Tonight's teams are Team Adam and the Confederated States of America...err Team Blake (What? Too soon?) Let's play rough and get it on!
X-Tina and Flo Rida open the show with a song called "How I Feel"...and the Great Gatsby background lights suggest what it was. Pretty to look at but not with a lot of inner beauty. *shaaaaaaaaaaade* Oh and side note; Adam's hair is unusually suave.
Getting the S5 Live show baptism of fire, Shelbie Z. of Team Blake singing "Fancy" by Reba McEntire. Shelbie turns out got hitched; good for her, but back to singing (Sorry to sound heartless, but this is The Voice; not a lot to ask by wanting the focus on singing). She is challenged to make a hardcore country song seem more versatile. When her turn on stage kicks in, her projection is very consistent, but sound wise sounds very similar to her other performances. The coaches give their Calvin & Florence ["Sweet Nothing"; "Calvin & Florence" will be a thing now.] mainly crediting her projection skills.
Second, James Wolpert of Team Adam singing "A Case of You" by Joni Mitchell. James' geekiness came into discussion again...blah blah blah. My concern was that a Joni Mitchell song was given to him. In rehearsals, he sounded pitchy. Worse, Adam picked this song for him with good intent but questionable execution. In his performance, James sounded better but not by much. He still sounded pitchy in his lower registers and barely sounded like he was singing. The coaches remembered his potential from the auditions which was a nice but ignorant way of not calling him out on his pitchy vocals tonight.
Third, Nic Hawk of Team Blake singing "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. Blake picked this song for him and as much as I hate Nic, I couldn't think of a good reason to sick him with this song choice. He took the stage and his singing hit a new nadir I never thought would be reached. The singing was beyond terrible; the outfit tacky; seriously, VoteForTheWorst would be having orgasmic fits right now. The coaches considered entertainment value to be just as important as the singing and I can't support them this time. There has to be a time where singers need to be called out if they have bad nights singing. Not much to ask...at all.
Fourth, Ray Boudreaux of Team Blake singing "Home" by Marc Broussard. His Louisiana residence and geographic soul offset are mentioned ["Swamp Pop" is apparently a thing]. He's challenged to not screw up the third "home" in the chorus. His performance commenced and honestly...he improved graded against himself. It wasn't exceptional, but he wasn't Nic level atrocious. The coaches insisted he had everything on his side this night. Again, he's nothing particularly special when singing.
Fifth, Austin Jenckes of Team Blake singing "She Talks to Angels" by The Black Crowes. He's told to not go apeshit when delivering the notes in this song. His performance commenced and it was some of his best singing to date. Even though Team Blake must be brought to its knees in defeat, at least one of the contestants sounds better than his S3 and S4 winners. The coaches observed that Austin's commitment to his song performances is his biggest strength. Then his scooter riding is called shocking because he's supposed to look like a violent biker with a folk singer voice. That aside, Austin will most likely survive to the Top 12.
Sixth, Grey of Team Adam singing "Still Into You" by Paramore. Adam wants Grey to have more "Rockn' Rolla" and less boring wedding singer. She's just told in a sense, don't fuck it up (Like RuPaul was about to watch lip-syncing and everything). When she took the stage, she was more energetic than she had been, but she was still too clean sounding for a Paramore song. Considering how everything was though, she and Austin are the best by this point. The coaches seem to think that Grey's evolution in presence is happening faster than it actually is. O_O it would normally send me in a tizzy but considering how things were before her performance, I'll let it slide tonight.
Seventh, Will Champlin of Team Adam singing "Secrets" by OneRepublic. Will's family man [Dad with Dream] thing overshadows his pitchy rehearsal because family sob stories draw people in for whatever reason. Come showtime, he for once sounds good (and what a seemingly 11th hour time to show that off eh Will?) Beyond graded against himself, he actually sounded good this night. The coaches are in "lurve" with how he did [and with how everyone so far has done...O_O] and think he's one to watch.
Eighth, Preston Pohl of Team Adam singing "Nothin' On You" by B.O.B. ft. Bruno Mars . Preston's personal life is brought up when his father beat cancer. Nothing to sneer at and congrats to his father for beating cancer. Preston's challenge with this song is to be relatively "current". His performance is OK, but this was not the week for him to go current. His signature is on display, but it doesn't service him in the way it should have. The coaches give their "Calvin & Florence" just reiterating that his signature helped him get to the Live shows. Yes, he does have signature but question whether or not he should've been current yet.
Ninth, Cole Vosbury of Team Blake singing "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart. Cole's challenge with the song is to channel his flavor and singer/songwriter side to the song. His performance commenced and he does add his flavor to the song, but doesn't do much to make it exceptional. He could make it to the Top 12 but I'd be surprised if he does. The coaches give their sentiments and Cee-Lo is still on his "Make Love Not War" tip...seriously, he became the "Paula" of S5 tonight. O_O
Closing out night 1 of the Live playoffs,
All in all, this is not the strongest Part 1 Live playoffs in Voice anthology. Still, there's Cee-Lo and X-Tina's teams to go, so I'm buckled up.
Next up for scrutiny, part 2 of the Live playoffs.