Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Voice - Top 12 Live Show

So, apparently the only way I can get these recaps written in real time is to stay home sick. Now, when I say "real time," I mean, the next day after the show aired live, because it's Tuesday morning. And when I say "sick," I've had laryngitis since Sunday morning. I have a Kaiser appointment later.

The show starts with the teaser about Reba McEntire being the guest coach this week. I won't lie: I love Reba. I loved her dumb show (and yes, it was dumb, but so entertaining). She has a big goofy smile and a killer voice, and I love her. She's also apparently ageless. What the hell, lady? She looks good. Carson asks Blake what he thinks: Blake rambles a little about how great Reba is.

First up is Hannah Kirby. She's adorable. Blake calls her "different." And she's doing my favorite Stevie Nicks song, "Edge of Seventeen." Reba tells her to be clearer with the words "edge of seventeen." I wish someone had told Stevie that, too.

This might be the perfect song for her. I wish she had more time to interact with the guitar player, and I don't really like the way they've edited the song.

Pharrell says: Now everything she's been doing makes sense.
Adam says: She's an amazing singer. Yes - she is, Adam!
Blake (her coach): Blake doesn't know how she could possibly be better.
Irene: She's the real deal. That last note was killer.

Next is Brian Johnson. He's so excited to meet Reba. His mom used to play Reba in the car on the way to preschool, so now I have to remember to be careful with the music I play in the car. Adam gave him "If I Ever Lose My Faith" by Sting. Why are they choosing these horrible Sting songs? There are a few good ones. This isn't one of them. Brian's not doing great in rehearsal. He said he's getting negative comments online? I love this guy. He's so good! All the haters: shut it.

Brian's performance is feeling a bit strained. I think he's struggling a little, and that makes me sad. This was a bad song choice, Adam. I like having the drums on stage, though. He sounds okay but I'm worried.

Blake: Blake is more positive than I am. Good. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope so! He says, "Your voice is so good it distorted the microphone." That's good?
Christina: She didn't hear any struggle onstage. She thinks he's making good strides.
Adam (his coach): Adam is proud. "Singing Sting is hard." Adam thinks he conquered the issues.
Irene: I don't know, dude. I have concerns. This guy should be exuding confidence: he's good. Adam made a bad song selection.

India Carney is up next. Her hair is up and curly and she looks beautiful. Christina gave her "Take Me to Church." I am so tired of this song. Christina thinks this is a "rock song." Really, Christina? Reba wants it to be grittier, evil. I think that's the only way to make this song interesting to me.

She starts out really good. So far this might be the best I've ever heard her sing. Oh. But then the band comes in. I don't know about India. Her tone is different but I always feel like she's muffled somehow. Everyone else seems to love her voice.

Pharrell: Pharrell thinks she sounds like a pro and seemed comfortable onstage.
Adam: Adam refers to her fans as evidence that she is going to break through. Maroon 5 has fans: doesn't make them good.
Blake: Blake wants to take her to church but I don't think that's what the song means, Blake. And then he called her "sis."
Christina (her coach): Christina said she saw a different person onstage. She liked the connection with the audience.
Irene: Eh. Though, big kudos to the costumers. She's beautiful and that's a killer outfit.

Mia Z. is up. Mia is growing on me. Mia's reaction to Reba is subdued. Pharrell gives her "Miss You" by the Rolling Stones. See, Adam? This is how you match a song to a singer, though Reba and Pharrell can't understand the words. I never understand Mick on this one, either.

I kind of wish it sounded like Mia had been singing this song for years: it doesn't. She sounds good, though. Where's the break? They did it, but just barely. She's losing the fun beat of this song; it's too smooth.

Adam: Adam agrees that it was a good choice. Duh, Adam. This is how it's done. I hope you're writing this down.
Blake: Blake loves how inventive she is with the melody. I do wish she'd done more with the rhythm, too.
Christina: Agrees with Blake. She likes that she used the highest notes possible.
Pharrell (her coach): Pharrell wants to make sure she had fun. Pharrell loved it.
Irene: It was okay. She's talented but maybe needs some more coaching, or music training. Singing isn't just melody and words: it's feeling the beat. Maybe she does that. I just get a little bored.

