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"AI Season 9 Critiques from Masterclass Lady"
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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Jerry Springer Show Guest"

03-18-10, 05:35 PM (EST)
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"AI Season 9 Critiques from Masterclass Lady"
Each week a pro provides vocal masterclass evaluations of the AI contestants' performances. I like the dimension it adds to the AI viewing experience.

For the top 12:

American Idol Season 9 Top 12 Vocal Masterclass Article: The Music Of The Rolling Stones

MCL (Masterclass Lady) had a lot of comments on proper breathing technique, mouth postitions, and stage presence. Her critiques show that many of the contestants don't have proper technique, including Casey and Crystal. If they can master it, there are even better performances ahead.

Here's what she had to say about Lee:

"LEE DEWYZE: 23-years old “Beast Of Burden”

Strengths: Lee - you impressively strummed your guitar for this performance and it complimented your vocal delivery so very much. Oh how I love the grit in your vocal essence and when you mixed it up with your pure vocals, it added variety and dimension to your performance.

I love your voice – it is inherently beautiful and you instinctively understand how to use it. For instance, your song selection this week was a perfect fit and this goes a long way in securing successful performances from week to week. When a performer understands and realizes his or her strengths and limitations, then song selections are based in a realistic approach.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t take risks; however, it is important to do so wisely, not reaching too far beyond what you are technically capable to handle. Therefore, I felt that this showcase was the perfect fit for you this week, Lee.

Yet, I can envision that, at some point down the Idol road, your musical persona will gain even more dimension and range. You may be slow at the gate but you will succeed to gain momentum as the weeks go by.

Great work, Lee. You sang this song was expressive energy and passion and came across as an extremely genuine and gracious performer. Bravo!

Critique: Lee- you need to make sure that your vocal energy is consistently supplemented through strong diaphragmatic support. Once you do this, the energy level will increase and, more important, you will feel more confident to take more vocal risks.

Also, at some point in this competition, you are going to have to relinquish the guitar and establish further connection with your audience. I understand your nervous energy and it is difficult to abandon old habits and, most important, your best friend forever, your guitar.

However, abandon you must or, at the very least, you should move around with the guitar in hand. You would be surprised how relaxed you will feel by moving away from the microphone and commanding that stage. By freeing your body from one position, you will most definitely liberate your voice.

One last word of caution ( and I feel like a broken record here with the majority of the singers): remember to maintain a circular mouth position on all the vowels. As you move toward your upper range, extend your very relaxed jaw in order to make room for the upper range to resonate freely in your vocal masque.

However this was a very strong performance this week and I congratulate you on your fine Top 12 achievement!"

She has compliments and critiques for all of the contestants. Enjoy!

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: AI Season 9 Critiques from Mast... zazzy 03-29-10 1
 RE: AI Season 9 Critiques from Mast... zazzy 04-05-10 2
 RE: AI Season 9 Critiques from Mast... zazzy 04-13-10 3
 MCL gives Siobhan a special shoutou... zazzy 04-16-10 4
 MCL reviews top 9, part 2/Elvis the... zazzy 04-16-10 5

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Jerry Springer Show Guest"

03-29-10, 05:55 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: AI Season 9 Critiques from Masterclass Lady"
Top 11 article:

Here's Casey's from the top 11 reviews:

CASEY JAMES 27 -years old: “Power Of Love”

Strengths: Casey- this was a great, great song choice - one of the best of the night in my opinion. I loved the brass band “ hanging loose above you“. Great visual touch!

You sang this song with great personality and, even though you didn’t move away from the mike stand until the final chord, it was still a dynamic and communicative performance. Your voice had presence and personality and your guitar skills were excellent.

Your charismatic level on that American Idol stage is increasing monumentally each and every week. I am truly enjoying the “Casey evolutionary process” from shy Top 24 Semi-Finalist to a now very confident, very musical Top 11 Finalist. This is what I have always loved about this show – watching stars emerge before our very eyes.

This was a memorable and exciting Top 11 performance – one of the best of the night and certainly the best we have seen from you thus far.

Congratulations on your fine work, Casey! Bravo and standing “O” from MCL!

Critique: Casey- I have to slightly agree with Simon in the sense that you could have been more inventive when approaching the melodic line. It really did sound like a carbon copy of the original – a great carbon copy nonetheless – but still a carbon!

All that was necessary was an effort to become more creative with the phrase line, adding a few notes here or there, moving up when the melodic line moved down, carrying some phrases through in one breath - little things that would have made an artistic difference.

Also, at some point I would love to hear you sing an acoustic ballad, as a slower song choice would urge you to apply all the fundamental essentials of the”bel canto” singing technique. As much as I loved the expansive array of background musicians, we need to see you perform without all the bells and whistles – if, for no other reason than to add diversity and dimension to your performances.

It would also encourage you to focus on the fundamentals of solid vocal production, particular your ability to sustain and phrase your melodic line in a seamless and fluid manner.

