Kiiiiiiiind of underwhelmed this season, guys. Or is this how it always feels during the blind auditions?
- Observation #1: There was a family interview where they hugged and a Starbucks cup (*cough* prop) fell over and nothing spilled out. How much you wanna bet they’re empty??? And just placed randomly around the shots?
- Observation #2: A lot of the sob stories can’t sing all that well… but they have interesting stories that humanize the show, so I get it.
- HOLLY HENRY. I like like like like like her! I like this song, I like the way she did it and didn’t mind that she had that typical soft raspy quirky voice because she showed she can sing with power too. And, Team BLAKE. Wee!
- And Johnny Gray — I liked him. Great, GREAT song choice and he had a really strong opening. Plus, seems like a nice guy. Yay!
- And yes, I think Tessanne Chin is good… but too many similarities to Judith Hill! Producers, we can see what you’re trying to do! Back-up singer, mixed heritage, power vocals. At least she seems nicer… and I will admit, hearing her talk is super cool. But… yeah, not the end all be all by any means.
Wellllcomeeee back, the Voice! And what’s that you have? AN EMMY???? Well-deserved, I’d say! And welcome back to our dear old coaches, Cee-Lo and Christina. Looks like it’s going to be an interesting season, no doubt.
Too lazy to recap everything, but the things I thought that were worth commenting on:
- Favorite line of the night: “You can’t lose either way…” Blake: “Yes, you can.” HA! Blake, I missed you!
- Kat – super strong voice, but can’t see the rocker thing making it to the end…
- The young blond (Caroline) — felt like the producers were trying to hard to recreate someone young and innocent like Danielle Bradbery, who obviously won last season. BUT, her voice reminded me more of Caroline Glaser, who was eliminated. Not expecting her to make it very far.
- Donna Allen – obviously an amazing vocalist, but will never win.
- Matthew Schuler – LOVE. GOOD. GOOD. KEEP HIM. I think he’s charming and sweet and I love his song choice (not what you’d expect, arranged and sung interestingly) – he’s going to do well! I feel it in my bones. (Couldn’t believe he went with Christina, but okay!)
- Nic – good for a laugh, but can’t imagine him making it to the end… and you know, only like 1 in 4 make it past the knock offs!
- Shelbie Z – am curious about this one… liked her, but nothing jaw-droppingly awesome. But that being said, I ate my words when Amber Carrington made it to the end last year!
- Josh Logan – you know what, Microsoft ruined this song for me. But I still like your voice and your quiet, gentle demeanor.
- And the closer of the episode – James Wolpert – I had never heard his song before, and the first half of his song wasn’t that exciting… but then… he hit the middle and you KNEW something good was going to happen. Goosebumps! (Plus, he’s cute! and he’s clearly smart, educated, and made a very intentional decision to a) work for the Apple store and b) drop out/”postpone” school). Curious what else he can sing!
Episode 2, here we come!
It’s weird to watch an episode of The Voice and not be anticipating what craziness Judith Hill will pull off… or what interesting vocal twists and turns Sarah Simmons will perform. I miss them.
But the show must go on, eh?
It does feel like The Country Voice now, with even Sasha freaking Allen singing country. Her other song, though, was Aretha. And it was Good. And it was a nice respite from all the country.
While Holly Tucker and Amber Carrington are clearly strong vocalists and do really well, I just can’t find anything SPECIAL about them to draw me in. If anything, it feels like they’re going after what makes Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson so great, but the world already has a Carrie Underwood and we already have a Kelly Clarkson!
Danielle Bradbery, on the other hand… I loved her second song! That ending was fannnntastic. The favorite to win, right?
And Michelle Chamuel, somehow you have charmed the ears off of America and we LOVE you. It is so strange. Somehow your quirkiness and genuine nervousness in the first few episodes has been replaced by a quiet determination and confidence that allows you to sing Taylor Swift with a straight face (I love Taylor but I can’t hear this song without hearing goats anymore).
I’m also impressed (again) by Usher and the strings he can pull. I can’t wait until we get a Bieber appearance! But wait. He’s not having the best PR of his life so mayyyybe not.
And okay fine, the Swon Brothers. I can’t believe they’re still here! I will say that they seem like fun guys, based on the little tidbits you see in interviews and videos… but, still, I’m picking them as most likely to get eliminated. And since I haven’t watched tonight’s episode… that’ll be my theory for now.
I’ve skipped a few weeks of blog posts but that last elimination stunned me, so it was time to put the pen to paper (or fingers to the keys).
Top 12 -> Top 10
- Three weeks later, I can’t say that any one of the performances stuck out in my mind… so I won’t bother highlighting any.
- Was not surprised Garrett was eliminated. He just wasn’t the strongest, despite having a seemingly sweet personality and great rapport with Shakira.
- VEDO had such a great story and charisma, but this really was a season for the ladies.
Top 10 -> Top 8
- Even though I’ve never been the biggest Judith fan, her Michael Jackson rocked! (can’t find the official version for some reason)
- Big kudos to Holly Tucker — I kind of loved hearing “How Great Thou Art” on national TV… not to mention it was very timely give all the destruction in Oklahoma.
- And I loved Michelle Chamuel covering Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason”:
- Kris & Josiah going home… was sad, but not surprising, again. If anything, I’m proud of them for getting this far!
Top 8 -> Top 6
- Michelle’s “Grenade” was awesome — props to Usher for great song choices for Michelle the past few weeks.
