Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Top 9 Performance Show: Music From The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

I decided to add a voice blog this week and you will see that I did predict a very good show this week. I had no idea how vast the catalogue was from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame so there should be something for everyone – listeners and singers alike.

Also, a great big “shout-out” to one of our readers, GrammieKari, who is a founder of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Isn’t that something? That is quite the legacy she helped to create and she must take enormous pride in this monumental achievement.

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

54 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Top 9 Performance Show: Music From The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame”

  1. Hello everyone,

    The contestants will be choosing their songs from the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The link is here: http://rockhall.com/exhibits/one-hit-wonders-songs-that-shaped-rock-and-roll/

    I hope we have a solid show tonight!


  2. Hello, new poster here. Have been enjoying this blog. Very insightful 🙂 Feeling some nerves for my Stefano tonight. Hope he really pulls it out. This is kinda the week to do so. And I did not know GrammieKari founded the Rock and Roll hall of Fame, what a nice surprise. Seriously, Grammie where are you on Mjsbigblog? lol


  3. MCL,

    I love hearing your little videos. You have one of the loveliest speaking voices. I guess that means your singing voice is beautiful, too! 🙂

    I really do love seeing and hearing you and listening to your thoughts, what you think each of the contestants needs to do, how this particular theme week may work for them and, most of all, urging us not to split our votes and make sure we get behind our favorite.

    Great advice!


  4. I just checked out MJ’s blog and read that Ryan Tedder came in to be a mentor for this week. He thought that he was going to work with Pia, but forty five minutes into the session he got a call that he was with the wrong artist. He was supposed to work with Stefano. Ryan Tedder said that he was just blown away by Stefano’s vocals and thinks he is one of the most talented singers he has ever worked with! That will make Stefano fans happy. He described him as a seasoned pro who knew what he was doing in the studio.

    He also spoke a bit about the challenges involved in working with these contestants on a show like Idol. He said that the producer has to stay in control and not let these young people get side-tracked or get stuck with an idea in their head, but it’s also important to let the contestant’s voice be heard.

    He sounds like a really smart guy! I have to think that Stefano can only benefit from having someone like Ryan Tedder working with him. I am looking forward to seeing what Stefano has chosen and how he does tonight.

    We are never sure exactly how many of these song in the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll are on the actual list from which the contestants choose. I certainly hope it’s more than the twenty songs they had from Elton John’s music catalogue.

    Nigel also tweeted that guitarist Jeff Beck was supposed to play guitar with the top 9 tonight but had to cancel due to illness. Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was supposed to step in and take Beck’s place, but is also unavailable. It will be interesting to see who ends up playing guitar tonight.


  5. Awe…MCL! You are so sweet! Love the voice blogs…just hoped over to the site that Tom sent. There are so many songs to choose from! Hope it’s a good one tonight.


  6. Some pre-show spoilers for everyone, via Mjsbigblog!

    The artists being represented tonight are Michael [Jackson], Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, The Beatles’ George Harrison, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Percy Sledge.

    Here are my guesses as to who will sing which artist…

    Michael Jackson: Stefano
    Tina Turner: Pia (already a given)
    Janis Joplin: Haley
    Johnny Cash: Scotty
    Aretha Franklin: Lauren
    Elvis Presley: Casey
    George Harrison: James (if it’s ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ I will die of excitement)
    CCR: Paul
    Percy Sledge: Jacob


  7. Seeing as Janis and George are going to be covered tonight, perhaps the contestants have a little more leeway than the list I originally posted, as neither of them are on it. So, I’ll use both the list and my instincts to predict the songs.

    Stefano: “Billie Jean” (it’s on the list, and it would go over better than “Beat It,” although neither song is optimal for him; I’d personally love for him to do “Man in the Mirror”)
    Pia: “River Deep – Mountain High”
    Haley: “Piece of My Heart”
    Scotty: “I Walk the Line”
    Lauren: “Chain of Fools”
    Casey: “Heartbreak Hotel” or “Love Me Tender”
    James: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
    Paul: “Fortunate Son” or “Green River” (the other songs on the list other than “Proud Mary”)
    Jacob: “When a Man Loves a Woman”


  8. Kes – Welcome to the conversation! I hope that more readers join in.

    MCL – I love how your warm and thoughtful personality shines through both your written and voice blogs.


  9. Darlene,

    While I like both Springsteen and Bon Jovi, I’m not really a fan of either, in the usual terms, which is to say, I have two Springsteen albums (probably a function of a friend of mine who has seen as many Springsteen concerts as anyone), and none of Bon Jovi. But they both reek Jersey to me.

    To the West Coasters — spoilers?!?:

    Jacob Lusk: Man in the Mirror (Jackson)
    Haley: Piece of my Heart (Joplin)
    Casey Abrams: Have You Ever Seen the Rain (Credence Clearwater Revival)
    Lauren Alaina: (You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman (Carole King, although they credit Aretha)
    James Durbin: While My Guitar Gently Sleeps (Harrison)
    Scotty: That’s All Right (Elvis)
    Pia: River Deep, Mountain High (Tina Turner)
    Stefano: When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)
    Paul: Folsom Prison Blues (johnny Cash)


  10. I think all the contestants really delivered tonight! It was wonderful to see the soft side of James, and such a beautiful performance. I could see how emotional that was for him. I’m proud of Pia and Scotty for not singing ballads this week. Pia just blew me away, and Scotty’s performance was fantastic. H’s such a cutie!! How funny was that when those girls came up onto the stage to give him a hug, and Ryan didn’t even invite them up. I remember during Season 7 when Ryan invited the girls to give David A. a hug on stage. Stephano was absolutely INCREDIBLE tonight!! I’m so proud of him. Randy needs to listen to Stephano’s performance again. Saying “I wasn’t jumping out of my chair”, was ridiculous. As much as I enjoyed Scotty tonight, Stephano certainly out performed him tonight. That just angers me. I can see why people feel the judges are wanting a Scotty and Lauren finale.


  11. What an unbelievable show tonight. I am drooling here!! I knew it was going to be good but this was a blockbuster!


  12. It truly was one of the best Idols I’ve ever seen. It’s going to be sad to see anyone go home tomorrow night. No one deserves to leave.


  13. Thank you Sue and Mindy for your kind feedback re the voice blogs. I felt it was time to bare my soul and face. It wasn’t easy, though. 🙂


  14. I agree Louise. They all came out fighting! Whoever is eliminated tomorrow will leave knowing that they gave an incredible final performance.


  15. I often have different feelings once I rewatch the show, but this seemed pretty solid all the way through. Which is actualy a compliment to the season — when it’s hard to choose the loser, it’s a good thing!


  16. Tonight’s show was awesome!! I missed Scotty and Lauren though…got caught up in a phone call: how dare I get a phone call during Idol. Don’t they know any better?? Hehe.
    I was really impressed with all the contestants tonight!

    Stefano was GREAT (as he usually was), I think there was one thing missing…emotion and I think this was what Randy probably felt. I know I sure did. His vocals were superb (there’s no doubt about that), but I felt that he was working so hard on getting the song right, and focusing going up to the high notes, trying to stay connected with the audience…there was too much for him to focus on and I just felt that he wasn’t emotionally attached to the song. When I hear other singers sing the song, such as Michael Bolton, there in his singing. Especially for a song like this, the singer must be emotionally connected to the song. So although I LOVED Stefano’s voice tonight, I can understand where Randy was coming from.

    Hard to choose who my favourite was tonight because they were all so good!


  17. typo..should say: (as he usually “is”) not (as he usually “was”) – in the first sentence.


  18. A very strong show!
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tina Turner “stroll smoothly” and I found that much more distracting than it should have been. Still – Pia’s vocal was unbelievable. I even liked Lauren tonight.

    I tweeted J.Lo tonight after the show – asking her to thank Marc for saving the season. The difference in the intonation these last 3 shows – compared to the 2 or 3 before – is staggering. It had gotten to the point (for me) where it was almost unwatchable. It’s not perfect now by any means – but it’s SO MUCH better.


  19. Bizzee247,

    To me, I felt Stephano sounded emotionally connected to the song. Usually I can tell when he’s not. Stephano deserved better from Randy. He didn’t have anything positive to say at all that I can remember. Well, I voted up a storm for Stephano, so we will see what happens.


  20. Rosanne,

    Thanks for the video. I love it when you post these. It’s great to see your face and hear your voice for a change.


