American Idol Season 9 Top 4 Vocal Masterclass Article: Music From The Cinema With Jamie Foxx

American Idol

I was extremely happy to see that  Oscar winner Jamie Foxx was back in action for another season of mentoring the Idol finalists. I thought he did a superb job guiding the Top 5 Idol Finalists from Season 8  during Rat Pack Week and so I was expecting no less this season.      

Although these singers were less experienced than singers from past seasons, I thought they responded to Jamie’s excellent artistic suggestions in a respectful manner and did make a strong attempt to follow his advice during their performances.      

Overall, the duets were far more engaging than the individual performances. I think at this stage of the competition I was looking for spectacular and I honestly can’t say that this was the case this week.  I wish I could – but I can’t      

And so, without further delay, here is my Top 4 Vocal Masterclass evaluations.      

Here are my evaluations and, remember, I am reviewing each singer in (first name) alphabetical order. Your comments are always welcome. To quickly access each singer, simply click on the singer’s link below.      


Casey James, Crystal Bowersox,      

Lee Dewyze, Michael Lynche,      

Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze            Casey James and Michael Lynche      


CASEY JAMES 27 -years old: “Mrs. Robinson”      

Strengths: Casey – I can’t believe you selected this song. It just seemed like an odd selection. The simplistic nature of this compositition reminded me of your  Blue Skies selection during last week’s performance.       

However, unlike last week,  I really enjoyed this performance!   Were you looking for votes from the female baby boomers?   That was my first thought while you were singing this song.  Well, we shall learn soon enough if this strategy worked.       

Generally, your voice was back on track  and incorporated so many of the stylistic elements I have come to enjoy in some of your past performances. Your natural inclination for incorporating a bluesy style in your vocal delivery is one aspect that I enjoyed hearing once again.  Also, you initiated some wonderful phrasing, adding added some new and refreshing content to the original  melody line.          

I also appreciated your clean  and expressive diction. Your lyrics were internalized and expressed in a very relaxed and liberated manner. Very sensitive, as well, Casey!  You were wise to tailor your style to reflect some of  your earlier performances, where you could emote the lyrics with open sensitivity.     

Also,  because the arrangement was very simple and uncluttered, it encouraged  you to become expressive and nuanced in your vocal delivery.  I feel this is when you excel, as too much instrumentation overwhelms your voice and, perhaps, you as well.     

 Also the self-accompaniment on the  banjo mandolin was an inspired touch! And familiar! It conjured up an image of  Season 7 Top 4 Finalist, Jason Castro and, with your curly locks and endearing persona, it was easy to make the comparison.       

Also, by sitting close to and surrounded by your audience, you established an intimate and comfortable ambience that translated easily to your vocal delivery.      

This was an excellent performance, Casey! Bravo!     

 Critique: Casey – once again, that horizontal mouth position was still a fixture during your vocal delivery. By stretching your vocal sound, your voice did sound less resonant,  lacking in  depth and presence. Even though this technical problem was not as prevalent this week when compared to last,  it still continues to pose a threat to the longevity of your voice.      

The preferred  circular formation of the mouth adds focus to your voice, adding intensity and authority to the vocal timbre.  Further to this, by relaxing your jaw and extending it when  singing through your upper range,  the diaphragmatic muscles would support your voice with increased efficiency.      

Your vibrato was under better control and was less obvious. It was still there – however, the quiet, restrained mood of the song did help to control the wobble  we heard in your vocal timbre last week.      

Again – this is due to the tension in your throat and the lack of real support from the diaphragm. As long as your throat and facial muscles continue to push your vocal sound forward, you will continue to have issues with this problem.      

The intake and release of air through the diaphragm, combined with relaxed and open facial features, will assist you in controlling your vibrato, using it only when necessary and in an aesthetically pleasing way.     

However, this was another performance in which style compensated for the lack of technically substantial vocal delivery.  It was believeable and genuine and that makes a big difference in the eyes and the ears of the listener.   Given the song title, I was expecting less and, upon receiving more, this elevated my assessment of your performance this week.     

