‘The Voice’ 2013 Top 12 live playoffs show was even making host Carson sweat. His jacket was on and off throughout the show as the A/C went down. Usher flashed bare biceps. But more importantly, people, the fate of the contestants is now in your hands. The judges reminded us of that a few times. From this point on, America’s votes determine everything, and every week, the bottom two go home, no matter which team they’re on. No more saves!
So on with the show.
Vedo was first for Team Usher, singing ‘Rock With You’ by Michael Jackson. Vedo’s singing was smooth enough but his jerky, awkward moves proved no one can dance like Michael Jackson could. Unluckily for Vedo, Shakira had to resort to telling him what a nice guy he is and all she could say about the performance was that it was ‘vibey’. Usher thinks Vedo is a full entertainer and that this performance will win him ‘votes’ – yes but will it be enough?
Next was Holly Tucker for Team Blake. She sang ‘Broken Wing’ by Martina McBride and it was beautiful. Pitch perfect and not an easy song to sing. Sure it was a little lacking in emotion but I can supply that. Usher thinks that anyone who ever doubted her talent is a ‘freakin’ idiot’ and Shakira went all country to exclaim ‘Gosh dang girl!’ We all know Adam loves Holly and he told her so again, while Blake hailed this her best performance yet.
Garret Gardener (Team Shakira) sang ‘I Want It That Way’ by The Backstreet Boys. At least, I think he did. The trouble was, I a bid to make the song his own he mixed up one of the most memorable BSB tracks to make it virtually unreocognizable. Sometimes, if a thing ain’t broke you didn’t oughtta fix it – and taking such a big pop hit and making it into an angry, rocker version is one of those times. Blake thought Shakira was right to challenge him but I agree with Adam that this was threw Garrett – maybe under a bus. Even Usher, well known for his ‘no risk, no reward’ appraisal of certain performances admits it took him a little by surprise. Usher took off his shirt then ad Carson told Blake to shut up. Can we have broken A/C every week, please?
Sarah Simmons sang ‘The Story’ by Brandi Carlile for Team Adam. I love this song and Sarah sang it great, showing off the two very different sides to her voice, mixing gravel and softness, which Blake loved. Adam said she is ‘one of the best singers we’ve had.’ How could Shakira not know one of my favorite songs? Anyway, she said it suited Sarah’s voice.
The Swon Brothers were up next for Team Blake with ‘Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?’ by the late George Jones. It was a nice tribute and I liked the brothers’ harmonies. Usher also said it was a great tribute, and Blake called it the brothers’ breakout moment. I’m not sure. Yeah, it was OK.
Sasha Allen sang ‘Alone’ by Heart for Team Shakira and the coach succeeded in having Sasha not be so Broadway on this. She was still emotional but it a controlled way and her performance was better for that. Usher said Sasha (as always) took us to church. Well that’s not like any church I ever attended. Shakira said Sasha has one of best voices she’s ever heard.
Josiah Hawley sang ‘The Man That Can’t Be Moved’ by The Script for Team Usher, an acoustic version. Oh I liked this. It was cool and intimate and those jeans were very tight. He’s not as strong as some of the women, but I can’t ogle the women as comfortably. As Usher said, Josiah showed technique and was able to move the audience.
Danielle Bradberry of Team Blake sang ‘Wasted’ by – you’ve guessed it – Carrie Underwood. Okay, Blake, we get the message, she can sing Carrie Underwood songs very well. Now can we please see what else she can sing? Anyway, she tackled this difficult song effortlessly and showed of her phenomenal range nicely. Shakira was amazed by the 16-year-oldteenager’s lack of nerves and I love that when she called her a 16-year-old Margaret Thatcher, a mini Iron Lady, Danielle had no clue what she was talking about but it did make me feel ever so slightly old. Adam thought that Danielle is the one to beat, and Blake would like us all to know that this all-American girl is the real deal.
Judith Hill, Team Adam, sang ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ by Carole King. She rasped her way through the classic from behind the piano as she again was good but not as good as in her amazing blind audition, I thought. I could be wrong, though, as the coaches all thought Judith was amazing and Adam went so far as to say that Judith is the most talented human being in the competition for the combination of her voice and the fact that she was her own accompaniment in that song.
Michelle Chamuel sang ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ by Robyn for Team Usher. She really had energy in her dance moves, as Usher pointed out but her vocals were strong too. Adam and Shakira both loved her.
Kris Thomas Team Shakira sang ‘I’ll Be There’ by The Jackson 5 and despite an overly breathy falsetto this was a good performance. I wasn’t all that memorable, though, which may see him struggle for votes. Blake thought he proved himself, though, and Adam said he rose to the challenge of the very high song (pun no doubt intended). I’m with Usher on this, a bit: it was a strange version of the classic. Shakira had much to be proud of, though.
Amber Carrington sang ‘I’m Gonna Love You Through It’ by Martina McBride for Team Adam. This was amazing. Blake thought she did both Martina McBride and country music proud, and Usher believed her voice defies the laws of gravity. Adam thought Amber was ‘mind-bogglingly’ good.
So who nailed the best performance of the night for you? Is Amber the one to beat? Is Judith about to burn out? And is anyone still talking about the boys? Whatever, one person’s journey ends tonight. Who will we be waving goodbye to?