Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Hollywood Rounds

American Idol Season 10 Judges, Host, Musical Mentor

Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Iovine

Hooray for Hollywood and boo to the Internet. I am having mucho problemos with my wireless service.

And, just when I was getting into the swing of things here on MasterclassLady.Com.

So I am posting this blog topic in a hurry via my IPhone. I hope it looks okay but the important thing here is that you will have a current blog topic on which to converse.

I should have things back to speed by the weekend. In the meantime, I am looking forward to both American Idol shows tonight and tomorrow night.

Pretty soon our Top 40 and then our Top 20 will be revealed. Can’t happen a minute too soon.

Enjoy the shows everyone and please leave your comments!

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

63 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Hollywood Rounds”

  1. A friend of mine just texted me this:

    Are they going to sing? Or are we going to watch everyone have nervous breakdowns for 2 hours??? Jeeeze save it for oprah!!



  2. So agreed MCL, what a waste of two hours…errrrr!

    A note to one’s self; please do not watch group rounds next year. I waited around all evening hoping to get a glimps of Paul McDonald; why are they not showing him? This happens all the time, some really good talent goes home the first night of top 12 because of little or no exposure…makin’ me mad!

    Also, what’s good for one contestant should be good for all…Jaycee (?) (I like Jaycee alot though) forgot his words, made it through, the emotional wreck wasn’t that good, but made it through, Rob the last guy singing was robbed, he was really good even for forgetting his words! Blah!

    The girls who had Steven come up on stage while they sang to him; the tall girl should have made it through also she was really good!

    I’m thinkin’ Scott Mcgeery (?) is really good!


  3. I like Scott as well. Did I miss seeing or hearing John Wayne Schulz – the cowboy from Austin?


  4. Hi MCL! Idol is looking pretty good this year so far so I’ll be commenting again. Looking forward to a much better season than last year!

    Apparently it’s a top 24 this year instead of a top 20:


    Probably a good thing, since there’s a lot of potential this year. As for John Wayne, he was shown singing “Get Ready” in his group for about five seconds. I’ll try and find a video of it. Two new girls, Pia Toscano and Ashton Jones, were also shown for the first time last night; I thought they were really good.


  5. So is it worth climbing through the window at my mom’s to watch it on her DVR?


  6. In the missing persons file:

    I saw Paul McDonald sitting near the front center of the audience applauding someone else’s performance but he wasn’t shown performing. They did show John Wayne Shultz perform but the portion of the act that was shown was unimpressive. I like him and had hoped to see more from him. The judges liked him and he went through.

    Obama girl, Molly DeWolf (I think?) was spotted rehearsing but not performing and I haven’t seen a kid named Scott Dangerfield at all. I don’t recall seeing Miss Jackie Wilson or Hailey Rinehart either.

    Is it just me or did the Idol judges conceal their favoritism better in the past. Maybe having to pass marginal contestants on the orders of the producers accounts for some of the nonsensical statements that Paula made over the years.

    Vonnie is absolutely right that they passed several that shouldn’t have made it last night. I too like Jacee, but he didn’t sing very well and forgot (or never learned) the words. One of the judges, I don’t remember which one, told him “you have a lot of fans out there.” What? I thought he meant in the audience of contestants but they were pretty quite at that point. Maybe several of them had come to the judges on his behalf.

    Vonnie, you were right again about the group that featured the much pimped Lauren Suddeth from the Nashville auditions. The tall girl in her group sang better than Lauen, as did “noodle nose” the short girl with long blonde hair. They both were cut.
    One guy even questioned why he was saved. I’m with him, why was he saved? I guess you have to have some cannon fodder for every round.

    Not to beat a dead horse but James Durbin was a hot mess, AGAIN. I never thought I would miss hearing the word “indulgent” but someone should say it to him. I would have cut his whole group.

    On the other hand, the group of youngsters that were coached by their moms (The Minors?) and followed James group did a very nice job with their assignment. (BTW, Wasn’t there a controversy over David Archuleta’s dad helping him with song choices or arrangements or something like that?) I believe the boy in that group with blond hair, Deandre Brackensick, is one of the contestants they are saving for a surprise introduction. Much like Paul McDonald, they have shown glimpses of him several times throughout the season to develop interest.

    I have to disagree with Vonnie on Rob X last night. I thought he was awful, as was the blond in his trio. Miss X was marginally decent. BTW, I knew I had seen Rob and his X before. They competed as a couple on CMT’s “Can You Duet” in the second season and finished third. That program is from the same production company as Idol.

    Let me get my vote in for Scott McCreery as well. His group did a good job of integrating his unusually deep voice into their song choice for the night. I also appreciate him stepping up and taking responsibility for his part in cutting Jacee from the group at the last minute. Looks like both of the cowboys have been raised well.

    I also like Calib Hawley. He sings very effortlessly and naturally. He was in the group with Devyn, the singing waitress. Pia Toscano, from the excellent first group of three girls and Kendra Chantelle (Campbell) have my interest right now.

    I was disappointed with Naima Adedapo’s performance. Other members of her group outshined her and she was the only one to mess up her dance steps. No big deal except that she is a dancer. The elimination of Emily Anne Reed was my biggest disappointment but I knew she wouldn’t do well on Idol. I had hoped to see more of her though. It was sad that Paris Tassin wasn’t able to keep herself in the competition but hopefully there is something good down the road for her.


