Vocal MasterClass Discussion For American Idol Season 15 Top 24 Semi-Finalists: Week One

 American Idol Season 15 Top 24 Semi-Finalists 
Picture Credit:American Idol/Fox

And, we’re off!  The Top 24 Semi-Final show for American Idol Season 15 is upon us.  However, unlike other seasons, the shows were pre-recorded a week or so ago and the finalists for the Top 14 selected by the judges. 

So, that’s that I guess. We have no say and no opportunity to truly become familiar with these singers before they enter the Top 14 live shows. Why am I not surprised?  It seems “expect the unexpected”  is American Idol’s mantra over the past few years.  

However, there is a positive side to this mantra this season. Each of the Top 24 will have an opportunity to perform with a former American Idol Top 10 Finalist. Now, that should be a lot of fun to watch!  

This week’s shows air on Wednesday, February 10th and Thursday, February 17th at 8:00 PM on Fox. 

Performing this week are: Mackenzie Bourg,  Jordan Sasser, La’Porsha Renae, James Dawson, Sonika Vaid, Gianna Isabella,  Jenna Renae, Jeneve Rose Mitchell, Emily Brooke, Thomas Stringfellow, Stephany Negrete and Avalon Young.

Former American Idol winners slated to perform duets with these singers are second season winner Ruben Studdard, third season winner Fantasia Barrino, tenth season winner Scotty McCreery, tenth season runner-up Lauren Alaina, thirteenth season winner Caleb Johnson and fourteenth season winner Nick Fradiani.

Are you looking forward to the this week’s shows?  Which former Top 10 artist are you excited to see and hear?  

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 American Idol Season 15 Top 24 Semi-Finalists: Week One”

  1. This group has a halfway-decent camera presence. However, enough with the games. I have also read–from connected insiders–that AI could return:) With a modernized and updated format that will make it more popular:)


  2. I thought it was a mixed bag. A couple were pretty good, others were middling.


  3. I too thought it was a mixed bag. I think my favorite was Avalon, there’a just something special and unique and refreshing about her. I also liked Mackenzie, and Jeneve. Sonika has a beautiful voice but there does seem to be an emotional wall between her and the audience imo. I liked the last half of Thomas Stringfellow’s peformance but his vocal technique definitely needs a lot of work. I love La Porsha and thought she sang well but she needs to keep surprising people with her choices or voters are going to be “been there done that”.

    i’d love to know what was going on bts with Emily. Poor girl, I was so sad for her.


  4. I thought I was watching a cattle call…they were pushing them through so fast!

    I liked James vlll the best, not sure the judges shared my thoughts! This year is shaping up to be just as predictable as every other year!

    If this show were to stay on, the first step would be to replace the producers, find ones who would treat it like a singing contest instead of a drama filled reality show! Some one needs to take this show as serious as the contestants does!!!


  5. If I were in charge of the show, I would change the age limit to 18 and over, to ensure we have more seasoned performers, like David Cook or Adam Lambert, in the mix. Not too many 15 and 16 year olds are ready for prime time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SImon Cowell would have had a fine time ripping many of these performances apart.


  7. The only performance that stood out to me was the young lady who sang Angel while playing the harp. She, at least, was breathing new life into this show. I am still waiting for that breakout performance such as when David Cook sang “Hello’. Or David Archuleta sang “Imagine”


  8. Totally agree, Rocker Chick. If next week’s batch isn’t any better, I doubt I’ll continue watching.


  9. Mackenzie is a very good arranger (which is going to go a long way with Harry, with his jazz background), and he knows how to make the best of the voice he has, it was a very smart performance. I love Sonika’s voice–so pure!–but I think she needs some years and experience on her to learn what to do with it. I liked Avalon’s performance–that song mostly rubs me the wrong way (gracious, NOT), but she took enough of the ‘tude off it to make me actually like it, so good on her. LaPortia (or however she spells it), she’s not my cup of tea, but she totally knows what to do with her voice and her performance and she sure did that! Jeneve has a better voice than I realized, so good on her for stripping off some layers of costume so I could hear it. But I REALLY wanted her to step away from the harp when the band came in–talk about being trapped behind an instrument! Thomas got so much praise from the judges, but I couldn’t hear the beginning of his song (that might have been a technical issue?) and he’s doing himself no favors playing the guitar, not when there are a bunch of guys in the competition who play so much better than he does. (Mackenzie, James VIII, and Dalton leap to mind there.) Emily was very off key, and she started way too low. (And it’s not a very good song for showing off a voice anyway.) She probably did the worst of the night. Who am I forgetting? Oh, yes, James–he sang well but it wasn’t a memorable song for me, not a great choice. And Stephany…she has a lovely rich voice but to me that sounded like a beauty pageant performance.

    And that only makes nine, so who am I still forgetting?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ReReader – you forgot Jordan Sasser. Haha. I love him – just not last night. Wrong song for his voice. So! Wrong!

    That being said, your feelings echo mine. Spot on. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes I agree. David Archuleta was an exception to the rule but how many times are we going to come across someone like David? He is a vocal prodigy.

    Overall though, older singers have developed a sense of their personal style and delivery.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Right! Jordan! Yeah, I totally agree. Celine Dion he is not. Although that is really an Eric Carmen song–but still! But I was so happy to see that his wife had earphones on that baby. (La’Porsha’s baby, too. So necessary!)

    And thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. For Real…


  14. I’m thinking that duets was not a good idea, because really the best we got were pairs of singers singing on stage at the same time instead of real duets.

    The least painful to watch was Mackenzie and Lauren, because they were funny and cute–but boy, that was a real mismatch in voices! The best pairing of voices for my money was Caleb and Sonika–Caleb and James VIII sounded good too. (I’d never have picked Caleb as the former Idol to do best sharing a stage, but there you go. Although he’s a band singer, essentially, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised!)

