The Voice Playoffs are in full swing, and all of the Top 12 singers turned in solid performances for the evening. My top 5 performances begin with a little “Hotline Bling” from Amy Vachal.
5. Amy Vachal – “Hotline Bling” (Team Adam)
It’s already a big deal that Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Amy Vachal has made it this far, as her “smooth stylings” (a description I cribbed from Carson Daly) could easily be overshadowed by the show’s more powerhouse singers. Since I’m a huge fan of jazz standards, Vachal’s mellow and textured aesthetic is right up my alley, so I was a bit nervous when Adam Levine picked Drake’s monster hit “Hotline Bling” as her latest song.
Drake’s track is a mixture of nostalgic hook ups and sheer heartbreak, and Vachal brought a mellow and seductive tone to the proceedings. Blake Shelton put it best with this post-performance quote: “I don’t think there’s ever been a more elegant and classy performance of a song about a booty call in the history of music.” It’s a refreshingly different take on “Hotline Bling,” and this is one song I’m definitely downloading on iTunes.
Below is my interview w/ Vachal:
4. Emily Ann Roberts – “Blame It On Your Heart” (Team Blake)
Team Blake member Emily Ann Roberts really upped her music game with her evocative performance of “In the Garden,” and credit goes to Blake Shelton for going the more upbeat route this week with Patty Loveless’ “Blake it On Your Heart.”
Though “Blame It On Your Heart” is a fun song that obviously doesn’t have the emotional depth of “In The Garden,” it showed the continued growth of Roberts. To paraphrase Adam Levine, Roberts has really “grown” up on The Voice and is simply “ready to go.” She already has star power, and it’ll be interesting to see how far Emily Ann Roberts goes into the competition (she’s my choice to hit the finals with Jordan Smith).
3, Jeffery Austin – “Let It Go” (Team Gwen)
During his coaching session with Gwen Stefani, Austin mentioned how losing his father at age 9 connected him to the lyrics of “Let It Go.” Like Emily Ann Roberts, Austin has shown the biggest growth on The Voice, and Blake Shelton even added after the performance that he could win it all.
From his Blind Audition performance of “Lay Me Down,” Austin already proved that he has the “voice” (it’s ridiculous he received just a 1-chair turn!) With “Let It Go,” Austin continues to prove that he’s got an innate stage presence and likability factor.
2, Shelby Brown – “In Color” (Team Adam)
Shelby Brown’s one flaw is her tendency to overthink the situation, which is entirely endearing since it shows how much she truly cares about being in the competition. As always, she delivered a first rate performance of “In Color,” and her powerhouse vocals are probably only matched by Jordan Smith’s pipes. Hopefully she makes it through to the top 11 and continues to deliver excellent moments on The Voice. Moving forward, her self-confidence should equal her boundless talent, and it’ll be interesting to see what new songs she’ll tackle.
My previous interview with Brown:
Jordan Smith – “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” (Team Adam)
Time after time, Jordan Smith continues to impress with his one of a kind vocal prowess, determination, and unshakable spirit. It’s refreshing that Smith isn’t afraid to share his faith to millions of The Voice fans, and his passion for God and music led to his best performance to date. The religious hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” garnered a standing ovation.
“Coming off the weekend and the horrible things that happened over in Paris and just kind of having a heavy heart the past few days,” said Shelton. “Thank you for that. It was beautiful.”
For my Q&A with Jordan Smith from earlier this year, go here.
Which were your favorite performances on The Voice? Feel free to comment below!!
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