For The Medal Positions
There was another no nonsense start to the show, so we will do the same. But I will just mention that it was so fast I didn’t spot what the theme was.
Amber Holcomb – started off with some Celine Dion. Now anyone who has read my reviews before may know how much I hate Celine Dion, well not her personally, I’ve never met the woman, but her music pretty much grates on my nerves. But although I’m not a fan of the Power of Love, Amber was still great. Her legs looked even longer in a white jump suit and her hair and make up were perfect. She sang it faultlessly and all the judges stood for her. Nicki Minaj commented how great she looked. Randy Jackson said she was the contestant who had grown the most.
Candice Glover – sang Find Your Love. I didn’t know this song, but I much preferred it to any Celine nonsense. It was a soulful song with some jazzy elements and Candice, like Amber, was note perfect. Nicki hinted that it was old fashioned and that she needs to find her market. Randy thought that she was over singing. I think they were both wrong. Mariah Carey said it was a musical chance and she should continue to take them. Keith Urban thinks that she is finding herself every week. Mariah and Keith were more on the money for me.
Kree Harrison – gave us It Hurts So Bad, a rocky, bluesy, country tune which I enjoyed, but it wasn’t spectacular. I’ve got to agree with what some of the judges are saying, that these girls are serious professionals and no longer seem like they are in a talent contest. Randy Jackson only offered mild criticism and was booed by the audience. Mariah said Kree was lost in the song and connected to the audience and they loved that. Keith said that you need to pour your heart out in a song like that and he was right, that was what was missing from making it as spectacular as it needed to be. Nicki Minaj said it was not a top four performance and also got booed by the studio audience.
Angie Miller – sang Jessie J‘s Who You Are, at the piano. I knew this was coming as I had seen Jessie J’s Facebook post where she said she was so pleased that Angie had sung it. Angie sang while playing piano which the judges like. It was once again very dramatic. I wasn’t very keen on the first half but the second part was better as it built. Mariah Carey encouraged her to write and perform her own songs. Interesting, as American Idol doesn’t allow them to do that in the finals. Once again Keith Urban nailed it, saying that she started too controlled but gradually let go, which is why she got better. Randy gave it 10 out of 10 out of 10. Can someone calculate that for me?
There is an interesting recurring theme in regard to Angie Miller. The judges love her singing while playing the piano and they want her to take that to her singing while away from the piano, or believe that she will eventually achieve that. But does she really have to? Elton John had a fairly successful career playing piano and singing at the same time.
Next up was the first duet; Amber and Kree with some Adele. This really didn’t do it for me and once again I think it was the lack of connection. I preferred the quieter parts with the piano to the louder parts with the Japanese style drummers. Keith Urban wanted them to cut loose.
Candice and Angie got together to give us Stay from Rihanna. This really showed the difference between the two girls. Candice is totally real and believable, while you get the feeling that Angie is acting the performance. The judges loved it and all stood for them, except Mariah Carey. I don’t think it’s out of lack of appreciation; she just doesn’t like to disarrange her dress. But she did rave over their performance as did Randy Jakson.
Amber Holcomb‘s second song was Macarthur Park. I never understood the popularity of this song. A song about a cake? Amber sashayed though it effortlessly and I knew the judges would love this big production number. They did, but the superlatives are getting a little repetitive now. Jimmy Iovine disagreed with all of them and said “that song is corny”, thank you Jimmy.
Candice Glover – gave us some Bee Gees with Emotion. Now I think the theme for the second round was One Hit Wonders. The Bee Gees are far from one hit wonders, but I believe that the original hit was by Samantha Sang, remember her? No me neither. I really liked this; Candice gave us big notes and power. I also noticed for the first time an effect that I always used to notice that Dionne Warwick has. Wearing a big ring on her mike hand and keeping time by tapping on the microphone, it can be a little distracting, well to me anyway, maybe I’m hypnotized by the bling. After another round of the judges praising Candice, Jimmy Iovine came out to argue with them over what he said about Amber’s performance. There was a lot of ham fisted acting from Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson, while Keith and Mariah took the dignified approach and remained in their seats.
Kree Harrison picked a song from the archives, Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale. This was a song that was kind of done to death in my formative years, but I really liked Kree’s version, although I found the organ sound a bit shrill. Unfortunately like Kree’s first song, it was a performance without anything spectacular. Randy and Mariah both loved it, but Keith and Nicki had reservations.
Angie Miller finished the show with the old standard Cry Me A River, originally a hit for Julie London. This is a great song and a great choice for Angie. I still felt she was acting a bit, but it was very good and a big finisher that will get her votes. Randy Jackson said “the best of the night” everyone else loved it too.
The results show was the usual round of hype, showing clips of the previous night over and over again, and performances by past Idols. None of which were a patch on Fantasia the week before. Ryan Seacrest repeated his circus trick of putting the girls into separate groups on the stage.
When he finally announced the results I was amazed to see Candice Glover and Amber Holcomb were the bottom two. How could that possibly be?
But that shock was followed by an anti-climax, as no one was revealed at the bottom of the voting. Ryan Seacrest said that because the judges never used their save option, they had a show to spare before the grand final.
