge for commercials. They don’t much care how they get the bigger audience, they just want it bigger.

    To make an audience bigger, you want competition, you want surprise, and you want to promote the singers you think will bring more audience in. So you promote whoever is the “star” this year (like Adam last year), you don’t reveal the voting numbers, because if there is a clear trend, you wouldn’t have any surprise and people would stop tuning in, and you do your darndest to make everyone as good as they can be.

    Obviously, what the producers think is as good as everyone can be isn’t necessarily the singer’s opinion, hence the Lilly situation. But I believe their suggestions, including the stupid ones, are in earnest – they really just don’t have the imagination to believe that anyone watching could go another lifetime without hearing “Against All Odds” again.

    Do I think they are willing to play up the negatives in someone as awful as Sanjaya? Yes, because there is actually publicity and viewership to be had in that. But you’ve got to really stink for there to be any benefit there. Comically bad, you know? Certainly Siobhan doesn’t belong in that category. Tim was initially, and I think they played that for all it is worth, but he clearly is not a Sanjaya, and they’ve given up on it.

    The only possible justification that I can see would be to say that they see some sort of reverse psychology in trashing one of the frontrunners, and that that will get more people tuning in. But I don’t think that really makes sense, either, for two reasons: first, trashing a frontrunner is stupid, because it can have a material affect on your record sales. Second, it works only if you play Good Cop/Bad Cop; that is, Good Judge/Bad Judge. Good Judges consistently are over the moon about Contestant A; Bad Judges aren’t (or Bad Judge, because this scenario works best with two Good Judges, one Bad Judge, and one Judge who really likes the contestant but is willing to occasionally say to Bad Judge, “okay, I sort of see your point on this one,” but also occasionally says, “I completely disagree with you!”).

    Clearly, that isn’t what we have with Siobhan. We sort of did this week, but not in the previous couple of weeks.

    Plus, if you surf the net, you do find that while Siobhan has many fans, there are plenty of people who aren’t quite on board yet but are waiting for her to do whatever it is that we aren’t seeing/hearing as yet. (I’m with whoever it was who said she can’t explain exactly why it is that Siobhan isn’t wowing her, but the past few performances just haven’t quite worked for her.) So I don’t think we can really say she has frontrunner status, anyway.

    Or how about this? Are Siobhan and Tim now in the same category – bad remarks from the judges, things start to look a little better – hey, audience! Can they pull out all the stops and make the judges love them this week? Tune in Tuesday night and see! Except that AI doesn’t use this marketing device. It works on Survivor, where the final decision is already in the can, but you can’t use it with AI. You’d have to count on word of mouth to make people tune in for this reason, and I just don’t see that happening in this case.

    I think the more plausible strategy for AI to employ is this: make all your contestants as good as they can be, so that your competition is strong, no one has a clue who will actually win, and everyone will tune in to see what happens.

    To do anything else would be financial suicide, and say whatever you like about network television and producers – they are all about the money. What would be better for ratings than having as many successful singers at the end as possible?

    Again, if there is another logical way to look at this, I’m open to hearing it.


  144. Darlene,

    You said Legion, I said alot of her fans, there is a big difference there…and ALOT so far on this page are commenting that he left her off his list!

    And maybe you didn’t read my post to Solidarity where I pulled out and posted part of the interview with Adam where he called her a dynamic singer!!! I did this to show that he is not dissing Siobhan. I’m not on the Bash-Siobhan-Ban-Wagon, just don’t get that “some” are upset because Adam didn’t list her, that’s all…he didn’t list a few others either!

    This is sad for Siobhan, her fans can hurt her more than anything Simon, Kara or Adam would say!


    Thank you kiddo for all the times that you have had my back!!! My white flag is waving, I’m retreating…the fun for me, has left the building!


  145. Vonnie, I sure didn’t mean to take the fun out of anything – I’m sorry if I did that.

    Jeanne, in my opinion, some things are not amenable to logic. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. I think there are a lot of things not right with Idol but I’m not sure I have the time or energy at this point to analyze them as you have so eloquently done. I just hope all the singers are having fun, do the best that they can, and that no one is irreversibly traumatized by this crazy process.


  146. I have one more thought about this – at this point in the competition I wish Adam had just diplomatically said that all 7 are great singers. Why pull them out & list them at all? But it’s done now. Thanks for listening to me.


  147. Darlene, the heart is rarely logical, and clearly this makes your heart ache, whether it is true or not. That is the one truth that I think we can agree upon. I just hope that you can find a way to forgive whatever it is that you need to forgive so that you can move beyond it.


  148. Darlene,

    You didn’t take the fun out of this for me…my heads just startin’ to hurt a little from all that bangin’ it against the wall that I’m doing!

    I’m just not finding all the fun in a conversation that is just based on one contestant…I don’t dislike Siobhan, her singing just ain’t my cuppa tea, and there are other singers this year whom I think deserve to be recognized for their greatness too.

    So that said, I’m waving the white flag on all Siobhan discussions, and I have the feeling that in order to do that I need to find a new place to cast my opinions!

    This site is getting to be like a boomerang; all good conversation comes right back to Siobhan. I’m glad that she has so many fans and that you all are so supportive of her…she is a lucky young lady to have you all.


  149. Vonnie said, ” . . . I’m not on the Bash-Siobhan-Ban-Wagon, just don’t get that “some” are upset because Adam didn’t list her, that’s all…he didn’t list a few others either!”

    I’m not “upset” that Adam didn’t include Siobhan in his favorites, but I am “surprised.” There’s a HUGE difference. My exact quote that started this discussion was, “Gee, I’m surprised that he didn’t name Siobhan.” I completely understand that Siobhan isn’t your favorite, Vonnie, just as last year Adam wasn’t my favorite either. I always thought I had the right to say so even though I was outnumbered here–just as you certainly have the right who to say who you like this year. I think we should all be able to enter into discussions about our favorites without getting upset with each other. Last year I don’t ever recall an Adam fan attacking me about my comments (I think they just ignored me!!!)–as a matter of fact the only person who challenged my comments about my favorite did do because I wasn’t always totally in his corner. I hope that you continue to give your opinions about your favorites this year. That’s what I think MCL intended as the purpose of this site.


  150. And here’s a really nefarious thought – I’m not at all serious about this – but maybe I am. Simon & Kara & the Idol powers-that-be specifically asked Adam NOT to include Siobhan. Hmmm…..interesting….

    I actually posted a similar comment yesterday to reassure Siobhan fans because they were talking against Adam. It is simple… Adam admires her work and felt it was a COMPLIMENT to be compared to her. He gave her a hug and posed for photos that we saw. This is just game playing again. TPTB know that the fan base called the Grannies have parked their mansion in Siobhan’s folder. These are Adam fans who do vote, and vote in numbers.

    So, TPTB wanted to cause some conflict because they know what a fan base Adam has – a voting fan base that has decided to support Siobhan. Some Adam fans were offended by nasty comments made in her folder. The producers do not want a boring year!

