For The Baltimore Sun
11:56 AM EDT, June 4, 2013
Everyone was feeling a little bit country last night as the top six contestants took to the stage to perform. Slight change in the rules (of course, to continue to keep the competition fresh): each contestant would perform two songs, one of their choice and another suggested by their coach. They are still performing to land the song downloads and votes from America, but here is where the competition gets a little tricky again: instead of two contestants going home, Tuesday brings the elimination of a single contestant.
Hold on to your teams Shakira, Adam and Usher. One is all you have.
Team Blake: Holly Tucker, “When a God Fearing Woman Gets the Blues” by Martina McBride
Holly Tucker has attitude and she isn’t afraid to show it. During Team Blake’s resident vocal powerhouse's first performance, she wowed the audience and judges with her rendition of the Martina McBride hit “When a God Fearing Woman gets the Blues,” showcasing her powerful vocals and new-found attitude (which apparently the sweet southern belle has had the entire time). Coach Shakira felt her performance had 100 percent attitude, while Usher wanted “more.” Coach Adam realized that Holly “ain’t taking no S” and Holly’s coach Blake deemed it his favorite Holly Tucker performance.
“My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
Keeping the country ball rolling for her second performance of the night, Tucker performed a song that showcased a little less attitude, but the same amount of power in her voice. During her performance of Rascal Flatts' “My Wish,” she seemed to have lost a little of the energy since taking the stage earlier in the night. Coach Adam felt it was time for the coaches to be a little harder on contestants after performances such as this one. But on the other hand, Holly’s coach Blake felt it went well and showcased how diverse Holly really is as an artist.
Team Usher: Michelle Chamuel, “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane
Michelle Chamuel kept #FourEyesOnThePrize going into the night’s performance. Taking things down a notch for her first performance, Michelle showcased those strong vocal cords during her take on Keane’s “Somewhere only we Know.” Coach Shakira gave Michelle “props” for a great performance, while Michelle’s coach (and friend) Usher felt it was a 100 percent-great performance.
“I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift
We can still hear the “Backstreet Boys, TRL screams” echoing from the audience after this performance.
OK, we have already established how hard it is for the contestants to perform in front of their coaches. What about practicing your song…and having the actual artist walk in and surprise you? After getting a surprise visit from Taylor Swift during her rehearsal, Michelle Chamuel dominated the stage with her rendition of Swift's “I Knew You Were Trouble.” When the TRL-level cheers finally went down (Carson really had a moment of nostalgia) ,the coaches were finally able to offer their thoughts. Coach Adam felt Michelle was just unbelievable, Coach Blake was so freaking jealous, while Michelle’s coach Usher knew there was going to be trouble (in a good way) when Michelle walked in.
Team Blake: The Swon Brothers, “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show
Complete with a full bar and Swon-ettes, The Swon Brothers showed just how country they could be. During their performance of the country classic “Wagon Wheel,” The Swon Brothers showcased their vocal talents and ability to move the crowd. Coach Shakira felt fun and inspired, Coach Adam felt their version of the hit was right there with Darius Rucker’s and Coach Blake knew it would be something everyone could enjoy.
“Okie from Muskogee” by Merle Haggard
Excuse me Swon Brothers, did you just say “dropping acid” and “marijuana?” Taking the time out to change the tone of their performance, and demonstrate how fun they can be, The Swon Brothers performed Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee.” Coach Usher loved how they were able to showcase their personalities, Coach Adam couldn’t see why anyone wouldn’t enjoy the performance and the brothers' Coach Blake loved how the boys didn’t forget their roots.
Team Shakira: Sasha Allen, “Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin
Finally, Sasha Allen used her powerhouse voice to perform a song that does her voice justice. Stepping out on a limb and performing Aretha Franklins “Ain’t No Way,” Sasha Allen dominated the competition once again, gaining wild reactions from the coaches and the audience. Coach Adam couldn’t help but gauge Sasha’s progress against his anger (he still regrets letting her go), Coach Usher felt there was no reason for him to be critical and Sasha’s coach Shakira felt she was just beautiful.
“Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
There goes Sasha’s dress!
For her second performance -- the last performance of the night -- Sasha Allen decided to take the country road and perform Carrie Underwood’s hit “Before he Cheats.” When the TRL-like screams finally went away, it was time for the coaches to share their thoughts…and they were pleased! Coach Blake thought the performance was amazing and couldn’t hear a thing afterward. Coaches Adam and Usher felt the performance was hot, and Sasha’s Coach Shakira felt she worked the stage like a star!
Team Blake: Danielle Bradbery, “Shake the Sugar Tree” by Pam Tillis
We now see why Danielle Bradbery has over 70,000 twitter followers. (We love how much of a teen she is, sighting her rise in twitter followers as one of her show highlights). Performing the country classic “Shake the Sugar Tree” by Pam Tillis, Danielle did what she does every week…wow the audience! All of the judges were impressed with the performance, sighting things that could be changed slightly. Coach Usher could hear where her nerves overpowered her performance, Coach Adam made it clear that he loves Danielle and is not a bandwagon fan (I think I may or may not be) and coach Blake felt her singing makes his job easier.
“A Little Bit Stronger” by Sarah Evans
Taking all of the coaches' advice to heart and coming back with a second performance that dominated the competition in true Danielle Bradbery fashion, the young country starlet performed Sarah Evans' “A Little Bit Stronger.” Coach Adam loved her, Coach Usher felt the performance was an incredible build-up to the final note and Danielle’s coach Blake felt this was one of the most exciting performances.
Team Adam: Amber Carrington, “I Remember You” by Skid Row
'80’s hair metal, meet Amber Carrington; Amber Carrington, meet 80’s hair metal. In true "The Voice" fashion, one artist was going to be put to the test with a performance of a song that was just out of the ballpark. Case in point: Team Adam’s Amber Carrington. It was time for the country starlet to break away from her roots and perform a song she wasn’t too familiar with. After her performance of Skid Row’s “I Remember You,” Shakira offered Kudos, and her coach Adam couldn’t be happier.
“Crazy” by Patsy Cline
During her second performance of the night, Amber Carrington put her country hat back on, but still faced a challenge as she performed a country classic. Performing Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Amber wowed all of those who were familiar with the song, and proved why she is indeed the last contestant standing on Team Adam. A nervous Blake wasn’t too sure how she would fair performing such a classic, but was pleasantly pleased, Coach Shakira felt it was dreamy and Amber’s coach Adam called the performance a breath of fresh air.
Keep the votes and song downloads coming, America, and maybe, just maybe, on Tuesday night’s show, your favorite artist will remain safe!
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