I think a better way to have handled this would have been to announce who was bottom of the voting then have the judges save her. I am certain they would have done this anyway for either Candice or Amber.
By Max Power
The Voice 2013
The show started with a song from the judges/coaches. The boys were all dressed in white and Delta Goodrem in black, with thigh length boots. Mmmm. There was soft focus, letterbox framing and a bit too much staging and drama and not enough song for my liking.
For the first battle Delta Goodrem matched Celia Pavey and Anna Weatherup, who are both folky kind of girls who play guitar. Both girls sang well, but I think too much of the song was at the low end for them. The best part was actually when they harmonised. If I had to make the choice I would pick Celia, marginally. Ricky Martin and Seal agreed with me, Joel Madden chose Anna. Delta agreed with me too, so Celia goes through.
Joel Madden‘s first pairing was Michael Paynter and Louise Roussety. Joel picked, of all things, a Justin Bieber song for them. Personally I did not think there was any doubt on this one; Michael had so much dynamism and range, whereas Louise seemed to be stalling over the changes between notes. Delta and Ricky both picked Michael, but Seal found Louise more interesting. Joel didn’t think he had the time to get everything out of Louise that he could and he picked Michael.
Next up from Delta‘s team was the battle of the bald men, Michael Stangel and Rob Edwards. They sang Have a Little Faith In Me. They both did well, but I think Rob has a little more range. There was another 2-1 split from the other judges, but Delta went with Rob. Then all of the other judges chose to save Michael. As in the Blind Auditions, he then gets to pick which judge he goes with. He picked Joel and now transfers to his team.
Seal‘s first battle pairing was Skye Elisabeth and Alex Gibson. Seal made an unfortunate song choice giving them Adele’s Skyfall theme from the Bond Movie. Skye hoped it wasn’t a prophecy. Surprisingly Alex started singing higher than Skye. I think singing so low was a mistake for Skye and Alex sounded better throughout. All of the judges agreed and Alex stays for the next round.
Ricky Martin‘s first pairing was Katie Reeve and Katerina Torres. This was a very hard one to pick. I preferred Katerina in the Blind Auditions, but there was nothing between them in this performance, for me. So I would choose Katerina based on the previous performance, not tonight’s. All of the judges preferred Katerina too, so she goes through and Ricky still has someone to speak Spanish with.
The final pairing for tonight was from Seal‘s team. Tim Moxey and Harrison Craig. Seal chose the song You Raise Me Up, which is more in Harrison‘s wheel house. This isn’t really my type of music, but both these guys were great. I would marginally give it to Harrison, but hope that someone saves Tim. Once again all of the judges agreed with me. So Harrison is through. There was no save for Tim unfortunately.
There are more battle rounds tonight with plenty of begging and pleading promised in the promo at the end of the show. Tune in on SUNDAY AT 6:30PM ON CHANNEL 9
The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au
By Max Power
The Voice 2013
Let’s get straight into the music, as that is pretty much what they did on the show.
First up was
Abby Dobson 44 – She is the former lead singer of Leonardo’s Bride who had the big hit Even When I’m Sleeping. Her time with the band ended in 2000 because of her Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She is now free of that pain and wants to get back into the business as a solo artist. She sang Do Right Woman, Do Right Man which is very different to what she used to sing. She was very good and looked great for 44. I was surprised that no one turned. Seal thought it was too much song for her. I would have thought that someone with her background, and I assume connections, would be able to find another route back. But maybe she has tried those and is exploring other avenues. Best of luck to her.
Michelle Martinez 28 – is a studio backing singer and performs regularly at corporate shows. She sang Lady Marmalade. She is a very good and confident performer, she gave us a popular song and “shook dat ting”. The studio audience loved it. Delta Goodrem turned first with Seal and Joel Madden turning on the very last notes. She said Seal was a very good salesman and she chose him.
There was another montage of three guys that didn’t get through and even in these short snippets I could hear why.
Eske Ozdemir 18 – sang So Sick. He had a pleasant enough voice, but weak and it disappeared in the mix often at the beginning. Then he went very sharp for a long part of the song. That was probably down to nerves. No one turned, unsurprisingly. Joel Madden said his name sounded like a Rap name and he did some rapping, which went down well with everyone.
Sione Felila – is a big Tongan boy whose mother said singing was the only thing he was good at, besides eating. He sang an old favourite of mine You To Me Are Everything. Like Eske, I thought his voice was pleasant but weak, but he stayed in tune and did a scream that persuaded Ricky Martin to turn. So he’s in.
Kiyomi Vella 19 – sang 1 2 3 4. she has quirky voice and the look to go with it. She sang in a kind of staccato style. It was quite enjoyable and she went big at the end which showed she could do more. Seal and Joel seemed to wait for each other to turn. Joel went first and Seal went with him. She picked Joel who she thought that she wanted before she came on.
Louise Roussety 29 – is a girl who is uncomfortable with her looks and lacks confidence and has a dislocated elbow from Jiu Jitsu training. She sang Creep, but it was not special to me. But as her voice got bigger Joel turned, no one else did.
Vanessa Raspa 28 – is a former child star and stage performer. She sang These Boots Are Made For Walking, in a very deep and weird way. I think she’s more of a performer than a quality singer. No one turned and I wasn’t surprised. She told Ricky Martin he was beautiful. Ricky took her to the chairs and she sat in Joel’s and hammed it up.
