Masterclass Memo To American Idol Finalist Sam Woolf – Ditch Your Guitar!

20140408-132700.jpgPicture Credit: AmericanIdol.Com

Thank heavens the judges used the save on Sam Woolf last week.

His performance for the save song, Babylon, was spectacular. His voice sounded smooth and creamy – like butter -and he moved flawlessly around the stage.

Sam – please put the guitar away. You sing monumentally better without it. When you have it in hand, it infringes on your space and just complicates and, even worse, distracts the listener from the beauty of your vocal tone.

Your voice has a contemporary sound mixed with retro mixed with classical. This distinctive tone needs needs to be further highlighted if you wish to make full advantage of your save.

The guitar is holding you back – we need to hear your beautiful vocal ability. Put it away for a bit! Please! With sugar on top!

What say you, dear readers? Were you as taken as I was when you heard Sam sing sans guitar. His potential – to me – seemed more potent.

Wednesday’s show will be a “tell-all”. This is what I do enjoy about American Idol – watching the underdog emerge into a verifiable star.

Comments please!

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

14 Responses to “Masterclass Memo To American Idol Finalist Sam Woolf – Ditch Your Guitar!”

  1. I hope you had a good vacation MCL.

    Nothing personal against Sam but I don’t like the concept of the save for anyone unless there is a known technical glitch that seriously skews the vote outside of its normal patterns. This season the voters have been more on target with who they have sent home than any season that I can recall except that I think CJ is way beyond his expiration date and I just don’t care for Dexter.

    For me, Sam’s voice has been good all along, with or without his guitar. He and Alex were my early favorites but he doesn’t rate at all for me anymore. He doesn’t connect with his songs or the audience, has no personality and his grandparents are killing his rock star image. He is boring for me. He should have waited two more years and added some life experience to his resume. He needs fans from tweens to upper twenties and not so many from Del Boca Vista.

    If you compare him to Malaya, Sam has a greater gift of tone and a naturally beautiful voice. Malaya on the other hand has to work hard at pulling off a good vocal, but what she delivers in heart and soul in her performances is unmatched by anyone else in this group. She chooses more interesting songs as well and has been very enjoyable to watch.

    I think that all of the guitarist will perform without their instruments before the season is over. They seem to right on track with the “growth arc” theme that I think is the ”New Idol” and performing without instruments would seem to be part of that arc. You can see a similar reset and downsizing going on with Dancing with the Stars. They are in their second season of changing their show to appeal to a younger audience and live within a tighter budget. I think they have done a good job. It’s yet to be seen what the end result will be for Idol but I would call it a work in progress. DWTS is where Ray Chew’s band ended up incidentally.


  2. MCL, I love Sam. IMO he and Alex are the only two who are current that would make it on the radio. Yes Sam lacks personality (due to his young age) but his tone is like butter and he has true pitch. I cheered when they saved him. Though people watch Sam as well as listen and while he is a good looking young man, he doesn’t play to the cameras and to the audience. Randy is NOT mentoring him.


  3. “Randy is NOT mentoring him.”

    That’s a good thing.


  4. Gene – thanks for your comments. I did have a great vacation, but always good to come home again. I think Sam has a beautiful voice that escaped me until I heard him singing the duet with Malaya and his “save” song. That guitar is hindering him at this point in the game. Quite frankly I am surprised he is not receiving more votes. The cutie pie factor and all. I though the teen girls would love him.


  5. mcl…i think the new avenues for voting are keeping the votes more balanced. before it was *only* the young girls voting, now others are stepping in.


  6. I’ve loved Sam’s voice from the very beginning, although his “shyness” when performing sometimes has been a hindrance to him. I think he will get better. But unfortunately, I don’t see Sam winning, nor do I see Alex winning even though I enjoy him very much too. If the judges and producers get their way, I think Jena will be the winner. She appeals to me less than Alex and Sam.

    Last weekend I attended a local all college a cappella contest–divided into girls groups, coed groups, and male groups. After hearing the girls groups first, I discovered that it was much more pleasant to my ears to hear the males sing. So maybe this is the reason I usually prefer male singers on Idol.


  7. Louise, I have always preferred male voices. I do not know why. Most female voices grate on my ears. I do love Pink but she has an alto voice and doesn’t screech.On the Voice I did like Xena and Sierra’s voices.

    I had thought that Sam would have wider appeal. The over 50 and Teen Vote like Archie.


  8. Oh, please, let someone close to Sam or his grandparents point out this piece to him! I think Sam has such enormous potential–that beautiful voice!–but it’s a lot harder for him to connect with an audience when he’s hiding behind a guitar, and he doesn’t yet know how–or is afraid to–project his personality over the instrument

    (I really wish he had spent a couple of years at Berklee before trying out for AI…but of course, who knows if AI will still be here in a few years.)


  9. I agree with you MCL. Listening to all the idol’s recording, Sam has the best recording voice. Yes, I think he needs to ditch the guitar once in a while and just loosen up and entertain the audience. I hope somebody would also point out his eyes to him . They wander looking into space while performing. He needs to focus on someone or just close the eyes to internalize the song rather than looking into space. That’s where the disconnect happens when he does that.


  10. Welcome Red and thank you for your comments. I am looking for a new beginning from Sam this week. I think David Cook will be the one to draw him put of his shell.


  11. As David Cook always was so good with connecting both to the song and to the audience, I hope he points out to Sam how to connect. Red I agree 100% about Sam’s eyes. The darting and looking away from the camera are hurting him. Spoilers indicate he is singing Time after Time and I am seriously worried the save was for naught.


  12. I’m not so sure about that, Aubry–in the past, the guys have done better singing songs by female artists and vice versa. They tend to change them up more freely, and there is less comparison with the originals.


  13. Rereader I hope you are right, I do as Sam is my fav this season. Possibly I am just worried senselessly.



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