  7. Jessica,

    I wouldn’t climb more than two stories for this show and only if your Mom’s DVR has the super FF function so you can skip the first 45 mins or so.

    Disregard this recommendation if you don’t get along with your Mom or if she is armed.


  8. MCL

    You can see John Wayne Schulz performance from last night here:



  9. Gene W,

    Your last post…rollin’ on the floor laughing, funny stuff!!!

    I totally agree with your other post…didn’t know Rob and his ex were on another show!!! You are just full of little tid-bits of info aren’t ya? I don’t think he was too broken up over going home, however makes one wonder if this wasn’t a ploy to go further on idol, I mean c’mon, why else would they have been partners in the group rounds???

    OMGosh, the girl who thought she was all that and everybody else’s all that, who could not even get a singing partner; when she was shut down and told she was not going through, I must admit, I got a little pleasure out of that, LOL…!!!


  10. “OMGosh, the girl who thought she was all that and everybody else’s all that, who could not even get a singing partner; when she was shut down and told she was not going through, I must admit, I got a little pleasure out of that, LOL…!!!”

    That was the highlight of the evening for me too. She was right out of Idol Central Casting though. They had someone playing her part last year as well. Remember?

    I thought her partner got a bum deal though. She may have been decent, but Jersey girl was blaring so loudly that you couldn’t hear her and they stopped them before she had a chance to sing solo. As I recall the Blond girl had sacrificed her position in another group to help the Jersey Girl out because none of the other groups would have her and she felt sorry for her.


  11. Thanks for the link Gene!!! Anyone else finding a suspicious camaraderie happening between this season’s pimp queen Lauren Alaina and Steven Tyler? Makes one wonder….


  12. I’ll second that.

    They have her cast as the second coming of Kerry. She hasn’t lived up to expectation in my view, but there is a long way to go.

    As you suggested, she has had extraordinary access to Steven Tyler as a stage prop. A few others have had interesting exchanges with him, I particularly enjoyed Naima Adedapo’s exchange with him after her audition, but Lauren seems to snap her fingers and Steven sits.

    He’s waited for her family, sang with her twice (fluffing her act up well beyond it’s normal level had he not participated) been a stage prop, and then touted her as “The One” to the media before the audition season was half over.

    He said he was biased…


  13. Seriously, I wish the contestants had big name tags instead of numbers! LOL! all I remember any names are Jacee, Ashley, Scotty, Chris M. and the ones that Gene mentioned which helped me 2 figure out whom’s whom. Thanks, Gene. Hope 2 C U in here again. I enjoyed your knowledge and chattiness (or is it cattiness?) LOL I am waiting with a notebook for tonight’s show so I can remember who’s who’s. About Tyler and the “pimp queen” (loveit) I think it is just good TV, remember Simon. Just soap opera galore….whoo wee! Hope not a lot of people will get depressed when they go home; I wish they wouldn’t cry and carry on (prolly good TV again) because they have exposure, and a record label could snag them but ……hey! cut it out, geez….stop the waterworks. Gotta have thick skin for the industry (surely someone told them about it? didn’t they see AI in the past?) Holy buckets (4 the tears).


  14. So it isn’t just me. The pimp queen is a plant. Honestly, can’t they leave it to the viewers to decide? There is nothing more gratifying than to see a singer emerge as a star over the course of the AI season. That is the magic of this show. If it is pre-destined, then the magic, the allure is gone.


  15. Gene W,

    You are right, I had forgotten about her; (Miss Please can I sing another song)…Geez! I thought she would never go home. Seems to be one of those each year; this year at least idol had the common sense to send her packing before top 24…Yeah, felt sorry for the blond girl too, who knows she really could have had a great voice, but with all that squawking going on beside her, she never had a chance! Funny thing though, she never did what she said everyone else was trying to do and couldn’t, she was the only one with the skill…SING!

    Hopefully tonight we will get to hear some of the illusive contestants, whom we only have names for…no faces. I wan’t to hear Paul McDonald!!!


  16. Brett Loewenstern

    Just wanted to add that I watched some of his garage acoustic covers and was pretty impressed. Someone posted that they were when he was 15.

    “Hit Me Baby One More Time”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHUrG0jPUJg&feature=related

    “Wish You Were Here”: I love Pink Floyd. The background noise is awful, but with the acoustic and the violin I would love to hear this again on the Idol. Although he needs to slow down on the “running over the same old ground what have we found” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHk4SGirg1s&feature=related

    I think he has a musical soul and is pretty cool with himself. Do you think they’ll trim the carrot top? I think he’d look good with a Dylanesque hat on. Dylan had a ‘fro. I think he could transform quite well into a rock/pop star. I bet you he could do Jim Morrison well.


  17. @ Gene W — The tall girl from Lauren Alaina’s group is the lovely Sarah Ames. The producers also aired her audition among several other unnamed California girls in San Francisco, but they never even once showed her name on TV. Such a shame.

    She has a YouTube channel if you want to check out some of her other covers (including a full performance of “Last Name,” her audition song). Lovely, talented girl, for sure!


    I also agree with everyone who likes Scott McCreery! Love his deep baritone voice; he really is a young Josh Turner. (He even sang one of Josh’s songs!) Josh singlehandedly turned me onto traditional country, and both he and Scotty have such a refreshing vibe and rich, resonant voices. I hear him, and I hear resonance! 😀 Also, I appreciate that Scotty’s a really decent kid. I was touched by how genuinely disappointed Scotty was in himself. That says so much about his character. I hope he finds more songs to connect with that work with his range (besides Josh Turner songs, as much as I love those) because his voice is special.


