Vocal MasterClass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Top 4 Results Show


Tonight is a huge night on American Idol. Hee -uge!

Whoever is eliminated does not gain the chance to enjoy a celebratory homecoming this week.

That special event is reserved for the prestigious Top 3 Finalists in the American Idol competition.

So, who will it be – Haley, James, Lauren or Scotty?

The only one I am absolutely certain is not leaving the show tonight is Scotty. He is so far ahead in the voting polls it’s ridiculous. No one can catch him – not even James!

Tonight is jam-packed with special performances from season 6 winner, Jordin Sparks, Enrique Eglesias, the outstanding Lady Gaga and the debut of Steven Tyler’s music video.

I will be at a performance of Beauty and The Beast, watching my students, Hannah and Ryan, bring down the house as Belle and Lumiere respectively.

So please, please add the spoilers after the show in the comments below. Any new information prior to the show would be appreciated as well. You know my Masterclass doors are always open. 🙂

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

61 Responses to “Vocal MasterClass Discussion For American Idol Season 10 Top 4 Results Show”

  1. Steven Tyler has gotten criticism for his lack of criticism as a judge this year. I think his interview with Ryan Seacrest was revealing, not in an Entertainment Tonight kind of way, but rather he was candid.

    Regarding his comments, he said he didn’t feel as free as Randy and JLo. He said he was getting used to listening live (and even admitted it’s hard to hear the contestants), remembering the cameras, and the liveness of the program. Interesting to hear him talk about it.

    He also mentions giving a good review of a performance and getting a call from someone that he better watch the recorded show because the person didn’t sound so hot. His sentence was cut off a bit, but he said they just have this speaker in front of them. You’d think with all the money this show makes, and how little it costs to produce, they could spring for a better sound board and speakers and someone who can mix the live performance better.

    Perhaps his befuddled looks are genuine? He came off as very kind and honest. He really loved Naima and Casey and their character. He gives props to Casey’s ability to play the stand-up bass and sing. He also emphasizes the importance of character in voice and performance. He misses Naima for that reason. He felt Casey “growled himself off the show.” LOL I wish they gave him a chance to say things like that on air! Ultimately, he is very kind, knows they kids are working hard and have talent. He said that these days young bands actually have to pay clubs to allow them to play, so it’s totally different from his world in the early 70s when clubs would give you a chance. Even in the late 80s and early 90s I had never heard of this trend of buying into stage time at clubs. Crazy. Part of the reason he came on the show was that he felt it gave kids, who might not normally have a chance, to have one.

    Regarding his defense of Haley last night, he thought Randy was coming at it a different way, ie: was it a hit song, did it fit her character. He actually implied that he was the only judge on the panel that was a vocalist. Funny. (Later he mentions that Aerosmith is the best band to see live because they don’t use voice boxes (?), tracks, etc. You hear the same thing as you do on the radio.) He was defending Haley as a vocalist. She chose a song that was meaningful to her, she sang the crap out of it, and left everything out on the floor, emotionally and vocally. He said he’s dragged his voice across the country through broken glass and knows what it feels like it to give your voice to the crowd, to hit those notes. He said she pushed herself at the top of her range. He mentioned that she has been poised all season, but that she “cried a little bit.” I could see that she was a little watery eyed, but perhaps she was just emotional after putting so much into that song. I really do hope that America give Haley a break on that.

    It’s worth the time to view.


  2. MCL . . . it was a huge shock to me. James went home tonight. Of all the people left, I so wanted him to be in the finale because it was so important to him. I am really sad that James had to be the one to go.


  3. Oh no oh no oh no!!! I can’t believe this. Still at the musical. Heartbroken


  4. It was heartwrenching watching him. I’ve never seen a contestant want that title more than James. Fortunately his girlfriend was there tonight and she told him it was okay. I hope he gets a record contract and has a very successful musical career.


  5. I am sick to my stomach. I really did cry because getting into the Top 3 was so important. I wanted James to have that home visit! He’s such a brave guy and he should be very proud of himself.

    My daughter teaches first grade and has two children with Aspergers and high functioning Autisim. These little ones loved James. I think they may be sad.

    This is the worse elimination in Idol history, IMO. I don’t mind that James wasn’t going to be the winner, but I wanted that hometown visit for him!

    So, TPTB plan worked and Haley’s in. But what else did American Idol want? A girl winner. Now, they have a 66% chance of that happening. I will watch, but am done with voting.

    Having his finacee there was important, thank goodness. Just feeling sad right now. Frankly, I don’t really care who wins.


  6. I am happy that Heidi, his fiancée, attended the show. I can’t imagine what it would be like without her.

    So, does anyone have a favorite still in the race?

    MCL, what did James in besides the “Haley” factor?


  7. Well, Grammie Kari – first of all, it is hard to believe that James had the lowest vote totals. I will leave it at that.

    But, I mentioned in my VM article that I was hoping that he would have performed a ballad this week, if for no other reason than to prove once again that he is a really gifted vocalist. Maybe that would have made the difference.

    I find it strange beyond belief that James has never visited the bottom 3 and then all of a sudden he’s gone! Pffft!


  8. I too am sad tonight. Poor James, out of all of them, he is the one that seems to be most passionate about music. He totally comes alive when he is onstage and his joy is infectious. And what a brave victory to go on TV in front of millions and not let his Tourette Syndrome keep him from his dream.

    His iTunes recordings are the only songs I have purchased this season (save for the final four when I bought the album) and I listen to them over and over. My son noticed this evening how many times I play James’ song “Uprising”!!

    I SO HOPE that James gets a recording contract and is able to have a long, successful and rewarding career as a singer (and never have to worry about his family again). We love you, James!!


  9. Well, I didn’t see this coming. I followed the results online and was really surprised by this result! I have so many mixed feelings. The show ended out here on the west coast about a half hour ago and I have been trying to get my thoughts together.

