Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"The Voice" Top 8 Performances Recap

Last night, a few coaches from past seasons lent a hand in advising the Top 8.
Ceelo helped Blake.
Usher helped Adam.
Gwen helped both Christina and Pharrell.

Opening the show was a group performance by this season's Top 8. It wasn't one of the best group performances I've seen on The Voice, but it was okay. The three guys left started the piece off, with the girls coming in for the second half. It may have just been me, but it seemed as though the girls were trying to 'one-up' each other with there solo parts... a theme that sadly seemed to carry on into the competition part of the show.

Hannah ("We Don't Need Another Hero") was the first to take the stage, and she could not have done a better job with her performance. All in all, she is just a pure performer. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, and vocals... everything just comes together and creates an amazing performance. Her whole body (especially her eyes) only complement her pitch-perfect vocals in telling the song's story.
She owns the stage every time she's on it, and her performance last night was remarkable. Christina commented that she wanted Hannah to work on strengthening her lower register, but I really didn't see a weakness there. Blake looked to Hannah and told her that she has become one of his "all time favorite artists."
That was my favorite performance of the night, and in my opinion... that was the winning performance of the show.

After being saved last week, Joshua gave a stripped down performance of "Fields of Gold," and showed us why it was a good thing he was saved. Joshua is a simple performer. That's where he shines, and that's where he'll give you an amazing performance. It was just him and his guitar, with some simple instruments backing him up. He doesn't need to 'work' the stage to give us a show. His voice is strong and the focal point, and what he did last night suits him and his personality perfectly, and that's why he is the great artist that he is.

Kimberly performed a version of "Creep" unlike any that has ever been done before. I think it started a little high, which may have been why after the chorus, there were parts of the performance that seemed too loud and too much like 'yelling' (The song was moving up but really had nowhere left to go). Don't get me wrong, the performance was amazing and her vocals where incredible, but here's where that 'theme' I mentioned seemed to take seed.
Kimberly's performance was highly emotional and connected very strongly with herself and the audience. The way the stage was set and the way she moved and sang, I was reminded of The Phantom of the Opera. It was an extremely powerful performance. I just think at times the power could have be reigned back some.

Meghan Linsey - Photo: Tyler Golden / NBC
Blake's other powerhouse Meghan made "Something" look effortless last night. She has a natural power that comes from very deep, yet pours freely. I wasn't happy with the way they set the stage. The stairs on either side of her were a good idea, but they were set way too close together and way to close to her. It really distracted from her performance. It felt as though the stairs were trying to contain or enclose her. It caused me to lose focus from Meghan, and it isolated her from the audience too much. It was still a strong vocal performance, but again, there were times where there was just too much power. Unfortuneltely, this theme continued through to the rest of the night's performances.

India took us "Over the Rainbow" last night. The first line was delivered a Cappella and really showed the control and power of her voice. The stage and wardrobe suited the song perfectly. For the most part, her vocals were soft and pitch perfect. There were some parts of the arrangement that I really didn't care for, and there were some runs she put a little too much into (that running theme), but overall it really did showcase her range and control.

Sawyer's "Simple Man," in my opinion, was just that. I thought that the song may have been too 'old' for him, and that his fan base may not have been able to connect to him or the song, but after looking at everything after the show... was I ever wrong. So, I went back and watched again, and I still don't know what I'm not seeing? While he was vocally good, the stage didn't allow a full connection with Sawyer or the song. There were some spots in his performance where it was more yelling than a show of power. I thought it was okay at best, but apparently, I'm one of very very few that thought that.

Corey ("When I See You Smile") still has some work to do with his control (or more likely his nerves). I think the song choice was perfect for him, but again, I was disappointed with the chosen arrangement. His vocals were strong, though they just seemed to take the first third or so of the song to 'warm up' and become what they are capable of being. Even during the group performance, he faltered ever so slightly in the beginning, but then he found his groove and performed very well. He has the passion and the connection, and I think experience will help with the power and control. I can seem him trying to shoot into a higher register or put out a stronger note, but then he hesitates... plays it safe... and doesn't 'climb.' 

Closing out last night was Koryn with "Girl On Fire." Her vocals and control grow stronger with each week. Her performance last night was no exception, however, parts of the performance (not really the vocals) seemed almost 'choppy.' I noticed that with her during the group number as well. I'm not sure what it was, but she just seemed different last night during her performances. Taking that out, she was very strong, but like the others, there were parts that were overly loud and 'scream' like. I thought it was good but not her best, and although her vocals did 'grow,' her performance was not as strong as it was last week.

Bottom 3 Predictions:
Predicting this week's bottom three is tough and really not necessarily whom I would pick personally.

The only thing I really feel is a given is that Sawyer will be called safe first - followed by Adam's only contestant Joshua.
Kimberly will also be safe... as will Meghan.

So the Bottom 3 I have two possible scenarios that I cannot decide between:

First Option
1. India Carney (Team Christina)
2. Koryn Hawthorne (Team Usher)
3. Hannah Kirby (Team Blake)
Instant Save: Hannah

Second Option
1. India Carney (Team Christina)
2. Koryn Hawthorne (Team User)
3. Corey Kent White (Team Blake)
Instant Save: India

What do you think? Leave a comment below!


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