Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vocal Coach Dot Todman gives American Idol Season 9 Febi 3rd Advice to Contestants

Dot provides useful tips and reflections for American Idol viewers and contestants.

American Idol - Season 9 Episode 5 & 6 Public
Tuesday, February 02 - 2010
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Live Rough notes from Dot Todman on American Idol

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

A selection of random auditions from all over and a bit of a recap.

Different Versions of this song throughout the world. Shall I do a Jamaican Version?
LOL. Maybe? Let me know eh?

Jessica Furney, 20
She auditioned Season 8 – I remember you - you are in my notes from last year! Search yourself on my site! How is your grandma doing?
Still gorgeous voice. But watch your jaw sweetie.
Nice commitment to your message and nice levels! GOOD JOB! You have improved from last year… but how can you still be 20? Auditions from last season were in 2008. LOL.


Amanda Shectman
She can do high larynx voices
Dot – your voice is lovely. Nice mix of soul, good tone, commitment to message, but you zoned out a bit, that’s all. They talked about CONNECTING! This is a C.O.R.E. Vocal Power™ word!
How do you do this? Ahhh... visit and I will explain this.
I know Simon will say yes. OMG – they put you through so much suspense but we all knew you’d get in. OMG – I love how dramatic you are. It’s like a Tatiana Del Toro from last year without the laugh. LOL. But they are making it overkill for Hollywood.
It sounds like you know what your authentic voice is, even though you can create many voices... at least I hope this is the case.

They’re talking about people hiding behing their instruments

Lee Dewyze
“Ain’t No Sunshin”
Nice voice. Nice tone, but not fun?

Crystal Bowersox, 23

Nice red-head with dreads.
Guitar as part of her instrument but didn’t use - of course - they're not allowed to.
Sweet tone.

"Fake out" guy in a purple shirt. We never even heard him sing!

There were a lot of singers who made it.


OMG – they showed the guy who I made a video about who cried wearing a scarf... what was your name again? Argh! Now I have to go through my videos and find out!
They should be putting NAMES up there on the screen. How rude. Come on Idol. You guys are getting lazy!

Lacey Brown, 23
“Some Where over the Rainbow”
Interesting variation on the melody of the song…
She makes it!

Stephanie Fisher
7 is your lucky number - 7th attempt to audition.
She is star struck on Victoria Becham
“Fever” oh. It’s a bit pitchy honey. This means you’re not hitting all the notes.
Tone is weak. Just do more vocal drills and learn to access the part of your brain that will help you it the pitches better and stay present.


Adrian Chandtchi, 17
6 foot 8 tall.
Loves to swim
Wow – what an interesting Spirit this young man has.
“Blonde Zillah” they call him.
I like him. Your speaking voice is interesting. Already I am curious to find out how you'll sing.
“Can’t Help Falling in Love”
OMG – Kara says, “there’s like a small school boy trapped inside of you” and Simon quickly retorts, “Either that, or you’ve eaten one!”
That made me laugh. OMG. Sorry
Okay, so you’re a big guy, but your vocal chords are most likely quite thin.
Even your speaking voice is quite high,which either means you're only using part of them, or they are short - unlike you. I think you should train more because you have something very unqiue but it needs to be developed in a BIG way. You are only 17 and it sounds like your voice is still maturing. I men, it can take up to age 25 for the voice to fully mature! Keep singing through the changes to allow your co-ordination to be strong as your chords lengthen. I think you have something very "special" and different about you that comes out in your voice, but hone it so you can get the notes right and learn to stay present. This always helps.

to read more about the ATHLETES, etc, (the ones I left out) visit

**Aaron Kelly, 16
Was poor growing up.
Social Services almost took him away but he got adopted. (I was adopted too! =))
You have a nice speaking voice.
“The climb”
YUMMY VOICE! I love you! Learn to connect to your audience more in the future. I have a feeling you will go FAR in this contest if you are as grounded as you appear. I see top 12 material here. Wow.

Kimberly Bishop

Has a good heart and wants to recycle and help kids in Africa.
Says nice things to Randy
Dot – okay, you’re not singing authentically. That’s it. Who are you honey? Just a bit showy to say the least. And that is all I have to say.

Shaddaii Harris, 21
Mom loves you honey. That’s nice.
Sang - Alicia Keyes
Dot – not grounded in your body at all. Do you have a cough drop in your mouth? What? Do more vocal drills to get you grounded in your scale and tap into the part of your brain that allows you to align with the notes. At the end of the day, you’re just not present. That’s all.
Don’t listen to Randy who says, “You can’t Sing.” Anyone can sing... they're just at different levels of how they are expressing it. Some are more "appealing" than others!

Hope Johnson, 19
Sharing stories about being poor
Interesting tone in speaking voice.
Dot - You are cute and you have a nice tone and genuine quality when you sing.
GOOD FOR YOU HONEY! I know you’ll get in.
Kara really connected to you. Yeah – I agree with them.. but please never take Randy’s advice on singing. He can’t sing at all.
The ENERGY OF YOUR SOUL bleeds through when you sing and it is very lovely. Something very special here.