Deanna Johnson is next. Deanna says she is the biggest Reba fan on the planet. I hope Reba has some good tips for her. Adam gives her a Christian song. Did I miss something? Her last song was Christian-y. Deanna is concerned too. And yet she thinks Adam is a genius with song selection. Yeah, no, Deanna.

Deanna. They're trying to turn her into an angel. I don't get her at all. But goddamn she's beautiful. There is probably an audience for her voice. I am not it.

Blake: Blake couldn't hear everything. He sees her confidence. That's a nice comment.
Christina: She also couldn't hear everything. She likes the song choice.
Pharrell: Pharrell is concerned that the girl who auditioned is the same girl who performed after that. But now she's the same girl. What?
Adam (her coach): Okay, there were technical issues on set. Adam couldn't be prouder.
Irene: I could be convinced if I hear her sing something else. Maybe she needs to rock out.

Sawyer Fredericks is next. My favorite! He apparently has no reaction to Reba, or they didn't film it. He's been given "Imagine" by John Lennon. Did Sawyer win the lottery too? He loves the song and Reba thinks he's powerful, and then he giggles. Reba tells him to smile, to show his soul through his eyes. Dude. I'm sure he's already got girls propositioning him on Instagram.

His guitar playing is so good. And the changes to rhythm and melody are LOVELY. Normally I hate that with these classic songs but damn, kid. It was good.

Adam: I'm sure he's going to comment on his age. Or compare himself to Sawyer. And yes, and yes.
Blake: Blake refers to the loss of voice on the "you-hoo," and then comments on how he made it seem like he intended for that to happen. Yes! This is what musicians should be able to do. Make even the mistakes sound right. This kid is real.
Christina: Christina caught it too. Didn't everyone? She applauds his ability to make it sound natural.
Pharrell: Pharrell is proud, and glad Sawyer knows how to play the mistakes. He's happy.
Irene: Last season I loved Taylor John Williams: these guys are similar, but I'm even more into Sawyer. Next week I bet they give him an Arlo Guthrie song to sing. Or an Oingo Boingo song. "Little Girls," of course. (That's sort of a joke.) What can't he do?

Rob Taylor is up, and excited to hug Reba. Christina gives Rob my favorite song, "I Put a Spell on You." Christina is a genius. Reba wants to make sure Rob does something different. Christina wants Rob to push it as far as he can. Reba thinks Rob made a connection with her. I like that.

Rob has some cool Pink Floyd graphics behind him. His little laugh in the beginning is RAD. Rob is really making this song exciting. He sounds so good! And the arrangement is great: good job, whoever.

Pharrell looks stunned - all the judges stand at the end.

Pharrell: Seems speechless... and then talks. Says he was masterful.
Adam: Adam thinks Rob pulled ahead of everyone else so far.
Christina (his coach): Christina says she is speechless... and then talks. She loves Rob's interpretation and performance. She says he was "free and in the moment."
Irene: Damn! This was wonderful. This song is powerful, and Rob did a great job selling it.

Corey Kent White is next. He's happy to meet the queen of country. He seems awed to be there. Blake gave him a song I don't know but wants him to be a "bad boy." I think that's a good idea. Reba likes his sincerity.

I don't even know what to write. He's exactly what a country singer should look and sound like.

Christina: Christina knows the girls like him. Says it was really really nice.
Adam: Feels like Corey is so close to something he couldn't express in any kind of way.
Blake (his coach): Agrees with Adam, whatever it was Adam said. Notes that Corey's singing wasn't perfect, but thinks Corey is going to get to the point where he's even better.
Irene: There were pitchy moments. I read a comment on last week's recap on the LA Times where some troll was so disgusted that the other country singer (the guy with the awful mustache, and the hat) was sent home instead of Corey, that this dude said "I'll never watch the Voice again!" Hey, man, that's probably fine with everyone. I like Corey. He's a little too cute, do you know what I mean?

