The American Idol Season 12 Top 10 Are…


The Guys
Lazaro Arbos
Curtis Finch Jr.
Paul Jolley
Burnell Taylor
Devin Velez

The Gals
Janelle Arthur
Candace Glover
Kree Harrison
Amber Holcomb
Angie Miller

So what do you think? Do we have a competition here or what? Hard to say.

Personally, I feel this is a somewhat uneven lineup. There are singers in this Top 10 that are light years ahead of some of the others. I enjoy this show when the singers are unanimously or almost unanimously – even across the board. Season 7 anyone? And how about Season 4 or 5?

Yet, in all fairness, we have to give all these kids a chance and see how this plays out over the course of the season.

And, don’t forget, there will be another Wild Card added to the Top 10 next week based on a sing-off between the 6th place singer from both the Top 20 Male and Female groups.

I am hoping it is a girl – both Bree and Aubrey deserve a place in the Top 11 and yet, we don’t know if either did receive enough votes for the sing-off. Time will tell.

Comment away!

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

21 Responses to “The American Idol Season 12 Top 10 Are…”

  1. Hey Rosanne :

    Ok, here’s my thoughts. I’m not nearly as into this show as I have been in the past. I have always been a huge Idol fan prior. Now I record it and fast forward through the country singers. (Last year was the last year for me sitting through those). As far as the other talents: They are all good to me. None great and none unique. They all pretty much sound the same to me. If I had to pick someone who I thought was the most unique though, I’d pick Brunell. My favorite singer this year is Candace. Do I think either of them will win. No. Why? Because Idol no longer has the audience that will support that talent. I always say its not about the talent. Its about the style and type singer the audience most prefers.

    Lazaro is a cute kid and he’ll get the sympathy vote because of his stutter. He definitely is not one of the stronger singers aboard. Curtis: I get the same feeling about him as I did about Joshua Ledet , who I throughly enjoyed last season. Same kind of gospel flavor. But I also said very early in the game that Joshua would go far but wouldn’t win. I feel the same way about Curtis. I am pretty familiar with all the other singers. None of them really stand out to me. I would say this though… while I’d love to see Candace or either Brunell win its really looking to me so far that this seasons winner will be hispanic and that might be Velez. To me he is the most seasoned performer on that stage. And I have my fingers crossed thinking the other hispanic young lady might be the wild card.. I’ve been pretty good at picking winners out early off in seasons past.
    I’m haven;t been as attentive this season though so I might be off.

    Well ….. those are my thoughts


  2. cookiemonster March 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Hi masterclass lady! Ok am finally caught up with all my idol watching – pvr’d a lot as I am always busy on Idol nights. Unfortunately, 3 of the guys who I had personally ranked as #8,9, and 10 on my personal ranking list have made it into the top 10. Boo. Velez was in my top three so am happy there and Curtis was #6. It was hard for me to rank the guys because in reality I didn’t (don’t) like most of them. Brunell – I just can’t get into his voice or sound, Sorry. He seems like a sweet guy though. As for the girls, I’m ok with the selection but had Bree in my top three. Kree- I like her voice but not her stage presence. I really like Angie. Loved the country singer on the smaller stage but feel her voice is lost on the large stage? Just me? Nice quality sound, just something mising for me – but good stage presence. Love Candace’s voice (in my top three) but have to agree with the last poster (brotherkarlrl) that the Idol audience won’t vote for her – another Boo! Can’t get excited about this season! I just think back to David Cook’s year (and Archuleta!) or Adam Lambert’s year. They caught my attention during auditions! I wanted to see more of them. None of these singers have done that for me this year. It hasn’t been since Adam’s season that I have been drawn to a singer – ok maybe Pia a little and Jessica somewhat but not to the point where I was on the edge of my seat, hollering at the tv to have them move on. (yes, a sad existence ha!). The only thing drawing me this year is that super sexy Keith Urban! Maybe things will get better.


