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Vocal MasterClass Discussion For American Idol Season 15 Top 4 Performance Show. 


American Idol Season 15 Top 6 Perfromance Show 
Picture Credit: American Idol/Fox

As you may know, I am on vacation until April 5th so I have not been able to submit Vocal Masterclass articles.  I am very sad about this, considering this is the last season of Idol. 

 However, here is the blog topic for this week’s show which airs at 8:00 PM on Thursday, March 24th on Fox.  I value your commentary more than ever this season. In addition to being informative,  it also keeps me abreast of the numerous changes going on this season. 

Oh – and Katharine McPhee  is scheduled to perform this week. How I love this super talented vocalist. 

Enjoy the show everyone.  And I will be back in full swing for the Grand Finale week. Better late than never, huh?  

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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

49 Responses to “Vocal MasterClass Discussion For American Idol Season 15 Top 4 Performance Show. ”

  1. I hope you’re thoroughly enjoying your holiday, MCL!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you RR. Very much so. But will be happy to get back to normal. I am so out of the loop here. Thanks for your wonderful evaluations. So appreciated!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MCL, just FYI, David Cook will be appearing as the Mystery Guest on tonight’s episode. They had been hyping this all week, and the news just broke on David’s Twitter feed last night. He’ll be debuting a third single from Digital Vein, Heartbeat, that opens the record. It’s a great song.

    As I tweeted David last night, he deserves at least this from Idol and probably more, since he’s been totally supportive of Idol for the last 8 years.

    It will be great to see him on that stage one last time before the show wraps for good.
    He was my favorite male winner, and one of the top male vocalists on all seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Praying Dalton is safe. He is outselling everyone on Itunes.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Darn. I am sorry to be missing him. Stuck in a car right now!

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  6. I thought the first half was so-so because it wasn’t classic rock in a convincing, evoking way. It was the generation of Steve Van Zandt’s sound. The second half was very good I thought mostly because they were singing their generation’s sound. I thought Sia was terrific as a mentor (and performer). I wound up listening to Christina Aguilera’s version of Sia’s “You Lost Me” and wished La’Porsha had chosen that song. (I also thought about Angie Miller’s duet with Adam Lambert of Titanium when MacKenzie was singing.) Mackenzie seems low man on the totem pole. Wish they did it the old way and eliminated Sonika at the end of the night and after she had sung.

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  7. As last week, I’m going to try to jot down my thoughts before the judges get in their licks…

    Song 1:

    La’Porsha–Wanted Dead or Alive: I’ve loved this song for, like, forever, but don’t think this worked so well for her–she’s marching around but it isn’t coming alive (see what I did there?) for me…a little too slow maybe? But her styling is a major improvement!

    Mackenzie–I Want You To Want Me: Well, it’s not a very good song to start with, is it? I wonder if he had it foisted on him or if he chose it. Mac did do a good job of turning it into something he can sing really well, and it’s better than I would have thought it would be, but I don’t think this song benefits by being slowed down–what energy it has comes from its straight-ahead drive and he slowed that right out of it.

    Trent–Sharp Dressed Man: Well, that’s a weird song choice, but it was a very fun performance, and not what we expect from him–a good thing!–and done beautifully, I enjoyed it thoroughly! (I’m a little bit worried that it’s a very fluffy song for so late in the competition is all, but that’s a strategic question.)

    Dalton–God Only Knows :
    (Oh, that was just brutal. You could see on his face that he totally thought he was going home. And THEN they want him to hop up and sing? Anyway.)
    Now THAT is how you slow down a song. The intensity and vulnerability he put into it… very brave, that, and if you listen to the lyrics, which he obviously does, slowing it down makes sense. I also think the vocals were strong, his voice is definitely recovering from that infection–I don’t know what Harry was on about, I really don’t.

    Song 2:

    La’Porsha–Elastic Heart: I think this is better than the first one in terms of coming alive, more movement behind the song (and I don’t mean physically!). Did I hear some off notes in there? Still, I liked it better. (But her hair looked better in the first half. 🙂 )

    Mackenzie–Titanium: This is a song I really like–it’s a little repetitive melodically but it has a lot of build. I loved the arrangement, the song works very well stripped down. (About that high note, meh, if he hadn’t gone for it maybe he wouldn’t have had to make “ium” into a word, but whatever. I don’t think it made or ruined the song.)