  21. I agree Anita. Stefano was brilliant tonight. He is still experiencing troublesome technical issues but Randy is obviously not a fan. I think Stefano was the only one he fully criticized tonight and that didn’t sit right with me. Many others were having huge problems this evening with their voices, but it was buried beneath the glitz and the glam.


  22. Thanks Anita. Those video blogs are fun to do. 🙂


  23. Anita, I’m going to have to listen to him again. The performances always sound different after I’ve listened/watched them a second time. Maybe it was because I’m so use to hearing Michael Bolton sing it…I definitely agree Randy was a little too harsh on him though, because I totally felt Stefano sang it superbly! But I just felt there was something missing from Stefano…yup, going to have to go listen to it again.


  24. All right, here goes with my comments on tonight’s performances. It was quite a night!

    Jacob – “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson – I really liked the fact that Jacob pulled it back and was more restrained and then built to a crescendo with his vocals getting more powerful and emotional. I think this arrangement stayed very true to Michael Jackson’s version of the song. I don’t know that the backup singers were necessary. I think Jacob has so much voice that he almost doesn’t really need them. For me, this was his best performance in a while, no crazy melody changes and runs and vibratos and histrionics.

    Haley – “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin – Haley took on the great lady, Janis, the way the judges have been telling her to do. Thank goodness she was standing at the mic and not moving for a good part of this performance! Thank you! Finally, we can just focus on the vocals and not be distracted by weird movements and contortions. Can I just say that I love, love Will.i.am for telling Haley to connect with the words of the song! YAY!! I think she finally got it. I said some weeks back that it’s as though she is still singing only for the judges in Hollywood Week and she needs to look into that camera and grab that audience and take them along for the ride. I think this was her best performance to date. This is who she is – a bluesy, r&b, soul singer. She did start moving those arms and doing those body movements later in the performance, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it has been. The one critique I have is that this is a song of heartache and anguish. When the late Janis used to sing it, she left her heart and soul and guts out on that stage. Her hands were clenched in pain and her face was contorted with agony. Haley was smiling at points in the song and that took away some of the impact. If she could learn to use her hands organically as an expression of the feeling and emotion of the words, then she would be just perfect.

    Casey – “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival – I loved that Casey finally brought out the bass! He actually is singing now and much less growling. It was interesting that he slowed it down and did it much differently from the original. This is what I have been missing until last week from Casey. Some solid vocals and less of the gimmicky stuff.

    Lauren – “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin – I was nervous about this song choice because it has been done a lot and Aretha is a tough act to follow. I thought that Lauren did a good job of making it her own. She seems to be getting more confident and comfortable on stage. At times I thought she was fighting to stay on key and there seems to be some issues of breathing control with her singing. If she pushes more from the diaphragm then it may correct some of what I am hearing.

    James – “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – George Harrison – This song is a favorite of mine and George Harrison was my favorite Beatle. Now this is what I wanted to see from James! Yes! Just sitting on a stool and keeping it simple with just the heartfelt vocals. He really connected with the feeling of this song and showcased his vocals for once. In the last few weeks I have felt that his vocals were sacrificed for the sake of performance, bells and whistles and over the top mania. This was the time to change it up. I loved the high note at the end. The tears at the end were heartfelt and showed just how deeply this song touched him.

    Scotty – “That’s All Right Mama” by Elvis Presley – I think this was Elvis Presley’s first hit song. I thought that Scotty might do Elvis, but expected to hear a ballad. He has so much charm on stage that it’s just impossible not to like him. This was something different and it showed that he can move away from country and still pull it off. However, I do have to say that he had his head to one side all throughout the performance. Before it was his whole body. I have to say that nobody can get away with singing like that. Josh Turner has a voice that is so much like Scotty’s and he stands up straight and doesn’t bend his head. Scotty really needs to lose these bad habits. Everyone will love him no matter what, but I want him to be able to reach his full potential. He seemed to be singing in a higher range for most of the song and the notes at times felt forced because of that crooked neck. He has so much appeal and sheer likeability that he makes it work.

    Pia – “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner – I would like to have a few words with Gwen Stefani, the one who designed the outfits for the girls. What was up with that outfit? Fortunately, Pia was so brilliant with her vocals that I don’t think it mattered in the end. This was the uptempo change that she needed. She moved forward and reached out her arms and even went into the audience. I don’t know that this feels natural to her, but she is progressing and making an effort to elevate her stage presence and performance level. I noticed that at times she didn’t raise her head on some of the high notes and what a difference! But she went back to it a few times and at the end. That is my one issue with her. Eliminate the raising of the head!