  3. CookieMonster is back. Long time no see!!! Yup I’m with you. The show is desperately trying to find the magic this season and it’s not working quite right yet.

    I still say that the Top 24 format worked best – three weeks of live shows and eliminations leading to the final selection of the Top 12. It was an inspired format and why they changed it just boggles my mind.

    I think Idol sort of tried to re-capture this format via the Top 40/Top 20 shows but, the problem with this is that too many singers were eliminated too quickly. And many were very, very good and would have added a boost of artistry to the present line-up.

    BrotherKarl – you are correct. Curtis, Candace and Burnell don’t have a hope, although of the three, I think Burnell will advance the furthest.

    I love Devin and Angie. They offer something unique – Devin with his romantic throwback style of singing and Angie with her distinctive brand of artistry. Plus she is a songwriter as well.


  4. Rosanne-I’ve been kind of scratching my head over this Top 10. Lararo is a sweetheart, but I don’t think he should be in the top 10, and I don’t think Paul should be either. I’m not saying that to to mean in any way, but AI is supposed to be a TALENT competition. I’m satisfied with the girls though! I wonder if AI letting so many great singers go too soon, that this is their way of trying to pave the way for a girl to win this season. It was just something that came to my mind. If that’s the case, then AI has lost more credibility! Memories of Season 7 were so vivid in my mind last night. In 5 years, no other season has been able to touch it!


  5. Rosanne-I really wouldn’t have minded seeing Bree or Aubrey in the Top 10 as well. It seems like it’s hard to compete with the Country singers because the Country fans sure vote up a storm. When AI had the Top 24 format, it was the best, and made so much sense. Why can’t they just keep a great thing when it works? Also, having Ryan run backstage all the time was ridiculous! Just have the contestants sit on stage like they used to.


  6. Anita – I miss the Top 24 format so much. And, yes, this is such an uneven Top 10. I was hoping that we could eliminate at least one country singer but now we have two in Kree and Janelle – although I do love Janelle.

    Where is the Season 7 magic? They never were able to capture it again.

    Yes, Ryan running back and forth was tiresome to watch but, in some ways, I was enjoying the backstage repartee. It was interesting.


  7. Indeed, for me Season 7 was the “Magical Season” and I still follow all the alumni from that season! I saw them on the Idol tour and even bought a Jason Castro photo! I also liked Season 5 but didn’t get the chance to see them in concert.

    I think this is a pretty good line-up. I would have liked Aubrey to be in this line-up. I know people complain about Season 9, but there were so many outstanding performances in that season! I looked forward each week to hear what Siobhan Magnus would sing. I loved seeing her, Crystal, and Casey sing. Again, I saw them in concert.

    Just don’t know if I would pay a lot to see this group sing. There’s no one that jumps out at me and says, “I am special.” I hope Candice can be versatile and do some Rock. I AM SO SICK OF BALLADS!


  8. I think Kree will be signing the coronation song with confetti pouring over her head!!!


  9. Vonnie,

    I’m not nearly as optimistic about Kree as you are. If you’re right about your previous comment, don’t let me forget to congratulate you! 🙂


  10. Louise…Don’t need to congratulate me LOL, I am not real happy with that prediction! While I like Kree, there are others that I like alot more that I would love to see confetti falling on…Candace, Amber, Angie, Paul and Curtis!!!

    This year is odd for me…so I’m not sure how much I will be watching; I have bigger fish to fry on DWTS…Ingo!!! 🙂


  11. If Kree wins I will be very surprised. Very. Presently, she has little stage presence and just an average voice. There are many others that are far superior and, in fact, should have her spot in the Top 10.