  18. Yeah, Lauren is really starting to annoy the hell out of me! And compared to some of the others, she really isn’t anything outstanding. And she needs to stop obsessing on Steven Tyler, seriously!


  19. Really judges! Ashley? You mean to tell me that she is better than the 60 people you sent home? Really!!! She could not even sing the first verse of a song that she says she sings all the time, and she went through?

    Gene W,

    We have a new star!!! The role of Idol’s Emotional Train Wreck is now being played by; Ashley!

    Any ways on to bigger and better…where is Paul McDonald? I liked the Hawley guy last night as well as the young man who sang “God Bless The Child” and then fell into his Mamma’s arms crying, I liked him alot.

    Was not overly impressed last night!


    I’m really liking Scott too, am convinced he can sing anything and make it sound like a country hit.


  20. J – nice to see you back here. 🙂

    Last night’s show was a bit of a trainwreck. Nothing’s changed. Nothing!

    We have our new pimp queen, Lauren. Our new emotional wreck, Ashley. Our new good guy, Jacee, and so on and so on.

    Total madness. Love the guy who sang his heart out-Jacob Lusk I believe? He was beyond incredible and the star of the night.


  21. Jacob Lusk really was fantastic. I was reminded a bit of Louis Armstrong, and I hope he goes far.


  22. Yes tomboy. When I heard him I thought “Wow, this guy could win!!!!” You certainly can’t deny his vocals and passion for music. So real.


  23. Hi J,

    It’s good to see you back, it’s been a while.

    Thanks for the link! I managed to dig Sarah’s name out of the either yesterday afternoon and listened to some of her covers. I was really looking for something that showcased the bluesy quality in her voice that caught my attention on group night. It was reminiscent of Bekka Bramlett. So far I have found The Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” that appears to be one of her later uploads. I also enjoy hearing a young woman who was cool enough to cover Miles Davis’s “Them Changes” She does a beautiful rendition of Adel’s “Make You Feel My Love.” Her Kerry covers are spot on. She could probably earn a few bucks doing demos for would-be Kerry composers.

    I’m very disappointed that she will not be able to compete this year but I will definitely keep an eye on Sarah Ames and I hope others will check her out too.
    Do you know her present age?

    Scott McCreery has a lot of classic country artist to choose from such as Randy Travis, George Straight and George Jones. I think he lacks confidence in himself though. He’s a good boy and I hope he does well.


  24. Last night’s show was disappointing, wasn’t it? But I do think it’s interesting that the contestants are going to have to go through a “theme” week before being selected for the final 20. Since the actual competition requires the contestants to sing a variety of songs, this seems like a good thing. But I guess in some ways it isn’t fair because this theme–The Beatles–could work against some types of singers.


  25. Driving my son to school this morning, I went on a mental rant about the state of singing these days. I hope someone will explain.

    Granted I don’t listen to R&B, but when I listen to radio I don’t hear these complicated vocal gymnastics that these contestants put into so many songs in lieu of “making it theirs.” Personally, I don’t even like it in R&B songs. I find it moderately dissonant to listen to. Whatever happened to holding a note and showing control and pure tone? Probably because they’ve been brainwashed into thinking that fancy is better and because they don’t have a unique tone.

    I’m going to post the last 10 songs my favorite radiostation played here in Tucson. I bet not one does that.

    1. Onerepublic – Secrets
    2. Mumford And Sons – Little Lion Man
    3. Katy Perry – Firework
    4. Train – Marry Me
    5. Plain White T’s – Rhythm Of Love
    6. Pink – Raise Your Glass
    7. Neon Trees – Animal
    8. Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are
    9. Florence And The Machine – Dogs Days Are Over
    10. Christina Perri – Jar Of Hearts
    11. Adele – Rolling In The Deep
    12. Daughtry – Life After You
    13. John Mayer / Taylor Swift – Half Of My Heart
    14. Colbie Caillat – Fallin’ For You
    15. Rob Thomas – Mockingbird
    16. Script – For The First Time
    17. Sara Bareilles – Uncharted
    18. Daughtry – September
    19. Phoenix – 1901
    20. Michael Buble – Haven’t Met You Yet

    I don’t know the group Phoenix, but the other 19 don’t do that R&B vocal warbling. Please tell me when it’ll end. The good vocalists depend more on their unique tone and purity of that tone. Of the women, Sara Bareilles, Adele, Christina Perri, and Florence & the Machine all have really solid interesting voices. Adele is just amazing. Have you heard Rolling in the Deep?

    Someone explain, please?


  26. Jessica- you can blame Christina Aguilera for introducing this self-indulgent type of singing. It is annoying, tiresome and just plain awful. Melody means nothing to these singers. It’s all about me! Me! ME!

    Thank heavens for Michael Buble, Ricky Martin, etc for respecting the music and singing within the framework of the composer’s original vision.


  27. Scott has been the topic on some other threads as to the fact that he is going to be a one-trick-pony!!! I don’t buy it, I think this kid will go a long way in this competition. If singing only Baratone is a one trick pony, then someone needs to tell that to Randy Travis and take back all of his awards and number one hits!

    Jessica Turner,

    I hear ya and agree! I listen to the top 40 as well, and I’m like you, just give me straight up singing! The lyrics gets so lost in the vocal gymnastics.


