The Voice Season 7, Fantasy League (Day 10): A Tribute Blog Honoring Artists Who Went Before Their Time

Tonight was just a lot to take in from the viewing part, I cannot imagine how the artists who went home tonight must have felt.

Tonight instead of my usual recap I will somewhat recap, but I thought I would do a special tribute blog in honor of some amazing talent who went home WAY too early.

To start off with some good news I wanted to congratulate the Top 12 and wish them the absolute best. I was so excited to see that Da’Nica Shirey made it through by America’s votes. I am also really happy for Reagan James, Jessie Pitts, and Chris Jamison. I think those four will be my favorites from now on and I am sad I did not have Jessie Pitts in my Top list before.

I wanted to kick off this tribute with one of my favorites from the season, Ricky Manning. He was one of the artists who I thought could have gone all the way to the finale, based on how much he has grown in such a short amount of time. I think he had some of the best runs that I have heard before on the show and I have been a constant watcher of The Voice. The things that he could do to a song to make it his own, worked for him every time. I seriously thought “Wrecking Ball” was his moment of the season. It was emotional which was the first time we got to see that side of his vocals and yet it was so powerful with the way he delivered it. Like it was constrained and yet it was still powerful through his delivery of the vocal and especially the lyrics. I was so surprised when Gwen did not save him because I feel like that was just a HUGE mistake, and that is not just coming from a fan but just a listener of music. I think Ricky had a lot more to give and I seriously was so upset seeing him leave the show tonight. If I had a message for Ricky it would be this, “Ricky, you have proven yourself every week and you got better every time you stepped out onto that stage. I think you have a truly incredible voice that I cannot wait to buy and album or EP from one of these days and I hope it is not too far away in the future. I will definitely be staying a fan, or more of  #fannings because I know you have so much more ahead of you and I pray that God blesses you in your music career because I think you are that great of an artist. I hope to one day meet you because it would be a complete honor to meet one of my music inspirations and hopefully perform music with you for a song one day because I think that would just be amazing. I wish you all the best because this is NOT the end, more just like a road with a million doors waiting to be opened. I cannot thank you enough for putting yourself out there because I related a lot to you and your story and I honestly think you are going to go places and I just wanted to thank you for being a musical inspiration for me, you have inspired me to continually go outside my comfort zone vocally and try new things with my range and also making me practice having crazy run control like you do. I seriously hope to one day meet you and thank you and maybe do a song with you. ” If y’all have not checked out his iTunes recordings please do, even though he is off the show his music is still going and it is absolutely great! Especially his version of “Lay Me Down” I have had that song and a few others on constant repeat all day long.

Ricky Manning

All of the singles that Ricky Manning has on iTunes. I bought every single one and I love them all. His latest one, “Lay Me Down” is absolutely the best! #fannings

Next I am going with my second favorite artist of the season and that spot goes to Taylor Phelan. When he did not get America’s vote to move on I was like, ok….. Adam is definitely going to save him and advance him into next week’s show. And when that did not happen I was stunned. Actually a friend had to text me about this because I was in a meeting this evening and had to leave to go, so it was right before Adam’s team was getting recapped. When I got the text message of who was moving on into next week’s competition and did not see Taylor’s name I thought it was a mistake and come to find out it was not and I literally stepped out and screamed because I literally could not believe it. Actually not going to lie with both Taylor’s and Ricky&Bryana’s eliminations I teared up, I could not help it I was just upset because I thought these are some of the BEST vocalists this show has right now and you are sending them home. Sure I understand that it is super hard on the coaches because I could not be in their shoes, but I was just upset by this. Taylor had one of the best track records I thought and he has this voice that is just so special and so confident that I just want to listen to him sing all the time. I think he is going to have many doors open up for him, I pray that he does because he deserves it and he has something that needs to be out there and shared with the world. If Taylor reads this I have this to say, “Taylor, you for me were definitely in my Top 2 to win this whole competition, heck even though that is not how it is working out you are a winner in my book, well in this case blog lol. I think you have a story that is going to have others just relate to you and I think you have one of the best voices that I have heard on any reality competition show in a long time. You have so many people rooting for you and wanting to see you succeed and just continue to make music because I honestly believe that this (music) is what you need to do because you are beyond great at it. I wish you the best because I think you are about to inspire many others with your gift. You have inspired me and I hope to one day meet you because it would be an absolute honor. Or even to be able to work with you on a song would be an absolute dream! I wish you the best and I know this is not the end for you, heck you have had an album already and a tour before, so this was just another door, there are so many more out there just waiting to be opened and only you have that key. Thank you for doing what you love and letting America see you.” Like I mentioned with Ricky’s if you have not checked out his music on iTunes and not just his recordings from The Voice, but also his other album, please check it out and BUY IT! You will not regret it.

