Vocal MasterClass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Top 4 Performance Show: Lieber/Stoller Songbook And More


Just a few more weeks, everyone, and another American Idol season comes to an end. It’s been a crazy ride, hasn’t it?

This evening the Top 4 singers, comprised of Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery will be mentored by Lady Gaga.

This should be fun – and interesting. Will she address Haley’s performance of her(Gaga’s) number, “You And I” on the Top 5 show last week, especially considering most of the judges were not receptive to this song choice?

We shall see what this evening’s performances bring us. Make sure you add your lively, but respectful, comments after the show. Any news, spoilers and more can be added before the show or emailed to me.

Update (special thanks to Mindy): The second theme tonight is Inspirational Songs. Apparently, Jacob spilled the beans during an interview. So, thanks Jacob!

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

34 Responses to “Vocal MasterClass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Top 4 Performance Show: Lieber/Stoller Songbook And More”

  1. Jennifer and Randy didn’t give Haley enough credit tonight. This certainly was a difficult song to sing. She sounded a bit growly, but for the most part, Haley a fine job! I want to see her in the Top 3 so much, but it seem like the judges are trying to mess with her chances! Inspirational Week would have been awesome for Jacob, and right up his alley!


  2. I agree Anita. I think the judges are basing their opinions from the dress rehearsal video because in the recap ( which was taken from the rehearsal) she had more of a screaming element in her vocals.


  3. It was also a nice added touch to have a choir sing with her. I thought it was a moving performance. I feel Haley was incredible singing “I Who Have Nothing”! Wow! Jordin Sparks sang this one during Season 6, and it was stunning as well.


  4. MCL – Which recap did it say that on?


  5. There was a crazy vibe going on tonight. Must have been because of Lady Gaga. Poor Scotty, I don’t think he knew what to do with her. You could see his face got red. He did a nice job with his performances. After tonight, I believe he will win. I think once he gets Lauren’s votes, he’s got it.

    I am so happy with James’ performances. No, he’s not an Adam Lambert – but he’s been doing this for a long time – way before Adam was on the show. I think second place would be fine for him.

    So many are complaining that Randy was so mean to Haley. It seems some may have a short memory. Simon was cruel; Randy wasn’t cruel – just being honest. Yes, he was OTT. However, it was confusing when they gave her a standing ovation for a pretty good performance.

    Cruelty is what Simon did to Siobhan, Allison, Carly, etc.

    I think Lauren may have gotten a few fans tonight. She was so relaxed, I wondered if they gave her 1/2 of a Xanax. LOL!

    1. James / Lauren

    3. Scotty

    4. Haley

    James is doing a GOOD job and he is entertaining. I do think Scotty will win, but James coming in second place would be fine with me!

    I went back to hear the comments about Haley’s first performance from Jennifer – and I thought she was gentle and encouraging to Haley. Randy was rough, but nothing compared to Simon. JMO.

    So, I liked Lauren’s performances. She was cute with her intereactions with Ryan. I think he likes her and isn’t as comfortable with handling Haley. It is possible Lauren may go home because a lot of sympathy will go out to Haley. I just want James in the TOP 3.


  6. Interesting show. Everyone had some good moments. I really DID NOT like Haley at the start of this season. Now, I absolutley love her! She has grown so much and I just loved what she did with that second song. Lauren had her moments, and I felt she was having more fun up there tonight, compared to other nights. Don’t find her as strong as Haley and think (hope) that she is the one to go home (not because I don’t like her – I just like the other 3 better. We’re at that point…). Scotty…hmmm I like him but found him a bit silly tonight. But he seems to have captured the hearts of many so that’s why he’ll be safe tonight. James…love his voice. Sometimes I feel he over does it, though, and I wish he wouldn’t resort to the “scream” so much. Hope he is safe.
    Nice to see Paul’s gorgeous smile in the audience today. Love Gaga! There’s just something about her…she fascinates me.


  7. ok – just re-watched James. His screams were great tonight.No overdone. And I love how he played the crowd!!


  8. I’m all for James. I just am in awe of how well he has handled the competition with Tourette’s Syndrome and Asperger’s. To watch his face before and after singing with all the tics and to see how the music takes him away from his troubles is (as Stephen would say) a beautiful thing!


