Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Top 12 Male Vocalists

So, we are off to the races! Tonight, we finally get to meet and hear the Top 12 male singers for American Idol Season 10.

It is almost impossible and unfair to predict who will win the hearts of of the voters.

I think we should all sit back and enjoy the show.

I am sure there will be a few surprises along the way.

I am more curious to see the judges interact and critique after each performance. Will they rise to the occasion and continue their successful performance as supportive, knowledgeable mentors? I hope so! Their role in the success of this season’s show cannot be underestimated.

Enjoy the show everyone and I look forward to your comprehensive reviews.

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

25 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Top 12 Male Vocalists”

  1. I am so excited for tonight…cannot wait to hear all of the guys actually sing!!!


  2. Vonnie,

    I am with you! We will finally get to hear them sing a complete song for a minute and a half! Yay! I already have a few that I really like, so I cannot wait to see how they do.

    Bring it on!


  3. Unfortunately, this ‘wham, bam, thank you, all’ trimming from 24 to 12 in one week is patently UNFAIR to the contestants, judges and the viewers! I would be interested to know what the rationale was for this.


  4. I agree James. They had such a wonderful format a few years ago. I don’t know why they messed with it?


  5. I can’t remember what it used to be like. How did they do it differently in previous years?


  6. Louise, I think the format MCL is referring to entailed a Top 24 week with four eliminations, Top 20 week with again 4 voted off, Top 16week to Top 12. To this point the eliminations included 2 guys-two girls. From the top 12 it would be one elimination each week ’til the Top 2. There have been some variations but this generally describes the previous format. Never top 24 direct to top 12.


  7. James…I agree! Each person is really going to have to bring it just to make this cut! How sad for the one’s who have not had equal air time!

    MCL…How will they fill the wild card seats this time? Will they go down to ten and then pick the two wild cards or I guess it will be a total of four wild cards, two each? I can’t remember either how it used to be!!! I do remember it being a mix of guys and girls no specific # of each, and I liked that alot better!

    Mindy…Me too! I have favorites already lined up; am hopeful I will get to add more to my list tonight!

    I am sooooooo looking forward to Paul, Scott, and Tim ~ and a couple of others who have sparked my interest!

    I must say though, I am not as impressed witht he girls song choices as I am the guys…??? 😦


  8. skiffrower…HI, Glad to see you back!!! 🙂


  9. Hey Vonnie, Thanks. I always knew I would be coming here to MCL to keep an eye on the Idol Season, actually watching the show…wasn’t so sure. But I like what I see so far, look forward to tonight and wish the guys luck. I am interested in seeing how Lovine and Interscope will be handling their backstage duties. Hope the guys and girls aren’t being commercialized and marketed by their “mentors”.


  10. I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this, but for the first time, the producers are allowing us to see the full versions of each of the top 24 contestants’ final Hollywood performance. Pretty nifty! 🙂

    March 1, 2011 | 02:46 pm PT
    Full Performances Available from Final Audition Round

    For the first time ever, we have full audition performances up for you to view on AmericanIdol.com. The Top 40 had one last shot to impress Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler before they selected the Top 24. This round took place in an airplane hanger in Southern California, and the stage set the scene for a big night of performances.

    Watch all Top 24 final audition performances right here.

    ARTICLE LINK: http://www.americanidol.com/news/view/pid/4531/
    LINK TO VIDEOS: http://www.americanidol.com/videos/season_10/top_24/


  11. Dearest J,

    What a lovely link you posted! This is a great way to finally get to hear the entire song and get a sense of the voices.

    Now I can put the names of the girls to their faces and voices! Thea Magia’s performance of You Raise Me Up, gave me the chills. That is not an easy song to sing, but she really did a great job. This little girl can sing! Very nice!

    I had to listen to Robbie’s beautiful performance. He also really gave me the chills. Such emotion, great control of the softer notes and just absolutely terrific! It’s even better hearing the entire vocal, instead of the little piece we originally heard.

    This is priceless! Again, many thanks to you!


  12. (Not to be confused with a comprehensive review)

    Only fools rush in, so here I go.

