Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 11 Top 8 Results Show: Songs From The Eighties


Well, this should be a nail-biter. Last night’s show was quite good and some of these singers really surprised me with the strength of their conviction and their stellar song selections. So, this elimination is going to be a very sad one all round.

However, on a happier note, Kellie Pickler will be gracing the stage with her bubbling personality and fantastic country voice. I love her!

Make sure you add your comments at any point during and, of course, after the show.

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

39 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 11 Top 8 Results Show: Songs From The Eighties”

  1. They must really be desperate for a female winner for the judges not to use the save for the sweet and talented DeAndre. This boy is such a star. A star! How heartless has this show become?


  2. I haven’ t watched yet…but hear my girl was in the bottom!

    Ah well…I’m getting ready to watch now!


  3. It’s okay winning on this show is not the end all to be all, he’ll have an amazing life still, this is just the begining for this great young man, his talent and stature will only grow as he show class even in what some may think of as defeat. The opportunities ahead are endless and with the right guidance he could become a SUPERSTAR.


  4. I think this person on MJ’s blog was right in saying that Deandre was being bussed “silently”. He went first two out of three weeks and was never in the second half of the show. It also didn’t help that Jimmy Iovine opened his big mouth the night of the performances, before Deandre even performed and said that he would be in the bottom three. Way to influence the viewing audience, right?

    I also think that Deandre’s falsetto may not have been loved by everyone. I loved it and think he showed amazing growth on the show. I hope that he will continue to develop as an artist. I thought it would be Hollie tonight, but it’s also sad to see him go.

    I haven’t seen the show yet being out on the west coast. But reading the comments on MJ’s blog, someone said that Jimmy Iovine said that Philip was better than Deandre! What? Please!


  5. i am not a fan of deandre’s singing. in fact i fast forwarded through his performance yesterday because i couldn’t handle it. i would have been really disappointed if they had saved him. i think he’s a sweet young man, i just wasn’t into the singing. different strokes for different folks i guess.


  6. Wow! I really would have thought that the judges would have saved DeAndre.

    I was sad to see Hollie and Elise in the bottom, both now have another chance to come back a swingin’.


  7. Vonnie – it will be short-lived for Elise and Hollie. The Final 2 will be Jessica and Joshua. Skylar may be the upset but it is pretty obvious now where this show is headed.

    Now that DeAndre is gone, the other guys are history as well – except Joshua.


  8. i loved deandre- LOVED him. there is no reason for me to watch anymore but i might. jimmy was kind of mean to him. he did not deserve to go yet.


  9. Yes, Mindy, that was an upsetting comment. You know – I don’t even believe that DeAndre had the lowest number of votes. Ryan member mentions the voting numbers anymore and, in the end, TPTB pretty well do what they want.


  10. MCL!

    As much as it pains me to say this…I too think Elise and Hollie will not last much longer as the agenda is certainly getting clearer.

    I agree, a top two of Jessica and Joshua, with Phillip andSkylar finishing out the top four.


  11. THe big issue I have with M. Brackensick is that–while he has a god stage presence–his vocals–to me–lack any kindof presence. IOW, I feel that I could be listening to a deep voice[think Scotty McCreery and his baritone] that has no ‘direction’.


  12. Well I did get to see the show out on the west coast and Jimmy did say that Philip’s performance was his worst so far. However, he divided it up into great, good and worst and picked – good. The one thing that he said that got my attention, is that the judges are doing him no favors by giving him unqualified praise. Did you hear that judges? It’s what happened to James Durbin last year. In order for these contestants to grow and develop, they need to be challenged.

    I also noticed that when Jimmy spoke about Hollie’s performance he did not say one thing about the vocals. He said that it was worse than a high school performance, which was way too harsh, but then he spoke about how she was too stiff and the words of the song are – what a feelin’ – and there was no feeling. Now that is what the judges should have said to her. It’s not the vocals, it’s her performing style and connecting to the emotion of the song.

    After reading MCL’s prediction, I am prepared for Hollie and Elise to have a limited amount of time on this show. I didn’t think about a Jessica/Joshua finale. I thought they wanted Philip. I am not as sure about Skylar. We will see. She has to keep picking good songs and deliver the goods. Any bad performance and someone could find themselves in the bottom.

    I wish that Hollie could come back strong next week and knock everyone out with a great song. She should block out the judges comments and just go out there as though she has nothing to lose. If necessary, read the words of the song and think about what it is saying. Give us emotion, passion and feeling to go along with that voice then the heck with the judges! Go out swinging.


  13. I agree with most of what you are saying about the contestants who are being favored by TPTB, but I also get the impression that they love Colton. I haven’t read any comments about him.

