The Blake Shelton All-Country Jamboree continues tonight. I mean, The Voice season 4. I’m sure you understand my confusion since the Top 6 features all three of Blake Shelton’s country contestants with just one each from Shakira, Usher and Adam Levine (whose lone singer is also country). Oh yeah, and Blake’s season 3 winner, Cassadee Pope, is the musical guest on tomorrow’s results show.
Adding to the “Blake is the Best” narrative, last week the country star raised millions of dollars for tornado victims in his home state of Oklahoma while Adam Levine had to explain that he doesn’t really hate America. This season of The Voice may as well be brought to you by FOX News.
This is The Voice live blog!
Everybody is singing twice, one song they chose and one their coaches picked. Also, in a change of format, only ONE contestant is going home tomorrow. Let’s all hope it’s someone from Team Blake.
Oh yeah, and Shakira’s boobs are almost literally falling out of her dress. Those things have a life of their own.
Holly Tucker: “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues” by Martina McBride (Blake’s Choice)
Blake is sticking with the feisty Holly that came out last week. I find it a lot more believable than her cover of The Band Perry. The song is up-tempo and darn catchy. Does she add anything new or exciting to the world of country music? No, not at all. But it’s fun and entertaining. The coaches are largely bored with nothing much to say. Yeah, even Usher and Shakira are sick and tired of Team Blake coming out and doing the exact same thing every week.
Michelle Chamuel: “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane (Usher’s Choice)
The relationship between Usher and Michelle seems far and away the best on the show. I genuinely think they mesh perfectly and love each other. Once again, she manages to shock and awe me with her depth. She starts out soft, slow and magical, building as it goes. She has a strong emotional connection the whole time and it’s another piece of perfection, with layers and dimensions that highlight how amazing she is as a singer. I’m slowly starting to get hope that maybe this quirky girl can pull out a surprise win over Danielle Bradbery.
The Swon Brothers: “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker (Their Choice)
It’s Country Hootie! Like last week, the set decorators went overboard with Team Blake, setting up a saloon with a bunch of dancing girls. Are they prostitutes? Because in Western saloons, those girls are always prostitutes. Like Holy, the performance is fun and entertaining, but not even remotely interesting. They sing perfectly fine (though, as always, Colton isn’t allowed to ever sing on his own). Shakira says some words about country music gaining appeal among Latinos, but it’s hard to understand since her breasts are right there the whole time. Blake Shelton thinks The Swon Brothers sound unique. I don’t think he understands what that word means.
Sasha Allen: “Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin (Her Choice)
This was her mom’s favorite song, and her mom is an assistant principal at her daughter’s school. Aww, how can you NOT root for this woman? Uh-oh. The girl can definitely sing and she benefits more than anyone else from Judith Hill leaving the competition, but this is really old-fashioned, especially compared to the first three very current performances. The coaches can rave all they want, but I don’t see this getting big on iTunes. Certainly not as big as Shakira’s bust. On the bright, Sasha really stands out because there are no other divas in the mix.
Danielle Bradbery: “Shake the Sugar Tree” by Pam Tillis (Blake’s Choice)
Since “Maybe It Was Memphis” is her best-selling single, Blake is going back to the same singer for another one of her songs. Man, I hate Blake’s country strategy, but the man knows how to game the system and rig it for maximum downloads. If the Republican National Committee hired him for 2016, the GOP would be guaranteed to take back the White House. But if anyone can explain to me how this is noticeably better or worse than any other performance she’s done all season, I’ll eat my shoe.
Amber Carrington: “I Remember You” by Skid Row (Adam’s Choice)
Sure, why not, let’s go for an ’80s hair band power ballad with a bluegrass twist. This is why I will always love Adam Levine a million times more than Blake Shelton. At least he TRIES to do crazy stuff like this. “It’s so crazy it worked,” Adam says, and he’s right. It kicks the ever-loving crap out of Team Blake’s tepid country soundalike covers. But will country music fans download a Skid Row cover over Martina McBride? I hope so.
