The Voice Season 6 Highlights

On March 12, 2014, in Reviews, by Magnolia Guitar

The Voice Season 6

I make no excuses about loving The Voice! It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely more encouraging than cut-thoat where the whole show is designed to help more than hurt. The Season 6 Blind Auditions are over and the teams have been made. Before we go into the Battle Rounds, here are a few of highlights of the singers to watch in my opinion.

 

TEAM ADAM (#TeamAdam)

Adam Levine won Season 5 with insanely talented and genuine Tessanne Chin (@Tessanne) and it looks like he has a strong team again this year. I don’t think he has a single weak link in his entire team. Which is also bad, because that means good singers are going to get cut really quickly. However, win or lose, the real magic of this show is the exposure you get once you’re on it. What you do with it afterwards is up to you.

Austin Ellis is our hometown hero from Annapolis, Maryland! He’s such an amazing singer with a distinctive voice, but he’s also an amazing songwriter in his own right. How do I know? I met him while performing an Open Mic in Washington DC a few years back and have been following his career every since. He’s very encouraging of other artists and I’m excited to see him on national television. Follow Austin on Twitter at @AustinGEllis.

Dawn & Hawkes is the indie-folk duo of Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes. They are one of THREE duos this season and they have a great blend. They would fit easily on indie radio and on the festival circuit, but they might find the Battle Rounds challenging if don’t show versatility in their skill set. This doesn’t mean they aren’t PERFECT just the way they are! Follow Dawn and Hawkes on Twitter at @DawnAndHawkes.

Josh Kaufman is the SAT prep tutor supporting his wife and three kids while following his dream of being a performing musician. He’s got the tone, but he also has the HEART. Go get ‘em Josh! Follow Josh on Twitter at @IAmJoshKaufman.

Christina Grimmie is a Carly Rae Jepsen doppelganger who sang “Wrecking Ball” in the Blinds. It was a good choice because it demonstrated her dynamics, but she also knew how to use the stage and play up to the audience. And she had the big moment that works well on the show. She’s a contender. Follow Christina on Twitter at @TheRealGrimmie.

Sam Behymer is the quirky fish-out-of-water type girl singing Lorde’s “Royals” (of course!). It will be interesting to see if she can also do other things and if her breathy performance was a purposeful choice or a crutch she can’t turn off. I hope it’s the former and not the latter. Follow Sam on Twitter at @thegreatsamboni.

Cary Laine is the country belter that’s Adam’s insurance policy that Blake doesn’t win a fourth season. It’s a smart choice on her part, because she won’t get lost on Adam’s Team. Follow Cary on Twitter at @CaryLaine.

 

TEAM SHAKIRA (#TeamShakira)

Shakira has a very female driven team this season whether by accident or design. The way the show was presented, it made it seem like she was having a hard time winning singers during multiple chair turns. At any rate many of them are ‘belters’ which plays well to the camera, the audience AND the judges. But when you have so many similar voice types, the strategy is tricky. Do you play it safe and let others take the big risks and get knocked out? Or be an outlier and potentially be characterized as too ‘niche’? We’ll see.

Deja Hall performed the well chosen “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. Belied by her 16-years, she sang it impeccably and has a great range. I think the judges were waiting for a bigger moment, but it was strong enough to easily get her on the show. Follow her on Twitter at @dejahallmusic.

Ddendyl taught herself to play the piano and violin and currently lives in Washington DC as a lounge singer. She performed “Stand By Me” for her blind audition. She has a Norah Jones quality to her voice. Some of her elongated long vowel sounds are a little ‘interesting’, but I give everyone the benefit of the doubt in the blinds due to nerves. I’ll be watching closely since she represents DC! Follow her on Twitter at @ddendyl.

Jeremy Briggs plays gigs at night with his band when not working at the California Unemployment Appeals Office. As one of the few men on Shakira’s team he stands a good chance if he gets good song choices in the Battle Rounds because he’s bound to be paired with one of the women. Follow Jeremy on Twitter at @j_briggsmusic.

Also watch Lindsay Pagano (@lindsaypagano) and Clarissa Serna (@ClarissaSerna) because they are also strong contenders.

 

TEAM USHER (#TeamUsher)

Only time will tell if Usher gets upgraded to full judge after Cee-Lo announced his departure from The Voice this year. What became clear from Usher’s last appearance was that he has the real-deal vocal skills when there isn’t a lot of heavy production covering them up and that’s earned him a lot of respect.

The Brothers Walker (identical twins Coty and Clinton Walker) is one of THREE duos this year and might be one of my FAVORITES based on their Blind Audition alone. Their enthusiasm and their blend are incredible! Of course the challenge with duos is finding moments for each person. The Swon Brothers (Team Blake) successfully did that and they should take note. Their non-R&B uniqueness will take Usher to the end like his keen eye on Michele Chamuel (Team Usher) another of my favorites. Follow the brothers on Twitter at @BrothersWalker.

Madilyn Paige, another 16-year old, performed “Titanium” for biggest audience she’s ever performed for. What she lacked in stage presence she made up for in range. It’s unusual there aren’t more of her musical ‘type’ in the competition this year, but that will work in her favor. Follow Madilyn on Twitter at @MadilynPaige_.

Bria Kelly has a BIG bluesy Janis Joplin-esque voice for just 17-years old. It will play well for the audience and the Battle Rounds. Keep your head on straight girl! Follow Bria on Twitter at @briakelly.

 

TEAM BLAKE (#TeamBlake)

Over all, Blake also has a very solid team of singers obviously skewing a little bit in the country direction with some good exceptions to add diversity. Here are the stand-outs.

Alaska and Madi are one of THREE duos this year. While they performed a solid version of The Civil War’s “Barton Hollow” their two voices lack a bottom end not uncommon with girl groups. Follow Alaska & Madi on Twitter at @AlaskaandMadi.

Megan Rüger is hard to miss with her rockin’ faux-hawk and performance of Pink’s “Just Like a Pill”. She was a little nasal in the pre-chorus, but she opened up with an amazing full voice in the chorus. If she keeps that in check, she’ll last in the competition with her pitch and charisma. It’s almost like she’s Blake’s insurance policy against Adam! Follow Megan on Twitter at @meganruger.

Ria Eaton performed “Cups (When I’m Gone)” which is actually a update of an old Carter Family Song. She has a great voice, but should watch out on the runs at the end of the phrases and she pushed her full-voice too hard when she should have used her middle voice, but her head voice is fantastic. I’ll just consider it nerves and she’ll work out the kinks with her coach. Follow Ria on Twitter at @riamusic.

 



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