Great work, Casey!      

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX 24-years-old: “I’m Alright”.       

Strengths: Crystal – I always know when you connect with a song.  It is very apparent from the opening line.  That being said, this was a solid and believable showcase.  Your vocal and physical presence exhibited wonderful control throughout this performance.  You lived and breathed the lyrics and your voice wrapped easily and expressively around the melodic  line of this song.      

At every point in this song, I heard a high degree of genuine passion in your voice. It was wonderful to see you perform in a relaxed, less intimidated style. Of course, your guitar was cradled preciously in your arms, so I am sure that this made a monumental difference in your comfort level this week.     

Also, similar to last week’s performance, I did notice the occasional attempt to sustain some of your rounder vowels through a circular mouth/relaxed jaw technical combo.  This encouraged you to add more head resonance throughout  these areas of the song and your voice sounded more relaxed and free.     

Overall, this was a very enjoyable and strongly delivered performance, Crystal!  Congratulations!     

Critique: Crystal-  the “eye” diphthong was causing you huge problems this week.  I wish I could get passed it, but I can’t!      

You have to understand that there are three vowels in this diphthong and by not fully sustaining your voice on the first pure vowel –ah – of this diphthong, you diminish the clarity and ring of your vocal sound. And, it is so much easier in terms of projecting your voice with ease and effortlessness.     

 Now I understand you were going for style over substance, but a purer approach to your diphthongs would have yielded a more aesthetically pleasing vocal sound.  As it happened, your upper vocals sounded very dry and strident, especially when you attached your voice to all the vowels within that “eye”  diphthong in many of your words such as “alright“.      

If you had sustained your voice on the “ah” vowel in that diphthong, your voice would have enjoyed increased resonance and presence.  It also would have encouraged you to add more  head voice .  I heard that  light, crystal-clear soprano quality in your voice during your duet with Lee and it was just beautiful.      

However, this solo performance was lacking in this integral vocal element – you were singing with chest voice throughout the performance. That is adding a lot of strain to your vocal timbre – not a good road to travel.     

Also, you still tend to discard your consonants and, although the words were slightly more coherent this week, it is something that needs to be addressed and corrected. At times, it did sound  like you had marbles in your mouth – your vocal sound and articulation were both so vague.      

Articulating your consonants with precision will add coherence to the words and energy to your vocal sound. Use the consonants as a springboard to your pure vowels, making certain that the vertical and relaxed mouth position remains intact while doing so.  This will power-up the diaphragm to work with increased efficiency as well!     

Finally, I can’t leave this evaluation without addressing that final note.  That was a scream, sweetie, not  a vocal sound. You were going for power and I understand this, but one can still achieve power through the utilization of your diaphrgamatic rib cage muscles.  The throat should not be involved in your vocal projection – it should remain open and free.     

Hope this helps, Crystal, as you prepare for next week’s Top 3 showcase. Good luck!     

LEE DEWYZE: 23-years old “Kiss From A Rose”      

Strengths:  Lee – once again you grabbed your  guitar and serenaded us with your distinct, rustic vocals. It was nice to see the open, expressive quality in your eyes  as they connected with your audience. 


Even though you remained stationed behind the mike stand, you still made absolutely certain to address your audience at every angle. That head never stopped moving from right to left, but, it did so in an unobtrusive manner.  Good for you! 


Good work, Lee!


Critique: Lee – how I wish I could say something more positive about the vocal delivery, but, unfortunately, it was not to be this week.  You were absolutely brilliant last week, so I must admit I was taken aback by what I heard in this performance. I think that last week’s song had more breaks in the melody line and the melodic range was more even, therefore allowing you to comfortably project your voice with increased technical efficiency.    

