Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season XIII Top 11: songs Of The Cinema

20140312-103441.jpgPicture Credit: AmericanIdol.Com

Last week one of my favorites, Emily PIriz, was eliminated from this season’s offering of American Idol.

She was scheduled to sing Pink’s version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” this week. I have no doubt it would have been outstanding and would have provided marked contrast with last week’s upbeat performance of Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud”.


But we forge on with a little trepidation because, unfortunately, some of the best singers are slowly being decimated on this show.

However, I love the theme this week and, hopefully, the Top 11 have selected some great movie-themed songs to entertain us over the two-hour performance show.

Expect Harry Connick Jr. to be very picky this week. Many songs in this genre will fall into his particular singing style and lyrics will be a huge deal for him. And for me!

And, please – stop the guitars on stage. Everyone looks and sounds the same when they hold their guitars and, to my mind, the strongest performers are those who have elected not to carry a guitar as a crutch.

The Performance Show airs at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, March 12th, followed by the Results Show on Thursday, March 13th. On the latter, Harry Connick Jr. will take to the stage and strut his stuff.

Comments are now open for business!! Go!

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

17 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season XIII Top 11: songs Of The Cinema”

  1. I’m not a vocal coach, but guitars work for some people, like Phillip Phillips, David Cook, and I would say Majesty this season. However, she does seem to have the presence of mind to sling it over her shoulder at the right time.

    Oh, Keith Urban is pretty good at it, too.

    Did you love how easily Phillip moved last week? He was shuffling his feet behind the mike and guitar. Such a nice change from Idol when he was hurting so badly. Good to see him so fresh and rocking.


  2. IMO, these people seem to lack any ‘camera presence’. The AI11 finalists run RINGS around this group in that department.


  3. Jessica it was great seeing Phillip looking healthy and moving around. I so like how he does little wings with his feet.

    James I agree. Sam sounded great but he avoids looking into the camera. CJ just sounded good. Wasn’t impressed with Jess.


  4. Only halfway through, but I have to ask: They have almost the entire Great American Songbook to choose from with this theme, some of the greatest songs for pop vocalists written ever, anywhere…and these are the songs they picked? Really?


  5. I just tuned in now ( I know, I caved) and watched Majesty. Honestly, I didn’t find anything great about her performance at all. It was very, very bland. Disappointing!


  6. Still a half hour to air in Arizona! I wish someone would do Back to Black, which was on The Great Gatsby soundtrack. There are actually many good songs on there.


  7. That’s it! We need some of the greats from previous season come back and show everyone how it’s done! David A. will be back in two weeks, and I’m dyyyyyyying to hear and see him again! Also, how about Angie Miller, and Mandisa! Mandisa just won two Grammy Awards this year, and it would be great if AI would finally have her on!


  8. I think Jena had a great performance tonight! She doesn’t quite capture my attention as much as Angie Miller when she’s at the piano, but Jena still was very strong tonight. I hope she’s not in the Bottom 3 tomorrow! If she is, something’s wrong!


  9. Hey everyone. I am on vacation and just got in the door. Doesn’t sound like I missed too much. Sad. I don’t have time to write my Vocal Masterclass article this week. I will try but it is difficult when on vacation. Please forgive me!!!


  10. We forgive you, Rosanne! I thought the show went fairly well. It seems Caleb is the spark for this season. I did like Malaya’s performance, but she didn’t need so many runs. “Sound of Silence” was lovely. I have no idea who will be going home.


  11. Kariann and everyone. I just finished watching the performances online and I have to say that Jena, Caleb and MK gave the strongest performances. Alex was excellent as well and I was very happy to see the great improvement in Sam’s performance skills. Caleb and Jena are technically the strongest singers. No contest. MK is more subtle and nuanced when she sings – nice to see and hear.


  12. Given the nature of this season, which I will maintain is about the growth arc, I thought everyone showed improvement except for Ben and Majesty.

    Caleb continues to be very entertaining and showed a little more refined side of himself tonight as did Jena. I enjoyed Jessica’s “Sound of Silence” and was glad that Harry defended her when J-Lo began to give her the Idol bus treatment. Alex continued to show his unique artistry and I was a little surprised that they didn’t try to cut his legs out from under him. The little tuba player made it through her big number pretty well, not perfect but she dodged some big bullets. I think that she learned her lesson about stopping and standing still when she begins to get short winded. MK sounded the best that she has in the live rounds and revealed one more layer in the carefully planned reveal of her new style. I think she is sand bagging actually. Tonight’s vocal sounded like there is a lot more in her than she is willing to reveal at this point in the game. CJ found the right style of music for his voice. He is more of a Southern Rock story teller than a country singer. Dexter is too generic. Majesty reminds me of Little Rounds. Both of them look like stars and had everything going for them but never quite get it done on stage. Sam showed the requisite growth this week as well.

