By: Rosanne Simunovic
Because I am busy over the next 4 days, I have evaluated these singers as concisely as possible.
We are reaching the end of another season, so I hope that the more in-depth Vocal Masterclass articles from previous weeks will help fill in the blanks.
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.
Strengths: Angie – your first song, “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”, is one of Elton John’s most poignant compositions. The singer has to bare his/her soul and leave everything on the stage. Everything.
And, that you did – so. very. well! You communicated the lyrics with sensitivity and your impeccable articulate skills were never more important than when applied to this song. Every “i” needed to be dotted and every “t” crossed because the lyrics are the heart of this song.
I loved the purity of your head voice during this number. It was just the ticket for this particular song. You exhibited some beautiful phrasing moments and sustained your voice so perfectly on those pure vowels. Wonderful performance!
Then, you changed it up big time with your second number, “Try”! This Pink number lacked the melodic substance and flow of the other two numbers, it gave you an opportunity to just rock it out and have fun on that stage.
I was hoping and praying that you would lend a more exciting arrangement to this number. It is extremely repetitious and, almost one-dimensional.
And – yes – you did! Of course you did! You’re Angie! Full of happiness and fun! You absolutely sold this song and aggressively used your body to deliver this song. This was a very powerful performance and you looked totally in the element. It was so gratifying to see you perform an uptempo number with ease and reckless abandon.
I actually preferred your rendition to the original. Perfect choice for you, Angie. Just outstanding!
I have never heard of Emile Sandé, therefore I was Intrigued with the opportunity to be introduced to an new artist. And, while watching her performance of the song, I have to say I fell in love with this artist and her music.
This was a stellar song choice for you, Angie. Like Emile Sandé, you are a very emotive artist, one who really connects with and translates the words in a meaningful way.
However, since you were accompanying yourself on the piano, I was interested to see if you were going to station yourself “in the moment”, avoiding the temptation to follow the camera at every opportunity. As I said last week, let the camera find you!
And it did! What a difference this made in your performance. Huge difference! You were totally immersed in the song, ignoring the camera. It was noticeably less distracting.
And your voice just soared through the melodic line – a very passionate, gutsy sound but never losing its center.
You definitely showed tremendous growth and improvement on the stage this week and gave very strong, distinctive performances. Outstanding work Angie! Standing O all the way!
Critique: Angie – I was surprised that you didn’t play the piano for the Elton John number, but, truthfully, it was wonderful to see you just stand there and sing.
And Mariah made a good point about the mike stand grounding you. Wise words because I felt you were in perfect control.
Other than that, I had no technical issues to address in this first number. It was that spectacular.
Ditto for your second and third numbers, Angie! Both were extremely well done and well-rehearsed. Kudos for a stellar trio of performances.
Strengths: Candice – your performance of “One” was very good. Although it was yet another ballad on a night full of ballads, the gentle upbeat rhythmic element moved it forward very nicely.
This song liberated the full power of your vocal dynamic and register. The soulful rock nature of this song explored another facet to the many sides of your performing persona. You are such a chameleon, Candice! You can change gears like no other but, more important, can adapt any song to suit your vocal style and substance.
Your stage technique was confident and believable and you used the stage wisely. This was a well-paced number and you kept control of the reins at all times. Your phrasing was creative and musical, leaving no musical question unanswered.
Your second number, “Next To Me” is such a playful number, a cute love song with musical hooks galore. This song held no tricks for you, Candice, as it is repetitive and not the most sophisticated song from a musical perspective.
The fun is in the lyrics and in the contagious “next to me ooooh, ooooh moments”, which you mastered so well. These passages in the song also provided nice contrast between the head and chest vocal components of your voice. You seamlessly moved from chest to head and back again, emphasizing how grounded you can be with your technical skills.
I would like to add that you looked drop dead gorgeous in that black and blue outfit. Very classy indeed!
And then there was your final number, “Somewhere” – your tour de force!
I absolutely love this arrangement of this classic song from “West Side Story”. Barbra Streisand put her signature stamp on this song many years ago and now this outstanding arrangement found a new home with you, Candice.
Like Barbra Streisand, you have a voice that can paint the perfect mood for this song. This was a very ethereal arrangement and you physically and emotionally captured this quality so very well.
