Night two of the live playoffs had some good performances, some less than good performances, some what the heck was that performances, and some interesting audience reactions. I think my impressions of the night were way different in some cases than those of the coaches. At any rate, Team Adam and Team Christina stepped up to the microphone to attempt to wow the audience and win some votes.
First up for Team Adam was Tonya Boyd-Cannon who performed “Take Me To The Pilot” by Elton John. I was intrigued by the song choice for Tonya, but it turned out to be in her ballpark. The song really worked for her, which proves that Adam was right. The performance got the night off to a good start.
Next up is Joshua Davis who sang “Budapest” by George Ezra. His performance was solid, good throughout. However he was a bit weaker on the falsetto parts, but not enough to derail the performance. And for the first time, Carson Daly’s promise of “stripped down performances” comes off. For this particular song, it allows the audience to pay close attention to the vocal.
Team Christina’s first artist is Sonic, who performs “I’m Going Down” by Rose Royce. Yes, I know on the broadcast they said Mary J.Blige, but those of us who know better certainly know that Rose Royce performed that Norman Whitfield song first. But we understand-Mary J.’s version is more recent, even if it is over twenty years old. Sonic’s rehearsals were, to put it charitably, rough. And unfortunately for her, it carried over to her live performance. It was all over the place, and not in a good way. And for the first time, there were a ton of bum notes. From start to finish, there were bad notes. She may not make it past this round, I fear.
Brian Johnson is up next, performing “At This Moment” by Billy Vera and The Beaters. I was over this song when it came out…but Brian gives a very good performance of it. It built nicely, and he hit every note. Compared to what has come before, this was the best of the night at this point.
Following Brian is Kimberly Nichole, who gives “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes a try. I haven’t been her biggest fan so far in the competition, but this performance apparently gives the audience and the coaches what they want. The song is sung well, and sold well also. I have to admit I liked it a little less than mostly everyone else, but based on her conviction, I think she has won herself some votes. Certainly she has done enough to last one more week.
Lexi Dávila steps up next and performs “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen. I think this song is too much for her, even though it gives her a chance to let loose with some glory notes. And while the song seems to fit in her wheelhouse, I hear lots of bum notes. Christina raved about Lexi’s pitch in rehearsals; it’s too bad that to me her pitch is what failed her in this performance.
Nathan Hermida is up next, and Adam gives him “Chains” by Nick Jonas. Last season it was Ed Sheeran; this season apparently it’s Nick Jonas. So, Nathan gets on stage…and gives what can be best described as a meh performance. It wasn’t great by any stretch; it had its share of bum notes. But it wasn’t necessarily as bad as Sonic’s earlier train wreck either. It just wasn’t memorable-it was just there.
India Carney is the next performer, and she was given the task of performing “Hurt” as done by her coach, Christina. I was a big fan of India’s early on, but this performance was easily the most confounding of the evening. I think I grimaced through the whole thing. Couldn’t tell if it was the singer, or the song, or some combination of both. But I didn’t really like it. I think she is too talented not to go through, but I don’t think this performance did her any favors. The coaches, however, were wowed by it.
Team Christina’s last artist is Rob Taylor, who performs “Earned It” by The Weeknd. Rob’s performance overall was pretty good, yet it was all over the place-up, down, high, low and everywhere in between. My main complaint (if you want to call it that) with Rob is that when he runs out of ideas, he goes to his tried and true falsetto notes. Except tonight, I think he overused it just a touch. It started to crack on him towards the end. Nevertheless, I expect him to be among the twelve that are safe for next week.
Closing out the second night of live performances is Deanna Johnson, who sings the old gospel song “Down To The River To Pray.” In rehearsals, Adam notes that Deanna has a distinctive voice, but that she needs to get over her nerves and believe in her talent. Her performance tonight may have been the most confident that I’ve ever seen her. It was truly a great performance, and a great way to end the night. How long that confidence and belief will last is anybody’s guess.
So after last night’s performances, I would be worried for Sonic, Lexi Dávila and Nathan Hermida. Those three were easily the worst of the night, with all the bum notes one could stand. I will be interested to see who stays or goes; perhaps when the field is narrowed down to the final twelve, I may have some clue who the winner might be. I almost think it’s Meghan Linsey’s to lose, though it remains to be seen if that is the case.