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The Voice: Season 10, Team Blake and Team Christina, 4/11/16

April 12th, 2016 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Semi-final vote happens this week on The Voice, with Team Blake and Team Christina singing last night, while Team Pharrell and Team Adam sing tonight. Last season’s sleazy Wild Card twist is back–the judges can break it off with somebody and then turn around and call them back. Its only redeeming feature is that a judge can call back anybody who made battle rounds or better. The rule should be that the judge must call somebody back from another team.

1.  Team Blake:  The younger of Blake’s two black R&B vocalists, Paxton Ingram, sings “How Deep is Your Love?” but it’s not the Bee Gees’ seventies ballad. It’s a contemporary electronic hit by Calvin Harris, the kind of frothy pop that appeals to his and Taylor Swift’s fans. Blake likes the way Paxton commands the stage and Christina finds him entertaining. His problem is, there are more powerful singers on Team Blake.

2.  Team Christina:  With a vocal style similar to Adam Levine’s, Ryan Quinn started out on Team Adam and now is not one of Team Christina’s top seeds. He sings a super-quiet cocktail-lounge version of Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One.” Adam likes what Christina’s done–but the voting public is likely to be looking for bigger fish.

3.  Team Blake:  One of Blake’s two female country vocalists, Katie Basden sings a Trisha Yearwood song, “Georgia Rain.” Blake says Basden has the same full tones as Yearwood and Carrie Underwood. He also calls his old-school country singer “the biggest, rangiest singer on this show” although I’m not sure, given who’s on some other teams. He thinks she’s the future of country music–but given that Team Blake has three other country singers, she may not even be the future of The Voice.

4.  Team Christina:  Perhaps the biggest joke of this season is the suggestion that Kata Hay can sing–at least that’s probably what Simon Crowell would say. She babbles how she wants to combine country and soul–but that’s called rock, Honey. She says she’s won yodeling championships–but even her yodeling sounds like some barnyard animal. Her barnyard-animal notes slaughter “You Make me Feel Like a Natural Woman.” The judges say nice things but the fact remains–there are much, much better vocalists on Team Christina.

5.  Team Christina:  For her Wild Card, Christina has chosen Nick Hagelin, formerly of Team Pharrell.  He’s the former dancer who’s trying to switch careers. He sings Rhianna’s “Stay” in a way that suggests his true home may be on Team Adam.

6.  Team Blake:  An entertainer as well as a vocalist, Joe Maye electrifies the room with “Long Train Running.” Hitting some amazingly long notes, he brings on a refreshing case of the blues. Blake compares Maye to Bruno Mars and says he has a shot to win. Christina concurs that it was his best performance of the season.

7.  Team Blake:  One of Blake’s two male country vocalists, Adam Wakefield is likely this season’s top country breakout, and he sings like it. Blake compares his “studly Adam” to Travis Tritt, Ronnie Milsap, and Chris Stapleton. He assigns him a story song, “Seven Spanish Angels.” The other Adam (Levine) comments afterward about how Wakefield’s the type of singer that entertains with his voice.

8.  Team Christina:  Voice host Carson Daly calls Tamar Davis the “Houston powerhouse.” She, not Alisan Porter, may be Christina’s number one seed. The Real Xtina assigns her some “new school” soul, “Rise Up,” and the performance demonstrates how her voice can go from here to here to here. Pharrell says she’s got “a rainbow of range” and you need an elevator to get from the bottom to the top of it. Blake thinks it’s the best performance she’s had so far.

9.  Team Blake:  Sheldon’s other country girl, Mary Sarah, can hit notes that’d give Jennifer Lopez goosebumps, but she performs an ill-advised arrangement of the seventies’ Joe South composition, “Rose Garden.” The slow parts are too slow and the quick parts are too quick for her technique. Her performance makes her being advanced to Blake’s final three in doubt.

10.  Team Christina:  Too much emphasis on falsetto (on the contemporary hit “Pillow Talk”) puts Bryan Bautista on the bubble to make Christina’s final three, despite an enthusiastic response from the judges–and the ladies in the studio audience.

11.  Team Blake:  After being kicked off Team Blake to make room for Mary Sarah, Justin Whisnant is called back as Blake’s Wild Card. He sings “Here’s a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares.” Blake notes he’s not as polished as Adam Wakefield, he’s a little rougher around the edges. Unless country voters flock to Blake’s two country guys, Whisnant may be cut from Team Blake a second time.

12.  Team Christina:  Showing her rocking blues-shouting side, Alisan Porter gets gritty with Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby.” (She posted a popular version of the song online some time ago.) She nails the high parts–but a weak bottom end is showing. Her fan base is sufficient for her to be voted into the finals, but if she continues to show flaws, she’s not a sure winner.

NBC hasn’t posted the Wild Cards for Team Adam and Team Pharrell but word on the Internet is that Nate Butler (with his high Levine-like voice) is returning to Team Adam and opera-trained Daniel Passano (whom Christina squandered) is on the move to Team Pharrell.

Tags: The Voice