Vocal MasterClass Discussion For The Voice Season 8 Top 4 Performance Show

 Picture Credit: NBC/The Voice

Well, The Voice took a nasty turn last week when they voted out one of the most talented vocalists to ever appear on this show, India Carney, in favor of Koryn Hawthorne. 

Look, I  harbour no animosity toward  Koryn.  She is a passionate, if not “over the top” vocalist that everyone feels is the next best thing. But, if you listen – really listen – her voice is a technical nightmare.   If she is not strangling her vocal sound, she is screaming at the top of her lungs and, yet, that is supposed to move me?  

If someone doesn’t take hold of this young lady and liberate her vocal sound, she will have none left sooner than later. She is RUINING her vocal cords. It is excruciating to hear week after week. 

Everyone decided that India’s vibrato was a problem and, yet,  the growling vocal texture coming from Koryn’s mouth was perfectly acceptable. At least India worked to correct her problem and still it wasn’t enough. 

Okay, end of rant. Time to move on to the Finals – which, at this point, is just filler because we know Sawyer Fredericks  is the winner, correct?  He has been stomping all over the iTunes Charts – it is actually quite funny to see on a daily basis.  Good for him!  He is a unique entity on this show and then only true original singer left in this competition. 

The Voice Season 8 Top 4 Performance Show airs on Monday, May 18th at 8:00 PM on NBC.  

I wish I could garner more excitement for this Finals but, with the exception of Sawyer, all of my favourites have exited the NBC building.  What about you?  Are you excited with the Final 4?  

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

25 Responses to “Vocal MasterClass Discussion For The Voice Season 8 Top 4 Performance Show”

  1. I agree with you, MCL, that it’s a shame Koryn stayed and and India had to leave. I do like Meghan but I like her best doing country and blue-sy songs and I see she’s doing songs where she’ll really be belting it out. I like Joshua too, but he doesn’t project his voice really well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have only enjoyed Sawyer this season. I am still mourning the loss of Quentin on Idol and another coronation of a WGWG.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am totally with you, MCL. Koryn is a screamer. Meghan (sp??) is the true competition for Sawyer. But the wonderful news (in my opinion) is that Sawyer doesn’t need to win to do well. He is already a star with a bright future. And I have already downloaded everyone of his songs & love them all. Go Sawyer!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The one thing I noticed about Sawyer and iTunes – after every live performance his previous songs make an appearance on the charts, if only for a day or two. I haven’t seen that with any other contestant. And I wonder what it means, are folks who are tuning in for the first time buying his previous songs?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Re: Koryn

    MJ’s blog hit the nail on the head. She’s reminiscent of Mary J. Blige, who doesn’t always sing perfectly either.


  6. I downloaded two songs by Koryn last night, all three by Sawyer, all three by Meghan, and all three by Joshua.


  7. Pop singers don’t always have to worry about using optimal vocal technique.


  8. Janey – I have noticed this as well. I think, as you say, new viewers may be downloading Sawyer’s songs for the first time or else he is building download momentum based on his most recent performances.


  9. Idol Girl – everyone needs technique. It is only a matter of time before they realize that they do.

    Koryn’s voice is not my personal taste for many reasons. I am not a Mary J. Blige fan so there you go.


  10. janey79 – I’ve paid a lot of attention to the voting phenomena that you refer to with Sawyer. My thought is that The Voice (or someone) is trying to boost Sawyers popularity with what is known as the bandwagon effect. It would go like this: They buy a lot of his downloads, you and I and thousands of others notice how popular he is on iTunes. Carson Daley calls him the “King of iTunes” and when the likely win comes, he is already a legend in his own time. I don’t think a huge number of sales are necessary to raise one’s rating on the iTunes chart so it would be one of the cheapest forms of promotion they could do.

    It would take a lot of effort to actually convert the iTunes sales to votes, and that is not what I am suggesting they may be doing, and it could be someone else doing it like the record label for example, but the propaganda effect could be very effective.

    This at a time when their chief ratings rival, American Idol, seems intent on committing TV show suicide. If the Voice can finally launch a winner that gets real traction in the market and can be called a star, it would assure The Voices new role as king of reality singing competition shows. The cherry on top is Kelly Clarkson appearing on the show several times. I think she may become a substitute judge at some point, but we will see.

    I don’t mean to suggest that Sawyer isn’t talented and popular and that he will not have won legitimately based on those qualities. This is more about promoting him into the market as “the most popular Voice winner of all time.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gene – very well formulated. I do believe that your comments are wonderfully on point.

