This week was the first week of live performances with The Voice’s Top 12! If you’re reading and not from LA, there’s been a major heat wave this week. Carson Daly made this EXTRA obvious because the AC apparently blew out wherever they film the show. I guess he wanted to explain why people were sweating through their 30 pounds of makeup. He literally mentioned the heat over 10 times and even took off his blazer. Sorry Carson, we only want hints of nudity from Usher or Adam Levine. Anyways, this week was SUPER STRESSFUL because legitimately every single person sang beautifully. I made the very tough decision to highlight my favorite performance from one person on each judge’s team. Also SPOILER ALERT: Vedo and Garrett Gardner were eliminated this week. Read past my favorite performances to see whether I agreed and who I thought should have been eliminated.
Favorite Team Adam performance, Sarah Simmons: As you will hear me say repeatedly through this article, it’s indescribably difficult to say anyone was better than anyone else because this was an insanely stacked group of people. So although I loved all three of his team members’ performances, Sarah stood out this week. She has flown slightly under the radar, or maybe I haven’t noticed her as much because of her past song choices, but she blew me away this week. She sang “The Story” by Brandi Carlisle, which displayed her range from soft and soothing to booming and powerful. She’s a powerhouse to be reckoned with.
Favorite Team Blake performance, Holly Tucker: Holly Tucker is the ultimate underdog, especially on her own team. Her teammates, Danielle Bradberry and the Swan brothers, each have their own shtick. Danielle is the youngest contestant with her little Taylor Swift impersonations, while the Swan brothers are 1) brothers and 2) Blake’s teacher’s pets. She totally came into her own this week and crushed her song “Broken wing” by Martina McBride. I love that she doesn’t have any gimmick to get her by and is pure talent.
Favorite Team Shakira performance, NO ONE: So after being convinced that either Team Shakira or Team Usher was my favorite, I’ve become disappointed. Throughout the entire season, she’s had impeccable song selections for her contestants and in the most crucial phase, she’s let us down. Garrett did a “rocker” version of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. It just reminds me of boys in high school trying too hard. Sasha Allen sang some song I don’t remember and I posted her video above because it was the best technically, but Shakira told her to lose the Broadway exaggeration and yet, that’s the only thing I can hear in the performance. Finally, Kris Thomas sang “I’ll Be There” made famous by Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey. It was meh. Team Shakira is riding the struggle bus.
Favorite Team Usher performance, Josiah Hawley: I always thought Josiah skirted by on his looks (which trust me, I don’t mind), but this week he proved to be a well-rounded heartthrob. This was one of those classic moments where you feel like the guy is singing to you directly. Cue the whole audience swooning over someone other than Adam Levine. Also, who doesn’t love to break out emotionally singing along to any song by The Script?
Brief Elimination Thoughts: Vedo and Garrett were two of my absolute favorites! They were totally sabotaged by the song choices. Vedo sang “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson and danced as well. They gave him too much too fast. Garrett definitely created a niche for himself as a teen rocker, looking like a young version of the lead singer from All-American Rejects. Because of that, Shakira gave him a bit too cliché song choice, having him cover Backstreet Boys in a punk way. It was a little too 2003. Based on technical performances, I guess this was the most accurate decision. But based on my heart, I probably would have been okay to see the Swan Brothers and Judith Hill go home. Too bad they’re powerhouses. I just happen not to have a major connection with either set of performers.
If this week was difficult to watch, I cannot imagine how much harder it will get! I guess this is a better situation than if they all sucked like on every other singing competition out there, right?