Welcome to a new recap of The Voice! Before I begin, was it just me or did NBC really blow out the budget for staging on some of the performances? I thought that some of it was way over the top-until a friend reminded me that this is what happens when we get to the final eight. Anyway, my rankings for the performances are below. Remember, it’s only my opinion, and I’m not here to change your mind, or for you to change mine.
Best performance of the night goes to Matt McAndrew for his controlled, dramatic take on Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter.”
Damien’s run through Adele’s “Someone Like You” was also very well done. He has been solid throughout the competition-though I will still be surprised if he wins.
Craig Wayne Boyd comes in third with his take on the Eagles’ “Take It Easy.” The performance was great; but with a song choice like that, the harmonies are a big part of the song. Saddling him with four or five background singers may have detracted from his performance. After all, it is called The Voice for a reason.
Taylor John Williams’ re-imagining of Lorde’s “Royals” comes in here. Another solid, winning performance, with an arrangement that worked for him. The arrangements didn’t always work for everyone else though (see below).
DaNica Shirey comes in here. I love DaNica, I do. But “Sweet Dreams” by Heart didn’t really do her any favors. She gave it her all, but there were some weak moments in there.
Chris Jamison and “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye comes here for me. I may be in the minority, but I didn’t really like his take on this classic. He made a wonderful effort at it, and his falsetto runs were pretty good, but by the end he was running out of voice, and running out of gas.
Ryan Sill comes in seventh with his take on Journey’s “Open Arms.” A big, bombastic ballad that he didn’t quite have enough for. It was ok, but I don’t think it’s enough to keep him here this time around.
Luke Wade finishes last with his effort on Simply Red’s “Holding Back The Years.” The arrangement completely sunk him, I think. He was lost throughout the performance. This was a surprise to me, because when I heard what he would be singing, I thought that it was right in his wheelhouse. And had the original arrangement been used, I think he would have killed it. I have a hard time seeing him overcome this performance, but that wasn’t the Luke that I liked from the first night of the first show of the season.
Bonus reaction-that Gwen Stefani song with Pharrell-what was that? I didn’t feel it at all. Maybe in another thousand listens, I might get what they were trying to do.
So what is your take on the final eight performances? Let me know in the comments.