Vocal Masterclass Article For American Idol Season 12 Top 4 Singers: Now And Then

American Idol

By: Rosanne Simunovic

What a great evening of music! Now that was pretty fine singing from Amber, Angie, Candice and Kree.

And wasn’t Harry Connick Jr. the absolute best mentor? He had x-ray vision when dealing with our Top 4, playing to their strengths while reinforcing their weaknesses. Now, that is what mentoring is all about. No agenda! Just objective, life-altering guidance. Bravo!

Here are my evaluations and, remember, I am reviewing each singer in (first name) alphabetical order. Your comments are always welcome. To quickly access individual singers, simply click on the singer’s link below.

Amber Holcomb, Angie Miller,
Candice Glover, Kree Harrison

Quartet Performance:
Amber Holcomb, Angela Miller, Candice Glover, & Kree Harrison – “Wings” by Little Mix

AMBER HOLCOMB: “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink & Nate Ruess and “My Funny Valentine” by Mitzi Green/Chet Baker (Reprise)

Strengths:Amber – I was not at all familiar with your first song, “Just Give Me A Reason”, but, I have to say, it is was a great song choice, providing superb contrast to your second number.

The percussive underlay of this song made this performance a powerful one and, although the rhythmic and melodic components of the song were distinctly different from Song Number 2, the message was still the same – signifying the power of love.

You sang this song with great conviction and determination. This was a very confident performance and sat perfectly within the core of your stylistic strengths.

I loved the a cappella portion – just you and the drums – very nicely done!

Your second number, “My Funny Valentine” was an exquisite performance. Even though it was a reprise of your Las Vegas performance, I still think that this number was an absolutely wise choice to make at this stage of the competition.

You need to sing songs that highlight the enormous breadth of your artistry and, for whatever reason, this song really resonates with you. It challenges you to liberate the full extent of your vocal powers.

The manner in which you ascended and descended the melodic line, throwing in a high jump here and there, was very expertly done. Your voice sounded seamless and pure – sort of basking in the glow of your head voice.

And your phrasing was just beautiful, so musical! Your voice just caressed this song with such tenderness and sensitivity. It was a very special, very distinctive rendition of this number.

Brava Amber! Standing O from MCL.

Critique: Amber – I have to say that this week’s dual performances were significantly better than last week’s. You were back to displaying a more confident and riveting persona on stage. Brava!

But, there are some technical issues at play here that cannot and should not be ignored.

That mouth of yours!! Heaven help me! It is driving me bananas here. You tend to sing with a horizontal mouth position and, as a result, your vocal sound is not only poorly
directed but also very, very bright. So much chest voice pushing your head voice out of the picture. Not good!

As a result, during the first number, “Just Give Me A Reason”, your top range was a little under pitch because your brought so much chest voice to the upper range.

A good rule of thumb – and it works – bend your knees when you move through your upper range and squeeze your butt. This will engage your diaphragmatic muscles to fully support your vocal sound and, also, it will raise the soft palate, leaving your throat open and free.

Just do not push the sound out anymore and, along with that, do not raise our head. Lower the head – just a touch – and let your voice emerge freely from your mouth.

Additionally, that tense spread in your mouth encourages you to push the sound from your throat muscles rather than allowing the sound to present itself freely via the diaphragmatic support system. Therefore, is it any wonder that you intermittently experience problems harnessing a steady, clean vocal approach?

You have been blessed with a natural head voice component in your vocal timbre which is currently being overwhelmed by the prominence of your chest voice.

Ditto for “My Funny Valentine”. Same technical issues, except your pitch was much, much better. Why? Because you were singing a song you absolutely believed in and felt very connected to! Everything worked! And the key was perfect!

However, I cannot take issue with your artistic vision for this song. It was a very, very special performance. Congratulations!!

ANGIE MILLER: “Diamonds” by Rihanna and “Someone To Watch Over Me” by Gertrude Lawrence/Ella Fitzgerald

Strengths:Angie – your first number, “Diamonds”, certainly accented the versatile artistry you continue to bring to this competition. And, once again, you accompanied yourself at the piano. Brava!

Although the melodic line – and, for that matter, the lyrical line – is quite limited,
I was interested to see how you were going to master the phrasing. Would you bend and re-invent the melodic line? This is what I was hoping for!

And, my wish came true. You leaped beyond the limited confines of this composition, showcasing the wide range of your voice.

The nuances were there as well, which was important because this song can be a tedious listen if the singer does not propel the song beyond the composing elements.

Your second song, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, is, of course, a classic. And you had the voice and the artistic skill to deliver this song with confidence and poise. Out popped that glimmering head voice, as you moved with technical ease and artistry through those intervals in the opening phrase of the main refrain.

The bridge is a tricky part of this song. For some reason, the flow of the song can become stagnant at this point in the number. However, you kept the phrase lines moving with a nicely rhythmical forward momentum.

I loved the key change after the bridge – it added a strong multi-layered dimension to this song and made for a powerful and passionate ending.

Congratulations, Angie!

Critique: Angie – technically, you are very strong and you really have honed your skills exceptionally well.

However, you were really forcing your upper register during “Diamonds” – not all the time, but occasionally. So be careful! You need not go there because then I worry that this will become habitual over the course of time.