    Grammie Keri wanted to know if there are any thoughts about why James was voted off, beside the Haley factor. Well, that was probably the biggest reason. No one saw this coming a few weeks ago. How do I put this so that I can say it the way I want to say it.

    Okay. I have come to like Haley and think she deserved to be in the top three. To clarify it, I thought she deserved to be there instead of Lauren. I thought it was a race in these last two weeks between Haley and Lauren for that third spot. Now I am wondering about two weeks ago, when they never revealed the other person who was in the bottom with Casey. We know that it wasn’t Scotty. Ryan made that absolutely clear last week. Is it possible that it was James and not Lauren, as many originally thought? Would that explain why the judges were pushing so hard and praising James? I wondered if that would end up creating a backlash, because they were almost anointing him the winner. America likes to decide for itself who the winner is every season.

    The other thing that I believe really did hurt James was the lack of real constructive criticism. Everyone needs it if they are to develop as an artist. No one is perfect, yet the judges made it seem as though James was without flaws. He needed to be called out on his pitch problems, the issues with his lower register, the use every week of the power falsetto notes. I have this sense that America may have a fatigue factor with this kind of singing. I have felt this way since Adam’s season. I think you have to know when you leave it out, dial it back. I think James needed to leave it out when he sang “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”. I also wonder if the fact that he was into heavy metal worked against him.

    This was hard to watch. However, I do think that James should be proud of what he has accomplished. He will be going on tour, to Disney World and will get some kind of recording contract. He can provide for his family and give them a better life.

    On the one hand, it’s really a nice change to see two girls in the top three. We haven’t had that for about four years. I am just sorry that it came at the expense of James.


  10. Grammie Keri,

    I am sorry because when I read your post I thought you were asking all of us if we thought there was anything besides the Haley factor that did James in this week. I didn’t realize that it was directed at MCL.

    You asked if any of us still have a favorite here. I do and it’s Scotty, much to my surprise. I think Pia would have been my favorite if she had stayed in the competition. At that time I liked Scotty, James and Stefano. I fell in love with Scotty’s voice. I have always loved baritone voices. The moment I first heard Scotty, I got chills. His voice didn’t even sound real, it was so pure in tone and quality, like it was a recording. He has charmed me and showed me that he is capable of telling a story with that gorgeous voice. I think the sale was made when he sang “You’ve Got a Friend” and brought me to tears. I was moved and touched almost beyond words. That is the potential I saw in Scotty from the beginning. I still think he is capable of even more.

    I have come to admire Haley’s growth and development during the competition. She has come a long way. My one issue with her is her attitude. Some may admire the faces, the talking back to the judges, the whole me against the world (or the judges in this case. I think this girl needs to be really careful how she handles herself as we move into the final two weeks. I would like her to come out and sing and then show some poise and class and stand there and show that she can take whatever the judges say, whether she agrees or not.

    My feeling is that you don’t get to have attitude until you’ve really earned it. People in the industry are watching and will judge her on how she handles herself in the most stressful situations.

    I wish the top three the best of luck next week.


  11. I did think it was probably between James and Lauren. Simply because Lauren has been mediocre, the other 3 have all had flashes of brilliance. And for James the last 2 weeks, he has been under par (for himself) – the worst time to pick. However I did think Lauren might go home – but she has had the benefit of pimping, also crying through being bottom 2 has brought her the sympathy vote this week (this was the manipulation due to no bottom 3 being announced 2 weeks ago, because weeping through bottom 3 only saves you once)

    Mindy, I just have to address your comment about the attitude of Haley – I just don’t see it. Haley was criticised by the judges and in the bottom 3 a lot in the early part of the competition. She took it with good humour even though that must be a heart breaking position to be in. She has clawed her way back from the bottom with some great singing and for several weeks she has been singled out for criticism while they others are so great that their performance cannot be commented on.

    Further to that the criticism is not about her singing
    – it is about song choice (and we all know how little song choice they get, and I liked You and I),
    or it is about not knowing who she is (I think she knows more than Lauren does – and anyway my personal pet hate is putting people in small labelled boxes – Siobhan had this last year)
    – last night Randy criticised her voice saying she was at the top of her range and for the 1st time she answered back to correct him. What is wrong with attitude correcting a false statement.
    Personally I would say Haley along with Scotty have shown that they are people who can handle stress and still come out and professionally perform. It was horrible the way Randy stated that it was between Scotty, James and Lauren – Haley was visibly shocked but then went on to sing wonderfully (no water spot tears in sight) – that is a good professional attitude.

    If there was one ounce of professionalism in these judges, if they had ever shown they knew what they were talking about, if they had even tried to do their job as fair judges then I guess Haley would accept their criticism a bit better.

    Even Lauren has noticed and commented on how unfair it is.

    Why should a woman either be a crybaby or a doormat.

    Sorry about the rant – I really used to like this show but the blatant unfairness, ignorance and un-professionalism in the judging and the fact that Haley is on the edge of breaking under the strain is getting to me.


  12. Lauren’s comment on the judging:

    Haley wasn’t the only one bothered by the judges’ response. Lauren Alaina was on hand to put a reassuring arm around Haley’s shoulders during commercial breaks. After the show, she revealed to us how she felt about the judges’ feedback and how she sees Haley’s standing in the competition.

    “I wasn’t a happy camper about that,” she said. “That made me a little ill. I’m sorry, but Haley has the best voice on this show and she gets the most criticism. I deserve a lot more criticism than she does. I’m Haley’s No. 1 fan. I listen to her iTunes songs over and over and over.”


  13. Here’s the link to the article that Barbara quoted above. 😉


    I am very, very saddened by these results. I like all of the top four contestants as people, and based on that, I wouldn’t be able to choose which to eliminate, but based on the contestants’ present ability, I would’ve put James in the top two. Definitely not fourth place.

