Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season XIV: The Top 8 Females Sing Motown With Aretha Franklin

Live Update At The End Of Article

I was disappointed to see the elimination of Savion and Riley on Wednesday. They both brought considerable musical skills to this competition and I felt had depth and potential that we did not have the chance to see and enjoy. 

To eliminate 4 instead of 2 singers this week was not a good thing. In fact, it hinders and defeats the whole Top 24 process as we have come to know in previous seasons. We need to slowly eliminate singers, allowing the voters time to familiarize themselves with the Top 24 

The American Idol Top 8 Female Performance Show begins on Thursday, March 5th at 8:00 PM on Fox. 

 American Idol will be celebrating the iconic period of music from the Motown era of music. They will be performing at the Filmore Detroit, with mentoring assistance from the great Aretha Franklin.  I can already visualize which singers will advance or no.  Can you? 

I am on vacation until the end of March but will provide updates – if not live, but delayed. But they will be there. 

How about you?  Do you have any favorites from this Group of 12?  Who do think will be eliminated this week?  

MasterClass away everyone in the comments section. 

Live Update:

Tyanna Jones — Bobby Day/Michael Jackson’s “Rockin’ Robin”

Tyanna – I am in love with your smooth, unaffected, seamless style of performing. And this translates to your singing voice. What a gem of an instrument!  You are blessed with a golden vocal instrument that has been carefully honed via the correct technical skills. What a great song choice for you!  You inhabited the fun-loving emotion of this song, moving and engaging the audience with carefree abandon. I loved the little melodic change ups you added to the mix – giving us a glimpse into the vastness of your range. Love you!! Brava!

Loren Lott – Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are”

Loren – you are a very strong vocalist. A major contender in this competition. You created a very glamorous look on that stage and appeared confident and rather sultry throughout this performance. Be careful that you do not push the sound too strongly from your throat. At times, the balance between the head and chest voice was super and, yet, at times, the chest voice got in the way of a ringing vocal sound. However, overall, this was an absolutely solid performance. Excellent work!  

Maddie Walker — The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There”

Maddie – you created a lovely, peaceful ambience throughout this number. You sang this song with heart and sincerity. However, your upper notes – during the “I’ll Be There” refrain – sounded very constrained, very tight. Make sure you add more of the ring and clarity of your head voice when sustaining in your upper register. Keep the throat open and relax, allowing the diaphragm to guide your vocal sound to the front of your vocal masque. Never push and remember to sustain on the pure vowel of each and every lyric. 

Joey Cook — The Miracles’ “Shop Around”

Joey – this was a great song choice. And, as you are a very innovative artist, I was interested to see what you were going to do with this song. Right off the bat, you owned the stage and added your signature to this iconic song. It had an almost retro big band feel – it was truly unique. Your voice oozed with expression and nuance and you gave an engaging, entertaining performance. You remind me of a young Bette Middler – so that can’t be a bad thing can it?  However, I will be interested to see how you will interpret a ballad – that will be key to your future success on this show. 

Sarina Joi-Crowe — The Miracles’ “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me”

Sarina – I loved the gentle way you paced this number, allowing your vocals to blossom with nuance and inflection. Be careful of that shaking jaw – a sign of underlying tension in your vocal delivery.  Also, as a beautiful as this performance was, I was hoping for more dimension to this performance. However, it took courage to sing an acoustic version of this song and, that alone, should be a powerful testament to your potential in this competition. 

Adanna Duru — Lionel Richie’s “Hello”

Adanna – this is such a beautiful song and you have the perfect vocal gift to successfully deliver this song. The aching poignancy in your voice was just the ticket. You really felt the words and used your body, especially your arms, to deliver the emotional message of this song. I loved the ascending vocal pattern you added at the end of this song. It was excellent. Now you need to work on your intonation and this will only improve once you strengthen your diaphragmatic support muscles. It is great that you can lose yourself in the song, but the technique has to be front and center, providing the foundation for a solid vocal performance 

Jax — Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

Jax – what an innovative Intro to this song. For a moment I thought – is she singing a big band song?  That’s what it’s all about though – adding your personal signature to a song. Now, how I wished you had moved around the stage!  I felt that the song lost some momentum and verve in mid stream. As a result, you voice became wayward – as if you were singing inward instead of outward. It did not project, I feel, the way you intended so be careful that you rehearse your numbers thoroughly, paying close attention to the projection of your voice. 

Alexis Gomez — The Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”

Alexis – this is just a fun – loving number. Like Tyanna’s Rockin’ Robin!  Great way to bookend this Top 8 show!  You had such a great time on that stage and moved with ease. However your voice really encountered major intonation issues – and you had problems getting it back on track. It is wonderful to move and groove and have a great time on that stage, but, honestly, you need the technique to support your vocal sound. Practice the song first – solidifying it with solid technical skills – and then add the movements. You do NOT have to move constantly. It should compliment the performance, not diminish it. Less is more. 

Top vocalist Of The Night Was Tyanna Jones. (MCL PICK)

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

10 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season XIV: The Top 8 Females Sing Motown With Aretha Franklin”

  1. Again, because of the holiday, I didn’t see all of the show, but I’m a lot less upset with the eliminations on the ladies side–not really upset at all, even though I might have made slightly different choices.

    I loved Joey’s number–although ITA, MCL, I’d love to hear what she does with a slow, quiet number. (Can’t have a whole concert of only uptempo songs!)

    Loren sounded very shouty to me.

    And I thought Sarina-Joi was lovely–I was so pleased that she didn’t force the song, it just flowed out. (But it was a little all-the-same. That’s fixable!)


  2. This method of elimination does not make “Good TV”. It makes for an uncomfortable audience and poor performances. Most of those girls were too stressed to perform well. Never do this again, Idol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Unfortunately, I got the impression that this is the way they are going to be eliminating contestants for the rest of the season. I hope I’m wrong.


  4. What a nightmarish way to eliminate the singers. Four gone in one fell swoop and in such a humiliating way?? Does this show ever learn?

    The Top 24 show should be life, two eliminated in a half hour show the next day. They did this before – why the change? Ridiculous.

    How are they going to choose between Savion and Riley? How? And if Tyanna is eliminated next week, I swear I am going to throw in the towel. Bar none – she is the best female vocalist in this competition.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. And no performance recap at the end of the show with voting information? What is wrong with the producers?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I missed Tyanna this week–I’ll try to catch her on YouTube later today!

    Was it that I wasn’t listening carefully enough? Because the judges were talking about singing out of tune for a lot of the ladies, and while I heard it from some, I didn’t hear it from others. :/

    If I understood MG’s spoiler correctly, none of the people eliminated this week are eligible for judge’s saves, only those eliminated next week. But it’s very confusing, and I’m not perfectly sure. (I’m bummed Trevor was eliminated, as well as Riley and Savion–his arrangements were all interesting, and if he could have settled down enough to sing instead of bound around, I think he could have been something different in a good way.)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay – now I am really unhappy. So that means that Savion and Riley are not eligible for the WildCard spot? Darn. I loved Trevor also. When they showed the guys in the balcony last evening, it looked like there were more than 8 guys. Closer to 12. Maybe it was my imagination.

    The pitch problems were there but I think it was more the tone of their voices that was creating problems with correct intonation. Overall, the singing last evening was very tight for all the girls except Tyanna.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad you like Tyanna, I love her too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If Tyanna goes, I’m gone for good, as in, forever. You hear that Idol?


  10. According to TVGuide.com, Wednesday night’s episode this week is yet again another hour-long episode. I fear that, yet again, it’s going to be another rushed show, affecting the performances.


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