  28. It’ll be interesting to see how Scott develops in this competition. I’m curious because there aren’t as many songs ready-made for the baritone in popular music. I wonder whether the vocal coaches will be able to develop his upper range/head voice. Will the band/arrangers/producers be able to tweak the key of the songs he chooses? He’s a young kid with a naturally good voice so I think his success will depend an awful lot on his musicianship/savvy – song choice and arrangements.

    I’ve been trying to think of popular songs that are written for the baritone and can’t think of any. Is almost every male popular singer from WW2 on out a tenor? I thought of Paul Robeson, but he was pre-pop … pre WW2

    I got curious and googled it. On a couple discussion threads like “What should I sing in Karaoke because I’m a baritone?” several singers names popped up:
    Eddie Vedder, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Jim Morrison, Elvis …

    Questions, Comments, Complaints?


  29. Jessica Turner,

    I think Scott has a beautiful tone to his voice along with it being baritone…I never really thought about it but there are only a few singers with his type of voice. But hopefully he is savvy enough to come up some great songs that would fit him well.

    He is already the hubby’s favorite…me, I’m still on the fence as to who I like, I’m holding out till we get to hear them all sing, but I do like Scott alot.


  30. I think that Madonna’s “Live To Tell” would translate really nicely into his voice and maybe a country feel.


  31. MCL, I totally agree with you!! Christina’s excessive, annoying melismas are starting to really become excruciating! And she can’t even sing as good as she used to before.


  32. Jessica Turner,

    I guess he has to come up with a Beatles song for this next round…any idea’s? I was thinking “Hey Jude”!

    It’s really funny; I went through a phase back some years ago where all that I listened to was Country Music (back in my early twenties) not to give away my age, but that was a long time ago, LOL. Scott really brings back memories of some artists that I really liked, Waylon, Merle Haggard, Conway, and the list goes on. But I haven’t listened to much Country since then, I do like Dwight Yoakam and Garth Brooks and have listened to alot of their stuff over the years…but he is a refreshing change on the idol scene!

    I really think with Scott and John Wayne Shultz, this could be a male country year!


  33. Jessica,
    You made several good points in your post today. The over embellishment of beautiful, well written songs that speak for themselves grates on my nerves rather than “soothing the savage beast.” MCL did a nice job of driving the point home as well. Now, can someone make them stop? This is why I won’t be jumping on Jacob Lusk’s bandwagon anytime soon. He’s an over embellisher as well.

    Another point that you made that is food for thought is the very tight box that young Scotty finds himself in. We don’t know what his skill set is so it is hard to predict how he will work his way out of it. I have a few ideas regarding song choices. I started my list this morning and have been adding to it all day. All indications are that his faith may play a role in further restricting his song choices. My list is in no particular order but it includes maybe four types of songs. Songs of The Beatles, songs that are a natural fit for Scotties voice, songs that would require some artistry on his / the bands part, and those that he could sing but might object to the message. Vonnie had some good suggestions as well.

    For the Beatles week challenge, I think he should chose from the older Beatles material where the songs were very simple and would lend themselves more readily to adaptation for his voice. In particular, some of the songs the Fab Four covered from other artist, because there are so many alternate versions of these songs from various artists available to work from.

    Beatles Matchbox (More along the lines of Jerry Lee Lewis’ Version)
    Honey Don’t

    Josh Turner (Any) I like Long Black Train Loretta Lynn’s Lincoln would be fun

    Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues
    I Walk the Line
    I Still Miss Someone

    Alan Jackson Drive
    Sissy’s Song

    Kris Kristofferson Sunday Morning Sidewalk
    Why Me Lord
    Me and Bobby McGee

    Dan Tyminski Man of Constant Sorrow

    Waylon Jennings Good Hearted Woman
    Mommas Don`t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys

    George Jones He Stopped Loving Her Today (Best Country song of all time)
    A Good Day for the Roses

    Randy Travis I Told You So
    On the Other Hand
    He Walked on Water
    Heroes and Friends

    Trace Atkins Wayfaring stranger (others)

    Merle Travis, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Johnny Cash or Eric Burdon 16 Tons

    Sugarland Stay (this one could be great but he probably wouldn’t support the message, I haven’t made sure that the gender conversion can be done either) He could definitely make it his own.

    Miranda Lambert Greyhound bound For Nowhere

    Little Willies (or name your artist) Nightlife


  34. I watched a bit of last night’s show. Honestly though, I was disappointed. It was just that. I don’t know what it was – you guys have all commented though that it’s the same ol; so I guess that must be it. Some went through that I thought wouldn’t go through and vice-versa.

    I wonder what next week will bring…


  35. I’m surprised none of you mentioned the John Wayne Shultz sighting. His rendition of Landslide was pretty nice.

    I managed to get a brief glimpse of Kendra Chantelle singing a nice version of “Georgia on my Mind” No fluff but she did have a brief excursion off key. The judges complimented her, for what that’s worth. I would have liked to see the whole song. Off course she has a web site, with covers and original songs here. http://kendrachantelle.net/

    Did anyone notice the Coke commercial that aired during the show? There was no speaking, just words on the screen, one sentence at a time. It read:
    “We’d like to teach

    The world to sing

    in perfect harmony.

    Preferably without Autotune.”

    Pretty funny stuff, huh?

