Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 9 Top 5 Results Show: The Music Of Frank Sinatra With Harry Connick Jr.

American Idol Season 9 Top 5

Picture Courtesy Of AmericanIdol.Com


I am running very late this evening so I will be brief.  The Top 5 Vocal Masterclass article is already online, so I hope you enjoy the read.       

I am looking forward to Harry Connick’s performance this evening and La Gaga (yes, I call her La Gaga) should be super-duper as well. Check out her website – it’s a hoot and a half!       

As always, I hope to comment further  as the show unfolds and don’t forget to add your opinions as well. You can start now or come back later!       

UPDATE#1: The group number was very good. The best to date! And if only Casey had performed like this last night………(sigh). Ryan sounds like he has a cold (or is it the lousy sound coming from my TV?)   Ford Video time and Tuesday night backstage madness.       

UPDATE#2: Lee is safe! La Gaga up next to electrify the stage with her mad musical genius.      

UPDATE#3: La Gaga was brilliant – what a spectacle and what a talent! The stage was smokin’!      

UPDATE #4: Harry Connick Jr. is performing and crooning and all that wonderful jazz!    

UPDATE#5: Harry Connick and the Top 5 just gave an amazing performance! Incredible! These singers have been working very hard. No wonder their voices are falling apart. Look how relaxed they sounded tonight when they could perform without the pressure of judging or competition.   

UPDATE#6: BOTTOM 2: Mike and Aaron  



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Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

26 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 9 Top 5 Results Show: The Music Of Frank Sinatra With Harry Connick Jr.”

  1. Rosanne Simunovic May 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Wow – Aaron sounded superb during his elimination sing-off! I feel like changing parts of my Vocal Masterclass evaluation based on that performance. Nerves really affected his performance last night. The kid just demonstrated how musically brilliant he truly is!

    Love you, Aaron!


  2. I thought he sounded terrific too–much better than usual. I wish him the best!


  3. It’s hard to see them go each week. Aaron seems so sweet. I wish him the best.

    Did they say what next week’s theme is?


  4. Alex, next week’s theme is SONGS FROM THE MOVIES.

    TOP 5, Season 3 had a great time with the BIG BAND theme, and they managed to sing two songs each. We are getting cheated out of extra performances because of 4 judges and insane commercials. The results show has guest “artists” who often have nothing to do with the theme. I wrote my opinion elsewhere about Lady Gaga, and will state it here.

    Why would Idol invite this woman to perform that song tonight? I tape the show to share with my young Grandchildren. After 20 seconds, I stopped. The whole set up was totally inappropriate for American Idol. Her butt was showing and there were men doing motions which were pretty shocking for a family show. Are they that desperate for ratings? Her fans would tune in just to see her perform; I am not a fan. Plus, her voice was not good, either. This was rubbish.

    Can someone explain to me why Idol didn’t invite MELINDA DOOLITTLE back to perform? She is probably tops in singing this genre, and would have worked so well with Harry Connick, Jr. When will Idol figure out we want our past Idols to perform, not a slew of guest artists who have no business being on this show?

    Aaron is a cute kid with a lot of potential, but should have left before Siobhan. Actually, I thought big Mike was going home. Idol just isn’t the same for me any more.


  5. Grammie Kari,

    Slezak said that they should have invited Melinda Doolittle back to sing. After watching that clip on the other blog of her singing “I’ve Got Rhythm”, I couldn’t agree more! She sounded even better than I remembered. She was my girl. Her elimination caused me to almost stop watching this show forever. I don’t know that I ever got over it. I would have dearly loved to see her grace the stage with Harry Connick Jr. and show us all how to sing Frank Sinatra!

    I like Aaron, but agree that he should have left before Siobhan. He did quite well for himself, but just needs some time to grow up a little. I am just happy that big Mike is still in it. He got to the final four. If it couldn’t be Siobhan, then I’m glad it’s Mike. I hope he crashes the party and gets to final three. I see a Crystal/Lee final for sure.


  6. Rosanne Simunovic May 5, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Grammie – I hear ya! I appreciate La Gaga and she is a superb artist. But you are so correct about the stage antics – far too risque considering the supposedly family-friendly format of this show, especially if you are recording the show for young eyes and ears. And I echo your desire to bring back former Idols – I would love to see and hear from them again.

    Mindy – thank you for your kind and generous words. You are a treasured contributor to this site and I am glad that it has provided you with a format that allows you to express your views in a comfortable and intelligent manner. THis means a great deal to me and your comments mean even more. Thank you once again. xo


  7. Unless someone has heard otherwise, Melinda’s not appearing on tonight’s show doesn’t necessarily mean that she wasn’t invited; she may have already committed to another engagement on this date and couldn’t accept.

