Carson Daly opens the show by saying that it’s “the biggest night of the season” so far. A mini-family reunion broke out, as three former coaches return to help advise the remaining eight performers. Cee-Lo Green, Gwen Stefani and Usher returned to the show to give their advice to the remaining performers. Will it help?
First, there was the obligatory group number that starts the show: a medley of “Hey Brother” and “Wake Me Up.” Judge for yourself as to how it was.
First up, Hannah Kirby, advised by Cee-Lo and Blake. She performed “We Don’t Need Another Hero” by Tina Turner. After her performance of “Shout” last week, she picks another song she can belt out. And belt it out she does. However, much like last week, it was non-stop belting. There was no nuance to her vocal whatsoever. If she had only softened a few spots so that the louder, more powerful parts would stand out so much more. But she didn’t, so…well, see for yourself:
The luck of the draw puts Adam’s only remaining artist, Joshua Davis, up next on the show. Poor Usher is reduced to this brief cameo, since he is Adam’s co-advisor. Joshua picked “Fields Of Gold” by Sting to sing. He chose it, he says, because it sounds like a folk ballad. And in Joshua’s hands, the stripped-down take of the song feels just like that. It was a bit wobbly in the middle, and he hammered the chorus hard, but overall it was a very good performance. At least, I thought it was. Joshua was in the bottom three last week-he should be safer this week.
Kimberly Nichole from team Christina sings next, with help from Gwen. She took on “Creep” by Radiohead. She wants to give a different take on the song, but once her coach opens her mouth to sing just two lines, Kimberly is a) reduced to tears and b) is given a template to work from. I gotta admit, Christina slayed the part she sung. Kimberly’s performance hews pretty close to the template; and while not as good as her coach, it was still very good. These last three weeks have begun to win me over to her side. I wasn’t her biggest fan at the start, but she has done very well recently.
Meghan Linsey from team Blake performed next and she went with “Something” by The Beatles. Send in your complaints, because she isn’t going away-fair or unfair, she keeps giving outstanding performances. This one was again, no exception. I think she’s the front-runner to win the whole thing, though I think she does have some competition for the title. This paragraph repeats every week in every recap, it seems. But what else can I say?
Somewhere in the show, Blake was given time to perform his latest single, “Sangria.” No critique from me on this one. Just enjoy:
India Carney was the next artist to perform and chose “Over The Rainbow” by Judy Garland from The Wizard Of Oz. It has to be difficult to bring something fresh to the song, when it has been performed so many times-especially on shows like these. India gives a controlled, restrained performance. It was actually beautiful. As someone who has grown up with Patti LaBelle’s version of the song practically ringing in his ears, it made this version stand out that much more.
Somewhere else in the show, last season’s finalist Matt McAndrew was given a chance to perform his new song, “Counting On Love.” No analysis on this either.
Sawyer Fredericks performed next, and he chose Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” as his song. If Meghan Linsey has competition, it is this guy. He has been extremely consistent throughout the show. When he started his performance, it was as if he were playing the song back at his home on the farm-so relaxed and calm. When the accompaniment came in, he raised his level of performance. Again, another solid performance. I felt like I should have a light waving in the air while he sang…except I’ve never done that.
The next performer is country singer Corey Kent White, who was given Bad English’s “When I See You Smile” by Blake. The coach was hoping for a song that would “rattle the cage,” by taking a rock song and turning it into a modern country song. That might have happened, but I thought that Corey’s performance was a bit uneven. At times, he was drowned out by the music; other times, he sounded pretty good. Because he is the only country singer left, he may have an easy path to move on, but based on this performance-compared to others on this show-just didn’t cut it for me.
The last of the final eight to perform is Koryn Hawthorne, who performed a slower take on Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire.” Upfront, I do not like this song. And while I think Koryn did a good job putting a different spin on it, I can’t really say it was a good enough performance to get her through.
If there is a bottom three, I think that Hannah, Koryn and Corey should be in it. Two of those should be leaving the show, based on the performances in this episode. However, I have been known to be wrong before (okay, a lot). Let’s see what happens tonight.