    MCL and Darlene, we all have come to a similar conclusion!

    Solidarity, there are several of us who are not musicians, singers, or vocal teachers on this blog. So, we kind of mix in with the ‘super intelligent’ posters who know exactly what they are talking about. Very often you may see me throwing in a comment or two about my Grandbabes and how I expose them to music. My favorite ‘fact’ is that by the age of two years, every one of them knew who ELVIS PRESLEY was and could point him out in a photo!! LOL! 😀

    Vonnie, don’t get discouraged – look at the title topic. After tonight’s show, MCL will have another thread and we can discuss ALL the contestants. Hang in there, sweetie! 🙂


  151. I have to admit that I haven’t been watching regularly this year–this year just didn’t capture my attention, for several reasons.

    But I think it has become painfully obvious over the years that AI (or 19E, whichever you prefer) does indeed have favorites and does whatever it can to sabotage those singers not to their liking. Because a quirky, interesting, unusual talent might just capture enough passionate voters to win the season–but the same voters who will power vote for two hours a night are not equally likely to buy hundreds of CDs apiece. And 19E isn’t looking to AI for new artists to nurture in long-term careers–their interest is in cashing in fast. They don’t want artists who might need a few albums to settle into themselves; they don’t want artists who will have a few years of modest sales before taking off; they don’t want artists who need to take time to get it right; and they don’t want artists who will never hit Billboard’s Top 10 but will still be selling in 20 years–they want an artist who will be able to go into the studio immediately and be able to put something good enough to sell NOW (within 6 months) so they can capitalize on the AI fame. That’s a very specific skill/talent set, which might match those of the best singer in a season–but not necessarily.

    And really, what is “best”? Some of these young people have more raw talent than others; some are more skilled; some have pure vocal ability; some have more passion and can communicate it; some have a gift for a particular genre, or for music arranging, or for songwriting. Any person with any true musical gift and the desire and will to develop that gift as far as they (and that indefinable something extra) COULD become a major star. But AI isn’t interested in anything but who will earn them the most money before the next season starts. And that is sad.


  152. Well, where to start!

    First, in case anyone didn’t notice, I got criticized by an Adam fan on this blog merely because I had the gall to say that I thought he went small with his career trajectory. I don’t think that I am the only one who said that, but nevertheless, I was called out and also criticized for not loving his over the top performances. So who is being just a tad too sensitive here? What makes it even more absurd is that I am an Adam fan! Go figure! I think the volume is getting dialed up too high and it’s not specifically related to Siobhan fans.

    I don’t understand all this frustration on a blog that was created for Siobhan fans to share some of their concerns and frustrations. There are other blogs here. This incessant refrain about everything being about Siobhan doesn’t make sense to me. I could keep defending myself, but frankly, I am getting more than a bit tired of doing that. We have had discussions on the other blogs about all the singers. Even here, we have discussed the other contestants. But I guess it sounds better to keep repeating that we are only talking about Siobhan.

    I am not going to delve into any conspirace theories. Adam said what he did and that’s fine with me. He did include Siobhan as being one of the great singers, in another quote. I think that some Siobhan fans were surprised because there seemed to be a nice connection between these two. I kept my comments pretty simple. I spoke more about MJ’s dislike for Siobhan. It was MJ who felt the need to post a silly snicker after she posted what Adam said and not in its entirety. That was just ridiculous! That woman can’t stand Siobhan and that’s fine with me. She has her opinion, I have mine.

    I don’t have a problem with anyone not liking Siobhan. I like her and for me that’s what counts. I don’t spend my time going around campaigning for her as if she were a politician running for office. Siobhan is my favorite, but I also like Crystal and Mike. There, I said it! I have said it before, but for some reason it isn’t getting through to some people here. I think some of us are being put on the defensive merely because we like Siobhan, not the fact that we get angry if someone doesn’t like her. I think that our comments are being distorted to mean something that they are not.

    I also am concerned about this phenomenon of threatening to leave this site. If we can’t have our opinions, likes and dislikes, then there is something wrong. What I have come to believe is that some are angry because there are people here who have chosen Siobhan as their favorite. To justify that point of view, they then assert that Siobhan fans get angry and outraged if anyone else doesn’t like her. I don’t see any of this in the many comments here.


  153. Kariann 1,

    “don’t get discouraged – look at the title topic”

    I certainly can’t argue with that! Lol 🙂


  154. I have one more thing to say. I am not going to threaten to leave this site if people disagree with me. I believe that we have been fortunate to find a place where people can disagree with civility and respect. Why anyone would feel the need to leave or announce that they will leave, merely because others have different opionions, is something I just do not understand.

    There are so many sites on the internet where foul language and insults take the place of honest, forthright disagreement. At least here everyone can state their opinions and not have vulgar and profane comments directed at them. It’s something to keep in mind when anyone feels the need to announce repeatedly that they want to leave.


  155. Mindy,

    I’m sure that your last post was directed to me…and I’m okay with that!

    I need to leave this site and all sites for right now, but not because I am angry about anyone liking Siobhan. My opinions are getting mixed up in my real life that is spinning greatly out of control right now! I am being greatly un-characteristic, I’m not normally so disagreeable…I am not viewing life with a clear vision, so I need to take a break!

    I can’t differentiate my anger right now between my personal life and here. I was thinking that this was my place of understanding, but it is not.


  156. To ReReader – thanks for your insightful comment. I think Idol is a very strange show & the voting process is even stranger. Additionally, you have inspired me to get an avatar. Love yours!

    To Vonnie: I hope you will come back soon.

    To Jeanne: Honestly, I’m not feeling like I need to forgive anyone/anything right now. I’m not mad about anything related to Idol/Siobhan/Adam. I think everything we read anywhere in the “media’ needs to be taken with a grain of salt. My heart is not aching. I just hope Siobhan & the other Idols are happy with their performances. They are all obviously giving it 110% all the time. As I have said, as a singer, it is HARD to get in front of an audience like that & perform. I admire them all.

    To Mindy: Amen on the blessing that we have somewhere to discuss all things Idol in a civilized manner. Just pop on over to the AI9 Facebook page or (even worse) YouTube to see the ugliness of the human condition in all its horrific splendor. I read some of the comments towards Tim Urban on the AI9 page & it was every bit as bad as some of the comments that have been directed toward Siobhan. I think for me from this point forward I need to keep the focus on the singers & stay away from all analyses & commentaries (other than MCL’s of course :)) INCLUDING the judges.


  157. ReReader – always good to see you! Isn’t Jason having a wonderful life right now? YAY! I think you have done quite the analysis of the show. I don’t know what Season 1 was about – innocent as it seemed. However, I have not been pleased with much that goes on, and it’s gotten worse since Season 5. For me though, it is still my favorite show!