Keep that mouth round and jaw relaxed when you power sing, allowing the diaphragm to release more air for a louder dynamic. Never use that push from the throat – keep those throat muscles released and open.

Also, you need to work on a particular performing aspect that has been bothering me. When at the piano, you need to become “lost in the moment”. Who cares where the camera is – let the camera find you! All this camera play needs to lessen so that you can stay focused on the emotion.

I know you have been instructed to look for this camera but, honestly, just stand your ground and forget the camera is there. I think that, this way, you performance will be more honest and certainly more relaxed.

I thought the key for “Someone To Watch Over Me” was a touch low for you. However, that being said, I think that you can support those lower notes better than you did during this number – but you must remember to do so. And articulate during your lower range. This will add energy to your vocal sound as well.

Additionally, your phrasing was not as fluid as I would have liked. You were breathing far too often and I was longing for you to carry through the phrase endings in a stronger fashion.

Overall, this was not your strongest week, but it was still very solid. Good work, Angie.

CANDICE GLOVER: “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars and “You’ve Changed” by Harry James/Eva Cassidy

Strengths: Candice – you chose very clever, very distinct songs for your dual showcase. Your song choices have been phenomenal throughout this competition, in fact!

However, I, along with everyone else I expect, was wondering how you were going to re-arrange the Bruno Mars number to suit your gender?

Actually, part of me was hoping you would just let it be and sing the song as is – you would not be the first female to sing a song from a male perspective.

And you did!! You became, as you said, the storyteller. Smart! Current!

But, what a great song – so poignant, so eloquent and so real. And your expressive voice was the perfect vehicle to deliver this song straight into the soul of your listeners.

I loved the restraint you used when you sang this number, staying very true to the storyline. But, when it came time to break loose, out came those rich, pure, resonant vocals with emotional force.

And your technique! It was back! That’s how it’s done! Round mouth, relaxed jaw, strong diaphragmatic support. Brava!

And how could I not know the wonderful 2nd number you chose, written by the great Harry James? How? Well, suffice it to say, I will never, ever forget it now.

You brought pretty much every element and genre to this song – there, was some blues, some jazz, definitely a lot of soul, some subtle theatrics – you name it, it was there! In spades! Oh my word! Your voice was ripe with nuance – head voice, grit voice, earthy voice, chest voice (but the restrained kind which I appreciated) – and the expressive nature of your vocal delivery sent this song through the roof to another dimension where only angels sing.

This is how you sing a standard! These classic songs are the medium to a great message – they penetrate the heart of the listener if – and only if – the singer is in perfect sync with the emotion. Which you most definitely were, Candice!

I loved how you used your hand to accent your words – just a touch – but it added punch to your delivery.

But, it was the quick change in dynamic levels that truly impressed me. So much control to was darn scary. You earned that instantaneous standing O from the judges.

This was a crazy, good, jaw-dropping performance!! Incredible!!

Standing O from MCL!! Kudos!! Congratulations!

Critique: Candice – you gave a stellar performance of your first song. Honestly, it does not get better than this. Except for your second number. Ha!

However, just to nitpick, I have to say that I noticed you squeezed out those last few head voice notes and I was asking myself: “Why is she doing that”? All that great technique throughout this song and then, when you reached the end, you totally abandoned it. Maybe, you were just happy to be done! Ha!

Nevertheless, remember to always keep that mouth relaxed and let those pure soprano notes just flow from your mouth. The diaphragmatic will guide the way.

And your second song? Really? It was a Vocal Masterclass! Whew I am fanning myself here and it’s not because of the warm weather. That song was smokin’, critique-free and fancy- free!! I am off to iTunes now to download!

KREE HARRISON: “See You Again” by Carrie Underwood and “Stormy Weather” by Ethel Waters/Gladys Knight

Strengths: Kree – if you felt the need to select a Carrie Underwood song, I am so glad that you chose “See You Again”.

I loved the melodic line of this song as it played to your strength as a singer. You have a beautiful seamless quality from top to bottom and an ease of moving from your bottom to top range with not a break in your vocal veneer.

As always, you sustained your voice so very well, gluing your pure vowels to the notes within the melodic line. Also, I appreciated the fact that you eliminated the nasal quality that I heard in the original Carrie Underwood recording. Yours was a purer, cleaner sound. Loved it!

You brought an earthy, bluesy quality to “Stormy Weather”. You exuded a relaxed and “come hither” persona throughout this number. And the dynamic range you brought to this song cannot be emphasized enough. It was very, very good.


Critique: Kree – in your first number, I was surprised to see you sing through your upper range with a horizontal mouth position. Not always, but frequently enough that I had to write it in my critique.

Be careful of those “aye” or “eh” vowels. Position the mouth in a circular shape when singing these vowels, adding more “ah” into the enunciation mix.

Also, never raise your head when you sing through your upper range. You need to sing over those upper notes, rather than reach for them. Propel them downward as you would a volleyball – this is a good visual to grab on to. The craning of the head just adds unwanted tension to your neck muscles. And you lose eye contact with the viewers.

Also, it would have been more visually appealing if you had stood up midway through this song. And, it would have liberated your body as well. We needed to see more dimension in this performance and the change in position would have given us this. Plus it would have added more punch to this performance.

The more I listen to you, the more I wonder if Country Music is your “thing”. You have such a refined quality to your voice – very pure – and it makes me wonder if you need to rethink where your strengths lie as a vocal artist.

