By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Who’s not “Happy” that Pharrell is down to only one phenomenal artist, while both lovebirds Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani each have full teams that contain average, abysmal or arrogant artists?
I have nothing against both Team Blake’s Emily Ann Roberts and Team Gwen’s Jeffrey Austin, who are their respective team standouts. But, I do have an axe to grind with several of their fellow artists.
America, can you please get rid of Braiden Sunshine? He is the Daniel Seavey to Jeffrey Austin’s Rayvon Owen and Jordan Smith’s Clark Beckham! He has no business being in this stage of the competition. Also, could you please give Zach Seabaugh his walking papers? Zach seems like a Rising Star contestant that survived being run over by the Jesse Kinch Express and was able to make it to Universal Studios Hollywood! Lastly, Barrett Baber has gotten too cocky in my humble opinion, I really wished that Mark Burnett had Usher or Xtina on speed dial and asked them to give Barrett a verbal strip down like they did to artists in their first seasons on the show.
Anyway, let’s get to tonight’s performances!
Who rocked? Which artists proved that they might be preparing for next week’s Top Nine Great Exodus? Who might have to sing for the Instant Save tomorrow night? Read on to find out…
Jeffrey Austin kicked off the night with Labrinth’s “Jealous.” It was hard for me to listen to Jeffrey without comparing his performance to The X Factor UK’s one-time frontrunner Josh Daniel’s cover. While Jeffrey did not connect with the song as I wanted him to, Josh Daniel’s tribute to his deceased best friend not only broke my heart, but he also made both Cheryl Fernandez Versini AND Simon Cowell weep. Sorry, Jeffrey! This wasn’t my favorite performance from you! C-
Team Blake’s Emily Ann Roberts received some incredible gifts from country royalty: her first guitar from her coach and a personal phone call from Wynonna Judd. Now, she took those special moments and translated into a marvelous cover of Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You.” What I loved about Emily’s performance was that she was able to grasp at my attention from the very first note. It will be hard to imagine a Season Nine finale without her. A-
If I was in the possession of an America’s Got Talent buzzer and was sitting on the dais with the coaches, I would buzz Braiden Sunshine out throughout his entire performance. This young man is poorly unfit to handle this show and the pressures that this show brings. When you are tackling a song like Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive,” you have to bring your A-game! Braiden’s performance was a train wreck from start to finish! If you want to see someone really rock “Radioactive,” watch Caleb Johnson’s final Hollywood Week performance! F
Shelby Brown dedicated her cover of Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain” to her late grandfather. This performance was heartfelt, gave me chills and secured her place in next week’s battle royale. If Shelby continues to deliver these type of performances, I believe that she might pull up an upset and be in this season’s Top Four. B+
Korin Bukowski has become this season’s Kat Perkins! She was saved twice this season by the fans. However, I believe that she will not be saved this week. Korin will be moving straight through to the Top Nine. I thought that I was listening to her coach performing the new Selena Gomez track: “Same Old Love,” but I was pleasantly surprised that it was Korin and not Gwen. Nice comeback, Korin! A-
Amy Vachal surprised everyone with her mature version of *NSYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.” This song was a huge part of my childhood. While she did not follow Kristian Lundin, Jake Schulze and Andreas Carlsson’s Dance-pop map, Amy delivered a haunting take on one of the millennial generation’s greatest anthems. A
Why Adam Why? The Maroon 5 singer assigned Jordan Smith to sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” This song is already in The Voice Hall of Fame, thanks to Team Christina’s Matthew Schuler’s outstanding cover during Season Five. It was really, really hard for me not to compare Jordan’s performance to Matthew’s. However, Jordan took it to church and gave me my first case of the goosies for the night! Bravo, Jordan! A+
Zach Seabaugh and Queen go together like a dictionary and Randy Jackson! Zach has been another singer that has annoyed me since the season’s inception. His cover of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Call Love” was abysmal. If you really want to listen to an impeccable cover of the Queen hit, watch Joshua Ledet’s show-stopping cover from American Idol! F
Team Pharrell’s Madi Davis is Pharrell’s last artist standing! She breathed new life into Cyndi Lauper’s classic girl power anthem: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” The arrangement was perfection and Madi’s vocals were outstanding! I really hope that Pharrell has a presence in this season’s finale, because Madi is amazing and should be one of the last artists standing. A
Barrett Baber closed out the night with a tribute to his home state of Arkansas in the form of Conway Twitty’s I’d Just Love to Lay You Down, In all honesty, while it was a good performance…Barrett has fallen to the middle of the pack and I believe that he cannot get out of being the median of this year’s crop of artists. C
Tomorrow night, Sia takes the stage as the Top Nine are revealed!
Question of the week: “Should The Voice bring in a music industry representative such as Simon Cowell, Clive Davis, Kara DioGuardi, Sharon Osbourne or LA Reid to give honest (and hopefully constructive) feedback to both artists and their coaches during the Live Shows?”
Footage of Josh Daniel’s “X Factor UK” audition belongs to iTV and SYCO Entertainment.
Footage of Joshua Ledet and Caleb Johnson’s “American Idol” performances belong to 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & FOX.