  9. I agree, his screams were not overdone, he is a great entertainer.


  10. I have to say that the manipulation has gotten rather ridiculous. It was like a script from a bad “B” movie. Once again, the judges were highly critical of Haley and then they were over the moon when she “redeemed” herself with her second performance. I don’t know what is up with this nonsense, but I am not having any of it.

    The judges will not give any criticism to James no matter what. I thought he sang much better this week, but wasn’t blown away by “Don’t Stop Believing”. It will be up to the audience to decide if he has overused the power falsetto singing. I think he has used it to excess and has not always hit those notes. I thought everyone would stay away from the novelty songs like “Love Potion #9”, but James had fun with it. I think he was much more on key than last week. The performance value is always there with him.

    Lauren did a decent job with her first song, but I said on MJ’s blog that she should not sing “Trouble”. I felt that she could not pull off a difficult song like this. She did well with it until she went into the audience and started moving all over the place. By the time she got on stage for the last few lines, she was completely out of breath, almost gasping for air. Those last lines were flat. Just bad. That is the last thing the audience hears. She doesn’t seem able to pace herself in demanding songs. As I always say, you never sacrifice vocals for the sake of movement.

    Scotty just reached in and touched my heart with that song. This has been an emotional week and a half, what with the events that happened in the world. I was born in New York, but now live in L.A. My family went through so much on 9/11. When I first heard this song, I completely broke down. To hear it again was incredibly moving. I have to say that there have been comments on MJ’s blog to the effect that he is using this song as a blatant emotional, patriotic appeal. I think MJ said – guns, God and Jesus. I was quite offended reading those comments. Scotty got emotional while he was singing this song and started to tear up at one point. Even at the end, he seemed to be fighting back tears. I resent anyone suggesting that he was trying to manipulate people to get votes. This was entirely appropriate for an inspirational song, and timely in light of what happened. I loved how he did the unexpected by doing it acappella at the end. Beautiful!

    I would not have picked “Youngblood” for Scotty. It was kind of surprising, given what the song is about. I got a kick out of Lady Gaga and Scotty in their rehearsal! I had to laugh out loud. She made Scotty blush! However, Miss Gaga was right on about Scotty not pulling away from the mic. Now if he could just remember to keep it straight all the time. But he’s getting there. I did like how Scotty had fun and engaged the audience. He has real charisma on that stage and a maturity beyond his years. Yay, Scotty survived a mentoring session with Lady Gaga!

    Haley did not sing well in her first performance. I did not like the song, thought it didn’t work with her voice and she had all kinds of problems with it. The judges always go after her and don’t criticize anyone else, so she sees it as unfair. However, talking back to the judges is a no-no. She came off sounding very defensive. She could lose the faces, too. Someone once said to the Dixie Chicks, Shut up and sing! It was done in a political context, one with which I do not agree, however in this case it is applicable. You stand there and smile at the judges and suck it up. The judges had already heard her in dress rehearsal, so they knew that she killed it. This performance more than made up for the first one. I think her voice sounded less tired and much better. She took Lady Gaga’s advice and it enhanced the dramatic impact of the song. So this is the second week in which she has taken on a great song already done by a previous female contestant. I don’t know if her little tantrum on stage will cost her or if the audience will be sympathetic. As others have said here, she is not the only one who has been criticized in the finals. Also, Siobhan got much worse last season. At least the judges didn’t make it personal.

    I have come to like Haley and think she has earned her spot in the top three, but she needs to learn to keep her mouth shut and let her singing do the talking.


  11. I forgot to add that the judges were so blatantly reading from their notes this week. It was embarrassing. I don’t know if these are their own notes jotted down during the dress rehearsals or notes given to them by the producers, but it’s just silly to see them looking down so they make sure to remember their lines. Is this a movie?

    Also, after reading my critique, I didn’t make it clear enough that it was Haley’s second performance of “I Who Have Nothing” that was so great.


  12. Mindy, I very often eost the same comments on MJ’s Blog. I find they often get lost when there are many posting at the same time. So, you may have read my Xanax comment over there! LOL! ;o)

    I noticed I repeated myself in my post. Sorry about that.

