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Early Picks For American Idol Farewell Season: Denver And Atlanta Auditions


 American Idol, The Farewell Season 

Here we go everyone!  These are the singers who most impressed me during Wednesday’s Premiere a Show for American Idol’s Farewell Season:

Michelle Marie (15 years old): Michelle performed “Blue”  and her voice sounded full and resonant. Really reminiscent of Lee Ann Rimes.   I loved the sparkle and clarity of her voice.  Plus her jubilant personality. Off to Hollywood she goes. Good luck, Michelle

Josiah Siska (18 years old):  Oh my goodness I love this kid. His low “Johnny Cash” voice is fantastic.  And, when he touched his higher register, there was beautiful “heady” quality to his voice. Gorgeous. A nice gentle vibrato. See you in Hollywood and beyond, Josiah. Good luck! 

 Lindita (26 years old):  This young lady lost 150 pounds for this audition so,  for that alone, I think we can say she is a determined and focused individual.  Performing “A Man’s World”,  she displayed her ability to riff through the the melodic structure with pitch perfect finesse. It will, however, be interesting to see how she handles a simpler approach to the melody for, as we all know, this style of singing can become tedious over time. Well, at least for me it does.  Best of luck, Lindita 

Billy Bob (25 years old): I didn’t think Billy Bob would go too far in this competition but I liked the guy and loved his spirit.  So, Billy Bob, don’t give up. Keep singing and sharing your love of music.  

 Lee Jean (15 years old): What a sweet, cuddly singer and he came to us with a poignant   backstory.  His voice is still very young and it aches for maturity but his musicality cannot be denied. However, with the proper technical guidance, he will be fine. I hope he is not eaten up in Hollywood because the potential for greatness is there. Good luck, Lee Jean. 

Surprise everyone!   Season 5 winner, Taylor Hicks, is on hand to assist with the judging process. Hi Taylor!  

Jeneve Rose Mitchell (15 years old):  Performing Chain Saw by The Band Perry, she accompanies herself on a cello. Yes, a cello!  And it is beyond cool. it is an extremely impressive audition and rhythmically solid. She obviously is a seasoned young musician and, even though her voice doesn’t quite cut through as well as it could,  the originality of her audition was undeniable. Watch out Hollywood. Here comes Jeneve!

Sonika Vaid (20 years old):  Now, this is my kind of singer! Accompanied by Michael Orland on piano, she poured her heart and soul in to this performance. Gorgeous voice, gorgeous face, simplistic approach, nuanced vocals, sweet, genuine personality – she pretty much has it all.  And I agree with Harry Connick Jr.  – Sonika could win the whole thing. Watch out for this one. Amazing!  Good luck, Sonika!

Reanna  Molinero (24 years old):  Reanna sings “Leave It On Your Mind” by Patsy Cline.  Nice voice but a little generic. Very powerful and pure – so I will give her that. The editing of her audition song didn’t give me true sense of her vocal capability so we shall see no she does in Hollywood. Good luck,  Reanna

Sylvia Lee Walker (16 years old): Good Heavens – she spoke more than she sang.  It was entertaining but her yodelling was all over the place. Too bad because I was starting to warm to her. Good luck, Sylvia

Another surprise – Nick Fradiani, winner of Season 14, makes an appearance. Love him so much! Hi Nick!  

Joshua Wicker (25 years old): Joshua is a Worship Director at his Church and he and his wife are expecting their first child in three weeks. He performs “Stay” by Rhianna while accompanying himself on guitar. His voice is tighter than I would like but he actually sustains his voice quite well. His take on “Stay” is unlike the original – which I loved.  He put his own spin on it, which means he is an artiste!  Bravo Joshua!  Enjoy Hollywood and beyond!  

P.S. The baby is a healthy bouncing baby girl – sweet little thing!

Alex Sasser (23 years old) and Jordan Sasser  are husband and wife each perform a solo. Alex’s voice was a bit one dimensional – pleasant but, unfortunately it was not a memorable voice. Too bad. Her husband, Jordan, –  now that was a different story. His voice is a powerful entity – so beautifully nuanced and his range is stratospheric.  He has the look and the voice of a star – he is a full – out artist and I will be following him closely.  Bravo Jordan and Alex, take care of that beautiful baby and keep singing.  

P.S.  Alex needed a less playful song choice. I think, in the end, this did her in. Her voice didn’t have a chance to shine and  the ukelele accompaniment minimized the audition. Memo to singers: ukeleles at a  preliminary audition is not the way to go unless it is a very unique, substantive arrangement. 

Kerry Courtney (24 years old): Kerry is a very dramatic, almost eccentric sort of singer and is very interesting to watch. He truly enters his own world when he sings and is in touch with his soul when he performs. He is very risky with his voice and brings it to places that others would fear to do. I love this. I am not sure how far this will take him but, since he was jamming with Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks prior to his audition, I take this as a premonition of sorts. In many ways, they are the same. Good luck, Kerry

Shelby Z (23 years old): Shelby power sings her way through the Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name”   That’s quite the voice she has but, in the end, can she tone in down?   A nuanced singing style has become so important in this competition – at least for me it has. We shall see. In the meantime, Shelby, dial it down a bit and focus on sustained, quiet head voice. It is all about balance. Good luck, Shelby

Oh yawn – here comes Kanye West. Why is he here?  

My top three were Josiah Siska, Sonika Vaid and Jordan Sasser

Tomorrow night, American Idol travels to San Francisco and Little Rock. See you then. And, don’t forget to add your insights in the comments section below. 


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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

5 Responses to “Early Picks For American Idol Farewell Season: Denver And Atlanta Auditions”

  1. I liked Sonika Vaid and Joshua Wicker!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t remember the names at this point, but matching your description to my memories, the three that stood out to me the most were:

    Josiah Siska, the guy who sang way down low–and I noted that he made Harry sit up by not just hopping down the standard do-re-mi scale. (Did Harry say he used the chromatic scale? I need to learn some proper music theory one of these days!)

    Lee Jean, the young kid (with the brother that died). He has something there that made me sit up, but I think he might be too young yet. I did want to grab his guitar away, because while Ed Sheeran has the chops to slowly slide in the instrumentals on that song so that you hardly notice them, this kid didn’t, and he sounded SO much better when he was fully concentrated on just singing.

    And Sonika Vaid, the girl with the Indian immigrant parents. She gave me chills. Lovely, lovely voice she has, and I loved the restraint she showed. You can sing like that, you don’t need to drown the song in decorations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, and my response to Kanye West is ALWAYS “Sit down, Kanye.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. loved you article, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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  1. Vocal MasterClass Discussion For American Idol Season 15: The Farewell Season Continues in San Francisco And Little Rock | MasterClassLady.Com - January 7, 2016

    […] some pretty solid singers.  If you didn’t have a chance to watch the show, I added some COMMENTS about some of the singers who were featured in Wednesday’s program.   I also picked my […]

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