Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 9 Top 4 Results Show: Music From The Cinema With Jamie Foxx

American Idol Season 9 Top 4

American Idol Season 9 Top 4


I am running very early today – feeling good!  The Top 4 Vocal Masterclass article is already online, so I hope you enjoy the read.             

Tonight we will be treated to a performance by Daughtry, fronted by Season 5 star Chris Daughtry as well as Season 3 winner, Fantasia.  I believe Bon Jovi is performing as well. Love him!             

We’ll also find out who receives enough votes to stay in the competition as the final three are announced this evening at the end of the show. I can’t imagine Crystal leaving nor do I see Michael leaving.             

So, it’s a toss between Lee and Casey and I think it may be Casey’s time to go.  However, if it was truly based on performances, it would be Lee. But, at this point in the competition, your past performances have an impact as well, so we shall see.             

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! The Masterclass Doors are now open for discussion.             

  Update #1: Fantasia performed and, although I love her style, I am not a huge fan of her voice. She sounds like she inhaled helium – no depth to her voice. She needs to stock up on some serious  technical skills.  Lovely lady, but, oh dear, her pitch was all over the map.            

  Update #2:  How wonderful.  They have family members of the Top 4 on stage. Very cool!           

  Update #3:  Casey is safe!  Oh my goodness. I am so happy for him though. He deserved this after what he had to endure over the last two weeks.          

 Update #4:  And along comes Daughtry.  Let`s see if Chris  is  still raising his head to the heavens when he sings. Yep – still does it and, oh lookee here, his voice cracked. What is wrong with these singers?  Do they think their voices will last forever?  Technique will ensure this, but, sometimes, you have to learn the hard way.  He does have  a great voice though – really muscular and rich.   Chris tells the singers to “Stay hungry and stay with what’s true to you”!  Excellent advice for every singer out there.        

Update #5:  Lee is safe!  At first I thought Ryan was sending him home when he said that Lee was headed back to Chicago – but Ryan meant for the Top 3 Homecoming!       

Update #6: Well, I guess we know where this is headed,right? Bon Jovi up next!      

Update #7:  Anyone else think that Simon almost blew his cover when he said that Crystal was the artist they fell in love with….(silence) a few weeks ago(added as an afterthought). I laughed when I heard this. We know she’s the winner Simon – just say it!     

Update #8:  Crystal is safe and the talented Michael Lynche is eliminated. This is heartbreaking to watch – all the tears from his wife holding their baby daughter.  And he is really singing the heck out of his Top 4 song! Very good. I will miss him next week, but someone had to go. (sigh)> Oh dear, now the baby is crying! I need a laugh – time for Frasier reruns! 


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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

36 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 9 Top 4 Results Show: Music From The Cinema With Jamie Foxx”

  1. As I mentioned on the other thread, I believe management is going to look carefully at the type of votes Casey has gotten. They will want to eliminate illegimate ones. However, if he is overwhelmingly the third place contestant, I don’t know what will happen. MCL, like you, I believe they want Crystal and Michael in the TOP 3. We shall see!


  2. Rosanne,

    Do you feel that Michael has done a better job on the show than Lee? I beg to differ. I feel at this point it should be a Crystal and Lee finale. Although, it will break my heart, and certainly his wife’s if he does not make that top 3.


  3. Anita – I feel that Michael and Lee are just about even. Lee has worked very hard, trying to refine his vocal skills. Yet, Michael came equipped with a beautiful vocal gift, but, over the past few weeks, he has started to run out of steam. I think a Crystal/Lee finale would make the most sense but Michael does deserve this spot also. It will all come down to votes and the decisions of the producers.


  4. Rosanne,

    Thank you for your prompt response! I have to agree with you that Michael is certainly a stronger, more refined singer than Lee. Speaking of stronger, more refined singers, I’ve ALWAYS appreciated David Archuleta, and am one of his biggest fans!! You have always been one of his advocates for his incredible artistry. I respect you so much for that, Rosanne!! I know this isn’t the post to discuss David, but I guess I couldn’t resist!


