Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Voice: Live Shows Part 1

The Same Page is a blog; currently dedicated to reviewing Season 4 of NBC’s The Voice. Written by friends for life Giselle Carrington and Tonia Holder, this blog puts together all their thoughts while watching episodes of The Voice. This Blog is a bit different from your average review blog between friends, mainly because Giselle is in Grenada and Tonia is in Trinidad! They converse over Whatsapp on Mondays and Tuesdays and DRAMATICALLY express their views on the happenings of the episodes. They now wish to share their comical analyses with the world at large!

Giz: I’m coming into these Live Shows with a heavy heart, mainly because I’m for #TeamAdam. I love everyone on Adam’s Team, all his angels. Though he has an entirely female team right now, they each represent a different aspect of the vocal world, which makes for a WONDERFUL quartet. Unfortunately, we’re here to get one voice, rather than four. L As far as Usher’s team goes, I’m a Team Usher supporter, mainly because of his coaching methods (Read our last post, Red Shoes, Red Passion; Coach Usher). In terms of his team members, I can handle letting go one or two members, I’m not bonded to them like I am with Adam’s Angels. But, I do wish them all the best. This is where it gets real. For the life of me, I hope the votes don’t muck around and keep the crowd pleasers support and send home the best vocalists. I hate when that happens. I’m not a fan of the voting portion. Anyway, I’ll be taking you through the first half of the show! Woohoo!!!

Tonz: the time has come, the best have been selected. The artists are all geared up and anxious about the live shows and the voting and ultimately winning! The coaches are pulling out all the stops *eyes Usher* and going in for the kill. It is the live rounds people and here is where it gets even better, the best performances are going to come out as they fight for the votes. I’m still Team Adam (aka Adam’s Angels) all the way but i will say Team Blake is not backing down and he is my runner up team. Teams Usher and Shakira have one or two artists that can give the older coaches a run for their money no doubt. Can’t wait to see the outcome. I’ll be reviewing the second half of the show, but interjecting in Giselle’s part as well J Enjoy

*Please click on the performance headers to view video clips of each Live Show performance*


I’ve been anticipating these live shows for so long. I love Live Shows!!! *Happy Dance*

Before we even start the live shows, we are graced with the wonderful performance of Team Ursher Baby, Yeah Maine! They performed Black and Gold by Sam Sparro. Let me tell you, and I will tell you, when they showed how Usher prepared his team for that performance, I just sat there like, wow. Firstly, Usher only has red shoes, but I ain’t mad at him one bit. Secondly, they ALL got red shoes and Team Usher gear; I am mad at them though. *side eye* Thirdly, Usher covers all bases in terms of preparation. Please people, if you didn’t like Usher before, I’m not asking you to like him now, cause I can do that for you and for me, but PLEASE, respect that fact that he puts a lot of work into what he does. But I digress, so before I write my entire portion on Usher being the best coach EVER and his red shoes, let me get on with it.
Team Usher’s performance was wonderful. As a quartet, they sounded amazing. I loved the song for them. Their movement and interaction on stage was tres magnifique! Although I thought that maaaaaybe the verses were a bit too low vocally; which Tonz also picked up on (Same Page!), overall I enjoyed it. They really brought it all out for that performance. If the audience was voting based on those performances as well, I don’t think any of the Team Usher members would have gone home.

Tonz: I loved it when they sang together, they harmonized really well. Individually thought I felt they sounded a bit flat, I had to ask Giz if that was how the song in itself was. No one person had any big moments and found that to be nice, the performance over all had a nice, cool, smooth and mellow vibe to it. Hats off to Usher for his unique but very efficient and practical coaching methods J

Now to the actual performances:

 I just love typing Amber’s full name! J I’ll start off by saying that I’m not a Rihanna fan per say, but I do like the song Stay. I was glad that Adam chose the song for Amber actually. Reason being; Amber has always been the rocker type, so the gentler tone of the song would have been a nice change for her. In contrast though, Rihanna has a dark, vulnerable, beckoning undertone to her music that would be hard to emulate, but if it could be done, it would send Amber on to the next round for sure.
Amber came out, and totally owned the song. Her voice has grown so much since her Blind Audition. The soft side of her was beautiful to hear, but when she belt out her notes, she raised my pores a bit. In between, there were few small “oopsies” that I heard, but nothing any other vocalist doesn’t experience from time to time. It was a wonderful rendition and I thoroughly enjoyed it. GO AMBER!

Tonz: she did a country twist to this pop/r&b song with a kind of a cappella vibe that I really liked. She hit all her notes, both high and low and transitioned nicely into some falsetto. Giz has been raving about Amber from the beginning and it is due to her last name mainly! BUT I do agree that Amber has a great voice and her performances are always strong and on point. I very much see her being a favourite and hence gaining the votes necessary to advance further.