    Stefano – “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge – Thanks again to Will.i.am for working with Stefano on the phrasing. The singers from back in the day seemed to have the uncanny ability to use phrasing impeccably. I think Stefano tries to rush through the song and Will.i.am was telling him to take him time and build the feeling slowly. I thought this was one of Stefano’s best performances. He connected with the words of the song and gave it his all. I don’t know what was going on with Randy’s comment of “not jumping up and down”. Come to think of it, I didn’t see him literally jumping up and down with the others. He seemed vague and critical merely for the sake of it. Needless to say, I do not agree with him.

    Paul – “Fulson Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash – I had trouble listening to this song because I was hearing Johnny Cash’s deep baritone in my head. It was initially jarring to hear Paul sing it in his much softer voice. I am still hearing him off key at times, but this was one of this better vocals. He seemed more energetic, more engaged and more animated on stage. He was having fun and the audience could feel it. Paul has had a number of subpar performances and I still feel that he is the weak link in this group of very strong singers.

    Tomorrow night is going to be really tough. I am anxious to see MCL’s critique of the performances.


  25. Sorry, there was a typo in my previous comment.

    In Stefano’s critique I meant to say that Will.i.am was telling him to take HIS time.

    I also wanted to add one more thing about Stefano’s performance. I thought he started off the song in a very high key. I was wondering why he would do that because it sounded unnatural to him. Then he went down to a more natural key as he continued singing. That was the one thing that seemed off to me. Maybe MCL can address it in her critique.


  26. Hello! Hello! There was so much I recognize in the Introduction! Right now they are doing some renovations on the building which will be ready in 2012. I will be taking my oldest Grandson there next year. All my Grandchildren are familiar with the Rock Hall since Grammie bought them each a magnet. As I have mentioned, I have been to the Rock Hall 51 times. {strong] You cannot see it in one day. [/strong] It is so large and there’s so much to see, hear, and read.

    First, this is such a talented line up of contestants! Overall, they did a GOOD job. However, for the first time I felt the judges weren’t be critical of everyone’s performance. I adore Stefano, but this was his week to break out and perform something uptempo… something with a rock beat. His choice of song may cost him, as it was beyond his range. I WANTED BILLY JOEL! I wanted Stefano rockin’ behind his piano. Randy was kinda of harsh with him.

    The only one I thought was flawless was Scotty! Now that was a shock for me as I wasn’t really a fan. However, I love ELVIS PRESLEY, and Scotty did the song justice!

    [blockquote] I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tina Turner “stroll smoothly” and I found that much more distracting than it should have been.[/blockquote]

    Pia has this gorgeous voice and she tried so hard to move, but it was so awkward. In this way she reminds me of Carrie Underwood when she was on the show. I saw Carrie in concert two months after the tour ended, and she was nothing like she is now. She was stiff and a bit ‘uptight’ on stage. She was on tour with Martina McBride and LeAnn Rhimes at the time. Now, Carrie is such a professional and totally comfortable in her skin. This is what Pia needs to learn.

    James’ performance was touching and he sounded very nice. Jacob’s choice was perfect for him and I thought his delivery was smooth. I am more critical of the other performances and the judges were way too generous with the compliments.


  27. TYPO: [strong] You cannot see it in one day. It is so large and there’s so much to see, hear, and read! [/strong]


  28. I just had a few more things that I forgot.

    Regarding James, one thing I noticed is that when he was saying “I”, he put an “h” sound before it. He did that a few times. I don’t know why but it didn’t sound right when I was listening. I also wanted to say that I thought he had some off key notes at the beginning, it was a little shaky. I got caught up in his emotion, but I have to keep it real and say what I heard. The vocals weren’t flawless, but my feeling is that he made up for it in his intense emotional connection.

    I also feel that I was a little too timid in my comment about Haley smiling through most of that Janis Joplin song. I am not saying that she needed to look like she was crying, but the facial expression should match the meaning of the song. She is improving with her mannerisms and affectations, so I wanted to give her credit for that.


