Monday, May 20, 2013

The Voice Season Four • Top 10 Perform

As we prepare to hear The Voice Season 4 Top 10 take to the stage, I also look back at last week, when the voters sent VEDO and Garrett Gardner home. They were certainly among the weakest of the performance show, but I think Garrett has been handcuffed by song selection two weeks in a row, something that is tough to beat when you are going against artists who have picked, either themselves or by the coaches, songs that were perfect for them. I really thought Garrett stood a chance of making it further, but alas, it didn't happen. Like last week, the bottom two vote totals will be eliminated, no matter the team. As both Usher and Shakira lost an artist, both are in danger of being bounced out of the competition, so they should give special attention to the songs and performances this week. Speaking of which, it is time for the show!

The Voice Season 4 Judges photo the_voice_judges_zpsd9d01b49.jpg
Left to right: Adam Levine, Usher, Blake Shelton and Shakira.

Carson Daly greets us once again, and reminds us the two lowest vote totals will be sent packing, but first, this week begins with a performance by the band featuring one of the judges. Yes, it is Maroon Five and Adam Levine, on stage to perform the latest single, "Love Somebody".

Adam was in great voice, and the song sounded like a fun Pop song. And the boys were all dressed in white, looking amazing. You can find the single on iTunes and Amazon. We are told the coaches brought some help, with their advisor's returning. Only Shakira's gets the help of former (and future) judge Cee Lo Green. The first singer will be from Team Blake, who is worried about the people of Oklahoma. Blake picked "How Great Thou Art", a Christian hymn written in the 19th Century. Holly Tucker is up first, and feels Gospel is a big part of her, and so glad she doesn't want to hide it. She has a strong voice, but I feel very little depth to it. I heard no richness, just volume. Usher was somewhat vague, but nice. Shakira loved it, and Adam thought it showed off her pristine vocals. Blake loved it, and thought it was her most important performance to date. He thought it was also a wonderful, and perfect timing with the tornadoes in Oklahoma. Next up, Adam chose "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson for Judith Hill. She is unsure, for she worries about what might be said about her relationship with the King of Pop. Adam tells her to worry less, and just do the song to pay respect to someone who was important to her.

The opening bars are given a smooth Jazz feel, and her vocals are flawless. Then the tempo picks up, and she delivers a wonderful Pop performance. Her vocals is so strong, and her delivery so tight, it is wonderful to watch week to week. Blake can't find a single fault with her performance, and Usher thought it just reminded him about The King of Pop, and how much he missed him. Adam was just so proud of her, and what she did on that stage. Team Blake is back, with The Swon Brothers singing "How Country Feels" by Randy Houser. In rehearsal, Blake and Cheryl Crow offered some suggestions, but really love they way the boys have grown. This is definitely a Country song, but while I love the Swon Brothers, I thought this performance lacked a bit of energy, a bit of zip. Shakira loved it, and thinks they always just make her feel better. Adam thinks it was great fun, and he is a bigger fan after each song. Blake is so proud, and feels they keep picking up momentum. As we go away to commercial, Carson reminds up they are the only duo or group to make it this far in the four seasons of The Voice, a true credit to their talent. Adam is back with adviser Hillary Scott, as he has picked Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" for Amber Carrigton. Adam sees her has an artists who could sing either Country or Pop, and this is a great song for her. Hillary has faith in her, sure she is a talent bound for the finals. But first, here is Kelly Clarkson singing "Breakaway".

The opening bars are a little light, a bit low for her, but the song quickly builds to the strength of her voice. Once it does, she oars with the chorus, and delivers a great performance. With the wind blowing, she was so comfortable, it was great. Blake loved it, and loves her. Usher was blown away, and loved her. Shakira thought it was a great choice, really in Amber's wheelhouse. Adam thinks that is great, for Kelly has one of the best voices in the business, showing how strong a competitor Amber is this season. The first of Shakira's two remaining contestants, Sasha Allen will sing "Next To Me" by Emeli Sandé. Shakira brings in Cee Lo Green to assist her. Cee Lo loves Sasha, and thinks this is a great song for her. Sasha comes out looking fantastic, and sounding even better. That was a great performance. I thought Sasha just killed it, It was my favorite of the night so far. Adam loved it, and was so glad she was singing something contemporary. Blake agreed, and thought it was a great job, and the vocals were amazing, as they always are. Usher thought she was amazing, and showed everything he needed to see. Shakira was giddy, and so proud and thrilled by the outstanding job done. Usher and Pharrell are back to give their time to Josiah Hawley, who will be singing "Clocks" by Coldplay.

