When someone asks you how things are going, many people tend to respond with, "Oh just keeping busy" or "I'm so busy right now, I feel like I haven't slept all week." I find myself giving both of those responses all the time. It's as if being busy equates to being successful.
Bruno Mars is on a different level than any other musician currently working in the music industry. You don't have to love his music but I dare you to watch his show and tell me otherwise. His sold-out show at PPG Paints Arena included an incredible light show, pyrotechnics and a simple stage setup that allowed Bruno and his Hooligans to dance around the stage with ease.
The song lyrics above were inspired by Romans 7:15, "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." There are things I do and ways that I react to certain situations that I hate, yet I continue to fall short time and time again, always left with a feeling of guilt.
Jansen and I have been married a little over two weeks now and married life has been awesome! There is nothing better than waking up next to your best friend every single day. Sure, its only been two weeks so those of you who have been married for a while are probably rolling your eyes, but at this point in time, we are loving life. I'm not perfect and neither is she, but that is what's going to make the rest of our lives together so interesting! Lets get real, it would be extremely boring if I married someone who agreed with everything I said.
When I was away on my last trip, I decided to take a new approach to songwriting. Normally, when I try to write I sit down with the intention of not getting up until I have a song or part of a song written. However, I noticed that I kept getting stuck and couldn't get any ideas flowing. Frustration was my number one enemy. Just as an experiment, I decided to sit down and write with no expectations. My only goal was to put my pen to a piece of paper.
This week the contestants dedicated their performances to their mom’s. Mom then had the chance to meet their coach and talk with the individual that has been helping their kid through the competition. It had to of been the mom’s, because everyone was on their “A” game on Monday night. No one, and I mean NO ONE, gave a bad performance. The competition in season 12 is tough and at this point it could be anyone's game!
Jesse Larson “Jungle Love”
I can’t believe that Adam was the only coach to turn for Jesse! It blows my mind because HE IS SO GOOD. I’m going to keep this simple: this performance was UNBELIEVEABLE! Jesse gave us a performance similar to the style of Bruno Mars and every single piece of it was perfection: nasty, disgusting, perfection. The whole band was moving and grooving together and Jesse was the leader of the pack. I was smiling the entire time I watched his performance. Clearly you can tell how much I liked it based on the amount of CAPS I've used. That was a “finale-worthy” performance. I watched it multiple times and I clearly didn’t keep this short.
Aliyah Moulden “Jealous”
This week is the first time we are seeing Aliyah pull everything back and take things a little slower. With her choice song dedicated to her Dad, Aliyah gave a beautiful and touching performance of an equally beautiful song. Her maturity at the age of 15 is incredible. To be able to sing is one thing, but to be able to feel while you sing and then make other people feel what you feel takes it to a whole different level. The tone of her voice was amazing and she couldn’t have delivered a better performance. Aliyah, I know your Dad saw that performance and had the biggest smile on his face saying, “that’s my girl”. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with all of us!
Vanessa Ferguson “Doo Wop (That Thing)”
I don’t know what they fed the contestants on Monday, but everyone is coming out and DESTROYING! Alicia was right, we were all given a taste of the exact music that Vanessa will release when the show is over. I’ve never seen a contestant rap on The Voice stage and I’m not sure another artist will try, because Vanessa killed it! You could hear every word she said and she didn’t get tripped up once. Her rhythm and flow was deep in the pocket as she was right in her zone. I say this every time about Vanessa, but I love her style. The outfit she wore on Monday was perfect and her performance was equally as perfect. So good Vanessa, SO GOOD!
Mark Isaiah “Sign Of The Times”
Did Mark read my blog post from last week? My biggest piece of advice for him was to simplify his vocal delivery and pull back a few of his runs and this week he did that! The quality of his voice was the best that it has been so far, and like Gwen mentioned, his choice of song was great. He showed a different side of himself and it was the perfect time in the competition to do that. It was also a great time to pull out the piano playing. That is one of my biggest regrets: never playing the piano when I was on the show. I always let my nerves get the best of me and shied away from playing. Although Mark has been in the bottom the past few weeks, I have a feeling this performance could secure him a spot in the Top 8!
Chris Blue “24K Magic”
Wow. Chris took us to the Chris Blue concert and took control of The Voice stage. We know that he is a fantastic singer and we knew that he was a great performer, but this combined both of those elements creating an incredible performance. His vocals weren’t completely perfect, but when you are moving around the stage like he was you aren’t expected to deliver super clean vocals. In today’s world people watch with their eyes first and their ears second. Every week that Chris steps on stage he proves that he is a superstar. This performance was no different. He is the definition of an entertainer and I hope that someday our paths cross so that he can teach me some of those dance moves! Congratulations on another awesome performance, Chris!