  12. If I were picking a winner at this point it would be Janelle. Like several past winners she has been over praised and under criticized while under performing. I haven’t heard one performance from her that was spot on throughout, yet the judges sing her praises. Sound familiar? In my view she is the only country singer in the competition. Kree is more versatile, while she could cover artist like Cathy Mataea I don’t see her as country, in fact, her last performance was the first from her to get my attention because it was a cover of a song by my latest blues rock obsession (more blues than rock) Susan Tedeschi. I think they eliminated the other country artists earlier in the competition to pave the way for Janelle. I don’t see her and Kree competing for the same voter. To her benefit, Janelle has a recognizable voice, which may be the most valuable quality you can have in commercial music. She is also likeable, friendly, and reasonably attractive. I’ve noticed how they place Janelle for random camera shots. The last night that the guys performed she was in her familiar spot in the aisle seat; seated next to her was Candice, then Kree and Angie. The two pop girls and Amber were on different rows. Just coincidence I guess.

    The only thing holding Curtis back is Curtis. If all of his selections are gospel songs or sung in the gospel style he will limit himself to that segment of the voting audience. Candice has shown more versatility than that in the past and should go further than Curtis. The best thing I’ve seen her do was a Buddy Holly song. Brunell’s tone reminds me of Stevie Wonder but the jury is still for him with me. He can be very good or he can be boring.

    Angie is the most complete act in the competition and she is very good. I think she is a perfect fit for Christian contemporary but the pop world will eat her alive. I’ve watched most of her stuff on You Tube and there is sameness about all of it whether it is a cover or an original song. She reminds me of Barry Maniloe and his formula songs.

    I agree with Anita that Lazaro and Paul should not have made the cut. I would have preferred that they be replaced with girls.

    As far as enjoyable performances go, I like Velez. He may not be the best singer of the lot but he is solid and delivers and enjoyable performance. While he does a good job of blending English and Spanish in his performances it will likely be viewed as pandering if he continues to do it. I also enjoy seeing Amber perform. She has a lot of raw talent but may end up in the trap of singing too many old songs.

    This season just isn’t very exciting for me. I don’t have a favorite or anyone that I’m waiting to see each week and, at this point, can’t see myself going to see their concert.


  13. Yes, Gene, I agree. I am not jumping up and down and sideways over this Top 10 and I think the reason for that has to do with the fact that they eliminated the Top 24 semi-final format where only four singers (two guys and two girls) were eliminated over a three week period. It gave us an opportunity to really get to know the singers.

    They tried to change it up this season with a Top 40 and then a Top 20 but it just didn’t work. And, is it me or did Ryan seem less enthused over the revelation of the Top 10? The suspense and anticipation was not there. He was sort of sleep-walking through the process. So strange.

    And then to rush out the information, while the credits were rolling, that we would be introducing an 11th singer this week seemed poorly timed and almost added at the last minute. Equally strange.


  14. Gene:

    Well said, as normal. Jannelle, to me is good …. just not fantastic. And while Devin is the guy I personally think will go the furthest as far as th guys, I agree with you 100% on the spanish singing. It could get to be overkill and it definitely would be pandering. I would never buy his records but I do think he will far. I;m with you on Brunell too. To me he has a voice thats different that I recognize instantly if I heard , but I’m like you, it could get boring, if he doesn’t step up with a little more energy and performance. Oh… and I;m also with you on Curtis. To me he is just Joshua all over again. Great singer, a lot of energy but just like that audience didn’t go for Joshua last year (and a lot of folks at this site) they won;t go for Curtis. Iys just not a style that accommodates the majority of the Idol audience. The other girls you mentioned …. its the same old sounding country singers again. Good, but they are not out of sight .I just wish they would get a big country music competition going and all the country singers would go there, and leave idol to pop. (They have one for gospel now that will be airing for its 6th season in couple of weeks) . The truth Gene … This is probably it for Idol with me. I;m pretty much done.