Therefore, all I can offer are some positive suggestions to improve your technical skills.   First of all, we have to go back to the manner in which you produce the lower end of your voice.  At the beginning of this song, the melody sat lower in your vocal range and, therefore, the diaphragmatic support became lazy and inefficient.   This was not a good way to begin this -or any -song for it is very hard to get back on track once the song gains in momentum and power.    

The diaphragmatic support has to be established from the first note and this never happened. As a result, your voice sounded lifeless and weak and, at times, was fading away.  And your tuning was poorly centered, especially when you were confronted with those tricky intervals in the melody line.     

Also, usually I love to hear the raspy qualities in your vocal timbre, but this week, it sounded very wrong. Either your voice was very tired or you were developing some level of laryngitis, but the strain when you sang the upper notes was worrisome to hear.    

This, added to your poor articulation skills, diminished the focus and clarity of your voice.   I also felt that you seemed to have lost your way during this number. Did you have a memory lapse?    

Whatever the reason, your phrasing was poorly defined this week and you offered nothing new or exciting to this oft-performed number.  I don’t know how you could change your technical focus so drastically in one week, but, unfortunately, it did happen.      

This song offered many challenges – the ticky and very wide intervals within the melodic structure and the dynamic variables being the most difficult to achieve.  It is a shame that you didn’t  transfer the technical elements you successfully added in  last week’s performance  to this week’s showcase.     

You have to remember that technique provides the foundation to secure, refined singing, regardless of the genre of music. You don’t change your technical skills from genre to genre – your style, yes, but not the substance.    

 The beautiful sustaining elements, the musical phrasing,  the crisp articulation of the lyrics, the pure vowels -all of this was a distant memory. It almost appeared that you didn’t have time to rehearse this number properly and I have to ask whether or not this song was your first choice.    

Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to get your voice back on track for next week’s vigorous showcase. Good luck, Lee!    

MICHAEL LYNCHE 26-years-old : ” Will You Be There”      

Strengths: Michael – backed by a gospel choir, your voice sounded absolutely resplendent.  Now this is the Michael I have come to know and love. It has been  – what? 2 or 3 weeks – since I have heard your sing with this level of vocal brilliance and confidence.      

Since the majority of the song was fortified through powerful dynamics, you were singing with more diaphragmatic support.  The forte level of the song, combined with the passionate emotion evoked through the lyrics did advance your diaphragmatic support and, as a result, your voice sounded rich and expressive.      

As always, I appreciated the wonderful manner in which you communicated the strong emotions to your audience. Your physical movements were not overdone and added such a meaningful visual dimension to your Top 3 performance.    

I have mentioned  this in previous evaluations – the fact that, given the size of your physical demeanor, you have to adapt your stage movements  – otherwise, your voice suffers from the physical exertion and the overall impression appears too dramatic and less genuine.  I thought you got this just right this week, Michael.    

This was a splendid performance! Congratulations!    

Critique: Michael – like the rest of the singers, you are still still adopting a spread position on the  “ee” and “eh” vowels.  These naturally wider vowels are extremely tricky for any singer, as one has to learn to sustain these vowels with a circular mouth formation, adding a bit of the “ah” vowel component into the vocal mix.      

By doing so, you will ensure the seamless continuity of your voice throughout the melodic range, as all the vowels in your lyrics will be sustained in the same manner.    

Also, as much as I could understand the basis for choosing this song, I felt that the melodic line was very limited and extremely repetitious. Now, I have to say that you did work hard to ensure the passionate delivery of this song, but, given your superb vocal gift, I was hoping for something more spectacular.    

Stylistically, I think that you did all you could possibly do with this number – the staging, the addition of the gospel singers, the dynamic delivery of the song – all of this was great, but, the lack of vocal challenge left me a little empty.    

However, it was so very good to hear the full capacity of your vocal skills. Now, you have to ensure that the technical elements are properly and consistently enforced. This will encourage you  to add even more range and scope to your vocal delivery.      

Good luck, Michael and remember to relax that jaw!    

