So first off to begin my blog, people asked me why did I not cover last night’s episode of The Voice.
Some may ask, Did he watch it? If so why did he not blog about it?
To answer that I did watch last night’s episode. HOWEVER, none of my Fantasy League contestants were featured on Monday, October 20, 2014’s episode. Plus I was working very hard on a 12 page paper for my writing intensive course in college. To talk about it briefly, I will say this the battle between DaNica Shirley and Toia Jones was the Battle Round Performance of the YEAR, that was absolutely MIND-BLOWING and incredible. I was fist-pumping and jumped out of my seat yelling at the television because it was THAT GOOD! DaNica Shirley, was in my honorable mentions so I had to mention her tonight. Also, I will say this Toia Jones, who I was not really a fan of during the blind auditions because of some flat notes here and there, plus singing my favorite Adele song, “One and Only” is not an easy thing to do and it was just not my favorite. HOWEVER with that being said I feel like she reached her true star potential last night with the Beyonce hit, “Halo” and I was truly amazed by the entirety of that duet!
Oh yeah, I guess to give one more shout-out and that is to the Matt McAndrew battle round with Ethan Butler. They performed Coldplay’s “Yellow” which is one of my all time favorite songs, ever! I thought it was wonderful. “Yellow” is not an easy song to sing, I have tried and I have definitely failed at my attempts. The range one needs for that song is crazy, but also if you think about it all Coldplay songs are pretty challenging. But, I enjoyed this performance, I kind of forgot I was watching a Battle Round because it was just so amazing to watch and my ears if they could would have been smiling.
So, about tonight’s episode of The Voice! I had 4 contestants from my Top 12 and 1 contestant from my honorable mentions list. I was really looking forward to this episode tonight because I knew a lot of my contestants who I enjoyed and loved were battling it out tonight. Seriously, it was one of the major things pushing me throughout the day, it felt like a Monday today lol.
I have to start with Ricky Manning. This battle had me excited because when I was watching previews and stuff about the Battle Rounds it seemed like they were just going to not show his battle and I was very happy when they did. This is the contestant that I wrote about in the beginning about being the one I related with the most and especially vocally, so I really was ecstatic when he won his battle against, Brittany Butler. I loved the song choice that Pharrell gave them, The Drifter’s song, “On Broadway” which was not a song I was 100% familiar with, yet it is one of those songs that you recognize. The runs that Ricky did were super impressive and I felt like all those nerves he had in the blind auditions, he overcame them all and then some. I thought he was a whole knew artist because his confidence just showed and it was really great to watch. He came with the runs and he also had a really smooth tone along with power, which is what stood out for me during the entire song. When Brittany came along into the mix, I thought her part was really great, however I thought when the music came in, it just felt like another song and although she was really different with the song and she came fighting towards the end, I thought Ricky won this battle round hands down. Even though when they showed Brittany breaking down, I felt so bad for her, like I was really excited for Ricky and also I was just heartbroken for her because I can understand how big of a deal this is and I hope she continues to do amazing things with her music and that she can really come out on top. I really hope Ricky continues to do well in the competition, especially with the Knockout Rounds coming up. I know this is all pre-recorded right now, but I really hope he continues on to the Live Rounds because I think he has a lot to offer. But to end this, can we seriously just bring up once again his gift of runs, it is something I am just obsessed over! Anyone who can do killer runs has my vote lol
The next battle that I have on my list was the Battle Round between Kensington Moore and Reagan James. Both of them were on my Top 12 list so I had very mixed emotions towards this battle. I thought they both took Lorde’s hit radio charter, “Team” and just knocked it out of the park. Kensington who I absolutely love showed this different side to her voice, like it was powerful and yet reserved. Her falsetto is killer and I thought she sounded amazing on this song. Then Reagan comes out and has this different and soothing tone that is beautiful and just makes you feel moved. It was a beautiful vocal moment from the both of them. I felt sorry for Blake Shelton because it was a difficult battle to just pick one artist. I wish Kensington would have gotten a steal, but also I was aware that there was only one left and let’s be honest when there is only one steal left they save that performance til the end. But I am happy for Reagan and I think she will continue to do well in the competition. But, Kensington I hope goes far in her music journey because she has a lot to offer I feel and the fact she gave a killer performance while having kidney stones (which not going to lie, I thought she would have won her Battle Round because I feel like producers like to milk those kind of stories), but non the less that was just a great vocal performance from her and I was sad to see her leave.