  29. Please don’t laugh as I am trying to figure out the code to use. Maybe it is BOLD?

    Welcome, Kes! I am a FOUNDING MEMBER of the RRHOF but not in the music industry. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was already established when I got involved. It has brought so much joy, and nurtured my love for ALL genres of music.

    [bold]If anyone loves music, a trip to the RRHOF is a must! I have taken each one of my children there, and soon the Grandchildren will go! LOL! [/bold]


  30. Well, here I am again. I just wanted to say that I agree with Grammie Kari’s comments about the judging. At this point in the competition, it’s getting a bit absurd. It’s like they became part of the audience, just cheering everyone on. It’s unfair to just tell them that they are great and perfect and wonderful and not give them some real critiques that can help them to improve. That’s what it’s supposed to be about. Steven Tyler is pretty much just phoning it in on every performance.

    I have been thinking about Stefano and am now wondering about that song choice. Maybe Grammie Keri has a point. I guess what really bothered me was how Randy only called him out, when there were some other performances that deserved the same comment. It’s almost like sending out a coded message to the viewing audience – “not jumping up and down” somehow means bad. It was glaring on a night when no one else heard anything remotely resembling a criticism. I fear that it may hurt Stefano.

    I am now more interested than ever to see what MCL has to say. I wonder if Stefano was singing in the right key. On a second listen, I am picking up some vocal issues on a few of them.


  31. Hi, everyone! I didn’t get home until 20 minutes or so, so I feel behind already! I just wanted to point something out for Grammie Kari. 😀

    For the code you’re trying to produce, you need to use angle brackets. So for blockquotes, type <blockquote> as the opening tag and </blockquote> as the closing tag. To bold text, you can use either <b> and </b> or <strong> and </strong>. Both should work! Hope that helps. 😉

    I used fancy HTML to make the angle brackets not transform into code, but when you use the tags as displayed, they should work. (Let’s hope I typed these correctly! =P)


  32. Super fast snap thoughts:

    I’ve only listened to Pia’s performance so far (and I probably won’t get to the rest until morning), but I have to say: I’m going to be a little unexpected, but my initial thought is that her vocals sounded very stressed this week. Those who have been following my comments in the past few weeks might recall that I’ve defended the brassy coordinations Pia’s used at times and emphasized that aggressive sounds are not necessarily unhealthy. However, this week I’m hearing more grit from what is likely constriction and overly tight vocal production, and this is the first time the head-raising is notably bothering me (because it doesn’t fit with the performance aspect; as MCL has mentioned, it impedes eye contact).

    I also wanted to respond to a few comments, but alas, my verbosity is taking too long, so I’ll wait until morning when I can be more concise! 😉


  33. Oh, quick thought to add: That said, I love hearing Pia go uptempo and stretch herself, and I’m glad to read that the response is mostly positive! I’m proud of her for trying to step outside her comfort zone. I think if Pia had delivered this in top vocal health, I would have loved it because I like what this vocally could’ve been. What it actually was just worries me a tad; that’s all. The vocal fatigue is starting to show, and I’m can’t help thinking: “Poor thing! There are still so many weeks to go.”

    The vocal demands of this competition are so rigorous that even small inefficiencies add up and wear out singers’ voices. The presence of such inefficiencies doesn’t diminish Pia’s talent in any way, but I really hope that Pia visits a good vocal coach when this is over. Finding one who can teach the proper technique for producing that brassy aesthetic is another topic in itself, but I’ll get to that later. 😉


  34. Good morning!

    Stopping in to say hi to MCL and the bloggers here! I enjoyed last night’s performances. I thought everyone did a nice job. My opinion of the performers was not changed at all last night, meaning my favs are still my favs, and I haven’t grown to really dig the others. My fav performances were Scotty’s and James’. Gosh, I so want to like Pia, because she has an incredible voice. I think my problem with her is she doesn’t have the fire and originality I need to feel connected to her. She is almost too perfect. I don’t know. Lauren is my fav girl. I still predict Scotty will make the top two, and maybe win. He has a lot to work on, but there is just something about this kid that draws me in. I am not a big fan of country music, so that says a lot!


  35. I am writing this first just for the vocals by listening but not watching-

    Jacob – Man in the Mirror – I really like his sound and tone and I think he has a career – he seems to have a grasp of how to sing an up-tempo piece. I like that he tries a different approach this time and uses fewer flourishes.