    Darlene, when I told my daughters that Tim was my favorite male contestant this year, they were shocked! However, they have been less critical lately. Poor guy…

    I am so happy for Siobhan and her fans. We have managed to raise more than $4400.00 for Idol Gives Back. No other fan base for Season 9 comes even close. This is such wonderful news. So, I will leave this thread for the evening on a very positive note!


  158. This is a testing for my new avatar. I’m really Darlene but sometimes I go by JRZGRL1. Thanks!


  159. Dang, that didn’t work did it. Maybe it takes a while for it to upload.


  160. vonnie,

    What you were reading from me is pure frustration. I have reached out to you and given all the love and support I have to give. I have said many times that I understand why you don’t like Siobhan and it’s fine and all is good. I know that you are going through a very difficult time. I wish that I could make it better. But all I can do is try to reach out. Right now I feel that you are not hearing me. But I understand why. I hope you find peace and strength to guide you in this heartbreaking time in your life. I hope you will come back when you feel the time is right. You will always be welcome.


    You really said it all! Sad, but true. You managed to crystallize what the show is really all about.


  161. I have to say something (it’s me, Darlene). I just listened to Siobhan singing “Suspicious Minds” again (the AI performance video). The note she hits on “you” (at the end of the song) is an F. She absolutely NAILS that note. There is no scream, the vowel is perfect, it’s stunning. I would probably not need the fingers on both of my hands to count the number of pop singers currently singing who can do what she did. I can nail that note but I’ve taken lessons for 8 years. Yes, I know she may not appeal to everyone – but I love her.


  162. ReReader = nice to see you once again and thank you always for all the Jason info. I will add a blog topic about Jason very soon – he deserves it.

    And I couldn’t agree more with your comments. This show has always had an agenda in place at the beginning of every season. But, this is the way the music business operates now. Quick money! The recording companies never invest over the long term and rarely stand behind artists who won’t give then return for their dollar. That is why so many phenomenal artists are going the Indie route – they are able to structure their career according to their vision and, as money comes in, it belongs solely to them!


  163. Hi, everyone! I’ve been reading here every week, but since I have been watching irregularly I haven’t felt qualified to comment, really.

    $4400 is awesome — good for Siobhan’s fans!!

    Woo hoo, MCL — I’ll be looking forward to a Jason-y blog!

    And thank heavens for electronic distribution. With iTunes and other download sites, at least a talented indie has a chance of making a living doing what she/he loves and was born to do. And some labels are now exploring the possibilities of multi-rights contracts, where they get a percentage of concert and merchandise earnings and in return invest in an artist for a longer period of time. It can be exploitive, depending on how such contracts are written, BUT used properly it can give a developing artist a chance to grow at their own pace with label support.


  164. Darlene,

    Thank you for your kind words and understanding!


    I think that you are great…and I am so sorry that I am so exasperating!

    I thought that with everything going on with my family that I could continue to be a part of the conversations here and that it would keep my mind free of the horrible illness that is affecting us…but I can’t! My stress is becoming your stress and that is not fair, it is un-thinkable for me to act toward you all with anything other than kindness and respect…my fears are taking over my world and allowing me to treat people in a negative way, and I won’t have it. Everyone on here has been more than kind to me, so for now, I go! I will read now and then just to see what you guys are up to, but I will not post!

    May God’s Blessing be with each one of you! You all will always be in my kindest thoughts!


  165. Wow, what an amazing discussion! Long time lurker here. I hope people understand that we are discussing our favorite performers and not the Middle East or Global Warming. This is ENTERTAINMENT, let’s not get too serious!!!

    MCL, thank you so much for insightful comments on ALL the contestants. I am a devout Siobhan fan but I do appreciate the other contestants as well.

    It is always amazing to me that people can discuss matters of art as if there is objective greatness. I may like Elvis and someone else likes the Opera and hates Elvis. So what? Last I checked, personal preference is why restaurants have menus. IT’S NORMAL!!!!

    I think that it would be a useful exercise to ask: why do so many people like X? X= any contestant. There are rabid Siobhan fans out there, including me. For those who do not like her, ask yourself why we like her. Are we dumb? deaf? both? A lower form of human?

    We are just human beings and it is OK to like different things. Would you criticize someone if they liked blue instead of red?

    The conclusion is that people like conformity. They want other people to think the way that they do and like the same things. It’s a basic instinct. It’s hard for people (myself included) to reconcile this instinct with logic and intellect. This entire discussion is based upon this age-old human conflict. And with that I conclud


  166. Oops.

    And with that I conclude:

    Go Siobhan!!!!!!!


  167. Vonnie, may God bless your family and I hope you come back soon!


  168. Zombie – I’m so glad you “de-lurked”! I love your post! I seriously want to frame parts of it. Thanks for bringing a perspective this conversation really needed. 😉 I especially love the first, third, fifth, and sixth paragraphs… (Wait, that’s almost all of it, isn’t it? =P)

    There are maybe two other points I want to make, but honestly, I just want to shift gears to new topics and tonight’s discussion, so I’m going to hop over there and look forward to fresh thoughts and conversations! 😀


  169. May God’s Blessing be with each one of you! You all will always be in my kindest thoughts!

    Thank you, Vonnie. I really do need the blessing. May God comfort you and your family in the coming weeks! *HUGS*


  170. There’s no doubt that Siobhan Magnus is the most talented performer on American Idol. From previous seasons, it has been obvious that the producers have had a preference for either a “Rhythm & Blues” or “Soul” sound. The producers must be advising the judges to try and stear the fans toward voting for a specific contestant. When their favorite is challenged by another contestant, I believe that they are compelled to deride that contestant to influence the voters. In previous seasons the judges were, at times, brutal with Clay Aiken and Katherine McPhee. This season the judges have, at times, been rude and rediculous in their criticism of Siobhan. From her responses to the judges, Siobhan appears to be aware of this. In spite of the fovoritism on the show, my family and I are hoping that she keeps her chin up and continues to preside at the fina.


  171. I’ve been studying music for nearly twenty years, and my daughters are both professional singers (one you would probably recognize, so that’s all I’ll say.) so I am delurking to state this:

    I don’t care for Siobhan’s voice. I don’t like her singing. I don’t think she’s in any way marketable, and I think [sorry] that MCL has become a bit myopic in her regard. JMHO.

    Yes, I said it! And I’m glad I said it! 😉

    She lacks refinement. She lacks [to my ears] control. She hits notes, but she has no innate connection to music. But all the above can be tutored. What is most missing for me is what Project Runway refers to as “taste.” She seems unaware that what and how she likes to sing is not what everyone would like to hear. That is a serious fault. Her earnestness is not the same as conviction.

    I could go on but I won’t. I will say that when my daughter signed her contract, she sat down with the execs and they wanted to shape not just her album, but the PERCEPTION of her album. The fact that she had a strong handle on her vision is what caused her to be signed. She has a lovely instrument, but that was not enough. It never, ever is.


