By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Sometimes I do not understand America’s votes!
Going into the Live Playoffs, I thought that we would have another season like Seasons Two, Five or Eight on our hands…where we had multiple artists, who could be their season’s likely winner. However, because of America’s votes…I believe that we are going to see a repeat of last season, where there was clearly one frontrunner who was clearly marked at the beginning of the season, and everyone else was just: “Meh!”
Instead of the powerful voices of Ryan Quinn, Tamar Davis, Joe Maye, Katie Basden, Moushumi and Brian Nhira, we have artists that in all honesty do not belong in the Season 10 Top 12! I wish that there was someway that Carson Daly, Mark Burnett and the rest of The Voice Powers-That-Be make some changes that could make the singing competition much more exciting.
For example, in addition to bringing new coaches Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus into the fold, they should have someone outside the show critique the artists each week off camera. They should be at least a music mogul, entertainment manager, songwriter, radio DJ or a blogger. It would be interesting to watch Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Kara DioGuardi, Billy Bush or myself give honest feedback about the artists and their future outside the show. Plus, I would love to see Adam and Blake squirm.
While we can all hope for the day an AGT/Voice crossover happens, let’s go back to this season’s Top 12! Who rocked? Who stunk? Read on to find out…
Team Blake’s Mary Sarah opened up the show! The remaining female country artist tackled Carrie Underwood’s “So Small.” I always wonder what goes through contestant’s minds when they pick very successful Reality TV alums’ songs. The Idol winner’s voice is omnipotent, and it would be hard for someone to rise to the challenge. To quote a certain “dawg,” Mary Sarah’s performance was very pitchy! I think she could be fighting for the Instant Save tomorrow. C-
Laith Al-Saadi was the first Team Adam member to perform tonight. He chose Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign.” At times, I thought that the band overpowered Laith’s vocals, but I believe that brilliantly interpreted the Delta Blues anthem and he remains one of the season’s most consistent artists. I could see him running all the way to the end. A-
Daniel Passino continued his Voice comeback journey by tackling the King of Pop’s “Human Nature.” He is one of the only artists that has the confidence to produce and arrange a cover with so much ease. While I was a little hesitant when I heard about Daniel’s choice (he chose MJ for crying out loud), he earned his stripes tonight, and I believe that he continues to deliver that quality of performances, Daniel might be receiving several phone calls from labels at the end of the competition. B+
After revealing Blake’s new cover for his May 20th record, Team Pharrell’s “unicorn,” Emily Keener chose “Lilac Wine” for her Top 12 performance. In all honesty, this performance put me to sleep. She has a soothing voice, but I wanted to hear her tackle some Lorde or Florence Welch. The only reason why it is not in the “C” range is that all four coaches stood up. B
In all honesty, I was very surprised that Nick Hagelin was saved over Ryan Quinn and Tamar Davis! He had a lot to prove to me tonight. The former ballet dancer tackled Coach Blake’s “Mine Would Be You.” Unfortunately, Nick’s dedication to his wife was all over the place, and if I had an AGT buzzer, I would buzz him during the performance. His vocals were off by a tenfold. It was a train wreck! F
Team Blake’s Adam Wakefield dedicated his performance to his late brother: The Allman Brothers Band’s “Soulshine.” Adam delivered a solid performance that would make his brother, Gregg and Duane Allman very proud. It was one of the best male vocal performances of the night! A-
Bryan Bautista tackled a 1990s anthem: Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose.” I have waited for someone to sing the Batman Forever track on this show. Unfortunately, Bryan’s performance lacked the passion and fire that made this Seal song-a beloved track. While he recovered nicely at the end, I am afraid that the middle part of the song might cause Bryan to sing for the Instant Save tomorrow night. C
Last week, Adam saved Owen Danoff from the Bottom Four. He tackled Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” and he ruined what was going to be an excellent performance by FORGETTING THE WORDS! If you are not going to remember the words at this stage of the competition, you should be immediately eliminated from the contest! F
Team Christina’s Alisan Porter tackled Demi Lovato’s “Stone Cold” for her Top 12 performance. In all honesty, this was the performance of the night! A+
I think Paxton Ingram is this season’s Sanjaya Malakar. He was great during the Blinds, Battles, and Knockouts, but unfortunately…he has not done very well in the Live portion of the show. I think he did a decent job covering Selena Gomez’s “Hands to Myself,” but the writing is on the wall, and Paxton might be singing for the save tomorrow night. C+
Team Pharrell’s Hannah Huston tacked Etta James’ “Something’s Got A Hold on Me.” Hannah is going to have a problem this week, because fans still remember Team Xtina’s fiery Kimberly Nichole’s remarkable cover of Ms. James’ song, two seasons ago. But, I believe that Hannah met that challenge and in fact if Ms. Kimberly Nichole comes back to the show for a duet…I would love to hear the two soul divas cover this song. A-
Shalyah Fearing closed out the night! Like Hannah, she had to cover a song that was previously covered on a singing competition and that singer’s interpretation of that track played an integral part of that show’s history. The song is “Up to the Mountain” and the singer that performed the song was Crystal Bowersox on Simon Cowell’s final night on Idol. While Crystal gave a blue-eyed soul approach to the hymn, Shalyah took the song to the gospel route, and she delivered a spectacular performance. She was also the first (and sadly only) artist to give me the goosies! I hope that we see her in this season’s finale. A+
Tomorrow night, the Instant Save returns!
Kimberly Nichole’s performance of “Something’s Got A Hold on Me” belongs to NBC & United Artists Media Group. Meanwhile, Crystal Bowersox’s performance of “Up To the Mountain” belongs to FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment.