I don’t know about you, but I so needed The Voice tonight! A palate cleanser from everything going on in the world from all the tension caused by what is going on in the national news,Cookie Frankel (Bethenny’s dog) passing away, and trying to decide what to take over food wise to a friend’s house tomorrow! Plus, I was writing on the computer today, so forgive me if this is different than normal.
Tonight’s show is the only one to show the Battle Rounds this week. Tomorrow’s one hour show will be a “best of” recap and apparently some “Halloween Confessional” by Kelly Clarkson. In short, filler that only people like me watch. By “people like me” I don’t mean bloggers either.
I enjoy the Knock Outs because I think this is when they start bringing in some stylists AND the artists pick their own songs. But by only showing them rehearse on the stage it doesn’t feel as intimate somehow. This is my own selfishness as a viewer, because I’m sure it is very helpful for them to practice there and the coaches always give great advice. They get to see how their artists will work the stage with a song they picked, singing solo. Remember, they only have seen bits of this before, depending on when they turned in the Blinds!
This season, we are also getting a taste of what Kelly Clarkson might be like as a coach NEXT season. She is CLEARLY excited, trying the chair and button out for size. I also think she may be along the lines of Christina, Miley, and what we have seen from Jennifer so far in terms of coaching style than say, Gwen Stefani or Ceelo (if you all remember that far back). It always amazes me when they can belt out a bar or two of the song, with no sheet music in front of them and getting the lyrics and notes right. I would be one of those who forgets lyrics all the time.
There were some fantastic, take your mind off everything else performances tonight. Some people did well, but still went home. It is getting difficult, people! I would probably literally cry if I were a coach, knowing you are sending someone with a lot of talent home, dashing their hopes and dreams. Especially for the younger ones, it is at this stage I sometimes wonder if some of the artists shouldn’t have worked on their vocals a little more, got some stage experience even if it was at some local talent show type of event, and THEN auditioned.
There were a couple of surprises leading up to the final and frankly one of the best Knock Outs I can remember. Esera Tuaolo, the former football player (and whose Battle we did NOT see on TV) was up first. In rehearsals, he had a moment where his face crumpled a bit. I feel that it was fate that Kelly was there (not that Jennifer hasn’t sung through emotional pain). His mom isn’t doing well health wise, and as he explained, she is the one that taught him to love music. If you have seen Kelly singing Piece by Piece on the last season of American Idol where Keith Urban became a hot mess of tears, you know what I am talking about. Adam Cunningham, his Knock Out opponent, was simply not as compelling. That didn’t stop Adam Levine from quickly using his steal. I feel that this was one of those “I wanted to steal you from the Blinds” instances. Frankly, in terms of some of the other people that went home versus Adam Cunningham, I would have kept Lucas Holliday, the Dollar store clerk that Blake said looked a little like Frasier Crane. I hope that Lucas continues to pursue a full time career in music, and I am grateful that the stylists trimmed his hair!
Halfway through the show, I’m realizing that damn, Miley had some strong singers that she had to pair up. This means another favorite went home. I loved Karli Webster’s quiet, pure 70’s but not outdated style. However, up against Janice Webster’s I’m Going Down powerhouse performance, I don’t think she stood a chance. Plus, I feel that song pick may have hurt her. Perhaps she doesn’t watch the show as carefully as I do. It wasn’t THAT long ago that Alisan Porter was knocking our socks off and making me immediately post on Facebook HOLY SHIT ARE YOU WATCHING WHAT I AM WATCHING in her Blind Audition with the same song, Blue Bayou. I wanted to make sure my memory wasn’t faulty, and yup, goosebumps all over. I didn’t get that with Karli. Thankfully, one of my faves, Davon Fleming is keeping his awesome smile, his joy, and his place on the show. He knocked out Eric with a pitch perfect performance without too many tricks. Eric Lyn, just as cute in his own way and just as talented, didn’t. Eric was smart to change up a classic to show off what he can do, in this case a jazzier rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On’. I think he was keeping in mind that it is Jennifer that decides not the general public, and she will have a more “refined palate” so to speak. But he FORGOT that if she didn’t pick him he had to appeal to the other 3 coaches so they’d use their steal. Even if they didn’t have someone in mind to steal, I don’t think jazz is in any of the remaining coach’s wheelhouse and that is such a specific genre.
Often after a Battle or a Knock Out round, I think “why the hell did the coach have to pair up those two?” With the last pairing of the night, I immediately thought “Oh shit”. If you’ve been reading my past blog entries and the comments for this season, you know that Banjo, TT’s famous pooch, and I have a decided thing for Ashland Craft. We’ve loved her from the beginning. She could be Miley’s ticket to owning that trophy and bragging rights. Tonight, she gave me goosebumps in the REHEARSAL, making Bon Jovi’s iconic “Wanted Dead or Alive” into a country rock chick song! It is one I will definitely listen to again, and I thought she had it in the bag, especially because I wasn’t THAT crazy about Chloe in the Blinds, and they skipped over her performance in the Battles.
Clearly. I. Was. Wrong.
I thought she did one of the best covers of Landslide I’ve ever heard, and if I had been playing the Dixie Chick’s version on a cassette tape back in the day? I would have had to buy it twice over from playing it so much. She freaking held that entire audience in the palm of her hand from the first word. Head to toe chills. Then Miley picked Ashland! I was flabbergasted, elated, and worried all at the same time. I think Ashland was a bit flabbergasted too, because she couldn’t help but realize what an amazing moment Chloe brought to the stage. My worry was brief. As Chloe was tearfully thanking Miley, both Blake and Jennifer slapped the crap out of their red buttons. Jennifer is great, but she was smart to pick Blake as it is a much better fit. In the Blinds, Blake’s FIRST question was about her genre. He plays dumb, but he knows how to do this no matter what your genre happens to be.
I think this is one of the weirdest Knock Outs I’ve watched, because I think Miley made the smart choice. I know a bunch of people may be thinking she was insanely stupid. You might think I’m crazy too! Here is the thing. While she and Chloe do match vocally in a lot of ways, Ashland is where Miley is headed in her own artistic path right now. Miley’s roots are clearly country. To break out of that Hannah Montana straightjacket, she went to pop to ride a wrecking ball and twerk a little. Her version of college if you will. Now she’s getting back to her basics but as an adult and with that pop experience. Clearly Ashland is ready to BE country, but willing to dip into rock and pop influences or songs. She does, in that regard, make me think of some very strong country women like Dolly, Loretta, and Wynonna. There was no way, after that performance Chloe was going home, and it will only serve her well to have spent a little time with Miley and end up with Blake.
I can’t WAIT to see what Chloe and Ashland’s respective coaches have in store for them. As much as I adore and admire Davon, Jon Mero (yet to be heard in the KOs), and some of the others, I think these two women could be in our final three.
Happy Halloween y’all. Stay safe, sane as much as possible, and I’ll see you in the comments.