Apr 2nd - Top Nine

BROOK WHITE (Jolene) - I'm afraid I am still not a fan of Brook's singing. The song seemed set too low, meaning there was no life in the voice until the very end. Sitting down with the guitar (like sitting at the piano) put her in a physically awkward position. Her shoulders were up, head forward, and mic placed slightly too low so she was curving down into it. You can hear the lack of support in the way she breaths, and the breathiness of the tone. Because she doesn't connect to the core, her vocal tone lacks energy and yet at the same time loses energy. Either she is, week to week, too nervous, or too distracted by playing an instrument, but she always seems vocally uncomfortable to me. I'd like to see her stand, perferably with a hand held mike that allows some physical movement, as that might help her get into her body more.

DAVID COOK (Little Sparrow) - Note how David holds his guitar - standing up, shoulders straight, not curved over, neck well positioned. He definitely knows his voice, knows how to use it, with confidence.

REMIELLE (Do I ever Cross Your Mind) - I thought it was an odd song choice, or an odd arrangement, as there seemed to be no clear chorus. She was pitchy, and I didn't think she performed it very well. She is a sweet girl, and she has a big voice, but I don't think she has the knowledge to use it well - yet.

JASON CASTRO (Travel Thru) - I thought Jason picked a good song that worked for him, because of the lightness & folkiness of the piece. Vocally I think he's very tight and needs development. But I wonder, is an okay folk singer good enough to win AI? I hope not. More talented people have been voted off, or in the bottom 3. Seems strange he's made it thru this far.

CARLY (Here You Come Again) - She's definitely the strongest female voice, she's a very confident performer, has good tone. She still sings a little wide on the vowels but I felt she was more grounded when going up this week. Kinda a safe song but good.

DAVID A (Smokey Mtn Memories) - Good tone, a little lifting of the head on high notes. Definitely has a voice. I felt he picked a good song with a good chorus and sang it well.

KRISTY LEE (Coat of Many Colours) - Kristy actually sang better than Brook this week. She had some tone in her voice, the song sat in the right tessatura for her voice... until she went up - then she pushed/tried - and the voice got tight & pitchy. Good example of what happens when we don't understand how to support the voice effectively. I still find that her performance is stiff, and I wonder if she has the capactity to go much further.

SYESHA (I will always love you) - I was waiting for someone to do this one. I hoped Syesha would pull it off as she definitely has the range & depth to do it. I felt it was a great song choice for her, and that it did show off her range, tone and power... she drew you in. She pushed a tad at the end, but managed to pull it out - she needed to trust that a sweet tone is enough, instead of trying to create something more.

MICHAEL J - see how he lifts his head when he's going up the scale? And at the same time, his mouth goes flat & wide. This places the voice in the back of the throat. You could hear this dullness clearly on words like "love", which sounds like "ugh" instead of "ah". By placing the voice back there you lose energy and bright tone. I thought it was a wierd arrangement, but vocally I thought he did well, despite his need for technical skill.


Remielle went home. I know it was very difficult for her to leave the show, but I think the experience of being on the show, and touring with the top ten, will do a lot to help her with performance skills. She is very young. She definitely has a great voice but needs some help in understanding how it works. Some solid, technically based vocal coaching would help her achieve more vocal confidence and that would create a better foundation for performance. I'd also recommend some dance lessons for a sense of grace and fluidity.

Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher


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