Vocal Masterclass Discussion for American Idol Season XIV Top 10: Songs From The Movies

Picture Credit: AmericanIdol.Com. Missing from the picture is Maddie Walker and her irritated appendix. Darn!

Ten of the Eleven singers – featured below – will sing Songs From The Movies on Thursday, March 19th. They are:

    American Idol Top 10 Performance and Top 11 Results Show airs on Thursday, March 19th at 8:00 PM on Fox.  

    I am on vacation but will start writing full length Vocal Masterclass articles next week.  I will try to live blog with brief comments about each singer this week.

    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

    22 Responses to “Vocal Masterclass Discussion for American Idol Season XIV Top 10: Songs From The Movies”

    1. I’m really looking forward to tonight’s show!

      Tyanna was so wonderful last week, even if it’s not my kind of song I loved it. And I listened to Joey’s song a few times over the past week–it just keeps getting better to me! So those are the two I’m most interested to hear tonight. (But wasn’t this supposed to be a strong group on the men’s side and a not-so-strong group on the women’s side? 😉 )


    2. I was just seeing on MJ’s that the theme for tonight is Songs from the Movies–and the spoilers for the song choices. Tell me, someone, with almost the entire American Songbook falling into this category–including some of the greatest songs tailored specifically for vocalists ever written (by Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, Rodgers and Hart, etc.)–why did they make THOSE choices? It can’t be that they never heard of the classic pop tunes, Lady Gaga’s been singing some of them, for heaven’s sake, and some big pop star is always getting a hit with one or another of ’em!


    3. I just hope Quentin is safe.


    4. Joey was really good on Mad World but Adam Lambert slayed Mad World. Love her though.


    5. Joey highlighted the lyrics, Adam highlighted the emotions. Very different interpretations, and I find them both very strong. She’s the best of the night for me, so far–and the best song choice of the night (going by MJ’s spoilers).

      [I’m still baffled about the song choices tonight, when movie night should be a gift for singers!]

      As much as I love Tyanna, that was a not-good song choice (and I think she took it a little too slow, it dragged for me).


    6. Hey everyone. Great comments. Who was eliminated this week? Stupid song choices from the sounds of it. Why can’t they sing the classics?


    7. MCL in your esteemed opinion was Quentin out of tune? or off pitch? I heard only 1 off note. My favs were Clark, Joey, Quentin and Jax. The rest were pretty bad. IMO


    8. Aubry – I haven’t watched the show yet. On vacay and just came home. Will check the performances of all the singers and let you know.


    9. Can’t believe the save was used on Quassim. That vocal was a hot mess and Harry said that was best of the night? Either my ears are off tonight or the judges are.


    10. Was shocked that they used the save tonight. Maybe they just wanted to get it out of the way. Now it won’t be an issue any longer, my favorites of the night were Clark and Joey. Disappointed in Tyanna.


    11. Aubry-I heard maybe 2 or 3 bum notes from Quentin but I didn’t think he was “horribly” out of tune. I think Harry was in a grumpy mood by the time that Quentin sang. I fascinated by his performance. I also liked Clark, Joey, and Jax. I think that Quassim’s performance most likely came across better than person than on tv.


    12. Well, I just listened to all the performances and this is what I think – for what it is worth.

      Clark Beckham is truly in a league of his own. His interpretation of Sunday Morning was gorgeous beyond words and his vocal delivery was brimming with nuance and charisma. He is so comfortable in displaying his head voice – which is exactly what we needed to hear with his sultry version of this song. And, yet, there is a meaty texture to his head voice which I love.

      Everyone else came second. Qaasim is a performer and I actually thought he was great. However, he is more of a novelty act – fun to watch and all. Hand him a ballad and see how far he can take it. That is the measuring stick. The ability to sing a ballad.

      Joey was excellent. Just totally in the moment, a pure and genuine vocal delivery. I was extremely moved by her version of Mad World – she took the theatrics out of it and stripped it bare. That took courage.