    I think that The Voice needs a superstar STAT or the show’s days are numbered. Sawyer’s unique talent allows them to build a real star – one that is creating or, perhaps, filling a niche that has long been forgotten – sort of a folk/Rock soulful artist.

    And his genuine, sweet and old school charisma is adding to the excitement surrounding Sawyer.

    Case in point – my 9-year-old granddaughter watched The Voice with me for the first time this season and she took immediately to Sawyer. Liked his voice, his look, said he was cute – and therein lies a bulk of your audience. Without trying, she singled him out and this was before a note left his mouth. Once it did, though, she fell in love. It was interesting and revealing to see and hear this reaction first hand.

    And she said Koryn sings with her throat and not with her heart. Haha. Way too funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Truly, good luck to Sawyer. He has future physical maturation issues (learning to sing with a voice emerging from puberty and a physical appearance that is currently unique) and a style/niche that isn’t necessarily translatable to widespread appeal. His wholesomeness shines through but I don’t know how far that carries. He has a set of difficult star marketing issues, if that is TV’s intent.

    I thought the Koryn-Pharrel duet was awful on many levels, and accentuated what MCLady pointed out so notably.

    Rather than trot out Hallelujah (Joshua) I wish for once some would sing Cohen’s Bird on a Wire or Suzanne or Everybody Knows. Well, at least if they play an artist’s song, it prompts me to go back and listen to the ones they will never play and find the reasons they were so great. There is value in that.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Exactly right Idol Girl. In pop music, emotion trumps technique.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks, DonB. I haven’t watched the performances from last night yet. I saw “Hallelujah” performed live by KD Lang a few years back & frankly since then I don’t think anyone else should try to do it.


  15. I love the fact that they let Meghan and Joshua record songs they either wrote or co-wrote, instead of handing them something that wouldn’t necessarily suit them, as Idol is prone to do.


  16. I agree with Don about Sawyer. I see him as a AAA format artist.


  17. Cinder Ella. – thank you. I will promote her forever and ever. Such great news.


  18. I agree with Don and Gene…I think Sawyer has a lot of maturing to do, so to invest a lot in him right now may be a gamble…LeAnn Rhimes??? Mass produce him now, clinch the win! They have been pimping him the entire time, the other singers could have stood on their head, juggled fire and sang like Elvis and it would have gone un-noticed…except by you MCL, I know India is your girl. 😉😃

    I don’t find him all that unique, if I want a rugged unusual voice, I’ll go with Kings of Leon any day!

    Rocker chic…are we talking AAA aka the over 50 gang? LOLOLOL That would be me, but Sawyers not my cuppa tea! He does remind me of a young Leif Garrett though! 😉😃💕


  19. I happen to work with teens and while they do not watch the Voice they do like Sawyer and are buying his music.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes Aubry. And like I said somewhere before, my 9.5 year-old granddaughter fell in love with him immediately.. His look, his voice, his gentle nature. He is attracting a wide audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Gene W, interesting theory! It never occurred to me that iTunes sales could be boosted by The Voice and their cohorts – I can be so naive at times! In any case, Sawyer does appeal to a wide range of folks, I’m clearly not in MCL’s granddaughter’s demographic, I assure you. I asked a mid-20 co-worker to check him out and she immediately bought a couple of his songs after seeing him on YouTube. So there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. @Vonnie –

    AAA is a radio format known as Adult Alternative. Such stations play Americana, alternative rock, alternative country, blues, folk and world music.

    Typical artists heard on AAA stations include: Sheryl Crow, Dave Mathews Band, U2, Tracy Chapman, R.E.M., Train, Blues Traveler, Coldplay, Sarah McLachlan.


  23. Rocker Chic,

    Lol, I guess my over 50 gang would be AARP!!! Sorry! 😃💕


  24. Hi! This is vocal coach,Melissa Black. (former coach for Jordin Sparks) I never cared for Sawyer but like you said – good for him!! LOVED India – I have recorded several piano karaoke’s by ear in the style of several of The Voice singers of lots of their songs this season – CD BABY and LOUDR. I loved the beautiful gal that did “don’t you want somebody to love” – her voice was incredible! Loved Meghan Linsey also – Koryn did do excellent material though- loved the “Pink” song, Try. And i loved how she did “stronger”. Kimberly Nichole had some great moments too! In the end – I did like Joshua’s original faster paced song – really catchy!


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