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The Voice: Season 10, Team Adam and Team Pharrell, 4/12/16

April 13th, 2016 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Featured singers:  Brian Nhira, Hannah Houston, Nate Butler, Caity Peters, Daniel Passino, Emily Keener, Moushumi, Caroline Burns, Shalyah Fearing, Owen Danoff, Lacy Mandigo, Laith Al-Saadi.

Team Adam and Team Pharrell sang for viewers’ votes on the second night of The Voice semi-finals, and tonight we’ll find out who makes the final twelve. (If you want to make an educated guess, check out the iTunes chart, more on that later.) Only two contestants from each team make the finals on the basis of viewers’ votes, plus each judge gets to select one more finalist. That means the amount of talent trying to squeeze into the finals can be like an overload of data trying to stream through a portal–or not:

1.  Team Pharrell:  Bringing back opera-trained Daniel Passino as a Wild Card makes sense–except he just adds to the data overload trying to stream through the portal. He brings drama as well as vocal technique to Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man.” Blake says, “You just put yourself right back in the mix again.” Passino is the only male vocalist on Team Pharrell. Will that make him stand out?

2.  Team Pharrell:  One of Pharrell’s talented teens is seventeen-year-old Emily Keener. Pharrell calls her part of the future of music. She plays keyboards and sings Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years.” Her voice is prettier than Simon’s, that much is beyond doubt. Pharrell tells her afterward, “It was like we were in a seventies’ coffee shop in New York or San Francisco.”

3.  Team Adam:  This season’s rocker, Laith Al-Saadi, blues-shouts “With a Little Help from my Friends,” copying Joe Cocker’s vocals. Christina notes afterward that he seems to have let loose even more than he has before. Pharrell’s so impressed he says, “If you love classic rock, you gotta vote for him!” Adam adds that some of the contestants can light up the room–and Laith lights it up in “a different way.”

4. Team Pharrell:  With a small voice in a field of big ones, Moushumi isn’t one of this season’s front-runners. She and Pharrell work out a stripped-down version of Justin Beiber’s “Love Yourself.” Pharrell advises backing like “Lorde’s record.” Then Adam complains he would have liked the performance to be more stripped-down.  

5.  Team Pharrell:  Metal-head child Lacy Mandigo is on her third coach, indicating she’s been mismatched twice. She gives what may be her best performance, rocking up Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield,” taking all of Benatar’s Juliard styling out of it. Blake says afterward that Mandigo’s this young girl and then, “this monster comes out of her when she starts to sing.” Pharrell calls her a nineties baby that behaves like an eighties baby.

6.  Team Adam:  One of this season’s contestants who has built-in name recognition, Owen Danoff is the son of a Starland Vocal Band member. He takes the contemporary hit, “Hero” and gives the audience another trip back to a seventies-era coffee shop, despite the material. Blake says, “You made it seem like your own song.” Pharrell talks about Owen’s unique tone, and Adam speaks of, “speaking to me through that song.”

7.  Team Adam:  Another singer who’s been cut by two coaches, Shalyah Fearing can’t sing Beyoncé’s “Listen,” except Adam tells her that crack in her voice is a good thing. Even though she’s more about volume than range, coaches and crowd freak out over her performance. Carson Daly’s babbling about Olympic skating and Adam’s talking about her “message,” even though I couldn’t understand the words. “You’re a finalist!” Adam gushes. So apparently he’s telling us he’s already made up his mind that Fearing is one of his final three.

8.  Team Adam:  Several Levine-influenced guys started this season but Team Adam now lacks one, except for Nate Butler, brought back as Adam’s Wild Card. He demonstrates a smooth white-soul vibe on “Sarah Smiles.” Blake likes the result, “Just when we’ve heard it all, you throw in one of those crazy runs.” Since Butler’s already been rejected once, however, he’s going to have trouble fitting into the finals.

9.  Team Pharrell:  An Adele song, “I’ll be Waiting,” probably isn’t the best choice for Caity Peters. She needs more of an alternative style, like in the knockout rounds when she did Sam Smith’s “Leave Your Lover.”

10.  Team Adam:  Neither Caroline Burns nor her song selection, “All I Want,” show much range or personality. Pharrell talks about how her song was country/folkie but I didn’t hear much country or folk in it.

11.  Team Adam:  Like Fearing, Brian Nhira is probably too young and inexperienced for this field. Adam advises him to bring gospel overtones to Sia’s “Alive.” The judges are impressed with his vocal technique. Christina comments on his “crazy range.” Pharrell remarks on his ability to stay in key even when the notes are so high. Adam adds, “You will never have to sing a harder song” than this one.

12.  Team Pharrell:  Nebraska schoolteacher Hannah Houston shows more drama than vocal technique on Areatha Franklin’s churchy “Ain’t No Way.” Houston has the kind of voice that’s the best in a school or church setting–but not on a nationally televised singing contest. Blake comments, “You exude a combination of frustration and desperation.” Is that a good thing?

Peeking at the iTunes charts shows Shalyah Fearing and Owen Danoff are the best sellers for Team Adam. Daniel Passino and Hannah Houston are the best-sellers for Team Pharrell.  However, only Team Christina’s Alisan Porter, who came with readymade name recognition, looks like she’s selling well enough to have her iTunes sales added to her vote total. As for the others, how well does their iTunes chart position indicate their vote total?


Tags: The Voice