“When the going gets tough…the tough gets going” With the start of the top-eight performance night, Team Usher and Shakira each have one contestant keeping them in the competition, while Team Adam and Blake have 3 competitors each. It’s time for some other coaches to leave, simply because we just aren’t ready to see Usher leave The Voice. Kicking off the Memorial Day show, “rarely sober” coach Blake Shelton performed his new single, “Boys Round Here”.
Team Adam: Judith Hill, “#ThatPower,” by Will. I. Am, featuring Justin Bieber.
Bringing it with the night’s first performance, Team Adam’s veteran musician Judith Hill switched her sound and showed true personality with her performance of Will. I. Am and Justin Bieber’s hit “#ThatPower.” Complete with extremely big hair and an outfit straight out of a Cee-Lo video, Judith wowed not only the audience, but the coaches. Blake and Shakira both felt the performance was a great way to showcase her personality, coach Usher felt it was an incredible way to kick off the show, and Judith’s coach Adam just loved that it was a “real performance.”
Team Blake: Holly Tucker, “Done,” by The Band Perry
Holly, everyone is dying to know where you got those blinged-out cowboy boots?
Team Blake’s Holly Tucker took a more edgy route, performing The Band Perry’s hit, “Done.” Showcasing Not only her awesome fashion sense, the song demonstrated Holly’s ability to reach her vocal range and perform a more up-tempo song. The audience weren’t the only ones impressed with the performance; coach Usher felt she did an incredible job (I’m sure there should have been some kind of The Voice drinking game counting how many times each coach said the word incredible last night). Coach Shakira couldn’t get enough of Holly’s bling boots and sassiness, and coach Blake felt his teammate owned the song.
Taking a break from the top 8 performances, Carson referred to Usher as “coach Urkele” and Usher responded by calling host Carson Daly Jimmy Neutron. (It’s all in the hair. Carson.) After the jokes stopped, Judith Hill, Michelle Chamuel, Sasha Allen and Sarah Simmons performed Rihanna’s hit “Diamonds.”
Team Blake: The Swon Brothers, “7 bridges Road,” by The Eagles
Complete with a real fire and a Memorial Day-themed stage set-up, it was time for the only man and boy in the competition to perform. The Swon Brothers took on a classic from another family band, The Eagles. Zack, Colton and their fire pit performed “7 Bridges Road” in what was one of the night’s slower performances. Coach Usher felt the Eagles would be happy, coach Adam -- of course -- felt everything was amazing (aside from minor details) and the duo's coach Blake, aside from complimenting Zack’s salmon color shirt, felt the boys were just talented.
Team Shakira: Sasha Allen, “Without You” by David Guetta and Usher
Every performance is a challenge, I’m sure, but I can imagine how much of a challenge it actually is to perform a song written and performed by one of the coaches. Sasha Allen had the daunting task of performing David Guetta and Usher’s hit, “Without You.” Sasha took the emotions from missing her children and fiancé and used her boisterous voice to captivate the audience during her performance. Of course, her former coach Adam felt the moment was bittersweet (Yup, he’s still kicking himself) and her coach Shakira felt as though she was the whole package. An obviously biased coach Usher felt that Sasha did everyone involved in making the song proud. (Sasha, you can breathe that sign of relief now.)
Team Adam: Sarah Simmons “Somebody That I Used to Know,” by Gotye
“Feel the words” were Coach Adam’s words to Sarah Simmons as she prepared to take on the Gotye hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Of course, as she sang, the whole audience sang, and we sang along at home (How could you not? That song is one of this decades biggest hit’s), making Sarah’s performance one of the more exciting. Th dynamics of her voice didn't hurt, either. Coach Blake commented on her ability to be three different singers in one performance, coach Usher called it a performance of a different texture and coach Adam expressed how it is just impossible not to love her.
Danielle Bradbery, Holly Tucker, Amber Carrington and The Swon Brothers all took the stage for a group performance of Sugarland’s “Something More.”
Team Usher: Michelle Chamuel, “Grenade,” by Bruno Mars
Michelle Chamuel, I don’t know about you, but if Usher told me that he would catch a grenade for me…that would be all the motivation I needed to dominate the competition. With that in mind, it was time for the leader of #TeamChamuel to take the stage and perform the Bruno Mars hit, “Grenade.” Slowing down the song's original arrangement and once again taking a song and owning it, Michelle Chamuel wowed the judges. Coach Blake couldn’t get past her mirrors and voice, Coach Adam was taken by how dynamic she was. Coach Usher, sporting the “Chamuel glasses,” felt the performance represented everything we love about life.
Team Blake: Danielle Bradbery, “Grandpa,” by The Judds
Each week she performs, we have to remind ourselves that Danielle Bradbery has not been performing for years, and that she is indeed the youngest person in the competition. Team Blake’s Danielle Bradbery performed The Judd’s “Grandpa.” While the performance was one of the night's slower points, the coaches were in awe of the talent possessed by the 16-year-old competitor. Coach Usher felt her shoes were a performance of their own and called her a prodigy (wow), coach Adam referred to her as an important country artist and coach Blake felt Danielle did the song beyond justice.
Team Adam: Amber Carrington, “Skyfall,” by Adele
In the last performance of the night, Team Adam’s Amber Carrington performed Adele’s Grammy Award-winning “Skyfall.” Amber took the stage alongside full band and orchestra and re-created the hit, showcasing her larger than-life-voice and stage presence. Coach Usher felt the performance was incredible. Coach Shakira, who is normally critical of those who perform Adele, felt Amber did the song justice. Coach Adam called her popular in every country and admired her for being the first person in the history of The Voice to nail an Adele song.
While it would have been fun to see more up-beat performances, the top 8 are relying again on you, America, to keep them in the competition. Remember: Teams Usher and Shakira are in jeopardy of going home, while Team Blake and Team Adam are in jeopardy of winning it all again. The decision is up to you…Vote wisely!Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun