November 20, 2012

Quick Thoughts: THE VOICE, "Top 10 Performances"

I know that I said that I wouldn't be writing all that much about The Voice, but this week's performance episode was so strong that I felt the need to jot down some thoughts. I've decided to put together some sort of power rankings system from my least to most favorite numbers. Keep in mind, I'm clueless when it comes to music so this will all be based on what I liked rather than what was technically better.

10. Sylvia Yacoub (Team Christina): "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys
For the most part, Sylvia did a decent enough job from what I could tell, but there's something lacking when she sings. Sure, she can belt to her heart's content, but I've never been one to appreciate pop music so she just doesn't resonate with me. My gut's telling me that she could go far though if she can get some of X-tina's minions to buy into her.

9. Terry McDermott (Team Blake): "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams
Terry's been one of my favorites since day one, so I was a little bummed when his performance fell flat. He didn't sound very polished and he was struggling enough that I could tell that something was off. I don't know if it was the song choice or what, but "Summer of '69" was by far his weakest outing and it could hurt him in the end.

8. Amanda Brown (Team Adam): "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Everyone made a big deal out of the fact that this was a relatively unknown song, and I have to admit that I liked her version since I hadn't heard it before, but I don't gravitate towards Amanda's style of music much like Sylvia's. Yes, she's got talent, but I'm disinterested in an R&B voice that cane belt it.

7. Bryan Keith (Team Adam): "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel
I dig Billy Joel, and I felt for Bryan since he's a New Yorker, but something about his performance didn't click for me. Maybe it's because the song's so iconic and he didn't make it his own enough, or maybe it's because I haven't been on his bandwagon from the get go. Either way, I wasn't feeling it as much as I should have but I'm sure he'll be safe.

6. Cody Belew (Team Cee Lo): "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé
I'll give Cody some credit for being the most entertaining performance of the night with all of his flash and dancing, but I think he was too caught up in the theatrics to put together a solid number. I remember there were times when he sounded off because of all of his movement, and he might have missed a lyric or two. If anything, he proved how difficult it can be to dance and sing at the same time, so kudos to him for being ambitious. It's just sad that he's the least talented on his own team.

5. Dez Duron (Team Christina): "Feeling Good" by Michael Bublé
Trust me, I'm just as shocked by the fact that someone from Team X-tina ranked this high, but Dez came into his own this week. I was happy when Blake admitted that Dez and Christina found his sound because the jazzy crooner bit worked for him, and I'll admit that I'd buy one of his albums if it was nothing but his best Rat Pack impersonations. I still don't want him to make the finals, even though he will based on the tween vote alone, but I was impressed.

4. Trevin Hunte (Team Cee Lo): "Scream" by Usher
In my mind, Trevin's still the front runner despite the fact that his performance this week didn't blow me away. I commend him for doing something different, and admittedly he had a great night because he had an air of confidence and command that I hadn't seen before, but he did seem to struggle during certain moments of the song. What it comes down to is "Scream" wasn't his best night but he was still pretty damn good. I'd be shocked if he fails to win it all this season.

3. Cassadee Pope (Team Blake): "Over You" by Miranda Lambert
Cassadee also had a breakout performance by singing a song that her coach co-wrote and has been getting a lot of buzz for. Up until this point, I've wanted to like Cassadee but something about her personality kept me at arm's length. I think her willingness to be more vulnerable made me warm up to her, and Blake's response to her tackling one of his more personal songs was the highlight of the series so far. She probably doesn't have enough juice to make it to the finals, but she very well may have saved herself with this one.

2. Melanie Martinez (Team Adam): "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes
Admittedly, I barely know this song but even I have to say that Melanie's rendition was my favorite by a ways. I just love her style and sound, and she's one of the few contestants who could make me throw down some cash just to buy her record. The only other person to make me feel that way was Season 1's Dia Frampton. As for "Seven Nation Army," I loved everything about it especially how she made her own and it's this ability that's kept her high on my list. I just hope the rest of America feels the same way.

1. Nicholas David (Team Cee Lo): "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers
God damn, Nicholas David's so freaking awesome. While I'll say that his version of "Lean on Me" didn't stray too far from its roots, it was solid and entertaining and just plain amazing. He just looked and sounded like a natural, and I have to agree with Blake's assessment; he's a legend in the making. Plus, I love it that he's not the kind of cookie cutter artist who tends to win this kind of competition. If voters were smart, they'd truly vote for the best voice and Nicholas is up there to say the very least.

And just to make things even more convoluted and arbitrary  here are the five favorite performers based on the competition up until the point. For some perspective, if I had put together this list last week then Cassadee would've been in the No. 5 spot and Terry would've been in the No. 3 position. If I decide to keep spouting off random opinions about something I know nothing about, then this section will shift alla the BCS standings.

My Top Five
5. Terry McDermott (Team Blake)
4. Cassadee Pope (Team Blake)
3. Melanie Martinez (Team Adam)
2. Nicholas David (Team Cee Lo)
1. Trevin Hunte (Team Cee Lo)

So, there you have my wholly uninformed thoughts on this week's live performances, and once again I have to agree with Blake because this episode was definitely one of The Voice's best to date and Season 3's already surpassed Season 2 and is nipping at Season 1's heels.


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