    Final thought: If I were Fantasia, I’d be having a word with my agent right about now, because La’Porsha made Fantasia’s voice sound a little thin.


  15. You can tell that the producers obviously want a girl winner this year.

    Duets – Many of the pairings were mismatched. Often times the alumni outshined the contestants.


  16. The duets were the most enjoyable thing they have done all season, despite the fair criticisms above.It’s not unusual to see duets of this type in the entertainment business where two mismatched lead or solo singers sing a song that isn’t really written as a duet, and it gave Idol a chance to do something that it should have been doing a lot more of all along, and that is to utilize the vast wealth of talent and experience of their past winners to their benefit and for our enjoyment.

    I thought Stephanie and Ruben were outstanding. I’m a little biased because Ruben is a home boy and I got to see Leon Russell perform his classic “Superstar” just a few months ago in a small venue locally. Still, that was one of my favorites of the night. I think Stephanie got the Pia treatment.

    I like Mackenzie, he is my favorite of the males, but he and Lauren were a gross mismatch. I hope he got her number.

    The girl in the cowboy hat conveyed the feeling of her song and delivered a very enjoyable performance… last night. Tonight was awful. I would have let her go back home.

    I enjoined La Porsha’s duet with Fantasha, but it was the first thing she has done all season that I liked.

    K Star’s daughter is cute, I love her impish smile, but I’m not sure she would have made the cut either.

    I also got to see a few glimpses of one of my favorite idols of all, Allison Iraheta singing backing vocals with the band. Next week another favorite contestant who is pretty adept at singing duets, Haley Reinhardt will be coming back along with one of the most fun, and remarkably successful former Idols, Kellie Pickler. So I’m looking forward to next week as well.


  17. Oh yeah, I forgot Sonica was very good tonight with a most unlikely partner. I was surprised to hear her say how little experience singing she has.


  18. I was fairly satisfied with the 7 people they selected to advance tonight. And I’m very happy to see that Haley Reinhardt will be back next week. One of my favorites, but I’ve heard nothing from her since her run on Idol ended.


  19. Haley was signed after Idol and released a decent album. She did the usual promotional appearances in support of the album, did a Christmas single with Casey Abrams of “Baby it’s Cold outside,” did some fairly prestigious guest appearances one of which was with the New Orleans Heritage Jazz Band. Since then about all I have seen from her are some night club gigs, many were with Casey. During the last few years she has been performing as part of “Post Modern Jukebox” which is a pretty cool band. They have several different singers that front the group and do modern songs in a retro style. Her version of “Creep” went viral on You Tube and was probably the inspiration for La Porsha’s audition. PMJ featuring Haley’s version is much better. She also did a version of “All About Dat Bass” with them that also features Casey. The video is very good as well. Post Modern Juke Box has an extremely busy touring schedule with shows nearly every day that went through the US, Europe and not sure where else last year but I haven’t looked to see what they are doing now.

    Unfortunately she hasn’t become a superstar but she does stay busy practicing her craft. Look her up on You Tube sometime. She has some interesting videos.

    Incidentally since I mentioned Kellie Pickler, she just finished the first season of her own TV show on CMT titled “I Love Kellie PicKler” produced by none other than Ryan Seacrest! She has four pretty successful albums and half a dozen singles.


  20. Gene,

    Spot on! I would have traded Cowboy hat and one hit wonders daughter for Stephany and James! The only reason I can figure that Stephany went home, was she would be too much competition for whomever is the chosen one, and right now that would be Tristan and LaPorsha! Sonika is going to get the Pia treatment this go around!

    I really liked the duets…Lauren has grown so much vocally; Reuben sounded wonderful, Scotty sounded great, but noticed as he walked of the stage, he has lost that boyish charm!

    Haley is outstanding with Postmodern Jukebox!

    Louise, they have a Facebook page too and post videos quite often!


  21. @Rocker Chick – I second what you said.


  22. MCL,

    I just want to thank you for all of the years you have given us here at Masterclass Lady! You have given us a platform to cheer for our favorites, vent, and chat endlessly about this crazy show! You’re the best and this is the place to be for anything American Idol…Thank you! ❤


  23. “Cowboy hat and one hit wonders daughter”
    I seldom actually “LOL” but I’m LOLing after reading that!

    “The only reason I can figure that Stephany went home, was she would be too much competition for whomever is the chosen one”
    Exactly what I was thinking. Even though her solo performance wasn’t my style, it was was the most polished of the night. You can see that there has been a greater than normal emphasis on performance value this season, nothing wrong with that but you shouldn’t punish someone for being too good or polished. I thought she was great with the Teddy Bear. One of the few who held her own with the pro.

    “I really liked the duets…Lauren has grown so much vocally; Reuben sounded wonderful, Scotty sounded great, but noticed as he walked of the stage, he has lost that boyish charm!”

    Yeah, Scotty no longer looks like Howdy Doody. I was also impressed with Fantasha’s professionalism and the the way Nick sang “Man in the Mirror” as “Nick” and the less experienced Thomas went into Michael Jackson impersonator mode. These duets were not unlike the old group performances in that the majority of the kids score came from their solo the night before but it gave the audience a deeper look into the kid’s ability and versatility. While none of these returning Idols were favorites of mine, the winner usually aren’t, it was good to see them come back as professionals and mentor these up and coming young performers.

    “Sonika is going to get the Pia treatment this go around!”

    Yep, I think she’s next, at least after the rest of the group finishes this current drill next week.


  24. I hope Brenda Starr’s daughter isn’t t he chosen one. She is good, but some how it seems like favoritism.


  25. Louise,

    I think the “chosen one” title goes to Tristan and LaPorsha!


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