Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12 Top 9 Performance Show: The Lennon-McCartney Songbook

20130320-183133.jpgPicture Courtesy Of AmericanIdol.Com

Don’t you love this retro portrait of the American Idol Season 12 Top 9 Finalists? And it looks great in my blog layout too. 🙂

This Wednesday’s show will highlight the legendary music of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Their music revolutionized the music industry; their classical pop sound was not only embraced by pop artists and fans worldwide but also arranged for symphonic orchestra.

Therefore, in preparing my Top 9 Vocal Masterclass article, I will be listening to see how well the singers shape their phrases and how genuinely they narrate the storyline in each song. This will be more important in the ballad selections; however, even their uptempo numbers must have character.

So, because I will be concentrating on my Vocal Masterclass article, I will not be live blogging the show. I will leave that up to you via the comments section. And I will promise to pop in and join the party when I have a break from writing.

Enjoy the show everyone. And good luck to the Top 9 singers.

  • Live Update
  • The winner of the fan save is Aubrey Cleland. Pretty awesome. A gal. And very deserving, although i still say Charlie should be there as well. Good luck to Charlie Askew. See you on tour Aubrey!
  • That’s it for the live updates. Busy writing the Vocal Masterclass article
  • Here’s a teaser – Angie Miller set the bar very, very, very, very, very high!
  • Janelle just reached Angie’s bar.
  • 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

    33 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12 Top 9 Performance Show: The Lennon-McCartney Songbook”

    1. i will miss your live blog but i will be thrilled to read the masterclass article.


    2. Thanks hunter. It is hard to do both. I might add a comment here and there but can’t promise.


    3. The Masterclass articles are worth the wait.

      The contestants who can throw a bone to the rock fans or emerge as an artist from this round should move to the lead of this group. I hope they will avoid the easy, obvious done time and again choices and dig a little deeper into this material.

      “Enjoy the show.”


    4. backtrack a wee bit here. I just got caught up on the last 2 weeks. Were you satisified with who they voted off last week or did you wish they did the save?


    5. I love the maturity that Kree brings to this show! That was really good!!!


    6. Awww!!!! I loved Burnell this week, love his easy going personality!!!


    7. Aww! Poor Lazaro!!!


    8. Angie set the bar. I live blogged about it at the end of this blog topic.


    9. Peggy – welcome. No, actually, there are stronger singers on the show. Curtis has problems with his upper range. His lower range is gorgeous. I wish he had used it more.


    10. Great night…Candice was so good! The girls are really doing great this year, it is going to be a battle to the top two!!!


    11. Vocal Masterclass article is up in record time. I have a busy day tomorrow so I typed fast and furious!! Haha


    12. Vonnie . . . you will be pleased to know that Kree won me over tonight with the first performance. I thought most of the performancs were really good tonight, but I loved Janelle tonight–absolutely beautiful! I think the one to be eliminated tomorrow night should be Paul Jolley.


    13. Louise…I really like Kree, she did really well tonight! I like all of the girls, with Candice and Kree being my top two!

      I really don’t know who to say should go home, Lazaro didn’t sound the best, but if his song was changed at the last minute, I like Pauls voice alot, gosh I don’t know, any of them going home is going to be hard!!!


    14. I agree that Paul has a nice voice. But when I said I thought it was time for him to be eliminated, I was simply comparing him to all of the others. I also agree that Lazaro didn’t have a good night, but I think he has a big fan base and they will keep him in the competition for a while. Plus I wonder why he had to change songs at the last minute. Usually they say it’s because they couldn’t get permission to do the song, but they apparently had permission to use the Beatles songbook.


    15. I think anyone other than Lazaro will be a shocker boot for me!!! But the guys being mistreated will have a backlash effect on the girls…tweens will not stand for their cuties to get dissed by the judges!!!


    16. Okay so someone other than me loved Angie. http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2013/03/american-idol-top-9-angie-miller-brings-the-true-sadness-of-the-beatles-with-yesterday.html

      I thought I was losing it. I re watched her performance and still stand by my critique that she sang brilliantly last evening.


    17. I was looking for a few things last night because this group seems to go from week to week with a “sameness” that I don’t recall from past years. I was looking for someone to rock it, someone to emerge as an artist, and someone to exceed their expectations and break the sameness cycle.

      On the rock side I got exactly what I expected. The only two contestants who have previously shown any capacity to rock were Kree and Candice. Kree did Susan Tedeschi’s “Evidence” a few weeks ago that established a little blues rock cred for her. The thing that I like most about Kree is that she chooses songs that I like. Nobody will go to see a performer just because they are technically proficient, they have to like the music they make or it’s a no sale. So Kree connects on that level.

      Candice rocked a great version of Buddy Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” in Vegas last season with Sanchez and Brackensick, which for me is still her best performance, so I knew she could rock. Candice sang the very song that I thought she should last night. There is a good performance on You Tube by Jennifer Nettles of “Come Together” that was recorded at Abby Road that gave me the idea that this song would suit Candice’s big voice well. Candice may prove to be the most versatile singer of the group this season. I hope she keeps working that aspect of her talent now that she knows what a “toe jam football” is. Both girls lived up to expectations this week but I didn’t really see a breakthrough of any sort for either of them.