  172. Kristina, I respect you opinion but I disagree. I’m not a professional singer but I am someone who has been taking lessons from a wonderful teacher for 8 years. Currently I am seeing him twice a week. I am a mega-fan of several wonderful mezzos, in particular, Joyce DiDonato. I recently traveled to Atlanta to hear Gerald Finley in recital. I’m glad your daughter is doing well. Making a career in music is hard.

    I think Siobhan Magnus is quite marketable. I would pay to hear her perform & I would pay to buy her CD. I don’t think ANY singer should be expected to sing what EVERYONE wants to hear. I don’t know how what Siobhan is doing can be characterized as a serious fault. She has a great number of dedicated & enthusiastic fans at this point. I am troubled by what I perceive in your post as an implication that those of who like her don’t know anything about singing and/or have questionable taste. Go to the AI9 Facebook Contestants website & read the comments under Siobhan’s posts. Yes, there are some negative comments but that’s true for all the contestants. And there are dozens upon dozens of enthusiastic responses to her posts. By the way, I am big fan of Project Runway so I know what you’re talking about.

    Ray, thank you for your perceptive comment. I agree with you 150%. The judges have a definite agenda. I have quit listening to them. Thank God for TiVO.


  173. I believe I said it was “JMHO” – Just my honest opinion. I thought I could give a different perspective, as my daughter is *blush* famous. {Not because of my coaching, I assure you! I’m not a vocal coach, and this is her own talent} And she will be laughing at me for posting here, so I should stop. But I will give a few more thoughts.

    I said that “I” didn’t like Siobhan’s voice. Last night she was particularly weak in her lower register, which is unpleasant to MY ears. She is so determined to hit her highs that she starts too low. It’s a technical issue that points not to her fearlessness, but to her desire to show off her range at the expense of musicality. And I certainly didn’t suggest she should please everyone! I meant that she puts her experience above her audience. She said that she enjoys hitting those notes and so she does. But the package of music to words to singer….well, not there for me. For ME.

    As to whether this person or that would buy her CD, that’s not really the point. Every single one of them have fans that would buy anything from one or more. I’m suggesting that she is probably the Melinda Doolittle of the season [without her seasoning.]. Despite Melinda’s obvious talent, she didn’t manage more than a small label. That’s simply the business. I’ll give you another example: Katharine McPhee. She has a lovely voice. She is one of the most beautiful girls ever on Idol. But she too told the judges they were “too hard on her.” She too didn’t have any idea of who she was musically. She also has been a flop in this arena.

    I’m sorry, I’ll go away. But really it annoys me when I read that the judges are throwing Siobhan under the bus to “get their winner.” They don’t need to. She is throwing herself under the bus. Again, that is MY opinion.


  174. Thanks for the response, Kristina. I hope you don’t go away. It’s possible that I overreacted to your comments in terms of your owning them as an opinion vs. a conclusive truth regarding Siobhan’s talent. It’s interesting that you find her lower register hard to listen to. It doesn’t bother me all that much. And I love mezzos. Siobhan’s lower register could be better but I’m willing to accept it to hear her higher notes. I think in the last two weeks she has avoided some of the uncontrolled “screaming” that occurred in “Paint it Black” & to a lesser extent “Superstition”. Also, I loved her opening of “Wicked Game” way back in Hollywood week. It was that performance that made me like her. I am hoping she will prove to be the exception to the Doolittle/McPhee principle. There’s no doubt whatsoever in my mind that she could benefit greatly from some lessons from a knowledgeable teacher. But those of use who love her sense something unique in her. I don’t think she’s showing off her range. I think she’s a sincere person who wants to entertain & her performances have (in general) been received well by the Idol audience. Granted, they clap for everyone. But I think she could (with some preparation & collaboration) deliver a performance.

    Also, to be honest there really isn’t anyone else that appeals to me this year. That’s not a reason in & of itself to adore Siobhan but it’s a framework. I am not that impressed with Crystal. Yes, she can sing, yes she can play the guitar, but the Indigo Girls & Melissa Etheridge & Eva Cassidy have done everything she does & done it much better. So when Siobhan goes (& she most likely will, probably at #3) I will be gone too. There will be no reason to spend my time watching what happens after that. I loved Lilly Scott & would have stayed for her. I like Aaron’s voice but he needed a few more years to do this.

    OK, must go now, work is calling, more later. Please stay, Kristina.


  175. MCL, love your blog, but was disappointed by this article. Stating that you believe the contracts have already been inked, is the same thing as saying that contestants other than Siobhan are, in effect, undeserving and benefiting from cheating/rigging.

    Worse, you do Siobhan no favors when you insist that she’s doing just fine, and doesn’t need to change a thing. That’s all very high minded, but it doesn’t help her launch a successful career—which I think she well deserves. (She has a fabulous voice, and IMHO, technically the best of the crop).

    For example. Currently, I’m learning how to sell my first novel. And one of the first things I’ve learned is that I have to tell potential literary agents (in my query letters) the genre that I’m writing in. And this isn’t because the agents are philistines who wish to quash my artistic spirit—–it’s because they in turn have to “sell” my project to editors, who in turn have to “sell” my project to book stores, who in turn have to figure out which SHELF to put my book on, in order for the most potential customers to consider a purchase.

    So while remaining artistically pure might be good for your soul, it doesn’t do squat if you intend to make a living at it. Once you’re famous, you can afford all the artistic freedom you wish. In the meantime, you have to at least acknowledge the business end of things.

    And hey, the buying public has never been accused of having impeccable taste!


  176. Darlene – For the record, I think Siobhan is a soprano, and she self-identifies as a soprano. Just thought I’d mention that. 😉


  177. Kristina J. —

    Just wanted you to know that I think your perspective on the Siobhan situation was interesting to hear, and I’m glad you shared it. I promised myself I would stay away from most Siobhan discussions, since she seems to be such a polarizing performer on this website, but wanted you to know that you are not alone in the concerns you have about her voice. Please don’t leave because someone disagrees with you — people like me need your support to help us stay strong in our own opinions!

    I’m not sure that she is unmarketable, but I do agree that she is probably a little tricky to market right now. Which doesn’t mean that people on this site wouldn’t buy her records; they’ve clearly said that they would. But those are two different things.


  178. Oh, I know that Siobhan is a soprano. What I meant to say (I guess I wasn’t clear) is that I like mezzos therefore I like lower register singers & yet Siobhan’s sometimes “muddy” lower register doesn’t bother me. I could also nitpick & say that mezzosopranos are in fact sopranos because the word soprano is in there…but that would be nitpicking. Clearly true mezzosopranos (not sopranos who for some reason identify as mezzos – and there are some of those) are a different breed. Sorry I wasn’t clear.


  179. All I ask is for Siobhan to be treated with the same amount of respect shown to other singers on this show. From the way some of the judges are acting, you would think that she was an alien from another planet singing in a language and with a sound that was foreign and alien. She is far from being the worse singer on this show. Oh, I give up! People like whom they like and that is that. But, even if a singer is not your cup of tea, appreciate and acknowledge her vocal skills and move on.