Rob Edwards 35 – was very emotional, even before he went on stage. He sang Seven Nation Army, it was kinda funky. I think he could have been louder in the mix, but it was enough to turn Seal and Delta Goodrem, then Joel Madden. He burst into tears on stage when Joel told him he deserved to be on the show and that he wanted him. All three judges gave him the big sell and they dragged out his decision across an ad break. He chose Delta.
James Walker 19 – comes from a Brisbane family of Doctors and nurses. He sang One Crowded Hour. He’s got a pretty good voice and the sort of looks that teenage girls will go for. Former Boy Band member Ricky Martin was the only one to turn. I was surprised that Seal didn’t know the song, maybe it wasn’t a hit outside of Australia.
Lauren Dawes – is an albino who says that she sings like a black woman. She got this show’s biggest promotion, being shown three competitors before she went on and after every one in between. She sang Bob Marley‘s Is This Love, but a very different, slower arrangement. I didn’t like her voice until she got into the higher register, in fact I thought that there were a lot of pitch and control problems, but Seal loved it and turned, no one else did.
So at the end of the show, that I am sure was advertised as the last Blind Auditions, three coaches still have not completed their teams and there are four spots still to be filled. The promotions for the show seem to be confusing me, or maybe misleading me.
So more Blind Auditions tonight and maybe some Battle Rounds, who knows. Not me and possibly not the programmers.
The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au
By Max Power
Battle it Out as the End Draws Near
There was not much preamble tonight. Ryan Seacrest sent out sympathies and respects to the victims and people of Boston, over a not entirely respectful crowd. Too much red cordial I think. Then it was straight into the music.
Candice Glover – started off with a song that I was not familiar with. It was no big showstopper, but I liked it. It had a nice jazzy soul feel. Keith Urban loved her runs, like a slow wink across a bar, he said. Nicki Minaj was wearing Mariah Carey‘s boobs and then some. I’m not sure what she said or Randy Jackson or Mariah for that matter, I don’t know what was distracting me, but they all loved it. Jimmy Iovine didn’t, he didn’t think it was enough song for her.
Janelle Arthur – gave us an old country song and an old country performance. She wore a very long dress and a Guitar, which I never saw her play. It was a pleasant song and performance, but not really to my taste. Strangely all the other judges liked it but Keith, the country guy. He didn’t feel that she connected with the emotion of it. Jimmy Iovine didn’t like it either and said she needs to show more emotion.
Kree Harrison - I missed the theme tonight, I think it must be songs that I don’t know. Kree looked good. But like Candice it was a pleasant song and performance, but not outstanding. It was well sung, but the sort of song you get in the middle of a gig and go to the bathroom, so you don’t miss a song you really like. Nicki Minaj thought it was the best performance of the night and disagreed with Keith and Mariah, so they had a little tiff, Nicki and Mariah that is, obviously. Jimmy Iovine again said it was not strong enough.
Angie Miller – sang I’ll Stand By You from The Pretenders. Oh, I’ve got the theme now; it’s songs from the year I was born, that’s why they’re showing all of those baby pictures. Angie sung it like a hymn, while playing piano. She looked great and her voice was impressive, but I hated this version. The judges didn’t, three of them gave her a standing ovation. She dedicated it to her home town, Boston, and that probably tugged on a few heart strings. Jimmy liked it and said it was the best performance of the night.
Amber Holcomb – sang Without You, Mariah Carey‘s version. This is a great song and Amber fell only just short of a great performance. But for me this was the best performance of the night so far. Nicki wasn’t that impressed. Randy said it was not perfect, but gave her props for singing it in front of Mariah. But Mariah Carey herself thought she was great and said she might incorporate of some Amber‘s bits herself when she sings it next. Jimmy thought there were issues at the low end, but ranks her second best of the night.
The theme for the second round was Diva’s songs.
Australia‘s own Idol winner, Jessica Mauboy was in the audience and got a brief introduction.
Candice Glover – sang another Mariah Carey song that she had duetted with Whitney Houston. This was another song that I was not familiar with. It was a big gospel like performance Mariah stood and blew kisses to her. Nicki said she used to listen to that song over and over again and she believed that she could do anything when she listened to it. Surprise! Nicki seems to be a closet Mariah fan. All the judges raved over it.
Janelle Arthur – Her diva idol is Dolly Parton, no surprise there then. She sang Dumb Blond, guess what? Another song I did not recognise, and I thought I knew my music. This show is really testing me. Janelle played it kinda hard edged and I liked it, although it’s not normally the sort of thing I go for. I liked her sparkly short skirt and slightly raunchy performance. Randy said it didn’t show off anything new vocally, but I completely disagreed. I thought the hard edge and power were things I hadn’t seen before. The rest of the judges gave it a mixed reception too. Nicki Minaj gave her some backhanded compliments, but said she had no doubt how far she could go in the real world.
Kree Harrison – gave us some Celine Dion. What? No! I hate Celine‘s over dramatic crap. Kree was true to that and I hated it. The judges liked the song choice and her versatility. It takes all sorts I suppose.