      Nick was a pleasant surprise. He should ditch the guitar more often. I think we shall see him grow exponentially each week. He is like a dark horse in this competition.

      Adana and Jax sang beautifully, Daniel and Tyanna suffered major tuning issues, as did Rayvon. Maddie was cute but needs to show a different side to her performances. Everything seems the same week after week.

      I can’t say I was nuts over Quentin’s “You’re The One That I Want”. It was very confusing for the most part although I admire some of his sustained vocal moments. They were excellent.

      But no one owned the stage like Clark. That – for me – was the performance of the night. Totally.


    13. Clark is head shoulders above the rest to me. He has a distinctive voice and style, good musicianship and has the ability to draw you in to his performances. I also enjoy Joey’s performances. She is an artist with a style all her own and it’s always interesting to see what she will do. America needs a great accordionist since Lawrence Welk’s passing. I like Jax most nights. Tonight was ok. Quentin is the best of the rest.

      Quassim is a heck of an entertainer but what would you do with him? I can’t see him selling recordings. Maybe the stage is his cup of tea. I’m glad they used the save tonight because I don’t like the concept of a judge’s save unless there has been a technical error that affects the vote. In that case it should be a producer’s save anyway.

      Tyanna has been under whelming for me all season. You can tell that she has skills and loves performing. Her covers of Michael Jackson’s “Rockin’ Robin” and Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope” were both competent but lacked the special star quality of the originals for me.

      Be sure to check out the docu-drama “The Wrecking Crew” on Pay Per View or On Demand etc on cable. It’s about one of the famous groups of studio musicians who recorded countless songs behind some of the biggest names in music from the late ’50s into the ’70’s. Leon Russell and Glen Campbell were among the musicians and Cher was listed as a backup singer for the Ronnetts. This group did all of the music for the Beach Boys albums and were also the musicians known as Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. I think you will enjoy it.


    14. Tied-1) I’m so impressed with Clark. What a lovely jazzy-blues interpretation of “Sunday Morning.” Honestly, I had never heard the original, but good for him for finding a song that was cleared and in a movie. I was a little worried about his ability to connect, but tonight show me otherwise.

      Tied-1) Joey was wonderful once again. I was so proud of her. I don’t mind her sitting down, but I wish she wouldn’t slouch so much. I hear MCL whispering about posture and diaphragms and “ring” in her earpiece. (Note: I’ve never heard MCL’s voice …) I don’t mind that Adam Lambert did this piece perfectly a few years ago. She owned the lyrics and the melody. My mom pointed out that she had roots done in violet, LOL. And could someone please tell me where she got last week’s and this week’s outfits, ‘coz I need both of them.

      #3) I liked Quentin and want to like him more, but there is something in his voice technically that keeps me front wanting to reach in (like Keith said of Joey, “like a moth to the flame.”)

      #4) Qaasim was quite good. He was just short of a “moment.” A couple notes gone wonky and places that needed better timing. Many people have tried and failed to bring this Lewis Carrol-esque lyric to life. I loved Crystal Bowersox’s rendition with the didgeradoo. I’m glad they saved him. I’m hoping Daniel Seavy goes home next week because I’m sure Qaasim would be a far more interesting live act.

      #5) Jax somewhat redeemed herself. I love this adorable song. Her tone leant it the right amount of lightness without cheeze.

      #6) Why, oh, why did Nick choose “Danger Zone”? Did they have a list of 20 choices and he got to choose last? It doesn’t seem they are going lengths to clear individual requests. You have to think that Nick has a little more artistic integrity than that. Even Crystal Bowersox was able to flip “I’m Alright,” another Kenny Loggins “classic.” I don’t get it, but maybe that’s all he’s got. Still he is always right on with the pitch and delivery. I want to see him deliver a sultry ballad. He’s too sexy not to do it. I’m with Jennifer on that.