    Oh yeah. Scotty’s audition video along with a short piece about him, and complimentary remarks and well wishes from Josh, are on Josh Turners’ official web site.


  36. Do you think either of C&W boys would have the derring-do to do the Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon? Does Scott play guitar? It would sound great with an acoustic. I’m not sure you could get away with it during the audience voting rounds … it’s too fun. Remember Crystal did a “light” song? But Rocky Raccoon does show off the voice with octave jumps, tempo changes, and lots of character/performance opportunity.


  37. Jessica,
    I considered “Rocky Raccoon” as I looked over my Beatles collection with Scotty in mind. I just don’t know enough about him to say for sure, but my gut feeling is that he lacks the range. I was surprised that he was attempting to sing Leanne Womack’s “I hope You’ll Dance” before he forgot the lyrics. He sounded pretty decent to that point. He summed up his own assets after that experience by saying that the only reason they had kept him so far was his deep voice. He also sang the same song twice, had a hard time finding a group that he fit into and his part in the group number sounded an awful lot like the one song that he sang twice. Those things suggest to me that he sees himself as limited. Beatles week is a matter of survival for him, so I think he should keep it simple.

    John Wayne seems to live up to his namesake’s image and isn’t easily shaken. So on the “derring-do” front; I think he’d have no problem with it. I know very little about him but I believe he is a Mormon. I don’t speak for them but there is the line about Gideon’s Bible in “Rocky Racoon.” Possible conflict for him? I’m not sure. Looking at a few pictures of him on the web he seems fun loving enough. I figure him for a natural born lady killer, so maybe a love song Like Michelle” or” In My Life” for the Duke? If he wants’ to stay C&W and move to the light hearted side he could go with the Beatles cover of Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally”

    I have seen both guys with Taylor acoustic guitars. JWS is pictured with his several times on the web and it’s a pretty nice piece. Scotty’s is probably his personal guitar as well but last year Idol apparently had a product placement sponsorship with Gibson, who put nice new Gibbons and Epiphones in as many budding Idols hands and TV shots as possible, so it may not belong to him. In the old days a lot of C&W front men had extremely nice guitars, used primarily as props, but could barely play them.That is rarely seen today.

    I can see “Rocky Racoon” in the Hands of the guy with the upright bass, Casey Abrams. He probably has a squeeze box and harmonica in his room as well. Caleb Hawley might pull it off as well if he made the cut.

    We’ve been led to believe that it is all Beatles songs but it could be a list of 50, or according to a few former contestants that I have heard discussing song choice, as few as 12. There may also be restrictions on songs that the Beatles covered but didn’t own the publishing rights on. I’m only speculating based on past seasons. This year could be different in light of the Beatles new relationship with iTunes which has been a long time Idol partner.


  38. I didn’t like Jacob Lusk much, yes he has a great voice – but all that extra stuff vocal gym stuff added in ruined the song for me. For an original take I much prefer the originality of Casey Abrams – although I would like him to stop screwing up his ace.


  39. Gene W,

    Great posts!!! Love all of the song choices!

    I like John Wayne too! I posted earlier that I think with John Wayne and Scott, that this could be a male country year!

    I had forgotten about Kris Kristofferson; I never really cared for him singing, liked him better acting, but you are right, Scott’s voice would fit nicely with his songs.

    I really don’t see John Wayne having any problems with the theme’s, for his voice there are so many cross over songs out there…song choice will be his biggest obstacle; but, with him singing Landslide, that was a savvy move on his part, and he sounded very nice singing it.

    I could possibly turn into a Country-Bumpkin this year!!! LOL


  40. Vonnie . . . I just checked out Paul McDonald on the internet and really love him! I hope he made it through–he could be one of my favorites.

    To everyone who wrote about singers embellishing songs too much–I agree completely. And I agree with the person who mentioned Jacob Lusk–he was good but it was somewhat over the top. It reminds me of Christina Aguilera singing the National Anthem for the super bowl–I wanted to scream “Just sing it!”

    I also agree with Vonnie–I’ve never been a country fan, but I could easily support John Wayne Shultz and Scott McCreery.

    And my tastes for jazz make me love Casey Abrams. What a talent!!!

    So far, I guess I’m favoring some of the guys but none of the girls have really made a big impression.


  41. I am somewhat disappointed in the talent this year. I haven’t yet heard anyone that truly gets me excited. I will be so happy when the live shows begin. These 15-20 second clips do nothing for me. Thanks for your great comments everyone.


  42. Louise,

    I am so glad that you checked out Paul McDonald…I only got to hear a snippet of him during auditions, they played him in a trio of three, so I only got to hear a little and then didn’t catch his name. It was Gene W. who helped me out with that…Thanks again Gene!!!

    But what I heard of him, I really liked! I have been waiting through all of this non-sense of group rounds and individuals hoping that they would show-case him, but alas, I’m afraid he will be one of those who will make it to top 24 and then go home the first night because everyone else already has fan groups started.

    Idol makes me so mad when they only show-case certain one’s!

    I agree too, this will definitetly be another male year for me; I have not heard one girl that I liked, well I did hear one, but they sent her home during group rounds, she was in the group with “Lauren, the chosen one”,she was the really tall girl, she should have moved on and Lauren went home!!!

    And yes, with Scott and John Wayne; I am already on board!