Angie Miller – sang Beyonce’s Halo. Once Angie looked good and sang well, but I didn’t like it and once again the judges disagreed with me and gave her a standing O. They all gave short responses, but they all loved it.
Amber Holcomb – went way back, with an old Barbara Streisand song, What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life. This was a great jazzy night club kind of performance. This is how a song can be dramatic and not over the top or schmaltzy, like Celine Dion and so many others. Beautiful, even if her voice got lost in the mix a couple of times. This time all four judges stood. All of the judges heaped huge praise on Amber and said America should ‘get this’ and not let her be bottom again. For me, Amber gave the best performances in both rounds, so she should be top this week.
The results show started with a medley of Donna Summer songs from all five girls. It was very Las Vegas cabaret. Best thing about it was that Amber looked sensational. I can understand why she is constantly compared to Whitney Houston, mainly by Nicki Minaj and me, because like Whitney she could easily be a supermodel if she could not sing.
There was a fantastic performance by Fantasia. It took me a while to get into the song, Lose to Win, but by the end she was awesome and all of the judges were jumping out of their seats.
The Top Three were Candice, Angie and Amber. The two country girls were the bottom two. Janelle had to sing for her life. She sang Set Me Free Why Don’t You Babe and gave it everything, her whole range. The judges didn’t save her, as I have always suspected, they are saving the save for one of the four remaining girls.
So it’s goodbye to the lovely Janelle Arthur, but like Nicki Minaj said and for once I agree with her, Janelle will do well in the real world, outside of American Idol. She will find her audience and they will love her.
By Max Power
The Voice Australia 2013
All of the coaches on The Voice now have more than two thirds of their teams complete, so the Blind Auditions will soon be drawing to a close.
Tuesday nights show could not have started with a more colourful character.
Hannah Darling 22 – has scarlet red hair, she wore a red outfit with 3D flowers and butterflies. She has tatts on her arms and legs which she revealed after the song was over. She sang Ghosts. She has a good voice that started off thin and quirky, but became full and more mainstream towards the end of the song. Seal and Joel Madden turned their chairs on the very last notes of her audition. They asked her to play a little of one of her own songs. She looked for her friends in the audience to help her make the choice of who to go with. She chose Joel.
Ben Goldstein 20 – sang Bedouin Song. He obviously has a very good voice, but there was a lot of sliding around and some Middle Eastern influences. I liked parts of the performance and hated others. Delta Goodrem turned first and vamped it up, because she thought he was “a good looking guy from Bondi”. Joel made suggestive jokes. Seal also turned around, he praised him, but didn’t really try to persuade him to join him and he went with Delta.
Rebekah Strongman 17 – sang Next To Me. It was a good and lively performance. Once again the judges looked like they wanted to turn, but none of them did, but they all offered her words of encouragement.
Jackie Sannia 17 – played piano and sang People Help People. Seal turned almost immediately she started to sing. Joel and Delta were soon after. Ricky Martin did a sort of dreamy trance thing while listening and not turning. She got a huge ovation from the audience. Jackie giggled excitedly and uncontrollably while the judges spoke to her. Seal picked up that she had been through adversity (again) and asked her to explain her background. She chose Delta, after an ad break.
Emma and Sarah Linnegar 23 – are the second set of twins in the Blind Auditions. They are identical twins, but didn’t look that identical to me. They sang Runaway from The Corrs. I didn’t think it started that well, they sang alternately to trick the judges that there was only one of them. However their harmonies were very good, but no one turned for them.
Mitchell Anderson 44 – was described as a pub rocker. He brought his dad with him, another musician. He sang Sexual Healing. He had a better voice than I expected and it was not the type of song that I expected from him. Delta encouraged Seal to turn and he did. I think there’s a bit of match making going on for the battle rounds already. Seal has the two oldest guys in the comp in Mitchell and Steve Clisby. I would lay money that they are matched against each other in the battle rounds.
Katie Carr 26 – sang Who You Are, a dramatic ballad that did not appeal to me. She has a good voice and excellent control. But it was really not my type of thing. I thought no one was going to turn, but Ricky Martin did.
Luke Mansini - made some interesting fashion choices, a blond curly top and plus fours. He has a fine voice with some haunting qualities, but once again the song did not appeal to me. Late on Seal and Delta Goodrem turned together. He chose Delta.
Shawne Kirke 28 – is heavily disabled and walks with crutches as a result of a coma when he was 13 but he now sings with a band in Perth. He sang You Give Me Something. Like Mitchell Anderson, his looks belied the voice that I expected and the type of material he sang. I liked his voice and the song. Seal and Joel Madden turned for him. Shawne has a good sense of humour too, asking Joel what his name was. He had apparently decided before hand, if he got the opportunity, he would go with Seal and he did.
The trailer at the end told us that the next show would be the last of the Blind Auditions and include the first of the Battle Rounds. That sounds like a cumbersome format to me, but I am sure they will handle it with aplomb. That’s why they produce The Voice and I only report on it.
The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au
By Max Power
Week two of Blind Auditions for The Voice 2013 started on Channel 9 last night. A whole bunch of new artists stepped up to the stage to try and get the chairs of Seal, Joel Madden, Delta Goodrem and Ricky Martin to turn.