    I enjoyed the show tonight, and was treated to a few pleasant surprises. The first five performances went pretty much as I had expected and discussed previously. Some may blame poor song selection, but the contestants could choose any song that they felt made them shine. This wasn’t the time to pick a song that “wasn’t you” or “who you wanted to be as an artist.”

    On the other hand, it seems that some of these performers have made just the right adjustments to certain aspects of their performances to up their game for tonight’s all important round.

    The first pleasant surprise for me was that James finely lived up to the image they have been portraying of him. He showed restraint for the first time this season, and to my tin ear, stayed on key and didn’t wail just for the sake of wailing. I finally saw him as a junior rock star rather than a want-a-be. Nice job James.

    Robbie has shown a lot of skill as a young singer and musician in the earlier rounds. I will let those with technical knowledge of singing discuss that aspect of his performance but I would like to touch on his stage work. His previous performances looked like he had been coached by his great uncle who last graced the stage during the vaudeville era. He was very awkward and had a dated look to his style on stage, except when he was behind his piano. Tonight, I liked the restraint shown by simply standing still behind the mike stand, using appropriate hand gestures and not eating his microphone. It placed the attention where it belonged, on his voice and the story he was telling. It was the right approach for this song, which shows positive improvement in his overall performance style. His nervousness could be heard in his voice and some of his transitions were a little shaky, but all in all, it was a nicely phrased and delivered song. I enjoied his performance and I hope he made the sell to the voters and makes it back.

    Scott was right on target with both his song choice and delivery. The only surprise for me was that he delivered the song without modification. I think he has a little more range than he has led us to believe. He is very good at copying songs that were originally performed in his range and style, but I would be interested to hear an original take on a cover from him. He showed a great deal of comfort, and style on the stage as he related his song’s story to the audience, even while sitting on a stool. Very good job from Scotty.

    I still don’t have a good feel for Stefano. He delivered his song well except for the one high note. I wasn’t a fan of the song. The only Bruno Mars song that I like, that I am aware of, is “Grenade.”

    Paul was solid but, as one of my early favorites, I must confess that I’m a little disappointed. He didn’t sound like he was singing for his life, but rather like it was just another night on the road, playing another bar and flirting with the girls. I would have preferred something more along the lines of his delivery of the same song during his audition. Simple, laid back, standing still (or closer to it) and letting his unique voice shine and carry the day. I’m still supporting him but I’m hoping for a change.

    Jacob did just what I had hoped for. Have I used the word “restraint” before? I think that word was the key to the night for me. Fantastic job Jacob! I spent a lot of time looking for a version of this great classic that was along the lines of what I hoped to hear from him but almost came up empty. This is a SAD song, not a vocal trampoline. Luther Vandross, who the judges compared Jacob to, and I like BTW, over did this song for my taste, and of course there was the classic version from Dion Warwick, and the resent version from Kristen Chenoweth on Glee, which was getting closer, but not quite there. I wanted simple, beautiful restrained and the ability to communicate the feeling the writer had in mind. Even though I have heard her version before I was a little taken aback to rediscover that Barbara Streisand had the most beautifully restrained, evocative version I could lay my hands on. It’s the only one that conveyed the sadness of the story to me as intended. Jacob isn’t Striesand, but there is a lesson to be learned from her delivery of this song. When one of the most capable popular singers to ever live sings the song without a lot of unnecessary embellishment, that might be the best way to go. I think Jacob learned his lesson well. This was the highlight of the evening for me.

    Casey delivered a good performance, but I think he left a lot laying on the table. He based his version on the original which didn’t really convey the jazzman message he has been trying to send. While good, it wasn’t what I had hoped for from Casey so color me disappointed.

    The judges continue to surprise and impress me. Their supportive comments and useful criticisms were generally well received by the contestants, who enjoy a relaxed, comfortable relationship with them. The personal mentor system initiated this season seems to be showing positive results. It is very likely responsible for the improvements seen in James, Robbie and Jacob.

    I hope everyone voted for your favorites and I’m looking forward to your comments on tonight’s show. I’m also looking forward to seeing the complete peformances from J’s link. Thanks for posting the link J.


  13. It’s really tough to narrow the guys down to only six! For a first night, I thought it was very entertaining and most of the guys did a really good job.

