The one thing I enjoy about the coaches is that they are never wanting to tear the contestants down, but rather give them good actionable advice to take forward with them, whether if it’s for the Battle Rounds, next season or their careers outside of the show. I am always interested to see if the contestant will be drawn to coaches that offer them constructive criticism. Two other things I noticed this episode were the absence of longline t-shirts (YES!) and that Delta is the only Aussie coach on the show (and that there has only ever been 1 Australian coach each year apart from in season 1 with Keith Urban and Delta both in the line-up). That’s not to say that it’s a bad thing – Jessie, Seal, Ricky, Joel, Benji and Will.I.Am (and of course, Kylie Minogue) have all been good for the show.
Let’s get recapping!
Sam Trenwith (Gavin DeGraw’s I Don’t Wanna Be; Team Ronan)
There were many things to love about Sam. His intro package (full of promotional costumes, his music shed, and his hysterically real grandma) was hilarious. He also worked the stage like he owned it. Now the negatives – his song choice of I Don’t Wanna Be; some disconcerting facial expressions; and the fact he never really diverted too far from Gavin DeGraw’s melody, despite wanting to show his originality. Hopefully this aspect of him can shine through in the next few rounds.
Nina Ferro (Annie Lennox’s Why*; Team Ronan)
*Check out The Voice U.S. Season 4 finalist Michelle Chamuel’s cover!
While the pool of contestants may be chock full of young contestants, Nina really showed what a more mature artist can bring to the table – a great deal of emotion to punctuate the song’s message; plenty of world experience; and the ability to deliver an amazing vocal. Although I did understand Jessie’s feedback to move out of her comfort zone, I appreciated that Nina (instead of pushing her voice to its limits) took her time to deliver a quiet moment. She seemed to make all the right choices as well – she knew when to apply power and when to pull it back and give us tenderness.
Mitchell Cox (This Is The Moment from Jekyll & Hyde; no chairs turned)
Even after sharing his inspiring story, I still knew that Mitchell wouldn’t be making it through purely based on his placement in the episode. He had a lot going for him – perfect hair, a lovely tone in his lower register and good vibrato. Unfortunately, his pitch did need a little bit of work. I was glad he wasn’t dejected, but instead declared his determination to come back for Season 6. I’m almost glad that he gets another year to work on his vocals so that the audience doesn’t rally against him like American Idol fans did with Lazaro Arbos.
Sarah Jane (Calvin Harris & Disciples’ How Deep Is Your Love; no chairs turned)
Not gonna lie, I definitely laughed out loud when Sarah and her mum started their hilariously awkward dancing. This is as close to what The Voice comes to American Idol segments dedicated to chicken ladies and rude/tone deaf contestants. Sarah definitely wasn’t as bad, but her effort on this Calvin Harris track felt anemic – almost as if she wasn’t really trying. Consequently, she didn’t really take the song anywhere other than what its repetitive melody dictated.
Mitch Gardner (Ben Howard’s Only Love; Team Ronan)
There was a lot to get behind with Mitch’s Blind Audition. He brought so much emotion to this song, being fueled by his mum’s passing and a lot more passion than previous acoustic singer-songwriter type contestants have. The two things that kept me at an arm’s distance were his not so consistent pitch and a slight Kermit the Frog quality to his tone. If he can push his tone out more, he could be a strong asset for Ronan.
Ben Logan (Lucio Dalla’s Caruso; Team Delta)
There have been a lot of cute children so far this season and Ben’s baby daughter is up there with the cutest. Another older contestant, Ben really brought his great classical chops, a lot of passion, great pitch and a level of emotional connectivity that someone younger probably couldn’t to Caruso. While he was a tiny bit shrill when he reached the higher notes of this mountain of a song, I was so happy that Delta turned around for him despite the fact that he sounded and looked older.
Jordan Welshman (5SOS’ Amnesia; no chairs turned)
Maybe it’s because I’m not a big fan of the original arrangement (it doesn’t really match up with the song’s great lyrics), but I really enjoyed the arrangement Jordan used (it was very reminiscent of Bryana Salaz’s when she performed Amnesia on The Voice U.S. Season 7). However, Jordan’s clenched jaw pronunciation and the same Kermit the Frog quality to his tone detracted from this audition. Also, his Blind Audition seemed very short in comparison to the others.
Sidenote: Can the Maddens record their own version of Amnesia?
Brianna Holm (Radiohead’s Creep*; Team Jessie)
*Check out covers from Kimberly Nichole (The Voice U.S. Season 8), Jena Irene (American Idol Season 13) and La’Porsha Renae (American Idol Season 15)
There have been so many amazing covers of this song over the years, but this was definitely one of my favourites. After a nearly acapella intro that drew us in, Brianna hit the first chorus with a beautiful Amy Lee-esque head voice. She demonstrated yearning in her performance along with a lot of dynamics and power. I almost wish she’d hit a strong glory note in the bridge, but I’m not even mad that she decided to rein it back in instead. I can safely say that she is my favourite of the many younger female contestants, even slightly edging out Chloe Howell.
Ranking of contestants who made it through (purely based on my taste!):
- Brianna Holm
- Nina Ferro
- Ben Logan
- Mitch Gardner
- Sam Trenwith