    Awww, poor sweet James. My heartstrings are getting torn apart! He has overcome so much. He lays it out there every week, his love for music, his passion for life, everything. And that, along with his talent, makes it so difficult to see him go. I have nothing but respect for James. What a kind soul.


  14. Barbara made some really good points about Haley. I understand there’s an unspoken rule about not talking back to the judges, but I don’t blame Haley in the least for correcting Randy’s comment about her range. And I don’t blame her for speaking up for herself. At the beginning of the season when she found herself in the bottom three, she seemed to have a blase attitude and that may have turned some people off. I think that’s just who Haley is. I was unsure of her in the beginning–talent AND personality–and watched her very closely because I couldn’t quite figure her out. But there was never anything about her personality that I didn’t like. She does seem to be a confident young woman, but not an OVERLY-confident young woman. I admire that about her. And for whatever reason, I felt she was this year’s “Siobhan.” I guess it’s because TPTB really do want a Lauren and Scotty final as MCL has been saying all along. I never quite believed that because I had a very hard time not seeing James in the final, but they got what they wanted. MCL, do you have an inside connection at Idol, or did you make that comment on instinct alone?

    Last night I was reading a couple of other sites and people were blaming Haley for James demise, and some people seemed to really dislike Scotty. But I saw none of the blame attributed to Lauren. I have a feeling that Lauren is the one they’ve wanted all along because they believe they can mold her into what they want. They won’t be able to mold Scotty.

    I also want to say that I believe the main reason that James was eliminated is because people assumed he would be safe and didn’t vote for him because they figured he had a huge fan base. I don’t think it’s because people didn’t want him to continue. I certainly assumed he was safe and from the comments here, it seems like all of us did. I hope James gets as much attention in his elimination as Pia received.


  15. Barbara,

    I actually have no disagreement with you about the inaccuracy of the judges’ comments. Stefano was singled out one week when everyone else was praised. I don’t even remember what nonsense they were spouting, but it had nothing to do with his performance.

    I would be the last person to defend the judges. I am just saying that I would like to see Haley try to rise above it all. I never said it was easy. I also never said the judges were right. I have been very frustrated with their comments towards Haley and have expressed this sentiment here more than once.

    The judging has been abominable. It’s like they are reading notes from a script in some bad movie. If they really were doing their job properly, then they would start by giving Haley some positive comments about her performance and then move on to things she might need to work on. However, that would mean that they were thinking on their own and really invested in this process.

    I will say that Steven Tyler rose to Haley’s defense last night. He told her flat out that the other two judges were wrong and not to listen to them. So someone was on her side.

    How would you explain the two standing ovations for her second performances the last two weeks? Was it phony? Steven Tyler also told her last night that she had “Reinharded” her way into next week. So let’s not leave out the good comments.

    The judging has been inconsistent at best. At times, it’s been reduced to three cheerleaders going rah, rah, rah. Except when they go after Haley. I am not saying it’s right, but you are still responsible for your own behavior. It’s an argument that Haley can’t win and she risks looking defensive and hypersensitive. Arguing with the judges won’t get them to change their minds. Haley has the support from her fellow contestants and that’s a good thing. All she can do to control her own destiny is to go out there and sing her heart out.

    I think it’s a waste of valuable energy for her to engage with them. These judges are not being honest with her and they know it and she knows it. So what will she gain? Please don’t imply that I am asking Haley to be a doormat. A person is not a doormat when they choose not to engage and simply smile and/or acknowledge what was said. A good psychologist will tell you that this is exactly the way to handle a no-win situation.


  16. Louise,

    I just noticed your comment about Haley speaking up to the judges. I pretty much gave my feelings about that in my response to Barbara. We are all entitled to our opinions and beliefs and I respect both your comments.

    I have been reading other sites and saw the intense anger among the fans of James regarding Haley. They believe that the producers set it up for her to be the victim and get sympathy. They believe that she got into the top three at James’ expense. They are hurt and angry. We have all been there. I have also read some of the vitriolic comments about Scotty. He is getting it because he is supposedly the chosen one. I will believe it when I see it. With this show, I never believe that anyone is a sure thing. As far as I am concerned, Scotty has earned his place in the top three. The judges called him out for not giving it his all and challenging himself and stepping up. I said exactly that on this site. I sensed the potential in Scotty and felt that he needed a bit of criticism to push him. Scotty stood there and listened to what they said and then came back next week with his best performance.

    I still believe that the lack of honest criticism hurt James. Everyone needs some guidance. It’s a learning process. The judges let him down in a different way. I will say that I find it hard to believe that anyone’s fans would be complacent at this stage of the competition. To take anything for granted is to risk exactly what happened tonight. Lauren’s fans were probably even more motivated by her bottom two result last week. But there is really no excuse for not voting vigorously now. With this crazy season, we have seen that anything can happen.

    We won’t ever truly know why James was the one to go tonight. I never saw it coming, that’s all I can say.


  17. Mindy,

    When you said, “It’s an argument that Haley can’t win and she risks looking defensive and hypersensitive” you made an excellent point. On the one hand, many of us have been complaining that the judges have not been giving the contestants constructive criticism, but then are irritated when they do. It’s just that they are not being consistent with all of the contestants. That’s what is really wrong. The comments made by Randy and Jennifer last week and this week to Haley, remind me very much of Kara and Simon ganging up on Siobhan last year. When judges do that, it appears that they are trying to turn the viewing audience against them. And there is nothing that irritates me more when watching this show.

    I do agree that Haley has probably lost a portion of the viewing audience by responding to the judges’ comments, so if she really wants to win this contes that wasn’t a wise move, but on the other hand, I can certainly understand her frustration.


  18. Wow. So I missed the show and the results show – very very very busy on this end. However, from the discussion in the various topics, it sounds like the show was amazing, judges comments weren’t all the best and of course the wrong person left last night. I will have to go back when I get 2 mins to breathe to watch the performances to see what happened. Was James really deserving of this? It is so hard to believe that he was the one who left last night…I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, like I said, I will have to watch the songs.

