By Guest Author, Erica
Note: This week’s delay was totally my fault – it was Migraine Monday to start off the week for me. Fun times!
Welcome to the Top 12! I’m being frivolous and against the philosophy of The Voice in concentrating on what everyone looks like or wears first thing, but I am JOYFUL that one of the weird hat wearing duo has discarded the hat on stage. The staging doesn’t seem as HUGE as it did last season on the Top 12 episode. I positively gushed about those. Although I will say the wardrobe person is still very much on point. I have a feeling Stephanie Rice is insisting on her hat. Good for you Vanessa, for trusting the stylists!
Now would be a good time for people to jump in and watch if they haven’t been so far (now that Erika is off Dancing with the Stars). We’re FINALLY at a point where, for the most part, I remember people’s names without having to look it up. Catch up on past episodes and join in on the conversation! Or not… just watch with fresh eyes, and yes, join in on the conversation!
I was actually excited about the change up on having an “extra” coach on the live 12 vs. the Knockout rounds, and that coach would have her own chair.. In past seasons, I’ve wished that we could get the thoughts of the guest coaches after the stage performances. Well, maybe it was a bad idea, or maybe Shaina just sucked. I initially thought that perhaps they are grooming Shaina to be a replacement coach if Adam or Blake leave (we already know we get my beloved Miley back next season.) If that is the case, I hope they are second guessing that idea, because I found her terribly annoying. I HATED that they catered to Shaina each and every time – we barely got the opinion of the actual coach. Well, except for Adam who overly gushed about some of his team.
I’m not ready to say that Blake will win – Adam, Gwen, and Alicia all have at least one artist with the potential to win the ultimate prize. Gwen’s “gift from Blake”, Brennley Brown was the first announced and she did fantastic on Monday. (I need to figure out if that means she got the most votes). However, Blake has the strongest odds and chances to win as all three of his artists are so damn good. It wasn’t a surprise that Gwen and Adam each had someone in the bottom two.
I thought the show ended better than it started. Both of the bottom two performed within the first 45 minutes of the 2 hour show. Lilli Passero was fairly sick, and while I thought you could tell a little in her energy level and in her eyes, her performance was better that either of theirs. The only blip in the 2nd hour of Monday’s show for me was, as always, Hunter. As soon as it’s over, I forget what he sang. I’ll laugh my ass off if he ever sings “Unforgettable.” Even though he was the one to go home, I will give Troy some props – he has talent as an arranger and making a song his own. But there is a balancing act to rearranging a classic song and keeping it in the same genre, and he slipped a little. Forgivable, but it is deadly when it comes to the Voice and voters.
Team Blake: Aliyah Moulden Song: “(Love is like) A Heatwave”
Light just SHINES from her, and she has the vocal chops to match that bright personality. Perfect bouncy classic song for her and her voice. When I first saw the accompanying male singer on the stage next to her, I was worried it would throw her off. She handled it like a pro. A shout out and kudos to her parents. This girl seems very humble and level headed. She even went into the ugly cry when they called her name on Tuesday, and she wasn’t even near the bottom!
Team Blake: Lauren Duski Song: Lord, I Hope This Day is Good
Lauren is one of those ballad singers that just instantly relaxes me. I want to get a nice glass of wine, light some candles, and sit back and listen to her entire album. Auditory Xanax. She is quiet in personality, but she has definite stage presence. She somehow holds her own against the other two Team Blake people. She has some competition for the votes though, in my next favorite.
Team Gwen: Brennley Brown Song: Long, Long Time
Brennley’s voice fits Linda Ronstadt’s songs so well. (I love that the Voice might bring attention to new generations what a gifted singer Ronstadt was.) Brennley gave this a lovely country spin on what is more of an “easy listening” song originally sung by one of our pioneer female rock and roller. I love her gentle, trembly vibrato. It is no surprise that she was the first announce, the “winner” of the night.
Team Blake: TSoul Song: Always On My Mind
I’m a proud #TSouldier! He has a gift of taking any genre song and putting soul into it, making it his own. I usually hate lots of vibrato – but I love his. I have a feeling it is the difference between naturally occurring, and forced. This was a fantastic choice for him – and really a song that is as “multi-genre” as he is. I always associate this song with Willie Nelson, but someone else mentioned Elvis. Um, D’UH. I totally spaced that Elvis did it. I think it is a generational thing (the person was older than I am – I was 5 when Elvis died, and I grew up listening to Willie!) I am worried that he doesn’t appeal to others the way that he appeals to me – he definitely isn’t mainstream – so I am VERY happy that we get to hear him again!
BOTTOM TWO AND INSTANT SAVE
Aaaand we’re back to the dreaded Instant Save that screws over everyone but the East Coast watchers. I’ve tried to find a way I can stream the show live, but I can’t (well, legally). Bottom two were Mark Isaiah and Troy Ramey. I’ve not been as big of a fan of Mark, but when I watched their two “Instant Save” performances, I could hear why Mark stayed. Troy sang “Drift Away” while Mark sang the more contemporary “When I was Your Man”. Troy’s performance was solid, but Mark put in just enough well executed vocal tricks to beat out Troy. I think Troy and Mark both suffer from the same thing though – we don’t see enough of their personalities. Blake (not the coach for either of them) even commented that he started following Troy on social media and that the guy is apparently hilarious! He hoped that Troy would stay, and that we would get to see some of that on the Voice stage.
NON COMPETITION PERFORMANCES – TUESDAY NIGHT
I usually stick the conversation about the coach and team performances when I talk about the coaches in general. Tuesdays, where they drag out the announcement of who is not going home by entertaining us with non-competition performances, are not even something I always watch. Tonight was a special night though. We saw a performance of G-Eazy’s contribution to the soundtrack of the latest Fast and Furious franchise installment. (Had no clue who he was, and have never watched F & F) It wasn’t bad, but not what made it special.
Team Blake (along with their coach) did a country rendition of “Crippled Inside” that was awesome. I didn’t recognize it at all, and was shocked to read that it was written by John Lennon, and was on his Imagine album. Watching all four of them, it hit me on how strong Blake’s team really is this season. It wasn’t the first Lennon song to be performed on Tuesday though.
The show description should have come with a “Grab some Kleenex” warning. After the announcing the first couple of “saves” and going to commercial break, Carson Daly announced the formation of The Christina Grimmie Foundation, formed to help people who are the victims of gun violence and their families and those battling breast cancer. His voice cracked as he stated that her family was in the audience, and I admit, I cried. Adam came out and talked about how much he loved her, loved them, and how much he missed her. His team then sang “Hey Jude” with Adam in her honor. Christina came in 3rd on The Voice in Season 6 (2014). She was on Team Adam from her Blind Audition, singing “Wrecking Ball” and earning a 4 chair turn. She was fantastic. Adam kept in contact with her even after the show. When she was shot and killed after a performance last June (the same weekend as the Pulse massacre), Adam paid for her funeral and made sure her mother was flown to the funeral. So nice of them to make the announcement, and have the family flown out for it as well. Despite the antics and the teasing – this show has class.