Nicholas Roy – was first up, singing Falling Slowly, while he played piano. All of the judges turned fairly early in the song. The crowd loved it too, but they all saw something that I didn’t. The four judges all worked hard to get him on their team and it seemed to go on for a long time, they even dragged it out across an ad break. Nicholas then dithered, a lot, and eventually picked Seal.
Katie Reeve 26 – sang Janice Joplin’s Piece of My Heart. It sounded well off key to me. She got better as it went on. Ricky Martin turned and danced for her. Delta Goodrem turned as the song was fading out. She chose Ricky.
Josh Kyle 26 – sang Sting‘s Fragile, now this really appealed to me. I like the song and I thought he had a lot of feeling in his voice. But no one turned until well into the song. Delta was first, followed by Ricky. Ricky didn’t throw a lot into selling himself to him and he picked Delta.
There was another montage of guys that didn’t make it through. The first two didn’t sound too good to me, but the last one, who sang Waiting For The World To Change, I would like to have heard more of.
Karen Andrews 31 – AKA Miss Murphy. She sang I’d Rather Go Blind, which was sung on last years show and recorded by Karise Eden, last years winner. Miss Murphy, as she likes to be called, has a deep dark and soulful voice. All of the judges turned. Seal and Ricky worked hardest to get her, she went with Ricky.
Marisa Quigley 39 – A busker and old pro sang We’re All Gonna Die Some Day. She started it acapella. It was a country gospel kind of song, apparently one of Casey Chambers. She had all of the audience clapping along, but none of the judges turned around.
Nick Stenmark 28 – sang I Will Wait, a slower song with a country feel. He had some nice tones in his voice, but maybe it was the song that never grabbed me, or most of the judges. Joel Madden was the only judge that turned. No one else said anything about him on camera.
Viva Lale – is a Samoan lady who lost a lot of relatives in Australia‘s biggest house fire, in Brisbane. She sang One Sweet Day. She has a pleasant voice, but not an exceptional one. All of the judges gave the impression that they were getting into it, but none of them turned around.
Atlanta Coogan 36 – is Joe Camilleri‘s former partner and mother of his daughter, she still sings with the Black Sorrows. She sang Son of A Preacher Man. Once again it was OK but not exceptional, especially when you consider versions by Dusty Springfield and more recently Joss Stone. None of the judges turned around again.
Caterina Torres 22 – is an attractive girl of Latin American descent. She sang Beyonce‘s Hot Right Now, but it had slight Latin feel. The crowd loved it and Seal and Ricky turned very quickly, followed by Joel and Delta. I was more impressed with her as a performer than as a singer. Ricky Martin spoke to her in Spanish, and then in English he told her he needs her in his team. Joel somehow knew she had been picked up by a record company before; these boys are amazing with their perception aren’t they? He said he was the king of getting back up from being knocked down. Everyone tried really hard to get her on their team, cutting back in on each others pitches and generally squabbling. In the end she went with her gut connection to Ricky, I think it may be more of a language connection.
Believe it or not they are back with more Blind Auditions tonight. This section seems to go on forever and does not excite me quite as much as it did last year. This year I seem to be seeing more of the hype, whereas last year I was more surprised by the quality of the singers compared to other TV talent shows, like Australian Idol.
The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au
By Max Power
The American Idol top six show was really a Hollywood event. Sir Anthony Hopkins, otherwise known as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, was seen in the audience.
There were two themes for tonight’s show, as each competitor was going to sing two songs. The first was the music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Angie Miller – kicked us off with Anyone Who Had a Heart. She looked good, but the microphone was too big for her face. This sort of music suits her; it was technically good but not really moving. Keith Urban said that he was waiting for the passion. She made it look too easy. Nicky Minaj said she agreed with Keith, but maybe she didn’t feel passionate about that song. Randy Jackson said the same thing. Mariah Carey said her pronunciation was maybe too perfect, she should let go of it and immerse herself.
Amber Holcomb – sang I Say a Little Prayer. She looked very cool and sang it very casual but faultless, except she could possibly also be accused of lacking passion. Not quite Dionne Warwick’s version, but still very good. Nicki loved it and raved about it, she said Amber owned it and she was now her favourite in the competition. Randy and Mariah also raved over it. Keith said she just breezed which is probably what I was trying to say when I said she was cool.
Lazaro Arbos – sang Close To You which was made famous by The Carpenters. I’m not used to hearing that song from a male voice and I think it suffered from being deeper. Lazaro has the style for this sort of song, but needs to be higher. Randy said “No, No, No! That was horrible”. Mariah said he did not change key when the band did and she struggled to be as brutally honest as she wanted to be and dithered a lot. Keith said he chose the wrong key to start with and then didn’t make the key change. Nicki said nothing because she thought the assessment had gone on too long.
Kree Harrison – sang What the World Needs Now. Wow, what a difference when someone does sing in the right key. Kree was true to the song, but gave it a country feel. The only thing this suffered from was being too short. Mariah praised her no end, especially for starting the song acapella. Keith talked about her humility and said it was her best performance. Randy said it was good that she came after Lazaro, because that was singing.