    I definitely think they’re doing everything they can to get rid of Hollie. And honestly I’m not so sure if they’ll keep Joshua around much longer. I think their favorite males are Philip and Colton. And the favored females are most definitely Jessica and, I believe, Skylar.


  14. Louise,

    I see the Colton love too from the judges, I can’t remember what Jimmy has said about him.

    I don’t get idol…if you are after a girl win, why try and get them all off of the show, the girls were way stronger than the guys this year…I think on purpose! We could have easily had a top 6 girls.


  15. MCL,

    I have figured out what it is about Skylar…drum roll please! I don’ t care for country music!

    Last year was a fluke for me to like a country artist, other than Josh Gracin, and Carrie, but at the time when they were on the show they sang other genre’ s too, like Carrie sang a Heart song that I thought she did amazing on and Josh sang Piano Man and sounded so good, I think either one of theses could have went any route that they would have wanted, they both chose country.

    For me, with Scotty, I loved his baritone voice, to my dismay the country industry has changed somewhat, and I loved his personality. He stole my heart!

    Skylar’s twang has put me off, when I listen to Carrie, even though she is country she does not have that forced twang.


  16. What is the tired old theme for next week?


  17. Vonnie,

    You said exactly what I’ve been thinking of Skylar. I’m not a country fan either, but I loved Scotty last year also because of his voice and his personality, and I also enjoy Carrie. But I can’t stand Skylar’s twang either!!!!!!!


  18. I quit watching AI last year when it became so obvious they wanted Scotty and Lauren to win. I was a fan of Scotty’s baritone but the show became boring. I’ll see how it goes this season. When it becomes obvious who the final 2 will be, I’ll stop watching it again. Such a disappointment when I used to watch it thru the finale.


  19. Louise,

    Oh! Bless you! I was thinking that I was the only one not liking Skylar! Her twang seems too forced and thus making it sound very fake and nasally…!


  20. I’m really sad that they eliminated DeAndre!! They could have saved him!! They can only save one up to the last five leaving them 2 more shows to save someone. DeAndre handled it well though! He will have a record deal before you know it. He’s totally R&B and his following will be huge. Out of the girls I think Elise has the best vocals. She’s different and exciting!! Joshua for the boys! Phil sounds exactly the same every week. He thinks he is Dave Matthews! He’s not! Colton pronounces his words too weird and is breathy one minute and yoddels the next!! Skylar does have too much twang, Jessica and Hollie sound too much alike!! I’m gonna miss DeAndre!!


  21. OK, here I go again, but I just can’t resist. Winning Idol is NO guarantee of success. You actually have to have talent. Two words again: Lee Dewyze. DeAndre got far enough to be heard & seen & I think he has a bright future ahead of him. He’s a huge cutie.

    If it has to be either Jessica or Joshua, I will definitely side with Jessica but I frankly was underwhelmed by her performance this week (I finally watched the video). Yes, it was technically impressive but I wouldn’t be shelling out real money for that song. And how DO they sing in those heels? Those were ridiculous. l also re-watched Elise. It was not nearly as bad as some would have us think. There were some great stylistic touches at the beginning and also at the end. Now Elise I would pay to see and I will buy her iTunes. I think I will skip the judge’s comments when I watch the entire show on TiVO because the judges’ comments don’t matter. And yes I AM biased – she’s my home town gal. But she also has an interesting voice.

    I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend.


  22. Hey Darlene…Happy Easter to you too!


  23. Hang onto your hats everyone – the theme for next week is (drum rol) – songs from this decade! That means 2010, 2011, 2012.

    So now we will definitely be hearing new and current music! Akon will be mentoring. He sounds familiar, but I am sure that I have not listened to any of his music.

    I am not loving Skylar and now I realize why. Vonnie said it for me – I have never liked country singers, that is until Scotty McCreery! He was very special with that deep baritone, oodles of talent and charm and so much poise for someone so young.

    However, at the risk of incurring the wrath of some of my friends here, I do think Skylar is a better singer than Lauren Alaina. She has tons more confidence, more personality on stage, much more confidence. What I don’t love is that twang in her voice. That is pure country and not for me. But she showed this week that she is a competitor and will not go down without a fight.

    Elise’s voice appeals to me more. I just really think that song choice is the most important thing for her. She wasn’t as bad as the judges said, but I did hear her off key throughout most of the performance. I think the backup singers were too darn loud and the arrangement overall was just too much. It shows how tough it is for the girls, given that Elise has been safe the last two weeks and this time was back in the bottom two.

    I have one thing to say about the judges – I think it’s high time that they called out the guys for their pitch issues and not only the girls. Fair is fair!


    I know you haven’t been posting much, but I was curious what you thought of Hollie.


  24. Mindy,

    I agree with you about Lauren and Skylar, also agree with MCL that Skylar does have more personality than Carrie as well, just not the chops!