This seems like it should be a good choice for him, but he struggles a bit on the high end of the chorus, and that is such a shame, for he is sounding fantastic on the rest. Couldn't they come up with a fix for that? As he was performing, you could see he knew it was problematic. I thought it was wonderful, but fell short. Shakira thought it was a tough to take on Coldplay, and while he did well, it was not great. Adam agreed, noting there were moments when he had command of the song, and times he was so not comfortable. The inconsistency was a problem for him, but he really likes Josiah. Blake thought it was musically good, but failed to tell the story, which is a problem for him. Usher can't agree with everything said, and instead reaffirms how much faith he has in the handsome man. After the break, it was time for Blake to offer some coaching for Danielle Bradbery, who will be singing "Heads Carolina, Tails California" by JoDee Messina, with Sheryl Crow. Crow loves the talented young lady, but wants the young lady to connect with the audience, and share her journey with them. She comes out and sings bold and strong, but I actually thought this was her weakest thus far. There were a few moments that were problematic with breath control, but I thought the biggest thing was the lack of connection Sheryl was looking for. Usher thought it was great, and she made Country cool again. Adam thought she was a superstar, and was still a shining example of the teenager. Blake could not be more proud of Danielle, and thinks she will once again rule iTunes sales tonight. After another long commercial break, The Voice returns for Team Shakira. Kris Thomas will be singing "Adorn" by Miguel, only Cee Lo wants to change it up a little bit, and give Kris some swag. But first, here is Miguel with "Adorn.

While his voice sounds sweet on the song, he does not feel comfortable with the upbeat tempo. He also has more problems with breath control, and his falsetto is a bit timid because of it. However, at the end of the song, when he starts to freestyle, he does come back to life a bit. Adam thought it was great vocally, but he would like to see Kris relax a bit more, have some fun. Usher thought it was a strong performance, but that it was not a great song choice. Shakira stood up to say he showed everything you needed with that song, and while he might have a few nerves, he has the vocals and talent to make it in the music business. Other judges tried to interrupt her, but she had none of it, defending her artist. Soon it was time for Adam and Hillary to check in with Sarah Simmons, who will be singing "Mamma Knows Best" by Jessie J. This is a shocking pick for me, as it is going against what we have heard from her so far. The song is bold and bluesy, not light and ethereal.

Sarah really connects to the song, and the lyrics, so she really wants to lay it down. Hillary just wants her to remember control, and to not let the song get ahead of her. She starts well, but after a few bars of the song, she is being drowned out by the band. I don't know if it is the mix or what, but I am straining to hear her, and losing half the song. I fear the song won that battle, not Sarah. Blake thought she radiated sexy, and showed a new side of her. Usher thought it was an incredible performance. Adam loved it, and thought she was so awesome. Adam thought it was the performance of the night, so it must have been an issue with my television... Finally, the last performer of the night is Michelle Chamuel. Usher and Pharrell are there to help her in rehearsal with Pink's "Just Give Me A Reason". It seems like it was a perfect song for her, combining the edgy Rock with the Pop impulses that make Michelle so amazing. Pharrell really believes in her, as does Coach Usher. She starts off the performance much better, and it grows from there. She is on fire tonight, and this was her night. This is easily the best of the night for me, and there were a couple of really good performances. I loved it. Adam just loved it, and said he is such a fan of her. Blake just loves her style. Usher thought it was the best of the night, and tells her so. They are running late, so they are in a hurry to get done. Carson reminds Oklahoma the thoughts and prayers of all on the show are with them, and the results are coming tomorrow. For me, there are a couple who should be worried. Holly, Kris, Sarah, and Josiah were not at their best. I hope Josiah can make it through, but you can never tell when it is all in the hands of voters. Speaking of votes, to learn how you can place your vote, visit the official website. In brief, you can vote via a toll-free phone number, online at, with the special NBC App, or Facebook. Unlike some shows, The Voice limits the amount of votes people can place per method. You can vote 10 times per phone, or 10 times via Facebook, or 10 times via NBC App between now and 10AM Tuesday morning. The phone number is (877)553-37XX, filling in the 'XX' with the artist number. Those numbers would be Holly Tucker 01, Judith Hill 02, The Swon Brothers 03, Amber Carrington 04, Sasha Allen 05, Josiah Hawley 06, Danielle Bradbery 07, Kris Thomas 08, Sarah Simmons 09, and Michelle Chamuel 10. Don't forget, your iTunes purchase also counts as a vote, if you are so inclined. There is a link to all the songs on the iTunes front page.

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