However, at this stage of the competition, you were very astute in selecting this song – it was a crowd-pleaser, it was highly entertaining and, most important, it punctuated the inherent effectiveness of your musicality and performance ability.

Amazing work this week, Casey! Bravo once again!

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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04-05-10, 03:48 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: AI Season 9 Critiques from Masterclass Lady"
For the top 10:

Siobhan needs to stop the facial cringing, Lee needs to enunciate, Casey and Crystal need to develop more stage presence...Masterclass Lady had lots to say this week! Here's her comments on Michael--she wonders if fatigue was a factor:

"MICHAEL LYNCHE 26-years-old : ” Ready For Love”

By relaxing the energy that you have so powerfully been exerting over the past few weeks, we were able to see another side to your performance skills. And, as always, the calm, slow tempo gave me ample opportunity to appreciate the cohesive manner in which you sustain your pure vowels.

This was a sensitive and beautiful performance and, although your overall dynamic range was not as obvious as in previous weeks, the intensity was still there in a very real way.

Good work, Michael.

Critique: Michael – you must be very careful to consistently relax your jaw. A couple of times during this number, I did notice it quivering, signaling to me that you were pushing the sound from your throat and jaw muscles. Trust your diaphragmatic breathing skills , Michael, and know that they will not disappoint you. The energy for your vocal delivery has to come from your lower body, especially from the rib cage and back muscles.

Also, as I mentioned last week, remember not to raise your head. This serves no purpose other than creating havoc in your vocal delivery while cutting off your connection with your audience.

Additionally, I found that your voice lacked the clarity that I have enjoyed over the past few weeks. You almost sounded tired and this is very understandable. However, this also makes me want to caution you to be absolutely certain that you impart diaphragmatic energy and focus to your vocal sound when singing a slow, quiet ballad.

As a general rule, singers tend to forget this – the slower speed actually creates more difficulty in terms of consistent support from the singer’s diaphragm. When one is singing quickly or with more vocal power, it is naturally easier to pump those diaphragmatic muscles with energy and momentum.

However, this energy must remain a constant when faced with a song that must appear relaxed in demeanor and yet still maintain the intensity in the delivery method. I felt that you gave an intense performance, Michael, but, unfortunately did not technically deliver the same amount of diaphragmatic authority to match your demeanor. This is why your voice lacked direction and focus.

Hope this helps, Michael. You have a beautiful instrument and generally use it wisely, so perhaps, fatigue played a part in this week’s Top 10 performance. Best of luck and stay rested!"

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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04-13-10, 07:47 AM (EST)
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3. "RE: AI Season 9 Critiques from Masterclass Lady"

I usually try to vary the contestant for the sample critique from Masterclass Lady but I just loved what she said about Casey that I chose this one instead of the ones where she had a lot of critique--like for Lee, Crystal, etc.:

"CASEY JAMES 27 -years old: “Jealous Guy”

Strengths: Casey- this was the week you exposed your sensitive side with an acoustic ballad. And, I would like to say that the wait was worth it! More than worth it! It was like winning a lottery. When you buy the ticket, you never expect to win or maybe you expect to win a few bucks. But when you win the grand prize, then one is totally surprised and drowning in a sea of exhilaration and disbelief.

This is what I was feeling during your brilliant performance of “Jealous Guy“. Somehow I knew you would perform well while singing a slower ballad, but this well? Totally unexpected! However, everyone loves a surprise and this was the masterclass of all surprises! Incredible!

The heartrending, poignant lyrics were delivered with expressive conviction and blatant honesty. Your voice was so nuanced throughout this performance – this is how one adds dimension to a performance – singing from the heart and laying all the cards on the table. No card unturned and no regrets!

This week, you established that you are more than a pretty face on that stage. You showed that you are not afraid to wear your emotions on your sleeve and not terrified of taking a vulnerable risk in front of millions of viewers.

In addition to your acoustic guitar skills – and a nice change from the electric guitar, I might add – I loved the sensitive accompaniment by the cellist. It suited the mood of the song so well. It has been said that the mellow sound of the cello is the closest instrument to the human voice, so it was a fitting addition to this stellar performance.

I also loved the step back from the mike stand at the end of the song - I don’t know why - I just loved it! It seemed to gel with the mood you established throughout this number – the Jealous Guy and all his deepest, darkest thoughts moving from emotional darkness to physical darkness, perhaps?

And, you really were determined to grab those vowels while sustaining your voice throughout the melodic line. Great improvement in this area, Casey, and like the lottery win, totally unexpected!

Emotionally, you fully exposed the heart and soul of this song – it was so meaningful and so soulful. The contrast between your pure vocals and your rustic vocals added inflection and nuance to this song .

One final note: the key selection for this song was well-established. I felt that the song fell in the most natural part of your singing range, thus allowing you to sing with emotional ease and passion.

I really could go on and on, but I have other evaluations to write. (smile) This was arguably the best performance of the night - on a night when there were many stellar performances. It doesn’t get better than this!

