NBC’s ‘The Voice’ review: Judith Hill, Amber Carrington, Michelle Chamuel rule top 8

The VoiceNow that the sunshine is going into hiding on this fine Memorial Day, and the barbecue you ate is sitting in your stomach like a rock, let’s get to a good ol’-fashioned sing-off on “The Voice”. There were sentimental moments, a country star doing Adele, and the craziest will.i.am arrangement ever.

Before we start into the actual contestants this season, who is in agreement that “Boys ‘Round Here” may be the most ridiculous country song ever? It’s basically Blake Shelton celebrating and parodying country music at the same exact time, and somehow, he gets away with it. Also, Carson Daly’s description of Blake as “barely-sober” gets us every time.

Judith Hill, “#ThatPower” – What a super-cool song choice for her, since you knew that she wasn’t just going to come out and rap like will.i.am does. We like this version about a million times more than the original, which really just comes across as rather cheesy. We don’t know how this song will not be near the top of the iTunes rankings, just for the arrangement alone.

Holly Tucker, “Done” – After going emotional with “How Great Thou Art,” Holly went uptempo with a song from The Band Perry that is not one of their lesser-known tracks (at least for a mainstream audience). It was clear in listening to this why Blake does so well as a coach, since he allows his artists to try a number of different things. Now, the negative: The band was too loud for most of this, and she’s probably in trouble thanks to it. She is the most-vulnerable person on Blake’s team, and continues to be despite her coach’s hootin’ and hollerin’.

The Swon Brothers, “Seven Bridges Road” – The campfire element here was without a doubt cheesy, but the vocals here were super smart, and it was another way to applaud Blake Shelton (ya we might be fanboying over him a little). Giving the two a song that is not fully country allowed these two to show off a different sort of sound than they had previously. The Swon in the pink shirt, though, could’ve benefited from looking like he was jamming out a little bit more, though.

Sasha Allen, “Without You” – This is a pretty bold thing for Sasha and Shakira to do, as Usher is not the sort of dude who is just going to come out and patronize you just for doing one of his songs. “Without You” is a tough, emotional song, and we did feel like she did at least do a great job of interpreting and understanding what the lyrics mean to her. We agree with Blake here: She’s probably got herself another week in the competition.

Sarah Simmons, “Somebody That I Used to Know” – Love the song, but not for Sarah. It was weird. The entire staging looked like one of those weird Winnie the Pooh nightmares mixed with a London street corner from a Neil Gaiman novel. The arrangement was also too similar to the original, and Sarah didn’t take risks vocally, even if she did hit all of her notes without a problem.

Michelle Chamuel, “Grenade” – We love Usher’s enthusiasm, and for good reason: This has to be among the ten best performances that we’ve heard on the show quite possibly ever. There’s just something so special and unique about the way she performs with her heart on her sleeve for all to see.

Danielle Bradbery, “Grandpa” – Meanwhile, Danielle has just some sort of youthful spark that keeps bringing viewers back, and while we can’t see this getting the same sort of massive download figures that she had with “Heads Carolina, Tails California” from last week, it did pull at some emotional heartstrings.

Amber Carrington, “Skyfall” – This was a heck of a bold song choice by Amber, and it was an absolutely killer one. He absolutely refused for her to be just another country singer going on here and doing something that would make her memorable. This is going to get her votes, and maybe advance her to the next round when she would have otherwise had trouble.

Who was your favorite tonight? We want to see your pick in the poll below! Also, be sure to head over to the link here to see where you can be seeing the coaches of “The Voice” this Sunday.

Photo: NBC


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