      I’m going to lump Angie and Janelle together for a minute as the two who were given sound advice from Jimmy last night. He advised Janelle to work on her breathing which has been a problem for her and I have been waiting and hoping that she would sing a song in a style that was appropriate for her. Her natural style is sort of a mountain Dolly style (not Vegas Dolly) and when she performs in that style she is very good. She listened to Jimmy and she made a good song choice and phased the song well and finally lived up to expectations. She has been able to do this since she auditioned last season, so I wouldn’t call it growth, but she finally got it right. Good for Janelle. I hope she will stay away from pop country in the future.

      Jimmy advised Angie to perform from her heart and not from her head which was spot on advice for her. In that task I believe she failed. Her performance was very good and like Nickie said, I could hear a voice over singer in her too, but she fails to connect with me and I believe it is because the music doesn’t flow through her naturally. It seems contrived and over planned to me, like, this is the place my voice will break and it will do it every time I sing the song instead of her voice breaks as she is wringing that last bit of emotion out of her lyrics. I still get over wrought and Barry Manilow from Angie. She has very good skills if she can get beyond over thinking her performances and trust her ability. She is still pretty young so there is plenty of time for development. For me, even in light of a very nice performance, Angie fell below expectations and that’s even harder to say after MCL’s additional endorsement of her, but that is how she connects with me.

      Devin is always enjoyable to listen to. He is pretty solid, old school and not at all flashy and as long as he doesn’t over play the bi lingual card he is the best of the guys which puts him at the expected level.

      Paul may have been a little better last night and maybe he is realizing he is a pop singer and not the country singer he thinks he is. He still hasn’t convinced me he belongs in the top 10.

      Neither has Lazaro. Last night wasn’t pretty for him. My guess is that Angie got his first song choice. So while that’s not exactly fair, it’s part of Idol and part of life. I think he is done.

      Burnell was also about as expected. Like Devin, he is always entertaining but there was no real breakthrough last night. The strained thing he does that MCL spoke of in her Masterclass article, whether by mistake or intentional, doesn’t sound good to me, in fact, it was hard to listen to.

      So that leaves Amber. For me, she was the one that stepped up her game and showed artistry not previously seen. I loved her take on the phrasing of her song. “She’s Leaving Home” was a sophisticated song choice for her to make to begin with and then to make it her own as she did was a cut above the rest. She is like the stealth contestant that is running under the radar and in the shadow of the popular contestants but I think this young woman has a lot of potential but I’m not sure where she slots into the music industry. She’s a nice looking young woman with a very nice personality and a voice that is mature beyond her years to my ear. She has a great ease in her performance style that makes her seem to be an old veteran. So on a night of very good performances it was Amber’s stock that went up for me.

      I’m still unaffiliated this season. No one has risen to the level of making me want to purchase a download (if they were available this year) or stand in line for their first CD yet.


    18. Great read Gene…and I find myself agreeing with you whole heartedly…

      The girls rank for me…Candice and Kree, Amber….Janelle…..Angie!!! Angie being my least favorite!

      The boys rank for me…Paul…Devin, Brunell, and Lazaro!

      I think the surface has only been scratched a little with what Candice is capable of, and Kree definitely has that country vibe that I enjoy! I love the maturity that Kree and Candice bring to the table…

      Keith was just too cute last night…


    19. Gene and Vonnie,
      I agree with you about Angie. I think she is very, very talented, but she is my least favorite of the girls right now. My preferences are Candice, Amber/Janelle (can’t decide which one I like most), Kree, and Angie.

      Of the guys, my favorites are Devin, Brunell, Paul, and Lazaro.


    20. Thank you Vonnie.

      Vonnie and Louise,
      The ratings would be a little hard for me. Louise’s list is pretty much the way I see it with a few minor tweaks.

      My girls list would look like this; Candice, Amber, Kree /Janelle, and Angie.

      Amber has moved ahead of the other two for me, for this week anyway, I just don’t know where she is going. I know where I think Janelle should go, and I’m pretty sure where ever Kree goes will at least be a comfortable ride. It’s hard to put Angie at the bottom of this list because her talent doesn’t warrant it.
      I agree with Louise on the guys;

      Devin, Brunell, Paul, and Lazaro.

      Devin is very solid and so far is the best of the guys, but I don’t really see him changing much from where he is now. Brunell has a great rasp that reminds me of Stevie Wonder and he could break out with a good theme and the right song choice. I don’t care for Paul’s style very much but I think he is showing improvement. If Lazaro stays I think he needs to deemphasize the stuttering difficulty he has. Ask the Ryan and the judges to stop asking him questions that require lengthy answers and make darn sure he delivers his best vocal no matter what anyone else tries to get him to do. The sports coats that are two sizes too small make him look like Pee Wee Herman and manning up his mannerisms just a little would go along way with the voters. I think he is surviving on sympathy votes right now even though it sounds like he has a pretty good voice when he connects with a song. Jimmy should get him in touch with Mel Tillis. Mel was stuttering when he talked and singing clear as a bell before Lazaro’s parents were born and he took the self deprecating humor approach to public acceptance, which in the long run will get you much further down the road than sympathy. I don’t mean to be harsh in any way and my guess is the pitiful persona is Idol’s creation, not Lazaro’s.