  5. Congrats to the top 3. I think it will be a Lee – Crystal finale, but I think Casey can squeeze in there with the right choice of songs. We say this over and over, but song choice is so critical, in addition to changing up the arrangement to make it unique to the artist. Think David Cook with Hello or Billie Jean. Or Kris Allen with She Works Hard for the Money and Heartless. Unexpected song choices with current arrangements unique to David and Kris are what I believe gave them the win. These performances were memorable because they were unique and unpredictable. Song choice, song choice, song choice. Can’t say it enough. Good song, change it up, be unpredictable, sing good and make it CURRENT.


  6. I agree completely with Alex. At this point in the competition, song choice and what the contestants do with it is crucial. I never expected Kris Allen to make it to the finale last year until he did Heartless. The only thing that concerns me is that I’m not convinced that the current top three realize this.


  7. cookie monster May 13, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Song choice has certainly been a bit strange lately so I hope the top three do make wise decisions. Having said that, I find it strange that when Casey chose a fantastic song during the Shania Twain week (and nailed it) he was in the bottom 2! And yesterday his choice was kinda weird for me and he was safe. So…I really can’t predict what will happen!!! I thought Crystal was a guarantee but Lee had quite a few screams from fanatic girls tonight!
    I was quite sad to see Michael go tonight. We lost yet another superb singer / entertainer. Sorry MCL that I haven’t been responding much these past few weeks. I am finding that I am watching the show less and less now that Siobhan is gone. I think it was Julia who said it best – past contestants (ie the 2 Davids and the rest of the season 7 top 10, Katherine McPhee, Adam, Allison, Chris, Carrie, Kelly…) really “outclass tonight’s lackluster performances”. That’s how I am feeling. The show is lack luster for me. A “snooze” (as Sandy put it). So I can’t make informed comments when I am only catching snippets of the show. They are simply not keeping me glued to this show. And I won’t even get into why the judges make me change the channel…and it is NOT ELLEN who is bringing the show down!!
    Speaking of Ellen, she has found some AMAZING YOUNG talent and is showcasing them this month on her show! The 11 year old she had on this morning could sing circles around the final three! And there is a 12 year old boy on tomorrow who will perform a unique version of a lady gaga tune. I’d be curious to read what MCL has to say about these young entertainers. Well, have a good night all! Despite it all, I LOVE reading everyone’s WONDERFUL comments.


  8. A deserved Top 3. Casey is not in his element, but I think he will do his placing proud when in a band situation as Chris Daughtry has done. He’s handsome, marketable, a great guitar player (that classical guitar was very well done), and in his wheelhouse, his voice will do fine. He could however, take a few lessons from MCL. He reminds me a little of Eddie Vedder, who has charisma and is a great songwriter, but has somewhat of a one dimensional voice. He certainly can control that vibrato, though. Casey could take a lesson from Eddie Vedder, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughn and the like. These singers don’t have classically marvelous voices, but they do a lot with what they have. Their voices have a lot of character and depth. And from reading MCL, I’ll bet a lot of it has to do with breath control! 😉 No way Bruce Springsteen could sing like that all these years, all those tours and still have a voice.

    Big Mike is nice. No doubt about that. But he never moved me beyond “Woman’s Work.” I’m glad he got saved, but I probably wouldn’t buy an album or download of his.

    I hope Lee steps it up and sings in tune and has great arrangements this next couple of weeks. It is way too late in the game to make stupid song choices. This song was so not a wise thing.

    I have to agree with Slezak’s article that the song choices handicapped them. It is awfully interesting that no one went outside that original list, as he notes. They may not be the best Final Four, but this was like competing in the Kentucky Derby carrying 145 pounds.