Josiah kept proving himself to me during the previous episodes, so I believe that he has definitely earned the right to be here, in the Live Shows right now. The song Usher picked was Starlight by Muse; a song which was introduced to me by a good friend (hi5 friend!). Yet another song I love. In practice, Usher urged Josiah to be careful with his pitch and to really own the performance. He added that this was the type of sound Josiah could potentially have in his future career which is why he chose it for him to sing.
Josiah appeared on stage, guitar in hand, ready to go. The performance was fantastic. As Shakira said; it was his best so far. Tonz agreed with Shakira, who she aptly calls “Hips don’t lie or Hips”. He was just on that stage, belting out those notes, rocking his guitar, undressing me with his sexy model eyes and definitely making the song his own. I noticed some pitch issues, but I believe the rest of the performance over shadowed it. Overall, I loved it, I think Tonz loved it too and I’m glad the other coaches did as well. I like that Blake said the world is going to lose a model to music. So thankful we have Blake to take Josiah’s place in modelling. *crickets* *blink blink*

Tonz: he’s so cute eh. J Anyways, he sounded really good. Rough and gritty, he hit all his notes, he took usher’s advice about moving away from the mic to breathe and he was able to control it (again hats off to usher and his coaching tactics). This was indeed his best performance to date and i’m glad to see him advancing in his craft and taking it seriously.

There is nothing more I can say about Sarah. Tonz and I literally say the same thing about Sarah every time. We’ve been blogging for weeks now and it’s always the same. I came into these Live Shows knowing that Sarah would belt out some notes, grit it up with her awesome grittiness and totally rock the entire audience. I was wrong. Adam, in his ultimate wisdom, chose a soft song for Sarah; Angel by Sarah McLachlan. A wonderful song choice, as Sarah herself identifies with the song and has a personal experience which directly relates to it. Maybe Adam’s a psychic! Not only is it a great choice because of that, but also because, it would let the audience experience her softer tone. No rocking this time, at least not in the way we were accustomed.
Sarah stood on stage, looking like an angel herself. As she sang, you could hear her passion mixed with her vocal wonder! It took some time to get into full Sarah gear, but then she took the soft tone, added her signature grit on her belts, her falsettos and her awesomeness. Half way through her performance, I knew she was one to beat for this competition. I literally stopped and walked away from the tv, because I could not take any more. Ever experience something so good that you get saturated and can literally handle no more? That happened to me. Sarah blew me away yet again. Tonz didn’t get as emotional as I did, but I know she loved it. Even though, as with everyone else so far, I heard some quirks, the beauty of the entire performance masked them all. The judges, as usual, were amazed, though Usher rightly noted he was waiting for her to show her signature, which she did eventually. GREAT JOB SARAH! Wow!

Tonz: Sarah, Sarah, Sarah...what can i say that i haven’t already said previously. I love her, she is one of my favourites and even if she doesn’t win, she is sure to land a contract with a record label, of that i am sure. In this performance her voice was just so hauntingly beautiful. She made the audience feel every word she was singing, as it was so emotional filled. As Adam rightly said she enamoured everyone with that performance. 

Cathia has not been my favourite in this competition, but she won her knock out and I was ok with that result. She brought everything she had and made it to the Live Shows. Although I can be biased, I do critique on what I hear on stage. Usher, in his sometimes questionable song picking wisdom chose Queen Whitney Huston’s I Have Nothing for Cathia. *Alert…alert* I wasn’t too sure about this as, Cathia as a strong Latina singer presence which cannot hide. I actually love that about her. The only thing is that strong presence does not always mesh well with some English pop records. “I Have Nothing” is one of those that I don’t think it could mesh with. In practice, Usher reminded her not to be too rigid and hide behind her vibrato. Her vibrato is so strong, I love that too. To help her with the rigidity, he urged her to think of singing as a waltz. Then, he DANCED with her. *side eye* I was jealous! But I was back to reality very quickly. Cathia instantaneously started to sing while dancing and, her words became more fluid. *hi5 for mega coaching techniques*.
Cathia came out to the stage with great confidence. The first few lines of the song didn’t place a great foundation for her as far as I see it. Tonz thought maybe I was being to hard on her. She did stabilize as she went up the scales. She’s great at the higher octaves, but it did not overshadow the shaky start for me. I think it was the Latina vibe and phrasing that was throwing me off. She ended the song “muy fantastico”. As I said before, her higher octaves are strong and the heights she goes, she’d need an oxygen mask, but, she makes it look so easy. Overall, I wasn’t very impressed and I think that some of the other coaches noticed some notable faults as well. Usher did, but commended her on the fact that she was able to take the task of a Whitney Huston song on head first even though Shakira told him she was concerned about the song choice. Best of luck Cathia, we await the results!!!

Tonz: she actually sounded a lot better than i expected. I didn’t like the choice of song, but hey i trust usher. There were some notes gone wrong but when she hit her high notes boy did she hit them.