Taylor Phelan

All of the iTunes singles (minus “Breakeven”) and albums that Taylor Phelan had on iTunes and I bought every single one of them because he is seriously incredible. I could seriously listen to them ALL DAY on repeat and not get bored! #phelanit

Bryana Salaz, she was an amazing performer, with beautiful vocals. Her rendition of 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Amnesia” gave me chills and left me speechless. I bought her single last night and it had me in tears, I have been listening to it ALL DAY along with a few other singles. The emotion that she brings to it, makes me love it A LOT more than the original. She just brings that song to a new level and it makes me sad when I listen to it, but in a good way if that makes sense. I think she has grown probably the most since her Blind Audition and I started taking notice of her when she sang “Heart Attack” which left me speechless as well because she not only has a beautiful voice, but a POWERFUL one that will leave you just knocked out. I think she has so much potential to make it very far in the music industry especially the way it is going now, except I feel like she can bring something even better to it because she is not the typical “teeny bopper” artist she actual has a lot of power and conviction and most of all emotion with the lyrics, after last night I declared her to be in the final 5, if not the finale because of her growth and just her voice and stage presence. She makes you feel things when she sings and it is so believable. Bryana if you read this I have a message for you, “I think you are a true star and I believe that God has so much more in store for you because you have a gift and it is a gift not a lot of people have. Sure a lot of people can sing, but not the way you do it. I think it is so awesome you put yourself out there to be judged and critiqued by not only four amazing artists who are currently working in the industry today, but also America. I wish you would have advanced, but I know that you are going to go very far in life because you have this spirit about you that is just fantastic. I think it would be cool to meet you one day, and with you being on Scott Air Force Base and attending Mascouth High School, that is right down the road (10 miles or so) from my old high school, Wesclin High School in Trenton lol (Small World). But yeah besides all that, I hope you are proud of yourself for all you have accomplished not a whole lot of people get to say they did something this big at your age or even at all and seriously you probably heard this A LOT but this is just the beginning.” 

Bryana Salaz

Seriously, go buy her single of “Amnesia” because it is stunning and will leave you a mess, but in a good way. She has so much talent and in these two singles on iTunes it definitely shows! #teambry

Jean Kelley, I had a feeling if she did not get America’s votes she was not going to make it because I knew Pharrell had this obsession with Sugar Joans and as great as Sugar is, I wish Jean would have made it through because she is such a talented artist that conveys every emotion in a song. She makes it so special and most importantly makes it her own because she makes the audience feel something every time she performs. I know this is not the last we are going to be hearing from Jean Kelley (at least I hope not) because she is too great to just stop here. I really liked what Pharrell said about maximizing your time on the show and what you do afterwords is all up to you. I think she was good enough to make it way farther than just this. But I know there will be great things in store for her and I will be waiting to buy her album or EP one day and say I am a Jean Kelley fan! And Jean, if you are reading this, this is for you, “I think you are an amazing talent that showed so much passion for music while you were on the show. You tackled many great artists and you have done a lot of different things which i admire. I think your rendition of “Already Gone” was one of the best versions of that song I have ever heard because I felt everything you were singing about and made me quite emotional while listening. I had your song, “Piano in the Dark” on constant reply all day as I was at work and in my car. I pray that you will do greater things with this new platform you have been given and use it to your full advantage because I will be waiting for the day you release your debut album. I hope to one day meet you and if that ever happens I will be blessed to have had the opportunity to meet a Class A artist. Best of luck as you enter your new journey.” 

Jean Kelley

Seriously, go buy her iTunes recordings I only bought two, however all of her recordings are absolutely worth every penny. These two are my two favorites from her and they are just in a whole other league of brilliance. #teamjean

Last artist of the night that I wanted to talk about is James David Carter. He had one of the best Country vocals I have ever heard on ANY reality show competition, minus Carrie Underwood, of course. But seriously his voice is already professional sounding and ready to go into a studio and just record an album. I think he has so much potential to do so many great things in the Country music industry. He has the voice and he has the stage presence. I am so surprised he did not make it through to the next round of Lives because if anything, HE IS THE VOICE. Like seriously?!?!?! I love what he does to the songs he sings, he makes them new again and most importantly he makes them his own. I won’t forget listening to his Blind Audition and thinking who is the professional Country singer that NBC got to do a song on The Voice while they take a break from the auditions and looking at the screen to realize he was auditioning left me SHOCKED because it sounded so ready for radios and albums and just everything. I still think there is an amazing career waiting for him and I will be waiting for the day I hear there is a James David Carter album out and I will be ready to go out and buy it. And if James David is reading this this is for you, “I think you have such an incredible tone and gift that you do not need anything BIG flashing lights or dancers or something “FLASHY” to help support you because your voice is enough to be on it’s own. All you need is that guitar and a microphone and you are set my friend. Nashville better look out because you have such an incredible sound and it is seriously ready to go out and just kick butt. I cannot believe you have not been signed before, because just the way your voice is, it just SCREAMS Country music, more like SINGS Country music, but you catch my drift. I wish you the best because your are going to take Nashville by storm and they are going to be so impressed. I hope to one day meet you and maybe get the opportunity to sing with you because that would be an honor to me, it would be like if I got to sing with Garth Brooks or someone, that is how big you are to me. So best of luck James David!” 

James David Carter

These were some of my favorite performances from James David Carter and the third album you see if from his Youtube Acoustic Covers album which was released in 2011, which I forgot I had on my iTunes account. His renditions of “The House That Built Me” and “The Dance” are some of my favorites. #teamjdc

That is where I am leaving this blog tonight. I will do a follow up blog sometime tomorrow maybe with the rankings of the members who are left on the Fantasy League team, but for tonight I am leaving it as this. I think tonight’s episode had many downs, but there were a few ups and I will talk about those tomorrow. But for now God Bless and Thank you for reading.


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