    Haley – A Little Piece of My Heart – starts a little rough – I wouldn’t want to take on Joplin! As she gets going, she warms up into it. It is tough that this compares to the great Janis Joplin, though. I read somewhere that it looked like three voices on the oscilloscope when Joplin’s voice “cracked” – I don’t think I heard that, but I like Haley.

    Casey – Guitar and Bass – Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Nice sweet sound at the beginning, a little FLAT at times – Kn-o-o-oH – he seems to sing AROUND the notes. Kn-o-o-oh – Da-a-a-i-eh… It is OK.

    Lauren – Natural Woman – Look out – she is a GOOD singer – a little shaky at times – she has the phrasing and sound down – smooth OOOOs – and I WAANTA BE – change key – FEEEEL – some shaky sounds right before the end but then brings it on at the end.

    James – While My Guitar Gently Weeps – He is the one whose sound hits my BONES… I also can FEEL the emotion – starts shaky but has that nice sweeep–ing… sound…Change key – high key – NOoo – tice … I like the way he keeps the WAIL to the end…

    Scotty – That’s All Right – He had the disadvantage of following James for me – Scotty is still the most likable young man – the up-tempo was OK for me – I heard a breathlessness in this one, though – and the key was a little high for him.

    Pia – Mountain High – sings Tina Turner scary for her – She seems to be reaching for the notes here in the up-tempo sections – she does better on the sustained notes – Big Finish – not much fun though.

    Stephano – When a Man Loves a Woman – High key – breathless – almost rhythmic speaking – breaks out into the bbbaabby treat me bbaaaaaaaaaad – change key – best vocal of the night for me so far…Woooooorrrrllllllllllld… Nice.

    Paul – Folsom Prison Blues – I think Paul may just bring it to the concert, but I hear flat and scratchy notes at the start – the guitarist accompanying him steals the show – then Paul finishes with a bit of blues – wish the whole thing had been like the finish.

    Then I turned off the sound and just watched the performances – If you are a visual person you might have seen a bit of awkwardness from all.
    Jacob – needs to work on smoothing out the moves.
    Haley – cute and fresh.
    Casey – looks good with his base.
    Lauren – She has that “IT” quality – she really could win this.
    James – Love him – Not so secret – I LIKE James the best this year.
    Scotty – trying to be cool – Scotty – just be yourself, please.
    Pia – out of sync with the sound.
    Stephano – Sincerity – I believed him.
    Paul – Cheshire Cat!


  36. I apologize for not editing the previous blog – Mea Culpa – especially to Stefano.


  37. Keep Jimmy I. away from Stefano and we will have a shining star.


  38. Well, I’ve decided to vote this year. Thanks, MCL, for reminding me of why I need to vote. I couldn’t do the two full hours (I actually typed “years” before I realized it was “hours!), but I managed to do a fair amount of voting for James nevertheless.

    This is a video of James performing “My Guitar Gently Weeps” from two years ago. I find it more beautiful and pure than his rendition last night. I’m wondering whether his voice is becoming fatigued.


  39. So…I listened to Stefano’s song about 5 times (probably more) trying to figure out what it was that was bothering me about the song. I can’t seem to figure it out. I thought it was that he was not emotionally connected to it, but after listening to it, I can see/hear that the emotion is there. Maybe GrammieKari is right and that he should have done an uptempo song?? So because i cannot figure out what I didn’t like about it, I will just concede defeat and join the crowd in saying that Stefano was AMAZING tonight ;-).

    I do think that Randy’s comment might hurt him and also annoyed that Stefano was basically the only to get criticized. I know we discussed this last week, but I’m going to go back to it again. It’s too bad the judges cannot get a say now, like on DWTS. I know a couple of people on here watch it, but basically the voting goes like this: The judges give their scores, then the public can call in and vote. And then together this makes up their final score. At least the judges are still getting a say and do actually have to pay attention rather than sitting back and being “audience’ members as well.


  40. Wow – I don’t think I watched the same show this week –
    Check out dial idol that just checks the Telephonic votes –
    Scotty, James, Pia, Casey, Haley, Lauren, Stefano, Jacob, Paul
    Idol meter that works a magic formula that uses a “magic” formula that uses a mix of dial idol, judges comments, buzz, and order of performance.
    Scotty, Casey, James, Pia, Paul, Jacob, Stefano, Haley, Lauren

    Oh well, we will be able to see them on the AI10 Tour.