  180. MCL,

    I wanted to pretty much stay out of this discussion. I found it too emotionally draining. But I must say thank you for most recent post. I started to get into it with someone on mjs blog. She criticized what I said about Siobhan’s brilliant notes. This person said that being technically great doesn’t really make you a singer and that goes for opera singers. I wrote back and asked her if she was suggesting that opera singers deliberately sing off key! I couldn’t help it. I see this online quite a bit. It’s like people are searching for anything they can grab onto, just for the sake of taking Siobhan down or questioning her innate vocal talent.

    To see a young girl hit those notes without any vocal training, just blows me away. She is doing what it would take some singers a long time to learn. Of course, I am in no way saying that she is perfect or that there isn’t room for improvement. I think she could benefit a great deal from vocal lessons. It would help her to learn her intrument and use it to its fullest effect.

    The problem, as you said it so clearly, is that people aren’t acknowledging her vocal skills. That is what makes any kind of discussion so hard for me. If you start from that kind of premise, then I am probably not going to hear you. I am honestly amazed at how personal some people get with their critiques of Siobhan. None of us know her as a person at all. This business of “showing off” is the kind of thing that pushes my buttons. I don’t know how you can ascribe certain qualities to someone whom you have never met. As far as it being almost a cardinal sin not to know who you are as an artist, well excuse me, but how many people here knew who they were when they just turned 20? Can we give this girl a little bit of room to discover the answer to that herself? I should hope so.


  181. Since this is a dedicated to Siobhan, I just want to know what you guys think about Vote for the Worst website choosing her as their pick for next week now that Tim is gone.


  182. One of my friends from a website called Adam Lambert Network (easily the most over the top Adam Lambert on the Internet – and I say that in a good way) has started a Siobhan Magnus website. She is one of the few Adam people that I know that is at least as crazy about Siobhan as I am. The website URL is It’s really nice.

    Mindy, you know I agree with you 1000%. As a singer, I am astounded by what Siobhan does. The fact that she does it week after week before millions of people is even more astounding to me. And the fact that she now does it absolutely knowing that she will get crap from Kara & Simon makes it exponentially even more astounding. So either she’s one of the most courageous, sincere people I have ever seen OR she’s one of the most narcissistic, self-centered people I have ever seen. I think I’ll vote for option #1.

    Regarding Solidarity’s question, I will have to look into this “Vote for the Worst” thing & what it actually means. Someone (a Siobhan fan) that I briefly communicated with via the Facebook AI9 contestants webpage mentioned this website in the context of how to do power voting for Idol. Unfortunately (or maybe not) most of the software interfaces that I think are listed there (DialIdol & Globe7) are Windows based & I’m a Mac person (Globe 7 claims to be Mac compatible but it crashes every time I try to bring it up). So right now I am limited to texting. Which is fine with me – it makes my life a little simpler :).

    OK, got to go to my singing lesson. Talk to y’all later.


  183. VFTW is ridiculous! How can she ever be considered a candidate for their site? I am very disappointed but let’s not focus on them. Look at all the positive support she is receiving.


  184. Oops. I’m sorry for posting such a ridiculous question. I was just so surprised that I posted in a hurry without even thinking.


  185. I heard about the VFTW on mjs blog last night. I got so upset last night that I had trouble sleeping. I just don’t even know why such a site exists. It’s appalling. They literally make me sick. I just hope that Siobhan doesn’t hear about it. I think with all she is having to go through with the judges, this would be too much.

    I had some thoughts about what is going on with Siobhan. I do think that the judges have gotten into her head. She may not realize it, but that’s what this kind of insidious criticism does to you. I think her breathiness did show some nerves. Also I think there is enormous pressure on Siobhan to deliver a technically flawless performance, since she knows the judges will go after anything. I am concerned that she may be sacrificing the emotional connection to the song, because of the intense focus on the vocals themselves.

    Slezak sometimes drives me crazy, but in last week’s idolatry video with Dave Karger, he made the observation that Siobhan was smiling when she sang “Suspicious Minds”. He felt that was not appropriate, given the somber message of the song. I think Siobhan is just concentrating on coming across well, in part to counter the negativity from the judges. Perception is everything here. The judges talk to her in a condescending, patronizing tone which conveys a strong negative message to the viewing audience. I think Siobhan is internalizing that message. Even the cruel comments on how she looks, her outfits, are designed to undermine her self-esteem. We all want to look good, but for a young girl who just turned 20, it’s even more important.

    I think Gene made a good point earlier, when he suggested that Siobhan just keep nodding when the judges speak and then wink at the audience. I think at this point, that would be better than allowing herself to be lured into giving an extended explanation of her performance. Even though she is quite sincere, it can come across to the viewing audience as a little bit whiny or complaining or justifying herself. Better to say nothing and just smile!

    What I want most is to see the fearless, gutsy girl I saw in the semifinals. I don’t see her anymore. I know why, but I hope she can muster up the strength to just pick a song, really let go, connect with the emotion and the vocals will all fall into place. Her ability to find songs that she could connect with emotionally and deliver them in a powerful way, was what made us love her. Next week’s country theme only being about Shania Twain’s songs, will not be easy for her. But I hope she finds the right song and brings her guts out there and shows the judges who she is and why she is here.


  186. I wrote a response to you, Mindy, but it disappeared :(. Will try again. I wanted to say that I think Siobhan will be fine no matter what. I think has a certain amount of toughness mixed in with the unique, sincere, sweet individual that she is. I think she has heard from thousands of people in thousands of different ways how much she is loved. Based on your response, I will NOT be checking out the VFTW website. I know last year I got extremely upset about many of the comments directed towards Adam. And I did get into a brief Facebook flame war with some people this year – but when I learned that Siobhan’s comments were being filtered by family members and/or friends, I got calmer.

    Have you listened to the studio version of “When You Believe”? It’s magical. Siobhan’s lower notes sound much fuller on the studio versions of her songs, probably because she is more relaxed. I too hope she can have more fun next week than she has been able to have these past couple weeks. But she’ll be OK.

    Please please please tell me you’re kidding about it being an ALL Shania Twain week. Elvis I get. The Beatles I get. The Rolling Stones I get. Shania Twain??? Next thing it’ll be Miley Cyrus week. Know that’s a little mean – but not entirely.


  187. As far as VFTW, they chose Siobhan not because she is the worst, but because she is the most entertaining. They hate everyone, including themselves most likely. They are in-fighting about the choice.

    Whatever the reason, VFTW loses impact as the show progresses because a few hundred thousand votes does not matter as much later in the game. A vote is a vote so I’m not totally bummed about the pick. And frankly, I want the producers and simon/kara to be pissed as much as the VFTW people do.


