Greetings everyone! It is the third week of The Voice and the final week of the Blinds! Everyone thoroughly confused? As much as I love the Blinds and the philosophy behind them, the fact that the coaches need to find 12 people each means the people start to blend together and we forget who we heard in the first week. This particular season the blinds seemed to drag on a bit. It might have been the events in my personal life that distracted me, but I also believe that there wasn’t an absolute jaw dropping moment in the blinds like Jordan Smith’s Chandelier or Alisan Porter’s Blue Bayou (just thinking of that Blue Bayou gives me goosebumps). Regular Voice watchers know both went on to win.
But, I’m choosing to look at this positively. With Jordan and Alisan, people were saying “they are the winners” from the get go, even though they were competing against some very talented people. This time, it is anyone’s trophy!
Monday was the last of the Blind Auditions, and Tuesday was a “Best of the Blinds” review. If you are one of those who have said you’ve enjoyed reading my recap/summary of The Voice but don’t watch the show, thank you! However, I encourage you to watch the Best of the Blinds, and maybe join us for the Battle Rounds!
Say sayonara to the flowers and the fringe! I’m looking forward to seeing Miley, Alicia, and Adam in different outfits. Yes, I know Blake is wearing the same thing, but most of his outfits look the same and who looks at his outfit when there are those delicious dimples to look at? I knew from the first that I’d get tired of the flowers, but that fringe on only one sleeve bugged me (and I’m surprised it didn’t get caught in the gears when her chair turned).
At the beginning of this week, the teams are almost full so it is time for the coaches to get picky. I still feel that Alicia is unsure of herself, and is easily distracted by the other coaches’ antics. I thought her pitches to the artists were terrible and could be summed up in the phrase “I feel you, I see you. You came to meet ME” Tamara summed it up so much better than I did from the beginning, in the the first Season 11 Voice blog. Well, Alicia, I’m not feeling you very much, although you do have some great artists.
Whitney & Shannon: Austin, TX Song: Landslide
Chair turns: ALL FOUR Team: Alicia
These sisters are notable for multiple reasons. One, the Voice doesn’t get many duos so one does notice them. The Swon Brothers didn’t win in their season, but they are incredibly popular today. Two, Whitney and Shannon got a FOUR CHAIR turn. I feel like we haven’t gotten many this season. That may not be true in comparison to other seasons, but I’m too tired after the day I’ve had to do the research. Three, the sisters have incredible harmony. Four, this is one of my favorite songs, and I LOVE the Dixie Chicks version. They were smart to go with that arrangement versus the original Stevie Nicks one, as Stevie sang it solo and the Chicks had multiple voices in mind in their version. What a soft, beautiful rendition. To be critical, I thought the last note was slightly amateurish in their harmony, but that might have been nerves. I also wonder if they can do powerhouse type of songs.
Blaine Long: Chandler, AZ Song: Have a Little Faith in Me
Chair turns: Blake, Miley, Adam Team: Blake
In ways I can’t completely articulate, I loved this guy. Even his bio clip didn’t bother me. I loved his family. He had a great balance between purity of voice and gravel in his tone. He didn’t even flinch when the coaches started turning, or when people started singing with him (there was a brief moment I heard others singing). Alicia, who couldn’t turn because her team was full, rightfully used the word “effortless”. You can tell this guy sings his own stuff, and he rightfully picks Blake after Blake’s pitch about not being a great singer (called himself the worst singer of the bunch), but that songwriting keeps him going and keeps him on top.
Ponciano Seaone: San Antonio, TX Song: Home
Chair Turns: Adam, Miley Team: Adam
Even though it is kind of funny that he’s singing a song written by an American Idol winner, there is an absolute pretty purity to his voice. The song is still one of my favorites, even after it was beaten to death by the 2012 Olympics. He did it justice. I enjoyed the fact that he didn’t flinch or falter in his performance after chairs turned and people started cheering.
FAILED TO IMPRESS ME
Natasha Bure: Los Angeles, CA Song: Can’t Help Falling in Love
Chair turns: Adam Team: Adam
DJ Tanner’s kid, I mean, Candace Cameron Bure’s kid CAN sing. The kid states in her bio that she “grew up going with her mom on set.” in an implication that she’s used to the entertainment industry on some level, although she acknowledges that the music industry is different from the acting one. Which instantly gets me thinking not about her potential talent but wondering when Full House ended (as she couldn’t possibly have been alive and old enough to remember that set) and wondering if Candace had a show after Full House. (A quick look on IMDB shows she appeared in a few TV movies, and a couple of TV shows I’ve never heard of but they made it sound as if she was on the set of Full House, especially with an appearance by video of Bob Sagat and John Stamos. Seriously – do those guys age?)
