More random thoughts about The Voice’s first live performances.

I’ve been rewatching the live performances on YouTube.  Some thoughts:

Watching James Wolpert’s  “A Case of You,” by far the best performance by any artist in the live round (and completely surprising given that his previous songs were all uptempo rock), really makes me want to see him cover something by Tracy Chapman.  It’s not only a matter of vocal chops, but also the ability to convey emotion.  His performance was so… intimate, like he was actually singing to a person. Wow. Apparently he used to be in an a cappella group in college, which would explain his vocal control. (I am so glad Adam kept him in spite of his meltdown in the knockout rounds.)

I loved Nic Hawk — I find his exuberance and out-there persona endearing — but seeing him perform “Blurred Lines” just reminds me how much I hate, hate, hate that song. I’m sad he’s not going further as he was the most interesting performer in the competition, but he is also not everybody’s cup of tea, and the coaches want to win. I think he will land on his feet, though.

Likewise, I would be surprised if Shelbie Z., who for some inexplicable reason neither America nor Blake Shelton saw fit to keep around, did not end up with a country deal somewhere.  Her version of “Fancy” was scorching.  (Maybe not the best choice — I would have loved to see what she could do with Miranda Lambert’s “Baggage Claim.”)  I guess that unlike previous seasons country singers are not highly regarded, as there are no more female country singers in the competition and arguably only one male (Ray Boudreaux), and him really more blues than country.

Team Blake and Team Adam are stronger than Team Cee Lo and Team Christina. Especially Team Adam: any three of his performers could have gone very far.  I am happy with who ended going forward, though — I like Preston Pohl, but I think Will Champlain is more versatile. And Tessanne Chin is amazing.

The annoying thing about the results show is how bloated it seems.  They could not have done this in half an hour?

Why in the world did America save Johnny Gray? Is it because of the hair? Either of the eliminated singers on Team Cee Lo would have been better choices.  Of course, America is not picking blind — and “stage presence” — what the hell does that even  mean? — apparently matters more than simple singing ability. (Except Nic Hawk, who apparently had too much stage presence.

I am so tired of child prodigies on this show.  Last year it was won by a sixteen year-old, and this year there are several sixteen or seventeen year olds moving forward.  It’s not that sixteen year olds can’t sing, it’s that they have such limited life experience.  When Jacquie Lee sings “I Put a Spell On You,” there is something that does not ring quite true, as much as she emotes.

Clearly, when they figure out who to save, the coaches look at past performances in making selections.  Christina saved Josh Logan over Stephanie Ann Johnson, who had a much better performance this week, but who has struggled in previous weeks.  Which is a shame, as Stephanie is the more interesting performer.

What is it with woman using only first names? Shelbie Z. and Grey, you’re not Cher.  Or Madonna.  You have last names, use them.

The coaches have been more incoherent in their comments this season than last.  And I like Cee Lo, but I miss Usher.

Oh, well.  From here on out, it is completely up to the voting public.  Which may mean whoever wins will be technically expert but kind of boring (as I found Danielle Bradbery last season — who was, incidentally only sixteen).

 

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