    Skylars twang seems too forced, but, TPTB have already figured out there is money to be made in having a country music artist on stage, so we are going to be guaranteed one each year now!


  25. Mindy & Vonnie, I agree with you that Skylar is a better singer AND performer than Lauren. But the twang is heavy. And for Elise I agree that song selection is key. I guess during the show the performers are not allowed to seek outside opinion? I can’t imagine anyone who knew anything about singing & also Elise’svoice saying “great, “i Want to Know What Love Is” is the song for you!!”

    Songs of this decade? Yowza. I can’t think of any song from this decade that I like …unless it’s something by Blake Shelton. Or Adele.


  26. Darlene,

    I imagine there will be an Adele song sang and I hope it is Elise singing Rolling in the Deep! Of course she will then be compared to no end, so it may not a good thing, but I think she could do that song justice.

    Hollie needs to do a Kesha song, like Tic Toc. Jessica a Mylie song


  27. Oh! Forgot to say Darlene…there will have to be the drama of someone practicing a song all week and then at the last minute TPTB saying they didn’ t get clearance for it and making them change their song at the last minute; my guess it will be Hollie or Elise, or maybe both!

    Skylar may do well with a Kesha song too! Some one will need to do gaga’ s Born this Way!


  28. Hi Mindy. Just noticed your question re:Hollie. I honestly like Hollie & I thought her performance was good. The supposed “pitchiness” escaped me. And who can connect to the “emotion” of “What a Feeling!!” anyway LOL. I think Hollie’s biggest problem is a tendency to oversing and I think she avoided that this week. so I didn’t get the criticism of the judges (& to be honest I haven’t even listened to the criticism yet – I watched Hollie’s performance on YouTube”.

    I think the transparency of the show’s agenda is sad although having said that last season James Durbin was the chosen one & the viewers thwarted TPTB.


  29. Hello again. Somehow a comment I made earlier this morning never made it to this post. It was from my iPhone which doesn’t always do what it’s supposed to do. Anyway, the gist of the post was that I’m very impressed with your knowledge of very current music, Vonnie!! My other comment was that I think “Rolling in the Deep” would be a good choice for Elise but that she really needs to land those high notes in the chorus because if there is even the slightest suggestion of “pitchiness” the judges will jump on it. I really think that what a lot of this so-called “pitchiness” comes down to, especially in Elise’s case, is vowel choice so in a song like “Rolling in the Deep” choosing a good “a” in “all” would make all the difference in the world. And then opening up a little on the “ee” in “deep” – but not too much. Here’s hoping for the best for both Elise & Hollie.


  30. Jessica is going to rock next week’s theme. She is very much a current artist. I posted a video of her early on in Idol singing a Beyonce number. It is exceptional

    And again, singing Adele. Forced on the “a” vowel – she needs to lighten her approach as she does on the “ee” in “deep. This problem will prevail for anyone who sings this song.


  31. Here is the article I wrote about Jessica back in February:


    The first video is the one that struck me as extremely current and, for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the song. And now the video is unavailable. Interesting. Anyone else have any idea which song this was ? Quite possibly, it may be the song she will be singing on Wednesday.


  32. Darlene,

    I have been an avid listener to the top 40 pop music for a long time but here of late the lyrics have gotten so out of hand that I pretty much stopped listening all together…I love Adele and try to keep up with whatever she has out. I like Bruno Mars and try as well to keep up with him.

    Now I mainly listen to contemp christian music…I would like to hear Colton do a Jason Gray song like “Who I am to You”, it is a great song. I’ m sure that he would catch some flack for it, but if Skylar can do country he should be able to do contemp christian.


  33. Darlene,

    Please listen to what the judges said to Hollie if you still have last week’s performances recorded. I absolutely freaked out. I even listened to Hollie’s performance while the show was on and recording. I rewound it and listened with my eyes closed to concentrate on the focals. It was Steven Tyler and Randy who called her out for being off key. Steven looked at her dead serious and said that she was off key throughout the entire song! I kind of lost it when I heard that.

    The thing is, there are legitimate things that they could say to Hollie, but they have been harping on this nonsense about being pitchy for two weeks now. I know all about this show, but somehow it still gets to me when the bias and agenda is so obvious. Also, they called out the girls for their technical issues, but not one comment to any of the guys. I think that is getting really old.

    I think that Hollie running around the stage like she was doing aerobics or trying out for the spring team on the Olympics, was kind of absurd. I don’t know who choreographed that, and this is just for Jimmy Iovine, I thought it was worse than a high school performance! LOL!

    What I wanted to know is how would Hollie’s voice be classified. She has to be a soprano. Is she a mezzo soprano? I am also wondering about how big of a range she has.