    Jacob made me cry–beautiful. I was expecting him to over sing this song, but he didn’t. I’m also a big fan of Casey and Paul, and I thought Scotty sounded terrific although, as Gene said, he didn’t change anything from what I know about the song that he sang. Stefano impressed me as well.

    So this is where it gets tricky for me. James was terrific although that’s not my favorite kind of music. And I think Robbie could probably be better than he was last night.

    Even though some of the singers from the early part of the evening did pretty well, I just don’t know if their placement and their performances will be enough to carry them into the top six.

    Based on last night alone, I have high hopes for this season.


  14. I enjoyed last night! As I had hoped my favs did not disappoint and I gained a new favorite to add to my list as well as one who if he continues on the path of last nights performance…I will be a fan!

    My line-up:

    Scotty ~ I’m hooked; hook, line, and sinker! I am on the Scotty train, I didn’t know the song going into last night, so I don’t have any comments about him changing it up…I liked it; I liked it alot!!! I can’t wait to watch the career path un-fold before this kid! Win or lose, there is a place for Scotty in Country Music!

    Paul ~ I love his voice…and I am a fan! I’m glad he sang Maggy May!

    Jacob ~ After last night…I’m a fan, I loved it!

    James ~ I thought he did a wonderful job, if he can keep his performances at this level, I’m on-board!

    Robbie ~ I wasn’t crazy about his version of this song, but, I know what his potential is, so I am still a fan!

    Casey ~ I will give him credit, coming from the hospital to tape the show and give this kind of performance, I thought it was alright!

    Tim ~ Song Choice! I now see how important it is on a night like last night to pick the right song! I’m still a fan!


  15. Louise,
    I envy your economy of words.


  16. Vonnie,
    That’s probably a pretty good assessment of the standings, as I see them anyway. I’m not confident that Tim will survive the cut. What do you think?

    I can’t call myself a fan of any of these guys at this point. I was impressed with the improvements shown by James and Jacob last night though. None have passed the “would I buy it” test yet.


  17. Hey Gene W,

    I really hope Tim makes the cut, but it’s going to be hard; song choice! and then there’s that thing of going from 12 to 5 in one night! Why Oh Why, does TPTB think this is a good thing?

    Ya know! It would be really awesome if once the top 24 were selected, that this would be where the competition would begin…eliminate two or four each time until you reach the top 10…these are the only ones who go on tour anyway! It seems that this would give a better advantage to the one’s with less air time!!!???


  18. Gene said,

    I envy your economy of words.”

    Didn’t have much time–had to get ready for work!!!


  19. Hi Vonnie,
    I could cut the field in half pretty easily. You and most others probably could as well. The last cut is a little harder.

    I have a much longer answer but I am resisting the temptation to post another long post.


  20. Hi Louise,

    I wasn’t being critical of your post. To the contrary, you said pretty much what I had to say but much more concisely. I really do envy your economy of words. I lack that skill.


  21. Hi everyone,

    I wanted to post my thoughts last night, but thought I might just wait to let the performances sink in a bit.

    Tim – Yes, song choice, song choice, song choice. It really hurt a few of these guys. Tim just did not seem comfortable with that Rob Morrow song and it did his voice no favors. When he started to move around the stage, the pitch and the vocals went. At some points, you could hear that great voice but this wasn’t a great showcase for his talent. I hope he has the fan base to get him through or else the judges will give him a wild card.

    Scotty – He has such a gorgeous deep voice that reminds me so much of Johnny Cash, but somehow is still unique. I think his voice can do more than we heard last night, but this was the perfect song for him and he seemed in his element, owning the stage with such presence. This slight young man has this big, rich voice and it’s amazing to listen to it flow out of him.

    Paul – He disappointed me a little. I don’t like the little jerky movements on stage. I find it distracting. Also, I wish he had just given us a little more depth with this performance. He has such a distinctive sound and that’s a huge advantage.

    Robbie – He really seemed to have a case of the jitters on stage last night. I noticed it because I had just watched his entire performance from last week on that link from J. He was much more relaxed and his vocals were gorgeous. Last night, he just seemed nervous and that seemed to affect his vocals. That trembling note that he does so well didn’t work in the beginning. Then he seemed to relax and get it together. I think he should have left out some of the little melody changes and just tried to do it in a simple way. The song is so beautiful on its own. I am worried about him and hope that he has a fan base to get him through. This wasn’t his best, but I love his voice and want him in the top 12 or 13, whatever it ends up being.