   CRYSTAL BOWERSOX and LEE DEWYZE : ” Falling Slowly”      

Strengths:  Crystal and Lee I adored the fact that you stood face-to-face as your performed this beautiful duet.   And you programmed the harmonies and solo content exceptionally well.     

The solo lines at the beginning of this number were well done and simulated an echo effect between the two of you.  Then, when you harmonized together, the vocal blend were very, very good indeed.     

I also applauded the individual musical tangents you journeyed through -those ad lib vocals were brilliantly synchronized.  This is called counterpoint and it is achieved when both singers are very musical and secure with their personal vocal style. If not, it can sound like one great big mess.    

 However,  this was not the case with the two of you – it looked and sounded effortless.  The vocal and physical communication between the two of you, while providing self-accompaniment on guitar, was genuine and refreshing to watch. You obviously practiced extremely hard, resulting in a professional and believable performance.    

And, Crystal, your soprano voice at the end of this song was a beautiful surprise.  You have an exceptional tone when singing with chest resonance and I hope  to hear more of  this element in  future performances. You have given us glimmers of this integral vocal element  in past performances, but not as well as you did during this duet with Lee.    

Great work, Crystal and Lee! Brava and Bravo!    

Critique: Crystal and Lee both have you have to be careful not to strain when singing through your upper vocal register. However, because the two of you produced your vocals in a similar manner,  the harmonies were properly balanced. It was a drier balance than I would have liked, but it worked. However …….   

However that forced, overwrought manner of projecting your  voice is just a bad, unhealthy road on which to travel.   All that forced vocalization from the throat is just so wrong and it accents the fact that very little support is being initiated from the diaphragm.  Also, the clarity and presence of your voices  are not fully apparent and the lack of confident support limits your capability to add dynamic content to your vocal delivery.   

However, the expressive manner in which you delivered this song to your audience cannot be under-estimated and I congratulate you on a fine duo performance this week.   

CASEY JAMES and  MICHAEL LYNCHE : ” Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman”      

Strengths:  Casey and Michael – this was a very beautiful and sensitive performance and you planned your individual and combined vocal entries very, very well.  I was actually amazed watching the two of you, as your vocal timbres could not be more dissimilar and yet, the blend was just lovely.   

Each of you stabilized your vocal presence and style through your solos within the verses and  provided wonderful contrast when the two of  you sang in harmony throughout the refrain of the song.   

And what a surprsie this was!  Casey singing in head voice throughout the refrain? Who would have thought?  But, it really worked!   

 Casey – your light, falsetto provided a descant -like quality to Michael’s rich vocal timbre on the main melody. It was a perfect contrast. Well done, guys!   

 I loved the different vocal style emanating from each of you – it was neat to hear and yet when  you performed in harmony, the voices blended so very well.   And your phrasing was extremly musical and fluid.   

Also, your self-accompaniment on guitar was stellar and added so much to this fantastic showcase.  This was an expressive, meaningful performance and I congratulate both of you on your fine work! Bravo!   

Critique:  Casey and Michael- your voices never sounded better.   You still need to work out the permeating technical issues that you endured in your individual performances.    

For instance, Casey, your falsetto did not sound fully transparent and at times faded in and out. This highlighted the lack of solid diaphragmatic breath control  – your voice lacked forward direction and, because of this, air was escaping with your vocal sound, resulting in a  weak and not fully centered  vocal timbre.   

Michael – you, as well,  need to continue to work on the areas of tension in your face and throat so that the full complement of your rich, robust,vocal quality can be realized.   

However, technical issues aside, I truly loved this performance. Just beautiful, guys! Kudos!   

 For all the latest American Idol News, visit SirLinksalot: American Idol or the American Idol Official Site .      


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About Masterclass Lady

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

27 Responses to “American Idol Season 9 Top 4 Vocal Masterclass Article: Music From The Cinema With Jamie Foxx”

  1. MCL,

    Once again you always enlighten and help me to understand what I am hearing. I gave my own brief critiques in the previous blog, but I just haven’t been involved enough to get into any technical vocal issues. I think my heart left when Siobhan was voted off.