    Last but not least, I have been listening to Hollie’s youtube videos all weekend. I do know Adele. She is one of the very few that I can actually listen to with current music. I love her. Hollie did an unbelievable version of “Rollin’ in the Deep”. I will have to go back and listen again to hear how she handled the “ee” part of the song. She also sang “Someone Like You” and it gave me the chills. She also sang Carrie Underwood’s “I Told You So”, just beautiful. Gene told me to check out that one. She did “Hallelujah”. She has so much power and her clarity and tone is brilliant. To see her singing in her house with amateur recording equipment and sounding like that, is something else. Someone on youtube in the comments section said – how would you like to hear that coming out of your neighbor’s window? Indeed!

    I don’t want anyone to sing Adele. I said so on MJ’s blog. I know there is a big temptation, but everyone is singing Adele songs. I don’t see anyone winning this competititon by being Adele 2.0. The young people on MJ’s blog had a number of suggestions, most of which I have never heard and don’t know.

    The one I did like for Hollie was Katy Perry’s “Firework”. It’s a really great song and Hollie could do it a lot better than Katy. This is the link to that song. They were talking about Rihanna for either Joshua or Jessica, Beyonce of course, others I don’t know.


  34. Mindy,

    I hope that someone does Adele and does it very well, either Elise or Hollie…the reason that I say that is because Adele is current on top of her game if someone can come out and do her justice that is feathers in their hat.

    I remember when Kat McPhee sand KT Lang’s “Black Horse in a Cherry Tree” I didn’t like Kat that year but I loved her doing that song and she stood out to me then as very current, because at the time she sang that song KT Lang was topping the charts.

    Katie Perry is going to be a hard choice for Hollie to sing, mainly because of the energy level Katie puts into her songs, we’ve already found that Hollie needs to move around but not bounce around, let’s leave that to Skylar.

    Any thing by Carrie for Hollie is going to be so compared too! I would like to hear Hollie do a Gaga song, because lady gaga sounds so much like the 80’s madonna, and I think Hollie could easily pull that off.

    This week for Elise and Hollie has to be stellar, because their is a bus waiting!!!


  35. Vonnie,

    Elise already did Adele. I think it was the performance that determined the top 12. She was at the piano. Why go there again? So many have done Adele. It can get old really easily. No one is going to sing Adele better than Adele. I say leave it alone and look for another current artist.

    I remember that performance by Kat McPhee. She was one of my favorites. It was a good move, but she hadn’t already done that artist. It’s overkill and Adele’s songs are very tricky to pull off.

    I would love to see Hollie come out with that great energy. If you listen to that recording by Katy Perry, even with all of the digital enhancements, she didn’t hit some of those high notes. Hollie had a much more powerful voice, much better technical skill and if she can connect with that energy, she could pull it off.

    There are so many artists that young people on MJ’s blog have suggested. Most of them I don’t even know. There is some girl who sang “Jar of Hearts”, but I listened to it on youtube and it’s kind of a downer. Then there is Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over” which doesn’t sound right for Hollie. Then there was “Call Me Maybe” which was kind of cute, but I don’t know. There are more, “Pyramid”, which I did not like. If Hollie is going to do Lady Gaga, she will have to choose carefully. I know that she has the vocal chops to sing any of her songs, but it has to be right. I will have to listen to Lady Gaga and check them out.

    I don’t listen to this stuff. Rihanna could be good for Joshua or Jessica, unless she does Beyonce. There is plenty for Skylar to choose from.

    Unfortunately, I think the bus is coming for Elise and Hollie no matter what they sing. All they can do is go out there and give it their best.


  36. Mindy,

    Elise’s Adele performance at the piano sold me on her, it was the first night that I had watched.

    The problem is going to be song clearance I guess we could pick songs all day, but it comes down to what and how many songs will be cleared for this theme, I get the feeling sometimes for these kids that there just isn’t much on theses song list for them to choose from!

    I hope that Elise and Hollie steal the show this week, other wise they will be in thebottom and one of them will probably go home!!!


  37. Hi Mindy. Great comments re: Hollie. I will have to listen to her YouTube videos. I’m not sure if she is a soprano or mezzo. She does have an amazing voice. I don’t think I have the 80’s show any more. But I do know that Hollie was NOT off-key in that song. She was moving too much. But the judges ought to be careful -vlast season they tore into Haley & she ended up 3rd (and really should have been in the final IMHO). So thanks for my assignment in figuring out if Hollie is a soprano or mezzo :).


  38. Also thanks Vonnie for tip re Jason Gray will definitely check him out!


  39. Darlene,

    I love Jason Gray…my favorite from him is “Who I Am”…that is a wonderful song, when it comes on I have my own concert in my car…I belt it out right along with him, lol…I kust don’ t sound as good as he does!

    He also has a great back story, he stutters when he talks but not when he sings!!!


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