I make fun – but she DOES have decent voice, although she put way too many vocal tricks into this classic song. She thinks her version is “unique” but people have rearranged this every way from Sunday. She’s lucky Adam turned around, but she should listen to Miley’s advice. Miley agreed with me regarding the tricks, and was kind to her in her remarks on how hard it is to perform with people having their backs turned to you. She mentioned that if that happens in the real world, it means things are not going well – as she knows from experience when moms bring their kids to her more adult concerts thinking that she’s Hannah Montana.
Nicholas Ray: Chicago, IL Song: I’ve Got the Music in Me
Chair turns: None Team: Go Home
He is serious proof that a bad song choice can kill your chances. He also had it against him that there were only two spots left. But, I comment on him because he got good feedback and I think he has potential to be one of those who comes back to get some chair turns in a future season. But only if he really works hard at his craft.
FINAL TEAMS (NAMES ADDED THIS WEEK IN BOLD)
It should be noted that we didn’t see some of the auditions of artists who were ultimately picked for a team.
Team Adam: Riley Elmore, Andrew DeMuro, Billy Gillman, Brendan Fletcher, Bindi Liebowitz, Elia Esparza, Nolan Neal, Simone Gundy, Johnny Rez, JSoul, Natasha Bure, Ponciano Seaone
Team Blake: – Sundance Head, Dana Harper, Gabe Broussard, Dan Shafer, Ethan Tucker Austin Allsup, Christian Fermin, Josh Gallagher, Preston James, Courtney Harrell, Tarra Layne, Blaine Long
Team Alicia: – Jason Warrior, Dave Moisan, Christian Cuevas, Lauren Diaz, We McDonald, Josh Halverson, Gabriel Violett, Halle Tomlinson, Michael Sanchez, Whitney & Shannon, Belle Jewel, Kylie Rothfield
Team Miley: – Courtnie Ramirez, Ali Caldwell, Sa’ Rayah, Sophia Urista, Karlee Metzger, Lane Mack, Aaron Gibson, Darby Walker, Khaliya Kimberlie, Maye Thomas, Charity Bowden, Josette Diaz
BEST OF THE BLINDS
As I said above, if you have been reading my recaps but not watching, give this episode a shot. I watched every moment of the Blinds (duh), and I STILL enjoyed this one. It gave me a great recap of all of the auditions we got to witness so I’m ready for next week, and a reminder of what artists went to which coaches’ teams. It also gives a great taste of what I have loved about The Voice over the years, the competition and banter between the coaches that is unique to this show. I love the outtakes, especially those when you know the coaches were feeling a little antsy and tired between auditions.
While most of the hour was spent reviewing the coaches’ interactions and personalities as well as their teams, there was a brief time spent giving us hints about the Battle Rounds. For the uninitiated, the battle rounds consist of each coach setting up their team members in pairs, and each pair is given a song picked by the coach to learn and sing together. At the actual Battle Round performance, the duo performs in front of everyone, and immediately afterwards, the coach picks the artist who will go forward. Once that happens, the other coaches have the opportunity to “steal” the artist who lost the battle. (Each coach gets two steals at this round).
Thus, the teams will go from 12 to 8 after the battle rounds. Frankly, there have been some Battle Round performances that have made me wonder why those duos didn’t team up to form a duo in the real world, they’ve been that good!!!
What is interesting about the Battle Rounds, beside another opportunity to figure out the cream of the crop, is the “advisors”. Icons like Lionel Ritchie, Reba McIntire, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams (who later came in as a coach), Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Patti LaBelle, and Cher have been among those who have come in to act as advisors.
This year’s advisor list is impressive. Well, three out of four is pretty impressive. I started to write my opinion on this season’s mentor list and why the coaches selected their team advisor – but it will wait until next week. The advisors are: Sammy Hagar (Team Adam), Bette Midler (Team Blake), Charlie Puth (Team Alicia) and Joan Jett (Team Miley).
Before I blast you all with my thoughts, what are your opinions so far? Predictions on artists? What do you think about this line up of advisors? LET ME KNOW!