Tuesday, May 9

Who advances in Season 12 Top Ten of The Voice? Who knows?

I can’t seem to listen to the Top 10 on The Voice without opening my big mouth. All of these singers are talented. A bit obvious. I just don’t see how America keeps helping some of the stragglers through to the next round.  

Coaches Adam Levine and Alicia Keys. 

Okay, I do know how.  But it is not fair. Yes, I know life isn’t far. Yes, Mama told me there would be 
days like this. I can still whine.

Coach Blake Shelton.                                                                         Host Carson Daley.

Doesn’t matter if they’re the best or the worst, if they represent a certain team-Team Blake, for example.  Blake appeals to country but several other ‘types’ claim him.  BS on that.  Do you think TSoul would be around without Blake? It’s the Blake factor.  He’s got what ‘they’re’ looking for.  Dimples. A touch of sexy gray in his hair.  I’ve got nothing against Blake. Actually, I find his dimples and hability to consume the drink quite admirable. 

Coach Gwen Stefani
Here’s my interpretation of who’s who in the top ten

#10 Lilli Passero Unforgettable

Coach Adam gushed on and on about this great performance. I realize it's a classic but it was forgettable for me. Lilli's style seems more classical than modern. Maybe that's my issue with her performances. They're good. She's good. The spark wasn't there. Technically, she has it all. Most of us are not so technical. 

#9 TSoul At This Moment

Blake, once again, was enamored with TSoul. While I see mediocre, Blake sees greatness. His song choices, like his voice, are all over the place.  Blake even did his in all the years I’ve done this show ... BS. The performance wasn't bad. The performance wasn't good. The word fairish pretty much nails it. No idea where he'll end up in the voting. I obviously do not have the connection with this guy. He's an old soul in a young man's body.

#8 Mark Isiah  Sign of the Times

I like Mark. He's got a great attitude. He's been at the bottom 4 times and got the save each time. Always smiling and kind. Although he was committed and believed in the song, it's just too soon to cover. Choosing a modern song was great. Just not THIS modern song.  It's top ten material with the original version still newish for some fans .

Season 12 Top 10 on The Voice
I was the first to make fun of the One Direction guy going solo. I thought tweens loved them for their dance moves and cuteness. But they didn't seriously sing, right? Then I listened to Styles' Sign of the Times. What? I gave it another listen. Sorry I stereotyped Styles. This song is one of my current faves. I was inspired to download the CD.
Mark is a good singer and entertainer and a great guy, but he ain’t no Harry Styles. That’s the problem. And, it’s a big one. I hope he doesn't end up at the bottom of the heap. I think he will.

#7 Vanessa Ferguson- Doo Wop (That Thing)

I don't even know the point of this performance. Okay. She likes to rap. IMO it certainly didn't improve her stakes in the competition. Based on tonight's song choice she blew it. Unless it reinforced her strengths, why go with another completely different genre? Kinda surprised Alicia didn't suggest a change. She had fun with it. But it wasn’t close to Top Ten material for The Voice

At one point she seemed like the one to beat. That didn't last. Vanessa's been headed downhill since the beginning of the live shows. For example, I was way flustered with her rendition of Diamonds. I thought she had the perfect voice for that song. Whoops. Not so much. Just my opinion. But, I can be fairly smart for an old lady.

#6 Jesse Larson Jungle Love 

Team Adam’s Jesse Larson opened the show with a funky version of Jungle Love.  Adam coaxed him into a Blue Brothers type of character.  It worked.  I gotta say I was surprised. He was in character, had a few good moves, caught details like the hanky wiping sweat from his brow. It added to the fun of the performance. I gotta say it surprised me.  Sometimes playing a character can get really cheesy and fake, but the character thing was okay. His superior skills on the guitar came through. Again. Definitely glimpses of his brilliance. 

Overall, his performance was entertaining.  If Jesse’s style is your thing.  That's not bad thing. He kinda reminds me of contestant Nicholas David from Minneapolis. He was also outstanding. Same kind of 'issue'. The genre needs to be popular enough for listeners to buy the music. Maybe not what today’s listeners want.