    James – I have to give credit to James, even though I absolutely cannot stand this song and this kind of music. He has great stage presence, didn’t wail all over the place thank goodness and just seemed to nail it. I don’t know that I will be able to embrace him because of this genre of music, but I have to give him credit for a great performance.

    Jacob – Oh my goodness! This gave me chills down my spine! Bless him for not oversinging this song. He pulled it back and all the heartbreak and emotion came through so beautifully. What a performance.

    The others just didn’t impress me all that much. It will be interesting to see who the judges will save with a wild card. There is a lot of talent in this group.

    Casey – He did great considering he just came out of the hospital. However, he did the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins version and I just do not like it at all. It was a great performance, but I want to see more of the jazz artist.


  22. Told ya my sister’s smart.


  23. I’m really enjoying this discussion.

    Like everyone else, I was just floored by the beauty of Jacob’s voice. He actually reminds me more vocally of Adam than James does. So many casual fans just remember Adam’s rocker side, but I love how Adam’s voice soars on songs like “Soaked” (from his album). Jacob has the talent to sweep away the competition, and I hope that the voters reward him for it.

    I hoping, too, that Scotty moves forward. He could go quite far as well.

    I was pleasantly surprised by James. He brought a lot of energy into his performance and this time he was singing and not screaming.

    I threw a votes towards both Robbie and Tim as they were my early favorites, but I was disappointed in both of their performances. They could have done so much better. Robbie, in particular, seemed so nervous.


  24. Sue,

    I think you make a great point about Jacob sounding more like Adam than James does. I found myself thinking the same thing as I listened to him soar on that gorgeous ballad. When he calms down and doesn’t oversing, amazing things happen. He told a story with his voice, the words of the song came through loud and clear and it was quite moving. It is a very sad song, as someone else said here. There should be pathos in the voice and heartache and sadness. Jacob brought it all last night. My worry is that there is no place for him in today’s music. This show has not been kind to male r&b singers. That’s the only thing that could possibly stand in his way. As we have seen all too often in the past, great voices don’t necessarily win the competition.

    James sings an entirely different genre of music, more like 80’s metal rock. Adam could do rock, but he could also do almost everything else. It will be interesting to see if James can change it up and show some versatility. He has the showmanship for sure.

    Dear Robbie could have used a tenth of James’ confidence and command last night. Yes, this young man got a bad case of nerves and, as MCL has told us many times, tension is the kiss of death for the voice. The good news is that he did seem to get better as he went on. Lack of confidence is death to a singer. If you don’t believe in yourself, then the audience won’t either. That’s what happened to Robbie. This is just another reason why I dislike this one-shot format, where you perform live one time and America votes and that’s it.

    If for some reason Robbie doesn’t get voted in by America, I truly hope that the judges will give him a wild card, so that he can have the chance to show what he can do.

    With Tim it was just the wrong song. He looked and sounded uncomfortable. This guy has a great voice and maybe a ballad would have served him better. If he doesn’t get voted in by America, I also hope the judges will give him a wild card. I know that there will always be disappointments. It’s part of this process. I am preparing myself for whatever happens. This is a group of young men with a wealth of talent and not all of them can make it.


  25. Mindy, Sue,

    I agree Jacob in the higher register has similar tone to Adam. In the lower register though he sounds completely different. A vocal teacher said he uses higher register techniques to sing lower register notes, thus creating a really unique tone in his lower register. I don’t know if that’s true. (According to that vocal teacher Luis Armstrong is famous for the same vocal style. I can’t really make the connection there, but then again I am not a technical expert.)

    On the other hand, James did change my opinion somewhat after the JP song performance (Last week I really disliked him after ACIGC). I’ve since looked up more of his pre-idol performances and one thing that really bothered me was that his vocal style sounded like Halford on the JP song, like ACDC in Black in Black, like Plant in WLL. I have yet to find a James Durbin sound in any of his performances. It’s OK to cover great songs, but it’s not good enough to simply imitate other singers’ vocal styles. I really hope the vocal coach at Idol can help him develop his own sound in the coming weeks, that is, if he gets to stay in the competition.


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