"The real rewards come from the risks you take." - Cee Lo
We can all breathe a big, hearty sigh of relief. The Voice has concluded Battles (in grand fashion, I must say) and the Knockout Rounds commence tonight. Since the Knockouts are one of the newest elements of the show, my imagination has run a little wild. What if Trevin Hunte and Avery Wilson are pitted against each other? Will the Coaches Steal be much ado about nothing? Will Terisa Griffin literally knock out her opponent? I'll give you a run down of contestants to watch out for and standouts from last week.
Last Week's Shining Stars
Whaddya Want From Me by Adam Lambert
I like Daniel. He's not a quitter, he's emotional and his voice doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard before. He has that special something in his voice; that kind of something that makes you pause for a moment and say, "What the hell is that?" His tone is gruff, but almost lazy in a way and it's complimented every song he's covered.
During rehearsal for his battle with Alexis Marceaux, he was concerned about the notes Cee Lo was asking him to hit. Daniel felt that he'd have to strain and the result would be less than flattering. But Cee Lo wasn't budging and I'm glad he didn't. Daniel's performance was strategic, unusual and completely rewarding.
Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye
18-year-old Chicagoan Brandon didn't win his battle against the incomparable Nicole Nelson, but he deserves this shout out. His voice is one part Otis Redding, one part Sam Cooke and I'm scratching my head as to how a guy this young can sing with so much soul.
Watching the rehearsals for the battle, I could tell that Nicole was going to take the win, but I wanted everyone to know how impressed I am with this kid. Brandon, the world needs more voices like yours.
I Hate Myself For Loving You by Joan Jett
When Blake gave this song to Kelly and Michaela Paige to sing, I was a tad annoyed. Obviously this song favored Michaela, an alt rocking 16-year-old with a Mohawk. Kelly, a shy 15-year-old country singer, looked as perplexed as I felt.
But Kelly did something amazing, something I really respect. She made this Joan Jett song sound young, hip and country. She made the song her own and I'm most definitely an advocate of that. Though Michaela was picked as the winner of this battle, I disagreed with Blake's decision. Kelly showed bravado, she showed guts and I was proud of her.
Titanium by David Guerra feat. Sia
I've thrown heaps of compliments on Avery before, but his rendition of Titanium was the best performance of the Battles, in my opinion. Sure, he over sang a few parts and lost control a couple times, but when he found his footing he proved he’s the prodigy Cee Lo said he is.
I think Avery could win the show, I really do…unless Cee Lo does something despicable like make him sing against Trevin. In that case, well, then I just don't know.
Bryan Keith: This Bronx native with the raspy tone can out sing everyone on his team except…
Melanie Martinez: This 17 year old photographer with the cutesy style and unique interpretation of songs could win it all if she didn't have to contend with…
Nicole Nelson: She's a stage veteran and has a lovely heart with soaring vocals to match. Maybe she's the one to beat.
Team Cee Lo:
Trevin Hunte: He's already captivated America with his rendition of Listen and Vision of Love. What does he have up his sleeve next?
Avery Wilson: Ugh. I hate that he and Trevin are on the same team. Enough said.
Mackenzie Bourg: Never underestimate a teenager with a guitar.
De'borah: Every song she's sung has been turned into a soul anthem. Whether she's covering Train or The Police, De'borah is an artist that makes covers sound as though she wrote the original.
Dez Duron: He has a dope voice with incredible depth and texture. Besides he has the female vote in the bag.
Adriana Louise: This powerhouse vocalist from New York has the pipes and the look and the attitude. Yeah, I love her.
Cassadee Pope: With her amazing tone and stage experience, she should be a shoo-in to the live rounds.
Gracia Harrison: This country cutie commands the stage. I'm expecting her to sail through this next round.
Suzanna Choffel: One of my favorites of this season can sing to me any time. And she has my word that whatever she's singing, I'm buying.
Last Week's Shenanigans:
I participated in the NoH8 photo campaign, traipsed around Koreatown (in LA) for the perfect backdrop for a publicity photo shoot, was interviewed for Sidereel.com, worked on two new songs for my upcoming EP (tentatively titled Projector) and was able to remind a few people that they're loved, valued and appreciated. Overall, a fruitful week, if I can say so myself. Let me know who you’re rooting for this week! @JSquidward
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