At this stage of the game there is no such thing as a horrible performance on The Voice. That being said, not all of The Voice Season 12 Top Eleven Performances were as great as the coaches made them out to be. In the earlier season’s of the show coaches were never mean – but they were honest.
Now it seems that no one is allowed to offer any constructive criticism. The best you can hope for during the lives is the mastery of Coach Alicia Keys. With her you can read between the lines. She will manage to say flowery things about a performer – like they have a great vibrato – without actually saying anything about how it was used in the particular performance.
I’ve always loved the show’s positive vibe and supportive environment for artists. Now though every performance is cast as being amazing and wonderful. That’s expected from a person’s coach, but I miss the touches of objectivity that were more like real coaching. Maybe it’s been a gradual slide but this season it feels grating that the coaches have become more like a cheerleading squad.
The Voice Season 12 Top Eleven Performances – Hits & Misses
The Tuesday night show will reveal which artists get to stay for another round. As we all know though, the best and the ones who get to stay don’t always match. We all tend to vote for our favorites – which doesn’t mean they had the best performances. As such, here’s my list of who nailed it, who were okay, and who missed the mark. (These critiques are based on watching live – not the YouTube versions. The uploaded ones always sound a little different….)
Team Blake: Aliyah Moulden – “Take it Back” by Reba McEntire
This 15-year-old young lady is from another era! Until this performance I liked her, but whatever coach Blake Shelton is doing with her is really developing her voice!
I wish someone hadn’t already done “Respect” by Aretha Franklin because this is one girl who could pull it off! Yes, I did just compare her to Aretha. I mean, no one is ever gonna be another Aretha, but give it a few years. She’s definitely got the potential to be in that vein.
Team Adam: Lilli Passero – “Town Without Pity” by Gene Pitney
Speaking of another era, host Carson Daly said exactly what I wrote down when she was singing – this could absolutely be a James Bond theme!
Seriously, regardless of what happens with The Voice, I totally expect to hear that Lilli has gotten tapped to do the next James Bond movie’s theme song. She’s got a specific kind of of sound that no one out there is doing these days – at least not as well as she does!
Team Alicia: Vanessa Ferguson – “Diamonds” by Rihanna
Wow! Her voice, stage presence, musicianship and outfits are already at a Grammy-winning level!
The fact that I wasn’t thinking about Rihanna and her version of this is proof that Vanessa is a star, period. If she doesn’t win someone had better sign her! Maybe her and season 11’s Ali Caldwell could do a tour….
Team Gwen: Brenneley Brown – “River” by Joni Mitchell
Throughout this competition the biggest issue I’ve had with Brenneley has been that she was all pretty sounds but would lose the words. Here you get every syllable – and she keeps the emotional wailing and sweet tones. It make a huge difference! (I also like that she’s not in white, that was getting creepy.)
Brenneley’s coach Gwen Stefani said, “She’s doing what people want to see her do.” I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good thing to tell a young artist. I would hope Brenneley is following her heart – which is what Gwen usually tells her team members. Regardless, this is by far her best performance and she’s definitely moved up the competition ladder. Team Blake had better look out!
Team Alicia: Chris Blue – “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge
This was the nights closing performance and it’s a good thing because it wouldn’t be good for anyone to have to follow it! What’s a little strange is that The Voice posted the performance on YouTube with everyone else’s – and then pulled it a few hours later. Maybe that’s because it was being viewed at double the rate as all the other performances? (Seriously, it was!)
Nevertheless, there is a video of his performance. It’s the straight live performance – so there’s no sound cleanup. This version also has the crowd and coaches’ reactions.
Notice how the crowd goes wild! Yet coach Alicia Keys is the only one on her feet applauding. I suspect Chris Blue is an unexpected problem for The Voice…but that’s an article for another day. For now I’ll just leave it where I started. It’s a good thing no one had to follow this performance.
Next up: The Rest of The Voice Season 12 Top Eleven Performances – including the ones who missed!