Case in fact: your “Stormy Weather” performance was a more solid, more believable, more real performance than the Carrie Underwood number. And, if you had performed the song with less abruptness, really stretching the phrases instead of disrupting them, it would have been a better showcase for the seamless quality of your voice.

Also, I do agree with the judges – this was not the strongest song choice for you. A nice, upbeat, bluesy song would have been welcome and added diversity to your dual showcase.

Also, you need to work at understanding and genuinely connecting with the lyrics. A good rule of thumb to assist you is to recite the words – separate from the music – in order to internalize the feeling.

This will assist you in understanding the emotional aspects at every point in the song and this added comprehension will assist you with many other musical aspects, such as your phrasing, articulation and, most important, memorization.

Good work though, Kree.

General Comments For Quartet

Quartet Performance:
Amber Holcomb, Angela Miller, Candice Glover, & Kree Harrison – “Wings” by Little Mix

This was pure fun and a great way to end the show. Neat choreography and vocals. Pre-mixed vocals but what can you do? And why were there so many girls on stage besides the Top 4? Very confusing. Although that chorus line bit at the end and the fireworks were spectacular!!

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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 Masterclass Article For American Idol Season 12 Top 4 Singers: Now And Then”

  1. Thanks so much MC Loved having Harry there. Wish Idol would hire him to Mentor and Judge. I’m at the point that I Mute the Judges.
    Prefer your professional reviews with no agenda.
    Still miss Janelle 🙂


  2. Candice was incredible tonight–especially the second song, and the next best performance was Amber’s My Funny Valentine. I could listen to those performances over and over and over again!!!


  3. And your guess as to whom will go home tomorrow is….?


  4. MCL I also wish you and Harry could be judges and or mentors. So much better than those Idol calls judges. So glad you loved Angie tonight. So did I. I thought Diamonds was beautiful. The talking heads all slammed it. They wouldn’t get artistry if it bit them. Then the patronizing Disney Princess -Broadway slams. Ugh

    Candice was great as usually.

    Amber can’t control her pitch.

    Kree has no expression or emotion. Beautiful tone but no performance ability.


  5. MCL, How did you ever get this article written to quickly? Thank you!!!


  6. Peggy – I think Amber will be gone tomorrow – unfortunately. She just doesn’t have the fan base.


  7. Aubry – you are too sweet! But it was nice to have a reprieve from Jimmy Iovine. Harry was excellent. Maybe he will jump on board next season – if there is a next season. (Sigh)


  8. Candice stole the show and, actually, Amber was very good. Not in Candice’s category, but still, white solid. Her problem is her nerves.


  9. Just typed profusely. There was so much filler on this show tonight it was easy.


  10. Aubry-I really liked Angie’s performance of Diamonds as well. To me, it was captivating from the moment she started to sing. I actually preferred it to her second one. And I agree…..Disney princess??? What the heck?


  11. Hey All.

    One thing I’m learning about Cree and Amber, they take the critiques too much to heart. I can’t peg exactly what it is. Its almost as if …you can only tell them that they’re great and if they don;t hear that …. it throws their confidence. Kree hasn’t been right since her critiques last week. They’ve been telling her she is great through out the entire season and her first critique …she falls apart. That speaks volumes to me. Anybody can soar when everybodys telling you you;re great. Every one of your next performances is going be great. The trick is can you bounce back when your critiques are not as good. Candice is a great example. She’s been in the bottom more than once but following those bottoms her next performances supercedes her last. Thats someone who is committed to the craft and not just to winning the contest.

    Amber is another. From the moment Harry told her that he didn’t think she was connecting to the song, her expression immediately changed … and she brought that crushed spirit to the stage into her performances…and I think its because she believes his critiques will effect the votes. And the truth is … it might. The question is: are you just singing to win this contest ….or are you committed to the career. A person committed to the career is not worried about the votes. They’re thinking about how being on this show is going to boast their career. Like the judges were saying …and I agree. Amber is worrying too much about the votes

    Neither Angie or Candice seems to haver that problem.

    To me, as much as I believe Amber is good ..at this point I think she is the weakest link of the 4 and if Kree doesn’t get her confidence back, shes next..

    I initially pegged Kree as the winner, but losing it like this I think is going to cost her

    Lastly …. as much as I like Nikki critiques, I;m really getting real tired of her critiquing Mariahs comments. What is it with her. That lady has got some major insecurities.


  12. I loved Candice tonight. Both of her songs were sung beautifully.


  13. I’ve only heard Angie’s “Diamonds” so far, but based on her vocal, I would guess that she’s sick right now. Her voice sounds as though it’s ailing for non-technical reasons. Poor thing. All the contestants are probably facing exhaustion and vocal fatigue at this point in the competition.

    If you watch Angie’s YouTube performance of “Diamonds,” there’s a lot more gusto and precision in her voice. Being sick and not being able to go full throttle with her vocal would explain why Angie sounded “lackluster” or disconnected to the judges.

    So excited that Harry is the guest mentor this week; can’t wait to see the clips!

    brotherkarl, Candice has only been in the bottom once, and that was last week. Prior to that, she was always in the top or the middle of the pack. I agree with you about her resilience and her commitment to her craft, though; I simply love her! 🙂


  14. MCL,

    Thanks for your critique! It makes me understand why I hear what I hear. I am glad that I don’t have to write a vm blog this week, because I have some strong opinions about the performances.