  43. MCL…Please check out Paul McDonald; I really don’t think you will be dissapointed!


  44. My roots are not in Country music either Vonnie. You might call my taste eclectic. My musical pie has a slice of country in it though. Country was one of the genres my parents listened to, and I made fun of, growing up. I actually don’t like a lot of the “all hat and no cattle” red neck rock or the twangy pop that passes for country music today. The song “Murder on Music Row” addresses the abandonment of traditional country in favor of the money machine of pop. I also prefer singers who sing in their natural voice. If it has a twang or drawl, so be it, but don’t add one to try and convert a pop song into a country song. I like the musicianship, harmonies, well written lyrics and traditions of country music. Country has become such a big tent genre that I would recommend anyone who doesn’t like it to dig deeper. Who doesn’t like Vince Gill or Alison Krause?

    The C&W boys have a shot at this season’s crown, but I don’t think we have really seen the contenders yet. I believe Paul McDonald will be one of them. As Louise mentioned, he has a web site as well with a lot of his music there. I haven’t listened to much of it yet. There are a lot of original tunes there under both band names. I have listened to Kendra Chantelle some more. She is an office manager by day and says she sits at her desk writing songs all day and then plays in clubs around Nashville at night. Her band has backup singers and a horn section. She is also a model and cleans up pretty well. It appears that her professional career may be a close step behind Paul McDonald. She plays houses on the level of The Hard Rock Cafe, which is not a bad gig. It appears the two are intended as show down contenders. The bad news is that, to my tin ear, she is frequently off key. Maybe some of you who are more knowledgeable in this area will have a chance to listen and offer your opinion.

    Interestingly, both Paul and Kendra are based in Nashville, but neither are country singers. That’s one of the reasons that something didn’t seem right to me about the Nashville audition round when we saw it. Nashville is a “music” city, not just a country music city. Siobhan has just been their recording and it is home for another of my Idol favorites, Melinda Doolittle. I knew there had to more from Nashville than what we were shown.

    BTW, the roll of drama queen is being recast. I believe it will be a male playing the part in the final production. There are several strong contenders. Stay tuned.
    MCL, you nailed it Jacee is in the role of “nice boy.” Will he hold on to his part in the cast when he turns into Sanjaya?

    Thanks to J we know the name of the tall girl who had the misfortune to sing with Lauren was Sarah Ames.


    We live in a great time when you don’t have to depend on record companies to decide who you like and will get to listen to. You can talk to the artist you like and, in many cases, buy directly from them. This young lady is coming… but you don’t have to wait. Check her out.


  45. @ Vonnie, MCL, and Gene W — Thanks for the welcome back! It’s good to see all of you too. 😀

    @ Gene W — The age listed in Sarah Ames’ YouTube profile is correct; she’s currently 19. She turns 20 this year (in July, I believe).


    Interestingly enough, I’m actually really enjoying this year! You might have to ask me again in a few weeks—my happiness will probably be proportional to the quality of the top 12—but for thus far in the competition, I’m having more fun than usual. (Skipping all the bad auditions and having a DVR to forward episodes probably helped.)

    I told myself this year to just take the ride for what it is and to be entertained, and having those expectations certainly worked to fend off disappointment. It’s true that Hollywood group rounds were a little too heavy on the drama for the casual viewer (I don’t think I wanted to know that much about Clint Gamboa’s and Jordan Dorsey’s real-life personalities; I’d just prefer to hear them sing), but as someone who’s been thinking more and more lately about possibly trying out for something like American Idol(!), I appreciated the more unfiltered look behind the scenes of the competition. I felt that we got to see and feel a lot more of what the contestants actually go through and experience. Yeah, the drama is a little too much information, and of course, there’s the producer edit, but the heart of it is real—this competition does something to people’s minds that brings out the worst and the best out of people. It’s fascinating from an anthropological perspective. Anyway… =P

    I feel the overall level of talent this year has been really high, which has made for good TV, but now that the numbers are being whittled down, I’m starting to reconsider whether the top 24 will completely completely reflect that. There are definitely a few stand-out talents; some of whom are so exciting that they’ve been holding me over till now. I am hoping for the best. I don’t quite want to give myself that reality check yet (because the truth is: if the female talent doesn’t live up to expectations, I probably will be disappointed, and I’m really enjoying not feeling disappointed for once. Not getting emotionally invested really is the key to all of this).

    All righty, to end those rambling thoughts, I have to say: I LOVE the judges! The panel’s more fun than it has been for a while. 😉


  46. Gene,

    I appreciate your vote of confidence concerning Paul McDonald…I just hope that we get to see more of him before top 12!!!


    I too thought at the beginning of this season that I too would like to just ride through idol and be able to appreciate each idol based on their own merits. Well, that thought lasted about two shows then it was over, I was in…both feet both hands, wrapped up in the idol machine, now I am a hopeless case!!! Hopefully you will have more resistance than me and be able to appreciate a year of idol with out all the maddness, LOL! At least for me for right now, I can say that I have a couple of favorites, and am very excited to see if they make the top 12.

    You will have to promise us though that if you do try out for idol you will give us here at MCL’s a shout out so we can vote for ya!!!


  47. Gene W,

    Forgot to say…Alison Krause has the voice of an angel…!


