VOICE OVER: This is the Moment for the Top 12 on The Voice
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by Sally Henry
The Top Twelve Live Rounds began tonight after last week, which was the first week of voting. On Monday and Wednesday, America voted for their favorite singers on NBC's The Voice, which allowed the top two from each of the four teams to automatically advance. However, after all eight were chosen, each coach got to save one more. So at the end of last Thursday night there were only three contestants on each team. The top twelve contestants from Teams CeeLo Green, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton sang tonight, allowing fans to yet again vote for their favorites after the show ended. But this time, the coaches don't get to save anyone. It's completely up to the people now.
To start off the night, Michaela Paige, who Blake saved last week, sang P!nk’s recent hit, “Blow Me One Last Kiss.” Her coach said, “This is exactly what she needs to do as an artist, but it’s not gonna be easy.” Michaela took the stage without her signature mohawk, and though she sounded a little off, she put her heart into what may have not been the best song choice. Nonetheless, Chrisitna, Ceelo, and Adam agreed that Michaela was one of their favorites on the show, and her coach Blake was extremely proud of her, not being able to say enough about how well she did. “Earlier, you were talking about making sure I made the right decision to save you. That performance left no doubt in my mind. I want America to know that I never worked with an artist that has the ability to take advice and translate it into what happened on this stage. That’s how hard this girl works. PLEASE VOTE FOR THIS GIRL!! PLEASE! I’M BEGGING!”
Fan favorite and simply adorable guy, Christina’s Dez Duron, sang Lauren Hill’s version of The Four Seasons’, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Through this arrangement, Dez hoped to channel his gospel side. This arrangement was hard to listen to for Frankie Valli fans but even so, Dez executed it well. He kept his pitch flawlessly, even while moving around on stage and walking amid the crowd. It was amazing. From listening to it, he sounded the same standing still as he did pacing. The coaches, not to mention the ecstatic (almost hysterical) girls in the audience, loved him and his performance very much. They all agreed that he had lots of charisma and ridiculous, unteachable stage presence. His coach clearly wanted to distinguish him from the other people on this show with awesome voices, so she told the audience about something they didn’t know, namely, his personality, “How can you guys not love this guy? He’s got a heart of gold too. He’s a sweetheart! He’s the real deal. You definitely have natural charisma, but when you get on the stage, you have the true star quality appeal that some people have. But you really have it. You have this really cool old soul crooner voice. There's more to come for Dez!”
Another member of Team Christina, Adriana Louise went with a bold choice: Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl.” “Adriana has this great energy and great charisma that comes out, which is why this song is so perfect for her.” This sweet girl delivered a very confident, sensual performance, which ended with her going over and singing to Adam, much to his surprise. Vocally, the upper notes were supported, which was undoubtedly hard. Christina was proud of her girl, saying, “That was so cute. Adam loves girls that get up in his face. The thing is, people that aren’t actual singers that sing along on the radio don’t realize how hard that is to sing live. It’s really hard! The best is yet to come to you.”
The first of the night from CeeLo’s team, Cody Belew, said, “I want to be larger than life in personality. I want to be remembered for epic performances.” With that in mind, he sang, “The Best” by Tina Turner. He handled this song very well, sounded very relaxed, and most importantly, didn’t overdo it. This time, the male coaches really liked him, but Christina wanted more. “I was kind of missing- I’d like to see a little more up-tempo. You were so fun to watch when you did Gaga last week, so I’d like to see more bopping around the stage.” His coach CeeLo gave him some simple remarks, “I enjoy you as a friend, as a comrade. You don’t allow this competition to let you become cold. You keep it fun, and it’s a pleasure.”
Another favorite from last week, Amanda Brown of Team Adam sang “Spectrum,” which Adam called ambitious, saying, “Amanda Brown has an unbelievable voice.” As always, Amanda really brought it tonight, showing America why they kept this powerhouse performer on the show. Christina said she was still waiting to "connect to who Amanda Brown really is," and Adam basically told her that as an imperfect artist himsef, he could appreciate the raw imperfection in her voice. “You epitomize everything this show is about. That’s one of the more ambitious songs you’ve chosen to sing. You have the power to deliver. I know you deserve to be here, and I think you can win this entire thing.”