    I think James and Scotty are safe, but it’s going to be Haley or Lauren going home. I have no idea which one it will be. I find Lauren to be a more pleasant person. They both have good voices. Haley is more willing to take chances. I am split on this 50/50 chance.

    I do not want a shock elimination – especially NOt James!


  13. Grammie Keri,

    I must have missed your comments, because I don’t remember the xanax one. I am frustrated because I can’t post any comments there. My computer went down with a virus and my computer guy had to pick it up and left me a loaner. This computer doesn’t remember my password on MJ’s blog and I have tried to request another one, but haven’t received an e-mail from that wordpress. I guess that I will have to wait until I get my computer back tomorrow. That virus wiped out my Windows completely.

    I really have come to like Haley and think she is wonderfully talented. However, I did not like her behavior at all when the judges criticized her for that first performance. When she doesn’t get the song choice right, the performance just doesn’t work. I just think it’s a losing proposition when you talk back and argue with the judges. It can be very effective to just smile at them and nod or say thank you and keep your poise. I don’t like Haley’s attitude these past two weeks. No one said life is fair.

    I am aware that the judges are letting other contestants get by without honestly critiquing their performances. However, the judges have given her two standing ovations.

    By the way, there is another article on MJ’s blog in which Haley spouts off even more about what happened on tonight’s show. I don’t know exactly when this happened. I assume it was after the show. There is an old saying about not biting the hand that feeds you. She wants to work with Jimmy and other professionals in this industry, so she needs to cool it. Talent doesn’t automatically allow you to just blow off steam whenever you feel like it. Michael Slezak has already said a few things about what happened to Haley and said that his complete critique will have a lot to say about it. She is his favorite, so of course it’s all a big conspiracy.

    I think it will be either Lauren or Haley, but I can’t make a prediction at this point. I just don’t know.


  14. Sad – What a Mess!
    When I just watched the performers tonight, I thought that it was a draw — all contestants had their Highs and lows tonight – there were no “A” games — too much schtick – even from my favorite James.
    But – when I went back and watched the hoopla — did the judges see the same show I watched?
    Steven Tyler was right about Haley – she was using her “smokey” style tonight — if Casey had done the same thing, they would have raved. Even if Haley goes home, I am glad that she stood up for herself — she can have her own parade later.
    BTW – Haley came back with a great second act and even challenged Jordin’s rendition.


  15. Oh, Mindy – sorry you are having computer troubles. Hope you get it back today.

    OK, here are my thoughts which I Twittered to Nigel. I am getting brave using something I don’t completely understand. Oh, Nigel has called some people morons because they are abusing him. He’s loving all this debate and discussion.

    Someone made a comment on MJ’s blog that,”These judges and producers can’t be stupid. Haley must get huge surges in votes everytime they dare to be mean to her.” There it is, folks. It took me a while to figure it out. This whole scenerio was planned before the show started. Nigel WANTS Haley to be in the TOP 3.

    Think about Ryan’s question and Randy’s response… “It’s a tie between James, Scotty, and Lauren.” This makes Randy out to be the bad guy by leaving out Haley. Of course, her feelings were hurt. I have a feeling they knew she would get upset. The producers got what they wanted.

    If ever there was a set-up, this is it. Ryan asked the preplanned question; and Randy gave the preplanned answer! I give Jennifer credit for not replying.

    Nigel is just loving all this talk, and I think he may get Haley in there. Two Country singers weren’t what they had in mind. It is sad that they have to put Haley through all of this. Idol is famous for its manipulations. He said there were over 70 million votes.

    So, does anyone agree with me that this was all planned? :o)


  16. I think they want a Top 3 of Lauren, Scotty and James. Top 2 will be Lauren and Scotty. That has been the plan from Day One.


  17. It was very interesting last night when Jennifer made the comment to Lauren about being in the spot when the confetti comes down. Then she said that’s what we want for you. I took it to mean that she was specifically speaking about Lauren, although I guess she could have meant “you” as in all of the contestants.

    I am afraid that Haley will be the one to leave tonight, but my husband thinks it will be Lauren. He was right about Pia leaving, so maybe he sees something that I don’t see.


  18. WOW! What a night! My complaint list is long:

    1. Jennifer why don’t you tell us who you REALLY want to win!!! Lauren? Really??

    2. If I were Scotty and Lauren’s mom I would have pulled them out of that so called mentoring session so fast GaGa’s make-up would have fallen off!