  48. J – if you do try put for Idol, you will automatically be blessed with numerous fans here at MasterclassLady.Com. 🙂


  49. Louise,
    Have you ever listened to Shelby Lynn? You might like her album Just a Little Lovin.

    I’m optimistic that we will have a good season. There are several contestants who have my interest at this point, but no one has reached out of my TV and grabbed me yet. I can remember a few of those “YES!!! That’s my dawg” moments from past seasons though.
    The artist formally known as J. It has a nice ring to it. Go for it! I know it sounds trite, but trust me when I say, you are only young once. I would love to be able to say that I knew her when she was known only as ” J.”

    Absolutely angelic. Plus she is an outstanding musician and has a great band. I highly recommend that you go see her if you get an opportunity. I have seen her twice but hopefully will do so again.

    Check out Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on the Mountain,” a song he wrote for his brother’s funeral or “When I call Your Name.” You may also remember him from his days with Pure Prairie League. Careful, he’ll make you cry.


  50. Just sitting back and enjoying the conversation.

    About the drama during group week, some of it was over the top. But, it also gives us a sense of the contestants’ characters. Scott McCreery went a few notches up in my book while Clint Jun Gamboa was a major fail. I can’t see myself ever voting for him.


  51. Gene W,

    I really liked the song that Allison did with Brad Paisley…can’t remember the name; a young lady that I was giving riding lessons to at the time that song hit the radio stations, just insisted that I listened to it, so I did, Wow! I then went on an Allison Krauss search, didn’t she also do a version of When you say nothing at all(?) Absolutley lovely voice, beautiful lady!


    If I haven’t given you a shout out yet, please forgive me; Welcome, gald to have you posting!

    Hi Sue!


  52. Shoot, forgot to say…Gene, I have heard Vince Gill and do like his voice as well as the person, he seems like a very sweet man. Plus he married one of my favs Amy Grant.

    I liked what you said about your musical taste being eclectic…ofter thinking upon that, I must say that mine is as well…I love the Big Band era…swing music is tops! Love the music from the fifties, Buddy Holly! Love him. I like Yanni, which my husband thinks is so funny…? Can listen to opera as long as it is not too operatic…I like the voice of the lady who sings Ava Maria, that clear angelic soprano. Marvin Gaye; Wow! The list goes on really!!!


  53. Erin,
    Thank you for the lesson on “melismas.” I had to look it up to see what you meant, but you were exactly right, that’s what she does and I’m one word less ignorant than before.
    There is still a long way to go…


  54. Good post Sue!

    I agree with you on the character issue. I wasn’t impressed with Jordan Dorsey either. They could be victims of creative editing, BUT, if you don’t do the deed, you won’t get caught at it. Their stock is way down in my book.


  55. Vonnie! I forgot you were a horse person. What discipline do you teach/ride? I competed h/j on and off in my life. I ride occasionally now and find it more frustrating that I can’t ride with long-term goals/competitive goals. I don’t have my own horse and I like forming goals for the long haul and making decisions on day-to-day matters. I find it maddening to get on other people’s horses that way.

    Loved everyone’s input. I’m not a huge modern c&w fan, but I do like old western like almost everything on The Horse Whisperer soundtrack and O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack (which I know what more roots, than country or western). I’m looking forward to Beatles Day. More and more I’m looking back at David Cook’s stuff and realizing how astute and talented he is. How is he doing in the business end of things?


  56. Vonnie,
    “Whiskey Luliby?” Good song.

    Yes, Alison did do a very nice version of “When You Say Nothing at All.” It was an old Keith Whitley song and she did it for his tribute album after his untimely, but predictable, death. Keith was the late husband of Lorrie Morgan. She came to the attention of a much broader audience as a result.

    She followed that with a very nice version of, “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You,” originally done by the Foundations, as I recall. These two songs, and the album that contained them, and the fact that she was a child prodigy fiddle player, are largely responsible for her monster success. Do a search for “winner of the most Grammys” sometime and see where she ranks in several categories. You will be surprised.

    Keith also did “Don’t Close Your Eyes” that was covered reasonably well, if a little syrupy, by former Idol contestants Kellie Pickler, the “sausey little mink” herself. Her post Idol sales are equal to Adam Lambert’s!

    This should be a lesson to all young artists who rush off to writing sessions to create mediocre original songs when there are so many good songs gathering dust that they can “make their own.” These old cover songs have become Allison’s signature songs. The older writers of these songs could probably use the income in their retirement years as well. Linda Ronstadt and Joe Cocker have both made a lot of money doing mostly cover songs. Virtually all of the great artist have covers in their catalog, and when you do them well, you have an instant connection to a larger audience.

    We have similar music taste, up to Buddy Holly on your list, and skipping to Marvin Gay. I will claim ignorance of opera. I would add some Jazz, a little Doo Wop, a large slice of Rock, Southern Rock, several older R&B artist, traditional pop and I love the Blues. The closer to the blues any of the above are, the more I like it. I like several artists that are hard to classify as well. I’m having a lot of fun discovering new (to me) artist through various sources on the net; a few from posters here. I can only agree with you about Vince and Amy as well.

    I promise to quit rambling when the real competition begins and MCL and the other more knowledgeable posters begin to review the contestants.


  57. Jessica,
    Allison Krause and her band, Union Station did a lot of the work on the O Brother soundtrack. One of her band members, Dan Tyminski, is the singing voice of George Clooney and recorded the song “Man of Constant Sorrow” was done by her band with Dan singing lead. She worked on other songs on the album as well. “Down in the River to Pray” and “Go to Sleep Little Baby” and “I’ll Fly Away” love that movie and the soundtrack. Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch are the other two voices that harmonize so perfectly with her on “Go to Sleep Little Baby.”

