Now is the time when the television show The Voice begins to find its winner. Each coach has three artists left and this week, each of them were mentored by country superstar Shania Twain. In addition, Twain was given a coach chair to watch each of the singers perform their songs on the show.
Jesse Larson from Adam Levine’s team led off the show, singing “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele. It was nice to see Larson just singing, without his guitar. Personally, if he sings like he did with this song without the guitar, he can leave it behind. However, I think he’ll have it back if he makes it through to next week—and I think he will.
Also from Team Adam, Mark Isaiah was next to take the stage. He chose to sing “One Dance” by Drake featuring WizKid & Lyla. In the rehearsal footage, Isaiah claimed to choose this song to show his R&B side. When will they learn? Drake is many things, but R&B isn’t one of them. At least not in the classic sense. As for the performance, I didn’t like it, and it’s a song that I liked a lot. Adam was begging for votes at the end of the performance. It worked once, and probably will work again; but I think Isaiah could be gone after this.
Next up was Stephanie Rice from Alicia Keys’ team and her song choice was “White Flag” by Dido. I’ve said before that Stephanie has her fans, and I think they would love this performance. I was on the fence. I didn’t think it was a bad performance, but I’m not as enamored with her singing as many others.
Gwen Stefani’s first artist to perform was Troy Ramey, who sang Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'”. He was solid throughout and I liked the performance. I think he was good enough to hang around for another week.
Blake Shelton’s first artist to perform was Aliyah Moulden, who took on “(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave” by Martha & The Vandellas. Oh how I prayed the fifteen year old wouldn’t murder one of my favorite Motown classics. Thankfully, she didn’t do it. But, it wasn’t exactly what I would call a stellar performance either.
Chris Blue from Team Alicia was next up, and he sang “Love And Happiness” by Al Green. Classic tune, for sure, and this time out Blue showed some kind of restraint. A little bit, I think. Or, I thought I heard some restraint. The rest of it was Chris doing Chris: swoops, wails, and every kind of vocal trick in between. He was awesome and should not be going anywhere but sailing into next week’s show.
Lauren Duski was the next performer from Team Blake and she sang “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good” by Lee Ann Womack, but originally done by Don Williams. Duski gave a very polished, smooth performance. She sounded ready for country radio, and Blake’s testimonial to her talent after the performance was like giving the seal of approval.
Lilli Passero was the next artist to perform from Team Adam, and she chose “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” by Shania Twain. Passero was fighting an illness so we never got to see her rehearse the song. Unfortunately, I think it showed in the live performance. It was all over the place. I wanted to like it, because I’ve liked Lilli’s performances, but this one just didn’t measure up.
Brennley Brown was next up from Team Gwen, and her song choice was “Long, Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt. This performance by Brennley was the best that I have ever heard from her, and rivaled Chris Blue as the best performance of the show to this point. She had said in the rehearsal footage that if she records an album, this song would be on it. After this performance, she better make sure that when she does record that album, this song will be there.
The next artist to come to the stage was TSoul from Blake’s team. He chose Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind” to perform. I don’t know what to think about him. This performance was like a lot of his other ones. There are moments where he can do some wondrous things; on this particular song, he took it to places I didn’t know existed. Then there are other parts where I wished he’d make some better choices. He could stick for another week, or the road could end for him here.
Team Gwen’s last artist to perform was Hunter Plake, who sang Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” This performance was the first time I heard Hunter put some power behind his singing. Most of his performances have been soft and subtle, but emotionally rich. I’ve heard several people suggest that he’s a frontrunner; I’m not totally sold on that just yet. I do think he’ll go through to next week though.
The last artist to perform belonged to Team Alicia. Vanessa Ferguson closed the show singing “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway, but written and originally performed by Leon Russell. Vanessa did very well, and for once, did not wear a hat. Whether that contributed to her performance is debatable, but it was a very good way to end the evening.
For me, Mark, Lilli (unfortunately), and TSoul are the bottom three performers. I’ve been wrong many times, and will probably be wrong again. Only one of the artists will be leaving this week.
(photo from Creative Commons via Eva Rinaldi—available for reuse).