  9. Cookie Monster- nice to see and hear from you again! Yes, I saw the 11-year-old girl on Ellen and told my husband that she is better than the Top 3 or 4 or 5…. And that 12-year-old boy? wow. I am DVRing him – I have a hair appointment and THAT I can never miss or I will look truly scary when my grandkiddies visit me this weekend! 🙂

    I think Ellen should start a virtual reality show. Wouldn’t that be terrific? She is tremendously supportive I find. And so professional. I was watching her watching the singers during their interviews. She is so attentive and so caring – very respectful. I would be disappointed and depressed not to see her at the Judges’ table next year.


  10. I will add videos of these young singers later on today, Cookie Monster!


  11. As much as it saddens me that Michael was eliminated, I am glad that Casey is in the Top 3. He is a superb guitarist and a sensitve vocalist. He needs training is all. Plus, with his handsome face and curly blond hair, he is extremely marketable

    He is from the deep South, so we know the homecoming is going to be a blast and a half. I hope the judges select wisely for these Top 3 singers.


  12. Rosanne,

    I certainly feel Michael deserved a spot in the Top 3 more than Casey, and broke my heart to see his wife in tears, but he has had some shining moments on the show. It made me angered me that the judges were picking on him about choosing to sing Mrs. Robinson, as though he must have sung it about he and Kara, Ughhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! That whole Cougar Kara thing has been awful, and so unfair to Casey. So, I’m happy for Casey also that he’s in the Top 3.


  13. Anita – this was a tough call. All of the Top 3 and 4 singers have had uneven performances. However, I think Michael will do just fine. For me, the top three vocalists in this Top 12 were Katie, Siobhan and Michael. It says something about the show when three stellar singing talents had to fight to stay in this VOCAL competition and now they are no longer with us!

    If the present Top 3 were dancers on So You Think You Can Dance, they wouldn’t have made the Top 24 let alone the Top12. For me, the training and discipline is really important and my ears just turn off when I hear poor vocals, unless they are extremely refined artists. I just don’t see this is any of them – but it’s all about $$$$ now in the music industry, so somehow 19E will make sure that one or all three will be successful – whatever that means. (shrug)


  14. I was excited to see Bon Jovi perform on the AI stage again. Jon Bon Jovi is an incredible live performer. My husband and I have seen two of his concerts so far – on the Lost Highway tour and more recently on the Circle tour. For the first tour, we had the furthest seats in the entire area – the uppermost row of the uppermost tier straight across from the stage. And, still we found ourselves just drawn into the concert experience by Jon’s voice and magnetic presence. He has such an appreciation for his fans and a drive to put on the best show possible. My favorite track off of the Circle album is this one: When We Were Beautiful.


  15. Unless Casey really messes up (or some scandal breaks), odds are he will win since he is the last contestant from the South.

    Or – Do you think voters from the Great Lakes (Chicago and Ohio) are going to spend as much time voting as the Southern block of voters?

    Is it time to get ready for a picture of Casey & Guitar up front and center during next year’s Idol broadcasts?


  16. Julia – someone pointed out to me today rhat Casey should win and here’s why. He is extremely marketable. He has a great look, a wonderful southern personality and, more important, American Idol has never crowned a male artist who leans toward the Country-Rock – Blues genre. It makes tremendous sense. Plus, he is an extraordinary guitarist – the best I’ve seen on that stage.

    Lee and Crystal are fine, but, quite honestly, they bring nothing new to the table. Something to think about!


  17. That would be quite the surprise if Casey takes the top spot. But I guess no more of a surprise than if you had told me last year at this time that Kris Allen was going to win. I agree that he’s a terrific guitarist, he’s easy to look at, and he’s from the South. He’s not my cup of tea, but maybe you’re on to something, MCL.

    My husband thinks Lee is going to win it all, but he’ll have to WOW us again this week like he did on Sinatra week or that won’t happen.


  18. My hubby would be ok with Casey. He likes a wide range of music – from Heart to Charlotte Church but he listens to Country radio these days. He has more precise hearing than I and most of the other genres playing today sound like a lot of noise to him.