  188. Darlene,

    The list is up on itunes. MJs blog has the link. I went through all of them. This is really a nightmare. If it was all country, I wouldn’t be so upset. That’s how I found out about the VFTW thing. People who were commenting on mjs blog mentioned it. Then I went to the site and saw it for myself. I got sick to my stomach. I don’t find it a compliment or funny in any way at all. I never thought that we would actually have a site dedicated to encouraging people to vote for a specifically named “worst” pick. I hope Siobhan doesn’t hear about this.

    I listened to it last night after I heard about VFTW. I just wanted to get lost in her singing and get away from the hatespeak. I agree that her lower register has so much clarity. Beautiful! I bought it. I am going to make my own cd with Siobhan’s songs. That’s what I did with Adam last year. Her voice is so gorgeous on the recorded versions. Glorious!

    I am more worried than you are right now. I honestly want her to go for the emotion next week. The notes will fall into place. I want her to connect powerfully with the audience, which will dilute the garbage from the judges. I made the mistake of reading comments on mjs blog and other sites. There is a lot of nastiness out there about Siobhan. That’s why I say that the judges can send a strong message with their little coded phrases and words. People who don’t know any better, just seem to pick it up and then repeat it endlessly. But it’s true that we don’t know the vote totals. Gene seems to feel that she is winning and that’s why the producers have the judges go after her.

    The good news is that Siobhan hasn’t been in the bottom yet. So she has a powerful fanbase. I will continue to exhaust my fingers every week voting for her. I won’t give up.

    If you want to know how bad it is, check that link and see the itunes list of Shania Twain songs. Only Shania Twain! God help us all! Country music is my least favorite genre of music, but this really does limit the contestants in a way that will quite challenging. There is one song called “Wild and Wicked” that I listened to on youtube after someone suggested it on mjs blog. I think Siobhan could go out and blow the roof off the place with this song. I have to listen to them, because I only know about a handful of her songs. Now this is a bad theme! Yikes!

    You make me feel better. I have been stressing so much about Siobhan’s plight on the show. I just see her being a little more tentative and feeling pressured to give a technically brilliant performance every week. But if you notice, not one of the judges has ever said anything bad about her singing! They can’t! Hah!


  189. Yes, VFTW chose Siobhan, but it could be they want to take credit if and when she wins. Actually, with her, it should be VFTB because she is the Best!
    After what the Judges do to her, she will need all the votes she can get and if it propels her to a Victory then great for us Fans.

    Remember this, she’s never been in the bottom 3, and that’s quite a feat with only 7 contestants; esp., because of the way the Judges destroy her after she sings. Their remarks are shocking to one so gifted.
    The only thing wrong with Siobhan now is that she has lost confidence and it shows in her performances. She’s hesitant. If somehow messages can be given to her to stay strong and to erase the remarks of Simon and Kara from her head, she will show the confidence she possessed at the beginning.
    Get ready to vote on Tuesday with all the phones you own.


  190. Dear wonderful Mindy,

    First, let me say that your passion about Siobhan makes me feel a little crazy. Because I have to wonder a wee bit about someone who would vote 700+ times. I feel much more normal when I read your posts.

    I think a site like VFTW is truly pathetic. As are some of the comments I’ve read on the AI9 Facebook page and also on Twitter. I had to stop following one woman (an Adam Lambert fan) because of the stupid things she was saying. But what is equally interesting, and somewhat more uplifting, are some of the responses to the mean comments. Quite funny & heartwarming.

    And here’s another upbeat, positive thought. Last year the judges were 100% solidly behind Adam. And who won? Not Adam. So I think it’s entirely possible that their shenanigans (that’s a charitable word for b-s) will backfire & Siobhan will win. As long as she doesn’t let this nonsense get to her too bad. Inevitably it will a little bit – but I think she will be around for at least a few more weeks no matter what. Aaron & Casey will go before she does (feel a little guilty saying that – I have a good friend on Twitter who loves Casey). And I think it’s very likely that she will be here all the way to the finale.

    There’s actually a T-Shirt at that has “Funny Little Thing” (one of Simon’s stupid comments to her back during Hollywood week – can’t remember if it was “Wicked Game” or “Think”) on it.

    I think she’s fine. I think she’s still having fun. And she sure is getting to wear some cool outfits :). She is building an enormous fan base. And she has us :).

    Regarding Shania Twain, I still can’t believe it. I would even have gotten Dolly Parton. But Shania Twain? Oy. But having said that, I agree that “Wild & Wicked for Love” would be an excellent choice – and Siobhan would sound better than Shania. I listened to a few other videos/songs on YouTube & this is by the best choice. I’m going to go on AI9 Facebook & recommend it although I think that by this time on Thursday they’ve probably already chosen.

    Hang in, there, sweetie!!


  191. Mindy

    Thank you for posting that, it’s almost like I was talking to myself while reading it. 🙂 I too am hoping for the return of the fearless daredevil Siobhan that I truly loved back in the semis.


    I totally agree! The studio version…WOW. I dunno what else to say. This is, IMO, her best studio recording to date (PIB was amazing but I’m not really into those type of songs).


  192. The good news is that Siobhan hasn’t been in the bottom yet. So she has a powerful fanbase.

    Hello! Hello! I do believe this thread may hit 200. I am one of the biggest Siobhan supporters around here (I know there are many)! I did get involved in the tradition of sending flowers and balloons to her. Not a large financial investment, as I wanted my donations to go to Idol Gives Back.

    Well, I did visit the VFTW website, and I don’t think it’s worth a bit of thought. One participant claims to be a friend of Siobhan and she feels Siobhan will think it’s funny, and it won’t bother her in the least. I don’t doubt that she knows about this selection. Obviously, she was not picked because she is a bad singer. They think she’s quirky, and they want to upset TPTB. I don’t like the fact that they make fun of her talking slow, but I figure most of them are high on something. Best to ignore them. The main thing is that they will be voting for Siobhan.

    All Shania Twain, all the time? I don’t get it when they have Aretha Franklin begging to be on the show. Now, her music catalogue is vast.

    Darlene, I went to that T-Shirt website and not one of the featured shirts is purple which is Siobhan’s favorite color. It is also the color her fans are to wear to the Idol Concert.

    Zombie, I agree Siobhan is entertaining!


  193. For those who are worried about VFTW picking Siobhan – here is an excerpt from a comment by Chuck on CapeCodOnline –

    “It’s important to remember who else has been a VFTW pick: Carrie Underwood, Kris Allen, David A., and the list goes on — so based on that, a contensant should be happy to be picked. VFTW’s sole purpose is to pick someone they can have fun with and who the judges don’t drool over each weak. Siobhan tries and suceeds in standing out, so she was the obvious pick. Bottom line for her is that she’s incredibly talented and will go on to make great music one way or another.”


  194. Hello everyone. A friend of mine has created a fan website for Siobhan. If you’re interested in checking it out/possibly joining, the URL is

    Hope everyone is having a great day.


