In the midst of the California heat wave, last night’s episode of 'The Voice' was all about hot performances…literally. The fate of the competitors was left in the hands of the viewers, while the fate of the live audience, coaches and performers, all left with no a/c, rested in the hands of the people who spent the beginning of the live show fixing it. It made for good TV, as we watched last night to see who would bring the heat, and if the power would actually go off in the room.
Team Usher: Vedo, “Rock with You,” Michael Jackson
It was time for team Usher’s r&b crooner Vedo to shine! Performing with more of an entertaining edge, and adding smooth dance moves to his performance, Vedo took on Michael Jackson’s classic “Rock with You.” Coach Shakira shared how much all of the coaches like him, while Vedo’s Coach Usher commended him on not breaking a sweat.
Team Blake: Holly Tucker, “A Broken Wing,” Martina McBride
Did you know that Holly Tucker has a cd? Coach Blake let the secret out of the bag before the former band member took the stage. The night was all about Holly channeling her country roots, as she performed Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing.” While Usher called anyone who ever doubted her talent “a freaking idiot,” coach Blake was sure to let Holly know that somewhere Mrs. McBride is going “Oh my gosh.”
This is the point where host Carson Daly loses his jacket, proving that it just might be that hot.
Team Shakira: Garrett Gardner, “I Want it that Way,” The Backstreet Boys
It was time for Garrett to get back to his rock and roll roots, and what better way than performing a pop culture cult classic from The Backstreet Boys. During Garrett’s edgy rendition of “I Want it that Way,” it was impossible for anyone at home or in the audience to sing along…it was just that different. While rival coach Adam Levine wasn’t really feeling the new twist on the song, Garrett’s coach Shakira had to interject and compliment him on how “badass” the performance actually was.
Finally Usher begins to take off his clothes...at this point, those of us at home really don’t mind the lack of a/c in the building.
Team Adam: Sarah Simmons, “The Story,” Brandi Carlile
Memphis music student Sarah Simmons wanted to prove to everyone that she was indeed alternative. Showing off the extremes in her voice, Simmons took on the Brandie Carlile alternative rock classic, “The Story.” Coach Blake called the performance “incredible,” while coach Adam applauded Sarah on her vocal diversity.
Team Blake: The Swon Brothers, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” George Jones
It was time for team Blake’s dynamic duo to take the stage. Without the help of their coach, The Swon Brothers chose the late great George Jones classic “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” armed with just a piano and guitar. The performance served as a tribute to the man who gave the two brothers their start. Coach Adam called the performance “beautiful,” while coach Blake gave the duo “kudos.”
Team Shakira: Sasha Allen, “Alone,” Heart
Each week Sasha Allen pulls out all the stops and surprises everyone. Last night’s performance of Heart's “Alone” was no exception. With coach Shakira worried about her Broadway theatrics posing a problem during the mother-of-two’s performance, Coach Adam Levine felt it was just enough (he is also still kicking himself for letting her go). Coach Usher felt that Allen “took us to church,” and Shakira deemed the performance “heavenly.”
Team Usher: Josiah Hawley, “The Man that Can’t Move,” The Script
Even after the a/c came back on, The Voice still remained hot! Team Usher’s resident heartthrob Josiah Hawley took on The Script’s “The Man that Can’t Move.” Coach Blake commended Josiah on his performance and outfit choice (referencing the t-shirt he borrowed from Adam Levine). The Adam compliments didn’t stop there, as Josiah’s coach Usher called him a “young Adam.”
Team Blake: Danielle Bradbery, “Wasted,” Carrie Underwood
She is the youngest artist in the competition, but performs as if she has been doing it the longest. Danielle’s 5th performance consisted of her taking on the Carrie Underwood hit “Wasted.” Coach Shakira called her “Margaret Thatcher” (we are sure Danielle was too young to catch this awesome reference) and Adam referred to her as the “one to beat.” Coach Blake couldn’t help but to gush over his teammate and how much of a “good kid” she is.
Team Adam: Judith Hill, “You Got a Friend,” Cheryl King
She’s a soul singer “that loves singing pop.” Veteran performer Judith Hill was the only artist of the night to perform sans the help of the show's band. With just her vocals and piano, she performed the Cheryl King classic “You Got a Friend,” earning compliments from each coach, Judith’s coach Adam called her “the most talented human being in the entire competition.” How is that for a compliment?
Team Usher: Michelle Chamuel, “Call Your Girlfriend,” Robyn
Coming off an emotional performance that landed her praise last week, Michelle Chamuel was back to her fast-paced, energetic, electronic roots as she performed Robyn’s hit “Call Your Girlfriend.” There was no sign of stage freight as Michelle dominated the stage with her signature dance moves and vocals. Shakira called the performance “very cool,” while Michelle’s coach Usher pointed out how much he adores her.
Although I’m not a coach, I want to say thank you to Michelle for not stripping the song down, and for keeping it up beat. There are enough of those covers on YouTube; I really didn’t want to see another.
Team Shakira: Kris Thomas, “I’ll Be There,” The Jackson 5
Team Shakira’s resident crooner Kris Thomas chose a song that would showcase his vocal range perfectly, taking on the Jackson 5’s hit “I’ll Be There.” Kris proved that he belongs on The Voice, and not in the Navy. Coach Usher commended Kris on finding his way. Blake loved how much he pushed himself, and coach Shakira pointed out how “It sounds like he wants to win.” I think he does.
Team Adam: Amber Carrington, “I’m Gonna Love You through It,” Martina McBride
Country cross-over artist Amber Carrington took on the last performance of the night. In a tribute to her late mother, she performed Martina McBride’s “I’m Gonna Love You through It.” Amber delivered an emotional performance that earned her high praise from all the judges. “You did Martina proud and country proud” gushed Blake, while Usher said she defied the laws of gravity. Her coach, Adam, not only commended her on her performance, but on her strength to perform a song that tells her story.
Here’s to the top 12 making America’s decision harder and harder. Did you cast your votes for the night, and will your favorite make it to next week’s round?