    Trent–Chandelier: He can sing falsetto without a single misstep, no question. It’s good. But is it terrible that I think it sounds better when he uses the falsetto more sparingly? I think this is the only singer whose first song I liked better.

    Dalton–Bird Set Free: …*speechless* Wow. Wow. His best vocal in weeks, but more importantly the most emotionally connected of the night bar none.

    Side note: Boy, they sing better in the second half when they don’t have to wonder if they are safe or not.
    DUH.
    *bangs head against wall*

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  8. I liked Trent tonight. The strength of the first song was his performance as well as the arrangement. It respected the original without the heavy reliance on the guitar and bass to carry the song.

    I agree that less falsetto would have been more to my taste but his willingness to take on a difficult song that was a bit out of his comfort zone was more impressive to me than some of the others who simply ginned out another copy of the same old same old. His two performances tonight could easily be part of a future concert.

    Dalton’s long suit is acting, I thing he would do well on the stage.

    Mackenzie is out of his depth at this point. While he is enjoyable performing the right song, his niche is very narrow

    Is La’P being styled by Cee Lo Green?

    I was sorry to see Sonica go but it was inevitable. Maybe she will be more settled in returning to med school.

    Katherine McPhee was best of the night for me. I’m voting for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good reads guys! I loved everyone’s critiques of the night!

    I’m still giving the confetti bath to Trent.

    Lol…the hubby asked last night who was dressing La’ P, I’ll tell him it’s CeLo! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I thought Trent stole the show last night, but LaPorsha was close behind. Loved both of Trent’s songs so much… his best night ever on Idol. And I loved LaPorsha singing Bon Jovi. It was nice to hear something different from her, and she nailed it. Dalton and Mackenzie are simply out of their league.

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  11. I wish I had known David was going to be a guest performer on there last night. I got busy watching a movie instead and missed his appearance.

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  12. I totally disagree that Dalton is,out of his league or just an actor. No like Keith said heart and inspiration are more important than technical singing. Bird Set Free was so compelling and heat felt. Moved me to tears,with its raw sincerity. I thought Dalton knocked that one out the park.

    I hope if Dalton doesn’t win, Trent does.

    He isn’t my cuppa but he has grown the most and he has an incredible voice.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Actually, I think I said that Mac is out of his league and that Dalton’s “long suit” is acting, and referred to stage acting which also includes singing, in my mind anyway. The reason he is so compelling is his acting. That’s where he delivers the emotion in his performances.His singing is pleasant enough but just ok to my ear. He stays on pitch pretty well but I wonder how well he would sell as a recording artist in the real world, not in the iTunes / American Idol cloister. I would also note the side eye exchange between Mac and Trent at the end of Dalton’s performance. Anyway, he’s a fine performer and I like Dalton, but I can’t imagine buying a recording of his.

    If technical singing were all I was judging on I suspect Sonica would likely win with LaP coming second. I likely wouldn’t buy their records either. Trent may sell me a record and maybe a track or two from Mac might make it into my collection, maybe.

    Just my opinion and taste vary widely. For my money Trent and LaP would follow their Mississippi roots and become Delta Blues singers. They would both need a styling tune up for that.

    I believe, as others do, that Trent and LaP are the finalist but three popular guys against one woman could have unexpected results. The guys could cancel each other out bringing LaP to the top of the heap or the popularity of the three guys could leave LaP out in the cold in a “major Idol upset.”

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  14. Gene,

    I actually think La’ P could get the boot; she is in a tough place. Dalton has a huge Twitter following, Trent and Mac have their own gushy girl followers, that will vote. I could see it happening!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The producers set this up so that by the time our votes mattered it became almost a matter of voting for genres instead of singers, since there isn’t really much overlap in their wheelhouse styles. That pretty much means that the singers themselves are secondary to the music genre preferences of TV viewers, which is just weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The “cute guy” dynamic has always been strong on AI. Vonnie, I agree that La P could get the boot. The only outcome that I see as extremely unlikely is Mac winning. All of the others have a path.

    Trent is my favorite. I liked his audition and then felt like they were pimping him and giving too much deference to him when his attack of mono began. The Idol duets was when he moved up my list. The others would have to change a pretty good bit in their professional careers to get me to spend a few bucks to see them. That’s sort of the nature of this show though.