    I play more of the satellite stations, but I find myself switching channels often.

    Casey also has a back story – after an accident, they told him he would never play guitar again and now it is his forte.

    Actually, I have no passion for the next two weeks – too bad.


  19. I agree that Casey would make a good winner for all the reasons mentioned. I would not rule him out just yet. Song choice is going to be critical next week. I think Crystal has the best shot, but you just never know with Idol. It will come down to song selection in addition to who is most likely to get Michael’s votes.


  20. I just read an article that listed the following as the judges’ picks for the contestants . . .

    Lee Dewyze – “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen
    Casey James – “Daughters” by John Mayer
    Crystal Bowersox – “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney


  21. Woa! I just listened to Daughters by John Mayer – nice!


  22. I am surprised by the comments that Casey could win this. Maybe it would be justice after the relentless pimping of Crystal and Lee by the judges. I can see how Casey could pull it off. He has the right geographic appeal, being from Texas, is considered good looking although not my type, has an appealing sound and music genre and is an excellent musician.

    On the blogosphere the thinking seems to be that Casey will be thrown under the bus by the judges en masse next week, so that they can get their Crystal/Lee finale. The sense is that with Casey gone, his votes will go to Lee, giving him the win.

    I really cannot get excited about this anymore. However, as we have seen in the past, anything can happen. I don’t think Lee and Casey are particularly strong singers and have been inconsistent all throughout the finals. Crystal has shown the most consistence week in and week out, with maybe one or two sub-par performances. It’s always an uphill battle these days for a female to win. I am not even sure it’s about the singing anymore. I would like to think so, but I just don’t know after Lee got away with that very poor solo performance. I prefer Lee’s voice over Casey’s, but I am not okay with his persistent vocal problems. He was great on Sinatra week and that gave him a lot of momentum going into the homestretch. However, to come out and sing so poorly, off key almost through the whole song, failing badly on that high note and just singing the worst possible song, really concerns me greatly.

    Now that Mike is out, I honestly don’t have any strong preference as to who should win. I think it would be nice to see a female win this time, but I just cannot work up any enthusiasm.


  23. Ok – I gave up on the year of the woman and I don’t really want to think about how I was hoping for a breakthrough this year…

    So, let’s hear it for some of the best male and female pop/rock vocalists from the near (and not so near) past — you can choose from the following list (or create your own), hold your own IDOL finale, and crown your own IDOL winner.

    It was a miracle year in my contest, although all contestants performed admirably – Aretha Franklin and Freddie Mercury tied!

    Alanis Morissette
    Amy Lee
    Ann Wilson
    Annie Lennox
    Anthony Kiedis
    Aretha Franklin
    Axl Rose
    Bon Jovi, Bono
    Bruce Dickinson
    Celine Dion
    Chris Cornell
    Chrissie Hynde
    Christina Aguilera
    Courtney Love
    David Bowie
    David Gilmour
    David Lee Roth
    Debbie Harry
    Dolores O’Riordan
    Elvis Presley
    Freddie Mercury
    Grace Slick
    Ian Gillan
    James Hetfield
    Janis Joplin
    Jim Morrison
    Joan Jett
    John Lennon
    Kate Bush
    Kurt Cobain
    Mick Jagger
    Ozzy Osbourne
    Pat Benatar
    Patti Smith
    Paul McCartney
    Phil Collins
    PJ (Polly Jean) Harvey
    Robert Plant
    Roger Daltry
    Roger Waters
    Shania Twain
    Sheryl Crow
    Sinead O´Connor
    Stevie Nicks
    Tina Turner
    Whitney Houston


  24. Comments for the following:

    Can Lee Dewyze sound anything but derivative singing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen? Lee needs to watch the key, mix it up, and rearrange this to make it sound original and fresh – Simon has his script already written on this one.

