Vocal/Performance Masterclass Discussion For The X Factor Season One: The Final 5


I am loving this double elimination thing. Tis the season, right? Far too busy to spend one’s time in front of the TV.

This week the singers hit us with two songs apiece so I am hoping to see some diversity in their singing style.

I won’t even wager which singer(s) will be eliminated. After last week’s surprise eliminations – Drew and Astro – pretty much everyone’s head is on the cutting block.

The show airs Wednesday from 8:00-9:30 on Fox.

Don’t forget to hit the comments section while you watch the show – or before! Always looking forward to your comments!

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

43 Responses to “Vocal/Performance Masterclass Discussion For The X Factor Season One: The Final 5”

  1. Shall we just flip a coin? It’s anybody guess!


  2. Why am I bored with this show? After hearing Marcus sing, “A Song For You”, I went to hear Karen Carpenter’s version, and Elliott’s version. There were no outstanding performances tonight..

    Of course, Melanie sounded great as usual, but she seems to be acting a bit weird. Maybe like a Diva?

    The judges still leave much to be desired. I would like Marcus and Chris to go home, but I think it may be Marcus and Rachel. I do enjoy seeing Rachel perform. Oh well….


  3. Kariann – I am bored as well. Very strange. I think the show lacks heart. It seems too Hollywood or something – like I’m watching a movie. And Melanie’s attitude is just too much. She needs to learn to keep her mouth zipped.


  4. Pikepss – how right you are!!!


  5. MCL – Check out this amazing video of Little Drummer Boy from David Archuleta’s Christmas tour. I won’t spoil it by saying anything more. Enjoy!


  6. Kariann and MCL,
    I’m definitely agreeing with you about this show. Last night my husband and I saw an ad for American Idol, and we both agreed that we much prefer Idol to X-factor.

    At this point, I have absolutely no idea who will win and who should win. I’m thinking that either Rachel, Marcus, and possibly even Josh could be eliminated tonight.


  7. mcl..i think it was last night or this morning that i thought, ‘the problem with this show is it lacks heart’. i was going to write that today and i see you just said it. i haven’t watched last night’s show yet.


  8. Bee-we are all feeling the same. It’s as if the producers, judges and performers are living inside a bubble, totally unaware of the lack of passion and sensitivity this show has created.

    I am tired of the judges’ mind games and scripted arguments. It’s insulting our intelligence.

    At least, now, it seems that the performers are no longer lip synching but still so much can be controlled through technology so who really knows? Or cares?


  9. well, i thought rachael sang better. will nicole have second thoughts??? interesting that nicole was booed. i knew as soon as i saw steve’s response when looking at the card that rachael was going home. she’s been his favorite. some interesting emotional dynamics tonight. L.A. said he was a man of principle so i thought that meant he would vote for the better performance. i guess that isn’t what he meant.


  10. Kariann,

    I thought Marcus did a nice job with “A Song For You”, but as fine was Elliott spectacular performance of this! I’ve always felt that he was the best male vocalist of AI Season 5, even better than Chris Daughtry.


    Melanie has always been my favorite, but I agree with you about her carrying on. It actually makes me cringe. I’m sad to see Rachel go home tonight. But, I was kind of surprised with her reaction after saying it would be OK eaither way. I felt kind of sorry for her, but at the same time, it showed her immaturity. Of course, she’s only 13 though. Rachel getting as upset as she did tells me she really wasn’t emotionally ready for this competition. She should have waited a few more years I feel. Poor Marcus, it’s almost of it he’s the bad guy now. I feel rather sorry for him also. There was never this much drama on AI that I can ever remember. This show dosen’t feel like a compeition to me , but more of a soap opera or a Lifetime movie.


  11. Anita – you hit the nail on the head. The contestants seem emotionally unstable – Astro, Drew, Melanie, Rachel, a few others as well. What a mess. And I can’t believe Nicole made this decision. It almost looks like she was “set-up” to do so. It is Simon’s show after all. It just didn’t seem real to me.


  12. Anita,
    You are so right!!! X-factor definitely feels like a soap opera. I was actually very surprised tonight when Rachel was sent home. But I was much more surprised by her reaction. All along, she has seemed to be really mature for her age, but when she was eliminated, we saw a completely different Rachel. It was really too bad. I hope that reaction doesn’t hurt her career chances. What do you think, MCL?


  13. MCL & Louise,

    It’s so sad how out of control this show has become. I’ve been wondering tonight, if by chance Melanie does not win, will she get all bent out of shape about it, or instead show alot of class and happiness for the winner, like David A. and Adam did on AI. At this point, witnessing what I have already on this show, I’m really not sure what Melanie will do.