    Regardless, I think, like PIa, that James will have a stellar career. AI was just a starting point for him. He will be successful. It’s just to bad it’s not as the next “American Idol”


  19. The spectrum of talent within the top four was as broad as it was wide…what I found with my time away, talking to people who do not blog and who do not look at dial-idol numbers or any other voting devices; their perspective of this show is totally different!

    Most of who I talk to, favor Scotty and Lauren. I believe the sentiment is of the casual American voter, they want the American Sweetheat, and they have found that in Scotty and Lauren.

    I have really been asking myself alot lately, what would I want truly in an american idol; someone who is nice, who is down to earth, some one whom I think will be a great role model for young artists coming up, someone who lives what america embraces the most (or at least I embrace the most), that good ole boy who’s voice makes me weak at the knees, who loves God, his mamma and grandma,and his country!

    That’s my American idol…and that is Scotty!


  20. Louise – my prediction of the Lauren and Scotty finale is based purely on instinct and reading between the lines. If you remember during the early auditions, there was much hoopla surrounding Scotty and Lauren.

    Ryan’s narration hinted that Lauren would move far in the competition. And Scotty was the country singer they’ve been waiting for. The hype was endless. Endless!

    I thought that James would, at least, make the Top 3. I still think he did. Call me delusional or a conspiracy theorist, but everyone I have spoken to loves James. But we live in Canada, so are unable to vote.


  21. Doesn’t happen often for me, but I liked everyone in the Top 4. However, ever since Haley performed that jazz duet with Casey (“Moanin'”), she has been my favorite, and I definitely think she’s earned her spot now in the top 3. Scotty and Lauren are good too, so I don’t begrudge them their spots either. It’s sad seeing someone talented like James leave, but it’s going to be hard seeing the next one leave as well.


  22. To MCL:

    What part of Canada are you from? I live in Mississauga, Ontario 🙂


  23. I am upset about James leaving at this point, as I think of all the 4 he would benefit most by continuing, I think he needed this so much. I had thought up until the last week he would find himself in the last 2 or 3.

    My choice would have been Lauren in 4th place simply because there has been no brilliance from her on stage – she appears to be a lively girl – but that bubbly personality seen in the auditions never came out.

    Mindy – we will just agree to differ because I have never seen anything wrong with someone sticking up for themselves in a reasonable manner especially when the other person is incorrect and vastly prefer that to meek mannered hiding of feelings. But I do agree with you that for many people it will count against her.


  24. Louise,

    After reading that link you posted, I am upset all over again. There was one thing I noticed when they said that Haley was in the top three. James seemed to lean over and Scotty looked at him and then put his arm around him as if to steady him. When they were both waiting to here which of them would make it into the top three, Scotty kept his arm around James. It was a quiet gesture that said a lot about him. He was very concerned about James. Before the show ended, I could see the others go to James and Scotty was crying. This was tough.

    I will say something that I don’t think I have said before – I thought that James would win. I have felt that all along, but in the last two weeks I started to have doubts. I am still shocked that he did not make it.

    As far as any manipulation of the votes, I don’t understand why they would do that. The judges were more than supportive of James and praised him to the heavens. They certainly wanted him to make it. If they were going to manipulate the votes, why have Haley go through and not James?

    Barbara and Louise,

    I just want to make it clear that I don’t dislike Haley. One can disapprove of the behavior, but still admire the person. I said it before the top three and will say it again – she has earned her spot there. Haley is going to do what she will do. It’s not about right or wrong. I see it one way and both of you see it another way.

    I don’t know that this will cost her votes. After all, she did make it to top three. I don’t think her situation is analogous to Siobhan’s, because Haley made it to the top three. Siobhan only made it to top six. Also, Siobhan was personally attacked for the way she looked. That is quite another thing altogether. I don’t recall everyone rallying to help her, either. She wasn’t considered a victim and that was the reason for some intense disagreement on this site and others online.

    I don’t think believe in sure things when it comes to this show. I know many are saying that Scotty has this in the bag. I will believe that when I see it. Right now there are two country singers in the top three, both competing for votes from the same fan base. Haley is not competing with anyone. So she may have the advantage.

    I would think if the viewers didn’t like Haley’s behavior toward the judges, then she would not have made it to top three. I think the judges have looked so ridiculous this season and been so all over the place, that maybe America has no respect for them. They have not done right by these contestants.


  25. Mindy – I totally understand that you disapprove of Haley’s behaviour and not that you don’t like her.

    If the criticism of the judges was fair or helpful or consistent (any one of the 3 would do) I might agree.

    If Haley was rude or argumentative I might agree.

    Personally, I like people to have their own minds and stand up for themselves. I expect people to be reasonable and polite but not doormats.

    You are also right that there is the real possibility, that because the judges are so bad, Haley might be applauded.

    I read somewhere the votes are twice as high as last year – I really wish American Idol would do as X-factor and publish the results after the show has finished. It is really interesting to go over the results and see when/how people rise up the rankings. I would love to know whether the increase in votes is due to Haley and the ‘situation’


  26. Hi, Mindy,

    I was visiting sites today where I’ve never gone before, and I saw lots of negative comments about Haley’s behavior so you are by no means alone in your opinion. I just didn’t see it that way.

    I also saw many negative comments about Scotty which really surprised me. Someone even wrote an article saying that Scotty patted James on the back as if to say something like I’m staying and you’re not. I thought that was outrageous because I also noticed how Scotty tried to help James and support him and how sad Scotty felt. It’s interesting to think that people can interpret what they see so differently.

    I didn’t, however, read negative comments about Lauren–at least not any mean-spirited ones. My instinct now tells me that Lauren will win, but I have to remind myself that anything can happen depending on their performances in the next couple of weeks.


