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'The Voice' recap: Is Jake Worthington unstoppable?
This week, “The Voice” added another long-term issue to its pile of concerns.
The show is undoubtedly successful – currently the No. 1 unscripted show on the networks and the No. 2 series overall among the coveted 18-to-49 demographic. So long-term issues like the overexposure and burnout that come from running two seasons a year obviously take a backseat to keeping the momentum going.
However, one long-term issue that won’t go away is the lack of a superstar coming from the ranks of “The Voice” contestants. Adding more of the unnatural battle rounds isn’t really going to help create one, no matter how entertaining the concept is, especially when you throw in likable Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
Of course, with ratings up 9 percent this season over the last one, chances of this change going away don’t seem likely.
Here’s a look at this week’s battles:
TEAM BLAKE: Audra McLaughlin vs. Megan Ruger, “The Climb”: Megan had a command of the Miley Cyrus song that Audra simply couldn’t match, though Audra’s emotional connection to the material was stronger. For that reason, Shakira and Usher picked Audra and, in the long run, so did Blake. Audra’s inability to keep up with the pacing of a ballad is going to hurt her if she doesn’t figure it out.
BLAKE PICK: Audra
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Megan
TEAM USHER: Cierra Mickens vs. T.J. Wilkins, “Get Here”: Wow, this was almost was a dead heat over the Brenda Russell classic. “It was perfect,” Shakira said. Cierra’s vocals were potent and controlled, while T.J.’s were gorgeously distinctive. Usher gave T.J. the edge because he had a bigger challenge.
USHER PICK: T.J.
SHOULD’VE PICKED: T.J.
TEAM BLAKE: Tess Boyer vs. Jake Worthington, “Have a Little Faith in Me”: Their version of the John Hiatt song actually showed how “less is more.” Jake’s straightforward delivery was powerful and carried the song’s meaning better than Tess’ flowery, but pretty choices. Jake continues to grow and is becoming an unlikely frontrunner. Blake says he thought it was a tie, but stayed with Jake out of loyalty. All three of the other coaches tried to steal Tess, who chose Shakira.
BLAKE PICK: Jake
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Jake
TEAM ADAM: Sam Behymer vs. Christina Grimmie, “Counting Stars”: The One Republic song is tough to sing rhythmically, but they handled it pretty well. Sam’s quirky style comes across as uncertain as much as it is distinctive, while Christina’s quiet confidence was far more attractive.
ADAM PICK: Christina
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Christina
TEAM SHAKIRA: Josh Murley vs. Patrick Thomson, “Run to You”: This was one of the weaker battles, especially when they ended up vamping meaninglessly over the Bryan Adams song. Patrick has a better tone than Josh, though he was also less consistent. Shakira said she thought they were evenly matched, but picked Patrick because she thought she could help him more.
SHAKIRA PICK: Patrick
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Patrick
TEAM ADAM: Delvin Choice vs. Josh Kaufman, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)”: The battle over the Stevie Wonder classic came down to Delvin’s power against Josh’s finesse, though the idea of battling kind of overtook both of them, stopping them from connecting with the song as well as they should have. “It was flawless,” Adam said. “You made it impossible for me.” He picked Delvin, while Usher stole Josh.
ADAM PICK: Delvin
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Josh
TEAM BLAKE: Sisaundra Lewis vs. Biff Gore, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”: Uh, where is Simon Cowell when you need him? All the coaches love this performance of the James Brown classic, but it defined his phrase, “a bit shouty.” They started the song on 10 and Sisaundra won the battle because she could go to 11 with that high note at the end. It was a performance about singing rather than actual singing, like a figure skating routine that was all jumps. It’s a marvel, but not a connection. Sisaundra has a great voice, but if she doesn’t learn how to control it more, she won’t last much longer on “The Voice.” “All we ever try to teach anyone on this show is what you did,” Adam said.
BLAKE PICK: Sisaundra
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Sisaundra
TEAM SHAKIRA: Ddendyl vs. Deja Hall, “Say Something”: This was a true battle, with both of them essentially singing most of the A Great Big World song in unison. That’s a disadvantage for Ddendyl, who has a quirkier voice, and she wasn’t able to overcome it. Deja has a rich, sweet voice and a personality to match, which gave her the edge. Both Adam and Usher talked about how the singers’ differences made them hard to compare, but actually it made it quite easy.
SHAKIRA PICK: Deja
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Deja
TEAM SHAKIRA: Emily B. vs. Kristen Merlin, “I Can Love You Better”: Oh montages, this time you may have saved us from what seemed like a terrible version of the Dixie Chicks hit.
SHAKIRA PICK: Kristen
SHOULD’VE PICKED: ???
TEAM USHER: Stevie Jo vs. Morgan Wallen, “Story of My Life”: Their take on the One Direction was rough in places, though they both have a lot of potential. Morgan’s tone is interesting, but he is still learning how to handle on it. Stevie Jo is more accomplished, but may not be quite exciting enough. Adam stole Morgan at the last second and he could be a big surprise.
USHER PICK: Stevie Jo
SHOULD’VE PICKED: Stevie Jo
Tags: The Voice