I was a crying mess after the performances. There were so many beautiful, heartfelt songs (in the best of ways). I’m not religious, but I am spiritual. The best performances tapped into spirituality, and so many beautiful, uplifting messages that I lost it several times. I typically write notes during each performance. I didn’t do that this time, partly because the fuzzy bastard that is my cat kept stealing the spot where my laptop lives and partly because I simply needed to sit and listen tonight. Just soak it in and feel uplifted.
Now is the time when the coaches are becoming more and more emotionally invested in their remaining artists. Adam and Blake have been through this wringer time and time again, but it is going to be HARD for Alicia and Miley. Some of Adam and Blake’s performers had ‘fireworks’ which appeared to surprise Miley and Alicia. Not sure if they weren’t paying attention to their options, because one of Miley’s performers used the fog machines to pretty awesome effect! On a side note, I adored both Miley’s and Alicia’s tops this week. I probably couldn’t pull of Miley’s top – big boobs and glitter only work if you are actually Dolly Parton – but I might be able to pull off Alicia’s vertical school marm stripes. Oh, I was so focused on the artist performances I almost forgot to mention that Maroon 5 performed on Monday as well!
Before I go ANY further, a HUGE HUGE shoutout to the band. There was a major use of string instruments this week, among other things, from classical to bluegrass to the blues. MAD PROPS to those musicians. I played the violin from grade school to the end of my senior year in high school. I wasn’t very good; I hardly ever practiced and could not tell you about ¾ time versus ¼ time even though I can still read the notes. As far as tempo, I played by ear by listening to my stand partner and the rest of the group. Yup, faked it for 8 years. But 27 years later, I still have such admiration for orchestras, and the beauty of a bow dancing across a violin or a fiddle.
I listened to some of the performances a second time via YouTube, but didn’t watch. Some are even weaker than I thought, and some are definitely stronger than my initial impressions. It is still hard to pick my top 3. They were just. that. good! Honorable mentions this week include Josh Gallagher, Austin Allsup, Brendan Fletcher, and Ali Caldwell. I could gush about all of them, but I am TRYING to keep this blog a reasonable length! Josh: He was clearly having a good time on the stage. So fun to watch. Austin: Love how he mixes it up every week. I LOVED his song choice, but it won’t appeal to other generations (my mom was proof of that). Some people don’t appreciate the 80s. Brendan: His performance was one of the ones that made me cry. But, in full confession not hard to do when you pick True Colors as your song – it usually makes me cry, sometimes at inopportune moments!
MY TOP THREE
Team Adam: Billy Gilman
Song: Anyway by Martina McBride
In a very smart move, Billy went back to his country roots. I don’t recall ever hearing this song, but the lyrics are touching, and he just killed it. His song choice range has been pretty amazing, from Queen to Martina. My first cry of the night.
Team Alicia: We McDonald
Song: God Bless the Child by Billie Holliday
As a former teacher, there has been an extra something wonderful in watching We visibly gain confidence in herself. There has sometimes been a ‘hesitant’ quality to her body language, both in practices and in performances. Something must have clicked tonight, because I really didn’t notice it. When at the end of the song she sings a final “God Bless this Child” and points to herself in almost a chest pounding move, I got chills and another teary moment. Billie Holliday was a brilliant choice.
Team Blake: Sundance Head
Song: Me and Jesus
Probably my favorite Sundance performance ever. He definitely should do more bluegrass! The staging was phenomenal, and the best word I can think of for both Sundance and his performance? Joyful. He was clearly feeling the moment and it showed. I am not a particularly religious person, but this was one of the best spiritual songs I’ve ever heard on the Voice or really any other musical competition show.
FAILED TO IMPRESS
Team Miley: Aaron Gibson
Song: Rocket Man by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Very good song choice for Aaron! Finally a more upbeat song choice NOT in the elimination round. However, listening again, he felt a little off tempo. It might have been his arrangement, but I thought it felt too slow for such an extremely well known song that already isn’t the fastest of Elton’s songs.
Team Blake: Courtney Harrell
Song: If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher
I didn’t mind her performance at first. But then I started to listen to it again via YouTube while I looked at something else. I was SHOCKED on how bad I thought it sounded. Her voice was almost trembly. That can be a nice quality, but not on a Cher song, and especially not on If I Could Turn Back Time! Cher is a confident woman, and she never kicked ass in a song more than in the video for this song. I don’t know if it was nerves or if that is just a quality of her voice, but she deserves to go for this one.
I had a wicked migraine all day today, and I needed a little Dolly to make me feel better. Aaaah. I would have been a little happier to see her in some behind the scenes interactions, but I’ll take what I can get. I wasn’t sure we’d see her, as I heard that her home is part of the evacuation area of Tennessee. I also love hearing Miley and Dolly sing together, but would have loved seeing the other coaches’ reactions.
For the first time I missed the app warning me it was time to do the twitter save, and I didn’t spoil it for myself. I really wasn’t surprised that Austin Allsup, Courtney Harrell, and Aaron Gibson were in the bottom three. I enjoyed Austin’s performance, but I did worry that it wasn’t the right song choice. Once again, song choice is everything! For their “save me” performances, Austin sang “Tennessee Whiskey,” Courtney sang “Bless the Broken Road,” and Aaron sang “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”
Austin did a great job, but there was something in his face that said to me that he knew his time was up. He made a point of walking to the side of the stage where his family was sitting to say I love you. I wonder if he had picked something a bit more upbeat and fun it would have been better. Courtney was shaky again. Has she been this way the whole time and I have ignored it? I feel that she was slightly off key a couple of times even! Aaron straight up gave one of his best performances, which had Miley crying. That and plea from ADAM that Aaron needs to be the person to move forward helped Aaron win the Instant Save for a THIRD time, sending Austin and Courtney home in a double whammy for Team Blake.
Next week, the semi-finals!