  27. What a shame this is Louise…I’m sure bad things would have been said if Scotty would have not done anything to console James!

    What I witnessed was, James briefly hugging Lauren and Haley and then a full embrace hug with Scotty and talking to him the whole time!

    Wow! makes you wonder about people don’t it?

    James will be okay! The tour will put him back in the spot light and he is going to have a blast doing it…if I haven’t learned anything else from watching idol, I’ve learned that each of these kids will be okay and they will find their place in this industry; look at the talent out there now who has come from idol. They are not all pop stars, they have went in many different directions, which is great!

    I found it interesting that Haley said she liked theatre…may be her niche’. Others have found great success on the big stage!

    I’m not worried about Scotty either, win or lose I know I will be hearing him on my NEW Radio station (yep, changed to country, just waitin’ on Scotty) in the very near future…he will be okay, just like James!

    MCL, will you be covering the idol tour…I would love to hear how they are all doing, especially since I’m not readin’ at mj’s no more!


  28. Vonnie-if I can find people to email videos and tour comments, then I will definitely cover the tour. During Season 7, I only covered the performances sent to me by the fans. Those, I felt, were top priority.


  29. Hi Vonnie,
    It’s good to see you here! How is that Harmonacat coming along? Mindy and I have been talking about some of the old Blues singers that we like in the previous thread. There are some good harp players in some of the videos that we dug up that your son may like to see.

    Two good moves on your part; giving up the MJ habit and giving Country music a chance.

    You were right that Scotty showed maturity and compassion above his years in dealing with James when he was upset and disappointed. The girls did as well, but James has been very clear that he isn’t interested in other women and I think he may be a little uncomfortable with prolonged hugging and so on with the girls.

    Gaga’s treatment of these young people during the “mentoring” session WAS a disgrace. It was all about her.


  30. Here is something that will lift some of your spirits. It’s a video Siobhan performing her first song released as a solo artist entitled “Beatrice Dream” at songwriter’s night at the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN.


  31. Gene,

    Hey there! Yes, the gang’s all here it seems! You really thought that Lady Gaga went too far with Scotty? I always laugh a little with Scotty, because he has a wonderful way of dealing with awkward situations, shall we say? This young man has such maturity and poise. He has handled himself so well throughout this competition. I think Lady Gaga likes to feed her ego.

    I respect Lady Gaga’s talent, but I don’t like the outrageous aspects of her performances. That’s about the best way I can phrase it. I actually couldn’t believe what she said to Scotty while I was watching it. I was like – what? I think she should have been more respectful of him and the fact that he is only seventeen. I don’t know how Scotty does it, but he keeps it together no matter what.

    I was shocked to read that anyone could possibly think that Scotty was anything but caring and compassionate towards James. I think there are people who just want to hate on Scotty, so they think they see things that they don’t to justify their feelings. Scotty was very concerned about James. He kept looking over at him and watching him closely. Anyone could see that James felt he was going home as soon as they announced that Haley was safe. The volume gets dialed way up as the show gets closer to the finale.

    I am also seeing some real anger from the James Durbin fans and they blame Haley for what happened. It’s getting really ugly on some sites.


  32. Gene W,

    Hello there friend; I sure have missed you!

    The harmonacat is kindof quiet these days! We’ve had some pretty sad days within our family lately; but really trying to cowboy-up and get ready for the big graduation day!

    And yes! Giving up the Mj habit and changing to country music; why I feel like a new gal…sorta!!!

    Thank you for the GAGA backup…!

    Mcl, that’d be awesome if you were to cover the tour.


  33. Louise,

    I am curious as to why you feel that Lauren will win. Now that I think about it, when I first started watching this season, I remember MJ announcing on her blog that TPTB wanted Lauren to win this year. Having just seen her for the first time, I was not very impressed. I thought that MJ could not possibly be right, but now I am beginning to wonder.

    We will have to see how this all plays out. Both Scotty and Lauren appeal to the same fan base, and that could pose problems. I thought there was no way we could have both of them in the finale, since something would have to give with the voting and only one could get through. Of course, I have not been a country music fan, but I still love Scotty. I already told Gene that I am planning to listen to more country music. He has been helpfully providing links on another blog here. We have had quite a fun time talking about rhythm and blues, country and the great artists from the past. He is like an encyclopedia with all his knowledge!

    I told you that I never take anything for granted with Idol. Many are saying that Scotty is a lock to win, but I am having none of that. I don’t know that anyone is a lock to win this.


  34. Mindy,

    From the very beginning, I had the sense that Idol wanted a Lauren win, but it was easy to push that thought out of my mind because week after week I kept seeing so much other great talent. And Lauren wasn’t blowing me away. So a day or so ago, I didn’t see how either James or Scotty would not be the winner. But obviously it’s not going to be James. And since I’ve read some of the very negative comments about Scotty today, it’s apparent that not everyone loves him like I do. And the show has done NOTHING to pimp Haley like they did Lauren, Scotty, and James. I believe that Haley has earned a lot of fans along the way—myself included, but also plenty of haters. Meanwhile little Lauren has done nothing to make people dislike her. She smiles and giggles and looks innocent and needy–all along with singing pretty well for a 16-year-old girl. So her total package probably appeals to a lot of viewers.

    I remember the year that Jordan won over Melinda Doolittle and LaKeisha. I know that Jordan sang well and was young and attractive, but I just wasn’t a fan and have not been a fan of Lauren for this entire season.

    Of the three contestants remaining, I’d prefer them to end up with Scotty in first place, Haley in second, and Lauren third. But I don’t usually prefer what the rest of the country prefers. I hope the winner is not going to be Lauren, but I won’t be the least bit surprised if it is.


  35. Vonnie,

    I forgot to say “welcome back”!!! It’s good to hear from you again. I’m sorry that you had sad family days recently. I don’t mean to pry, but I hope it didn’t have anything to do with your brother. I seem to remember you mentioning last year that he was ill.


