This has to be incredibly nerve racking for the artists. They record everything we just watched these past weeks, then go home (I’m not exactly sure of the time line). I also feel badly for Jennifer, as it has to be hard to go live with the news of her marriage going through a very nasty breakup. This week I want to try a little different format. I’ve always picked my top three, then 3 weakest. But this group is so strong, and so different, that I cannot pick just three. Plus my brain is tired tonight.
Keep in mind that the artists moving on are up to US, and not the judges. If they are smart, we’ll see a slight shift in song choices. You can’t be an indie type of singer and pick the weird shit no one but a professional musician or a fan of that specific little genre has heard unless you can sing it in a way that appeals to the masses. Not to get political, but the contest leading up to this was the primaries and now is the general election with 12 candidates!
As far as I know, the order is very random. It is live, so no more formula. I want to know who YOU think is going far, and WHY. Especially the why.
Overall, I LOVE the mentions of how their various communities (or new communities like country fans for Keisha) are supporting them. People need something positive to support these days! Oh, unless I brain farted, it seems that only Miley was filmed talking to her entire team of three women. We get a glimpse of this confab before each of Miley artist’s individual practice footage airs. I take great pleasure in the fact that the three artists appear to be so supportive of each other. The media is so fucking quick to try to find a “cat fight” between women, in ways they don’t with men.
I’ve noticed in several performances that they are letting the backup singers out to sing on stage with some of the singers (when appropriate). At first I was surprised, then I loved it. Shout out to the hair, make-up, and the stylists. They are on point with almost every single artist, especially the women.
Brooke Simpson, Team Miley
Song: Praying by Kesha
Goosebumps started all across my scalp at PRACTICE. The live performance and her comfort level on stage afterward did not disappoint. I still wonder, where the hell did this woman come from? Love the polished look on her. I’m hoping the earrings are an acceptable nod to her community (I have no idea if her native community traditionally does beadwork).
Red Marlow, Team Blake
Song: “The Church on Cumberland Road” by Shenandoah
Never heard of the song. Not sure I like this one for the first live. Technically excellent, and great energy on stage. However, Blake and he need to remember that not everyone is as deep into the classics as they are. I’d still like to see him move on. (Side note: It was better on the second listen but on a two hour show, I think TT and I are the only ones who listen/watch a second time). The last artists of the night are lucky if people haven’t switched channels to another show like the RHOOC reunion.
Song: Vision of Love by Mariah Carey
OK, despite my initial dislike of her performances early on, this was extremely good. Other artists have received tweets of encouragement from the artists whose songs they sang in the recorded rounds. Somehow I am doubtful that Mariah will be tweeting Shi’Ann. Not because she wasn’t good, but because her notes were lower than any Mariah has ever sang, AND she can sing the high notes Mariah shouldn’t even attempt anymore!!!
Jon Mero, Team Adam
Song: Why I Love You by Major
Jon didn’t get the attention he deserves in the past rounds. Not a song I recognize either. But with Red I felt that it was a song choice because if you like country music you “should know it”. For Jon, I think he picked it because it fits his voice and style so damn well. This bodes so well for him not only in the contest, but in his career going forward. I love his range. Hope he moves on even if he hasn’t garnered a lot of attention.
Ashland Craft, Team Miley
Song: Delta Dawn by Tanya Tucker
Take note, Red, because this is the kind of classic you should be performing. A song choice that at the very mention has me going YAY!, and someone texting me the simple words “OMG, Delta Dawn!” Loved how Miley and she worked together to pick the song (I hope that at some point they do Chicken Fried). While the initial guitar playing and her laying it down at the intro was slightly awkward, she worked the stage like a pro at the end. More importantly, her vocals were spot on! (I want a recording of Miley and Ashland singing this as a duet, dammit).
Adam Cunningham, Team Adam
Song: Against All Odds by Phil Collins
Country Adam, I question how far you are going to get when your coach suggests an awesome rock song that so freaking obviously fits your country voice, and you make an ugly, doubtful face. Now is not the time to hesitate. Country Adam needs to show how he has something different and special from the other THREE country artists also competing. Decent performance despite a flub at the beginning that I didn’t catch (the coaches did) but Country Adam is screwed.
Chloe Kohanski, Team Blake
Song: Thank You by Dido
She is an artist who is thoughtful and knows her instrument. She broke a record in being the best selling artist leading up to the lives on iTunes. I think she cracked a note, but it was one of those moments that makes a live recording awesome. Blake was so tickled at her performance he could barely sit still or stop himself from giggling with excitement!
Song: Love on Top by Beyonce
If I ever saw this guy in person, I would probably be arrested for assault because I would run over and hug the ever loving shit out of him. Apparently Beyonce “sent this song” to Team JHud. How can this guy take the songs usually meant for a feminine voice, and sing them with a masculine tone without it being forced? Nice moves (and I’m so glad he didn’t try to match Beyonce’s moves…only Justin Timberlake can do that, when in tights).
Addison Agen, Team Adam
Song: She Used to Be Mine by Sara Bareilles
Excellent song choice. Not necessarily a personal fave, but I like how it fits her voice and style. This girl is in high school, but I think she’s a old soul. She’s tapped into something I can’t describe. Miley did though when she said Addison has a stillness and confidence in her performance that she (Miley) didn’t have at the same age. Adam used the words class, dignity, and soulfulness. I can’t improve on those descriptions.
Keisha Renee, Team Blake
Song: Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight (and the Pips).
I love hearing that the country music fans and community are embracing Keisha. There is a reason why the deeply country I Will Always Love You became an R&B hit. The roots are very much the same, like soul food and Southern food. Keisha may be an amazing bridge with song choices and performances like this one. One of my fave performances of the night and one I’ll revisit (especially because she left the hat backstage!).
Noah Mac, Team Jennifer
Song: Speed of Sound by Coldplay
With this guy, I think JHud knows she just has to take a seat and then interject with occasional suggestions without throwing up roadblocks. If he doesn’t have a career on stage, this kid has a career in musical arrangement. Adam says he looks like he is from the 50s, but sorry Adam, this kid reminds me of the best of the 80s sound, but made modern. He might not be everyone’s favorite, and won’t be the general population’s #1, but as an 80s child, I now adore this kid.
Janice Freeman, Team Miley
Song: The Story by Brandi Carlile
OK, confession time. At first I thought the song was from BELINDA CARLISLE, and I was like “what?” then lost my shit that a Go-Go’s song would be performed on The Voice. Once a few seconds passed I got over my disappointment, Janice. Blew. My. Mind. I suspect that many people in that performance space thought she was singing directly to them. Fucking amazing. All the coaches were on their feet and many shoes were thrown, including Blake’s!!! Miley was near tears, Janice almost started crying, and frankly, I did. Dammit.
Great night of music y’all. Carson mentioned a performance by Maroon 5 for Tuesday, and apparently all 12 are going to be in a video premiering tomorrow with the Pitch Perfect people.