    First, Angie. The Rihanna song was simply not the right choice for her. I noticed with her that when the song isn’t right, then her vocals seem forced and the performance doesn’t work. You mentioned the forced vocals, and that’s what I heard. I also appreciate you mentioning how Angie focuses too much on the camera and how it distracts from her performance. As for “Someone To Watch Over Me”, I felt that Angie didn’t have the voice for this song. It’s one of my all-time favorites and I have Ella Fitzgerald’s version downloaded in my music collection. It’s truly amazing to listen to the one and only Ella! I also agree that the key was too low. She lost the lower notes and they sounded breathy. The tone of her voice is all wrong for this song. I honestly felt that this wasn’t a good night for Angie. I thought she was much better last week.

    Amber. I do think she is nervous. I felt it in this performance. That horizontal mouth and pushing from the throat hurts the quality of her high notes. She does not lose pitch! It’s more of a technical issue that needs to be addressed. I should give Pink credit for having a good voice. I said previously that Amber has a better voice and maybe that’s not how I should have worded it. They are different. I just happen to like Amber’s voice more. The moment for me was “My Funny Valentine”! It brought tears to my eyes. I thought it was her best performance of the competition. Harry Connick Jr. got her to understand the words! Yes, ladies, read the words and say them out loud. What is it all about? She really soared on this song. I am so proud of her, but really concerned about those tears. Please tell me that she’s not reading the hateful stuff online! I worry that these young women may just check out the internet and that may not be a good thing. I feel for her.

    Candace. She really was the star of the night. I enjoyed the Bruno Mars number. I heard those last few notes and they just didn’t sound quite right. But it was so well done. However, it was her second performance that just blew me away! I listened to Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn’s version. Both are great. Candace just did it her way. The vocals were exquisite with such control and nuance and feeling! Just simply glorious! She has a real artistic vision and feel. Brava, Candace!

    Kree – I think she did a really good job with the Carrie Underwood song. She was muc better than I thought. This turned out to be her best performance. It did show off the lovely tone in her voice. However, I think that “Stormy Weather” was not a good song choice for her. She doesn’t have the power for this song. It’s Lena Horne’s trademark song and nobody can possibly come close to that. I thought she was overwhelmed by the song and kind of out of her league.

    Finally, I wanted to ask you what you thought of Harry Connick’s comments about sticking to the melody of the pop standards. I thought it was unfortunate that he said it right after Amber’s performance. I think you have to be careful about adding anything to these great songs, but thought that Amber did a great job with her little inflections and extras.

    The last thing I will say is directed to brotherkarl. We all have to respect out different opinions, however I have to say that I could not disagree more with your comments about Amber. I think she can take criticism, but is feeling the pressure and the nerves. That makes her human. I think Harry Connick’s comments helped her to sing the song better. I don’t think she was upset and Harry said that she responded well. I think she wants to have a career and is committed to it.


  15. I thought Amber’s tears were a result of seeing her father’s tears. I may be wrong, but I figured he was emotional because his daughter had just sung My Funny Valentine in such an incredibly beautiful way that he was deeply touched. I doubt if she has ever seen her father cry–at least not very much. That’s at least how I perceived it.


  16. I think the judges and Harry did enough last night to keep Kree and Amber in the competition…Sadly I think Candice could be in trouble again this week!!!

    Amber does have pitch issue’s and on her first song last night they were more evident, and on My Funny Valentine…she went very sharp on the word Stay, with all of the runs!

    I agree with Brotherkarl, Amber does wilt under critics, as does Kree!

    Angie’s songs all seem to sound alike to me…but I will give that girl kudo’s she held her own with Harry!!! LOL

    Kree…has a confidence problem! She thinks very highly of herself and of her singing; it is a good thing her arms aren’t put on backwards or she would do a whole lot more patting of her own back…Honey when you have out number one hitted and brought home more awards than Carrie, then start the patting, but for right now…yes you sang the song well…better than Carrie…doubtful…I like Kree’s voice and like brotherkarl have had her pegged as the winner and still think that to be true!!! She will go on to do great things, because lucky for her…Idol gets the country thing!!!

    Candice…everyone knows that you are my favorite…I have no critic for you, I love your voice, I love your maturity when you are on that stage, if you go home tonight, you are still the winner in my eyes! I will buy what ever you put out, I hope one is an album just of standards…girl that was amazing!


    I loved your idea of a singing contest in the other thread…now that is a novel idea! Wish someone would get that going!!!


  17. Amber did such a stunning job with Funny Valentine last night. I really believe her tears last night came from worrying she’ll go home tonight. I’m sure that has caused her alot stress, especially since there were some weeks she was in the bottom 2 or 3 when I didn’t think she should have been. The girl’s certainly got a wonderful gift,, and I feel over time, she’ll become a better and better singer!


  18. Random thoughts.

    The night was different from all the other nights this season and not in a good way.

    Angie’s voice is stressed, as noted above. It is borderline laryngitis (sp?). Sounded like Siobhan Magnus when she tried the Chaka Khan song and strained her vocal chords.