Now: Koryn Hawthorne. She's so bubbly and sweet. Pharrell says she's inspirational. Koryn chose a song I don't know. Could it be a Kelly Clarkson song? Koryn has arranged the song, apparently. She's talking to the band: I like that.

Koryn has that same tonal quality that India has, vocally. I prefer Koryn, though: she's stronger. She picked a good song for herself. She sounds fun, and really good. This is the type of "rock song" India should've done, and in this same style. She put tears in my eyes. I'm dumb.

Blake: He says, "She has made the most out of a second chance."
Christina: Christina sees her confidence and compared her to Tina Turner.
Pharrell (her coach): He loves the "soundwave" her voice creates. Says she's an inspiration.
Irene: She did great. I wouldn't buy her album: but she's a great singer and deserves to make one.

It's time for Joshua Davis. He's doing a Simon and Garfunkel song. What a surprise. Where's my campfire? Actually, I love this song. Reba likes his smile and twinkly eyes. Me too. Adam takes the guitar away: this could be a good idea. Reba says it makes him "nekkid." And... Adam compares himself to Joshua. NO! Adam. Shut up about YOURSELF.

I like Joshua's breathy take on this. He doesn't seem to know what to do with his hands. That's understandable. He sounds really good! I want to know what else he can do, though. These folk songs are beautiful and perfect but...

Blake: BLAKE DOESN'T KNOW THIS SONG. His excuse? "I'm a hillbilly." Blake thinks Joshua could have written this song. That is a huge compliment.
Christina: She knows getting rid of the guitar was hard.
Pharrell: Thought this was the best performance yet. He thinks he connected with the lyric.
Adam (his coach): Adam wants to make sure he does what Joshua wants. He says "It was perfect." And then he shut up. That part was perfect for me.
Irene: Beautifully sung. This guy has gorgeous eyes. But what else can he do? Seriously. If he makes it to next week I really want him to take a different type of song and put his Joshua on it, but be different. Otherwise I might be getting bored.

Meghan Linsey is next... Reba is thrilled to death. Blake gave her his favorite country song on the radio: "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town. I don't know this song but I've heard of this band. Reba wants more drama and for her to bare her soul.

Meghan sounds really good. And this is a great song. Oh! And then she hits a killer long note: this thing might be over. She's so good. I don't think she did exactly what Blake and Reba wanted but still really, really good.

Pharrell: Pharrell says she nailed it.
Adam: Adam says she reminds her of him. Oh, no, he didn't say that. He says she's amazing, and that she killed it, and then his stupid robot voice kicked in.
Blake (her coach): Blake thinks this might be her breakout moment. I think so too. He calls her "sis."
Irene: I will buy this. She was wonderful.

Kimberly Nichole is doing "House of the Rising Sun." I was just talking about this song with someone. It's a great song.  Reba points out that there are many levels of intensity with this song: I hope Kimberly hears that.

I love how they're making the beginning so dark. Shit. And now she hit that note: she's kicking ass. NOW this thing is over. If she keeps this up? She will win.

Pharrell: Pharrell was standing for most of her performance. He said "There are no words."
Adam: Adam says, "What?" Pithy idiot.
Blake: Blake thinks Christina might win with her. Yep.
Christina: She loved the interpretation.
Irene: This song isn't new or exciting but Kimberly did such a wonderful job on it. I actually rolled it back and watched it again. You can tell she loved doing it. That is so cool that she got that chance.

So, if I have to make a prediction: Deanna and Brian will go home tonight. Possibly Corey. Meghan, Rob, Kimberly and Koryn should be at the top. We'll see if I'm right later.

Well, at some point while writing this, I went to the doctor for my laryngitis. He has put me off work today and tomorrow... so it looks like I'll get to write about the results show that is on tonight, tomorrow. I did not plan this. Seriously. I didn't.

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