"This might be the best episode of The Voice we've ever had." - Blake Shelton
Last week I was one of the screaming fans in the studio at the taping of The Voice (I mouthed a lot of the screams, I wasn't trying to lose my voice.). The performances gave reasons to yell, believe me. I tried to write notes on a folded piece of paper but found myself way too caught up in the beauty and magic that was happening on stage. I was truly entertained and that's what this show is all about.
Melanie Martinez, Seven Nation Army
When I performed this song last season on The Voice, I didn't know that it was the first time that Jack White had given permission for this song to be performed by someone else on television. Though I had a lot of fun performing it, Melanie's arrangement is my favorite rendition I've heard hands-down.
Standing in front of a background of pictures that Melanie photographed herself (really funky shots of butterflies covering her eyes), She was a little giant playing a big guitar. I was lucky enough to talk to Melanie after her performance and she confided "I was really nervous to sing this song with you in the audience." All I can say is she had no reason to be. What she did was unique, new, fresh and inventive. I've BEEN a fan of her quirk, but she made a slew of other fans because she ranked #8 on the iTunes Charts that night.
Amanda Brown, Stars
Like Cee Lo, I wasn't familiar with this Grace Potter song, but was delightfully surprised with Amanda's rendition. As her voice sailed over a mournful steel guitar, her big, expressive eyes gave us a peek into her passion. It takes a very brave person to perform the slew of songs that Amanda has tackled over the last few weeks: Aerosmith, Florence and the Machine, and now this. She turned a sweeping, twangy ballad into something completely original. Something that belonged to her and her alone.
Cassadee Pope, Over You
Singing a song written by your coach is a pretty risky move, but Cassadee has shown that she's a pretty risky girl. Blake wrote this song for his deceased brother so the emotional attachment was pretty heavy. Standing in all white, Cassadee gave an emotional, minimalist approach. I glanced around at the faces in the the crowd; she held a rapt audience in the palm of her hand. Blake couldn't help but lean forward in his seat, hanging on to every clear and precise note she sang. I've said this before, but Cassadee could have a pretty solid future in country music. Do you agree? And if you don't, consider this: her performance of this song has over 2 million views on YouTube and hit #1 on the iTunes Charts.
1. To Trevin for waking us up by singing something upbeat and age appropriate. He showed us he knows how to have fun.
2. To Nicholas David's left leg and its involuntary kick. Sometimes when you feel the music, your body reacts.
3. Dez Duron's Buble-esque performance. This is the music Dez has BEGGED Christina to let him sing. I'm glad she gave in.
4. Blake and Christina's duet. I was leery ... but this came out super dope.
A Slight Concern...
I had the pleasure of meeting Cody Belew in Las Vegas. I have even given him a shout out in this blog because his personality is incomparable. His quick wit can make you laugh without him even trying and he's just a lot of fun to be around. With all of that being said, his performance of Beyonce's Crazy in Love was comical ... and not in a good way. This show is called The Voice not The Performance and I'm concerned that this show will turn into a rip off of The X Factor and its less than stellar performances. It appears the producers allowed Cody to become a caricature of himself and though he may be okay with that, I'm not.
A Sad Farewell
To Sylvia Yacoub and especially my brother, Bryan Keith. Powerhouse Team Xtina vocalist, Sylvia, has a lot to offer pop music and I hope she keeps at it. Bryan, my friend from The Bronx, has that voice that makes you just stop and listen and I believe he's a ton better than some of the contestants left on the show. Sometimes the best doesn't win, but that makes them no less a winner.
Keep watch for me this week on The Voice and catch my performance on Cee Lo's Magic Moment airing November 30th on TV Guide Channel. By the way, saw my mom last week for Thanksgiving. She says hi. Tweet me @JSquidward!
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