  195. I know this is a very off-topic post (and a very outdated article too) but for those who haven’t read it yet, this is a very interesting article:


  196. Interesting article, Solidarity. I don’t think the article is all that outdated. And I think the remarks about judges’ pimping certain contestants & how that can backfire are very pertinent to this thread. For me, at this point, whether or not Siobhan wins is much less important than that she stay in the competition for as long as possible AND that she enjoys herself as much as possible in spite of what the judges have been saying which, as we know, has very little to do with her actual singing & more about their own agenda & if anything their complete LACK of knowledge about singing.


  197. There’s a blogger, “Mighty’s Idol Blog”, who claims he have a source on the inside that is able to provide vote totals and behind the scenes info. I don’t know if he’s legit.

    According to Mighty, “ I see some things that never get made public, and the increase in support for her (Siobhan) over one week jumped in staggering fashion. Did anyone notice yesterday she was the number 3 trending topic on yahoo and the day before that she was number 1? That validates what I said last week about her popularity skyrocketing. The researchers told me that the increase they seen over the one week was more than any increase they seen on the show, period.”

    According to his source,
    “Siobhan Magnus finished first in voting this week, but they believe that Lee and Crystal have had more solid numbers all year and they question if Siobhans strong numbers will hold up. They say if her numbers remain as strong as they have been for a few more weeks, they may decide to push her instead of Lee or Crystal, but it’s not something that they will be doing now.”

    (Phone only totals)
    Siobhan Magnus- 7,213,045
    Crystal Bowersox-7,008,593
    Lee Dewyze-5,984,654
    Michael Lynch-2,330,621
    Aaron Kelly- 1,878,043
    Casey James- 1,538,006
    Tim Urban- 1,519,212

    Again, I don’t know how legit Mighty claims are, but at least his statement regarding Yahoo Trend is true. I noticed at some point last Tuesday (Apr 20) morning Siobhan was the number 1 search on Yahoo, and throughout that morning she remained somewhere within the top 5. Crystal Bowersox was also a top 5 search that morning.


  198. Here is an article from ‘CapeCodders’ that will warm your heart –

    “Why we love Siobhan”

    “At a time when the economy is just sputtering back to life, and divisive politics are tearing our democracy, and war winds down on one front but winds up on another, we are yearning for a reason to smile again. And for the quarter-million of us living on the Cape, the singer with the powerful pipes and unique style has given us that reason, like an elixir from the negativity that poisons us. Together, we watch Siobhan sing, and then we talk about it the next day, around the water cooler, in the coffee shop, in the hallway.”

    “How often does this happen? How often do we have something or someone in common? When was the last time we witnessed someone on a magical ride and had the opportunity to sit in the passenger seat, at least vicariously?”

    “In 2004, the Red Sox transported us on a like journey. That year, with their colorful band of beards and boomers, the Sox made fans out of us all, whether or not you gave one whit about baseball. Siobhan has done the same thing. You don’t have to be a fan of “Idol” and you don’t have to know anything about singing to appreciate what is happening here.”

    “And Siobhan has done it her way. With her Edward Gorey tattoo, ever-changing fashion statements, and aggressive song choice, she has proudly stayed out of a mold the top-rated television juggernaut likes to press. The judges say aloud how confounded they are by her; and she points out, simply but firmly, that she’s just fine with not being a stereotype. How refreshing!”

    “No matter where Siobhan finishes in this contest, she has a bright future ahead of her. The national exposure — not to mention next summer’s concert tour for Top 10 finishers — will write her ticket to fame. From where we sit, she’s earned it.”

    “She sings tonight and we will be watching. It’s time once again to cheer our Siobhan.”

    I could not agree more.


  199. Thanks for the article, Julia. This and the LA Times article about Siobhan and Lee getting a little cozy (I know she is in a relationship right now, but IMO they really look good together! ^_^) made me smile so much, now my cheeks feel numb. LOL


  200. The spoiler alerts have been quite positive for both Siobhan and Crystal. It should be a good show tonight. I can’t wait to see Siobhan’s powerful ending to this song. I hope she nails it!


  201. All I ask is for Siobhan to be treated with the same amount of respect shown to other singers on this show.

    MCL, it was much better tonight! Thank goodness.


  202. Just making another plug for my friend M.H. (Mary Helen’s) new Siobhan network Hope you can come on over.


  203. With the departure of Siobhan Magnus, the most interesting element of the show has been eliminated. Coupled with her magnificent vocal talent, she possesses a special artistic spirit, a spirit that I looked forward to experiencing each week. Week after week, the Idol judges did their best to dampen that spirit but failed. They only succeeded in convincing the more gullible viewers to cast their votes elsewhere. Something about the mechanics and process of American Idol is extremely flawed. Not to take anything away from the remaining contestants, but in comparison to Siobhan they are very predictable and lack that vocal “wham” factor. Notwithstanding, I’m pleased that I had the chance to see Siobhan this season have no doubt hat she will out-perform and out-earn any of the remaining contestants.


  204. Couldn’t agree more, Ray. I will be casting some votes for Casey because I have a good friend who is crazy about him but I won’t be watching the show any more & maybe not anytime in the future either. I will probably stop in here from time to time just to say hello & read MCL’s perceptive comments. But I can’t get invested in these contestants any more while they are enmeshed in the arguably convoluted and tainted machinations of this show. Last season I was devastated when Adam Lambert lost (I voted for the entire 4 hours after the finale) & now I am equally devastated that the American public was unable to appreciate Siobhan for what she is – an exceptional, unique, charismatic, magical performer – if in fact one accepts that the vote was accurate, which I do not accept. But it is what it is & I guess I need to move on. I can say this – I will have a heck of a lot more time on Tuesdays & Wednesdays now & I need that time – I am very far behind here at work and I don’t practice my own singing enough. Thanks for your comment.


  205. Darlene, my DH feels as you do. For Siobhan to actually get eliminated when she was never in the Bottom 3 is shocking. We cannot compete with tweens and teens who will continue to vote for cute boys. This is not the same voting method that got previous female winners. I don’t trust Idol when they have a choice of throwing out votes.

    I also believe it was Mike that was in the Bottom 2, not Casey. Aaron got a lot of votes because of Siobhan’s Facebook putting out his number and not hers. That difference may be why she left and not Mike. I am quite discouraged with the show, right now. I am done voting.


  206. MaryLee Schulte April 30, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Shioban has the IT factor, Across the Universe was one of her best. Her weekly offerings exceptional. I believe she has a tremendous future and will be behind her all the way. The show will certainly be lackluster as she brought that special touch weekly. I have been an idol fan all these years and have never known the judges to be so venemous, particularly Simon and Kara, who know a lot about trashing and little about constructive comments that could be helpful. Their constant negative approach to Shioban was appalling in light of her obvious natural talent. I believe they have shot themselves in the foot this season


  207. Thanks MaryLee & Grammie. Something was VERY wrong about this. Siobhan should not have been the one to go but I guess someone had to. I am disappointed that on the AI Tour Siobhan will probably only get to sing 2 or maybe at most 3 songs. Although if memory serves me correctly even Allison Iraheta & Danny Gokey only got 3 songs. I think it was a special accommodation to allow Adam to sing 5. I think TPTB knew that if they didn’t allow Adam to sing that many they would have to deal with a riot of some sort.

