Before we get to the performances from the final 10, a little housekeeping: the bottom two from last week’s results show were Darby Walker and Aaron Gibson, both from Miley Cyrus’ team. After both sang for their Instant Save performances, America chose Aaron for a second week to remain in the competition.
The final ten singers performed last night with the knowledge that there were only two weeks left, and that two of them would be leaving the show after this week. So here we go…
Singer #1: Billy Gilman (Team Adam Levine). Song: “Anyway” by Martina McBride. Billy goes back to his country roots on this one, and once again knocks it out of the park. His performances week to week are reminding me of Alisan Porter’s from last season. Every week, he nails it. Carson Daly mentioned after Billy’s performance that he was singing to stick around. Really, Carson. Billy’s not going anywhere.
Singer #2: Courtney Harrell (Team Blake Shelton). Song: “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher. Song choice, song choice, song choice. I think Courtney should have chosen a better song, but even so, given the one she did choose, she could have performed it a bit better than this. Harrell is not without talent, but against some of the powerhouses left in this season, she is definitely coming up short. Performances like these aren’t much help either. I think she may be singing to stay on the show tonight.
Singer #3: Josh Gallager (Team Adam). Song: “Real Good Man” by Tim McGraw. Definitely an improvement over last week. Instead of focusing on moving the crowd, Josh concentrated more on singing the song, which resulted in a better vocal performance. It may be enough to keep him around another week.
Singer #4: Aaron Gibson (Team Miley). Song: “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long Long Time)” by Elton John. This time around, Aaron tries a more well-known song, but uses a different arrangement. For me, I think the adjusted arrangement suited him better; I think if he tried to sing it straight it would have made it worse, and possibly put him on the block for a third week. That’s not to say this performance will keep him from possibly being eliminated. Not that it was bad, but it wasn’t a wow for me. There were shades of the Dave Matthews Band in his performance, but I’ll take a wait and see as to how he fares tonight.
Singer #5: Christian Cuevas (Team Alicia Keys). Song: “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga. I loved Alicia’s suggestions for Christian this week; she asked him to not go full-bore throughout the song. It worked for him; the one thing that singers who can really powerfully belt need to learn is to show some nuance. For this performance, Cuevas had nuance. The song also took Christian back to his comfort zone; singing ballads is what he does best. More than one contestant has won singing nothing but ballads.
Singer #6: Austin Allsup (Team Blake). Song: “Missing You” by John Waite. I was in disagreement with the people who watched the show with me on Facebook. I thought that Austin did a pretty good job with this 80’s pop tune. No one else agreed with me though; there was a lot of “painfully awful,” “all over the place,” and “didn’t care for it.” I guess America will let us know who was right on this one, but if the consensus holds, Austin may find himself singing to stay tonight.
Singer #7: Wé McDonald (Team Alicia). Song: “God Bless The Child” by Billie Holiday. McDonald reached into her trick bag and pulled out some opera, some self-referential asides, and basically fashioned a performance from that. Was it good? I thought so, but I was kinda feeling like it was a powerful mixed bag. My Facebook commenters were more enthusiastic. Regardless, she’ll be around next week.
Singer #8: Brendan Fletcher (Team Adam). Song: “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. I really liked this performance by Brendan. He took Adam’s suggestions and ran with them and it worked to perfection. The slower arrangement and Brendan’s voice, made with some Kenny G-like saxophone fills, was a beatiful, moving performance. Based off this, Brendan moves up in the pecking order. I’m still not convinced he can win, but he could definitely be in the final.
Singer #9: Sundance Head (Team Blake). Song: “Me And Jesus” by Tom T. Hall. Another good performance by Sundance, who hasn’t been anything less than solid for me. I’m not sure he will win, but he will stick around for sure. I don’t know a lot about country, but this was really good. I definitely enjoyed it.
Singer #10: Ali Caldwell (Team Miley). Song: “Without You” by Harry Nilsson. This song certainly gave Ali some big notes, and she went for them and executed them well. Perhaps more noteworthy than her performance was the dress she was wearing: that might have been the longest train I’ve ever seen on a dress. As for the complete performance, it was Ali being Ali. She should be around for another week.
So to me, even though I thought Austin did well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at the bottom along with Courtney (though she hasn’t been on the bottom yet). Aaron may be there yet again, but I don’t think he deserves to be, and possibly Josh could be there. Guess I’ll wait and see later tonight.
photo from Creative Commons via Eva Rinaldi (available for reuse).