The obvious take-away message from tonight’s episode is that the producers want another young female winner this season (cue Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women). We were shown a number of great teen girls tonight indicating that we are probably looking at a winner to follow in the steps of Karise, Anja and Ellie. Not only that, ONLY female contestants from tonight got chairs to turn (which isn’t to say that the two unsuccessful guys were bad at all). Usually, I’m not really a fan of younger female contestants (apart from some exceptions like Idol’s Jena Irene, Allison Iraheta and Jessica Sanchez, and The Voice U.S.’s Mia Z, Emily Ann Roberts and Madi Davis), but tonight’s contestants were so good, I ain’t even mad. Also in abundance this season seem to be adorable children, even more longline T-shirts and of course some more of Jessie J’s vocal showboating.
Let’s get recapping!
Sidenote: Where did the door pusher from the previous seasons go?
Another sidenote: Why do the producers insist on positing that since Delta has 4 artists on her team, she’s somehow ‘winning’? Me no comprehende!
Elle Murphy (INXS’ Devil Inside; Team Delta):
Aside from the many rings that adorned her fingers and a very festive-looking dress, Elle possesses a very dark quality to her voice, especially showcased when she belted in the latter half of her performance. Combining that with an engaging sparse arrangement that evolved into a fire-y inferno (in a good way of course!), this Blind Audition was a standout from tonight. I do hope she and Delta continue to experiment with interesting arrangements, rather than deciding to do straightforward covers of indie artists like Lana Del Rey or Florence Welch.
Jay Parrino (Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love*; no chairs turned)
* Notable covers of Whole Lotta Love include those from Idol alums Adam Lambert (Season 8) and Elise Testone (Season 11).
WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TURN AROUND? I don’t understand. I know the show is heavily edited, and Jay’s Blind Audition may have taken place towards the end of the audition period, but I still can’t comprehend how he didn’t get a coach to turn around for him. He had everything I could want in a contestant – excellent pitch, great rock chops and engaging stage presence. The fact that some lesser talents made it through over him has me feeling some type of way.
Tash Lockhart (Adele’s Turning Tables*; Team Delta)
* Check out some great covers from Jeffery Austin (The Voice U.S. Season 9) and the Battle between Brittany Cairns and Kelsie Rimmer (The Voice Australia Season 1).
After a bit of a shaky start, Tash really found her footing in the chorus, when she really dug into the belting and locked in her pitch. This audition really showcased her cool smoky tone and the many colours to her voice. She does need to work on her pitch when she’s not full-on belting. If she can do that, with Delta in her corner, she’s looking like a strong contender.
Claire Howell (Jessie J’s Who You Are*; Team Jessie)
* Idol’s Angie Miller (Season 12) and Season 9 champion of The Voice U.S. Jordan Smith have great covers too!
While I was kind of hoping that she’d pick someone other than Jessie (who would push her out of the box), I can’t even be mad at Claire (who, might I add, looks like a cross between Kylie and Kendall Jenner). She kinda, sorta, REALLY slayed Who You Are. While her hair and some of her phrasing was very reminiscent of Jessie’s, Claire definitely differentiated herself with some excellent melodic changes and on point runs. I do hope that Jessie can push her 4 chair turn outside of her boundaries, though. I’m very excited to see where she goes from here.
Truman Collins (Disclosure ft. Sam Smith’s Latch; no chairs turned)
Another episode, another longline t-shirt. While Truman did have an adorable child and a cool RnB sound, he never really found his groove as Jessie J astutely pointed out. He also seemed to have less accuracy in his chest voice than in his falsetto, which is usually more of an embellishment to compliment the chest voice (unless you’re going to sing Maxwell or D’Angelo). Also, did this Blind Audition feel really short to anyone else?
Maryann Wright (Maybe This Time from Cabaret; Team Delta)
From the start of her audition, right to the very end, the thing that wasn’t particularly enjoyable was her machine gun vibrato. I’m not sure if it was her nerves or just her natural sound, but I wasn’t really digging it. She does have a strong, clear tone and good pitch, but on the other hand, she did seem to bear down on the song’s melody. While this was appropriate for a desperate, theatrical song like Maybe This Time, I hope she can find a way to make this work on future song choices.
Lane Sinclair (The Killers’ When You Were Young; Team Madden)
Although her intro package suggested that she’d be a country singer, Jane turned out to be a bit more Joni Mitchell or Jewel than Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert. Her great organic sound really complimented her simple folksy re-arrangement of the song. The main thing for her and the Maddens to work on is her pitch. In some instance when she was belting, she didn’t quite hit the note dead on. If she can work on this and make it through the early rounds of the competition, I can see people gravitating to her humble personality and interesting musicality.
Georgia Carey (James Bay’s Let It Go*; Team Ronan)
*Check out the aforementioned The Voice Season 9 finalist Jeffery Austin’s cover as well!
What a surprise that the returning contestant in the pimp slot landed on Team Ronan, who has been complaining for two episodes that he has no contestants! Okay, so The Voice is not the best at surprises. Not gonna lie, I wasn’t even mad that Georgia got this much hype. I really appreciated her providing us a palate-cleansing quiet moment, that was still engaging. Here’s hoping that she retains this balance after her Blind Audition!
Ranking of contestants who made it through (purely based on my taste!):
- Claire Howell
- Elle Murphy / Georgia Carey (I couldn’t decide)
- Tash Lockhart
- Lane Sinclair
- Maryann Wright