So tonight was the end of the Knockout Rounds for NBC’s The Voice.
Before we fully get started I wanted to go off on a little tangent, this is because of Rebekah Samarin. The girl with an incredible voice (which only one would know if they listened to her Youtube stuff or bought her iTunes performances) who The Voice did not show AT ALL, like they showed her on montages, HOWEVER they did that for her Blind Audition, Battle Round, and Knockout Round. I have done my research on The Voice and they have never done that before with a contestant. They may have left out a Battle Round or Blind Audition, but never both and most definitely they have never not shown the same person THREE TIMES! I am very bitter about this because I feel like even though she got an amazing platform now, she was never, and I mean NEVER shown fully and I feel like that is very unfair to her because her talent is amazing and her voice is just beautiful! If you don’t believe me, go to iTunes and listen to her rendition of “A Case of You” because it will blow y’all away and just leave you stunned. Okay, my little rant is over. Let’s begin with tonight’s recap!
Tonight’s episode was a long one, like I know it was the same two hours as usual, but it just seemed like there was A LOT more performances than usual. Tonight I had 6 artists competing and they were : Chris Jamison and Rebekah Samarin (Team Adam), Allison Bray and Reagan James (Team Blake), Beth Spangler (Team Gwen), and Jean Kelley (Team Pharrell).
Allison Bray was up against the other female country vocalist, Taylor Brashears. Allison performed the Dixie Chick’s smash hit, “Sin Wagon” while Taylor sang the Fleetwood Mac’s classic, “Landslide”. I was happy to see Allison try something a little more upbeat from what we have previously seen. I thought she did well. I thought she had some pitch problems in some places and a few of the notes she tried were more shouty than powerful. I love Allison’s voice, her rendition of “Merry Go Round” by Kacey Musgraves I think was beautifully done, however I just think somewhere in this performance of “Sin Wagon” something was a little disconnected and it just was not my most favorite performance, and yet it was not my least favorite either. It just sits right there in the middle, just hanging out. While, Taylor’s rendition of “Landslide” was just gorgeous I have not been the biggest fan of her’s to be 100% honest but I loved her performance this evening. I felt conflicted because she was up against one of my favorites in the competition, however when she started to sing I honestly just was like I did not care because it was a winning performance that won her that Knockout Round.
Beth Spangler was up against Ryan Sill. Beth Spangler performed, “Too Little Too Late” by JoJo, which I have not heard in the LONGEST time so it was nice to get a change in songs for a change. It was so cool to get a blast from my middle school days. While she sang that, Ryan performed Ne-Yo’s 2008 hit, “Miss Independent” which I was not too familiar with but in the end I was like ehhhh…. I loved Beth’s performance, I agreed with Pharrell when he mentioned she has a twangy tone to her voice that would totally suit Country Pop. I loved what she did with the JoJo song and I wish she would have won so I could own it on my iPod, however I think she should explore a little but and go into the world of Country/Pop because I feel like she could be so successful in that lane. I know she may not feel like that is her and I applaud her that if she chooses not to, I applaud the fact she is sticking to who she is as an artist, but I think it would be cool to see her try at least to swim in the waters of that. Beth hits these crazy notes and has runs that are absolutely incredible. I cannot believe it half of the time just some of those notes that are being hit. I love her voice so much and am so sad to see her go because I felt like this could have gone either way, like I saw that both had strengths and both also had flaws. I wish she would have made it, but I know she is going to have a career that is something special and I wish her the best because she is amazing and a class act.