Lilli Passero “Unforgettable”
The staging of Lilli’s performance was beautiful. It fit her personality and the song perfectly. This song choice was right in her wheelhouse. She delivered a vocal performance that was simple yet extremely powerful. I completely agree with Adam when he said there is something special about delivering a simple, classic vocal. When you’re on a TV show it’s easy to get caught up in the lights, wardrobe, hitting super high notes and flexing your riff muscles. The fact that she sings with such restraint and poise is really impressive.
Lauren Duski “Tell Me Why”
Gwen’s comment was spot on, “Lauren you are a country music Barbie” or something like that! Until Monday, we hadn’t seen Lauren do an uptempo song, so seeing her grab the guitar and rock out a little was really cool. Like most of the contestants this season, she is consistently good with every performance. She can sing anything and make it her own, which is exactly what Wynonna Judd told her when she gave Lauren a call to wish her good luck. This was the perfect song for her this week and just gets me excited for what she will deliver next week. Let's get real: Lauren will be around next week!!
Hunter Plake “Higher Love”
Hunter just seems like the coolest person and the lasers on stage only amplified that! Hunter’s connection to music is deep, considering that he is one of those guys that can place every instrument! Every week he takes his songs and produces them to fit his own style, which shows his artistry and creativity. Hunter is unique and something that The Voice hasn’t seen in a long time. I’ve been a fan of Hunter’s since the beginning and will continue being a fan for as long as he is making music. I have a feeling we'll be seeing him in the finale. Hunter, you’re the man!
TSoul “At This Moment”
I have to agree with Blake, this was by far TSouls best performance of the season! You can tell that he is at home when he is singing songs like this. Every run that he did was the definition of perfection and he has a way of performing that is genuine and hard not to enjoy. Every time he walks on stage he invests so much of himself into his performance. He embodies every lyric and every note that he sings. He crushed it way out of the park with this one and, like blake mentioned, bought himself a ticket to the Top 8! Congrats on an awesome performance, man!
Brennley Brown “Anyway”
I love Martina McBride and this song is one my favorites from her. At one point Brennley had the biggest smile on her face and it was awesome! I love Brennley. She is so mature for her age and sings with a confidence that I couldn’t imagine having at the age of 15. The fact that she picked this song goes to show how well she knows herself and her capabilities. She blows me away week after week and has a GIGANTIC career in music ahead of her!
THE RESULTS SHOW
Aliyah Moulden (Team Blake)
Chris Blue (Team Alicia)
Lauren Duski (Team Blake)
Hunter Plake (Team Gwen)
Jesse Larson (Team Adam)
Brennley Brown (Team Gwen)
TSoul (Team Blake)
That means that Vanessa, Mark, and Lilli will sing for the chance to be saved by America's tweets. Having these three in the bottom this week didn't come as a surprise to me. Although they gave good performances, everyone stepped up their game on Monday, which means that you have to bring it even more. Those that made it through to the Top 8 must have given performances that had more of an impact on those watching.
Lilli Passero "Stormy Weather"
Lilli brought it! In my opinion, this was her best vocal performance to date. She was confident on stage and you could tell that she left it all out there.
Mark Isaiah "Sorry"
Like Carson said, Mark is no stranger to being in the bottom, but he continues to keep a positive attitude, week after week. Honestly, it doesn't seem like it effects him that much. Unfortunately, I don't think this performance was enough to get him through to the Top 8. He started out really great, but I'm not sure if the words escaped his mind or if the intention was to be free on the second half of the performance.
Vanessa Ferguson "For Once In My Life"
Vanessa went up on stage and was FEARLESS! She had all of the coach's on their feet, including Adam, but then he remembered she was his competitor and he quickly sat down lol. Vanessa's voice is incredibly unique and as long as she does songs like this throughout the rest of the competition, she'll take this thing all the way to the end!
AMERICA SAVED VANESSA FERGUSON!!!!!
I have to agree with this outcome! Although it's tough watching people go home, like I've said before, that's the crappy part about a competition. Trust me, Mark and Lilli, I know what that feeling is like when your standing on stage hoping that it's your name that will come out of Carson's mouth. However, like Adam said, your success is determined by what you choose to do tomorrow. That piece of advice is still relevant to me, as I sit on my couch and write this blog post. You should be proud of what you've done on the show!
And then there were 8! Next week things will continue to heat up as the eight finalists continue competing for a chance to win the entire thing!
Also, I'M GETTING MARRIED NEXT FRIDAY! HOLY CRAP!
It's gonna be a busy week, so hopefully there's some time to watch the episode and shoot you guys my thoughts.
in the meantime,,,,