    I’ve been meaning to say that I can really relate to your feelings about Scotty this year. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never especially liked country music, but I just love Scotty. I’ve been trying to keep an open mind because I also really liked James, and if it had come down to a final between James and Scotty it would have been hard for me to choose. But now that James is no longer in the picture, I have to say that Scotty makes me smile every time he’s on TV. I just can’t help myself. Normally I’m not someone who would favor an “aw, shucks” kind of guy, but besides really loving Scotty’s voice, he just seems like such a genuinely nice guy. His parents should be VERY proud of him. Because I love Scotty so much, I was especially shocked to read negative, mean comments about him today. I believe that win or lose, Scotty is going to have a VERY successful career in country music.


  36. Louise,

    I am so glad that you answered my question about Lauren! I haven’t really enjoyed her that much, but have tried my best to keep an open mind this season. It has paid off, because I was able to eventually appreciate Haley. She has won me over and shown me that she was willing to work and improve and put in the effort througout this competition.

    I have had trouble connecting or relating to Lauren. I was not sure why, until you posted your thoughts. What really resonated was when you made the analogy to Melinda and LaKeisha, who lost out to Jordin. I think everyone here knows how I felt about Melinda. She was my girl! I was not overly impressed with Jordin and didn’t think she should have won that season.

    You are so right about Lauren! She is inoffensive, a bubbly young girl who would be incapable of saying a mean word about anyone, sweet and vulnerable. How could anyone hate her or feel strongly one way or the other? She seems like a nice young teenage girl who wants very much to be liked. Words like inoffensive, not controversial come to mind, girl next door. None of this is bad at all.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It helps me so much.


  37. Louise,

    I wanted to save this for a separate post. How kind of you to share those thoughts about Scotty. I always like both Scotty and James and thought it would be tough to choose between them. However, little by little, Scotty just won me over. He is such an incredibly charming young man, but in this quiet, unassuming way. I don’t see anything phony or fake or pretentious about him. He is who he is and that’s it. I do think his parents should be proud of him.

    I was very upset to read some of the hatespeak about Scotty on a few other sites. Where it comes from, I have no idea. It has gotten just downright dirty. The things that were said about his choice of “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”, were positively ghastly. I think that it’s time for me to avoid some of these sites until after the show is over.

    It’s nice to know that someone else loves Scotty in the same way and sees what I see. As much as it’s about that magnificent baritone voice, it’s also about him!


  38. Mindy,

    We were definitely on the same page in season 6! I lost all interest in Idol after Melinda was voted off. It just seemed unbelievable to me that Jordin outlasted Melinda.

    In addition to the fact that Lauren is not offensive to most people, I think TPTB would love to have her as the winner because she can be molded!!!


  39. Mindy,

    Today I read somewhere that Scotty told someone he really misses home and all he wants is to get up at 6:30 am and go to school. That comment made me feel kind of sad for him. He might have welcomed being eliminated last night.


  40. Hi Mindy,
    Yeah, I think she intentionally looked for a soft spot to gouge on each of them. Scotty may not even have a girl friend yet. That’s ok. Anyone can see he’s a clean cut, conservative Christian kid and I don’t think she should have made those remarks to him, or put her hands on James or called Haley a “Little Pony” (or performed the same song that she had loaned to Haley) or encouraged Lauren to do something she wasn’t comfortable with for moral reasons. Maybe it’s just me but I felt like she was making a point of imposing her values on each of them.

    I agree Scotty was very mindful of James’ needs and handled himself remarkably well for a 17 year old. I have always felt a little sorry for James when the show is building drama during eliminations, but, with credit to NEW Ryan this year, I think he has been pretty considerate of him.

    In all honesty, I think as a rocker, James will be better off going out in what is becoming the traditional rocker spot. It’s hard to maintain the tough guy rocker image doing group numbers and all of the usual Idol appearances. The producer that worked with Daughtry on his first album is offering James good advice IMHO. I hope they have the chance to talk with one another.

    I think it’s silly to blame Haley for James’ elimination. She’s being abused in my opinion. I fully expect them to bring in Ike Turner as a special mentor for her for the next performance show. Do you think he could finish the work that Randy and J-Lo are taking credit for and “whip” her into shape? It’s the top four and someone has to go. I don’t believe at this stage in the game that people change for whom they vote for any reason. I believe they were trying to run her off because, as it stands now, she will likely finish second. The split of the country vote will probably put Haley in a stronger position than one of the other two for second place and then the country vote will come back together for the crown. At this point I think Scotty will likely win, but who knows. Anyone who watched the audition rounds will know that MCL had a good point about a Scotty vs Lauren finale.

    I think Lauren standing up for Haley was a first class thing to do. Lauren has nothing to gain, except my respect, and everything to lose. Way to go Lauren! Your stock just went way up with me.

    I left you another Big Mama video on the other thread. I don’t know if you saw it or not.

    My wife and I bought tickets for the Idol show in Nashville. See you there? What’s a trans-continental trip among friends?


  41. Gene,

    Interesting comments about Lady Gaga. Sometimes she just gives me the creeps. I think she should have respected their boundaries. She said after her mentoring session with Scotty, that he is very conservative and maybe she could have handled it differently, or something to that effect! Ya think? Poor Scotty! No, I don’t think sweet Scotty even has a girlfriend. He is a good Christian young man with good morals, a great upbringing and poise and class. His parents really should be proud. I honestly don’t know how he has handled himself with all that they have thrown at him.

    I do think that Gaga was wrong when she put her hands on James’ hips to show him how to move them. He even said later on that it made him feel uncomfortable. Not good! I think she wasn’t taking their values into account and that’s just wrong.

    I would like to think that you are right about James. I have heard that sentiment expressed by others online. I believe at times like this, that things happen for a reason.