    If Majesty survives this week, she is one of two that I would encourage to use their guitar. I think she would present better in a more scaled back performance and she has the added attraction of being one of very few African American females who play guitar and are not big belter style singers. So for her, the guitar adds a unique quality. Alex and Jessica are both singer song writer types, but Jessica isn’t as skilled a guitarist as Alex and has already demonstrated that she can sing without it. Alex is joined at the hip with his ax and maybe one round of performing without it might be ok but he’s going to be better with it most of the time.

    I believe they may pull off a decent season if you take into account the large cutback in budget they are working with. Randy probably pays them for his job and I suspect they will have some guest mentors or maybe the judges will mentor closer to the end of the season. They are trying new things to try to keep the essence of Idol alive in a brutal economy.


  13. I thought Caleb’s song was in the wrong key for his voice (whatever the key was, major, minor and/or scale) and what the song was meant to express (having heard Adele and her effect on Daniel Craig with her song). It was good but could have been a real separation from everyone else. As someone else said, Sam has the same inflections, mannerisms, and mood setting characteristics as Ricky Nelson – eerie in a way. Jessica sounded more like a blue grassy (sound) folk singer (style) than anything else last night and there is a subtle appeal in that. CJ was good. Dexter was smart. MK’s tactics were intelligent – make the setting intimate by getting the judges’ attention and into their personal space if she can’t command the audience and the camera. Buy time. Majesty = wrong song. Should have sung something like the theme from Mahogany. Didn’t see Alex. Ben is going home. Completely wrong song presented the wrong way. (It is a piano jazz piece with words thrown in. He wasn’t even close to jazz, which would have turned off 99% of the audience anyway.) Gina is still fighting her songs not part of them, like someone at a piano recital playing a song they had to play for the recital. She can win but she doesn’t project yet, excuse the pun, the X factor. Malaya’s song was meant for a bigger voice and I thought she was trying to express an emotion she didn’t have the life experience to express. Just me.

    Rereader – great comment! To paraphrase Rick in Casablanca “Of all the songs in the world, s/he had to pick this one?”


  14. I pretty much Ditto everyone’s thoughts of last night…I agree with Don, I think Ben has a chance of going home tonight, with Majesty in the bottom three with him; not sure who else to put there with them! If I had a choice it would be Jessica, her personality lost me long ago, and while it is a singing competition, I don’t care enough for her voice to let the other go!!!

    I liked CJ, Sam, Alex, Caleb and parts of MK’s, she and Sam still have that deer in the headlights BUT both are making improvements each week. I love the song that MK sang, one of my favorite Garth Brooks songs! I would have liked to heard Dexter do that song!!!

    Good night all in all…the natives are getting restless at my house so someone needs to really step up or the hubby is over idol…LOL This coming from the man who now watches Glee with me so that he can hear Adam sing!!! Gotta love him!!!


  15. My favorites were Jena, Caleb, and Alex.

    There was zero wrong with Jena’s performance. It was all that and more. To quote Michael Slezak, she gave me everything I needed that night. For the most part, her passion and poise belie her age, especially when compared to Sam and Malaya. Sam doesn’t seem comfortable in his own skin on stage, and Malaya just seems more comfortable than she should be given her questionable song choices and uncontainable, over-the-top performances that drive her vocals into quavery-ville.

    Caleb did a remarkable job with Skyfall. I try to sing along with that song and it is so difficult. The range required is vast. It has odd intervals. And it requires a belt in the upper range where falls my head voice. At the same time, it is starts in an introspective space which requires a poignant tone … not quite sweet as the lyrics are funereal: “This is the end.” Caleb was only missing this tone in his voice that contrasts with the strong resurrection of the end of the song: “We will meet at Skyfall.” He has such voice control, I think a vocal coach only needs to point these options out to him and show him how to tweak his tone to that end.

    I loved Alex. As Jen would say, “You gave me goosies!” I think he made very interesting artistic choices in playing with the melody. He stayed true to the song, but he owned it. It was smart going back to the faithful chorus. He doesn’t have the punch yet of Jena or Caleb, but I think he will learn. He is an artist and I really appreciate that.


  16. Top 3 for me Caleb, Jena & Alex B3 IMO Ben, Maylia & Majesty/Jessica. Sam and MK made improvements in performance with MK being more successful than Sam. Both should be (hopefully )safe.


  17. I think Malaya actually sounded quite good last night. That was the first performance from her that I actually liked. Alex is definately one of the best this season, but it looks like I’m alone in how I feel about his performance last night. It really didn’t move me at all, and I didn’t think it was one of his better weeks.


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