    3. Did anyone other than me get the impression that Lauren DID NOT pick that song???

    4. What’s up with the Haley abuse; then giving her a standing O…2 weeks in a row!!! Not meant to rhyme; but it does hehe!

    5.Mj’s big blog…I will never read you again; shame on you for the tongue lashing you gave Scotty! Get up there and do better and I will vote for you! The comment that you made about his song choice; and him singing about God; God is who some of find our strength to go on from, shame on you!

    I think that I am done for now; but would like the discretion to come back if I think of any other complaint that I may have had from last night’s fiasco.

    HI ALL


  19. Jordin Sparks’ rendition of “I Who Have Nothing” is way better than Heley Reinhart’s by a mile. Her voice is prettier and the tone is better.


  20. What is so funny about the cheerleaders this week is that for the second week running they have slammed Haley’s first performance and then giving a standing O to her second performance, and had the cheek to claim she was good because of what they had said and that she channelled her anger.

    Her song sounded good when she was just singing it for the first time to Gaga. Nothing to do with the cheerleaders.


  21. Vonnie,

    You may not want to read more of what MJ said about Scotty. She has really gone after him. As far as that mentoring session with Lady Gaga, of course it was embarrassing for Scotty given how explicit she was with him. However, I think that Scotty is a very mature, poised, smart youngman. He handled it all very well, kissed his cross and just basically said – what can you do. We know that they are light years apart, but if you take it with a little humor then it’s not all that bad. Scotty has managed to handle himself so very well. I am proud of him!

    I actually am starting to think that this business of criticizing Haley and then showering praise on her in the end, is part of some strategy. Nigel tweeted that there were 70 million votes cast and Haley’s second performance was his favorite of the night. Maybe this is their way of getting her into the finale. Who knows at this point.

    Ryan already tweeted that tonight will be VERY interesting! What could that mean? We may be in for a surprise. I hope Scotty’s performance of “Youngblood” didn’t hurt him. It has not been well received on the blogosphere. I would have preferred that he sing “Stand By Me” or “Ruby Baby” or “There Goes My Baby”. This didn’t work as well as “Gone” last week.

    Honestly, if Lauren goes home I don’t know if I will be able to watch it. Seeing that girl fall apart on stage will not be pleasant. I don’t know what to expect right now.


  22. Mindy,

    I didn’t recognize this last night, but others I know think that TPTB are using reverse psychology to get people to vote for Haley. Anything is possible on Idol! I was sure it would be Haley leaving tonight, but many of the polls and comments I’ve read today strongly favor her.

    The biggest shock of all would be seeing Scotty leave at this point.

    I was trying to think through different combinations of contestants in the finale two:
    Scotty/Lauren – Scotty would probably win
    Scotty/Haley – Scotty would probably win
    Scotty/James – not so sure which one would win
    Lauren/Haley – not so sure who would win
    Lauren/James – James would probably win
    James/Haley – not sure who would win


  23. Actually in my previous post I said I couldn’t predict who would win a James/Haley finale. I actually think it would be James.

    So to me the more interesting matchups would be the two guys competing against each other, or the two girls. If it’s a female/male matchup, I think the male will win.


  24. Mindy,

    I’m glad MJ said something to those people that were critisizing Scotty for singing “When The World Stopped Turning”. That was just lame. This performance of Scotty’s and Haley’s rendition of
    “I Who Have Nothing” are my two favorites of the night!! Mindy, I know what I said earlier in the season of not wanting Scotty to win, but I’ve been more and more inpressed with him over the last 5 weeks or so. Now, I wouldn’t mind at all if Scotty wins this season!! I have huge feeling that we are in for a James & Scotty finale!


  25. Vonnie!!!! Welcome back!!!!!!


  26. Mindy,

    Maybe I misunderstood what you said about MJ. Did MJ herself say something negative about Scotty’s choice of song?


  27. Yes Anita – it was MJ who criticized Scotty. ( shakes head)


  28. Jimmy must have talked Lauren into singing “Trouble”! That’s one thing I haven’t liked about Jimmy. He needs to let them think more for themselves. I loved the fact that Casey didn’t let Jimmy persuade him, and went ahead and sang
    “Nature Boy”.