    I will be crushed if Casey James cannot ACE singing “Daughters” by John Mayer — playing his guitar (no other accompanists are needed, please) — just a man and his music — sincere and heartfelt — Casey could have another ‘Jealous Guy’ moment here.

    Wow – Crystal Bowersox just has to be wonderful with “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney – again just Amazing Crystal – don’t gild the lilly this time.


  25. Julia – it is cruel to give Lee “Hallelujah.” I just don’t think he can do it. I hope he’s working night and day with the vocal coaches. This is like putting me in a calculus class or a dance contest. Totally unfair. for another horse metaphor, it’s like putting a maiden two year old in the Kentucky Derby carrying more weight than the 3 year olds. Maybe even without a jockey. And expecting him to win.

    At least the other judges gave Crystal and Casey songs that are in their wheelhouse. Great choice Ellen. I am excited for them. Sad for Lee. I hope he can make up for it in his other song(s).


  26. Dear Jessica,

    You got it – Simon could have picked a Sting song to make it worse for Lee, but just barely.


  27. Jessica T.

    I loved your horse metaphor…are you a horse person by chance? Not many non-horse people would know the horse lingo you spoke!!!


  28. I, too, find Lee’s choice inexplicable on all counts. Given that it has been done already this season, it seems odd. Given that it is one of the songs in AI’s history that has a memorable performance attached to it is also odd. I can’t wait to hear Simon’s explanation for the choice.


  29. Let me join in to those who have expressed their surprise at Simon’s choice of “Hallelujah” for Lee. Tim Urban already did it in the semifinals and Jason Castro did it so memorably two seasons ago.

    This is not a good song at all for someone like Lee. It’s just all kinds of wrong. I don’t know what Simon was thinking. Lee has been having all kinds of problems with singing off key and this song isn’t going to help. I think Lee has no choice but to change this up completely. He has to try to do it in a way that works with his voice. I think it can be done, but he will have to get it right.

    I think the choice of “Daughters” for Casey is perfect for him. This will give him a chance to give a performance similar to “Jealous Guy”. There will be no excuses here.

    Crystal should do very well with “Maybe I’m Amazed”. I don’t think Crystal needs to change this up much to make it great.


  30. I think Lee will have to work it, but he might just be able to ‘tweak’ it into a bluesy soul/vein and focus on the IRONY of a love gone wrong and not the soaring melody (a la Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, or even Billie Holiday?) …

    Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
    “i heard there was a secret chord
    that david played and it pleased the lord
    but you don’t really care for music, do you
    well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
    the minor fall and the major lift
    the baffled king composing hallelujah”

    Ok – this may be a bit snarky, but maybe Mr. Cowell was too busy to find a song that would suit Lee better …


    ‘Simon Cowell set to be given knighthood’
    By 3am’s Clemmie Moodie 16/05/2010

    “Britain’s got Talent – Simon Cowell (Pic:ITV)
    Simon Cowell is being lined up for a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.”


  31. Gee, as if Simon needs anything else to boost his ego! If he was remaining on Idol next year, do you think everyone would have to call him “Sir Simon”???


  32. Lee should do just fine with the song, Mr Cohen and Lee voices are close in sound to my ears. I still think Simon (IMO) chose it to see if Lee can make a more current sound for a very good but over used song of late.

    I enjoy all the top 3 for the first time ever! Would buy each one of their cd’s!


  33. Here’s an interesting article about proposed changes to AI in season 10. I hope that the producers have been following our discussions here.

    Fox (again) promises half-hour American Idol results shows, delays auditions to Sept.



  34. Dear MCD,

    I like the three Finalists and wish them well also.


  35. Lee might just be able to do a modified version of Hallelujah by its original writer Leonard Cohen – this version is slow, low & bitter:

    The lyrics can be found here:


    I may be wrong, but, I think Lee is more likely to be compared to Buckley (or Jason Castro).

    I really do want all to perform well on Tuesday.


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