Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Voice 9: Top 9

If this was last season, I would be annoyed by the idea of cutting nine (9) people to four (4), but tonight, I genuinely don't mind because, at this point, I just want this season of "Religious Voice" to end and crown Jordan Smith already. Look, I have nothing against the him - he seems to be a very good and talented kid - but the constant pimping became incredibly annoying this week. I know. I know. Subtlety was never The Voice's strongest suit, but come on!

On with the show!

09. Barrett Baber
Did he just seal his fate with this performance and ultimately opening up a room for another artist to get through? I don't know who picked the song for him, but this just didn't work. Yes, he started well with the first verse, but as soon as the chorus hit the mumbling started and everything just went downhill. I wouldn't say it was a total trainwreck, but it was like watching my uncle do karaoke while drunk. 5

08. Shelby Brown
Even God Must Get The Blues
Shelby didn't do anything wrong. In fact, her vocals, for the most part, was almost pitch perfect. The way she navigated that melody was sublime and there's some much needed power to her delivery. What made me rank her this low? She was just frustratingly forgettable that the sleepy song choice didn't do her any favors. Her chances of making the Finale next week, at this point, is slim to none. 7

07. Madi Davis
Big Girls Don't Cry
I've always been a big fan of Madi and her innate musicality, but I'm absolutely torn with this performance. No, she didn't falter and her vocals were actually pretty solid especially when she found the groove at the middle section of the number, but it also felt like I was in an old French restaurant. It was a lovely arrangement, I just didn't think it was the right song at the point. 7

06. Zach Seabaugh
The Climb
I seriously wrote Zach off coming into this episode as I don't think he'd be able to outlast a couple of strong vocalists after this week, but with a song choice that's easily recognizable - especially with the demographic he's trying to win over - this was bound to be an instant hit. No, his pitch wasn't faultless - I though he hit a couple of rough notes at the start of the number - but this has to be one of his better vocals in this season and the connection he had with the material was pretty palpable. 7.5

05. Emily Ann Roberts
9 to 5
I groaned at the idea of Emily doing something uptempo on a week as crucial as this, but she took a gamble and somehow pulled it off. She hasn't been the best with something with a driving beat, but she managed to deliver the rapid fire lyrics of the song with great precision and at the same time commanded the stage like a pro. I thought she did the song justice and in a see of ballads, I thought she stood out quite well. 7.5

04. Braiden Sunshine
Amazing Grace
Last week, I figured, "There's just NO WAY Braiden will survive the upcoming bloodbath". I mean, he can sing a Christmas song and he'd be eliminated instantly. Boy was I wrong. All he needed was a simple rendition of Amazing Grace and people will eat it up. To me, this was a genius strategic song choice and he didn't sound terrible. He controlled his vocals shockingly well and the softer moments were actually lovely. By Braiden's standards, this was phenomenal. 7.5

03. Amy Vachal
To Make You Feel My Love
Amy. Amy. Amy. While this was, yet again, another uneventful sounding performance with a complete lack of emotional heft, there's something incredibly raw and soothing about her rendition. It sounded natural, her vocals were consistent, and it needed no gimmicks whatsoever to fully realize the intent of her performance. No, I don't think I'll remember this performance in the next coming months, but for what it was, I thought it's one solid performance. 7.5

02. Jeffery Austin
Hands down, Jeffery's strongest performance since Say You Love Me. Not only was he able to inhabit the song, but this was extremely well sung and his phrasing was really good. You see, I never really liked how he ends his phrases abruptly - see, Dancing On My Own and Let It Go - but somehow, it wasn't too pronounced here. He didn't sound harsh towards the end and he maintained the structure of the melody. Very nice.

01. Jordan Smith
Somebody To Love
Self indulgent? Maybe. But one can't deny the sheer power and outstanding vocal technique Jordan showcased with this performance. His vocal control was impeccable, his transitions were mostly clean, and his range was crazy. This was a stunning vocal performance that lacked some real and palpable emotions. Do I mind? Of course, but when you're the anointed one this season - HE GOT A FULL CHOIR!!! - he will be pimped like he was delivered on this earth by angels to lead us to the promise land. Enough said. 8.5

(straight to the Finale)
Jordan Smith
Jeffery Austin
Amy Vachal

(for the sing-off)
Madi Davis
Emily Ann Roberts
Braiden Sunshine

(instantly eliminated)
Zach Seabaugh
Shelby Brown
Barrett Baber


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