    I’m not saying that is the case, but I’m not going to make any assumptions, either. I know my datebook for the next few months has a number of things already filled in . . .


  8. Dare we hope that Against All Odds has been removed from the song list for next week?


  9. Dare we hope that Against All Odds has been removed from the song list for next week?

    I will second that. No more cheezie Phil Collins songs. No Disney songs. No “Glory of Love”; Peter Cetera is bad. No “Man in Motion (St. Elmo’s Fire Theme)”. And nothing by Bryan Adams.

    I watched Apocalypse Now for a class I’m taking. How about “The End” by the Doors? (just kidding).

    I hope someone will do something contemporary, like “Falling Slowly.”

    Here are some ideas from Oscar nominated songs:
    “Nobody Does It Better”
    “The Rainbow Connection” – Jason Mraz does a really nice acoustic version of this that is sentimental, but not maudlin. The kind of thing David Cook could really pull off.
    “On the Road Again” – I could see Lee or Casey doing this.
    “Philadelphia” or “Streets of Philadelphia” – I could see Crystal do either and not leave a dry eye in the house.
    “A Soft Place To Fall” from The Horse Whisperer — Music and Lyric by Allison Moorer and Gwil Owen – I could see any of the top 4 doing this. I love this song.
    “Things Have Changed” from Wonder Boys — Music and Lyric by Bob Dylan
    “Scarlet Tide” from Cold Mountain — Music and Lyric by T Bone Burnett and Elvis Costello

    I just wish Siobhan were here to do this:
    “Into the West” from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King — Music and Lyric by Fran Walsh and Howard Shore and Annie Lennox


  10. I could hear Manhattan Transfer in the harmonies last night – nice! Perhaps the tour will take advantage of these contestants ability to harmonize this way. They actually seemed to be enjoying themselves.

    Sad that Aaron probably performed so well on his last two nights – but he may be relieved to be able to get back to ‘normal’, relax, and rest up for the tour.

    Since next week’s theme is Songs of the Cinema and the mentor is Jamie Foxx who worked admirably with last year’s team, dare I say am looking forward to next week?

    (I still feel cheated for not being able to see how Siobhan would have handled the theatrical themes, but I think she may be enjoying her time on the circuit now.)


  11. Seems so long ago but it is interesting that Adam Lambert picked the top four – Crystal, Lee, Casey, and Mike …


    ‘Adam Lambert got to know the American Idol contestants this week, as he mentored them for their Elvis themed performances. Backstage, when asked which one he liked best, the ‘For Your Entertainment’ star admitted that Michael Lynche is his favourite vocalist left.’

    “Vocally, it would be Michael. He’s probably my favorite voice,” says Adam. “Casey, Crystal, Lee. “


  12. So what do you think the chances would be of Harry Connick replacing Simon next year?


  13. Rosanne Simunovic May 6, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Louise -great suggestion. His wit, humor and expertise would be perfect!


  14. I have a hard time looking at this picture. There’s someone missing. Sorry to be so negative but it’s how I feel about the whole thing now. I’ll try to come back & read everyone’s comments when I’m in a better mood. I tripped last night & bruised the heck out of my foot which is contributing to my ill humor. I did tape last night’s show mainly because I wanted to see Lady Gaga (La Gaga).


  15. “So what do you think the chances would be of Harry Connick replacing Simon next year?”

    It works for me. He would be soooo much better.

    You could also get rid of the other judge that is dead to me and bring back Paula, but here is the best part. Replace Ryan with Ellen. I think she would be a much better as the program’s host than as a judge.

    Connick may not be able to do the road work portion of the judges job during the audition season but that would be an opportunity to bring in guest judges like they did this season.

    While we are reorganizing Idol, why not put all of the junk that is funny to somebody, I’m not sure who, into one program and maybe run it between the top six and the top five programs to give the kids and staff a week off?


  16. I took the survey at AI, and it seemed to me that TPTB might be considering replacing Ellen with Paula. There were a lot of questions exploring whether Ellen should stay and whether Paula should be brought back.

    I really think that Idol should return to a three-judge format, and I’d love to see Paula back and Kara to ride off into the sunset with Simon. I agree with Gene that Ellen would make a better host though I think Ryan probably has the gig for life. The judging panel definitely needs a new judge who is knowledgable about both music and the industry, who is entertaining and informative in his or her comments, and who genuinely cares about the Idols and the integrity of the program.


