The first week the Semi-Finals of NBC’s singing competition show “The Voice” has strong performances from the Top 5: Kristen Merlin (Team Shakira), Kat Perkins (Team Adam), Josh Kaufman (Team Usher), Jake Worthington (Team Blake), and Christina Grimmie (Team Adam). Each artist performed two songs. One song was selected by their coaches, and another song was picked by them. Most of tonight’s artists dedicated one of their performances to their friends and family’s for believing in them and supporting them in their music journeys.
Adam Levine, still with blond hair, endured more jokes from Blake about his hair color, but got his chance tonight to return the favor to Blake for publishing his cell phone number on Twitter two weeks ago on the show.
Usher opened tonight’s ‘Voice show by performing “Good Kisser” with such lyrics as “can’t nobody kiss it like you” while attractive dancers gyrate around him.
Then host Carson Daly pulled movie star Mark Wahlberg out of the audience who was there to promote his latest film “Transformers: Age of Extinction”which opens in theaters on June 27, 2014. His co-star, Nicole Peltz, was also with him who said the them song of the movie is “Battle Cry” by Imagine Dragons. A Sneak-peek to the movie was shown next.
Performance Of A Lifetime
KRISTEN MERLIN- TEAM SHAKIRA
Kristen said she played the violin and saxophone for two years each when she was younger. She says she didn’t like country music early-on until she started listening to Reba, Tim McCraw, Martina McBride, then started writing her own music. She’s singing “Gunpowder and Lead” song by Blake’s wife Miranda Lambert.
Adam said to Kristen “this is just another example of how far you’ve come . I turned my chair around but you went for the prettier one (referring to Blake). Adam asked Blake about his wife Miranda who wrote the song Kristen sang, “Does it scare you that she sings songs about shooting dudes?” Adam then told Kristen, “you deserve to be here.”
Blake said, “What Barney Rubble (Adam) said. I remember when Miranda wrote that song. She sings it in a different way. Miranda’s mad, and you’re smiling about it. Two different approaches, it’s good.”
Coach Shakira said, “I think you rocked the stage. You’ve come so far. You represent all the minorities out there and the people who didn’t believe you’d make it this far. America you should vote for Kristen because she is unique. If you hear her voice on the radio, you’d say ‘that is Kristen Merlin’, it’s a recognizable voice.”
KRISTEN MERLIN Sings “Foolish Games”
Shakira said the pressure of the finals is stressful for the artists and ‘there’s only so much pressure one person can handle.” Kristen said, “I feel over-whelmed, but I also have to believe in myself.” Shakira said the song “Foolish Games” is a timeless song with a Universal appeal and the richness of Kristen’s voice will be a good fit. Kristen said she feels that she has to “give the performance of a life-time”.
Blake “That’s the most connected that I’ve ever seen you be with a lyric. She dumped her heart and soul into that performance. That was moving.” Usher said, “This is 100 percent is on the incredible giant. You have an incredible hot young Cuban fire ball …this was definitely a good moment for you Pressure comes with this you either burst pipes or it makes diamonds.” Shakira “I’m not the only one here with chills. You are a story-teller. There have been great singers on this season. The way you tell stories is so emotional. I’m so happy with this moment. This was a beautiful rendition of ‘Foolish Games'”.
A Natural-Born Singer
JOSH KAUFMAN – TEAM USHER
Josh was nineteen years old when he moved to Indiana, Indianapolis. He formed the band “The New Etiquette”. He has support from his family and the city of Indianapolis. Josh dedicated tonight’s performance to them.
Shakira said, “I think that you have such a gift for grabbing people with these romantic songs. You always manage to deliver real consistency and solid performances.” Adam told Josh that he’s always him his weekly “humble slice of pie . You were mine, and now you’re not! He’s really flourished on Usher’s team.”
Blake stated, “That was beautiful and it was powerful. There’s no question for me that you’re going to be in the finale. You bring a lot of creditability to the show. Usher told Adam that he’s a genius for recognizing “such an incredible talent,” and that Josh “is able to touch the hearts of America through a connection.”
JOSH KAUFMAN Sings “Love Runs Out”
Usher told Josh, “This is your make or break moment.” Josh explained why music is his life’s calling, “music is the one thing that I don’t ever have to force myself to do. I’ve tried a lot of things. This is the one constant thing.” Usher said Josh has landed on the top iTunes chart two weeks in a row and that is a sign that he should be doing this. “Love Runs Out” by One Republic is the song Usher picked for him.
Josh said of the song that it’s something that is really current and he can put his own stamp on it. Usher said about artists on The Voice “these are the moments that define them”
Adam said about Josh’s performance once the crowd calmed-down “I’m out of time, because the crowd is too loud! You’re amazing.” Blake said “you’ve got some Robert Palmer. You have the song by the throat. You’re a natural born killer singer.” Usher said “He is limitless. You shouldn’t put artists into boxes. You came out here and left it all on the stage. I’m so proud! You are moving forward. I feel like this is it!”
ADAM’S GIFT TO BLAKE:
Adams’s gift for Blake was as Adam described it, “It’s a special gift because I thought I’d return the favor of giving out my cell phone number on The Voice to the entire world.” The gift was manure being poured on top of Blake’s beloved pick-up truck. Adam said “That’s crap, that’s manure!” Blake was not amused!
Well.. The good news is my truck doesn't smell like weed anymore…
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) May 13, 2014
KAT PERKINS – TEAM ADAM
Adam told Kat, “If you do the right things this this week, you could launch into the final three.” The song she is singing is “Chandelier” by Sia. Kat said the song is “a beautiful operatic rock.” Adam said this performance could be her “break-out” moment on the show.