  15. Rosanne,
    I agree with you that it was a mistake to do away with the top 24 format in favor of this new system. It doesn’t allow a kid a chance to redeem themselves after a poor performance or a failure to get the voters attention. We have seen a lot of good contestants in past seasons that would have been cut under this new system. Personally, I would like the season to start with the top 36, or even 24, and it could be equal amounts of girls and boys at that point. Then let us spend four weeks, two shows per week, getting to know these contestants before nay eliminations begin. They could take turns highlighting different contestants each show with a little back-story or footage from their audition rather than having weeks and weeks of auditions of unsuccessful contestants.

    Having Ryan running back and forth to the holding room during the top ten selection process was pretty corny. Even some of the kids were blowing him off as he tried to talk to them in route to the stage. I don’t think we will see that feature next year.

    On the good side, we have had a lot of opportunities to hear all of the actual contestants sing full songs this season although the mass cuts make what you have just seen a little confusing. I mean why show me five singers tonight that are going to be cut at the end of the show? I also liked the idea of an un-judged round after the top ten selections. I would have preferred having two wildcards that could be two boys or girls or one each, chosen by the voters, to form a top twelve to begin competing tonight. Whether or not they take another kid on tour doesn’t matter to me if we haven’t seen them in several rounds of competition.

    I think we were spoiled by “The Voice” the last few seasons (although their knockout rounds aren’t fair) and that may be taking a toll on our patience for Idol. There are several good and or entertaining singers in this group so it should be enjoyable to watch, but I don’t care who wins at this point.


  16. Hi Karl,
    You make a good point about Devin. I find him very enjoyable to watch and listen too, although, like Janelle, he’s good, not great. I didn’t realise that he was your homeboy until he began singing tonight. The bilingual singing, as I know you remember, has bitten a few contestants on the bottom in the past so it will be interesting to see how he plays it. I’m not quite sure what his genre or market niche is either. How do you see him?

    You know a lot more about the brand of gospel that flows from the black churches and has been the training ground for R&B and Soul singers in the past, so let me ask if you have noticed, or I should say am I correct in saying, that Jacob Lusk, Joshua Ledet and now Curtis seem to have developed their singing styles at the feet of female gospel singers? I have noticed Curtis singing (?) the same extremely low note that Jennifer Holliday does when she is making that signature facial expression, but the other two seemed to perform, as well as sing, in a style that suggest that they learned their craft watching female singers. Anyway, I like Curtis. He was the only one I would have kept on the night that his group of guys sang. I thought Popa Smurf showed more versatility than Curtis but his last performance wasn’t very good. Maybe he will break out on a broader path.

    I think Candice is the best singer in the group but she may end up getting the Melinda Doolittle treatment. “Thank you for carrying the show up to this point, but we won’t be needing you any longer.”

    I wish you had watched “The Voice” with us last season. I would have enjoyed your take on it. I will have to see how this season plays out before I throw in the towel on Idol.


  17. Hey Gene

    Hmm … let me see if I can answer this without getting political. We sort of touched on this last season when we were speaking of Joshua (who you will remember called himself Man-tasia) . I’ll just say it like this for these three guys specifically (all who I incidently think are some of the most awesome singers that Idol has had) … those three guys have picked up a whole lot more from their favorite female gospel artist’s then just singing “styles”. Some guys are just different and everybody knows its true. Some guys dream of being on the football field and some dream of owning a beauty shop. I don’t think it has anything to do with gospel music pursue or who they’ve learned from, as its just is who they are and want to be like.

    Ruben Studdard grew up in the black church singing gospel music and just like all 3 of those guys , he too shared how much he loved Fantasia, but his gospel “idol” was not a female. His idol was a famous gospel singer by the name of Fred Hammond, who he has since recorded with. Fred might have even been on the show with him. 25 years ago during the era of the late James Cleveland (one of the most famous black gospel singers ever) the whole manner that he brought and these 3 bring to the stage today was very popular in gospel music back then. Its still a little there (there are still some black Liberace type’s in the gospel field ) but not nearly, not nearly as many as then . I think the old saying is “old habits die hard” though