Jean Kelley was up against Menlik Zergabachew. Jean performed an amazing/unbelievable rendition of Sia’s “Chandelier” while Menlik performed, “Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley. Not going to lie, once Jean opened her mouth to sing I knew she had this in the bag. Not knocking Menlik in any way, however Jean just has this quiet power that is so strong it just punches you in the face. I loved every second of her performance and to be honest I am not a fan of this song. Never have been, until tonight. Jean delivered and I could not be any more proud of what she did this evening. Like I mentioned before with Beth Spangler, Jean can hit these notes that are insane and are CRAZY GREAT, they just are what they are and it is UNBELIEVABLE! I am so happy that Jean is advancing to Live Shows because I feel like we are just now seeing the makings of a superstar. She has the talent and she has the voice to possibly win her this competition. Her fan base is quite impressive and I am so excited to see perform in the live shows.
Chris Jamison was paired up against Blessing Offor. Chris performed Otis Reddings’ classic, “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay” while Blessing sang a crazy GOOD rendition of John Mayer’s “Your Body Is A Wonderland”. Before I talk about Chris, Blessing turned John Mayer’s song into a song I did not even recognize and I loved it, like it was so genius and it was original. I was so happy to listen to this because it was different and it was strong. He has a voice that is powerful and soulful. I loved it and his creativity to change up John Mayer’s recognizable song was a risk and it definitely was worth it because it was GREAT! Chris took this song by Otis Redding which is not a very exciting song, and he made me really like it, like a lot. He had quite a few shining moments because some of the notes he hit were spectacular. I will say this one little critique as impressive as his falsetto is and trust me I loved it when he went to do his falsetto. There were a few moments when it just became too much, there is a line that is Justin Timberlake falsetto and just a territory that no one should venture off in and I felt like this evening there were a few instances that, that territory was crossed into. I think Chris is an amazing vocalist with a real talent and skill in falsetto, he just needs to work on it better and perfect it more. Because he could definitely be the Dark Horse in the competition.
I would go into talking about Rebekah Samarin’s Knockout, but as we all know it was NOT shown. She was paired up again Matt McAndrew. According to a source she apparently sang, “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison which I really would have loved to hear, it is something different. And Matt performed Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” and by the clip they shown tonight it was really good. I just wish I could have seen Rebekah perform her song, or just a SONG during her time on The Voice. It just isn’t fair to her.
Reagan James was teamed up against Grant Ganzer who I never had on my Top 12 to begin with, however i did buy his stuff on iTunes and I enjoy it quite a bit. When I saw that Reagan picked, “Hit ‘Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell I was nervous for her because when you see contestants perform this on American Idol during Hollywood Week, there is ALWAYS people who mess up the words and they eventually end up going home. HOWEVER this was NOT the case with Reagan and she killed it. She made it her own in a way that was sooooo good that I did not even worry about her after she started singing. She has a gift and when they bring up the fact she is ONLY 15 years old, YES FIFTEEN YEARS OLD I start to wonder what have I done with my life lol She is so good and it is like crazy to think that maturity is coming from a 15 year old. She carries herself very well for being only 15 years old. Grant chose the song, “Apologize” by OneRepublic and I thought it was a good performance. If I am going to be honest about it all, he looked like he was in pain or like he was sick throughout the performance. I really think this kid is talented and I think his voice is something really special, I heard it throughout the song, however he just looked like he was in pain and I felt bad for him. I think he has a strong powerful voice that can also go very calm as well. Like I mentioned previously I have brought his iTune recordings and they are fantastic, I just was not blown away by this performance. I think he has a career up ahead and I think it will be a great one once he figures out what to do with his voice and how it should be portrayed.
Before I wrap up for the evening I also have to make a comment on Anita Antoinette’s performance of “Rude” by Magic! I thought this was a perfect song choice for her and I loved every second of this performance. I am glad she won, I mean at that point of the show she would have either won or if she was eliminated she would have ended up on Blake’s Team. I just loved her energy and attitude for this song it was just soooo good and I am so happy to see her succeed in this competition.
So after this evening this is where my Team stands.
8. James David Carter
7. Chris Jamison
6. Reagan James
5. Da’Nica Shirey
4. Jean Kelley
3. Taylor Phelan
2. Ricky Manning
1. ……. funny there is one spot left and YES, I know last week I said I would not use my final steal, but in this case to where I went from having 11 last week to losing 3 this week, I think it would not hurt if I used my last and FINAL STEAL!