    Keith/Randy made the most perceptive judges’ comments of the night re: the effect of the audience and the feel of then night. The audience was sitting on its hands I thought because it was not, as usual, getting into every performance but rather hoping their favorite didn’t make a mistake. The contestants were playing not to lose and playing not to lose is a recipe for disaster in every endeavor. The first song of the night is always critical to the feel of the night and when Angie came out I could hear a pin drop. Same again with Amber. We were a half hour into the show before anything vibrant took place. No buzz, no anticipation for the performers to feed off. Felt like people singing at a funeral.The girls are exhausted. They are tension filled and it shows in their voices.

    HCJ may be a good mentor but he should have been a mentor far earlier in the season. There are so many things related to sports that apply here. All the girls have a flaw of some kind. But they have gotten this far because their respective fan bases have some sort of connection with their respective styles They have adapted to their flaws. Given golfers going into a tournament or a baseball batters, if they have a flaw the last thing they need to be doing is trying to correct that flaw during the tournament or during the at bat. There are just too many things going through your head to correct the flaw and, more importantly, deliver a successful performance at the last moment. HCJ put too many thoughts in their head, another recipe for disaster. And basically calling Amber a dolt in public view was just classless, to me anyway, as was the display between RJ and HCJ while the contestant – I thought this show was about the contestants – stood uncomfortably by. Brits and Nigel have a knack for creating that kind of environment. HCJ and Amber and RJ and HCJ and AI could have had those conversations off camera. It’s the final four celebration night, not the final four wake night!

    The night was tension filled in a bad way. It was like eating day old food at a wedding. The judges and AI have been creating and working toward that situation all year. Too bad. It could be/could have been so much more.


  19. Okay here comes my blah blah blah


    Yeah …. As usual I agree with so much that you said. The wedding scenario was perfect. The Randy and Harry thing was crazy to. What ?

    Its just really sad what is happening to this show. And I agree with you about Harry …. its much too late for somebody that forthcoming. Had it been earlier its something that they could have grown accustom to as they grew accustom to the stage and other things. As I said before it is indeed in their heads now and messing with their confidence
    Whats interesting though, is this group has always said that they want tougher judges but whats so funny to me is that when these judges don’t feel the same as they do , they get mad (LOL)

    I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. In my opinion while all of these girls are good, none in my opinion are great. I wouldn’t buy any of their cd’s ….maybe Candice, but thats just me. They all have big fan bases and tonight one of these fan bases that consist of thousands is going to be mad. Why ? All 4 cannot win ! To make it to the top 4 is very BIG and if they are as good as their fans think then somebody will pick them up. If they don;t get picked up, it shows how much the overall fans of this show really know about marketable talent.If they were that great, somebody would get them. It’d only make sense.

    Re; Amber. My Funny Valentine was beautiful in my opinion. No, I don’t really know why Amber was crying so …may be it was because oFather was crying …whatever … but if ya roll back the tape you will see her facial expressions change immediately when Harry told her she wasn’t connecting.. Roll back that tape. To say it didn’t bother her would be crazy and to say that she is not worried about going home would be crazy as well. Let me say this though ….Yes she is human, but everybody doesn’t where their feeling on their shoulders . I don;t care how human it is its not always wise and showing that can mess a person up. It can hurt but in public you have to learn to take it gracefully .The best have been criticized. Some people when they are criticized or in the bottom or voted off , as human as they still smile and display great confidence .Others cry and show great disappointment. We’ve all seen it. It doesn’t have anything to do with being human. Look at Jannelle the other week when she was booted. She’s smiling , saying what a great opportunity its been. Thats not the response that everybody gives, It speaks volumes as to how they would take stardom.
    Everybody, I don’t care how well they can sing ….is not cut to be a star. It takes more then a voice

    Re: Me saying Candice has been in the bottom more than once: J what I think what I was recalling was the one time she sitting on the side and she wasn’t in the top 3 as she had almost always been. I think It was Kree Angie and Lazaro (of all people) who beat her out) and were on the top 3. I will never forget seeing them in the top and her in the bottom or shall I say on the other side. What I noticed is that I didn’t seem to bother her that week not to be in the top even though she had always been. To me …thats just class. Love her ! Will she win? Ummmmm. I think against Amber ….yeah ….Against Kree and Angie. I don;t know . I just don’t think the overall viewing audience is into the Candice thing like that. I’m not into Kree but I do get country riff thing but I really don’t get the fasination with Angie at all. What ? Over Jannelle. And this coming from a guy that doesnt do country.


  20. So many interesting comments here. I don’t know where to begin.

    But, I have to say that, based on singing talent alone, Candice is the winner here. No argument. She is a polished, refined, nuanced performer and we rarely see this level of talent on the show anymore.

    Angie was lacklustre this week. I don’t know what happened but she took a bit of a fall.

    Amber was somewhere in the middle.

    Kree does not know how to connect – in fact I think she has been totally misguided in her career. I do not feel country from her at all.

    HCJ – while I fundamentally agreed with him, he basically messed with these singers’ heads and some lost their innate sparkle as a result.

    Also, I like when a singer interprets any song to suit their style, as long as they do not go overboard with the phrase bending.

    So, in this respect, I thought Harry was wrong. And truth be told he sings these songs straight – no surprises – which is why I prefer Michael Buble much more. He refreshes the standards.