Although this is a very slow ballad, the song is not dismal or gloomy but rather very positive and peaceful. And, through your expressive performance, your listeners believed that their future can indeed hold elements of hope and promise.
You interpreted this song with a bluesy style of singing which I loved. It was very distinctive and made the song even more personal.
This was powerful way to end your showcase, Candice. Brava!
Critique: Candice – your first song, “One”, was overall a great number but, for the first time, I actually heard some major pitch problems with your voice. A few times! Boy, someone must be tired!
And, where there is fatigue, there is too much chest voice at the expense of your head voice. Without the proper amount of head voice in your vocal mix, tuning often suffers.
Be very careful that you do not push your voice – ever – by constricting the throat muscles. All the effort and all the work must happen from the diaphragm -your chest cavity and the rest of your upper body must feel relaxed at all times.
And, although you second song, “Next To Me”, was more successful, pitch-wise, I still heard the fatigue in your voice and, almost, in your stage presence. However, the emotional playback of your home visit probably had a strong effect on you as well, so, considering all of this, you still came out and entertained the masses as only you can. Great work.
And then there was your final number, “Somewhere”. Brilliant performance. And yet, that chest voice was overwhelming your head voice at times. You have to learn to trust your diaphragm to guide your voice.
And, I was hoping to hear more head voice delivery at the beginning of this song – to add contrast to the powerful ending. You let out so much sound so soon and for so long that you were over pumped, I fear. And, as a result, you lost your center and the tuning problems became an intermittent issue throughout this performance.
But, I cannot deny that this was a powerful performance. Amazing. The stuff of goosebumps.
Strengths: Kree – I actually like the “Pink” song but, until this performance, I had no idea that there was a touch of profanity in the lyrics.
So, in a way, not to sound like a prude and all, my first impression was: “Is this a true reflection of Kree’s image”? However, you dissed the naughty word, so all was good.
At any rate, as a song, it was a good number. You delivered the angst-like emotion convincingly enough and I felt that the nature of the song, perhaps, challenged you to become more connected to the soul of the song.
Now, your second number, “Here Comes Goodbye”, is an incredibly moving and heart-wrenching song. If you have seen the original video, you will understand the power and the emotion buried deep in this beautiful song.
And, Kree, more than any other time this season, this was a song that came alive and moved mountains through your sensitive vocal artistry. Your fluid phrasing and efficient technical skills helped to deliver a touching and memorable performance.
Your vowels were so pure and you glued these pure vowels to the soaring melodic line. This is quite possibly one of the best – if not the best – performance I have ever heard from you. You really left everything on the stage, Kree. Everything! This was a genuine and real performance rooted in your personal experience and ! thank you for sharing your poignant journey with us. Beautiful! Inspiring! Exceptional. Standing O!
“Better Dig Two” was an inspired song choice for you, I thought. This uptempo ballad, with it’s catchy percussive rhythmic foundation, made for a very exciting and memorable performance.
And, during your rendition, you captured the clear, ringing head voice quality of the lead singer from The Band Perry to perfection. You have a translucent quality to your voice which I love and it is very relaxing on the ears.
Dynamically, the song never becomes too large and you wisely observed this, choosing, instead, to punctuate your lyrical sentences in order to add energy and momentum to this performance. There was good use of inflection – the song calls for it – and I applaud your effort in this regard.
I loved how you interacted with the musicians. Good times! You body looked loose and relaxed and fancy-free. Wonderful to see!
This was a great night for you, Kree. Your strongest to date. Brava!
Critique: Kree – during your first number, I noticed that you raised your head on the upper notes and that always works against your vocal delivery. It causes tension in your throat and you lose the full connection with your audience. Your eyes leave us.
And, as an arrangement, it was far too brief. To be fair, you had little or no opportunity to have a “moment” with this song. I know this was not of your choosing, so I am disappointed that you were not given a longer time to immerse yourself in this number.
Your second number was stellar. I have nothing to add to such a memorable performance.
I loved your third number, “Better Dig Two”, so I am confused over the judges’ remarks. Perhaps the placement of this song after such an inspiring performance of your Rascal Flatts number took the steam out of its sails.
Nevertheless, it was a solid performance and I have nothing to Kree-tique. Your vocals were exceptional. Brava! Brava!