    Judging from the commercials that I saw yesterday for American Idol, it appears they will sing some of the Beatles songs in groups. I saw individuals, duos and trios depicted in the commercials. I’m looking forward to a good show.


  58. Gene,

    Don’t forget Rod Stewart who is now doing well with his Great American Songbook. Perfect for him at this stage of his career.

    I also just saw the following article on line and I can’t say that I’m at all surprised!



  59. Jessica Turner,

    I also ride H/J’s! I have taken some time off from teaching and riding, due to the loss of my soul mate horse, she passed away from colic 3 ½ years ago, it will be four years this coming September 1. When she passed away I owned three other horses besides her, one of which was a mini, and older mare, and a young gelding. On the re-bound I bought a horse that was standing in a field, full of rain-rot, who was a registered American Paint horse, and was the same age as my gelding. She is a drop dead gorgeous Overo mare, who is crazy as a june bug. This past December I lost my older mare, she was 34 years old. So I will phrase this as my husband puts it, “we now have three very expensive lawn ornaments, which can most definitely eat their weight in gold, but, are not worth their weight in gold”. I hope to get back at riding this summer, I still have dreams on riding on the USET…and I ain’t getting any younger and it’s time to stop mourning my mare, she would be so mad at me for not riding! Looking for a sane horse to take me there, LOL

    Gene W,

    Wow! You are a music library! Like I said, I can pretty much listen to anything, I don’t like gansta rap, cannot listen to that!!! Not a real fan of choir music! I must add one to my list of love to listen too’s; Louis Armstrong…If I ever get to show a horse in Dressage in a Freestyle class, What a wonderful world will be in my musical arrangement!

    Also, so agree with artists doing covers…wish that Adam would cover “Mad World” as a single and also “One”. Look at all of the artists who have done covers and who have really made names for themselves!


    Do you think that is a ploy to get more viewers?


  60. Louise and Vonnie,
    Yes, I like Rod Stewart, both old and new-old. I considered the American Songbook as part of the Traditional Pop genre that I listed earlier. Vonnie’s mention of Louis Armstrong could go there as well. A lot of iconic musicians cross, blur or even eliminate genre lines and are a genre unto themselves. My guy in that category would have to be Ray Charles. What a great voice. He could utter any sound and it became musical, plus I love his style. The man himself had some flaws but rose way above them but if you want to hear about tough roads to survival, much less success, see: Ray Charles. You could also see:Loretta Lynn.

    One other genre I failed to include on my list was gospel. A lot of the music I like crosslinks significantly in instrumental style, singing style and the artist who perform it.
    I’m sorry to hear about your horse Vonnie. I know it’s easy to get attached to animals, and particularly one that you work with in some way. Sounds like it’s time to get back on.
    You mentioned the music library. Thanks for the compliment. You used to have to work at it a lot harder than you do now. I always liked to read liner notes from albums and the credits on the back of the sleeves to see who the musicians on each song were and who the backing vocalist were. I love backup singers too BTW. I also noticed where the recordings were made etc. I would use that information to speculate on artist unknown to me to expand my album collection. There were more bad bets than good, but some jewels and long time favorites emerged from the process. On line music services like iTunes make it a lot cheaper to speculate but I miss my liner notes and I have concerns about the end result on the industry.

    Regarding the story at the link. Actually I don’t read much of the stuff on sites devoted to Idol. I used to like the videos that Slezak did, when he got around to it, but not the blogs or hot scoop columns. Some of it pops up in the general press. Anyway, without saying too much, I’m not surprised by the story. I think that person was hanging, but not excelling and was bound to go. I hope it works out well in the future. On a side note, Jennifer seems to be a very nice and compassionate woman so that part of the story doesn’t surprise me either. I hope it doesn’t become a habit though. We should be down to the contenders before long.


  61. Thank You Gene!!!

    Okay, I am so ready for tomorrow night, please idol don’t disappoint me! I want to hear Paul McDonald and also any other contestant that we have not heard as of yet!

    I think this is a great way for idol to choose the top 24! They each needed to up their game to make it…who delivers and who fails…dundundun!

    Idol likes to guarentee; shocking boots, plenty of drama, tears and more tears, meltdowns via Ashley, some good and not so good singing, and hopefully some continued great judging!


  62. I think so of the problem for this year is the 15-20 sec clips that they are showing, rather than focusing on the truly talented individuals, they are trying to get many people shown in a short period of time…hard to do with a time limit! I would prefer to see some of the talented ones (or the ones who have a good shot at making Top 20) and follow them through until then, rather than the short clips; although I can understand why they doing that because if it was done the other way, there would probably be some foreshadowing going on. I mean, I don’t mind the clips, because then we get to see more singers, but the clips really do nothing. I can’t really get a good judgement based on something I’ve seen for 15-20 secs; if they are absolutely amazing, then Yes. But if they are just so-so, who knows what happened before them going on; or why they are so-so.

    I also hate the time they spend on showing people and drama…lol.

    I’m ready for tomorrow night’s show….let’s see what it brings!

    Someone mentioned that they were wondering who else Scotty could sing (I’m too lazy to read through the posts to find it)….but I was thinking Paul Brandt! Scotty reminds me of his voice….


  63. Scott McCreery should sing Keith Whitley’s I’m no stranger to the rain, I really think he could nail it.


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