The first live Elimination Show came and went but not without a few surprises and much talk. The show’s Top 20 needed to become the Top 12. America voted and bought the music, and these votes and purchases saved two artists on each team. The third artist was chosen by his or her respective judge. I nailed who America would choose from each team, but I missed the coaches’ choices (with the exception of Ceelo). Blake, Christina, and Adam left me really scratching my head.
Before the results were given, each team performed as a group. Team Blake took the stage first and sang “Free Ride.” There’s not much to say about the performance. It was alright. For the most part, they sang well together, but it was nothing spectacular.
The results came and America saved Austin Jenckes and Cole Vosbery. Both are very talented and have connected rather well with the viewers, so it was no surprise America’s votes put them in the Top 12.
It’s what came next that surprised me. Blake made his decision and picked Ray Boudreaux as the third member of his Team. Blake said that he picked Ray because he believed Ray was the one he could “move forward with and have the most success with.” Huh?
It’s not that Ray isn’t a great singer... he is. I just figured Blake, one of the biggest country superstars in the industry right now (he won Male Vocalist and Album of the Year at the CMA Awards the night before), would have taken his Country powerhouse Shelbie Z to the Top 12... especially after her live performance last week when Blake said to her, “If I had been in a coma and woke up and saw that, I would think that’s one of the biggest stars in country music.” So what happened?
Team CeeLo was up next, and their group song was “Give a Little Bit.” I’m not sure if they all skipped rehearsals, or maybe it was because they're all very different vocally, but their performance was the worst I’ve seen on any show. Individually, they are all established singers and talented vocalists, but together... The four girls were singing in different keys (and none was the right key). They all missed notes and were pitchy, and pretty much all of them missed their cues leading into the harmonies. I actually felt embarrassed for them, because they are all better than what that performance showed. Whatever the reasons, I think it might have sealed Team CeeLo’s fate.
In the end, America saved Caroline Pennell and Jonny Gray, and with no real reasons given by CeeLo, he saved Kat Robichaud... none of which was surprising.
Christina’s team took their turn on the stage singing “Love Somebody.” For how strong her artists are, I was a little disappointed with the group performance. It was strong, and they all sang well together and looked absolutely amazing, but it lacked the ‘flair’ I was expecting from Christina.
When the results were given, America obviously saved Jacquie Lee and Matthew Schuler. Christina didn’t really show any expressions during the reveal, so it’s hard to tell if she was happy with the results, or like the rest of us, just knew it would be those two. One of the biggest surprises of the night came when she announced her choice for the remaining spot on her team. She choose based on where her “heart is invested” and went with Josh Logan. While Josh is a wonderful singer, Olivia Henken definitely out-sang him during the live show. Even Christina made the observation that Olivia “can do it all.” So, again, a country singer is sent packing, and I’m starting to notice a pattern here.
Rounding out the night was Team Adam and their rendition of “Safe and Sound.” This was, by far, the best performance of the night... in fact, I would say one of the best group performances I’ve ever seen. The whole group harmonized perfectly. Each one was on key and never missed a cue. If I were Adam, I would seriously consider taking the entire group, name them Maroon 6, and just go from there... it was that good.
The results came, and America saved James Wolpert and Tessanne Chin. Both were expected, as James topped at number three on iTunes, and Tessanne has over seventy thousand followers on Twitter. It was, however, Adam’s decision that threw everyone for a loop. He praised all his artists but said he had to pick the one who he thinks he has the most potential with. He looked at the audience and the other coaches and added that his decision “may be surprising,” and announced that he was taking Will Champlin to the Top 12. I don’t get it. Beginning with the Blind Auditions, Grey has continually proven herself as an amazing vocalist. She has grown each week with leaps and bounds over Will, and in my opinion, she would be the one to give Adam the most potential to take a win. But I’m not Adam...
Last season was won by a country singer. The season before that was won by a country singer... maybe production was worried that a country singer would win this year and gently ‘nudged’ the coaches in their decisions. Christina made a comment during the Knockout Round between Olivia and Destinee that she doesn’t have room on her team for two country artists. What if production decided that there isn’t room for any country artists this year. A third win in a row by a country singer could attach a label to the show that it’s all about country music. Would that bring down ratings? Maybe. This first elimination was the final chance before America becomes solely responsible for who goes home and who moves on. Who knows? It is just a theory.
All in all, Olivia Henken will no doubt have an amazing career, and I look forward to her first post-Voice album. Shelbie Z will definitely leave her mark on the country music scene, and Grey will be headlining shows in no time... so, maybe they were sent home because the coaches knew they didn’t need the show to make it big and be successful... maybe they kept the artists who they think may need just a little more of a boost. This makes a little more sense, because Grey wasn't country. Just another theory...
Looking at the Top 12, as long as bad song choices don’t mess it up, The Voice will inevitably come down to Jacquie Lee and James Wolpert, with James currently having a slight edge over Jacquie. Even though I’m a little upset with the decisions on who didn't make it through, I still look forward to the weeks to come. Monday the Top 12 perform, and Tuesday two more artists will be sent home by America’s vote... my guess is it will be Josh Logan and Will Champlin.
See you next week.
Watch The Voice every Monday and Tuesday on NBC! Check your local listings for times.
Who caught your ear? Who’s your favorite? What do you think? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.