    I did say that Lee did not do well with this song. I couldn’t understand why he chose it, but you brought up the possibility that this might not have been his first choice. He really did seem lost and the vocals were just not good on any level. I was quite surprised after his great performance last week. I don’t think Lee ever found his comfort level throughout the performance.

    I thought Mike sounded better vocally, but it was the song choice that disappointed me. I was hoping for something that would give him a chance to show off his vocal strengths and this didn’t do it. There isn’t much artistry that you can give to this kind of song and Mike did the best he could, but I honestly hoped for a better choice. At least it was reassuring to hear him sound better than he has in recent weeks.

    I didn’t critique Crystal on her vocals. Maybe I am getting like the judges! Just kidding! As I said, my heart isn’t in it anymore. But I heard that dryness and shouting that you mentioned. Now I know why I didn’t love her vocals. That last note did sound like a scream to me. It was kind of jarring. Now I also understand that Crystal was using too much chest voice. I never like it when she sings that way. It just interferes with my enjoyment. But I do think that she went for style over vocal technical prowess this week. She gave the judges what they wanted and they responded with their usual over the top, unqualified praise.

    You seemed to have the same sense that I did about the duets. As much as I like Lee and Crystal’s presence and shared connection, I didn’t love it as much as Casey and Michael’s brilliant effort. I thought they would have a lot of trouble blending their voices in a duet. But they really complemented each other so well.

    There isn’t much to celebrate right now. I found myself once again thinking about what might have been if Siobhan was still there. It all feels quite anti-climactic to me.


  2. MCL – thank you again for a lovely and complete and positive critique. “Kiss from a Rose” is a beautiful and haunting song. Could you explain what about the intervals between the notes makes it so hard to sing? Are they “unnatural” – by that I don’t mean ‘natural notes,’ but ones that are not only different to the ear, but that the voice doesn’t naturally tend towards them.


  3. Uh – this from you MCL is pretty funny:

    “That was a scream, sweetie, not a vocal sound.”

    Really? You really want to be that condescending towards a singer that can truly touch an audience, and one with a deeper talent than you appear to understand? And – oh why not say this – SIOBHAN screamed so much during her performances that I believed my daughter had found a mouse!

    Please leave off your “sweeties” would you? You’re clearly angry that Crystal has nabbed the spot you wanted for your precious Siobhan, but hon, you’re not fooling anybody. LOL!

    [By the way, I’m not even a diehard Crystal fan – I watch the show very rarely. But I am seriously offended by your manner this season, and I thought you should know it.]



  4. Given MCL’s level of politeness and civility, I would suggest that her use of “sweetie” was not meant to be condescending. It may seem that way, especially in the context of Kara’s condescending attitude when she uses that word on the show (poor Tim Urban and Casey James!), but I think MCL was trying to soften the blow in that sentence. Saying “That was a scream, not a vocal sound.” would have, an my opinion, come off as a much more hostile and dismissive comment to make.


  5. ** in my opinion, not “an”


  6. Thank you, Mark! Anyone who has ever been around me know that I use this term often, especially around young people. Yes, as you said, it was meant to soften the blow. I didn’t want her to think that i did not enjoy the performance. I did enjoy it. It miles and away better than least week. But, she does have problems with her vocal projection and needs to address these issues. It’s for her own good – and her vocal health and longevity.


  7. Oh – and I had no idea that Kara was using this term on a regular basis. I must have blocked it out! 🙂 Most of the time, I am writing notes for my Masterclass article and barely listen to the judges. I can see where one would get the wrong impression then.


  8. I came to realize something today about the quality of talent this season. I think if Crystal or Siobhan were in another season (I only started watching in Season 7), they might’ve have made more progress. I think Crystal has been on a plateau the whole season partly because she hasn’t been pushed artistically all season. If she wouldn’t have been one of the stronger contestants in Season 7 or 8 at the beginning, she probably would’ve come out much better because of being around the others.