    I am not a long-term Idol watcher. I came in at the end of last season kind of by accident & was absolutely blown away by Adam Lambert. I voted for 4 hours the night of the finale. This season I started with the auditions. The last two Tuesdays I voted by text over 700 times each night for Siobhan. I am worn out. I have told a friend of mine that I will vote for Casey (maybe 50 votes at most) until he is gone but I will not be watching. There isn’t really any point – Crystal is obviously the one left that has the most talent. And she may or may not win – it may be Lee. But for me Crystal is no comparison to the brilliant, magical light that is Siobhan. Yes, there were flaws in that voice – a lack of clarity in the low register, some cracks on high notes (the infamous “screams” that so many people seem to zoom in on) – but there is an incandescence there too. I’m very sad. Not as sad as I am today about the disaster in the Gulf. But sad nonetheless.

    My hope is that Siobhan will take the time to work with a good teacher. I don’t think it would take very much at all to help her improve her lower register & also improve her breathing & posture so that she can sustain those incredible high notes better. I would also love for her to have the opportunity to sing in some language other than English, in particular Italian & French. Italian for the bright vowels & French for the ability to control mouth shape. She’s 20. I started taking lessons when I was 46 (I’m 54 now). And I have learned so much. I am hoping to have the opportunity to talk with her about that when she is on Tour. She should be somewhat easier to talk to than Adam was 🙂 (I went to 2 Tour concerts, Charlotte & Philadelphia, and did not get an autograph but some people I was with did get an autograph from him).

    Anyway, I appreciate you both taking the time to comment. Thanks!


  208. I meant to say “Would NOT take very much at all” i.e. Siobhan would benefit from even a few good lessons & improve faster than this old lady :). I am optimistic that Miss Magnus will be around for a long time & do some exciting things.


  209. The fact that Siobhan was eliminated when she was never in the Bottom 3 supports my prior comments on this website. I suspect that I have determined the reason for her premature elimination. In view of the amazing song material available in Frank Sinatra Week, and with Harry Connick Jr. not only providing Idol contestants with detailed performance notes but also composing their arrangements and accompanying them on piano, Siobhan would have finally had her “moment” on American Idol with a performance that would have surpassed the other contestants and established herself in the lead position among the contestants for the remainder of the season.


  210. I agree with you, Ray. I think something very odd happened last week. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will ever be possible to prove that Siobhan’s elimination was the result of deliberate manipulation of the votes. These are very smart (for the most part) people in charge of this program (the part that they need a little help with is how they choose and monitor their judges). Her performance of “Any Man of Mine” was spectacular. I miss her a lot but I’m looking forward to what she will do in the months & years to come. She’ll do well, I’m sure of it. But it’s still disappointing that she left so soon.


  211. MaryLee Schulte May 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Shioban left and took the show with her. This may well be the end of American Idol because of the seasons contemptuous position of the judges, i.e., Simon and Kara. Last night’s performances and the aura of the show was lackluster with the exception of Harry Connick Jr., who was the entertainment!!!! If the judges had been half as hopeful and supportive as Connick, there would be an entirely different feeling to the remainder of this Idol season. Bittersweet does not even come close.


  212. “Et tu, Brute?”

    I just had to throw in this comment. Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi has been an ally and supporter of Casey James for the entire season. Now, in conformance with the Idol judge standard, she is switching her support. In her most recent critique of Casey, she described his voice as “sounding like a lamb” in his rendition of “Blue Skies.” There’s nothing like career enhancing constructive criticism from a professional. While his performance was not great, there was little difference from that performance and prior performances aside from the enhancement from his guitar.


  213. ur kidding, right? May 6, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Casey may sound like a goat (he does imo), but Kara is a classless beotch who always has a constipated look and tries to parrot Simon. I’ll take Casey.


  214. I, an admitted Siobhan afficionado, just stunbled on this website. Some quick comments.

    The S9 judges came from two perspectives: Simon and Ellen came from the performance perspective, while Kara and Randy come from a music perspeective. All their comments are colored by/limited to and address those perspectives respectively, as AI is a music and performace show. Simon can no more explain why a bridge from major ro minor to major key is so important or its difficultes, for example in the way Michael Feinstein can. Simon just says I didn’t like it, or some such thing, with a performance reason. Randy and Kara should be able to do that, but don’t. Perhaps the most perceptive comment I ever heard came from Paula Abdul when she said to a contestant something like “You sang that in A Flat, and it may have sounded better in the key of ____’. And she was right.

    There isn’t enough judge time to give meaningful critiques or examples to the contestants in terms of the masterclass issues raised above, i.e. tonal registers, voice box training, phrasing (Siobhan seems to have an ever so slight lisp). For the judges, it is a race to the sound bite.

    Mentors are performance driven, not musically driven. It is rare for them to be able to illustrate or guide a performer away from the musically based issues. Siobhan’s TTF (or anyone of Lee’s songs) may be the perfect example. If one uses the format of SYTYCD as an example, its choreographers really teach/refine technique in ways about which AI mentors are clueless.

    Everyone hears music differently, including the judges and us. Everyone, however, thinks everyone hears the same thing. Everyone has a certain style of music to which s/he gravitates. That is what is going on in AI, its power and its fault (besides the voting process).

    The judges should be Harry Connick, Linda Eder, Michael Feinstein, and the mentors should be guest voice teachers from Juillard or USC and the like. Do for singing what SYTYCD did for choreography to elevate the art and its enjoyment.


  215. Could not agree more with you, Don B!


  216. Great analysis, Don. If the judges were the 3 people you list, I would definitely listen to the judging. As it stands now, if I do in fact watch the show next year, I may or may not listen to the judges and I definitely will not vote – that process is absolutely without any value and was emotionally exhausting to me when Siobhan was “voted” off. I was lucky to have been able to hear Siobhan in performance in Charlotte on the AI Tour & I thought she was fabulous. I’m glad you like her because I think she’s pretty special.


  217. Thanks, Darlene and ML! Darlene, I am jealous. Here’s one more thought. I really like SYTYCD for a number of reasons, but I really like the variety of fairly new songs they use. Hope Mr. Lythgoe can demand some of that same currency for AI, like a week where all songs have to be written after 2007! I’m actually glad Siobhan didn’t have to sing Frank Sinatra week, although I’m guessing she could have blown “one for my baby” and Connick’s mind out of the world at the same time if she sang it at the piano with him. Imagine.


  218. Hey, I got my wish, sort of. Feinstein will do a three part PBS series in October, where he will apparently judge/mentor some singers, as part of a three part series on the history of popular music.


  219. That’s great news, Don. I will keep an eye out for that. I definitely like the idea of American Idol making things just a little more current at least some of the time.


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