Janelle Arthur – sang What Do You Get When You Fall In Love?. She gave a similarly breezy performance to Amber and strolled around the set, serenading Keith at one point. Keith likes the fact that she shows another side each week. Nicki found it boring. Randy wanted the cookies in her voice. Mariah rambled and never really said anything much.
Candice Glover – sang Don’t Make Me Over. This was an great period piece, with some excellent vocal dynamics 3 out of the 4 judges gave her a standing ovation, Mariah didn’t move. Nicki said it sounded like a new R&B song, but it was far better than that. Randy said the best performance of the night and one of her best ever. Mariah said she was showing another side of herself.
After round one it was easy to pick the top three Amber, Kree and Candice, then there was daylight before anyone else.
The next round was songs that they wished they had written.
Angie Miller – started with Love Came Down from Karrie Jobe, an obscure choice. Angie sang while playing piano. It was quite a dramatic ballad featuring a lot of white doves, she sang it well but all those theatrics are not for me. Randy loved it. Mariah said the piano is organic to her, perfect. Keith agreed that she shines at the piano and told her eventually she will do that away from the piano.
Amber Holcomb – chose Love on Top from Beyonce. She started singing amongst the backing singers, and then wandered out and around the stage. There was quite a lot of movement while she was singing and I thought that it made her sound like she was straining. The crowd and judges seemed to like it, but me not so much.
Lazaro Arbos – picked Angels from Robbie Williams. This was more in his wheelhouse and key. It was a pretty good performance, but not in Robbie‘s league. The judges gave him scant praise and said the girls were so good he was like still in a contest but the girls were pros with careers.
There is no longer a decent version of Kree‘s Performance of this song on American Idol available. So here’s a really nice version from Kree at the Grand Ole Opry with Keith Urban on Guitar and Harmonies
Kree Harrison – selected a classic, Help Me Make It Through The Night by Kris Kristoferson, but it has been covered by lots of people. Kree was back to her roots with a fiddle and a pedal steel guitar. It was not the best performance I’ve ever heard of that song, but it was in the neighbourhood. She really showed what emotional connection means. Nicki took the opportunity to have another pop at Janelle, it didn’t need that. Keith called it a buckle shiner, whatever that means.
Janelle Arthur – sang Garth Brooks’ The Dance. She had the same band set up as Kree. It was a good country performance and one of her best vocals, but the song never really appealed to me. The crowd loved it. Mariah enjoyed it and connected to her. Keith would have preferred her to do it solo with her own guitar. Nicki liked her vocal, but not the song, and again had to put her down, saying it wasn’t enough to put her up with the other girls.
Candice Glover – wishes she had written Lovesong by The Cure. She gave a great torch song performance. There’s not much more can be said, it was just so good. Three judges stood for her while Keith bowed down and Mariah sprinkled her with fairy dust. There was a long ovation and they let it run. Randy said on behalf of all the judges’ one of the best performances in the 12 year history of American idol.
After this show the positions are sorted, we may as well shut it down now
Kevin Bacon was in the audience for the results show, so that has cut down a lot of degrees of separation.
There was a great medley of Bacharach and David songs involving all six of the remaining competitors, with Candice and Amber finishing with a superb version of A House Is Not a Home, and then the others joined them for That’s What Friends Are For.
There was a weird continuity issue with the results show. Ryan Seacrest lined up the competitors across the stage in groups, first of all three of them and then three groups of two. But in between each section of the show there were performances by former idols and the competitors were obviously not standing there then, surely they could have come up with a better role out than this.
Kelly Clarkson performed her new single; she looked weird in a skirt inspired by a Jackson Pollack painting and eye make up that reminded me of when Captain Jack Sparrow had eyes painted on his eyelids.
The three groups were finally identified. Kree and Candice were the top two, Lazaro and Amber the bottom two. Amber was safe; thank god they got that right. Lazaro sang Michael Bublé’s Feeling Good. It was ok and a good song for him to go out on. The judges were never going to save him; this was a mercy mission he has been getting caned for the last few weeks.
The final five girls can all have careers in the business after American Idol. I believe Kree, Amber and Candice can be major stars. Although I am still confused as to why Amber keeps ending up in the bottom group of the votes. Janelle will find her niche and be appreciated in that.
I only have reservations about Angie and her emotional connection to what she is doing, maybe that will be different when she is singing her own material. But she is talented and attractive and I am sure the industry will shape her into something that will appeal to a large demographic. She seems like the sort of determined girl who will recognise what is good for her and go for it.
By Max Power
This show carried on from where we left off last night, with the chairs still unturned for Kathy Hinch. Joel Madden jumped out of his chair and ran around to tell her that he wanted her. Eventually all the chairs turned and Joel told her that she had the choice of Ricky Martin too. She picked Joel, but there was constant confusion about what was going on and Kathy still looked convinced that no one had turned for her even as she left the stage.
Glen Percival – is the brother of last year’s runner up on The Voice, Darren Percival. His style is quite different from Darren’s, he sang the Foo Fighter’s Times Like These. I thought he was off key and sounded more like he was shouting than singing. No one turned. Delta Goodrem told him it was pitchy and Ricky Martin said it may have been the wrong choice for his tone.
