Tonight was the night I was waiting for, it was full of great performances. Sure there may have been a few that were not STAND OUTS, but it was sooooo much better than last night’s episode of The Voice. Like it was almost perfect this evening and I just cannot get over the performances tonight. I bought 4 of the 10 performances tonight on iTunes and 3 of those performances were from my favorite artists who I picked for my Fantasy League team. I think I will start off with those 4 performances/artists first tonight because they were seriously my favorites. Oh yeah, and tonight 4 of the artists who performed tonight were a part of my Fantasy League team.
I have to start off with one of my favorite performances of the night and that was Ricky Manning who gave an emotional and convicting performance of Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down” and I have to say this was his best performance to date. I mean I know he has only had three other performances up to this point, but seriously it was his best. I feel like every week he gains more confidence and just progresses on getting better and making his voice do crazy awesome stuff. Ricky took that song and made the beginning so delicate and had these runs that he just owns every time and I am so jealous of the way he can do all those runs, every time and do them incredibly. Seriously, I strive for runs like those. And his falsetto, I know he was talking in his pre-performance package about how some notes he tends to be afraid of which is completely normal, being a singer myself I completely understand how some notes just seem so terrifying and your nerves just take over. But I think he did great and he hit it and that song is not the easiest to perform. And then he came with even more when he basically punched us all in the face with that power and conviction, which just commanded the stage when he stepped away from the microphone stand and just KILLED that performance. I think he is one of those artists who just is wanting to continue learning and taking in everything he can and I believe that will be something that stands out because then people will see that he wants to continue learning and progressing, which I feel like he just deserves. His hard work is paying off and I am proud of this artist.
Another artist who I was blown away by tonight was Bryana Salaz, her rendition of 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Amnesia” was one of the best performances of the NIGHT, it was not just her best performance, but one of the BEST performances of the evening. It blew me away and it was just perfection. The emotional connection she brought gave me chills and left me with tears in my eyes. She is seriously someone who is getting stronger every week she performs. She just has this confidence about her that is so great and I think she is definitely one to look out for because her voice is so beautiful and strong. She is surprisingly me every week. I mean how does a voice that BIG and STRONG come from a tiny girl like that?!?!?! That performance was just everything, EVERYTHING!
Next artist who impressed me tonight was not even on my Fantasy League team and that person is Ryan Sill. His rendition of “I Lived” by OneRepublic was so good and left me just wanting more, I did not want it to end. I thought he did that song super well and I honestly have not liked his performances up to this point, I have seen small moments in different performances, especially his performance in the Battle Rounds. But I really enjoyed this performance from him, he has the voice down, I agree with Adam when he was like, you have the voice now we just need to work on your stage presence so it does not come off awkward. It reminded me a little bit of Chris Jamison because he has an amazing voice, but his stage presence is not always the best. However, Chris is growing each week vocally and confidence wise. I think Ryan will continue to grow and hopefully learn more from Gwen about that because she is up there in Stage Presence Queens! So with a little more help, I think he will go far, but for now that was a solid vocal performance. Also I wrote down the way he was jumping around and still had PERFECT PITCH was blowing my mind because that is NOT easy and I was SUPER impressed by that, so kudos to you, Ryan!
Last artist who I bought an iTunes track from was Jean Kelley. Jean Kelley took “Piano in the Dark” by Brenda Russell and absolutely nailed it on the head. I thought she gave an amazing vocal performance so it makes me mad with the critiques Adam, Gwen, and Pharrell gave her about emotion. I guess I could maybe see it a little bit that she was trying a bit too hard, but seriously it was such a beautiful performance that I just fell in love with it and bought it on iTunes right after the show. She has an incredible range that I think makes her a stand out on Team Pharrell. I still think she has what it takes to move on and continue to do amazing things in the competition, I just hope people vote for her.
Someone who I did not buy from on iTunes and yet she is on my Fantasy League team was, Da’Nica Shirey and the only reason why I did not buy her single was because as much as I loved her performance tonight it just is not something I would listen to on a regular basis. I think she is still an incredible vocalist who deserves to be there because she has one of the best voices on the show. Her performance of Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me” was perfection, she is one who can do runs and all these tricks with her voice and yet make it look flawless and easy. She has a presence that is one in a million. I hope America will vote her through because she is so needed for this season because she is sooooo spectacular and her voice is just perfection and beautiful.