    21. Oddly enough, I find myself this year not wanting a guy to win…while I have liked girls over the years, I usually like a boy more, only twice have I wanted a girl to win, Carrie and Lakisha….

      Gene, I had forgotten about Mel Tillis…there is also a christian singer Jason Gray who stutters but sings beautifully. Jimmy seems to like to get Lazaro upset and then send him out to the judges whom namely one or two like to further that, which then has Ryan playing counselor and Lazaro in tears!!! I truley believe that he was a self-confident young man when he started this idol process…


    22. I think so too. It seems like they are using him as a novilty item. I suspect he will go home tonight, so it will be a mute issue, but you never know.

      Yeah, I was suprised that you weren’t pulling for a guy, but that’s they way the rigged, I mean planned the season. I was also suprised that you weren’t a fan of Angie’s either.


    23. Paul comes about as close as I get to supporting a guy this year, I can’t see him winning, placing or showing!!!

      I liked Bryant and there was another guy that I liked but can’t remember his name….but yeah, they rigged well this year!!!

      Angie is a beautiful girl, she reminds me so much of a dear friend of mine, I just think she over sings sometimes, she has a pretty voice, but just doesn’t make me jump up and down!!! Kree and Candice just have unique sounds!!!

      I wouldn’t be shocked if someone other than Lazaro goes home tonight!!! He is a nice kid who does not deserve the “bus driving drama queens that are supposed to be acting like adults but resemble a sandbox full of preschoolers” bull crap!!! Too many people are going to feel sorry for him and vote like mad…


    24. I liked Bryant pretty well too.
      There is a definite possibility that someone else will go home tonight.
      Enjoy the show.


    25. Yep! And now I think Jimmy is the sandbox bully!!! Poor Paul….


    26. Lazaro Malakar. This guy will be in the top four.

      I thought Jimmy was spot on tonight. Why do you think he was a bully?


    27. Lol…when he was talking to his sound tech!!! I know production at it’s best. Lol


    28. Well Paul is gone now and …. I’m just going to say …. I never saw any chance of him winning, but to see him go before Lazaro is unbelievable. I’ll say this also though, I’m not really surprised to see Lazaro still there. I said it here couple of times already. Lazaro is this seasons Sanjia. Hes not at all that great of a singer but, he’s a good looking kid and he even has an edge that Sanjia didn’t have. He’s getting the sympathy vote for being able to do so well considering this studder and the tears this week ,I think, even increased the sympathy. I think he has a couple more weeks.

      This show is SO predictable. I think thats why I;m getting board with it. Its pretty obvious that a girl is going to win this season as the guys they selected that left are just not as good as any of the girls. I’m not into country but I think its pretty obvious that Cree will be in the final 3, and as much as I love Candace I wouldn’t be shocked NOT to see her there. Pissed but not shocked.. To me she is the best singer but she won’t win this. This audience is not gonna let it happen. They love their country music and they’ll have it. I’m willing to bet money on it.

      Now Brunell … I don;t see him as great singer but what does that matter. Bob Dylan has never been able to sing at all , in my opinion and hes been one of the greatest performers of all time and he would probably tell you himself that he doesn’t sing as well as Brunnell. To me Brunell has the most distinguishable voice of everybody on the stage. Not the best, but the most distinguishable. If I heard any of them on the radio, including Candace, I wouldn’t recognize their voices There are a lot black artist’s who sound exactly like her. Especially gospel artist. It wouldn;t take me 10 minutes to find 10 You Tubes to prove it. Its very obvious that shes patterned her voice after a lot of them . She’s good but not unique. All of these singers except Brunell, to me either sound like someone else who has been on the show or somebody already famous. I think Idol has peaked with the level of talent that will comes to its auditions. We get the same old stuff.
      Out of 1000’s how is that it stills ends up with so many “sound a likes” and amateurs.
      I’m looking for “unique”. Not just another amateur singer with potential The recording company’s find them. Out of 100’s why can’t Idol.?


    29. I meant out of 1000’s why cant Idol?


    30. Interesting observations there brotherkarl. Thank you for posting your critique so well.


    31. Yay. One of the few critics who agree with my assessment. I was feeling mighty lonely here. Ha!


    32. This is the third photo where they put Candice on the end instead of the middle. It’s ridiculous!

      MCL, I am happy you found others who agree with you. I know, I almost always do! I love reading your analysis!


    33. KariAnn – I never noticed Candice’s position in the photos. Yes, she should be front and center. Ridiculous!


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