Another Adam mentee, Bryan Keith sang “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse. Bryan admitted, “Now on The Voice, singing is a real challenge, but it’s also a sign of growth for me. It’s super important that I connect with America.” The coaches all told him that he was special, and with that, he rose to the top of Team Adam, they said. His own coach said, “Once the buttons are pushed at the Blinds, it’s about moments everybody gets to have. You had your moment now, I think Amanda Brown had her moment last week. Congratulations! I’m so happy, and I think you’re so strong. This is your moment.” And with that, every Broadway fan watching this show undoubtedly burst into the Jekyll & Hyde song, “This is the Moment.”
Blake’s former band star Cassadee Pope had big shoes to fill when she sang Kelly Clarkson’s “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” In rehearsals, she hit that hard “anymore!” note really solidly, and both she and Blake were really surprised. Playing the guitar up there on stage, she very much channeled her old band days, and landed the high notes quite definitively. This was a great song choice for her voice, and she nailed it. Blake said, “There’s no limits to what Cassadee can do. But most importantly, you have that special thing that people love you, and that is so important.”
Trevin Hunte of Team CeeLo chose a favorite which also carried with it a lot of pressure: “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Fortunately, he lived up to that pressure, sounding very strong and all-around wonderful, despite having some doubts during rehearsals as he frequently does. Adam, addressing the fact that Trevin said he had been told before that he couldn’t do this, said, “It would have been a travesty if you had just stopped.” CeeLo told his mentee, “I believe that you’re going to be a blessing to so many lives. I’m humbled by your voice. You encourage me in such a profound way.”
The girl whom Adam called the most unique person on the show, Melanie Martinez, chose to sing “Concert,” to show off a slightly dark, sad side to her. This seemingly confident girl got real on camera for a minute, “I’m very scared. I hope they like this performance and that they vote for me.” As usual, she delivered her own style, both in music and looks to her performance, though her articulation was still wanting. The other coaches seemed to concur that this was Melanie’s personal best, and that most of all, she really connected more than ever with the audience. Adam said, “Ok, here’s what makes you really special: there’s all these show-stopping moments in this show, but what you have to offer is you have something that’s all your own. There’s only one Melanie in this competition. You are so spectacular and you’re the only one like you in this competition.”
Nicholas David, another Team CeeLo guy, sang “Power of Love.” Regarding the song choice, he said, “I’m putting a lot of trust in my coach that he’s making the right decision.” The coaches had fun watching him sing this, especially since it was a favorite song choice anyway. “There’s no better success than realization of self,” CeeLo told him, “You do what you do naturally, sincerely, genuinely; there’s no denying that.”
Christina’s save from last week, Sylvia Yacoub tackled possibly the most challenging song of the night, “The Heart Will Go On.” The problem with this song is that the original was Celine Dion. And no one can come close to her, nor is it fair for anyone to be compared to her. Nevertheless, when people hear that song, they think of not only Celine’s amazing voice, but all the stigma that goes with that song and the movie: Jack, Rose, love, and sheer emotion. Because of this, it seemed that she had a lot of expectations to live up to, more so than should be on any contestant of this nature. Christina wanted her to channel Beyoncé, which definitely changed the feel of the song. With so much pressure, it seemed like the coaches were having difficulty complimenting Sylvia, because they had Celine in the back of their heads. However much they stumbled over their rhetoric, they were able to convey that she did very well with what she had. Christina was able to actually voice something that didn’t sound like a back-handed compliment, “You are tried and true, fearless. It was extremely fearless. You had a really hard song to do, but no one can argue the fact that you made it your own. You truly did your soulful thing and added your own inflections.”
It seemed like they purposely saved the projected best for last, because Terry McDermott, of Team Blake, who sang a show-stopping, "Don't Stop Believing" closed out the night with, “More Than a Feeling.” Terry admitted, “This song is the single biggest challenge I’ve done.” His performance was mostly awesome, except for one unfortunate botched note. Even still, this Scottish rocker is quite a fan favorite and seems like he will stay on this show for a while. Adam was speechless, stumbling over his words, and could hardly articulate all of the awe he was feeling after that performance. Everyone clearly enjoyed his performance.
So Ginge’s Picks for November 13, are: Amanda Brown, Cassadee Pope, and Terry McDermott for the second week in a row, as well as Dez Duron and Trevin Hunte.
Tune in tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 8/7c on NBC, to find out who gets passed through to next week!
Visit www.nbc.com/the-voice/artists/ to view the full list of Season 3 contestants (those eliminated and those still in the competition) plus their stories, videos, and more. You can download your favorites from tonight’s performances at www.iTunes.com/thevoice, or watch them on The Voice's YouTube channel: www.Youtube.com/NBCthevoice. Keep up with The Voice through the week and during the show on Twitter: @NBCTheVoice, #TheVoice.