  21. I have had a night to think this over and I do believe that HCJ was right in the basic sense of not tampering with great standards, but did mess with these singer’s heads. I also think that the argument with Randy was disrespectful to Candace. They were supposed to be talking about her.

    Respecfully, anyone here who would say that it’s crazy not to think this or that, is not respecting other people’s opinions. I am not of a mind to negatively characterize other people on this site. I would appreciate it if they would also respect my opinions. It’s easy to sit back and judge Amber or Angie or Kree or Candace when you are not up there on that stage in their shoes. It’s easy to trash how they act or what they do or to insist that you are right in what you saw or think. I do not agree with that kind of personal attack.

    HCJ said that Amber reacted well to his critique in their mentoring session. I take him at his word. If anyone wants to insist that the tape shows something that maybe they want to see in order to bolster their point of view, then that’s unfortunate.

    For myself, the issue with Amber has nothing to do with pitch. There are some technical issues that should be addressed. I think she has an unbelievable voice but maybe lacks the confidence or assurance. Despite that, she gave a beautifully interpreted performance of “My Funny Valentine” and I will give her all the credit she deserves.

    Louise and Anita,

    I appreciate your thoughts about Amber. I actually think it could be both of your reasons. If she saw her father’s tears, then I can see that bringing her to tears. But I also think that being in the bottom so often has made her think that she could go home. I think she was very stressed last night.


    Thank you for calling out HCJ for making those thoughtless comments after Amber’s performance. Yes, he was a dolt! I was upset about it, but wanted to sleep on it before I made any comments. He should have respected her choice to sing this song in the way that she chose to do it. I also agree that it would have been better if he was the guest mentor earlier in the season.

    I appreciate your thoughts and respect the fact that you were supportive of these young women.


  22. Last night I had mixed feelings about Harry Connick. Last year I thought he was the best mentor they had, but I was a bit put off by him last night. My husband played a number of different performers’ versions of Stormy Weather and we both preferred the Etta James version which is what Kree wanted to sing. I’m not a huge Kree fan, but I think she would have sounded better if she had done Etta’s version.

    I also would never presume to say I have perfect pitch, because I definitely don’t, but I was really surprised to see more than one comment about Amber’s pitch issues. That’s not something that I noticed. But there was a moment in Angie’s first song when the note she sang made me cringe!!! I heard it again today on line and I had the same reaction.

    I agree with MCL that Candice should be the winner of this competition, however, I will not be at all surprised if the winner is Angie. If so, I’ll be really disappointed.


  23. Louise – aren’t we disappointed every year? Lol. I am getting kind of accustomed to it!


  24. I haven’t heard anybody on this site trash any of the contestants. Saying that somebody has pitch problems is not trashing them. as someone suggested. Its just sharing an opinion. I agree Louise . That note Angie hit was hard to hear OMG. If thats trashing her. Then I guess I’m guilty. And as far as Angie winning …ummmm … I’m probably not that far behind you on that

    I hope we are not going to travel down the same road we did last year on this site at this time just because people have a different opinion then someone else. Its just a TV show . Is it really worth getting mad because somebody sees it a different way. We;’re not talking about family members here. Just people on a TV show. We don’t trash people here. I can show you some sites that are trashing these kids. We’re real easy here. Calling somebody a Dolt, now thats trashing somebody. I haven’;t heard anybody on this site call any of the contestants names.

    That is the one reason I love coming here. We can critique without name calling. Its just not something that I do


  25. Brotherkarl…I agree…

    I don’t know technical terms of singing…my thing with Amber, is it or is it not pitch?? Maybe not the right term, there is a place in her lower tones when she changes notes, keys what have you, she goes a little flat, and her phrasing is not as “pretty”…higher notes like last night on the word stay she goes sharp…

    I love Candice’s voice…even if there were no winner, we just came and listened to them sing I would still love Candice…I went into this year with the mentality that this is in my mind a singing contest…girl or boy I was going to listen and go with the voice that appealed to me…Candice is everything that MCL posted above about her!

    Angie’s voice I can not critique…mainly because I can never understand a word she is singing and her tone is constant, there are no changes as she sings…

    Kree has a beautiful clear tone and I do like to hear her sing…however she too is falling into the sounds alike each week category!!!

    Amber and Candice are the only two who do make an effort to sound and perform different…Amber is young and with training on technique she will go one and do great things…like MCL said Candice is already there, polished…and stellar.


  26. Yes I am confused as well Brother Karl and Vonnie haha. Oh well, take a deep breath everyone. This is not life and death – it’s a singing competition.

    To be honest, all of the singers – except Candice – were off their game last night.

    But, if I had to rate them it would be Candice, Amber, then Kree and Angie tied for 3rd.

    Amber was under pitch for her first number. Angie let our some unearthly wail in her 1st number and Kree did not connect. At all


  27. brotherkarl,

    I really do not appreciate you trying to misconstrue my comments. I have no problem with anyone saying that a contestant has pitch problems. I do not consider that attacking a contestant. So I just wanted to clarify that for the record. However, I do reserve the right to disagree. If someone doesn’t like the way Amber sounds or something about her voice, I have absolutely no problem with that either. I have said much the same thing when it comes to Angie’s voice. MCL mentioned that her voice has too much brightness at times which can come from too much chest voice. That’s also a technical issue. To my ears her voice can sound too harsh at times. Even though she is technically good for the most part, there have been pitch issues such as last night in her first performance. She went for some high notes and was way off. I believe that when she chooses the wrong song, it seems to affect the quality of her vocals.