American Idol Season 9, Colorado - February 2nd, 2010

Dot's Notes on American Idol
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Victoria Beckham – Guest judge

Overall comments – well, aside from our fabulous Kimberly Kerbow, tonight’s show had some interesting characters which I may decide to create a video about. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask! For more info, visit

Mark Labriola, 28
Fugitive baby – LOL.
Tempted by Squeeze
What a great voice! I love him!
Stay grounded and focused in your message dude.
Cute little boy

Mario Galvan
Nervous laugh
This is an energetic imbalance due to fear.
Sang: "Jail house rock"
You know what dude, you gave it a shot.
Work on meditating daily so you can ground your energy better and get rid of that nervous laugh. Not a bad voice – just a bit “heavy” and out of balance.

Wow – now they're showing angry people.

THIS IS MY ADORABLE STUDENT! I LOVE HER! And your daughter is soooo fabulous!
Sang - “The Way I am”
Dot - Kimberly – you are doing so FABULOUS and you look GREAT! You entertained them with your great voice and personality. Work it girl!
THEY LOVE YOU AND Simon says YOU’RE FUNNY and "trouble."
These are great "clues" to shaping an "image."

Danelle Hayes
Another mom with a little boy.
Live Karaoke host and sings in band
Dot - “wow, you belted that out but you’re grounded in it, so they will pick you.”
Simon says, "you’re almost broken. I don’t know if you’ve been allowed to be who you should be.”
Dot’s Advice – Kara says you wear your heart on your sleeve and she loves that, but I hope you know what this means. Keep your heart centered, and stay GENUINE. Vulnerability is on the path to empowerment, but it doesn't mean we lose energy over it.


Casey James, 27
Had an owie accident.
Dot – I like your voice. Wow – Simon doesn’t like you. Says you have no charisma
They tell you to work on your personality – OMG – they told you to take your shirt off!
Dang. LOL.
Yeah – meditate and... what kind of food do you eat?

Torri Kelly, 16
You are pretty.
Haha. I love the drawings that your daughter Hope made.
Sang - "Gravity" John Mayer
Yep – you got it. Just don’t go nuts with the vocal runs. Keep them tasteful. Maybe it’s why Simon tripped on your voice and called it “annoying”. Just ignore him.

DAY #2

Austin Paul, 22
Apparently you are being made out to look like an overconfident dumb jock.
Okay – they are going to say no because you’re not authentic in your song delivery.
Flipping up to falsetto and doing it all for show…nope. What about the message? Do you care about the audience?
Your response to their "no" = “I could be marketed well by you guys” HUH?
They said you were too confident… but this was your 3rd panel who encouraged you, so to your credit, I see why you are confused.

Kenny Everett, 24
You say - “My singing is a public service to others”
Dot – your over all energy and vocal runs and “ooo’s” were just a bit over the top.
And you are pretending to hold a mic while you sing? There is no mic. Not a good thing to do. This is too dramatic. Think about this – what was the meaning of the song to you and why were you singing it? It is not that you do not know how to hit the notes. Listening to your voice feels like you don’t really care about your audience and you’re just blasting off energy carelessly. A song is a story. It’s an opportunity you have to take people on a journey. When you sing, THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU – THEY CARE ABOUT HOW YOU MAKE THEM FEEL. You make others “feel” by being grounded and authentic in your message while telling a story. Take it down a few notches. Work on singing more softly and not shouting at your audience. Hone your gift. You do have a gift. You just need to be humbled and refined my dear. Your question – about how 4 people can tell a great singer he is no good – hopefully was answered by reading this. It is not that you are no good. Just do what I suggested and try out again next year dear.
Also, I would recommend looking in the mirror at your eyes - until you can see YOU. Connect with yourself in a deeper way. You have a good Spirit. I don't think you're as confident as you think.

They are showing people who are “off” – energetically. They aren’t all horrible. Just vocal problems like too much high whistle (don't show off at auditions)
Being too dramatic, and uniquely "off pitch" singers.

Also, they’re not showing names.
Keeping in mind that these people have been encouraged by 2 prior panels to continue their behavior, it does not entertain me to see this.

Nickie Nix
(Florence Italy) You sound like you have little tiny vocal folds or a high larynx… but I bet when you sing it will sound different because I hear more in your voice.
Simon made a helium joke.
Now you’re singing and you’re just fine.
They will let you in – even though Simon is making fun of you.
Question: why do you speak differently then where you sing?
Answer: You are only using part of your voice when you speak.
If you want to use all of it when you speak, it would sound differently, but it also means you have to OWN MORE of what you’re shy about. In other words, overcome the “shyness," the need to be seen as "sweet” and trust that the beauty of your Spirit will shine through your voice instead of trying to control how others think and feel about you through it. You may not even be doing this on purpose, but it is in your subconscious and showing up as a tiny voice. I’m glad when you sing, you allow more of you to shine through. Next step for you is speaking from an empowered place. In the meantime, hum more and work on tone.

Haeley Vaughn
Miracle baby of 2 pounds! Born in 1993! Sheish… you are young honey.
Your lisp is cute. I wonder if it will go away when you sing. This happens sometimes.
Dot – I love your voice and energy and spirit. I hope they pick you.
Oh - Simon noticed your lisp so I guess it didnt' go away.
They love your "bubblyness" and "uniqueness"
Kara offers advice – start at a lower pitch.
OMG – mom and sister join you – AWESOME!
It will be interesting to see you evolve. I hope you made it past Hollywood week.

Ty Hemmering
BIKINI BOY. OMG a dude in a bikini. Why?
"Achy Breaky Heart"
Wow – he sang one line pretty badly – they all left.
Nice ending guys.