    Regarding Candace, I too personally believe she is the best of all the females there, but its just not going to happen for her. Its not the audiences style. Although I must say, last night I saw a different side to her talent And Devin ,well … I’m with you, I definitely don’t think he’s great. As I said, not somebody who’s record I personally would buy. I just think he’ll be one of the last guys standing (although there was something there last night that concerned me) Jannelle and Bree are good, but I just don’t do country and when I hear them I just fast forward. Its not their singing. Its the style If it goes that way again this year , that WILL be it for me. I’ll just follow the rest of them. The show is changing


  18. BrotherKarl – I think you meant Kree instead of Bree:). Nevertheless, I wish Bree was there instead of Kree. I know she has a backstory as so many others but this is a SINGING contest. She has no star power whatsoever and has an average voice. I just don’t get it. Sorry Kree fans but she she has to step up her game or run the risk of giving boring performances every week.


  19. Thanks for the reply Karl. Actually, I wasn’t really thinking about these guys’ personal lives, or necessarily suggesting that they were effeminate, but there is something about all three of their styles that seems like maybe Momma or Grandma took them along to choir practice a lot and they made a study of the ladies they saw singing there. Of these three I liked “Mantasia” the best and felt like he was the most refined of the three and could have a successful career in secular music with some restraint.

    I’m glad you mentioned Ruben. I hadn’t thought of him but he is a good example of a singer whose style seems to have been influenced more by male singers than female. His style works well as a traditional R&B artist as well. I’ve listened to James Cleveland before (love his voice) and I think he may be the root of many R&B stylings as well as gospel that you mentioned. I wasn’t familiar with Fred Hammond but I looked him up and I can definitely see that he was an influence on Ruben “205” Studdard.

    Interestingly, Candace describes herself as being most like Joshua Ledet when ask which former Idol she sees herself as being like. That concerns me a little. You can tell by listening to her sing that she is no stranger to gospel singing but I hope she will resist the temptation to take every song she sings to church. So far she has done a good job of showing the range of her talents but she still has to make the sell on being a current pop or R&B singer. I enjoyed her performance last night quite a bit, and believe it was the performance of the night. I could almost see her pressing her face on the window pane with thoughts of boiling someone’s bunny running through her head, but for some reason I liked Jordan’s version better.

    Thanks again Karl for fielding my question.


  20. Hey Rosanne –

    Thanks for correcting me about Kree. I guess that lets you know what kind of impression shes’s leaving on me … but she does have a lot of people who love her though. The judges seem to like her a lot too. I think she’ll go far in the competition like that other country girl last year ( I think her name was Skylar). She was good …but country just isn’t my thing.


    I think I understood what you were saying and I, probably just like you, absolutely know nothing of their personal lives either, only that to me all 3 were really good singers in my opinion, especially Joshua. To me his most memorable performance was “When a Man Loves A Women”. That was crazy! I wasn’t speaking about their personal lives. I was just basically referring to their manner of performance . Its just a mannerism found in performance that was VERY typical of famous male gospel artists back in the 60’s and 70’s. which began to diminishing as new artist like Fred Hammond begin to emerge back then . And the gospel musicians and groupies of that time (which I was heavily into all know the history.

    Oh … and those classic Jennifer Holiday faces and “Ha Ha’s and and Ho Ho’s” and famous growls that you see these guys doing, those are more expressions and sounds that a lot of black pastors made while they were preaching, back in day and if any singer (male or female) had enough nerve to bring THAT into their performances, they were considered as “taking them to church” . Reuben never brought those expressions into his performance like that but Joshua, Jacob and Curtis did and do.

    Now let me ask all of you guys …..are they forfeiting the wild card picks this season that you know of?


  21. BrotherKarl – I don’t know what to make of this whole Wild Card business. It’s confusing to me. Totally. But, I guess the judges will decide who of the two will make it through after they sing-off against one another. I don’t know who thought of this tactic but it is very lame and sloppy thinking.


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