The Swon Brothers: “Okie from Muskogee” by Merle Haggard (Coach’s Choice)
Come on, playing the Oklahoma card again? It’s the new Vedo’s mom. I also oppose any song that begins with the line “We don’t smoke marijuana.” Also, is it just me or did Colton get even less to do this week than in the past? I don’t think he got to sing a single solo line in either performance. This thing is just cheesy, karaoke ridiculousness. Blake seems to think only 10 percent of America HATES that they’re doing pure country, but 90 percent of the country LOVES it. Where is he getting those numbers from? His ass? Because I’m pretty sure the percentage of people who love country this much is a lot lower than 90 percent.
Holly Tucker: “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts (Her Choice)
This song is all about her proud papa who she frequently sings with. She performs on a pier attached to a giant lighthouse. I think it says a lot that Blake’s singers have such elaborate sets while the other three basically sing with a single backdrop. I actually like this performance quite a bit, especially since it shows the more emotional side to her voice, giving us a pleasant change of pace from the up-tempo, fun Martina McBride song.
Michelle Chamuel: by “I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift (Her Choice)
How much am I in love with this woman for her song choice? Not only is T. Swift my guilty pleasure, but she’s joining Amber in trying to eat away at Team Blake’s country monopoly. Taylor actually showed up during rehearsals which is just plain cool, especially because Michelle, Usher and Taylor is as odd a threesome as I can imagine. The performance accomplishes its goal of showing how this quirky indie chick can be Top 40. When she first showed up I thought she would never escape her nerd niche, but this performance made her look like a total pro, a major superstar. She has come further than anyone else on this show. The crowd goes WILD! Carson Daly compares it to Backstreet Boys on TRL. I’m really, REALLY starting to think Michelle can beat Danielle. She certainly has all the momentum.
Amber Carrington: “Crazy” by Patsy Cline (Her Choice)
So we’re at 8 out of 10 country performances tonight, and Danielle still has to go again. At least Adam takes glee in hoping Blake will cry when he watches Adam’s singer doing this country classic. The performance is, well, kind of boring. It’s a great song, but Amber just sings it. She does it well, but there’s absolutely no compelling reason for me to download this version to replace Patsy’s. I actually side with Blake. This is one of those Sacred Ground songs, and there’s no real reason to ever do those if you’re just going to do it in a traditional way.
Danielle Bradbery: “A Little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans (Her Choice)
As always, Danielle doesn’t actually have any life experiences to draw on for her performances, so she’s just singing this song because her sister went through a bad relationship. Do I even need to bother writing what I think? I should just copy and paste what I wrote for her first performance, and what I wrote for her performance last week and the week before, etc. The only difference is she has giant smoke cannons in the background to distract from her struggle to reach the high notes at the end.
Sasha Allen: “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood (Shakira’s Choice)
Oy with the poodles already! So tonight we had 10 country songs (counting the bluegrass version of Skid Row). Michelle’s Keane and Sasha’s Aretha were the only non-country numbers. Can we PLEASE ban all country songs from next week’s show? It’s just too damn much, especially since the other coaches realized country songs are apparently the only way to score lots of votes.
In Sasha’s defense, she did audition with the Dixie Chicks, so it’;s not like country is out of her wheelhouse. This is definitely a…spectacle. She starts slow and bad-ass then rips off her dress to reveal a sparkly leotard. Sasha then became Sasha Fierce, Beyonce’s alter ego. It was insane and wild and kicked major butt. Hopefully that was memorable enough to keep her around.
That does it for the Top 6’s Night of Country on The Voice, where everyone sang at least one country song. Michelle Chamuel is definitely safe and Danielle Bradbery has built up the biggest fan base. I also have to assume Sasha’s showstopping final performance is enough to save her. But let’s be honest, as long as Holly Tucker or The Swon Brothers go home, I’m good either way. I just hope it works out that way.
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(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)