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  17. Gene,

    I agree, I thought they should have sent Trent home when he had his Hollywood mono outbreak…I’m glad they didn’t! He has been a favorite of mine too since his audition…I still call him getting the bath, however, I will not under estimate Dalton’s looks and his coming out about being bi-polar. The sympathetic swooner’s, combined with him being bottom two, will create a panic induced voting frenzy!

    I liked Sonika too, she was my favorite girl, I think the buses gassed up early on her. I was shocked when she was picked over Tristan; I guess they figured it was inevitable that she would be the next to go, giving La’ P a clear field.

    I’m disappointed in this season of idol, with it being the final season I would think they would have pulled out all of the stops, giving us 14 weeks of, idol memories, past idol contestants, cheesy group songs, even more cheesy commercials, theme weeks, yada-yada!

    So, are you watching The Voice…I’m liking Adam on Blakes team so far, there’s a couple more that have drawn my attention…names, they escape me!

    Are you watching Dancing? I am taping it this year and watching on the weekend…the hubby isn’t much of a dancing machine!

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  18. Trent is my favorite, although I also like La’Porsha. I have liked almost everything they have sung. It seems to me that MacKenzie is the weakest of the four and I am surprised that he is still here instead of Sonika or Tristan. Dalton is quite a talented performer too but I read that he was in a boy band put together by none other than Simon Cowell. I do think his intensity is appealing.

    We all know that the best person does not always win because of the young girl vote. For that reason, I doubt if La’Porsha will win. I think the winner will either be Dalton or Trent. I’m hoping for Trent, but I rarely have my favorite win. Last year, I loved Clark Beckham and really miss him.

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  19. Hi Louise,

    That’s very interesting! I googled Dalton, and he was in a boy band put together by Perez Hilton and Simon Fuller (idol producer). Isn’t that like a conflict of interest?

    I’m really hoping for a Trent win too!

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  20. Vonnie and Louise,
    I also thought Trent should have gone home when he was unable to complete the assignments of Hollywood week. It’s pretty easy to get along with a “group” when you are the only member. I can’t blame the others for not wanting to risk their shot or their health.

    Dalton performs like a boy band performer so I’m not surprised that he was in one. As for the conflict of interest, I’ve always entertained the notion that Idol uses “ringers” to pump up their field. I’m not sure the ringers themselves always know they are filling that roll. They are the young professionals who are a cut (or two or three) above the field and never win. They won’t let them win. They may or may not be the best singer but their experience as a professional entertainer helps them to deliver the goods when it matters. You can guess the names, I won’t list them. Dalton could be one of them.

    I expected Sonica to get the Pia treatment but she went deeper into the competition than Pia. Given the abbreviated schedule, their runs may be more alike than is obvious at first glance. So is La P the Melinda Doolittle of this season? Melinda was praised and encouraged, and rightfully so IMHO, every week up until the point that she threatened Jordan and suddenly she wasn’t “all that” anymore. These two Idol veterans could make my list, BTW.

    Yeah, Vonnie, I’m watching DWTS and The Voice. I’m surprised that their is no young ingenue or veteran to steal our hearts this year. I was also surprised to see them return to the old style where the lovely female pro dances circles around a stationary older male celebrate. Geraldo and Edita looked like a flash out of the first few seasons. There are a few early favorites but I can barely remember who they are at this point. The boxer chic has potential and whoever Sharna is dancing with does as well 🙂 I wasn’t happy to see the Blues cat and the Southern Rocker on Adam’s teamed paired, but I knew they would be and given none of these judges have a clue when it comes to Blues, the result was predictable. At this point all of the teams have people I like and it’s pretty hard to look at this show as a competition. I just view it as entertainment for the most part.

    Side note:While every five year old girl in America is singing “Let it Go” none stop, my little five year old granddaughter likes Mia Z, Haley Reinhart and the Animals! She will sit in my lap and watch these three on You tube and be perfectly still. The only other time she is still like that is when she is reading. I’m working on Muddy Waters and BB King!

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  21. Gene,

    Sometimes it boggles my brain when the judges put two really good singers together in the battle rounds. I guess they are hoping for a steal, but most times that doesn’t happen and a good singer goes home! But, yeah, I can see it being completely entertainment over a competition.

