They definitely saved the best for last, and Kelly seems to be settling in a little – or at least, isn’t annoying me as much. Damn, she is quick with the comebacks!
Kelly may be a bit crazy and a bit emotional, but she’s DEFINITELY strategic. The first singer of the week, Stephanie Skipper, sang Kelly’s “Piece by Piece”. Kelly just barely heard it and started crying. Hell, I cried. She was anguished over it, and even yelled Thank You to Adam when he hit his button. Then Blake turned. Kelly tried to explain and apologize, but she was choked up and then the singer won me on her attitude when she told Kelly she didn’t need to apologize, she was on the show!
Unlike some first year coaches, Kelly is NOT looking to the others. She was the only turn on four different artists, although one of them was because the other three teams were full. Both she and Alicia passed on performers I was sure they would turn, citing a need for balance on their teams or having a specific type they were waiting to hear. I also noticed Adam is doing something we saw more of in the earlier seasons, he is telling the artists what they need to work on, or what he could do to help them grow as an artist by challenging them. I LOVE that, and it is part of the reason why I loved the show early on.
I feel like this week’s group really stepped up their A game in song choices, and there were some REALLY brave choices. Not only did Stephanie pick Kelly’s song, But another artist sang one of Alicia Keys’. The coaches do tend to overuse the words “That was a brave choice” but I think when you go out and knowingly sing a one of the signature songs written by a coach? You. Have. Guts.
If you haven’t watched any of the Blinds, you should at least watch this week. I haven’t decided who, but I believe it is this week that we heard the winner. First week I’ve had a hard time picking out the ones to highlight. It is also shaping into a season of “indie” type singers. Should prove interesting.
Artists I’m keeping my eye on are:
Tish Haynes Keys
I’m with Kelly on this one, I can’t believe that she didn’t get a four chair turn. She was off the chain with Chain of Fools. Pun intended. She was fantastic. The camera was in a wide shot when she started, and people were on their feet immediately. She showed some nerves before and after a little, but there was NOTHING hesitant or nervous about her performance. Also, her quick wit and ability to shoot some smart ass right back to the coaches, especially Blake, will make her fun to watch. She is hilarious! I also loved her reason for picking Adam. She wants to grow and be pushed as a singer.
We’ve heard some “old school” smooth GUY singers, but we haven’t heard many women. This young 17 year old has a very interesting, breathy type voice. I liked her performance a lot, and not just because I like the song Dream a Little Dream. I couldn’t figure out what other songs would fit her voice at all, but Alicia sure came up with one. Alicia started singing “Earth Angel” and I thought “perfect!”. Livia also did the arrangement on this song, and plays the ukulele. We’ve enjoy watching some interesting performances artists collaborate with coaches on musical arranging in the past!
Hannah is one of the gutsy ones. She got up there and effortlessly sang her ass off with Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You”. For her trouble, she earned one of only four 4 chair turns this season. Things got a little spicy though, when Kelly finally used her block on Alicia. Alicia took it all in her stride, said it was good strategy, but people actually BOOED! I don’t recall ever hearing that on The Voice. It paid off for Kelly, though, as she was the first one to actually get the artist after using her block. We also got our answer – the block will NOT be back for the rest of the season.
I was raised on Willie, and Always on My Mind is one of my favorites. So I am picky. I loved this arrangement and the ethereal quality to her voice. It is hard to describe, but it was almost as if Judy Collins went country. Her nerves were evident, as Adam said her voice was a little shaky, because she was literally shaking in her boots. The thing is, she made those nerves beautiful. When Blake turned, he definitely had that sparkle he sometimes gets with certain artists and sometimes those artists end up winning. She was smart to pick him as her coach; I think with him she has a real shot at it.
Next week, the Battles.
In the sneak peek for next week, it looks like they are actually doing something I thought some were doing behind the scenes. Coaches will be working with the artists more extensively, and they will be working on the complete performance not just the vocals. I am firmly convinced that Gwen’s makeover of Craig Wayne Boyd, Season 7 winner, helped him grab the attention of America and go on to win. (Craig started out on Team Blake, then in the Battles got snatched up by Gwen, only to be taken back by Blake in the Knockout round.) Sound bites of the performances sound stellar.
I am actually shocked at the guest coaches next week. I only recognized one person for their musical ability, Trace Adkins. Not necessarily someone I listen to, but at least I have heard of him. I’ve heard of Hailee Steinfeld and thought she was amazing in True Grit a number of years ago, but I had no idea she even had musical aspirations beyond being friends with Taylor Swift. THIS is the lineup they have the season they are going up against American Idol? Is this an inkling that they are at least waterskiing around the shark, getting ready to jump?