So, again I’ve started the recaps from worst to best.
For me, the next worst was Nicholas David singing the Bill Withers classic “Lean on Me”. Sure, he sang it spot on, but the song is so iconic, there’s just not much anyone can do with it to make it theirs. He didn’t own the song at all. Not a particularly bad thing, and a truly good rendition of the song, but when everyone else on the list created a single worthy performance, this one doesn’t climb so high on the list.
Though Cody Belew’s voice was often drowned under the music, his energy and attitude on Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” was fun to watch. A little less than ideal for a show called “The Voice,” but very entertaining. His black studded amalgam of a jacket, almost stole the show, but what should we expect from team Cee-Lo?
The difference between the rest of these performances is tenths of a percent on a scale of one to a hundred. They were all near perfect song choices for their performer and great execution.
Terry McDermott managed to add a little to Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69”. I’m not sure what it is, but Terry doesn’t always seem like he’s a hundred percent into the song. 99% this time. This might be because in 1969 Terry was still years away from being born.
Sylvia Yacoub went back to a pop direction with Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire”–a song I’ve only ever heard before on a Visa commercial. It sounded good and Sylvia made the performance believable. It’s a step down from her best, and perhaps too current a song.
Bryan Keith totally nailed Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind”. He’s easily the most stable, in terms of appearance, of the contestants. Unlike, previous weeks, I have absolutely no complaints about his performance. He certainly belonged on the show this week. His best to date.
Team Xtina’s male representative, Dez Duron ended the show with a great performance of “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone. It will be more than his smile and hair that carry him into next week. Also, his best so far.
Melanie Martinez is stepping further and further from the soft tones of her early performances, this time tackling The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” I’m quite sure most of The Voice audience does not listen to “The White Stripes”, so Melanie won’t have familiarity with the song to help them bond with the performance. Still, a single-worthy performance. I’m sure thousands will be downloading it. A high point for Melanie.
Amanda Brown took on Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ very recently released single “Stars”. I’d never heard it. It didn’t keep me from absolutely loving Amanda’s performance. She’s still the most reliable for a great performance.
But, this week’s best was hands down, Cassadee Pope with Blake and Miranda’s very personal song, “Over You”. If this performance didn’t bring you to the brink of tears, or push you straight over the brink, you probably should check to make sure you still have a pulse. Easily one of the top three performances by any contestant so far based purely on emotional connection, and far and away Cassadee’s best performance ever.
I still have my personal tastes and would rate the contestants, overall, from best to worst (all performances so far):
Trevin’s decision of going with an Usher song probably dropped him five notches on that chart.
Taking into account my perception of the rest of the voting audiences’ opinions, here’s my prediction of the outcome of tonight’s results show.
Amanda, Cassadee, Dez, Bryan.
Melanie, Trevin, Nicholas, Sylvia
Given the trends of performances, Amanda is still a front runner, but I think the audience sees Bryan as nipping at her heels. Cassadee, if she continues getting better, will be up there. Trevin is losing ground fast. Nicholas and Melanie are too niche to make it much farther. Terry might also be a touch too outside the mainstream. The rest have been playing on borrowed time since Amanda’s Knockout Round performance.