    I didn’t get to watch the first Dancing, I will tape it Monday!

    Aw! Lol, wait til the grand baby goes to school and sets her classmates straight on what good music is! She’ll be like, let it go? Phh! That’s so kindergarten! 😃

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  22. Hi, Vonnie,
    The article I read about Dalton being in a boy band specifically said it was formed by Simon Cowell (not Fuller) and Perez Hilton. But nevertheless, it seems like a conflict of interest to me.
    I am watching The Voice and DWTS. Too soon to have a favorite on that show, but there are some very talented singers this season. I was blown away with the dance by the deaf male model on DWTS. Incredible.

    I think Gene made a good call about La’Porsha possibly being another Melinda Doolittle. I love her, but will be completely shocked if she pulls off the win.

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  23. Louise, I’ve also seen several articles that said Simon Cowell, but that’s sloppy reporting by people who seem to think that any Simon to do with AI is Simon Cowell–if you check IM5’s YouTube channel, the “about” section specifically names “Simon Fuller, Jamie King and Perez Hilton.” It wasn’t all that successful as a boy band; as Perez Hilton told Billboard last week they never managed to sign to a major label, possibly because all the members were underage which made doing anything with them extra expensive.

    I don’t think it’s much of a conflict of interest, seeing as Dalton quit IM5 midstream; he left after being hospitalized for problems dealing with his bi-polar disorder, and then chose not to return to the group later. (http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s18qnm) Under those circumstances, I’d think Fuller is as likely to be biased against him as for him.

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  24. Soooo kindergarten indeed! Ha ha

    Louise, I had forgotten about the deaf fellow. Yes he was remarkable!

    Have you noticed that La P sometimes sounds like Melinda?

    It’s ridiculous how many good singers they have on the Voice, They throw people away left and right on that show. Every season I wish, and every season I say that they should come up with a formula for creating duos out of some of the battle round contestants. Some of them handle that assignment extremely well. Maybe each coach could have the option to create one duo if the contestants agreed to it. They should also do away with the mass eliminations.

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  25. Gene,

    That is brilliant…Yes! What if, the “loser” of each battle round, battles each other for steals?!? That would give some of the better singers a second chance to stay on the show! I don’t like the mass elimination either; that’s probably where idol got the idea this year!

    I think where The Voice has trumped Idol, is allowing older performers to take the stage; the only way to gain the experience those singers possess, is to live it. While the younger ones may have great voices, they lack the seasoning that makes it delicious! Even Sawyer with his voice, unique and raw, but to watch him perform, felt lacking and left me wanting more!

    ReReader,

    Thank you and Louise for the info on Dalton! I had no idea that he was in a boyband…the conflict of interest could come from if Fuller and Hilton were to want a re-union now that the boys are older; maybe this is a “let’s put his name and face out there and see what happens” kindof thing!

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  26. Gene…I think La’ P sounds like Fantasia! May be why she doesn’t appeal to me!

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  27. Vonnie, the thing is that Dalton declined to return to the group because he wanted to go in a “different direction”, so it’s pretty clear he wouldn’t return to a band reboot.

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  28. Those are good ideas you have as well Vonnie. I like the older singers for the reasons that you state as well as there aren’t many young practitioners of the music I like best, but that is changing. Also the younger singers are getting better every year and i always get a kick out of the “old soul” kids who seem like they were born and lived many years before their time and appreciate the music of times past.

    Regarding La P, it’ only on occasion that I hear Melinda in here sound. The odd line our phrase has that guttural thing that Melinda incorporates in her style.

    Happy Easter and Passover!

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  29. ReReader,

    Gotcha! 😃 I think he has the attention of the tween audience now that he could definitely support a solo career!

    Gene,

    Melinda wasn’t one of my favorites, I can’t remember what she sounded like! Lol

    Happy Easter! 😃

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  30. The Voice is going to have Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus as coaches in Season 11.

    My reaction to Miley being chosen is the same as this article: http://idolchatteryd.com/miley-cyrus-as-adviser-on-the-voice-say-it-aint-so/

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  31. Idol Girl…I don’t care for Miley! Out of all of the positive influences out there, they chose her? I like Alicia Keys!