So here is how the new list will be looking in ranks to how I thought their Knockout Rounds left them:
9. Damien (Team Adam): I was not a fan of his in the beginning, he was one of my STEALS and I think his performance in the Knockout Rounds was very emotional. I think he has a special connection with relating his songs to make people feel something. I don’t know what more to really ask from him, just when I think about performances of the week, he seems to not be as memorable. His partner who he was paired up against for this round, now she was memorable (Toia Jones, “Crazy In Love”).
8. Chris Jamison (Team Adam): I think Chris has an amazing gift, he has a falsetto that is so freaking great if used right. Tonight he did a great job, he honestly is growing in this competition, like seriously his confidence is growing and you can see it. I feel like once he has everything under control and mastered he is going to be amazing!
7. James David Carter (Team Blake): I have been a fan of this guy’s since his Blind Audition, which is when I agreed with Adam and Blake about him being the best Country artist to ever grace The Voice stage. However, his song choice and performance left me kind of bored during the Knockout Round. I think his vocal was great, it just lacked for me in something exciting. I think it won’t be too hard for him to impress again because he has the voice, I just think he needs to really closely consider his song choices. A positive though, he did some cool runs I rather liked along with some note changes from the original and I enjoyed that.
6. THE STEAL GOES TOO: Bryana Salaz (Team Gwen): The reason why I chose Bryana is because I think she has shown a lot of growth and potential since her Blind Audition. She showed how much power she has during her Knockout Round performance of “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato. I think she could really be a Dark Horse in this competition, people may look down at her because of her age, but I think she can and probably will surprise us all in the Live Rounds if given the chance.
5. Reagan James (Team Blake): Her voice is so special and unique it is crazy to believe that it comes from a 15 year old. She has so much maturity that I do not see in many people her age or heck, even my age. Her control is amazing and her tone is definitely amazing. She tackled a BIG song that is a challenge to some and she just took it by the horns and showed it who was BOSS!
4. Da’Nica Shirey (Team Pharrell): I decided to put Da’Nica in 5th only because the people who are about to be announced ahead of her have shown a lot of growth and I think Da’Nica has been fantastic since the beginning. I am ready to see her come out of her comfort zone, which don’t get me wrong is an amazing zone of power and confidence. I would just like to see her do something up tempo maybe something that would be more of a challenge than just another ballad.I think her voice is amazing and absolutely just a class A vocal, I just want to see her maybe take a chance/risk.
3. Jean Kelley (Team Pharrell): She proved herself tonight with that performance of “Chandelier” by Sia. It was so good and I think she gets better and better every time we see her perform. She is something special and the notes that she is able to hit are incredible as well. She has the gift of emotion and finding that unique and special connection with a song and make the audience and everyone else who is listening feel it as well.
2. Taylor Phelan (Team Adam): I decided to put Taylor in 2nd because I loved his performance of “Rather Be” and all his other performance up to this point. I just kind of have expected to expect these great performances from him. I applaud him for putting down the guitar for this performance and I love his ability to change up these songs and make them Taylor Phelans! I love his voice and I think he is one of the MAIN ones to beat in the competition. He may have lost his Knockout Round, but I think that was just ridiculous.
1. Ricky Manning (Team Gwen): First off, I don’t think he should have lost his Knockout Round battle, he totally won that round, but that is okay because now Gwen has the opportunity to WIN the competition because now she has Ricky. I think Ricky has a lot of potential and the reason I put him in the first place spot is because he changed it up last week with his performance of “Wrecking Ball” which was emotionally kind of different and haunting.I love his voice and I think he has true potential to win this competition.
Well y’all that is all from me this week on The Voice because tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s episode) episode is a recap of all the great performances up to this point! Be sure to check out my other blogs and have a blessed week!