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Masterclass Memo To American Idol: Lengthen The Performance Time Frame And More. So.Much.More. 


Am I the only one who detests the watered down time frame for the performances by the American Idol finalists?  Yes, they can squeeze in two songs in two hours but, after watching the full – length performances on The Voice, I much prefer the “quality over the quantity” mentality of arranging songs. 

The 90-minute time frame barely allows for a singer to gain a sense of direction or momentum for their song choice and, oftentimes, the arrangements do not do justice to the song or performance.   Is it any wonder that American Idol have problems receiving clearance for cover songs?  A composer’s song is a work of art, an entity and, if it were me, I would have second thoughts permitting clearance for a diluted version of my song. 

This is not to dismiss the fabulous work accomplished by coach/arranger/pianist Michael Orland and bandleader Rickey Minor, but rather it is something that American Idol needs to bring to the table.  

Why?

Because it is real life, that’s why!

It is more important to hear and see how proficient a singer can handle him or her self on stage while showcasing a full-length performance. This is what happens in a real show, right?  I mean – nobody does 90 – second versions of song when they are in concert.  

And, while we’re at it, wouldn’t it have been beneficial to see the Top 5 singers perform a group number on Wednesday evening?  After all, they will be touring together and I would expect to see some group numbers on tour.  And what ever happened to the duets and trios on performance night? Oh my goodness – the list of “what evers ” is  a mile long here. 

Heaven help us! This show, which started out so promising this season, turned in to a nightmare.  So many things  went wrong, the first of which was Ryan Seacrest goading eliminated singer, Quentin Alexander, to expand on his feelings when he learned that his two fellow contestants, Joey  and Rayvon, were in the the Bottom 2.  

Why even go there?  Why?  Just move forward with the bloody show and ignore the rumblings of a young man who was probably feeling stressed out after sitting for the majority of the two hours wondering if he would be eliminated.  This is a performance show. And the singers are worried if they will be eliminated. Pretty counter – productive if you ask me. 

But no – American Idol loves the drama!   Oh the drama!   The confrontation that ensued between Quentin and Harry Connick Jr. was one of the strangest things I have ever seen on this show. Like it was totally set up. Like Ryan knew which buttons to push to get Quentin to react. 

And then, to add fuel to the fire, they used the incident as promo for their show. Wow.  Talk about desperate!  

And, the manner in which Tyanna was eliminated on Wednesday was one of the cruelest, heartless things I have ever seen on this show. To me, she is a star and they dismissed her like yesterday’s bread.  The poor kid. She didn’t deserve this. 

Why couldn’t all the singers perform and then just do the elimination at the end?  I mean, seriously?  It’s not rocket science!  American Idol is changing the rules every week, making them up on the fly.  

And, here I was wondering why my TV listing stated that the Top 4 were performing last evening, instead of the Top 5.  I found that strange but it turned out that that was indeed the case. Whatever Idol. 

And that little tete a tete with Scott Borchetta’s team with Clark Beckham was – well – not good. I am sure that, at one time or another, all the singers have butt heads with the mentors, so why single out Clark?  I do think that Scott did make some valid points but why should we see all this?  It’s not fair and it certainly jeopardized Clark’s performances this week. 

And so, with two weeks remaining, the bickering and the disillusionment is in full swing. Yep. That seems about right?  Weren’t we at the same discouraging place last year at this time?   Same story, different cast. 

Sound off your insight and thoughts in the comments section. I need another coffee!  Over and out. 

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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

27 Responses to “Masterclass Memo To American Idol: Lengthen The Performance Time Frame And More. So.Much.More. ”

  1. America hates sass from contestants. Probably going to hurt Clark in votes.

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  2. Sass from contestants is nothing new. I remember numerous times Simon would get into it with someone.

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  3. I’m pretty much done with the show. I left off watching it a number of years ago, and then came back because they added Harry Connick Jr. to the judging panel. But this year TPTB seem to have ordered him not to say anything technical this year, and that was what was interesting, and everything else is just a hot mess. I mean, if I wanted drama, I’d watch something scripted–I watch shows like this to learn something and maybe find something new that I like, and that’s not happening any more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow ReReader. And you were such a loyal follower. It scares me to think that they have lost so many fans over the past few years. I know many, as well, who never watch the show any more. Kind of sad when you think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Starting with the poor sound and rushed production of the Detroit episodes, this whole season has been rather amateur. On top of that, they picked out one of the worst batch of contestants of all time.

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  6. I actually am pretty sad about it–as you say, I really enjoyed the show for a lot of years. But I think that the only way to save it at this point would be to throw out the current producers one and all, and get some music-loving minds behind the scenes.

