Aside from a few questionable contestants, I’m pretty happy with the Top 12 we’re left with. Overall, the remaining artists are really strong, so I’m really excited to get into the Live Shows – my favourite part of the season. I’ll be doing a ranking of the Top 12 contestants during the week, including some song suggestions I’d love to hear from them, so look out for that. And join me again next week for a recap of the first live show of Season 6!
Let’s get recapping!
Judah Kelly vs. Kelsie Rimmer | The Climb – Miley Cyrus
Aside from her odd yellow and black top and silver sequined disco pant outfit combo, another questionable decision Delta made was pairing these two together. I think it might’ve made more sense on paper had she paired Judah with Tim, and Kelsie with Ellis (mainly so that neither of my Team Delta favourites had to leave…). And giving the soul singer and indie songstress a country-pop power ballad that Miley Cyrus herself probably detests? No bueno. But the two sold me on this treacly Hannah Montana: The Movie track. Both of them showed tonnes of vocal control. As always, I enjoyed Kelsie’s treatment of the melody, and her airy head voice. I’ll also commend her on improving her enunciation in this performance. But her delivery was just missing a little of the conviction that this song warrants, which Judah had in spades. His straightforward approach was passionate and powerful, matched by his incredible range. And those glory notes in his upper register will never fail to give me goosebumps.
Who should’ve won: Judah Kelly
Who won: Judah Kelly
Ruva Ngwenya vs. Rennie Adams | Human – Rag’n’Bone Man
First things first – Ruva and Rennie are BEASTS. They brought tonnes of vocal horsepower, range and intensity. I think I’d give the edge to Ruva, who seemed more comfortable working the stage, and had a sumptuous growl and some incredible ad libs. Rennie, on the other hand, matched her note-for-note with power, and I really loved his use of falsetto and the grit that crept into some of his higher notes in the final chorus. However, he did flub his lyrics and had some pitch issues in the lower regions of his range during the opening verse, and seemed a little awkward on stage. That being said, he really hit his stride when he climbed his way into his upper register, so I’m not really mad that Rennie made it through to the Top 12.
Who should’ve won: Ruva Ngwenya
Who won: Rennie Adams
TEAM BOY GEORGE
Russel Francis vs. Robin Johnson | 7 Years – Lukas Graham
I think this song choice was a great opportunity for them both to show emotion. I think Russel did a better job of connecting to the song. But in terms of vocal (and this show is called The Voice), Robin killed it. I liked that Russel was more straightforward in his approach to the melody, and his high note leading into the final chorus was killer. But aside from this, he didn’t really bring much fire. On the other hand, I will admit that Robin definitely oversang, and he does need to show some restraint and a more genuine emotional connection in his upcoming performances. But he had a better sense of pocket and dynamics, and his tone sounded great on the song. And while they were a little excessive, his runs were super clean, and his pitch was spot on throughout the performance.
Who should’ve won: Robin Johnson
Who won: Robin Johnson
Fasika Ayallew vs. Gemma Lyon | Remember Me – Jennifer Hudson
In all honesty, I wasn’t all that thrilled by other of the girls. I think it mainly came down to the song choice; neither really had enough power to fill the massive shoes of Jennifer Hudson. In terms of pitch and tempo, though, both of them did really well. I’d pick Fasika though, given that her delivery had a little more oomph and swagger. Gemma’s vocal and delivery were a tad over the top, and, once again, her enunciation prevented me from understanding more than half of the lyrics she sang. I will say that her styling was much better than in her Knockouts performance, though.
Who should’ve won: Fasika Ayallew
Who won: Fasika Ayallew
Annalisse Walker vs. Berni Harrison | California Dreamin’ – The Mamas & The Papas
In the first third of the Battle, I really loved both of the girls. Berni lost some of her affectations in the opening verse and I was totally with her. But as the band kicked in, she brought them back and kind of lost me. I will say, though, that she had rock-solid pitch throughout the song, and showed more power than Annalisse did. But I thought Annalisse stole the show with that smokey tone of hers. She also showcased tonnes of range (that head voice!) and brought heaps of drama. I think the Sia arrangement of this song benefited her greatly, and allowed her to show a heretofore unseen edgy side to her voice as well.
Who should’ve won: Annalisse Walker
Who won: Berni Harrison
TEAM BOY GEORGE
Nathan Kneen vs. Hoseah Partsch | Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
This was probably my favourite performance that Nathan has given thus far. His vocal technique can’t be denied. He hit every single note square on the chin. I really loved his harmony work towards the end of the song as well. And he really brought the bombast that the song requires. But in the end, I was drawn more to Hoseah’s take on the song. He managed to bring out the gospel elements of the song with some soulful runs. The fluidity in his phrasing was also really pleasing to the ear, and I really loved the adventurous liberties he took with the melody, which kept the overall performance of this reality singing show staple from becoming stale.
Who should’ve won: Hoseah Partsch
Who won: Hoseah Partsch