  14. Hello! I thought two were going home. I am done with this show! Rachel was the firecracker or spark plug of the show. Of the remaining four, two can’t sing that well. I don’t know if we can see it, but Rachel was saying to Nicole, “You promised me” at least I thought. Or maybe to her mother?

    You bet that I think this was a set-up. Simon was looking for an excuse to fire Nicole and he found one. She was hired to be a judge and a mentor. Then she say, “I can’t do this.” She should have thought about that before she signed a contract. When judging The Sing-Off” that was a breeze. Ben and Shawn were supportive of her.

    I am tired of the judges’ mind games and scripted arguments. It’s insulting our intelligence.

    MCL, this is so true. The show really does lack a heart. The judges and host leave much to be desired. I’ll depend on others to tell me what’s going on. I am so upset that Nicole whimped out!

    Rachel was by far the better performer. Louise, rumor has it that Disney is trying to find a show specially for Rachel. A bi-racial child who is cute as a button, and with such great talent potential. She’ll be just fine. I coached Junior High cheerleading and I swear many of the 13-14 year-olds have those emotional hormones going. Rachel was not prepared to leave.

    And Steve Jones about lost it. He had no idea what he was suppose to do with Rachel. It was almost funny.

    MCL, apparently there is a lot of tension set up for the contestants because of the competitiveness between the judges. More will be coming out about this. Rachel, Drew, and Melanie are very close. Sad the sisterhood is broken.

    Anita, I was a Taylor Hicks fan but appreciated the talents of Kat and Elliott. Seems like so long ago.

    Well, I am done ranting and raving. Simon Cowell has set up this show to be too dramatic for me. My favorite is gone, and so am I.


  15. Oh, I love David’s performance. What a gorgeous, soothing voice he has. Justin Bieber’s “Drummer Boy” is horrible. This is my style!


  16. I think Rachel has a ton of pent up emotions inside of her that came spilling out when she was told that she was eliminated.

    She is a child – so much pressure. I don’t know if she can handle the entertainment industry.

    And it seems weird that Nicole could not make a pretty logical decision. We all could see that Rachel is a star and deserved to stay.

    This is Simon’s show remember. His hand is involved in every aspect of this show. Wouldn’t surprise me if he pushed Nicole into a deadlock prior to the telecast.


  17. Kariann,

    David’s Little Drummer Boy is really somethin’! It also shows what a fine showman he’s become. From the footage I’ve seen from his fansites, his My Kind Of Christmas Tour is David’s best tour ever. The variety of Christmas songs he performs is amazing, and he throws just a few of his pop songs in the mix. He sure is an incredible talent! I wish I could make it to a concert.


  18. One word about tonight’s results…PISSED!! No way should Rachel have gone home after the terrible elimination of Drew last week!


  19. OTOH, I don’t think Simon pushed Nicole into deadlock…Simon was Rachel’s mentor so I doubt he wanted to send her home.


  20. Erin – Rachel has people lining up to sign her so that’s all that matters to Simon. He wants to make as much money as he can. Something seemed “off” about the whole elimination thing.


  21. This show is ridicules.

    Last week Paula’s actions seemed un-natural when she voted without hesitation to eliminate Drew. This week Nichol acted like she was unable to do her job. Neither of them was believable. It’s also unbelievable that both of them are so invested in Marcus. He’s ok, but… Does L A really want to sign him and bring him into the “house of Usher?” I don’t think so. I think they are just using him to clear away the treats to the designated winner.

    I haven’t been a big fan of Rachel so far in the competition. She’s an extremely cute kid and as Disney ready as anyone I’ve ever seen but her credibility as a pop star was lacking for me. The only performance she has given that I liked was when she sang I’d Rather be Blind” the first time. I liked her delivery and the vocal pretty well but they had been billing her as the adorable child prior to that and the fit of that song was way off for her persona. But tonight was different. She was able to use the pain she was feeling about her dream being on the verge of ending and put it into those same blues lyrics but this time it was powerfully emotion charged. She was able to balance her emotions on a razor’s edge throughout the song, drawing as much as she could from them, but stopping just short of breaking down into tears. It was genius and a performance that many much more experienced performers could have never pulled off. I thought “finally there is a player in this silly contest.” She dug down deep and gave me a reason to be a fan. Melanie has yet to do that.

    I ask a few weeks ago; “Can this show get worse?” I think the answer is clearly yes.


  22. Wow! So glad I am not watching!!! 😉


  23. I just DVR the shows and don’t really listen to the singer if the first 30 seconds don’t grab me…or the over the top production drowns out the performance…the show lacks heart…yes…the word I cam up with after viewing this weeks shows could be added to heartless…its charmless also.