  41. Ok here’s my non-technical input

    Jacob – Man in the Mirror – Agree he has a lovely tone to his voice, this was a very restrained performance. He is not converting me though, I just don’t like the way he sings, it makes me curl up inside and I can’t wait for it to finish – I do try and make myself listen all the way through (and mostly succeed)

    Haley – A Little Piece of My Heart – Haley on the other hand has grown on me – probably since I heard Blue. She doesn’t connect with the song and provide any emotion – but she is having such a good time and just brings you into her world. A little less growling would have made this much better.

    Casey – Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Was waiting for the Bass, it wasn’t magic but I enjoyed it and would happily listen again. He does inhabit the songs musically but his voice is not the best and is exposed a bit.

    Lauren – Natural Woman – This was my favourite so far from Lauren, she’s another that has grown on me (much as I try to ignore it), as I do like her voice. However she has not really shown any emotional connection to the songs so far. She shouldn’t do odd smiles or lost looks in to the corwd at odd unconnected moments. Sorry I know this is a singing contest but who dressed her in light coloured baggy shorts……

    James – While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Emotional connection A++++++. Agree with Sue his Y-tube versions are better, I have wondered before if his voice is degrading on this show. I love the way he sweeps to the high notes.

    Scotty – That’s All Right – Enjoyable as Scotty always is, it was fun. I wish he could bring more richness and tone to all his voice not just the low notes. The left lean/stance – does he have an physical issue or is it just an inbuilt habit? as it is apparent even on the video when he was just talking.

    Pia – Mountain High – I enjoyed this much more – there wasn’t the unpleasent (for me) tone/screech on the high notes – Next week I would like to see her sing something fun – but will pigs fly.

    Stephano – When a Man Loves a Woman – The first high notes didn’t sit well with me – made me squirm – but then he fiddled with the ear piece and it was a bit better. I don’t know about Stephano – I read on here – how he is one of the better technical singers (I am no judge of this – so won’t disagree), I just don’t get it. I want to like him but didn’t enjoy it. This week I could see the connection was there with the camera and emotions. So I am trying to decide what doesn’t work for me – and maybe it it too forced – I don’t know.

    Paul – Folsom Prison Blues – Oh I didn’t like this and generally I like Paul. I felt like he wasn’t singing with the music at all. He did look like he was having fun though. Paul is another one whose voice to me, has degraded since Hollywood week.

    Who do I want to listen to again and also check the itunes?
    Paul (becasue his Itunes have always be much better than live and I’m hoping)
    Stephano (because I want to see if it is better in the Studio)

    Bottom 3
    Jacob, Stephano, Paul

    Going home Jacob – probably because of his comment, but also because I have wanted him to go for sometime.


  42. And yes I didn’t critique the judges because there no judges any-more just a cheer leading team.


  43. And yes I didn’t critique the judges because there no judges any-more just a cheer leading team.

    The general accuracy of this statement just made me laugh. Now, if we can just get Randy to high-five Stefano, it will be perfectly accurate.


  44. I posted some comments on MCL’s critique of last night’s performances, but after reading some of the comments here I thought that I would also share them here.

    I was thinking quite a bit about Stefano last night. It’s true that something is bothering me with his performances but I have had trouble figuring out what it was. Then it just hit me – he’s trying to hard! It sounds too simple, but it’s true. This guy is always working so hard to come across well and it makes his performances seem somewhat forced. I also heard those very high notes in the beginning that didn’t sound right to me. If Stefano is working too hard, then the audience will feel it. I wish he could just relax a little and have some fun out there. I also dearly wish he would have brought out the piano and maybe performed a more uptempo, lighthearted song.

    It’s always a risk tackling a Janis Joplin song. The raw emotion she poured into her performances is hard to match. I hope that Haley remembers what Will.i.am said to her about connecting with the words. The smiling throughout a good deal of the song was kind of strange considering what she was singing about. That’s what Will.i.am was trying to get her to understand. She has the technical vocals, now she just needs to be lees self-conscious on stage.