One Battle Round performance that was not aired, was the battle between Allison Bray and Fernanda Bosch. I personally loved the Taylor Swift song, “Sparks Fly” however, I thought it was an odd choice for Fernanda. I bought the iTunes version so I could listen to it and judge it basically and I loved it. When they first showed the previews of the Battle Rounds, they showed a clip of it and I was looking forward to it, but they NEVER SHOWED IT! From the iTunes version, I thought Fernanda did a very good job on the song, but Allison Bray I thought stood out and was brilliant on the song. I did not have Allison on my Top 12, but I did have Fernanda on my honorable mentions list. I think Allison has a lot of potential and I feel like she has a good chance to stay in the competition, however with that being said I feel like Blake is going to do what he always does and that is put contestants who are similar together, so I feel like she might get paired up against Taylor Brashears the other Country female vocalist. If so, I do not know how that outcome will turn out. But that is just my guess.
The last contestant who made my Top 12 was, Beth Spangler who was paired up against Mia Pfirrman. Together they performed the All-4-One hit, “I Turn To You” which was also done by Christina Aguilera. I thought this Battle Round was a good battle, it was not my favorite, but it was also not my least favorite. I thought this song was in Mia’s wheelhouse and to be honest I was not the biggest fan of her Blind Audition, I thought personally, she did not deserve a four-chair turn, yet she at least deserved for at least two chairs. My personal thoughts to why, it might just have been because of song choice, something about “Unconditionally” just annoys me a little bit, yet it is wonderful to me. It is one of those songs I have to be in the mood for. But, Mia singing the Christina Aguilera song blew my mind, she sounded so good and I was shocked and had to eat my words from her audition. Her voice just rested in that song and I thought she definitely deserved the win. With that being said, I love Beth, her voice is so perfect and she can do runs like no other. I loved her audition and I feel like with the right song she can be a front-runner. This song, I don’t know if it did anything for her, I thought she did it well but I just think the song was not the best. I liked how Blake pointed out he could see her having a Country music side, which I hope she can try while on the show because there is something to her voice that sounds twangy. I hope she continues to go far in the competition because I think with the right song choice she can be amazing, so I am very glad she got the last steal.
With all the talk lately of the steal, I feel like since the judges get two during the Battle Rounds and they have one for the Knockout Rounds, I should be able to get at least one for the remainder of the competition season. So here is where my current team stands:
Team Adam: Chris Jamison and Rebekah Samarin
Team Blake: James David Carter and Reagan James
Team Gwen: Beth Spangler
Team Pharrell: Ricky Manning, Taylor Phelan, Jean Kelley, and DaNica Shirey
All together that leaves me with 9 contestants left. Originally I thought Team Adam or Team Blake would have my votes, however with that being said this year, Team Pharrell has my vote for the most because my Top favorites are mostly all of his team. Now with my version of a STEAL. If I had to pick one person to add to my team, to make it a Top 10 I would have to pick between two. And since technically the coaches get 3 steals throughout the competition, I think I am entitled to at least 2 lol.
1. Damien, he was one of the people I originally had on my honorable mentions, then I heard someone better. But, going back and listening to his audition and then his battle song, I really like his tone and his pitch just seems to always be on key. I mean I know he has only had two performances, but they are really great performances and they are totally different from one another. Which, makes me think he can be a versatile singer and I really like that, I like that they are not stuck singing a certain style, but that they can do something different and still be fantastic,
2. To figure out my second option, I actually went back and watched all the Blind auditions and the Battle Rounds to make this final cut. And it kind of came down to where I liked either their Battle Round performance or I liked their Blind audition performance, not both. So that was hard, but then listening to them over and over I found one singer who actually had me at both. That contestant was Allison Bray. I like the fact she is a returning contestants from a previous season. I think she is a strong country vocalist. Allison has this powerful voice, which i got to hear during her Battle Round performance and she also has a killer softer side, which is what she did for her Blind audition. So I feel like she has a lot of tricks up her sleeve.
To end the night let us see where my Team stands:
Team Blake: Allison Bray (STEAL choice), James David Carter, and Reagan James
Team Adam: Damien (STEAL choice), Chris Jamison, and Rebekah Samarin
Team Gwen: Beth Spangler
Team Pharrell: Ricky Manning, Taylor Phelan, Jean Kelley, and DaNica Shirey
Thank you so much for tuning in this week! See y’all next week!
Love and Grace,