Diana Degarmo: “Get Happy” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”
Strengths: Diana, you sang one of my favorite Gershwin numbers, “Someone To Watch Over Me,” and it was just superb! This was such a great song choice for you; it was absolutely first class all the way. Your voice had such a glorious ring and resonating presence throughout this song and it is very evident that you have been the recipient of some wonderful technical guidance and expertise in your young singing career. Congratulations to all of your teachers, Diana, as their technical wisdom has ensured that your vocal gifts will be protected and sustained throughout your singing career.
You sang “Someone To Watch Over Me” with such consummate sensitivity and artistry. As beautiful as this song is, it is also deceptively difficult, as the opening phrase of this song quickly ascends into the upper range. The singer has to make certain that the sound is successfully supported throughout the major ninth range in that first phrase or else the vocal phrasing will sound ragged and uneven. Additionally, there are some tricky interval jumps throughout this song that require the same kind of attention. I felt that you really managed these technical problems very well, Diana, as I know this requires superb, first rate technique and you are the best technical singer in the Top 12 – no contest!
Your second song was a joy and Judy Garland would be proud to see and hear your version of this great song. “Get Happy” is such a wonderful throwback number and you performed it with a genuine sense of elation and enthusiasm. It was stylistically and technically brilliant, and I absolutely adored your smooth legato style in the middle of the song. It was a great contrast to the more buoyant melodic rhythm in the rest of the song. Additionally, you handled the key transition very well – it was generally pitch perfect and flawless! Another great week for you, Lady Di! Excellent stuff!
Critique: Diana, like Fantasia, I felt that you were having problems accessing the center of your pitch in your lower range. You have to work at developing your ability to focus and resonate the lower part of your range with the same technical proficiency that you demonstrate when you sing in your middle and upper range. Sometimes, this is a maturation process, as the voice naturally deepens with age. However, until this happens, really work at developing, through correct technical support in the diaphragm, a really resonant and ringing vocal sound in the lower part of your vocal range. I am glad that you don’t force the sound – this is good and you are not a belter. Just keep working and finessing, through the benefit of technical exercises and vocalizes, this still evolving segment in your vocal range and gradually this problem will improve. Additionally, I really missed your long sustained phrasing ability in the first selection. Usually, your breathing technique is really excellent, so I was surprised to hear you breathing so often during this number. Try not to break up the phrases too often, as I know that you have the ability to carry your vocal line for a longer period of time than was evidenced this week.
Also, you move very well on stage. However, I felt that your stage moves for the second song were a bit awkward and, at times, almost tentative. This is the first time that I have seen this happen. Perhaps you were nervous and maybe over-pumped for the Big Band performance. Keep working on your stage skills and really plan and choreograph even the simplest movements so that nothing is left to chance. However, I am really nitpicking in an otherwise brilliant performance this week, Diana! Congratulations