- But… in my opinion, absolute standout performance was Amber Carrigton’s “Skyfall”. So gorgeous. And it shows crazy versatility because she’s a country singer! Or well, country-pop. Makes me a little worried for Ms. Danielle!
- OMG that elimination!!! I totally get it. Sarah’s been at the bottom before so it wasn’t a complete shocker… but I just really liked her! From the very beginning — that blind audition video really, really sold me.
- And Judith… so pro, so polished. Maybe that’s really what screwed her in the end?
And at the very least, it’s clearly a country-dominant season, so props to Holly (she’s still here?!), Amber, Danielle, and the Swon Brothers. All the non-country fans can now collectively back Michelle and Sasha… will be interesting to see if they can out-vote the rest of the country bloc. OR maybe this overwhelmingly country season convinced the rest of America to tune out, hence the drop in ratings?
Just a lot of fun music releases (or teasers of music releases) that were worth sharing:
Sara Bareilles – Brave (what an anthem! can’t wait for her show next month)
Psy – Gentleman (I canNOT believe how popular he is!)
Pentatonix – Evolution of Music (this was so creative & fun)
Daft Punk (ft. Pharrell Williams) – Get Lucky (while this is only the teaser for the song, the world is going craaaazy over it. This is going to be the song of the summer.)
Anna Kendrick – Cups (I loved the scene in Pitch Perfect, but am a little aghast that they turned it into a single AND a music video)
What are you listening to? Like anything I shared above?
Tuesday episodes of the Voice are always a little less exciting because they’re trying to cram so much into only an hour (vs. the 1.5 hour Monday episodes), but battles are battles!
- Battle #1: Warren vs. Michael (Team Adam) — I actually liked Michael better… but I do think the coaches are choosing based on versatility and marketability, not just 100% pure talent, especially when it’s close
- Battle #2: Josiah vs. Jeff (Team Usher) — You had to know Usher would pick Josiah after that botched practice with Jeff… not to mention, Josiah was a model. M-o-d-e-l is another spelling for marketable!
Battles 3-5 weren’t even televised! Whoa! For those six, they didn’t even get screentime… which must have been devastating to them. For a lot of people, I bet part of the allure of the Voice is hopefully getting some publicity, but for them… nope. I get why it has to be this way (so many contestants, only so many episodes) but felt a twinge of sympathy.
- Battle #3: Grace vs. Trevor (Team Blake) — I had to go back and figure out who these people were… Grace had a really interesting audition but didn’t really catch my eye (ear?) and Trevor’s blind audition didn’t even get fully aired. Gone before you knew him.
- Battle #4: Audrey vs. Jamila (Team Usher) — Similar situation — Audrey had an okay blind audition (I actually didn’t love it, but she was hilarious when she chose Usher super-quick like that) and Jamila didn’t get screentime.
- Battle #5: Tawnya vs. Mark (Team Shakira) — Both had their blind auditions aired, but Tawyna’s was definitely better. Definitely.
And the grand finale!
- Battle #6: Danielle Bradbury vs. Caroline Glaser (Team Blake) — Danielle was the adorable little country girl who sang T Swift’s “Mean” (with an awesome backstory) and Caroline was the coffee-shop country singer with a unique voice. They were both really good and seemed like they avoided cattiness, but I wasn’t surprised that Blake went with Danielle (nor was I disappointed!) but it was really fun to see Adam and Usher literally throw themselves at Caroline for the steal. J and I chat about this show after each episode and we talk a lot about how Usher comes as so, so cool all the time with his one-liners, but in this episode, he was straight up BEGGING Caroline to choose him! And… she didn’t. I think she made the better choice with Adam, but it was pretty awesome watching Usher beg. Can you imagine Usher begging you!? For anything?!
Anyway, the battles are half(?) over and then onto the “knockoffs”… if you’re not already watching, now’s a good time to jump in!
SPOILERS AHEAD! Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
If you missed it… Judith Hill (the one who sang with Michael Jackson) performed in her battle tonight. What does it say that she’s the capstone of the season premiere, and also the capstone of the first episode of the battles? She is a force to be RECKONED with!
I would have eaten my foot if Adam hadn’t picked Judith Hill… even though Karina did a great job. I don’t think this battle was as amazing and game-changing as Judith’s blind audition, but she’s still definitely a front-runner.
When it comes to battles, I don’t think anyone will ever forget that seriously epic, get-on-your-feet Jesse Campbell vs. Anthony Evans battle back in Season 2… not only because it was amazing but because Christina eliminated the one we totally thought would win! Anything (apparently) can happen on the Voice.
I skipped season 3 so it’s really interesting to think about the element of the “steal” and how it plays into the coaches’ strategy (not to mention the psyche of the “stolen” artist). I will say that I was pretty surprised by how this episode turned out. I had really liked Sasha from her blind audition and honestly thought J’Sun was better than Garrett, but what do I know? I totally agreed with Blake on keeping Holly but didn’t love his rationale–why make it sound like she did a whatevs job and chalk it up to “this is my genre”? He did it again with the Swon Brothers, which I thought was really crazy–I can totally see Christian being popular and marketable (teen girls, yo). I didn’t love Taylor and wasn’t surprised when Adam kept Jess, but I was surprised by the other coaches throwing their weight behind Taylor.
I also didn’t realize each coach only got two steals, which makes me think Shakira was a little reckless in using them up so soon… but then again, I thought Sasha was great and maybe Taylor just didn’t thrive under Usher. I can see how each of the coaches has a different philosophy and probably cultivate different things in their team, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next.