    Crystal has been the mother hen of this nest of contestants, and to a certain degree, I think it’s weighed her down. Has she helped any of the others become better? Debatable. Although in sports and art, I would say the truly great individuals, like Michael Jordan (sport) or Virginia Woolf (art), raise the level of those around them, whether it’s the Chicago Bulls or the Bloomsberg group. I don’t think she’s truly great. I’m not sure she has the charisma, yet, of a Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, or Shania Twain. She has to learn some stagecraft – how to ply the audience a bit.

    Imagine if Siobhan had been around some of the more mature performers like Adam and David. I’m not trying to say she’s immature, but maybe a little naive. The season’s contestants are a bit of a conclave and I think they play off each other all season, for better or worse. Adam was a “leader in the clubhouse” so to speak. He really made everyone around him better, especially Allison. I’m so glad he was a mentor.


  9. Natalie,

    I really must take exception to your rather intemperate remarks to MCL. I don’t know that she needs to be defended. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to participate in this site, know that she is a generous and passionate advocate of vocal excellence, a champion of young singers, a gracious and kind person who has devoted her life to helping singers realize their true potential.

    This is a woman who has never uttered an unkind word. She does not deserve to be attacked in such a crass and disrespectful manner. If you think the word “sweetie” is an insult, frankly that’s rather absurd. I respect MCL for always being true to her own standards, not yours or mine or anyone else’s. She speaks the truth, but always with a gentle touch. If you read her entire critique of Crystal’s performance, then you would have noted that she started off with the things that she liked and appreciated in her performance. Then she proceeded to a reasonable discussion about the vocal deficiencies. Just because the judges choose to ignore it, is no reason for a vocal teacher and expert to do so. MCL has been vigorous in her dedication to maintaining vocal health and teaching techniques that will prolong the longevity of a singer’s career. She has done this with the very best intentions.

    If you are unable to appreciate that her advice to Crystal comes from a place of love and sincerity and caring, then that is unfortunate. That shouting and especially the harsh screams at the end, will ultimately damage Crystal’s precious vocal instrument. When I listened to her performance again today, with my eyes closed and focused solely on her vocals, I could hear her voice straining on those notes. Everyone can benefit from constructive criticism and knowledge about good vocal technique.

    The judges have been hypocritical and biased in their comments. If it was Siobhan who sang like that, then we would have once again had to endure Simon’s crass comment about it sounding like giving birth or that it was totally off and screaming and harsh, etc. Why the hypersensitivity when someone who is honest and has some real credibility, points out the obvious – that Crystal was shouting and screaming, which is not singing. The fact that the judges did NOT point it out, only serves to further undermine their lack of objectivity.

    In conclusion, I dislike the whole tone of your comments. This site is a place where people can come to express their thoughts and opinions, but always with civility and respect. Accusing MCL of being angry at Crystal because she supposedly took the place of Siobhan, tells me that you have no clue when it comes to understanding this extraordinary woman. Perhaps if you weren’t so preoccupied with throwing around your own condescending comments, then you might have been able to realize that MCL is incapable of any kind of petty nonsense such as you have suggested.

    You really do not know or understand MCL at all. That is your loss.


  10. Ah, I’ve been blocked! Well, that’s not surprising! 🙂


  11. What are you talking about Natalie? No one has blocked your comments. Sometimes comments find their way into the spam filter. The WordPress blogging format has strict policies in place over which I have no control.


  12. Natalie – I found your comments in the spam folder and I have decided not to post them. This is a site where we treat one another with respect and your disrespectful comments toward me and the other readers cannot be tolerated. You are identifying problems that do not exist. So, please move on to another site and carry on with your petty arguments elsewhere. There are plenty of Crystal fans on this site and everyone seems to be getting along just fine. Youa re the one with issues with Siobhan – this is your problem not ours.


