"It's go big or go home." –Blake Shelton
The Knockout Rounds have, by far, been the most exciting portion of The Voice this season. Since this is a new feature of the show, I don't have any experiences from my season to compare. However, I did notice some very uncomfortable situations for the contestants: having to sit onstage as their opponents slaughtered them vocally (I saw a few contestants shoot daggers. If looks could kill…).
And to make matters worse, the contestants that are waiting in the wings for their moment of glory are forced to watch the massacre on a flat screen backstage (I would've been sweating like a fourteen year old boy and simultaneously throwing up my lunch on their very polished floors). I also realized that a few songs are VERY popular on The Voice and witnessed certain contestants have some pretty magical moments. I compiled my musings…
Amanda Brown singing Ooh La La (Paris)
I must ask everyone's forgiveness for not highlighting this vocalist sooner. Where did she come from?? Originally picked by Cee Lo after a soulful rendition of Amy Winehouse's Valerie during the Blinds, she was "stolen" by Adam after she lost her Battle to Trevin Hunte. Last week, she showed her rock side by adding her interesting tone on this Grace Potter hit. She incorporated the 3 F's of a grand performance: flirty, fun and free. Adam wisely chose Amanda (who reminded me a bit of Keri Hilson (but better!) in this performance) over Michelle Brooks-Thompson. I am so completely curious to see what her arrangements are like in the Live shows. Amanda, you have just made an uber-fan out of me.
Loren Allred singing You Know I'm No Good
Another "what the hell just happened?" moment came from Loren. We weren't fortunate enough to witness Loren's Blind OR Battle round, so I know essentially nothing about her. What I do know about her now is that she absolutely deserves a spot in this competition. Loren out-jazzed Amy Winehouse on this classic, ending with a long note that would've made Etta James proud. Her vibrato and easy tone obviously won over the coaches as well since she received a standing ovation from Adam and Christina. I stood up too.
Melanie Martinez singing Bulletproof
I've been a fan of Melanie's artistry since the beginning of the season, and I really appreciated the liberty she took with this LaRoux song. When I first moved to New York, I would blast this song in my headphones and bop around the City pretending I was in some 80's music video. Melanie took this song, stripped it down and for the first time (after hearing this sound a million times), I really felt the lyrics. Thank you Melanie for your haunting and unique take.
Trevin Hunte singing Against All Odds
To be fair, Trevin started really shaky. But, can you blame him? He had to sit there, awkwardly and watch Terisa Griffin murder Saving All My Love For You. Once Trevin got his footing, he took this Phil Collins song to another level. His effortless switch from chest voice to head voice gave me a chill and caused Cee Lo to wipe tears (or were they imaginary? I didn't technically see any moisture) from his eyes. If Trevin keeps having performances like this, we'll see him in the finals.
Things That Pissed Me Off
Cassadee Pope VS. Suzzana Choffel
Why did Blake pair my two favorite contestants from his team against each other? They are so vastly different to each other: I'd listen to Cassadee while I jogged and to Suzanna as I baked pastries (I don't actually bake, but you get the picture). Anyways, I don't think either one of these women sang their absolute best, but they both definitely deserved a shot in the Live rounds. Kinda pisses me off.
Avery getting eliminated
I almost called Cee Lo and gave him some hell, but then I remembered that he doesn't really care about my opinion, so I just paced my house and ranted to myself a bit. I'm a fan of Cody Belew but Avery should've also gotten a chance to let America decide his fate. This was a nonsense moment.
Celica Westbrook singing Never Say Never
I begged Cee Lo to let me cover this song last season. I wanted to slow it down, add strings, a big choir on the chorus ... but, alas, my idea was rejected. Celica must have had better powers of persuasion with Christina.
I'm not sure what's up with the Licensing Department at The Voice, but they need to definitely clear more songs. I heard a LOT of songs last week that were covered by previous contestants (Cough. Cough.). Whether it was Cody Belew singing Jolene (Vicci Martinez, season one), Michaela Paige on Love is a Battlefield (Vicci and Cee Lo), Colin McLoughlin doing Breakeven (Xenia, season one), Amanda Brown's Ooh La La (Ashley De La Rosa, season two) Terry McDermott tackling Maybe I'm Amazed (Jordis Unga, season two) or Trevin Hunte's Against All Odds (Jermaine Paul, season two winner). And those were just from the Knockouts! There were tons of repeats in Battles and Blinds as well. The Voice, get it together! We want to hear different songs.
MarisaAnn: Though she lost this round, she gave Julio a run for his money. So much fire in this 15 year old…it's pretty astonishing.
Terisa Griffin's glittered cast: I must be honest, Terisa has not been one of my favorites, but her super swank cast (from breaking her ankle) and the dignity and grace she showed to Trevin endeared her to me.
Daniel Rosa: His attitude and response to not advancing this round was one of the classiest and most mature I've heard. Daniel, character goes a long way.
Super Busy Ninja
Last week, I secured a voice-over agent, went on my first audition for a CW sitcom, did an interview with the classy ladies of ClevverStyle.com, had a good chat on The Biz with D internet radio show, worked on a new song, Genocide and went to see one of my favorite bands at The Palladium: Miike Snow. All in all, a busy week for a busy ninja. And I loved every second of it.
Be on the lookout for iTune pre-orders for the first single from my upcoming EP, High, you won't be disappointed! And to my friends and family on the East Coast, I love and miss you guys dearly. If you'd like to know how to contribute to victims of Hurricane Sandy, please donate here!
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