    I agree with the comments about James’ voice. I think his voice is showing some wear and tear. He sounded better on “Maybe I’m Amazed” a few weeks back. This show takes such a toll on the voices of these kids. Even Pia is showing some signs of a bit of vocal fatigue. Paul is the one who has the worst of it. He is singing with his throat and the tension and lack of proper breath support is killing his voice.

    It’s very telling that I don’t enjoy Jacob’s performances. I am one who loves male r&b singers as a rule. It’s just not coming together as a cohesive whole for me. This time he did pull back quite a bit, but I am not loving his voice.

    It’s hard to figure out who will be in the bottom three tonight. I think Paul should be in the bottom three again. I also have this feeling that Jacob could be in big trouble for that comment he made in his video clip. Why would he lecture America and say that is he winds up in the bottom three it’s because they can’t look themselves in the mirror? Why be smug and holier than thou with the audience you need to vote for you? I don’t get it. It seems that many online are saying that Stefano will be in the bottom, too. I hope not but fear that his performance just didn’t go over well. Also, it won’t help that Randy gave him his only critical comments of the night.


  45. Sorry, a few typos again.

    I meant to say about Haley – she just needs to be a little LESS self-conscious on stage.

    About Jacob – I meant to say that IF he winds up in the bottom three, then it’s because America can’t look themselves in the mirror.


  46. Bizzee247,

    I’m glad you watched Stephano’s performance again, and realized just how good it was.
    I watch DWTS also, but my favorite dancing show is “So You Think You Can Dance.” I LOVE it!!! I always feel rather bummed out when each season comes to an end. I think the new season starts in May after the AI finale.


  47. I must I am feeling really bummed today. I am really upset about Stefano possibly going home. I hate reading over at Mjsbigblog that he overstayed his welcome. His past performances were not train wrecks, they were just sluggish and not relaxed enough. I’m bothered though that he has wasted his potential by not taking enough risks and making himself appear cheesy. I really feel that he could have proven his musicianship and use his piano to full extent. I don’t know what to say, except hoping for a miracle tonight. Just miss the Stefano from Hollywood week performing “Sir Duke”. 😦


  48. I cannot find George


  49. MCL,
    Love the video blogs. I hope one day you might use the video demonstrate some of the techniques that you speak so eloquently about. I learned a lot from your advice this week. Another great article!

    Thank you for correcting my mistake on the last blog topic.

    Here is a link to a young woman who is all the buzz these days who self accompanies her jazz singing with the upright bass. Her name is Esperanza Spalding and she has many remarkable accomplishments for any age, much less, her young age.


  50. I cannot find George Harrison’s lovely song on the list of “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” even though he is an INDUCTEE! here’s the list:

    R & B
    Traditional Pop

    Recently Hip Hop and Rap were added. I will provide a link. Here’s the list:


    Too bad Nigel couldn’t find a real INDUCTEE to help the contestants this week. I was not pleased at all!!

    Anita, we like the same televison shows!

    MCL, I have been having problems posting and I don’t know why. Eek!


  51. I was really hoping to see Stephano escape the bottom 3, but I knew it would be a stretch. Darn!!! I wouldn’t have minded seeing Lauren in the bottom 3.


  52. I’m broken hearted about Pia. Both she and Stephano are my favorites. I felt Stephano needed my votes more than Pia, and now look what happened! I’ve been impressed with Jacob this season, but felt his comment last night was out of line. I know it would have been a shock to the judges if Jacob was leaving, but that was what I was hoping for when it came down to he, Stephano, and Pia. It sure is looking very hopeless that a girl is going to win this season. I think it is safe to say there is not a chance. Does anyone feel the same way?


  53. Another American Idol contestant who felt the sting of leaving in 9th place was
    Season 5’s Mandisa. Mandisa just released her 4th album this week. It’s an incredible Christian album, complete with her stellar vocals, awesome songs, and production!! She’s done very well for herself in her music career. I believe that after the Idols Live Tour this summer, that won’t be the last we will see of Pia. I hope and pray Pia has a successful career, and that her artistry continues to grow. She has such a stunning voice!!!!



  1. Vocal MasterClass Article For American Idol Season 10 Top 9 Singers: Music From The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame « MasterclassLady.Com - April 7, 2011

    […] really enjoyed last night’s performances.  I predicted they would be good and, generally, I feel that prediction came true. There were some neat surprises […]


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