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  32. I was rooting for Melinda Doolittle her year, she has a fab voice and is (still) a very humble person! But I don’t really hear anything of her in La’Porsha. Of course, it’s been quite a while, so who knows.

    Miley Cyrus? Really? Hmmmmmm.

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  33. I’m going to miss AI so very much! There are a few things however I won’ t miss. One thing is their constant snubbing of Mandisa. All of her singles hit number 1 on Christian radio, has a massive hit with song Overcomer, and has won at least one Grammy award. To top that off, the special edition of People put absolutely nothing about her post idol success! I find that disgusting!

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  34. I’m also not at all happy about Miley Cyrus being on The Voice. But I do like Alisha Keyes and am pleased that there will be two female judges. I wonder how many contestants will actually pick Miley as coach. I will miss Pharell.

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  35. Anita,

    I think that every time I hear Mandisa, Colton Dixon, Danny Goeky, Chris Sly, and Jason Castro. Idol never speaks of them! Colton Dixon has had so many chart toppers this year!

    Louise,

    Miley and Alicia will be on there as a one time mentor! I think they could have found someone way better than Miley…she may surprise me and do great, but her whole vibe is just off for me!!!

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  36. Oh, that reminds me! Jason Castro and his two sibs (Michael and Jackie) have just signed a record deal and are in the middle of recording a pop album as a group. It’s hard to beat sibling harmony, I’m very excited to hear what they come up with!

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  37. Vonnie,

    AI had Colton on as a guest during Season 13 or 14. They even put together a wonderful presentation about his post Idol success. There’s also a nice mention about him in the People special edition. What’s interesting is also in the book, there is a section about the Season Five alum, which includes Chris Daughtry, Kat McPhee, Taylor Hicks, and Kellie Pickler, and their success, but NO MANDISA!!! What a dam shame. Has AI held something against her or what the heck? She’s one of the very most popular Christian artists today, and the most successful from AI. It would have been awesome to see Jason and the others as well on Idol. God knows they had plenty of time over the years to invite them.

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  38. Anita,

    I didn’t watch Idol last year, so I didn’t get to see Colton on there, that is great that they had him back.

    The only radio station that I listen to is KLove, contemporary Christian music; ( I have a few pop artists that I like and I download their new music, but do not listen to pop stations anymore.) I do hear Mandisa on there and a lot of Colton. Jason had a song on there a while back, sorry to hear he is going the pop route! He was one of my favorites!

    Idol seems to diss a lot of their past contestants, which is very sad.

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  39. Vonnie, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jason goes back and forth between pop and Christian–he did an album of each so far (plus a couple of EPs). The label the Castros signed with is Word, so they might even do that as a group.

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  40. Well Miley impressed me last night, looking forward to her as a coach.

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  41. Rocker Chic..I must say I was surprised in a good way with Miley! I did not know she was going to be a coach!!!

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  42. She did do a good job as a mentor but I think having her as a coach may be wayyyy too much exposure. The mentoring sessions are highly edited and much of the coaches job is live.

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  43. AUDREY LEFKOWITZ March 30, 2016 at 9:38 am

    David Cook is sensational and my favourite Idol of all time. Love Digital Vein. Long may he continue to write and sing such brilliant songs.

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  44. Gene…I agree!!! Not one that I think should be mentoring 15 year olds! That may be the downhill slide of The Voice! We watched Idol roll down that same hill with Nikki and Mariah! 😦

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  45. Good point Vonnie.

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  46. Mikey surprised me by doing a good job as mentor, but Gene made an excellent point about things possibly being different when she is on live TV!!!

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  47. Scary thought, huh? She mentored on Idol and was there for a live performance (yikes)and brief interview, as I recall. Idol probably had a tighter rein on her than the Voice might.

    Miley did do a good job on The voice this week, and I enjoy listening to her speaking voice. Alicia Keys is the similar for me. I love to hear her talk but the singing is just o k.

    Some of you talked about Idol not supporting the past Idol participants,as they should. I suspect that when they have the junk groups on like the Black Eyed Peas, or worse, that the label for those artist actually pay Idol for the opportunity to put their artist on TV in front of a very large audience of music consumers. I further suspect the Ryan is the middle man for bringing these filler artist together with the Idol producers and getting them on the show. Of course if that is the case it seems like a bad choice over former Idol contestants that have new music to promote, but I haven’t seen the check 🙂

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