    I have made it clear that everyone hears what they hear. There is no right or wrong. So I really don’t like it when you talk about hoping to not travel down the same road we did last year at this time. Below I have quoted what you wrote in your previous post. I am not going to get into a back and forth about how Amber reacted to HCJ’s criticism. You can talk about rolling back the tape, but that’s not going to change my opinion. You have given it a very negative interpretation. I do not agree. You were pretty judgemental in your opinion of how she handled herself. Maybe you think you know how it feels to be in her shoes, but you don’t. I think she handled it the best way she could. You are analyzing how these young women handle criticism as though you have it totally down pat. I don’t think anyone knows the right or wrong way to handle criticism. That’s all that I am saying.

    “but if ya roll back the tape you will see her facial expressions change immediately when Harry told her she wasn’t connecting.. Roll back that tape. To say it didn’t bother her would be crazy and to say that she is not worried about going home would be crazy as well. Let me say this though ….Yes she is human, but everybody doesn’t where their feeling on their shoulders . I don;t care how human it is its not always wise and showing that can mess a person up. It can hurt but in public you have to learn to take it gracefully .The best have been criticized. Some people when they are criticized or in the bottom or voted off , as human as they still smile and display great confidence .Others cry and show great disappointment. We’ve all seen it. It doesn’t have anything to do with being human. Look at Jannelle the other week when she was booted. She’s smiling , saying what a great opportunity its been. Thats not the response that everybody gives, It speaks volumes as to how they would take stardom.
    Everybody, I don’t care how well they can sing ….is not cut to be a star. It takes more then a voice”


  28. Hey Vonnie;

    Give me a couple of minutes. I’m going to go back and listen to both Amber an Angies performances to see if I can hear what you are talking about. And of course I’m with yon guys … Candice is there. Truth is like I said earlier, all 4 of these girls are greatly loved by somebody and tonight one of those fan clubs is going to stop wacthing the show because they are not going to like the three left.


  29. I love the standards and I love Michael Buble too MCL…My son and I cannot wait till he comes to our area…I like when the standards are made fresh and current too…Jason Castro!!!!!

    Here is Jason singing Over The Rainbow…One of my favorite Jason moments!!!


  30. Hey Brotherkarl…I can’t explain what I hear…there is a phrasing thing in her lower register…like the words don’t flow, they cut off…


  31. Vonnie

    Give me a couple of minutes to get back with you on Amber and Agie


    Really? My comments didn’t have to be retyped ! The original comments I made are still there.. I;m sorry I didn’t think saying shes sang beautifully but shes’not cut out for stardom was trashing her its Wow!! So the comments I made really bothered you that much that you had to retype them ? Wow!! You are really into this ,huh ? They really bothered you. Thats hallarious !! We;re talking about a TV show. Unbelievable? Your response doesn;t sound like you are talking about the show anymore…ita sounds personal and …. and seriously …. you really don;t want to go there with Brother Karl . I promise you, you don’t want to do this. You’ll see so much love come out of me . It’ll frustrate you . So please. Don’t do this. Lets put the focus back of the show and not on each other.

    Now You are focused on me not We are no the contestants. You did this same thing with folks on this site last year. And the record shows it. What is it with you when people disagree that you take it so personally? Wow !! There’s something wrong there. Thats amazing !! Its a TV show. .We don’t have to become emotionally invested and we definltely don’t have to argue with people on this site that we’ll never even see in life (LOL). Its just a TV show. And we are doing is blah blah blahing. This stui

    Listen … If you have somethings you want to say to me personally Rosanne has my premission to give you my email address you can direct them to me personally. If you are not willing to do that …then I am done. We have too much of a good time here to turn this to some facebook arguiung type of crap. You won’t see anything like that online from me anywhere and its not getting ready to happen here. Its not my thing

    Trust me. if you respond publically then that will show who’s type of thing it is.

    One thing I love about this site is ….. we all disagree on a lot of things but we all seem to get along. Agreeing with each other is not a requirement.


  32. brotherkarl,

    The fact that you brought up something that happened last season, saying that I did this same thing back then, shows that you have some residual bad feelings towards me. I also really dislike the tone of your post. I better not go there? Really? Now who is taking it personally. The fact is that you are the one who is taking this to heart, not me. So please don’t project your issues onto me. I have made my comments in a reasonable manner. I gave my opinion. Why does it bother you that I quoted back what you wrote? Since you blatantly distorted my comments by saying that I was attacking someone because they said that Amber had pitch problems, I corrected the record. I am not about to let you twist or distort my words.

    I have been on this site for some years. People here know that I am passionate, but also respectful of others here because that’s the standard that MCL has set for all of us. I think the tone of your comments towards me is inappropriate and kind of offensive.


  33. BrotherKarl and Mindy – I respect both of you very much but let’s just end this now.

    Mindy – I don’t think BK means any disrespect. Honestly. Everyone is just expressing views here, that’s all.

    And, with all the sadness in the world, can’t we just come together and have fun and respect our individual likes and dislikes? I love my MCL site because the readers put a smile on my face with their insightful and, oftentimes, humorous comments.