Blake reacted, “I think you do everything right. You do the thing that you need to do to move you forward. I don’t know what the hell else you could do this week that would be better than that. I don’t know if it was your idea or Sharon Stone’s (Adam) idea.”
Shakira said, “this song was a challenge. She (Sia) does unexpected things with her voice. I think it was smart that you were not trying to sound like her.”
Adam said about Kat, “She is hands down one of the best singers we have ever had. This girl has fought her way through two elimination weeks. We know that we went out there and did something different and refreshing and we love it. Hopefully everyone else will too. This girl deserves to be here next week.”
KAT PERKINS Sings “Let It Go”
Kat said her local radio station was Country music. When she was 18 years old, she moved to Minnesota and started writing her own music which was Rock. she said her whole town supports her on “The Voice”. She is singing a favorite song “Let It Go” from “Frozen” movie of the kids that she Nanny’s. They pushed her to audition for “The Voice”.
Blake said, “Every time you get on stage and perform, there’s never a mis-step. You always deliver that big powerful ‘yeah’ at the end. I can’t wait to buy your record at the end of this show.” Usher said “that is a very complicated song to sing. Everyone loves that song from age two to eighty. You killed it.” Shakira “This was an unexpected pick for you. America knows that you can rock out. This song allowed you to show off another side of you that was really enjoyable.” Adam said “As far as vocals are concerned, it doesn’t get better than Kat Perkins. No one has been more consistent. You’re right on the money.”
JAKE WORTHINGTON – TEAM BLAKE
Jake said he took classes on agriculture in high school. His home town in Texas supports him and made shirts with his name on it. He said every time he goes on stage he’s thinking about his friends and family. Jake dedicated tonight’s performance of “Good Old Boys” song to his best friends back home who have always had his back Jake said.
Usher said, “I love Jake. Every time – such a great representation of country. That big note you have at the end. You completely sold me at that moment” Usher said and he doesn’t like Country music.
“You just need a ‘made in America’ stamp all the time.” Adam said of Jake’s genuineness, and “I’m so happy to see the right people here.”
Blake told Jake, “I couldn’t be more proud of that performance the fact that you did that song. America knows that this guy is the real deal. You need to be on the radio. We need a young guy who is proud to represent traditional Country music. An 18 year old kid just came out here and sang Waylon Jennings! That’s bad-ass!”
JAKE WORTHINGTON Sings “Heaven”
Jake is the last man standing on Blake’s Team. Blake picked “Heaven” song by Bryan Adams for Jake to sing. Blake said it’s a perfect moment to take a classic rock song and make it country. He also said “This song is perfect for Jake right now because it’s stripped down and acoustic”.
Once Jake was finished singing, a shot of his Mom and friend in the audience showed that they were moved to tears by his performance.
Shakira said, “this was something very different than what were used to hearing.” Adam said, “Blake took you out of country town and took you to Pop town for a second. It was an amazing performance.” Usher was impressed, “many people don’t get to see the behind-the-scenes. You have something wrong with your throat. You pushed through it.” Blake responded, “the thing that I love about Jake, if you (to Usher) hadn’t mentioned the problems he’s having with his throat, he would have never mentioned it. You are the real deal. That’s what I love about you.”
Injecting Something Different
CHRISTINA GRIMMIE – TEAM ADAM
Adam told Christina, “The thing that people love about you is you go above and beyond to be unique and stand out. You are not taking the safe route here. You’re fearless. He picked the song “Hide and Seek” for her to sing. Christina said about the song “It’s a huge risk doing this. But it’s going to take America by surprise. The chorus in this song it just punches you in the face”. She said if she’s off in the chorus, it’s going to fall flat.
She said this song is the biggest risk that she’s ever taken and hopes that it will pay off.
Usher reacted, “How dare I not recognize what an incredible vocalist you are because you’re here. In the beginning, I was big disconnected. It was a great risk. I wasn’t as connected as much until you started to sing without the volcore.”
Shakira said, “I was a bit hesitant of the volcore at first. I’m rooting for you because you represent all the little people like me that have a lot of power!”
Adam responded, “we’re sick of the things that people do all the time on the show. As an artist myself, I enjoy and like to try to push things with my team. We want to surprise people, we want to impress people, we want people to feel a little uncomfortable. We are injecting something refreshing and different into the show and I stand behind it.”
CHRISTINA GRIMMIE Sings “Some Nights”
Christina pays a tribute to her home town Marlton New Jersey. She said it’s a family-oriented town. When she was ten years old, she got a keyboard which changed her life. Her mom moved to California to support Christina’s dream of singing. She said she heard that her old high school is playing her songs in the hall ways!
During her performance, a large amount of balloons were released onto the stage, audience and coaches.
Blake said, “I think you just won ‘The Voice.’ This is the biggest departure in my opinion of anything that you’ve done. I liked the hell out of that.” Usher said “Happy Birthday! That was an amazing moment for you. It’s these make or break moments that defines you as artist. This is an indicator of what one of your concerts might be like.”
You should continue to do what you are doing. You are so creative and independent as an artist. Adam said, “Blake’s trying to figure out how to get drunk on those balloons. My focus and our focus…sometimes when you’re on the show, you can lose focus of who you are as an artist.” He told Christina, “Never lose sight. You are bringing people on your journey. You always blow me away. You always impress me.”
Carson Daly said “the coaches have NEVER seen balloons before apparently,” as the camera pans over to them having a balloon fight!
MISSED IT OR JUST WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN?
Watch THE VOICE season 6 episode 26 “Live Semifinals” first aired by NBC on Monday, May 12, 2014. This full episode is now available at HOLLYWOOD JUNKET until 06/19/14 courtesy of NBC. ENJOY!