  24. Vonnie,
    Didn’t you say that you found a monster mudder truck racing series on at the same time the X airs? What channel is that on? 🙂

    Ricklee (Jones?)
    DVR is the only way I can watch it, especialy the results shows, or is that “recap” shows?


  25. Gene W…No, It’s called “World’s dumbest on Wheels” and I might add, they really are!!! I think the Speed channel, but will check and let you know!!!

    Yeah! I’m on a stress~free Diet, so I can’t indulge in highly stressfull TV shows that makes me want to throw things!!! So instead I watch shows where Rednecks coin the famous phrase “everybody watch”…You did know that that is the last thing a redneck says before they are carted off by the local volunteer rescue squad, didn’t ya?!?!?


  26. Gene W…

    Retraction…it is called Dumbest stuff on wheels, and it is on the Speed channel…enjoy!!!


  27. Vonnie,

    Thanks. If it gets much worse I may resort to that.

    We say “y’all-watch’iss” in my neck of the woods. It’s a more efficient use of energy in the warmer climate. The rescue squad is usually in on the activaty.

    I have to record the X and watch the condensed version after a no stress session of watching the latest “Bones” episode. I love Bones. If you have never watched it Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame has a recurring guest roll as himself, as one of the characters father.

    I owe Rickylee a “Y,” so this Y is for you.


  28. Gene W,

    Yep! ‘at sounds like my stompin grounds too! cept sayin’ everbody watch in my neck of the woods, just makes sure everybody gets front row seats for the redneck who is about to land on his head, and also clues someone from the smarter gene pool to go ahead a have 911 on speed-dial…!!!


  29. Gene,

    I shouldn’t be so hard on the rednecks in my area…after all I am related to alot of them!!! Good Ole boys having fun and gettin’ hurt…that sums up a week-end in my neighborhood!! LOL 🙂

    Who’s left on Factor?


  30. Hello! I was so upset Thursday night, I send tweets to Simon, Nicole, Paqula, and Rachel. I think someone called this the most hysterical moment on Reality TV. Over the weeks, many of us have become fond of Rachel. For me, she has the IT Factor that Simon talks about. Melanie has a lovely voice, but there is a mild disconnection I am experiencing here.

    I have wondered if Nicole set this up so Josh will have less competition? She claims she wanted Marcus to go out with some dignity. If this was true, why didn’t she pull this stunt last week for Drew? I am just betting that she thought Drew had more votes than Marcus. She wanted the weaker competition (for Josh) to stay – Marcus.

    It was genius and a performance that many much more experienced performers could have never pulled off.

    Gene, I love your description of Rachel’s final performance. It was right on!

    Yes, I am truly disgusted with this show. Why hire judges that cannot do their job? Nicole and Paula are getting paid to be judges and mentors. I felt so sad to see both Drew and Rachel have meltdowns. And I feel sorry for Marcus! He knew he should have ben sent home. I am not buying Nicole’s act and her explanation.

    Rickylee, I like you idea! Frankly, I am not watching The X-Factor any more. I had no idea it would be this manipulated and cruel.

    Vonnie, you are so cute – funny!

    MCL, I think Simon may have found the perfect excuse to fire Nicole and bring in Kelly or Cheryl Cole. Or maybe she’ll resign? There is no excuse for what she pulled. I hope both Paula and Nicole have learned a lesson. I will be surprised if the ratings don’t go down.



  31. It’s been interesting reading everyone’s perspective on X-factor. This show in my opinion has no substance or value and as MCL stated insults our intelligence! It has from the beginnig for me and have only watched on occasion. The dreaded naked performance gave me the first clue and Paula’s meltdown explaining she couldn’t take a vote on a group she mentored was laughable. Enough of the so-called reality shows —they suck!

    Take me back to the scripted comedies…..at least I know when to laugh!

    Real talent isn’t Hollywood-made, it’s a natural gift and cultivated. This show exposes exatly why we have so many sub-standard singers making albums today. No talent and quite possibly no heart. And from this day forward one less in thier audience.

    Real talent is our ther you just have to be selective!

    and quite possibly no heart. And from this day forward one less of an audir


  32. Sorry my comuter went haywire for a second on the last two sentences!


  33. Kariann,
    Thank you for the kind words.

    Little Rachel really did show me something that I haven’t seen from her before and it was very impressive. She reminded me of Allison Iraheta singing her swansong performance of “Cry Baby.” Her performance of the same song the night before, while good, didn’t have the emotional connection for her. The pain and sadness that she felt after being eliminated came through in her song and really brought it to life. She was a real trooper to be able to share her feelings with the audience and not break down. It was quite a feat for Allison who had turned 17 at the time and it bordered on incredible for Rachel at 14. I was ready to sign up for team Rachael, but that wasn’t the plan. I think Rachel handled herself well until the very end. It was alittle messy then, but she’s a kid.

