Tips for making English Vowels longer/less abrupt?

Hi all ~
Longtime SynthV user BUT I thought I’d make a thread here.
What’s everyone’s general tips when using Eleanor Forte when you feel syllables (Mostly vowels) are pronounced far too abruptly, mainly in fast paced songs?

For instance, I made a base file for an English cover of Mind Brand by Maretu, at the start of the melody line: “Hold on a second, maam, without a care”, the .eh phoneme used in the word “Second” is far too abrupt and doesn’t flow into the following lyric all too well.
I’ve tried basically everything I can think up, adding the .k consonant to the following note, adding the .s consonant to the previous note so it’s just .eh on its own and even messed around with the timing parameters and I can’t seem to fix it.

Any suggestions?

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Separate notes for separate phenemes can really give you a lot of control over the timing, but it’s a bit messy, I sometimes try to add another same pheneme, if its to short. ^^ Hope this helps a bit.