It’s hard to believe we’re almost to the end! I knew going in that the probabilities are high that someone I like, or perhaps two someones, will be going home this week. While I can’t honestly say that this season has someone like Alisan, Sundance, or Jordan who continually blows me away week after week, I CAN say that I’ve perhaps enjoyed a larger number of the artists this season.
On a light note, I loved Alicia and Gwen’s outfits this week. Sleek, fun, but not so out there to be a distraction from the artists. While The Voice doesn’t do “theme weeks” in terms of music very often. I wish they would, as I would love a Billy Joel or Carole King night, among many others. Hell, they should do a Dolly night, but I guess that would be unfair to the other coaches if Miley was a coach that season. This week though, we get a brief glimpse of the coaches’ “meeting” the moms. Now, I believe that the coaches probably haven’t met some of the moms of the adult artists, if they didn’t bother going backstage during the blinds or the moms weren’t at the auditions. However, I can’t believe that the coaches haven’t met, even briefly, the moms of the underage performers. I’ll go along with it though. The moms were cute; and the way Jesse talked about his stepmom and her support of his music was lovely. Brennley’s mom is just Brennley, 30 years older. Holy moly!
It was hard this week. Everyone was fairly solid, although Aliyah hit a bump and made me cry. More on that later. I didn’t even mind Hunter, although I wouldn’t have bought it on iTunes like others apparently did. He and Lauren were the recipients of the iTunes Bonus for the second week in a row. Remember, the bonus is where their iTunes votes got a multiplier by 5, because their songs reached the Top 10 on the charts. It doesn’t work for the Finale, so if you are ever going to buy an iTunes song to help a Voice artist this season, it better be next week! I usually still buy CDs so I can share them with family, but I might buy TSoul next week!
I thought the staging and choreography was interesting this week. I feel like there might be a different set designer this season. Lots of reds, and actual or suggested geometric shapes. If there aren’t geometric shapes, there are crystal chandeliers or ropes. All were good, but one. I almost listed Brennley as a top performance. They needed to break out the church style sets they used for Sundance. Also, I think it would have been nice to change up the outfit or the hair. Short dresses and cowboy boots are a cute signature look, but with a church set and a longer dress and her hair pulled back would have made for a complete package.
Team Adam: Jesse Larson Song: Jungle Love by The Time
OK, in the meet the mom week (in honor of Mothers’ Day) it might be slightly creepy that Jesse sang Jungle Love. Besides that, everything was on point. Adam mentioned The Blues Brothers which is simply perfect fit for Jesse. He’s a big guy with a voice that works so well with funk pop. It was also smart to have Jesse do a “sexy solo” with his guitar. It was, as Jesse said, the whole package and his hardest performance yet. It may have been hard, but clearly Jesse had fun which is one of my favorite kind of performances.
Team Alicia: Vanessa Ferguson Song: Doo Wop (That Thing)
I loved this performance. It might be among my favorite of Vanessa’s. Lauryn Hill IS perfect for Vanessa. However, the second she started rapping I knew that she was running the risk of being on the bottom with this. Why? Because The Voice is a multi-generational show. I know teenagers who watch, and those who are already collecting their Social Security checks. Statistically speaking, it will be the 50 and younger set who will be remotely nostalgic over this song or will like hip hop. I think that cuts into a big demographic of voters. On the other hand, as Alicia said, it shows how amazingly multifaceted Vanessa is as a musician, and I think she has a solid career ahead of her. I LOVED both her Monday and Tuesday outfits, and didn’t even mind the broad brimmed hat on Tuesday (it was cute with the suspenders). I also like the new ‘do!
Team Alicia: Chris Blue Song: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Praise the Lord and pass the wine! Chris finally dropped the nerves and realizes he belongs on stage! I looked at some of his other performances, and I think the reason why I was hesitant about him was I sensed that tiny but strong thread of nerves. He finally had some FUN. The confidence just oozed out of him afterwards, and the smile was dazzling. Its funny, I didn’t like this song when Bruno Mars performed it on the Super Bowl, but I loved it here.
Team Blake: Lauren Durski Song: Tell Me Why by Wynonna Judd
I’ve made no secret how much I love Lauren’s retro yet fresh look. It was changed up this week, and it was awesome. Our sweet, laid back ballad singer appears to have secret “let’s kick a little ass” streak to her! To show that streak, leather pants, a guitar, and a Wynonna song was PERFECT. It was so fun to see Lauren move on the stage, rock out a bit on the guitar in amazing leather pants, and show so much energy and sass. Did we even know she could play the guitar?
THE “I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL TO THINK” PERFORMANCE
TEAM BLAKE: Aliyah Moulden Song: Jealous by Labrinth
I have mixed feelings about this one. Competition wise, it was absolutely brilliant to pick a ballad since Aliyah really hasn’t done something like it yet. If you are going to show diversity and haven’t yet, you better do it now! She’s experimented with genres, but they were all a reflection of her sparkling personality. She has the ability to sing a ballad for sure, but I think this is where Aliyah’s willingness to try anything and stretch herself as an artist got the best of her. Every artist screws up; hell, every person screws up from time to time. But as we get older, we become better at picking ourselves up and knowing our limits. At 15, not so much. She clearly underestimated the combination of emotions of performing on stage, wanting to make it to the “semi-final” week, and her grief over her father and the understandable jealousy over her siblings’ memories of him. She was close to losing her shit completely and I think Blake and Carson knew it. There was a moment when Carson hugged her, and I think I heard a muffled sob. A hard sob, with Carson whispering something to her. Broke my heart.
Luckily, Aliyah is moving forward. But before they announced her name, Carson asked her about the performance.It is CLEAR she was still upset with herself and was very embarrassed. I keep wondering what kind of damage it could have done to her confidence as an artist if she HAD been on the bottom. As it is, I think Blake is going to have to do some work with her next week to make sure her confidence isn’t shaken for long. Thankfully, I think she has the PERFECT coach for this. This has made me think that the Voice may to reconsider their age limits, despite the fact that both Aliyah and Brennley wouldn’t be on the show otherwise.
I’ve always found it somewhat odd that they all of a sudden cut out two, and then four next week so they can wrap up the entire season with the finale. I guess keeping a diversity of singers on the show, and hopefully all coaches working, is better for ratings.
I think it is absolutely clear why Mark Isaiah went home. Past time, and he was a little pitchy this week. Only appealed to a specific demographic, which is never good.
Lilli Passero did well this week, but it may be that Unforgettable is more of an “don’t touch this one” song than any Whitney Houston song. It has some big sentimental ties for a lot of people. I think I’ve been to 3 weddings where it was one of the formal “dances”, and at least one memorial where it was used for the video. Lilli added a sultry female vibe to it that we’ve never heard before (because that would have been creepy of Natalie Cole to do). That probably turned off every woman who danced to this song with their father. Ha!
Her Stormy Weather instant save song was also good, but Vanessa was sensational on Tuesday. An upbeat song was a perfect choice to spur the East Coasters to save her. (Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the under 50 crowd that appreciates the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill are probably the ones on Twitter!
On to next week, where the number of artists will literally be cut in half.