    After all, it’s not just other tv shows they’re competing with nowadays, you can find a lot of new talent on the web, too. I like NoiseTrade, where you can download LEGAL free music that artists are giving away in trade for an email address so they can direct market their concerts–and also HitPredictor, which asks you to rate song clips from both established and new artists. I found Ed Sheeran and Vampire Weekend and several other artists and groups early on from sites like those–and “voted” by buying their music.

    It’s not as much fun as AI used to be, because it’s all solitary, and I loved the community aspect of AI–and I loved how much I learned about music and singing. (Okay, that was more from you than AI! :)) But they’ll need to do something major to lure me back, I think–I’m just tired of the all-too-obvious machinations.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There has not been one breakout performance this season – like David Cook’s performance of Billie Jean, for example.

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  8. Bad Grandpa: I don’t think I agree with your assessment of this year’s contestants. I thought that they had picked a batch of really interesting and talented contestants this year–interesting especially in that a lot of them were really niche artists. That was exciting for me, because let’s face it: What with the internet and streaming services and iTunes and all, the music market today is very fragmented, which is bad for anyone who wants a Top 40 superstar career, but good for the many, many niche artists who now can reach their audiences. The big problem, it seems to me, is that the mass voting AI relies on is not at all suited to that sort of market allocation. And I think this is a problem for any music competition that relies on mass audience voting–it just doesn’t match today’s music scene.

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  9. 11 hours ago these were the rankings on iTunes:

    114 Nick Fradiani What Hurts the Most
    188 Rayvon Owen Believe
    200 Clark Beckham Your Man
    354 Jax Empire State of Mind, Pt. II (Broken Down)

    Pretty anemic sales.

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  10. I second that, Jane Doe.

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  11. @Rereader

    I prefer performers who are more seasoned. Too many of these guys and gals suffered from “being too young and green”.

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  12. Wow. Pretty sad rankings on iTunes. These singers are not resonating with the public. Too bad because they are very, very good. It saddens me.

    ReReader – I second everything you said. I am sure you speak for many.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. But that was the idea behind AI–find new, young talented kids, see how they shape with a little training and wide exposure. That was always a lot of the excitement for me, to see who blossomed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think that was the idea at first. Then AI started adding in more polished performers such as Bo Bice and Chris Daughtry and David Cook and Adam Lambert. I would like to see some more performers like them in the mix.

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  15. Precisely right Idol Girl!

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  16. Yes I agree Idol Girl. This is why Season 7 was so amazing. The mixture of contestants – in terms of age, experience and personality – was just perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. If I ran the show, I’d increase the minimum age requirement to 18. Not too many kids younger than that are well-rounded contestants with a strong sense of self and clearly identified thoughts on the artists they want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Plenty of kids would argue that Taylor Swift did–but Taylor Swift didn’t go on a reality show, she went to music producers. I don’t think anyone should be on one of these shows, with all the stress and media scrutiny, unless they have a high-school diploma in hand.

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  19. That’s a change I would make as well.

    Another change – When the top 24 are chosen by the judges, pick the best singers instead of trying to make an even number of guys and girls.

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  20. In addition to the auditions, I’ve always hated Hollywood Week. I think it’s ridiculous how they force these singers to form a group and then have to perform in like 24 hours. The poor kids are tired, dehydrated and exhausted. Some of the best singers didn’t stand a chance because they physically were sick. I know in the music business, it’s tough. But, an artist generally has a little time to build up that kind of strength needed to handle the pressure and demand. They are not thrown into something like this overnight.

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  21. I am very concerned that Clark might be eliminated next week, I was rather annoyed at his critiques last night. My take is that he must be getting the highest number of votes, but the producers do not favor him to win, I think they really want a finale with Jax most of all, along with Nick because Jax would stand a good chance of winning. Hence all of the talk about Nick “peaking” at the right time, and the negative comments to Clark. I was also sad to see Tyranna leave, but she handled it with CLASS!!!

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  22. I second that Idol Girl. Some years the guys are obviously stronger. Some years the girls are obviously stronger. If girls are stronger than the guys in 2016, stack the top 24 with more girls.

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  23. “I know in the music business, it’s tough. But, an artist generally has a little time to build up that kind of strength needed to handle the pressure and demand. They are not thrown into something like this overnight.”

    Also, in real life, no artist ever has to add new songs days before a performance. (On Broadway, yes, that could happen. An artist on tour? They decide their own setlists.)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Yes, I agree ReReader. I just find that there is a more positive nurturing aspect on The Voice. American Idol always had their “agenda” and it was pretty blatant. I am sure The Voice has an agenda as well but all the artists are treated with such respect. I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Where is Smaug when we need him:)

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  26. Full length songs! I’ve been begging for years … why not? Most songs do not lend themselves to 90 seconds. The middle eighths become middle thirty-seconds. It drives me crazy.

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