29Apr08 Neil Diamond week.

Well, it was a different format, and I appreciated the quick nature of the show, with less chit chat. For me it is hardly necessary to finish the Idol series, because as far as I am concerned, the best musician & performer is David Cook - and he has a great voice, too. And Syesha is miles ahead of the rest in vocal ability... but I suspect it will be the two Davids at the end.

DAVID C (I'm Alive + All I Really Need is You)
Great on both songs, especially #2. I felt the first song fit him well and I would actually like to hear him sing the whole thing. If he doesn't win this contest, something is very wrong with the voter's perception of what talent is. In the second song, I felt like I was watching a major rock star perform.

SYESHA (Hello Again + Thk the Lord for the Night)
The first song proved again that she undeniably has the best pipes on the show. Second song showed her range, good tone, and even displayed some personality. Why the judges keep trashing her I have no idea, she is another Whitney as far as I am concerned. Excellent vocals - maybe too well trained for them? Listen to her first song, people - THAT is good singing.

DAVID A (Sweet Caroline + In America)
In the first song (which came right after Brook), right away you could hear good tone, nice vibrato, and brightness in the voice - which meant he was actually singing in the right tessatura for his voice - unlike Brook in her 'I'm a Believer'. I thought he sang it well and had fun. Yeah, well somebody was going to sing In America, and cash in on the patriotic appeal of the song. However, I felt when he was singing it that this rock song didn't suit him. His voice seems to me to be more musical theatre or teen-pop, not rock. I felt he pushed his voice at the end and his face during judging looked stressed, like he knew he had gone too far vocally. He sang thru his teeth on some of the 'ee' vowels.

JASON (Forever in Blue Jeans + September morning)
Okay folkish version of the both songs, nothing really wrong with them, nothing reached out and grabbed me either. His range is very limited and he sings very tightly, the voice is compressed in the throat and the mouth is too closed. Why he is in the top 5 of a singing competition I don't know. Yes, he has pretty blue eyes, but surely someone like Syesha, with great talent, should not continuously be voted as lower than him.

BROOK (I'm a Believer + I am I said)
In the Monkees tune, she lost tone and we couldn't hear the low notes at all. This is because, with a limited range, you have to lower the song so you can sing the top. This throws the voice off kilter because you are trying to make it sing well where it is weak, and then you are pushing out the top. The upper notes sound tight, not warm, and the lower notes are weak & inaudible. This is not healthy singing. In the second song, I thought she did a little better. I think the main problem is the voice sits back in the throat and has some nasal qualities. The first song was very interesting to me because she looked comfortable and as though she was having fun, but the voice still sounded unconnected to me.

I think it's time for Brook or Jason to go, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was Syesha, given how the voting has been.

Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher


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