I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!!!!
I meant to get this out before I left for the cruise that I was singing on, but ended up not getting around to it. However, I wanted to get this out before tonight’s knockout rounds begin, so I’ll be quick (also there were only three performances so this didn’t take as long!).
Lauryn Judd vs. Lilli Passero (Every Little Bit Hurts)
Lauryn performs and sings with such a maturity that I completely forgot how old she is. During rehearsal Alicia asked her how school was going and I instantly remembered back to the teenagers that were in school during my season. I always told them that I couldn’t imagine competing on The Voice AND worrying about writing a paper or taking a test. I give any kid/teen that is on a TV show and going through school a lot of credit (no pun intended)! Alicia was super excited to give them this song for their battle. She mentioned during the first rehearsal that Lilli needed to pay close attention to her breathing so that she was able to maintain the rhythm of the song. As their second rehearsal got started Alicia and DJ Khaled really got involved in arranging the music for their song, getting as detailed as choosing the snare drum sound! There is nothing like getting such detailed instruction and help from two big players in the music industry. It just shows how much Alicia truly cares about her artists and their performances. As they sang through their battle performance I found myself going back and forth on who I thought the winner should be, but when Lilli sang a particular run, she automatically got the win. On top of that moment she had many others where her vocals and performance were on point! As she left the stage Adam warned the other coaches to watch because Lilli could be someone that wins the whole thing.
Jesse Larson vs. Taylor Alexander (Shameless)
As Jesse and Taylor walked into rehearsal, all Jesse could do was giggle. He was completely starstruck when he saw John Legend. Don’t worry Jesse, I’d be giggling like a little girl if I came in contact with John Legend. At the start of their rehearsal Adam told them how he loved this pairing because it made no sense, but he thinks their voices will blend really nice with each other. John Legend loved Jesse’s vibrato (Jesse mentioned he was a big inspiration, which of course was very flattering to John). Major points scored for Jesse. John also mentioned that Taylor needed to be aware of the twang in his voice because it could make him cut off some of the words he sings. On a side note, anybody else a fan of Jesse’s beard?? Maybe it’s because I couldn’t grow a beard if my life depended on it, but it was so nicely groomed. Kudos to whoever was his stylist that day! Based on their battle performance my vote would go to Jesse. He has this Gavin Degraw sound to his voice that I love and I felt that this song fit his voice a lot better. There were parts throughout the battle that Jesse seemed to overshadow Taylor, which is due to the powerful vocals that Jesse delivers. When it came time for Adam to pick a winner he chose Jesse as well!
Brandon Royal vs. Davina Leone (In the Night)
Davina started out on the right note with Celine when they started speaking french to each other. It was the coolest thing ever and I’m jealous that I can’t speak a second language. Singing a song by "The Weeknd" as a male is a difficult task, so I knew this was going to sit right at the top of Brandon’s vocal register, however that didn’t seem to trip him up! Although during rehearsal you could tell he was straining for those high notes, during the performance he hit them effortlessly (keep in mind as a singer i know that something looking effortless and actually being effortless are very different). Celine and Gwen spent a lot of time with them working on the performance aspect of the song, which I thought was great. However, when it came time for the actual battle I felt like Davina’s performance looked a little forced and unnatural while Brandon looked more comfortable. Gwen commented that Davina was fearless on stage and Brandon naturally worked the stage, ultimately giving the win to Brandon. I also chose Brandon as my winner, but within two minutes Adam used up his last STEAL to bring Davina over to Team Adam! Congratulations Brandon AND Davina!
Sorry for cutting it close on this one! The knockouts start TONIGHT! Check back in the next few days to see what performances were favorites of mine.