    I don’t think any of the judge’s actions are spontaneous. I believe they are all planned.


  34. Pikepss,
    You said:
    ****Take me back to the scripted comedies…..at least I know when to laugh!****

    The “scripted” part is one of the reasons for the popularity of reality tv. To have a script, you have to have writers and union rules dictate what they get paid and their work conditions etc. In the reality tv setting, everyone is called a “producer” and even though they may write some lines down on paper for the cast to speak” they aren’t “writers.” Producers are management and not covered by union rules. The production cost are much cheaper for reality tv than for scripted comedy or drama, so plan to have more of it and not less.

    One other point about this show that is second rate or worse is that there is no music director or band. They are probably “producers’ as well. Once in a while we see people acting like musicians on stage but I’m convinced they are part of the dance troupe. The drummer may be real but the others aren’t too convincing.


  35. Gene,

    I also believe that one of the downfalls of this show is the lack of a Live band. X-Factor is really missing something special without one.


  36. Absolutely Anita. It’s a lose / lose situation. The contestants are missing a large part of their training as young singers. And we, the audience, are missing out on a quality performance. It limits the creativity and spontaneity that a contestant can offer the audience. It’s second rate at best.


  37. But, with a live band, they would have to actually sing without electronic manipulation. Another piece of the puzzle. This is why the show lacks excitement. It is technological wizardry at its worst – used for all the wrong reasons.

    Live band, raw performances, less drama at the judges’ table = heart and soul and all that is meaningful and good about entertainment shows.

    Gene-great point. Thanks for bringing this up. Genius!


  38. Thank you MCL, your very kind.

    Your linkage of the electronic manipulation to the live band issue is brilliant. I hadn’t thought of that angle. Some of the devices can be used in real time, but they just skim the surface of what can be done. Plus the savings from not having a live band would probably cover the cost of the prise money.

    I’ve never believed Simon was very deep musically. What we see on the show each week is indicative of the type of music he would make.

    It’s interesting that Dancing with the Stars has a nice live band and house singers who perform all of the songs that we hear on the show live as well as make the tracks that the dancers practice to, yet we seldom see them. What element of live music is important enough to that show for them to go to the expense of maintaining a house band? I enjoy hearing them and especially the diverse array of songs that the singers cover but do most people who watch the show pay any attention to the band? DWTS seems like the perfect show to use tracks, but I’m glad that they don’t.


  39. Gene – thank you as well.

    Re the live music aspect on DWTS, dancers actually train to live music. It’s the proper way to rhythmically/musically enhance the dance experience.

    The dancing profession [i]generally[/i] stay true to this traditional element in training young dancers.

    I play for an excellent dance instructor in Timmins and all her ballet students must perform their exams with my piano accompaniment. It is a wonderful, enriching experience for all concerned.

    And, you are correct, the electronic manipulation can be used in conjunction with a live band. However, the lip-synching, which I suspect some performers did use in the early stages of the show, cannot be used with a live band. Well, technically they could, but then the musicians would play quietly or without amplification.

    So, Simon just felt that he didn’t need them and, you are so right, he saved a ton of money.

    What he didn’t’ save was the credibility of the show. What a shame. He really does not understand what people want as viewers. They just want great entertainers, not necessarily perfect, who understand what it takes to hold an audience.


  40. MCL,
    Thank you for the very complete and insightful answer to my question. I enjoyed reading about your work with the young ballet students. I know that must be rewarding. There were two sentences in your response that really stood out for me.

    “It is a wonderful, enriching experience for all concerned.”

    Even though I’m taking your remark out of context, it’s exactly what I was trying to say about live music on the singing reality shows. You said it much better and more concisely than I did. Louise would be proud.

    “He really does not understand what people want as viewers.”

    That is the essence of Simon Cowell.

    Good points about lip syncing as well as the loss of the show’s credibility for the sake of a few bucks. I agree completely with you on both counts. Before the season started I expected a much better program than has been presented. I also expected X-Factor to be a real threat to dethrone American Idol at that time. It appears that my worries were in vain. Hopefully the folks at AI will read the tea leaves correctly and continue to refine their program into a better product.


  41. So who is left on this show…and who do you think will win? Promo’s have begun for Idol and for The Voice…Can’t wait, I like both of those!!!


  42. Yes, very proud Gene . . . 🙂


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