Review: The Voice, Knock-Out Rounds, Part 2.
I apologize for being a day later than I would like to be for this review. Yesterday was pretty hectic. It started with a dentist appointment, then work, then the traditional October 31st stuff, you know, I got a year older…And then there’s the kids knocking at my door for Elmo’s Candy Begging Day, or do they still call it Halloween?
To be fair, most of the kids coming to my door last night were dressed in proper scary costumes though a few were still cartoon characters. And I’m not going to hold dressing as a princess against anyone this year.
And now back to the purpose of this post. Let’s talk about The Knockout rounds of the Voice. Starting with Team X-tina.
Devyn Deloera started the rounds singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” against Laura Vivas singing Marc Anthony’s “I Need to Know.” Taking on Whitney Houston songs is always a big risk, big reward situation. It either shows a contestant’s weaknesses or it show how few weaknesses they have. Devyn did more than okay, so she goes on to the next round as Christina’s choice.
Next up were Adriana Louise and Celica Westbrook singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone” and Justin Beiber’s “Never Say Never” respectively. Neither really stood out as a clear winner, but no one seems to do well singing Beiber songs–or Chris Brown songs, but that’s a later story. Celica, who’d been one of my favorites, went home while Adriana continues on.
Then Alessandra Guercio, another favorite in my home, sang Rhianna’s “Take a Bow” and seemed a bit shaky. Dez Duron sand “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie. Picking older songs and adding just a little of their own personality seems to go over better with the judges than taking contemporary songs and emulating the original. Dez goes on to the next round.
Next up were two of my favorites on the show, Gaga backup singer Chevonne sang Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” and had fun with it. Unfortunately it’s not a good song to show off more than the ability to have fun. De’Borah sang The Fray’s “You Found Me” and since she sang and showed vocal talent, she won.
Mono-moniker man Aquile sang Bruno Mars’ song of unrequited stalking “Grenade” and changed little of the recent hit. Sylvia Yacoub sang Christina’s own “Fighter” and since Christina understood the difficulty of the fast paced, high energy song, Sylvia won. So far, taking on any song by one of the judges’ (or their wives’) songs seems to pay off.
That completed Team X-tina for the live voting rounds, so now we move on to Blake. Blake started by explaining how he was trying to cover the spectrum of music and not sticking to just country.
He then put his two most promising country women against each other. Yodeler Gracia Harrison went with Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and tried to make it country by singing with a (slighter than usual) country twang. It didn’t really make it country so much as make it a rock song sang with a twang. So when Liz Davis came out with Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” it was a no-brainer for the guy looking for his country artist. Liz won.
Next up were devoted father Rudy Parris with Chris Brown’s “Forever” singing against devoted rocker Terry McDermott singing Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”. Rule 1: Classic songs are better than current songs. Rule 2: Don’t sing outside your expected genre when your coach is looking to fill a slot for your expected genre. And rule 3: Terry can sing rock better than anyone who’s ever been on a singing talent show. So, Terry won.
So, knowing those rules, it’s no surprise when Collin McLouchlin couldn’t win with The Script’s “Breakeven (Falling to Pieces)” against Micheala Paige singing Pat Benetar’s powerful “Love is a Battlefield.”
And the most confusing decision of the night saw Mariachi singer Julio Cesar Castillo singing Justin Beiber’s “Somebody to Love” against MarissaAnn with the pop-diva collaboration “Lady Marmalade”. MarissaAnn mopped the floor with Julio, kicked him in the ribs and stomped on his skull. It was that unbalanced of a knockout round. Yet somehow despite Julio breaking all the rules and singing off key for the whole song, Blake played favorites and let MarissaAnn go in favor of Julio. I have a little less respect for Blake at this time.
Then two more of my favorites, Hey Monday’s singer Cassadee Pope took on Maroon 5’s “Payphone” and Stevie Nicks clone Suzanna Choffel tried to sing reggae classic “Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley. My wife is not a fan of Cassadee because of the odd spelling of her name and my wife can hold grudges for odd reasons. Still, she couldn’t find anything redeeming in Suzanna’s trying to sing reggae. (Which, traditionally shows very little vocal range and Suzanna didn’t really try to expand it.) But Cassadee is one of my favorites so I was happy when Blake chose her to go on. I would have been happier if Suzanna had put up more of a fight–then I would have been sad when either went home.
So going into the Live shows with audience voting, the teams are: (*Astericks by my faves, #’s for who I expect to be audience faves)
Julio Cesar Castillo
I’ll be back next week.