Last night we reached the live rounds of The Voice 2012. The coaches all have a full team and it was over to America to vote for which of the 24 singers they liked best. On April 2 we saw the first 12 singers take to the stage in a bid to snatch one of 8 spots in the next round.
The whole thing felt different last night: more polished and flashy, less intimate. But we had lasers and lights and semi-naked people.
Jermaine (34) is a former backing singer. Last night he took on Bon Jovi’s, “Livin’ on a Prayer” in rehearsals, Blake said he was “one of the most passionate singers he’s ever heard in his life.” There were certainly no signs of nerves in his performance and he soon had the audience behind him too. His energy and stage presence were impressive. Christina was right: he “milked every moment of that song.” But she clearly didn’t like the song choice.
Operatic Chris sang Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” to the soft sounds of the piano and even softer lighting. The power and emotion you want from this song were all there. The “wonderful performace” rendered Cee Lo almost speechless. And get this: it is one of Adam’s favorite songs! Who would have thought it! But thankfully he said Chris did it justice. Team coach Christina was impressed, saying that “he truly owned it.”
Country girl RaeLynn was given Adam Levine’s very own “Wake Up Call” for Team Blake. But she certainly did something different with it. It was a confident performance with lots of country twang. At the end she made a play for Adam, running over and hugging the newly single judge. All the judges loved it, but it was left to coach Blake to pay her the highest compliment, telling her she is the “new sound of country music” and that everybody at the Academy of Country Music Awards, which he just flew in from, were “already talking about her.”
Moses grabbed attention from the start. It was like we were at his concert, so his stage presence was never in doubt, with Cee Lo telling him that he was a “natural on stage,” and Adam admitting that “there was no doubt that you can entertain people.” But he sees him as more of a singer than a rapper. Coach Christina basically thinks he can do everything!
Naia Adele’s “Turning Tables” for Team Blake. She shoulkd get kudos this week for doing something different. She ignored her first reggae instincts and instead kept it closer to the original as Blake wanted her to. I really wish she hadn’t, though. She seemed nervous and it was a little bit like karaoke. Aren’t these judges always encouraging people to be themselves? Blake said it had “tender moments” and was “so special.” But it was clear Christina wanted the reggae version.
Lindsay was up next for Team Christina. She sang “Somebody I Used To Know” by Gotye and Kimbra. Despite the weird ballerinas, I really this edgy performance. Adam wanted more power from her but Christina was confident, asking, “Where can I go buy your album right now?!”
Jordis needed to do well with “Alone” by Heart last night, after a not very impressive Battle Round. Coach Blake was right that she “turns into a diva on stage.” She had power in all the right places yet the more subtle notes were beautiful too. No, she reall did not play it safe, which impressed Blake. And me.
Sera had a lot to prove too, because she had already told America that she was “going to bring it.” She sang “Find Your Love” by Drake. She looked comfortable and brought some much needed grit to the performance. So it was a bit frustrating that Blake just went on about the eye candy on stage with her and Christina told her she looked like a “diva in training.” The girl did good.
During the battle rounds Erin Willett lost her father to cancer. She showed grit and determination to carry on with The Voice after that and it all showed through in her performance of Stevie Wonder’s “Livin for the City.” She was full of passion and that final note she hit was insane. Blake called it the “best, technically and vocally, performance of the night so far.” That may have been something of an exaggeration, but I don’t think that Cee Lo had to qualify that, given her circumstances, she was a champion. With or without the death of her father, this was a pretty good performance.
Ashley De La Rosa
Ashley sang Alanis Morissette’s “Right Through You. “ Christina advised her to “get a little angsty with it,” and show America a rougher side. Well, she managed that. She really rocked it out. Adam thought she became a woman last night and said she was the “most improved” of the singers.
Charlotte sang Paramore’s “Misery Business.” Blake thinks she could be the winner of The Voice 2012, but there were definite pitch problems in this performance. Adam picked up on those. Christina, though, was impressed by the way she was able to draw out some of her notes and then pull back on others, all in the right places. Coach Blake said she is a “true artist” with a “vision,” and he said her performance was “dead on.” She is obviously the one to beat.
Jesse sang “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. When he told coach Christina that this song was “indicative of his life,” she encouraged him to let the audience hear that. And he did, with wonderful sincerity. Cee Lo was a little awestruck by the performance, saying that his “voice is almost as beautiful as my hair.” Adam even called him the ‘dude to beat.”
So that was it. These performers can do no more and now it’s over to the voters. Tuesday night we find out which three artists America voted to save, and which three will have to sing for survival. Who deserves to go through? You decide.