  29. Anita,

    Yes, MCL was correct in saying that MJ criticized Scotty in some very strong language for singing “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning”. I couldn’t go on there last night to post my thoughts, because I was using a loaner computer since mine got a virus that destroyed Windows completely. The loaner computer didn’t have the password remembered to log in on her site and for the life of me I couldn’t remember it. I tried to get a new password, but never got the e-mail link.

    Needless to say, I was not pleased. If I thought for even one minute that Scotty was using this tragedy to get votes, I would never feel the same about him. I come from New York and now live in L.A., but when 9/11 happened my family was back there suffering through the horror of it. They know people who died and still have emotional scars to this day. I remember having an emotional conversation with my sister about the killing of Osama bin Laden. She told me that it won’t bring back her former boss who was killed on flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. He was a lawyer that she worked for until he relocated to San Francisco. He was in town for a business conference and she wasn’t sure when he was supposed to fly back home. She tried to get information on him in the hectic days after the attack. Finally she found out from his boss that he decided to go home a day earlier because he missed his wife and children so much. So he changed his plans and was on flight 93. My sister was devastated. My brother-in-law works on Wall Street and was there in the Goldman Sachs building when it all happened. He knew people who died. They are happy that Osama bin Laden is dead and feel that justice was done. There is some peace, but the pain will always be there.

    I believe that Scotty’s decision to perform this song came from his heart and a deep connection to this song. Of course, I cried when he sang it.

    MJ continued some of her nastiness about Scotty in today’s blogs. I know that she likes to be pretty blunt in her comments, but I thought she was really off base with the trashing of Scotty.

    I also agree that someone must have talked Lauren into singing “Trouble”. She really lost her breath at the end and just lost the notes. I think she kind of gets lost in these big songs. Also, if she had such reservations about the word “evil”, then why would she sing this song? Every other word was evil!

    I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight. There are so many theories going around online and discussion about the dial idol numbers, that I just won’t even go there.


  30. Thank you Anita!!!

    Not back to stay, just wanted to drop in and vent about last night!

    I am so sad for James…as much a I liked Haley, I thought for sure she would be going home tonight!


  31. Mindy,

    You’re making me cry! How heartbreaking for you and your family to go through that tragedy of 9/11 so personally. I only your sister’s boss didn’t decide to fly back home a day earlier. It just blows my mind that people can have so much hate in their hearts, and are capable of doing the unimaginable. I know that there was evidence found Osama was planning another attack on the U.S on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

    I am so broken hearted about James! I gave him every one of my votes again last night I was VERY nervous when Ryan announced that Lauren was in the Top 3. That wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but what are you going to do? I really think Rosanne is on to something predicting this to be a Lauren/Scotty Finale. I’m so pleased that Haley made it, though!


  32. ;*(
    My favorite! Gone Too Soon!


  33. Anita,

    We all have our own favorites, so this is a difficult night. I thought it be either Haley or Lauren to go tonight. I didn’t expect James to go. I am happy for Haley, but I have some issues with what has gone of for the last two weeks. Many think that she was a victim of the judges, but I think that this was a carefully planned script that played out exactly the way the producers planned. The judges criticize her excessively two weeks in a row for her first performance and then they go over the moon and give her standing ovations two weeks in a row after her second performance. Keep in mind that the judges hear the performances in dress rehearsal, so they had to know that Haley did well in both of her second performances. It all played out the same way two weeks running and it seems kind of strange to me.

    However, I am happy that Haley is in the top three. I haven’t loved her attitude, but she has earned her place. I thought that Lauren would go, but we have two girls! That is amazing. I am sorry that it was at the expense of James. I did not see that coming at all.

    I smelled trouble when Lauren was the first one called safe. Then when they called out Haley as safe, then I realized what was about to happen – one of the guys was leaving.

    Maybe MCL was right all along.


    I am sorry that James is gone. I know how it feels when you lose your favorite. It hurts. A lot!

    Here is a little smiley for you. 🙂


  34. Just wanted to wave to Vonnie. I just knew you wouldn’t stay away for the whole season. LOL!

    Speaking of missing persons, I’d like to give a shout-out to Jeanne. 🙂


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