NBC’s ‘The Voice’ review: Sasha Allen, Karina Iglesias, and Swon Brothers shine

The VoiceThe second round of the “Voice” live playoffs is here, and we’ve learned a few interesting things: Groups can be fun, Blake Shelton is as obnoxious as ever, and the show only bothered with one performance in the first thirty minutes in order to give us montages and also Christina Milian.

As with the show Monday, there were two coaches who had their teams perform in a show that really did not need to be two full hours long: Blake Shelton’s and Shakira’s. They all hit the stage, and the performances were mostly either “good” or “really great.” The good news is that there was no vocal disaster in the bunch, and we have a sense about a few people who could actually challenge the titans on Adam Levine’s team.

Team Shakira

Garrett Gardner, “Imagine” – Giving a relatively quiet guy like Garrett John Legend’s “Imagine” is like telling a puppy to try to grow into a rottweiler over night. It’s probably not going to happen. There were some very lovely moments within this performance, but the beginning felt extremely shy and hesitant, and it took a while for the song to really build to that emotional peak that we were hoping to see.

Kris Thomas, “When I Was Your Man” – Let this be a lesson to all future contestants applying for “The Voice”: Trying to perform a cover of a Bruno Mars hit a week after Candice Glover does so on “American Idol” may not be a great idea. It really showed the difference between her vocal powerful and Kris’ own, and altogether he did a great job with this song, and far surpassed what Garrett did, those comparisons still may haunt him.

Karina Iglesias, “Let’s Stay Together” – First of all, what a super-cool arrangement that this was of this classic Al Green song. This is the first time in a few years that we have not sat here and directly thought of President Obama. Karina is by far our favorite member of Team Shakira. She is extremely talented, and more important than that, she seems like a complete and total professional.

Sasha Allen, “Oh Darling” – We’ve been huge fans of Sasha from the beginning, mostly because she easily has one of the biggest voices in the entire competition. We can’t believe that a coach actually let this woman go! In the battle between her and Judith Hill, we actually give Sasha the edge.

Team Blake Shelton

Holly Tucker, “How Do I Live Without You?” – Considering how terrible LeAnn Rimes butchered this song after the finale on “The X Factor” this past fall, Holly did a pretty good job with it here. She seems to be a pretty nice lady, and as a former marching band member, we have a great deal of respect for that. We don’t know if she is the top overall talent in this competition, but we believe that voters are going to very much like her.

The Swon Brothers, “Fishin’ in the Dark” – We’re really rather happy to see that Blake chose to give these two a pretty obscure song for people who don’t know country music. He gave them a chance to really get an identity as themselves rather than a duo covering artists that everyone knows. This wasn’t a vocal slice of perfection, but we love the stage presence and the sense of fun these guys bring. Easily, they have a chance to be the first real group ever on this show with any ounce of relevance.

Justin Rivers, “Meet in the Middle” – We didn’t have much of an impression of Justin before this show, but this was a pretty awesome vocal. It helps that this is in our mind is one of those classic country songs that makes anyone from the south (like myself) pretty nostalgic. He may not be memorable enough still to survive, but even if he does end up getting eliminated, isn’t this a pretty nice way to go?

Danielle Bradbery, “Maybe It Was Memphis” – For her live-show debut, Amanda Seyfried Danielle chose to sing a song that has developed a pretty loyal following over the years. Personally, we just found it pretty boring, especially compared to all of the other country performances on the night. She sang it well, but her voice just didn’t have the energy that we wanted.

Did you like some of the performances on “The Voice” Tuesday night? Be sure to share your favorites below! Also, you can get a sense as to where some of the other contenders from Monday fared in the iTunes sales charts over at the link here.

Photo: NBC


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