#5 Aliyah Moulden Jealous

When Aliyah sang Labyrinth’s Jealous I saw this one coming. When she told her back story even Blake got slightly emotional. Too much pain. Tears. Sobbing tears. Had to blow my nose. Her dad died when she was a baby so she has no memories of him. Her brothers and sisters do. She longs to have memories. She misses him. And, she is jealous of the relationship her sibling’s enjoyed with the man she’never knew. 

Aliyah broke down in tears during her performance. That would be okay – could be helpful to show her deep emotions, but it happened too soon.  One of the few times 15 years seemed a little too tender to handle such hard core competition.  Could go either way for her.  She’s very young. Cute. Innocent. And . . . her biggest advantage. Team BLAKE.

#4 Brennely Brown Anyway

Gwen has another winner with this youngest-in-the-group country singer. Martina McBride is a big voice to take on and she was a little shaky. When she got in the groove, she was flawless. She was stylin' in white cowboy boots. Brennely is playing up the role of sweet little girl.  She has that same appeal as the other 15 year old,  Aliyah Moulden. Such cuties. When they open their mouths and sing it's like where did that come from? The strong voices don't fit with the little girl look. Amazing. 

Brennley did a good job on the song but some weak spots. Seemed to miss a bit of the emotion due to her age. Hard to identify with the hardships in the song when you are a teen.
BTW, I suspect Gwen’s gotta be getting some country help from BF Shelton. Ironic. Brennely is on Team Gwen because she stole her from Blake. 

# 3 Hunter Plake Higher Love

Hunter Plake's version of Higher Love was more artistic than the original version. It didn't feature as much falsetto as usual but it was sweet. Still captivating and talented. Not in an obvious way. For Hunter it comes down to this:  Does a singer need to belt it out to win The Voice? We'll see. If style and artistry are equal to volume, he has a shot. His take on performing is refreshing. He's authentic.

IMO this wasn't his best work. I was more impressed with his earlier performances. He did improve big time on articulation. Hunter praised his coach, Gwen, for all her help. The thing is I get the sense he's always been this good. Nothing against Gwen, but Hunter seems like a pro. Alicia dropped Hunter allowing Gwen to steal her other finalist. 

#2 Lauren Duski Tell Me Why

Strong performance. Not my favorite Wynona song. It was a great song for showcasing Lauren's voice. When you take on a Winona song, you better be able to belt it out. She did. Nice contrast in tone. Her voice was impressive. The whole performance didn't do much for me but the singing was impressive. She sounded great but I didn't sense the emotion.

#1 Chris Blue 24K Magic

This is a guy who keeps heading to the top. Once on the outs ready to head home, he's close to the front of the pack. Last week was awesome and this week was even better. He combined dancing and singing to get the Bruno Mars vibe down. Hard to beat this one on this night. He's a natural entertainer and isn't restricted to to one genre. Alicia could hit the jackpot with this kid. Some old school fans won't like this. I am fairly sure one of the girls gets the win this season. 

Really, for me the top 5 could be in a different order and it would still make sense. Team to beat? Gwen. She has two of the best singers, Hunter and Brennely. Their first coaches, Alicia and Blake, possibly gave away the champion. Alicia has the late blooming, Chris Blue and the early favorite, Vanessa Ferguson. For sure, both women have the most talented teams. Just my opinion.

On Blake's behalf, teen Aliyah Moulden grabbed some hearts. Votes will come with it. Lauren is another possible contender on that team. Adam doesn't have many sparks on his team. I think he can take a nap during the finals.
Fans will need to make a decision about the 15-year-old contestants.  Are they mature enough to handle the pressure, the traveling, all the marketing, and on and on and on? It takes grit. Ya gotta be tough. Are they too young to run with the big dogs?

If age wasn't a factor, Brennely could win but she should be a pick for the finals anyway. Hunter and Lauren should be right there at the end as well. Chris could fit in the mix. Or not. Hunter and Brennely are both Team Gwen. Chris is Team Alicia. Lauren is Team Blake. Aliyah could get in the mix depending on the impact of her tears.
My bet is on both of Team Gwen's singers Brennely and Hunter for finalists. Then? Maybe Lauren. Maybe Chris? Maybe not. Tough competition with talented singers. 

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