    BK – I still laugh when, a couple of weeks ago, you said “everyone on Idol is losing their minds. People we don’t know walking in front of the camera..etc.” So funny and so true.

    And Mindy, your insight and razor sharp perception when reviewing the singers are wonderful. You always have good ideas for all the singers.

    So,truce ok?

    Everyone else excited to see David Cook?


  34. Hey Vonnie

    I did go back and listen to both songs that Angie and Amber sang and I guess my critiques are pretty much the same as they have always been . Both girls in my opinion are good …but just not great to me. I listened to Angie sing Diamonds in the Sky and she hit one note to me that just sounded like she was hollering. I also listened to Amber sing “My Funny Valentine’ and I think I heard what you heard in her lower registers. Actually I hear that in a lot of singers on the show …. a lot of them are just not good in their lower registers. My critique about Amber …would be her runs. In my opinion, sometimes too busy and not as clean as they should be and sometimes even a bit distracting. Both good singers to me. but still in my opinion right now neither are ready. Thats not to say they couldn’t ever make it. I think they both can. There is something there … like you said ….nothing that a little training can’t help.

    I feel the same way about Candice as well …not great to me …but really really good in my opinion. The thing I do really love about her that to me is so different then everybody …. is her lower range. Its the thing I like best about her. If she wins, my faith in the overall viewing audience of this show will be renewed. If she doesn’t, I’m out. I just don’t think the fan base is there

    Who do I think is out tonight … theres is who I think should be, who’d I;d like too and then who i think will. Who I think should be ,is Kree. In her last two weeks of performances I think there has been too much of a dramatic change for her fans. Who I’d like to see go: Angie. She just doesn’t move me. Who do I think will: Amber. The fan base of the other three to me just seems larger. As long as Candice is there I’ll be happy. I’m really not that impressed about the others

    I;m really looking forwards to the final three ..because all the singers seem to lways really step in it up

    Exciting !!


  35. Thank you brotherkarl…I cannot sing, Oh how I wish that I could…I love music and beautiful voices! I think it is one reason why I pay more attention to tones and pitch…sometimes things don’t sound good to me but it does to others, so I know that when I am the only one hearing it is usually just my preference!!!

    If I could sing…I would love to sing like Helen Reddy or Nora Jones…and can now add Candice… LOL!!!


  36. BrotherKarl – I really hope Candice is in the Finale and I expect that she will. She is such a classy, gifted artist. It would be wonderful if she won. Her vocals are breathtaking.


  37. MCL…I pray too that Candice makes it to the finale…


  38. Hey Rosanne

    I;m there with you. love this site and I love you. and as I said what I love about it is that we all have so many different opinions. I;m always fascinated when I hear different opinions other then mines and always curious as to how they arrive at their conclusions. Its one the things that makes life interesting. If we all had the same opinions her, I;d probably leave. Thats boring to me. And because I;m pretty bold at expressing my opinions I expect my opinions to be attacked. It doesn’t anger me. If I didn;t want that I;d keep my opinions to myself. What I’m bothered by is when people are bothered because I share a different opinion or that I disagree,

    I’m not mad at Mindy … she hasn’t hurt me, I;m not offended, don’t hold a grudge or anything .. just kind understand where she is …and that she takes things pretty personal …and so I just have to watch my words when speaking about something she comments on. I’m committed to that

    I just hope she can feel the same about me and if she can;’t …I’m stilll good. I ain’t going nowhere. I love this site and the good people I have talked with since coming here. including her. We just have to learn how work with the different people and I;m always up to the challenge for that

    Thank you for giving us this site Rosanne


  39. Brother Karl – thank you so much. Your eloquence and humility is very much appreciated and I am sure Mindy will be back soon. I know she must be upset that Amber was eliminated. I know I am. It should have been Kree but she has a broad appeal and that’s why she is still in this competition.

    I would love to see Candice win this thing. It would just be so right and so good for the show as well.


  40. My uncle died at 99 years old, healthy until he died. At his 90th birthday party, a beautiful June day, I told him it was such a beautiful day for a birthday party. After a moment of silence he looked at me and said “Donnie, I’m 90 years old. Any day I wake up is really a beautiful day.” I’ve adopted it as my philosophy of life, so when I wake up in the morning, open my eyes and can see, my fingers and toes are working, I can’t get over how lucky I am. The miracle of life everyday. So I can actually say this. If I die tomorrow, I could say on the way to somewhere – not sure about where, sort of like waiting for the final elimination on AI – I heard five lovely young women sing eloquently and wonderfully, full of passion and love. They all won. By the way, I am sure I saw this. When Keith started his critique, Angie was in a reverie of sorts. She just sang to her mother in front of millions. How cool was that! Amber got a hug from her father in front of millions and brought tears to the eyes of Mariah and Nicki. How cool was that!


  41. Don – what a beautiful, inspiring and memorable comment. All about living in the moment. You put everything in perspective. Your grandfather sounded like a very special man and, obviously, his legacy would be you. He would be proud to see you sharing his and your wise words with all of us. People like him – and you – make a difference and make the world a much better place in which to live.

    From the bottom of my heart –THANK YOU!


  42. Beautiful words indeed! Thanks for the inspiring words. I have friends who complain about birthdays, but not me! I’m always just very thankful to have another one!!!


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