Maya Weiss 18 – got a big build up, including a crew filming her in Melbourne and the back story, of her father being a musician that never made it big, was told. She has a rich sounding voice. She sang Duffy’s Stepping Stone. Joel and Seal loved it right away and were the only ones that turned. The boys battled to get her and she asked questions of each of them. It was a drawn out discussion and finally she decided on Joel, believing that he wanted her more than Seal.
Tonight there was another montage of guys that didn’t get through, after showing a few full songs by non-qualifiers on Tuesday.
Tim Morrison 32 – is the former front man of a reasonably successful band that made no money. So after a 6 month hiatus he’s giving it another go as a solo artist. He Sang U2‘s Sunday Bloody Sunday. I was more impressed with the song than the singing. Eventually Delta Goodrem turned her chair while Joel and Seal threatened to turn theirs. Seal turned at the last minute. Delta told him she believed in him and tried harder to get him than Seal did and Tim picked her.
Michelle Cashman 30 – sang Chris Isaak‘s Wicked Game. She did a good job of it, just as haunting as Chris. All of the judges seemed to like her, but none of them turned. Like Emma Pask on Monday night, they all seemed to want someone else to turn. No one did tonight and Michelle is out.
Jessica Samarges 20 – there was a lot of talk about her looks before she went on and when she sang her voice seemed to get lost in the crowd sound at times. There was some impressive work at the high end. Joel, Delta and Seal all turned around for her. Jessica chose Joel Madden, who was the first to turn, and had the most to say to persuade her.
Kim Sheehy 25 – sang Love Song. She sounded a bit flat to me. It is a hard song to sing and kind of quirky. None of the judges turned. Joel mentioned that she was struggling with the song and Seal hinted at the pitch problems.
Chris Sheehy 22 – is Kim‘s brother. He had to come on stage after having seen his sister sent home. He sang One More Night. He has a much brighter and funkier voice than his sister. Delta Goodrem and Joel Madden both stood and toyed with the crowd, then both turned, followed by Seal. Ricky seemed to have given up since the chairs stuck. Joel appeared to give the ground to Seal, after Seal had said how much soul Chris had in his voice. But he picked Joel anyway. Strangely nothing was mentioned on stage about is sister auditioning before him.
Julianne Di Sisto 29 – sang Good Luck. She has a big raspy voice. I wasn’t very keen on the song though. Ricky broke his long dry spell and turned first. No one else did. Seal said he would have turned if Ricky hadn’t. What’s with all this giving singers away?
Luke Kennedy 30 – has been working with the 10 Tenors and has sung at some major world events. He started singing in Italian. All of the judges turned around. So we have another “Popera” man, but this guy has already been there. Seal asked the deep and meaningful questions again and was told that Luke had been suffering with depression. He empathised and talked about his own battles with anxiety and depression. Joel Madden laid it on thick too, saying his voice is like butter, you can spread it on anything and it tastes good. Joel said that Seal would be his perfect coach, so Ricky Martin stood up and walked to the front of the stage. He said he had been there too and pleaded for him to be on his team. Delta said, as Joel had said go with Seal, she would say go with Ricky, and he did.
There are a few days break now until the next round of Blind Auditions on Sunday. The coaches seem to have about half of their teams completed now.
The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au
By Max Power
The Voice 2013
There was a brief recap at the beginning of the show tonight, but not too much messing around, so we will do the same and get straight into the music.
Belinda Adams – kicked off proceedings, she sings in the Police band, but is not a Police woman, although she wears the uniform. She started us off with I Am Changing. This was a theatrical come cabaret performance. She has a very big voice and all of the judges turned for her and she got a really big reaction from the crowd. All of the judges commented on her big voice. Ricky Martin piled on the Latin charm, it worked, she went with him.
Danny Ross – gave us the second Led Zeppelin song of the week, When the Levee Breaks. The boys loved it with Seal and Joel Madden turning very early. He doesn’t have Robert Plant‘s range and power, but it was an interesting and enjoyable performance. The crowd loved it too. Seal wanted him to project bigness. He chose Joel which I think is a good choice for any rocker.
Rien Low 34 – is a former boy band star with Mercury 4 ten years ago. He sang Never Say Never. It was a kind of a middle of the road pop performance. He sang well but never really moved me, or the judges, no chairs were turned.
Bec and Sabastian – are 29 year old gay twins, they stated before they went on that they wanted Ricky Martin. They sang Nobody’s Perfect. They are of Macedonian descent and the song had a sort of Mediterranean feel, but I thought the voices were a bit weak. Only Ricky turned around so they are on his team which suits them down to the ground.
Jenna Dearness-Dark 16 – sang like an operatic soprano. Seal and Delta Goodrem turned very early. It was a very good performance and all of the judges turned eventually. Delta gave it a big sell, based on her touring with Andrea Bocelli. She chose Delta.
Steve Clisby – sang the old Barry White classic Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe. Seal turned very quickly, the crowd clapped along. Joel turned next. It was a good performance, but I thought he lacked a bit at the top end. He had opened with his band for Seal in 1992, but Seal didn’t appear to remember him. Steve is 67 but he looks 20 years younger. I would imagine he was an even better singer in his prime. He chose Seal.
Oscar Chavez 27 – His wife looked more like his twin than the twins did earlier. He sang Bed of Roses from Bon Jovi. He sang it well, but like Tib the night before he was not really distinctive. Delta turned at the last moment, no one else did. So he’s in.