There are two more artists from tonight that I would like to talk about because they took songs that I do not get excited about, songs that are just tirrrreeddddddddd and need to be hung up and just not to be touched because they are SO overdone on reality singing competition shows. HOWEVER Luke Wade and Sugar Jones, those two with the help of Pharrell Williams took Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and Aretha Franklin’s “I Say A Little Prayer” and made them so new and so “this day and age” that I no longer cared what songs they were singing. They did NOT just sing, THEY SANG! Those two know how to “take it to church” they both have strong stage presences and they make it known that they are a force to be reckoned with. Those two know how to get a crowd on their feet and just yelling and going CRAZY because they are both so good and tonight they proved why they are both in the position they are in!
As I start to close tonight, I thought I would pick my Top 3 from each Team. This is how I would put it based on their overall body of work, but mostly relying on their Playoff performances.
Taylor Phelan, because everything he has done up to this point has been perfect and I think he deserves to move forward in the competition because he continues to stay consistent and to me he has not had a bad week yet and I think he already knows who he is as an artist and I think that shows.
Chris Jamison, because out of everyone he is one of the few who have grown the most since the Blind Auditions. You can tell every week how much his confidence just progresses and grows. This week he proved that he can do it and with the song he was given that was NOT an easy song and I think he took it and did great!
Matt McAndrew, because he is a different vocal from the people who are in the competition right now and I feel based on his look and everything he knows who he is as an artist and is ready and his voice has been so good and he is another who is consistently consistent.
Jessie Pitts, because her voice is beautiful and her performance from last night was flawless and haunting. I could not get enough of it, like between her and Taylor Phelan’s single they have been on constant repeat because they are that good. She has so much potential and I think she is another artist who continues to grow and just get better as a performer and an artist.
James David Carter, because he is seriously the best country vocalist this show has had, hands down and as much as I think some people are out singing him at the moment, he is consistent and always on perfect pitch and control. His voice is radio and radio ready, he has everything and I think he is one of the best vocalist on the show because of that distinctive voice and his consistency.
Reagan James, because I thinks he has a lot to offer. Even though I was not a fan of her Playoffs performance, she has done enough with her body of work up to that point that beats everyone else out of this spot. She is sooooo good and for 15 years old she is just perfection and to have that confidence and that voice at that age is mind blowing and she just continues to surprise me. I think she has a lot to offer us still and I am not ready to see her leave.
Ricky Manning, because he is progressively getting better every week. He has grown a lot in this time we have seen him and his voice is so good. I think his falsetto and his control is spectacular and seriously, the runs that he can do with his voice is CRAZY GREAT like seriously that is so amazing and I love that. Seriously, he continues to prove himself every week and I think he needs to stay because he is too good to let go this early in the competition.
Bryana Salaz, because she, like Ricky and Chris, have grown so much from when we first saw her during the Blind Auditions. She is consistently getting better every week and tonight and even in her Knockout Round performance she has shown emotion, vulnerability, and we have also seen her at her power-belting ability. She has so much power and she also has this gentleness to her voice that I love.
Ryan Sill, because he is someone who I did not pay much attention to in the beginning, during the Blind Auditions, but he is growing I can tell because he has the voice to be a great artist, if he can get the confidence and the stage presence down I think he will be a threat to the other artists.
Jean Kelley, because she continually surprises me with her song choices (even if they are not picked by her), but she takes whatever she is given and puts her stamp on it and makes it so new for me and she has the ability to connect with a song and make it emotional and make it beautiful and HAUNTINGLY stunning! She needs to be in this competition.
Da’Nica Shirey, because she has THE VOICE she makes everything she does so effortlessly easy and flawlessly hits every note and every run and just makes me think that she is already a SUPERSTAR!
Luke Wade, because I think he has something that is different and yet powerful. I have not been the biggest fan of Luke yet he has a voice, no doubt. It is so powerful and he knows how to give a fantastic, powerful, and convicting performance every week. He is definitely going far and I am not even mad about that because his talent shows.
We will see how my predictions/hopes turn out tomorrow, God Bless Y’all! Night