T.J. Wilkins and Dani Moz were the two eliminated contestants from “The Voice” Season 6 last week and that was OK with us — neither of them were very strong during the Top 12. Let’s see how the Top 10 fare.
1. Kat Perkins, “Landslide,” Stevie Nick (Team Adam)
Terrific song choice. She’s been such a big rocker each week, this is a nice way to bring it down but not lose her soulful edge because Stevie Nicks stuff isn’t just bubble gum pop. She also sounds fabulous on this. It’s great to hear her just quietly sing, it really shows off her actual vocal tone (as opposed to the rock stuff that is more about range and acrobatics).
2. Tess Boyer, “Ain’t It Fun,” Paramore (Team Shakira)
For someone who was in danger last week, I’m not sure this was the best song choice. It’s OK, but it’s really not showing off her voice until the end. There is that one big note that voters love, but this performance is a lot more sassy stomping around than actual singing (save the couple big notes), so I would not be surprised if Tess lands in the bottom again (depending on how the rest of the field shakes out). And that’s too bad, because Tess is really good. But this just wasn’t the best song for her. Maybe those big notes will be enough.
3. Audra McLaughlin, “You Lie,” Reba McEntire (Team Blake)
Love that she chose Reba, this is a great song. However, Audra needs to work on her enunciation. She’s mush-mouthing her way through the song to the point where I couldn’t tell what she was singing at times and I know this song. At least she got through her lyrics flub (I could understand that part) without losing her composure or her way in the song. Vocally, it’s great. There are some tough jumps and big notes and she really sails on it. She could win, she’s a very talented vocalist and country singers do well on competitions like this.
4. Josh Kaufman, “This Is It,” Kenny Loggins (Team Usher)
I’ve been wondering if he would bust out some K-Log, he’s got a very Loggins quality to his voice. This is a very souful, smooth performance. I’m a little nervous that it’s a little obscure of a song for voters — it’s not “Danger Zone,” after all. But Josh really sounds lovely on it, great falsetto. Let’s do “Playing With the Boys” next week!
5. Christina Grimmie, “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” Drake (Team Adam)
Incredible. It’s kind of surprising she’s stuck right in the middle of the lineup tonight because she absolutely slays this. What an interesting take and arrangement on the song, plus her tone is so rich and the piano is lovely. She actually kind of loses me a little when she comes out from behind the piano, I wish she had stayed more quiet and gentle with it, but either way, really good performance. Two weeks of live shows and Christina has made herself quite a frontrunner.
6. Jake Worthington, “The Run,” George Strait (Team Blake)
I was critical of Worthington last week and I want nothing more than for him to prove me wrong this week, but he did not pick an easy artist in Strait. And then unfortunately, once again, Jake’s pitch is all over the map. He’s terribly sharp, it’s like he can’t find the pocket of the notes and settle into it. So far, Jake is easily the weakest singer this. I didn’t love Tess’ song, but at least she hit all the notes.
Also, he needs to stop limply touching the audience members’ hands. Either go for it and shake/high five or don’t do it, but don’t put your dead-fish hand out there randomly and without looking. It looks weird.
7. Bria Kelly, “I’m With You,” Avril Lavigne (Team Usher)
It’s just personal preference, but there are moments when Bria has that goat-like quality to her voice, that really tight vibrato that is a little like bleating? I don’t care for it. It doesn’t bother me as much most weeks but it’s very front and center on this song and it’s kind of grating. Bria also has a more casual relationship with the correct pitch this week than she normally does, so for me, this is kind of a mess. She’s down there with Jake.
8. Delvin Choice, “Bright Lights,” Gary Clark Jr. (Team Adam)
Great song, but I’m worried about its obscurity with the audience. Anyway, he completely slays it. I wasn’t sold on Delvin last week on “Unchained Melody” but this has secured him in the competition for me. He’s just a bombastic force during this song, he takes it by the reins and just rides it and rides it. The only misstep is that he seems to misjudge the ending a little — oh, wait, that was on purpose. OK, well, still a misstep. He takes a huge pause to run back to the stage and then yell out, “Do you know my name?!” and then he finishes the song. It felt like he was finished and then had to run back to center stage. It was weird and awkward.
Hopefully the strange ending and the obscurity doesn’t hurt him because he just nailed that song.
9. Kristen Merlin, “Let Her Go,” Passenger (Team Shakira)
Nice choice for her voice, it really suits her delicate tone nicely. However, it’s not an easy song — lots of quick lyrics and odd jumps in pitch and she’s not hitting them all dead-on. It’s pretty good, but it’s not great. The ending is markedly better than the beginning, but she could still be more purposeful about hitting the notes. Still, the emotion is nice – that’s definitely something Kristen never has to work on, it just comes across. She seems 100 percent immersed in everything she sings, it’s lovely to watch.
10. Sisaundra Lewis, “Oh Sherry,” Journey (Team Blake)
I never in a million years would have chosen this for her, but she absolutely rocks it. From the mostly a capella beginning to the big rock notes, it’s darn near flawless. She’s doesn’t have Perry’s tone, but that’s OK because it’s not a sound-alike and her tone is what gives it some different flavor because vocally, she’s singing it pretty much the way Perry does — love the big high notes at the end, though.
My only criticism is she over-enunciates, which is hilarious considering how annoying Audra was with her mush-mouthiness. If those two could just get together and split the difference, everything would be great. But yeah, Sisaundra just continues to be one of the best voices in the competition. She’s also incredibly comfortable on stage, working it like a veteran and looking like a million bucks.
For another week, the ones to beat are Christina Grimmie, Sisaundra Lewis and Kat Perkins. Audra McLaughlin and Delvin Choice slid into the top group after a week I thought they were in the middle of the pack, while Kristen Merlin drops to the middle for me (though she’s still good). Josh Kaufman and Tess Boyer are also in the middle, while Jake Worthington and Bria Kelly are my Bottom 2. It would not, however, surprise me if Tess is in the bottom again because her performance just wasn’t strong enough this week.
Since Jake wasn’t even in the bottom after last week’s trainwreck, I suspect Tess could be in some trouble.
Who do you think should go home, “Voice” fans?