Monday, June 10, 2013

'The Voice' 2013 recap: Competition heats up as air conditioning malfunctions

'The Voice' 2013 recap: Competition heats up as air conditioning malfunctions

Things got heated on The Voice, tonight after Carson Daly explained the air conditioner wasn't working in the packed Los Angeles Universal Studios hosting the live shows.
Of course as luck would have it the singer that does the most dancing, Vedo had to perform first (before they fixed the AC) and in a leather jacket no less. The poor guy looked like he might pass out afterward as he casually wiped beads of sweat from his forehead while graciously thanking the judges for their kind words.

Usher even stripped down to his undershirt to the delight of females in the audience.
The steamy environment did present an interesting idea for a follow up show: survivor singing competition. Sure you can sing on a temperature-controlled stage but how on-pitch will you be in the freezing rain? Surrounded by hungry tigers? Thirty-thousand feet in the air? I've seen even stranger shows.

The 12 performances ranged from good to great, something you don't see often in singing competitions and bad news for the talented two who go home. This week the two singers with the least number of votes are eliminated regardless of which team they're on.
Here's a breakdown, by team in order of who brought the most heat.


1. Michelle Chamuel, "Call your Girlfriend," by Robyn
The trouble with Michelle is her voice can't match her infectious, fun stage presence. She gave this song more energy than a few of her competitors combined but if you really listen to her voice (heavily helped by background singers) it's limited.

2. Vedo "Rock With You," by Michael Jackson Except for a few moments when he sounded like he was straining, Vedo gave another energetic performance showing off both his Usher-like dance moves and his voice.

3. Josiah Hawley, "The Man that Can't be Moved" by The Script
The song fit Hawley's voice really well and Adam said it's the best he's sounded the whole competition. Hawley's so, so attractive, consistently on pitch and the ladies (obviously) love him but even with all that sexiness he seems to lack the 'wow factor.'

NUP_156255_1269.JPGJosiah Hawley, of Team Usher performs a song by The Script in the Top 12 live performance round. 

1. Holly Tucker singing "Broken Wing" by Martina McBride
Big song for a big voice. Tucker might say she just wants to do country but she sounded straight Kelly Clarkson on this song, a sign she could sing anything. For me, she and Bradbery tied tonight.
1. Danielle Bradbery singing "Wasted" by Carrie Underwood
The youngest singer in the competition, five years from legal drinking age, crooned about whiskey and alcoholism with such poise it didn't even make us squirm. She has a constant-cool stage presence (Shakira described her as a mini- Iron Lady) and she completely owned the number.
2. The Swon Brothers singing, "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes," by George Jones
The brothers wanted to do a tribute to the late country artist and in it they delivered one of their best performances. There's no question they sound good but sweet as these guys seem, it's hard to figure out what kind of following they would have.
1. Sasha Allen "Alone" by Heart
Allen, who we learned this week once starred in Hair on Broadway, belted out the song with power and grace. Adam once again, lamented letting her go. Usher said she took him to church with the song. Can we fast forward to the Allen-Hill final already?
2. Kris Thomas singing "I'll Be There," By The Jackson Five
Even Thomas' falsetto struggled with this hit, probably because for male singers the notes are in another altitude. Adam pointed out Michael Jackson could barely hit them at age 10, so Gardner deserves credit for doing so much of the song justice even though he lost it in a few spots. Unfortunately the few notes he notably botched could do him in.
3. Garrett Gardner singing "I Want it That Way," by The Backstreet Boys
Ok, time to give Garrett some love. He's only 17 and he's made it to the final 12 with his rocker style and now-signature growl. This, unfortunately, was not Gardner's best performance and the blame lays almost entirely with the song choice. It's always fun to do something different with a well known pop song but this performance didn't rock enough to separate it from the original. 
NUP_156255_2037.JPGThe first hour of the 2-hour live show singers sweat through their numbers due to an air conditioning malfunction at Universal Studios. Here Michelle Chamuel performs "Call Your Girlfriend," by Robyn. 

1. Judith Hill singing "You've Got a Friend"
This was probably the simplest and yet the best performance of the season. Hill accompanied herself on piano with no additional musical help or pyrotechnics. Just her and a baby grand and a whole lot of soul. Hill showed tonight that she's still the one to beat.
2. Sarah Simmons singing "The Story" by Brandi Carlile
Another stand out performance form Simmons combining her rasp with her sweetness in a more subdued song. She, Carrington and Hill are easily the strongest team. Let's hope they all make it another week.
3. Amber Carrington singing "I'm Gonna Love You Through It," by Martina McBride
Carrington gave an emotional tribute to her mother who died of cancer in this song about a woman going through treatment. Blake said she did county and Nashville proud. No doubt she did Mom proud, too.