Sarah Martin 29 – She looked like a rocker before she sang a note, with her tatts and piercings. She sang Woman. Again Seal turned right away. Sarah has a good raspy voice, the term “Ballsy” springs to mind. All of the judges turned except Ricky Martin and the crowd gave her a big reception. She went with Seal.
James Napier 36 – his father and sister are successful actors Marshall and Jessica Napier. He sang Wade in the Water. It was a jazzy kind of performance, he has a very high and female like voice. I liked it and I would have turned my chair for him. But none of the judges did. Delta told him that she thought it was a woman singing.
Kathy Hinch 25 – sang Girl on Fire. She has a good and strong voice and it’s probably worth hearing more of her. Joel Madden hit his button and I think Ricky did too, but the chairs never turned and they ended the show there with a “To be continued” notice.
Well it will be continued tonight on Channel 9 at 7:00 wow what a cliff hanger. My cynicism leads me to believe that it’s a set up and someone switched off the chairs to create more drama. It’s sad being cynical sometimes.
The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au
By Max Power
More of the same, on night two of the blind auditions for The Voice 2013. I noticed that all of the judges were wearing the same outfits. So I was wondering how they record these auditions, do you think they do them all in one day? I also noticed they had all gone in for basic black, I guess that is something to do with continuity. I know that is the reason that David Attenborough and Steve Irwin, in his day, always wear the same outfit when filming. Anyway, onto the music.
Danni Hodson 20 – kicked us off with Something’s Got a Hold on Me from Etta James. Danni is a big girl with a big bluesy voice. It was a very good performance; I wanted it to go on longer. All 4 judges turned. They got into rhyming together in order to recruit her. She picked Joel
Mark Stefanoff 21 – was next up with This is The Moment, a very musical theatre performance and very well sung, but not my cup of tea and apparently not the judges. No one turned. But Ricky said he wanted him to meet his agent and he would get him on Broadway.
Ryan Sanders – has a very soulful voice and gave a very soulful performance. There were good rhythmic parts and he covered his vocal range well. Seal and Delta turned first and then Joel at the last moment. Seal said something in his past had created his tone and asked what it was and he told him that his parents died when he was six. That must have been a set up. Delta said something similar about him. He picked Seal, I thought he would.
Skye Elisabeth 26 – sang Put Your Records On. Quite an interesting voice, but I was not convinced. Seal turned well into the song. Joel again left it until the last moment. She had said beforehand that she wanted to go with Seal and she raved about the fact that he had turned. Joel‘s comment was simply “I turned too”. I don’t think she actually noticed, because she wanted Seal so much and Joel left it so late that she maybe thought he was turning with the others after the performance.
Anna Weatherup 30 – sang a sweet heartfelt version of Fields of Gold from Sting, it was very much like the Eva Cassidy version, sadly Eva died young shortly after she recorded it. Anna sang and played guitar, she has a very haunting voice. Seal and Delta turned almost simultaneously, then Joel followed by Ricky. She got a standing ovation from the judges and the crowd. Joel said it was the most honest vocal ever on that stage. Ricky acted out how he felt about her voice. Seal said it was flawless, but she picked Delta.
Nick Kingswell 26 – was a country star at Tamworth a while ago and plays as a session guitarist. He sang I Need a Dollar. This was definitely not country, it was very funky. He didn’t appear to have a really strong voice but was impressive at the high end. Ricky turned first and I think he improved after that. No one else turned, but Joel wished he had. So he’s on Team Ricky
Emma Pask 35 – was discovered by James Morrison, the jazz multi instrumentalist, when she was 16 and has been working with him for almost 20 years. She tip toed onto the stage and sang the Jazz standard Blue Skies. All the judges talked about how good she was, but none of them turned. Joel finally did at the last moment. All of the judges were looking for one of the others to turn; Joel did because no one else did. I hope she goes far, she is great.
There was then a montage of singers who did not get through. They seem to be showing less of the non-qualifiers this year. I think it is an effort to shorten the run of the show. They have also changed the numbers in each round to do that.
Tib Hovarth 45 – was up next he looked like the typical old rocker, in jeans and a waist coat with no shirt, pumped up muscles and blond highlights in his hair. He sang Are You Gonna Be My Girl. It was really an average pub rocker performance; it lacked brightness at stages and was something you could probably see in any pub in Australia every weekend. No one turned.
Harrison Craig 18 – Was given a huge build up in the promos and all through the show. He’s another singer with a stutter following on from Lazaro on American Idol. I don’t think Harrison‘s stutter is as bad as Lazaro‘s but it would still be hard to live with. He has a baritone theatrical / operatic voice and all the judges turned. Something told Seal he had an interesting story, this guy must be psychic, or he is getting tips from someone. Seal gave it the big sell and Joel took a bow at that. Harrison said he is aiming to sing “Popera”. Ricky also gave it the big sell and said he would do anything for him. He picked Seal.
So that was night two of the Blind Auditions. Seal picked 3 new team members, Joel 2 and Delta and Ricky one each.
Blind auditions three is tonight on Channel 9 at 7:00PM
The official site for the show is TheVoice.com.au
By Max Power