    So you do see Haley as the victim here? She did stand up for herself. I never like seeing the contestants talk back, from others here think she was right to do so under the circumstances. They do have a point. Don’t you feel that it all played out like it was scripted in advance? Young girl is abused by mean judges, but triumphs in the end! Don’t you think that this could have been their way to make sure she got enough votes to get into the top three? You and I and others here may know that she earned her way and deserved to be there, but we also know that it’s not the way it plays out.

    You think they wanted her gone? If they did, it sure backfired on them. What about the standing ovations from the judges two weeks in a row for her second performances each night? Wouldn’t they still criticize her if they wanted to run her off? I am confused now.

    I remember saying here some weeks ago that I didn’t think both Scotty and Lauren would get through because of the country fans splitting their votes. Something would have to give and one would go. So you think that happens next week, right? Haley gets through to the finale with either Scotty or Lauren.

    I didn’t see the audition rounds, so maybe that’s why I didn’t totally understand where MCL was coming from with that prediction. Do you see any way that they get both Scotty and Lauren in the finale?

    Thanks for telling me about the Big Mama video. I forget to check back on the older blogs. I am going to check it out!

    I wish that I could come to Nashville with you and your wife. I really do. 🙂


  42. Gene said, “I think Lauren standing up for Haley was a first class thing to do. Lauren has nothing to gain, except my respect, and everything to lose. Way to go Lauren! Your stock just went way up with me.” I agree with you. I was also impressed with Lauren coming out with the statement in support of Haley and, especially, commenting that Haley was the best singer there.


  43. Haley Reinhart (Acapella)
    Night And Day, Fox News


  44. Louise,

    Bless your heart! Thank you for the welcome back, I have missed you too!

    Thank you for remembering my brother; just a few short days after I had announced my taking time off to get ready for my sons graduation, my family suffered a devasting loss. On April 10, 2011 my beautiful brother passed away, at the age of 52. He fought long and hard. His faith was so strong and he was ready for whatever the Lord had for him, healing or to go home…the Lord chose to take him home. He was a beautiful person with such a loving and caring heart, he is and will be missed so much.


  45. Dear Vonnie,

    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. My condolences to you and your family. I had often wondered how he was doing. I wish you and your family strength to cope with his passing.


  46. Vonnie,

    You have my sympathy for the loss of your brother. May you and your family find healing. God Bless you!


  47. Louise,

    Thank you so much! His passing away has put so many things in perspective for me; the things in life that I thought were so important, I realize they are not as important as I thought.

    Taking time to be with family and friends and telling them often that you love them; cherishing the things we take for granted, and learning that trivial things are just that; trivial.



  48. Anita,

    Thank you!


  49. Vonnie,
    It’s very sad to hear that you have lost your brother.

    My sympathy and prayers go out to you and your family during your time of lose.

    I’m so sorry.


  50. What did everyone think of Jordin Sparks’ new song. I’m not fond of it. It seems to me that she trying to be like so many of today’s popular entertainers. Why can’t she be a rebel in the music business like David Archuleta, and sing songs with such depth uniqueness?


  51. Mindy,
    Louise may also be interested in this.
    I tried to make the conspiracy theory work but where it fails for me is in looking at the history of similar situations. I agree to the extent that when a contestant is treated unfairly the first time or a good contestant has a bad night that THEIR fans will rally behind them and vote more heavily than normal. I don’t think that they continue to rally behind someone who is being singled out week after week as being the only one worthy of criticism. I believe in that case even their base begins to erode.

    If you look at the history of treating contestants in a manner that is inconsistent with their performance, singling them out for criticism, targeting them for elimination, or downright abusing them it has never had more than a short term benefit for the contestant. Their fans rally for a while and then they are gone. They abused and targeted Siobhan and Allison. 6th and 4th respectively. Even Melinda Doolittle who they praised effusively while she was carrying the show for most of the season got dumped on when they were done with her. They have been on Haley’s case throughout most of the top 11 they have beat her down to the stools and she rallies back again. I think her case is pretty remarkable. The main point of that is this: what would make the producers think that they could get Haley into the top three by berating her throughout the top 11? It has never worked that way before. Also, if they really wanted Haley to succeed, isn’t that a very risky strategy? If this is a good plan, why didn’t they use it on anybody else?

    Then there is the question of the bad review followed by the standing O. If each of the two songs performed counted as half of the contestants grade for the night with a possible maximum score of 50 points for each song, in the end you still have three contestants that scored 100/100 on the night and one who scored 50/100. I can’t see that as a benefit to the person with the 50/100 score for the night. All of these kids did pretty well Wednesday night. All of them could have received some criticism, particularly on song choice. All four made one song choice that was less than the best that they could have made. Only one was criticized and criticized harshly and they even added the who won round one segment to criticize her some more.

    I also agree that the judges are tools. I mean tools of Nigel of course. Where I may differ with some is that I think it has always been this way, from Simon to Steven. It’s not just these judges but it’s the role of any judge on AI to manipulate voters’ opinions. If the voters are dumb and keep voting for the targetted contestant, they turn up the heat. They have decided who stays and who goes before the performances, in fact I think at this point in Idol history that they know who they are looking for before they show up for the auditions.

