Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Recapping The Voice Season 7 Semi-Finals: Who's in the final? Who has achance to join them?

Tonight we learned which three artists were guaranteed a spot in next week's Live Finale.  With Chris Jamison having two song in the Top 10 on iTunes, and Matt McAndrew and Craig Wayne Boyd each having one, it would have been a huge surprise were they not the top three vote-getters.   That left Damien, who had one solid, and one weak performance, and Taylor John Williams, who had a mini meltdown on stage last night, in the bottom two.

Those two joined the rest of the remaining Top 12 to compete for one Wild Card spot into next week's finals.  The artists performed a roughly 90-second snippet to win their way back into the competition. It was a lot at stake in a very short time.  How'd they do?

Here's the run down on the singers and the songs they chose for that one golden ticket.  To listen to the performances, go to The Voice's official YouTube page here.

1. Reagan James from Team Blake with "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae
2. Jessie Pitts from Team Blake  singing"Zombie" by the Cranberries
3. Ryan Sill from Team Gwen singing "Marry Me" by Train
4.  Damien from Team Adam with "Grenade" by Bruno Mars
5. Taylor John Williams from Team Gwen with "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak
6. Anita Antoinette from Team Gwen singing "Waiting on the World to Change" by John Mayer
7. Sugar Jones from Team Pharrell with "Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse
8. Luke Wade from Team Pharrell singing "Have a Little Faith in Me" by John Hiatt
9. DaNica Shirey from Team Pharrell singing "Without You" by Nilsson

Top three performances - in my very biased opinion based solely on whose performance I'd want to hear again - were Luke, Jessie, and Taylor.  They were the ones who had the combination of passion, desire and artistry that made me feel they deserved to be in the finals.

Luke, in particular, gave his strongest performance in weeks, perhaps aided by the fact that with only six words to sing over and over, there wasn't much memorization involved.  But, finally, his unique, readily identifiable tone shined through as he connected with the song and the audience.  Jessie picked a perfect song right in her wheelhouse and did Dolores O'Riordan proud.  The quirky breathlessness worked beautifully and you could see the fire in her eyes.  Finally, Taylor, who looked on the verge of tears, put his own spin on the 80s classic and breathed new life into it. 

As for the remaining Top 12, I was under-impressed. Reagan seemed disinterested, Ryan had trouble finding/keeping the pitch, Damien was too overwrought, ditto DaNica, Anita was basically talking through the uninspired song, and Sugar screamed more than she sang.  From that group, I'd give it to Damien for past performances, especially his enchanting take on Adele's "Someone Like You."

If you want to see your favorite make it to the finals, you have to VOTE. The best way to guarantee their success is to download their song; just click on the iTunes links above.  You can also vote at NBC.com, on The Voice App, and by calling 1-855-864-230_ with the last number being the number of the contestant above.

The winner of the Wild Card will be announced tomorrow morning on The Today Show!

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