You know what I love about The Voice? It’s fun. It has a fresh, excited attitude that American Idol lost somewhere between Simon and Paula’s incessant flirtations and Ryan’s multiple spray tans. The coaches’ Queen medley might have had flaws (hello, Christina’s booty shorts) but it was fun.
I really had no idea what the format for the live show would be on The Voice, so I was really looking forward to the episode. I didn’t think it would be possible to jam sixteen performances into the episode, even if it was two hours, and they didn’t – only Christina and Blake’s teams performed this week. Despite the fact that Christina was dressed like a drag queen for the episode, I was rooting for her team over Blake’s.
One thing that really stood out for me during this episode was how modern The Voice feels, especially compared to, you know, that other singing show. The stage, the coaches, the song choices, the Twitter feeds, the dancing, everything. It feels fresh and current and basically pulled off everything I’ve been begging American Idol to give me for seasons now.
OK now, let’s talk performances!
Racquel Castro (Team Christina) – Blow
I like how involved the coaches still are in the singers’ performances, in choosing songs and providing a ton of support. I was really excited watching Racquel rehearse because we never see people dance on American Idol and that’s what pop stars do. And, I like pop music. No shame here! Racquel’s performance was kind of weak, but I think Racquel has potential. She’s a good singer, carried herself like a pop star, and I think with a little more training she could be successful.
Jared Blake (Team Blake) – Use Somebody
I wasn’t a big Jared Blake fan going into this, or a big fan of Blake’s song choices to date, but I thought this was a good performance. Granted, this song is so damn catchy it’s almost impossible to screw up, but Jared did a good job. I’m still not really a fan of him or how her performs (something about him kind of skeeves me out) but the guy can sing.
Beverly McClellan (Team Christina) – The Only One
I wasn’t sure how to feel about this song choice for Beverly. On the one hand, yeah, it suited her perfectly. But that also made it quite predictable. She was fantastic, but she wasn’t fresh or new. I want to see Beverly back, but I also want to see her surprise me.
Dia Frampton (Team Blake) – Heartless
Going into this, Dia was by far my favorite singer on Blake’s team. I was intrigued by her performance, even though we’d already seen this song covered in a cool, acoustic way by Kris Allen on Idol. Dia’s cover was a little more haunting and vulnerable, though, and I thought it was beautiful. She didn’t quite play the piano, though, did she? She mostly just sat by it. As much as I loved Dia’s performance, though, I was a little peeved at how the judges raved about how original, creative, unexpected, etc. it was. Come on, guys. Just come on.
“Team Christina” – Lady Marmalade
I maybe could have done with this show only being an hour and a half long and not featuring these extra performances…but I kinda loved this. Like, a lot. This song taught me the only French I know (and will ever need), you guys!
Xenia Martinez (Team Blake) – Price Tag
This song was an interesting choice for Xenia since it’s very pop and fun and she’s very mellow, and unfortunately she just didn’t have what it took to pull it off. She seemed to painfully nervous that it made me uncomfortable, just sitting in my living room. Xenia is a pretty girl with a pretty voice, but she needs more confidence and experience before she can progress in her career.
Lily Elise (Team Christina) -Big Girls Don’t Cry
I was worried that Lily started out a little rocky, but I thought she really came into her own when she hit the chorus. It also got a little over-dramatic near the end – Christina told her to be emotional, so it sort of looked like Lily was trying to make herself cry – but overall, I thought it was a good performance.
“Blake’s Team” -This Love
I love that Blake got his team to do a Maroon 5 tune instead of one of his own hits – hilarious. Also, very good for me since I can’t name a single Blake Shelton song. I thought Dia really stood out in the group performance – that girl’s a star.
Patrick Thomas (Team Blake) -I Hope You Dance
Patrick sang this song because his sister has spent her life in his shadow…so to help with that, he’s performing on a huge network television show? Yeah, I’m sure she’ll feel great about that. I don’t think the song really worked for Patrick, but I do think he’s a very good singer who probably has a bright future ahead of him in country music.
Frenchie Davis (Team Christina) -When Love Takes Over
I have to say, I expected a little more from Frenchie. It seemed like she struggled at the beginning, and she never really blew me away. I mean, it was good – we all know Frenchie can sing. But I expected her to be the best of the night, and she wasn’t.
Like I said before, the most impressive thing about the first round of live shows was how current and fresh it felt. The song choices were outstanding – even Blake, who chose quite a few duds during the duel rounds. The singers performed the kind of songs that I’ve been begging Idol to do more of, and it made the show a lot more fun to watch.
Next week, we’ll see each team cut in half. I’m enjoying The Voice so much, I wish we were getting more of these singers. From Blake’s team, I’d like to see Dia (definitely) and Patrick stick around. He’s not quite my thing, but I get that the kid is talented. (See, Scotty McCreery lovers? I don’t always hate!) But from Christina’s team, I’m not really sure. I’d definitely like to see Beverly stick around, but I’d be happy with any of the other three girls joining her. They all have qualities I liked and things that could be improved. But really, I enjoyed almost all the performances – only Xenia seemed very weak, and that was due more to nerves than lack of talent.
Did you catch the show? What’d you think? Who are your favorites? Take to the comments section!