    Generally speaking, I agree that it isn’t a good thing to talk back to the judges. You may get by with it once but it better not become part of your persona. I think in this case that Haley’s remarks were factual and the first one at least, was generally respectful. The second was a little more curt. If looks could kill, as they say, I wouldn’t want to be Kara-Lo or Randawg. These kids usually know when they have done something special and when they are due some criticism. After the Earth Song Haley looked so happy and proud that she had delivered a respectable rendition of the song in the manner that the writer intended. It was sad to me to watch her free spirit and joy being dashed

    I also have a hard time believing that mass numbers of James’ fans didn’t vote for James on one of the most critical vote nights of the season in order to help said damsel. I think they simply let James down by not voting enough or at all. It’s entirely possible that Haley has more fans than James. What influence the celebrity endorsements have, I don’t have any way of knowing, but I would have to say that it’s not much of a fan who would drop out of supporting contestant J to Jump on contestant H’s bandwagon. It’s easy to think of scenarios that could happen but I have to check them against my own behavior and that of anyone that I know, so, have I ever abandoned my favorite contestant to help another who I thought was in trouble? No. Would I? No. Have any of you ever done that during the Top 10? How about at the critical Top 4? These questions should only be answered by people that vote heavily for AI contestants on a regular basis because they are the ones who would have to change their normal behavior to make the theories work out. A few casual votes here and there probably don’t matter much and thoughts about what you might do if you voted probably don’t either. That’s not intended to be ugly if it sounds that way. I think there is a different mindset among people who actually vote regularly and heavily. It’s not easy to actually carry through with doing it for two hours so I don’t think people will change their vote wily nily based on someone else’s endorsement.

    Having said that, I do believe that Adam changing from James to Haley would, in time, build Haley’s base of regular voters and I believe that she would have picked up half to two thirds of Casey’s voters. I can’t say about Jacob or Stefano’s fans, but Paul’s would probably split between the two of them as well as Scotty. All of those factors are just the usual way of things. I think that a contestant has to work hard to pick up fans of someone who was voted off the island.

    It appears that for the Idol audience rockers will always be a hard sell for the win.

    Those are my thought about it, not really an argument, but just an explanation of why it’s hard for me to by some of the theories out there.


  52. Gene w,

    Thank you!


  53. Anita,
    I couldn’t agree with you more about Jordin Sparks’ new song. It was boring and very forgettable for me. It’s hard to believe that there is a market for a song like that. As Paula would say, she did look great though.

    I was a Melinda Doolittle fan the year that Jordin won, but I have to give her all she is due and say she’s a good singer. Songs like this remind me that winning American Idol may not be in your best interest sometimes. She could be doing much better material.


  54. Vonnie,

    I just came on here rather late and saw your post about the death of your brother. To lose someone before their time is the cruelest blow of all. I don’t know if words can ease your pain and grief, but it sounds as though your brother knew he was loved and was in a peaceful place when he passed.

    Losing someone who is so close to you really does put things in perspective. I hope that you are finding comfort in your family and their love and support as you go through the difficult process of grieving this terrible loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  55. Gene,

    I am always anxious to read your thoughts on some of the issues we discuss. I was particularly interested in your take on the whole so-called conspiracy issue. You make some good points in refuting the idea that this was all a plan to generate enough backlash and sympathy votes to get Haley into the top three. So the bottom line as far as you are concerned, is that TPTB did not want her in the top three.

    I can understand how weekly criticism, while praising everyone else, might conceivably undermine a contestant’s chances. It did in the case of Siobhan. However, in Haley’s case, the fact is that she is still here. Wouldn’t you think that if this strategy was working, that she would be gone by now? What they did wasn’t working, so why keep doing it? The audience decided to keep her on the show.

    Yes, the judges are tools of Nigel and company. Maybe it really has always been this way, but at least with Simon, it felt like he was giving his own opinion. That’s one reason why I have pulled back a little about the judges. I can see that they are reading their notes and talking points and that’s just the way it is. I had hoped that having two performers on the judging panel might result in some constructive, knowledgeable critiques which would help these contestants develop and grow and mature. I guess that’s just not the agenda of the producers. They want someone they can sell to the masses, someone who will have the right image, the right personality, the right music style. They are selling a product.

    I can tell you that I have never abandoned my favorite for someone that I think is in trouble. My mind doesn’t work that way. So you are right on that point. Now that I have had some more time to think over James being voted off, I do believe that it might have had something to do with his metal/rocker music style. Also, his fan base just may not have been large enough. I do think there was a surge of votes for Haley because of the way she was treated and for her outstanding performance at the end both weeks. Sometimes the simplest and most obvious reason is the truth.

    I will have to do more thinking about this whole conspiracy thing regarding Haley. However, am I correct when I say that you do believe that TPTB wanted Haley gone and still do?


  56. Mindy,

    Thank you!


  57. Now is the time to vote for the one who you think deserves to WIN! If you have time, check out the Sesame Street Effect at
    WhatNotToSing.com http://www.whatnottosing.com/library/editorials.asp?id=19
    “One famous episode in which both Ernie and Bert sang well is the AI6 Final Three. Melinda Doolittle’s record-setting approval rating suggested that the voters assumed, rightly or wrongly, that she was a lock for the Finale. The decision was widely perceived to be who should join her: Blake Lewis or Jordin Sparks, both of whom had sung perfectly decently that night and throughout the season. The Effect was nonetheless triggered, and Doolittle, who hadn’t been in the Bottom Three all year, was sent home a night later.”


  58. It always irritates me when a contestant cannot accept and learn from an evaluation of the contestant’s performance. Take Stefano for example after his evaluation was not good and he says to the judges, “I think that I did good”. Then Haley when she received an evaluation of her performance that was not to her liking when she argued about it with the judges and then tells them that she thought “it was beautiful!” Maybey their inability to accept criticism about what they have done stems from their same attitude whenever they were growing up and were chastised by their parents? The judges on American Idol know about the music business and what it takes to get a contestant a record contract and I am sure that the powers that be in the record companies listen closely to the evaluation of the judges.

    So it’s not just the voters that will decide who will make it in the music industry. Oh Haley was all smiles when she got a good evaluation and I must admit that for the firtst time, I did like her performance. To conclude, I wonder if the main reason that she got so many votes is that they were from men who voted for her because they think she is beautiful, young and sexy looking. Well there are so many young women in America who are more talented and more beautiful and hopefully not spoiled brats as Haley must be. I wonder what her reaction is going to be when she does lose and she will I have no doubt.


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