And now the second portion of ‘The Voice’ lol


I love this girl, she looks so innocent and kind hearted and just so nice. She looks like the kind of girl in school that is the nerd but everyone, jocks, teachers, other nerds, like. She’s my nerd friend. J Now while I did not know the song, I felt that she performed it true to her essence. As Blake rightly said, it felt so easy and natural to her, I could imagine her sitting in a cafe with her guitar and performing this song. As with everyone she had a bit of errors but they were so minor it doesn’t even matter. Adam wanted her to embrace her uniqueness and bring it out in her performance and I felt like she did. Her voice is so unique and innocent you can’t help but be drawn to it.

Giz: Totally agree! Caroline was really in her zone, comfortable and showed everyone exactly what she’s capable of!

He didn’t know who Phil Collins is?! Really? Really Vedo?! Just how young are you? *side eye* Giz loves this boy and I, for one just cannot see the fascination here. He has a good voice not a great one, but I digress. Because of his lack of knowledge of who Phil Collins is and the depth to which that song is supposed to be sung, he didn’t perform it to the best of his abilities. That is a powerful song that needed to be belted out with the same amount of passion that he sang ‘All My Life’. I heard some funny notes and he was a bit pitchy, it was totally not his best performance at all and I think the judges agreed with me as none of their comments were those of absolute praise. He did and okay effort but again I blame that on his lack of knowledge...but then again in this day and age there is something called ‘Google’.

Giz: What I’m saying is; he did not know Phil BEFORE Usher gave him the song! Google could only come into play after. Get it? Google Play! Lmao…anyway. I thought Vedo did an okay job. Definitely not his finest hour, however, if NBC would have given a Caribbean girl the chance to vote, I definitely would vote for him, because I see his potential and know what he can do.

Hear nuh, Adam’s Angels are the BOMB! They were AWESOME! I think they should just form a group when this competition is over and Adam should sign them, they should really name themselves ‘Adam’s Angels’ and just conquer the music world. They can’t lose! They harmonized perfectly! Amber and Sarah hit those key notes with precision, Caroline came out of her shell and Judith did what only Judith could do and brought so much soul to that song. Oh and Adam took them to his personal shopper (taking a page out of Usher’s different coaching books, I see Adam) to get them all uniformed and feeling like a group so that they can look the part and perform the part. I think this worked so well on every level. Wow! Giz found them to be amazing (Same Page).

Giz: *mind blown*

I like Michelle, I think she’s weird. I love her big bug eye glasses; they add so much character to her. We’ve only really heard Michelle doing rock type of songs and belting out, so it was a nice change for Usher to suggest that she show the softer side of herself through this song. I think sometimes Usher is so in tune in choosing songs that work so well with his artists and this is definitely one of those times. I was eagerly waiting to see what tactic he was going to use to help her sing and the use of the mirror....classic, great move Usher. Letting her make the song about herself and letting her see her true colours coming through as she sang, was an amazing move, I think he should write a book ‘ Usher’s Coaching Tips’ She sounded so nice and serene. She was strong on the high notes as well as the low ones, she kept her pitch and was able to make everyone connect with the song. She showed vulnerability that we haven’t seen from her and in doing so captured everyone’s attention. I loved it, the coaches loved it.

Giz: I cried. That is all!

This was the performance that I was waiting to see. This was the performance I think everyone was waiting to see. They saved the best for last as usual. I think though that everyone is kind of putting a bit of pressure on Judith to be the best and to win, because she is so talented and we love to see her perform. Anyways, as she started to sing my pores raised (omg they are raising as I write this and recall the performance) and they stayed raised until the end of her performance. It was the best performance of the night for me, I expected greatness from Judy and she delivered that and more. She had the audience eating out of her hand, she had us drinking up all the words that flowed out of her mouth, she has us salivating wondering what she was going to so on stage and what notes she was going to hit. That part of the performance where she just stopped and walked away on stage a bit had me wondering ‘wait is he done, she can’t be, what is she doing, where is she going?’ And then she turned and hit that note, yes i know there was a thing with the note, a minor thing because of her vocal nods but hey she hit it and hit it well. There was not a bad comment from the judges it was like if they didn’t even hear it. Praises all round and I totally agreed with it. Well done on the song selection Adam *I tip my hat*. Judith for the win (well at least for me) J.  Giz agreed with the fact that it was a great performance; she thinks Judy’s been reserved a bit since her battle with Karina but she loved it, thought it was effortless.

Giz: I really don’t think Judith has given 100% since her Battle. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I think she’s been coasting a bit, because she can. I’m certain that when that final performance comes and she pulls out ALL stops, EVERYONE in the audience will flat line. Judith is an amazing talent; a diva as Blake called her. She’s the top contender!

Tonz: And there you have it, night one of the Live performances. They brought their A game for sure and laid it all out for us. The voting has begun and I am a bit peeved that I cannot vote eh! NBC that is something you NEED to fix because it’s not only persons living in America that watch the show.

Giz: Please remember to follow our blog via the buttons to your left *points to left* Share the blog with your friends and comment in the comment space below. *points down like Blake* Follow us on twitter; For Giselle: @shiversniffles and for Tonia: @tonzmarie.

Tomorrow night it’s all about Teams Blake and Shakira see you there!

Till next time

Giz & Tonz

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