  13. Yes, and Melinda Doolittle mentored Jordin Sparks.


  14. Mindy – what can I say but thank you from the bottom of my heart. Natalie’s comments back to you found its way to my spam folder and then, when I read her remarks, I thought: “That’s it! Game over!” She was disrespectful to you, to me and to the rest of ther MCL readers. She has been permanently blocked.

    You explained yourself so very well and I value your support. Thank you so much once again and please keep coming back to add your thoughts and insights – they are intelligent and respectful and exactly the reason why I started this site in the first place! 🙂


  15. Julia – really? I had no idea. That’s great to know. I love Melinda – she is a true vocal gem.


  16. Thank you MCL –

    I had not read the post from NAT and I am sorry that she was so rude to you. I read your critique and did not find it offensive. (I even thought that you were extremely generous.)

    I come here to participate in the civilized conversation you provide. This has reminded me to try to be “thought-full” and reasonable. There is no reason for me to be otherwise.

    It is amazing how after nine seasons, one contestant (Siobhan Magnus) has become a symbol (different to all), touched so many, and stimulated so many passionate discussions.

    Are we projecting or are we seeing different facets of the same unpolished gem?


  17. Julia -I believe that many of us come to this show refreshed and objective and just want to hear really great singers and fair, unbiased judging. However, as we all now know, this is not the case. American Idol has a deep-rooted agenda every year and it is determined by the bottom line = money. They must see that Crystal is marketable. We shall see. Remember how shy and introverted Carrie Underwood was during her tenure on American Idol? Look at her now!

    Siobhan will find her own way on her terms. Sometimes, true artistry does not work on this show, especially outside what the general public deems normal or correct. People find Siobhan weird and eccenttric, therefore they don’t vote for her. They don’t understand her extraordinary vocal gift.

    Oops have to go. The Results Show is beginning!


  18. I am a fan of Melinda Doolittle and I thought other participants on this site might like to read this…

    ‘The book includes a foreward written by fellow “American Idol” Jordin Sparks. “Jordin and I have stayed extremely close since being on the show,” Melinda gushes. “We were inseparable on the show and we still talk all the time. She used to call me ‘mama’ and I called her ‘baby girl’ and it is still the same today. To have her write the foreward was just the most amazing thing.”

    “I got to show her the part in the book where I wrote about our experience together and what she was for me on the show. We prayed together, we cried together, we did it all together. We celebrated each other.”‘


  19. MCL,

    I am the one who will say a heartfelt – THANK YOU – to you! I don’t care if anyone attacks me harshly. I have experienced it before on other forums. However, I cannot bear to see someone for whom I have such admiration and respect, attacked in that manner. It would seem that some people come here with their own agenda, thinking that they can spread some of the hatespeak that is commonplace on other forums.

    I always want this place to be the special haven that it has always been for all of us who love to come here.

    It was an honor to speak in support of you and it always will be. Whatever words I try to find will never be able to do justice to you. You will always be one of my heros forever.

    Thank you again for all that you do, for all that you have taught me about singing, for your loving heart and humanity. You are a rarity in this world!!


  20. MIndy – thank you so much. You are too generous! ♥


  21. Jessica T.

    I agree with you that Siobhan would have benefited tremendously had she and Adam competed in the same season. By all accounts, Adam was a great support to his fellow contestants last year, particularly of Allison. Throughout the season and during the AI tour, he brought out the best in her in terms of her performances and in dealing with the whole AI experience. And, this summer she will be his opening act for some of his Glamnation tour dates. I can see Siobhan really benefiting from a mentor who understands and appreciates her gifts.


  22. Sue,

    The one thing that Adam had going for him last season was the judges. Simon wanted him to win. He gave Adam every bit of support along the way. Adam himself said in one of his interviews after the finale, that the one thing that helped him the most was the support from the judges. He said that it was like they were telling America that it’s okay to accept him. He was very grateful for that.