      Everyone else was an also-ran for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    15. Oh no! Not again! The last time the judges used the Save too early, we had a shock boot the next week (Pia Toscano, season 9). Get ready for a shock boot.


    16. Oh no! Not again! The last time the judges used the Save too early, we had a shock boot the next week (Pia Toscano, season 10). Get ready for a shock boot.


    17. Thank you Jessica. I always appreciate your insight and analyses and I agree with all of it.

      Expect a big change in Qaasim next week. They didn’t save him for nothing.


    18. I commented here (above) right after Tyanna’s performance, and I definitely agree that Clark’s was the other standout performance of the night–he and Joey were the only two that got me to stop what I was doing and walk over and just listen.

      I feel bad for Daniel–he has the musicality, but his voice hasn’t settled and he’s a very young 15 to boot. It was just wrong of them to put him through so early, he needs a few years to “cook” before he’s ready to perform professionally, not a few weeks!

      I feel there were a lot of bad song choices this week, especially considering how MANY wonderful songs have been in movies.

      Liked by 1 person

    19. I suspect they used the save because Daniel and Maddie were so bad it would have been a travesty to get rid of Quassim, as mediocre as he was. You could see them having the discussion and making the decision well before Quassim sang.

      The serious problem they have right now is the producing and mentoring. If the producers/Borchetta only did one thing last night they should have said to the contestants “Look, pick any song that best addresses your singing and performance capabilities. That song has a 95% chance of being in a movie. And we (producers/Borchetta) have the right of first refusal if we don’t like your choice.” Assuming there isn’t a 20 song list choice. Harry must have said that to almost all of them in a slightly different way. (Rereader, I am with you. Daniel, as constrained as he is, could have sung Swinging on a Star or An Irish Lullaby and knocked it out of the park. Jax could have sung In the Still of the Night and the place would have gone crazy with her interpretation. And so on down the line.) The contestants are almost too young to have any creativity and someone needs to provide it for them. I think Clark doesn’t need the degree of mentoring that all the other ones do because of his background, and it is why he is differentiating himself. He seems to be figuring it out while the others aren’t, except perhaps Joey.

      I’ll check out Gene’s Wrecking Crew. I happen to love Standing in the Shadows of Motown in a similar vein.


    20. Don,
      Be careful when you order the movie because there is another movie of the same name that appears to be some sort of action movie. There are (maybe were?) several excerpt clips from this movie on You Tube that were pretty good. The stories about Leon Russell were pretty funny. I had the pleasure of seeing him in a small venue in town a few months ago.

      I also enjoyed “Standing in The Shadows.” I’ve seen it a few times and would probably watch it again if it came on. There have been several similar movies in the last few years. “20′ From Fame” is about backup singers. “Sound City” is about the famous L A studio of the same name; “Muscle Shoals” that documents the great work that was done in two small studios in North West Alabama and the place where Aretha Franklin found her groove. All of these have been very interesting to me. The story of Carroll Kaye, the Wrecking Crew’s female bass player who laid down some outstanding bass lines in her career, is one of my favorite parts of the movie. Watching Tommy Tedesco play, I almost sold my guitars! I think you will enjoy it.

      The sad part about these movies is that you can clearly see why the music will never be the same again.


    21. Gene,

      Thanks! I was lamenting to someone in work about the change in the popular musical landscape. Musical listening conditioning of the modern world and so much is lost. (I was listening to Duke Ellington’s Black and Tan Fantasy last night and then a Joe Tex song. The modern world doesn’t have that listening ear anymore.)


    22. It occurred to me when watching Clark that I haven’t enjoyed any Idol contestant so much since season 5’s Taylor Hicks. I know that people either loved or hated Taylor, but I was in the first group. I read that Clark has watched Taylor’s performance of “Living in the City” many times. I also have done that. I usually do not have a favorite this early in the season, but I can safely say that this season my favorite is Clark.


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