Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The FINAL Playoffs – Team Usher – Recap ('The Voice' s.6)

Credit: Trae Patton/ NBC
Usher was filled with pride last night, and he should have been. Like the other coaches, His team also gave stellar performances.
The Top 12 have been determined, and starting next Monday on NBC, The Voice will be in the Live Shows. The coaches no longer have a say in who stays or who goes home. Those decisions now fall to the viewers and their votes.

I have a feeling that every Live Show is going to be amazing. Each artist seems to grow and get better with every performance, and from what we've seen so far, I can't even imagine how powerful and exciting their live performances are going to be. I can say this... Monday nights are going to be explosive, and I will bet that this season will have the narrowest margins between votes that The Voice has ever seen.

Team Usher was the final team to perform for the Playoffs... five great singers... three spots in the Live Shows. My predictions were right with two of Usher's choices, but the third one, Usher went a different direction that I thought he would.

T.J. - Credit: Trae Patton / NBC
Starting off last night was T.J. Wilkins with his version of “Tell Me Something Good.” From the first note, T.J. came out with incredible power. His vocals were strong and cut through everything. He worked the stage like a pro. He had the audience completely invested in his performance... even Adam and Shakira were singing along with him. He hit his high note so perfectly that Shakira looked a little surprised. Overall, it was a great performance that ended with a flawless falsetto.

Melissa - Credit: Tyler Golden / NBC
Melissa Jiménez followed next with a stripped down rendition of “Halo.” Melissa took a risk with this song, but she wanted to be able to focus the attention on her vocals and what she can do. She looked beautiful and elegant on stage, and I thought her performance was very solid. I adore her voice and what she is able to do with it. She puts out tremendous power when she needs to but can also be very soft and sultry. Her range is great, and the control she showed while riding the scales with her oscillating vocal piece in the middle was amazing. I expect great things from her in the future and look forward to where her musical journey will take her.

With much soul, Stevie Jo performed “The Thrill Is Gone.” He was one I predicted would move on, and I was a little bit surprised when Usher didn't choose him. His performance last night was consistent. He had great energy and showed us the depth of his range. I felt his vocals were coming from somewhere deep within him, which is what a great R&B/Soul singer should do. He really put himself out there on stage, and I felt it was very well received by the crowd. But...

Bria - Credit: Trae Patton / NBC
Toting her guitar, Bria Kelly took her turn and sang “Wild Horses.” During her second battle, Bria seemed a little distant from what I'd come to expect from her, but I'm glad she won that battle, because she absolutely killed her performance last night. She played her guitar and started off with deep and soft vocals, which instantly conveyed the strong emotions she was feeling and wanted to emote with the song. Her voice is simply incredible. It can be soft and smooth but also rough and raspy at just the right times. Her power extends beyond that of many vocalists, but her control is always there. Last night, Bria put everything and every part of herself into that performance... and we got everything out of it. Her feelings and the emotions flooded the stage. It was so powerful, that I noticed even she had to fight to hold back some of her own tears when she finished. All in all... absolutely amazing and the best performance of the night.

Closing out the show, and ending the Playoffs Round, was
Josh Kaufman with “It Will Rain.” The audience reacted very positively within the first few bars of the song, and he just rode that wave. Josh's voice is rather unique and has a very solid and controlled tone. Usher really scored a great vocalist when he stole Josh from Adam. Josh is very passionate on stage, but he never lets it get out of control. The power is there. His range is broad, and he connects so strongly with the audience whenever he is on stage. I think it was his great falsetto near the end that probably sealed his advancement to the Live Shows.

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