    Siobhan was not so fortunate. She had the opposite experience. The judges were intent on derailing her. They knew it would be hard to get even one female into the finale, the way the voting skews strongly to the guys these days. They decided it should be Crystal, so they pretty much threw the other women under the bus. Siobhan was the last woman standing who could have been a real threat to Crystal. Of course, Siobhan helped them in their cause by making some poor song choices most likely due to her inexperience and youth. But no matter what she did, they had their canned, rehearsed talking points when they gave their critiques.

    It might have been interesting to see Adam and Siobhan compete together. I think he would have provided a lot of support and given her some great advice, the way he did for the other contestants with whom he competed. He had all the experience, vocal training and performing savvy that Siobhan was lacking. But she is much younger and has time to get there.


  23. Mindy, I think it’s sad the judges feel that way about Crystal and Siobhan. I think it’s possible that by saving a male singer and throwing a very talented female under the bus, TPTB have made almost impossible for a female to win this year no matter what her talent is. If Siobhan and even Katie had made it further, it’s entirely possible that whichever female got the furthest would have gotten more support from the voters for other female candidates.

    As it is now, I would not be surprised to see Crystal not make it to the finals. If she does make it, I don’t see how she has the votes to win. I think that Lee’s fans are quite willing to vote for Casey and vice versa if necessary to get a cute male to win.

    If judges had saved no one, had saved Didi or had waited and saved Siobhan, we might have still had 2 females in the final 5 or even the top 4. Of course, we’ll never know.

    Whether any of this year’s contestants have a hugely successful recording and performing career is anyone’s guess. However, I would be surprised if any have the success of Kelly or Carrie or Chris.


  24. Dear Sue & Mindy,

    I agree that Ms. Siobhan Magnus is more of an all-around entertainer than pop and that this versatility may work in her favor in the morphing entertainment industry, new media, and global marketplace. Since this show has always been North AMERICAN Idol, that has skewed the voting to Southern and Country tastes (as opposed to urban or international) and through the years, the results have shown that. Unfortunately, global markets, especially Asian (China, India, Singapore) and South American (Brazil) markets are coming on strong. [I all fairness to TPTB, any attempt to broaden the talent pool has met with quick eliminations.]

    I also agree that eliminating female contestants four weeks in a row widened the black hole that sucked more energy out of A19. We were left with homogenized, derivative, and repetitive performances chosen from weak song lists. I would add to that dissolution process, the elimination of power vocalists early in the screening processes and Hollywood week. TPTB should be careful what they ask for next year — they certainly got it this year.

    My guess is that (although I personally think that saving Mike was the right decision at the time), it was a situation of Too Little, Too Late to “save” the season (maybe the show). AI10 is going to have to come up with some real drama — the producers know it — and that is what is so ominous about what happened this year. TPTB are going to try to DO SOMETHING to broaden the appeal of the show, and that MAY NOT BE the best for the viewer or contestants.

    IMHO, anything they do that does not do the following will fail. TPTB need to:

    1. Broaden the talent pool and song lists;
    2. Revamp the voting mechanisms;
    3. Reduce the time allowed for the “judge-mentors & tor-mentors”, and guest “stars”;
    4. Focus on the performances of the contestants — feature the contestants during the finale and tour.

    As always, I wish all the contestants well. Casey, Crystal, and Lee still have a lot of work ahead of them — I WANT them to KNOCK US OUT this week and next — for themselves AND the viewers.


  25. Well said, Julia.


  26. I think it’s really sad how, for the most part the girls are not “getting the love.” In that awful article with the interview with Kara, I will say she hit the nail on the head when she said the all the teeny boppers vote for the cute guys – over and over and over. I really think Crystal is more of an all around talent than Casey or Lee. Casey is probably the better guitarist. However I wouldn’t be surprised that if it came down to Crystal and Casey that Casey would get the girl votes – teeny bopper and cougar – and wins.

    Don’t the judges get a say on So You Think You Can Dance?



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