  17. Sue,

    I love your comments! I had that same sense when I was taking the survey. I would love to see Paula back and Kara gone. I also am adamant that they need to go back to a three judge panel. Four judges takes away too much time from the singing. That’s what I want to hear. Having an extra judge doesn’t really add anything, it becomes redundant.

    I don’t see Ellen getting the hosting gig. I agree that it’s Ryan’s for life if he wants it. I do think that there has to be at least one judge who knows about singing and music, can provide interesting, constructive critiques and is genuinely interested in seeing these people grow as artists and succeed. I wonder if Harry Connick Jr. would want to invest the time to be a judge on the show.

    Someone here said that they think the producers of the show are underestimating the intelligence of their audience. I agree wholeheartedly! Even if most of the viewers don’t have much knowledge of vocal technique, I bet they would love to learn more about it.


  18. From taking the survey, I agree that they’re trying to see if it was a mistake to let Paula slip away. For me, I would definitely like to see Idol go back to three judges–the fourth one just takes up time. I’d definitely like to see Kara gone, but I don’t miss Paula either. As much as I love Ellen, I think she only works as a fourth judge. If they go back to three, I think they need someone who is an insider in the music business and someone who had Paula’s inclination to nurture the contestants–unlike Kara who just doesn’t have that quality. And the most crucial spot will be Simon’s replacement. It has to be the perfect person–someone who is really willing to give pointed musical critiques to the contestants without tearing them down personally.

    Oh, how great it would be for Idol to have our MCL on the judges panel!!!


  19. Yeah! MCL for AI10! How do we get this to TPTB.


  20. Rosanne,


  21. Rosanne,

    Please post Aaron Kelly’s appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show. I missed it, and can’t seem to bring it up on her website. I was so impressed with his exit performance! He was awesome, and I could see that Kara was very pleased as well!!!


  22. SurelyBSerious May 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    To make an argument: I thought Kara was very nuturing during the elimations for the top 24~she either gets up and hugs them if they didn’t make it or she would encourage them that it isn’t the end of the world and keep on trying. I missed Paula too and probably because she is so pretty and I am not even gay! But she is a warm person as well. However, there had had been many many complaints that she was loopy, on drugs, drunk~
    Randy brings the “hip” talk which I really enjoy (remember the dog pound?) but he is getting too …..”pitchy, doesn’t work for me, etc.” way too many times for me and rather to see his funny and bubbling personality. You have to admit that he does not get as many accolades like Simon~and I am amazed that he don’t seem to get jealous~ but just Cool, man. I like it when he likes a contestant~and gives comments that rocks. Ellen needs to remember to smile when the camera is on her…..and she looks awful when she is not smiling! She is probably not used to “live.” We gotta give the judges some slack because they have to come up with a live critique right after the singer sings! My 3 little cents.


  23. SurelyBSerious May 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    And with respect to MLC~ it takes her at least a day before she gives us critiques on the singers (referring to the previous post). I mean, actually, I must ask MLC if it is easy to come up with a quick critque after the song is sung? I also noticed that the judges would changed their minds after they hear the contestants’ songs again at a later time and was able to make a better judgement.


  24. SurelyBSerious May 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Excused my obvious mispillings :)))


  25. Rosanne Simunovic May 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    SurelyBSerious – I write my critique as I am watching the singers live. However, it is a rough draft and the only reason it is not online sooner is because I need to make sure that it is “journalism – friendly”. I check the grammar, edit the sentences and phrases- all this in between teaching my own voice students.


  26. SurelyBSerious,

    You forget that the judges get to see the dress rehearsals. Therefore, they have the opportunity to get a first look at each of the contestants as they go through their performance. When they watch it during the live show, they have already seen it, so they should have some ideas and opinions. It’s true that the live performance may be either better or worse than the dress rehearsal, but it still gives the judges a basis on which to form an opinion.

    I expect these judges to come up with quick critiques, because that’s what they get paid to do. Nobody is expecting them to give a lengthy, in-depth critique in the manner that MCL does. They don’t have her technical vocal knowledge. But I think the audience expects a reasonable, brief summary of their overall impression. We are not asking for a treatise or committing it to memory.

    Whether or not Kara was supportive in the earlier rounds, in no way excuses some of her incredibly mean-spirited, ignorant, classless comments made during the final competition. That’s when everything is on the line and harsh comments from the judges have the widest exposure as the casual viewers tune in for the latter stages of the competition.


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