Bravo, Casey and Standing “O” from Masterclass Lady (MCL)

Critique: Casey- although some of the vocals were not technically sound throughout, the artistry was impeccable. I understood and felt every word and your performance was a perfect example when artistry, authenticity and believability trumped perfect vocals. Substance over style - one of those times when it actually worked!

I also sensed that you are working on expanding the efficiency of your diaphragmatic breath support, as some of those pure vowels were wonderfully sustained. When you did experience some pitch problems, that indicated to me that your throat muscles were experiencing too much tension. Therefore, the vocal sound was less centered.

So, I would like to remind you to continue working on the relaxation levels in your face and upper body. This will enhance the effective resonation of your voice in your vocal masque. Make absolutely certain that your vowels are not too wide – try to aim for that perfectly round mouth on all the vowels. Also, remember to relax your jaw – keep it, along with your throat muscles, free from constriction.

However, what a night for you Casey! Congratulations! All the accolades are very well-deserved! Bravo once again!"

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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04-16-10, 05:42 PM (EST)
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4. "MCL gives Siobhan a special shoutout"

"A Special Shout-Out To Siobhan Magnus
April 15, 2010

Here at MasterclassLady.Com, we are not confused by brilliance. We applaud it and cherish it, feeling privileged to discover a rare and exciting talent such as Siobhan Magnus.

Therefore, I thought I would add her Top 9 performance here, so that we can celebrate the birth of a new and exciting star.

She may not presently enjoy the love and appreciation of those associated with American Idol, but she has developed a strong legion of fans who are determined to propel her to the top of the pack this season.

Keep doing exactly what you are doing each week, Siobhan. Never change because, in terms of American Idol, no matter what you do – it will never be quite enough.

I believe (although I have no proof) that the contracts have already been “inked” and the agenda is crystal-clear. The producers and some of the judges have determined the winner of this competition from Day One.

So now, you must use this performing platform as a marketing tool for what lies ahead of you once this show is over. You are an extraordinary artist and extraordinary people will come knocking at your door post-American Idol.

But, for now, perform your little heart out on National TV, knowing that thousands upon thousands of fans love and treasure your extraordinary artistry."

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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04-16-10, 05:46 PM (EST)
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5. "MCL reviews top 9, part 2/Elvis theme night"

MCL's unhappy with the judges' treatment of Siobhan. She had no critique for Siobhan, Michael or Katie this week--only kudos. I'm wondering if MCL is getting a bit jaded about AI after all these seasons. Nothing new to RTVW board readers, though!

Here's what she had to say about Tim:

"TIM URBAN 20-years-old: “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You ”

Strengths: Tim – this was great song choice for you, if for no other reason than you will have everyone voting for you like mad. However, the timbre of your voice wrapped beautifully around the melodic line and, given your natural vocal presence and your ability to sustain so well, I felt the song was a perfect fit for you.

I loved that Adam did try to encourage you to sing in your head voice at the end of this song. You rock, Adam and, were so correct when you told Tim that it was a great way to end the song with vulnerability and tenderness.

I thought that this was a beautiful acoustic performance and, with your guitar in hand, you exuded a sensitive and gentle demeanor as you serenaded your way into the ladies’ hearts. I really enjoyed and appreciated the lovely broken chords you strummed on the guitar – they were well- done, clean and precise.

I also appreciated the lovely modification in the melodic line during the second verse. It was very well done and did not subtract from the original line of the song. Ditto for your vocal revision through the bridge of this song. This demonstrated that you prepared this song in a meticulous manner, making sure there was just enough alteration in the melody to personalize it - or urbanize it, for that matter.

And, your vocal timbre, as always, was radiant and secure. I particularly loved the hushed intensity you incorporated with you more resonant vocals. This added inflection throughout your performance and, naturally, increased the communicative aspects of this song.

Additionally, you certainly looked less restrained and more liberated this week, than last week. Sometimes, it all comes down to the perfect song choice and, for whatever reason, this song landed smack in the heart of your comfort zone. But then, it is a classic love song, so what is there not to love?

Generally, you phrased this song very well and, although the breathing became a little compromised at times, you still maintained a certain level of diaphragmatic composure throughout!

Extremely good work, Tim!

Critique: Tim - because you didn’t heed Adam’s advice and add the head voice at the end, the last phrase of the song fell a little flat to me. Also, the final word – “you” – should have, at the very least, been sustained for a longer time period. You could have, perhaps, added a little riff on that last note- something to make it interesting.

And, the fragmented breathing, although intermittent throughout the song, became really problematic for me. I was aching for you to carry your phrases through in one breath. So often, because you were breathing after every word, the song lacked momentum and flow.

The intricate guitar work did keep you busy and I think somewhat distracted you from your technical support. Did you practice the song without the guitar? If not, you should have done so as to solidify the vocal delivery of this song. Then, when you were satisfied and confident in your vocal delivery, the guitar could be confidently added with the reassuring knowledge that the vocals were in place.

Good luck Tim! You have a beautiful voice – now remember to balance the vocals and instrumental so that they compliment – not hinder each other."

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