The Voice Recap: Kique, Bodie, Parijita Bastola – Top 16 Performances
Eight weeks after season 22 of The voiceNBC’s single really came to life — at least in that respect went live for the playoffs on Monday. All 16 remaining contestants performed in hopes of garnering enough viewer votes to impress Blake Shelton, John Legend, Gwen Stefani and/or Camila Cabello enough that their coach would save them or another coach would steal them during Tuesday’s results show .
Now, before we get to the discussion of the pivotal episode, I would like to apologize in advance for my review. Like the singing, it’s done live, at the moment, so all my reactions are knee-jerk. On Tuesday morning, when I read the comments suggesting that my earwax situation is out of control, I’m sure I’ll go back and watch some gigs again and say, “I’m an idiot.” It never fails. But if you’re willing to pull yourself together and endure it with me, let’s get to the bottom line, shall we?
Omar Jose Cardona, “Living by Prayer” — Grade: C | First impression: This is over the top, like a musical theater singer tackling Bon Jovi. (Likewise, ManI missed the sweetened vocals we got during the recorded episodes.) Second impression: Not a great song selection; it didn’t raise Omar Jose’s voice in a way that really lets him shine. This was less “Into the Unknown” and more “Future Is Uncertain”.
Kim Cruse, “I Never Loved A Man (Like I Love You)” — Grade: B+ | John’s “velvet powerhouse” delivered a fantastically bluesy rendition of Aretha Franklin’s classic…that I felt I wasn’t giving her enough votes to guarantee a safe passage into the top 13 on Tuesday. The notes were there, the power was there, but the song choices… Again, maybe not the wisest of choices.
Sasha Hurtado, “Tiny Dancer” — Grade: C+ | After being “pushed around like a hot potato” from team to team, Sasha came out with a cover of Elton John’s hit that was lovely at first but got a bit bumpy. Then a bit bumpy. Ultimately, I missed the impeccability and fire that inspired John to steal her. Perhaps significantly, Gwen’s first comment to Sasha was, “You look gorgeous.” Never a good sign.
Parijita Bastola, “I wish I could have said goodbye” – Grade: A | I had nosebleeding expectations for Parijita, aka Team Legend’s most consistently convincing member, and not only her met you, you surpassed She. This kid sang her Freaking lung to be on that stage and bring a strength, a vulnerability, a star quality to her performance that I was absolutely gaga of. She is not the one to beat in season 22?
Kique, “As it was” — grade: B+ | The teenager, whose trainer calls him a “diamond in the rough,” tackled a slowed down and ultimately rocking version of Harry Styles’ hit that, to my surprise, was quite good. He showed off his range, not hitting any notes that made me wince, and even pulled off the rougher elements of his cover. I just don’t see the “wow” in Kique. (Yes, I get you: I might need to get my glasses checked.)
Kevin Hawkins, “Skate” — Grade: B+ | On stage, Kevin was a bundle of pastel colored energy determined to give us a good time. At least he managed to show us one pretty good time. However, his number didn’t necessarily highlight the flawless beauty of his voice that he’s sort of known for, did it? Maybe I’ll be wrong and viewers will be amazed that he showed a different side of himself. Doubt it though.
Alyssa Witrado, “Angels Like You” – Note: C | Oh I like Alyssa. I really do. But she had as many throwing problems on her Miley Cyrus cover as I did when trying to throw a fast ball in the World Series. Maybe it would have been better if she went with a different song from her coach. Maybe not. Gwen marveled that her mini-me had been “so in tune.” Could it be that this doesn’t mean what I always thought?
Justin Aaron, “Here and Now” — Grade: A- | On his Luther Vandross cover, the one-chair turn began with a voice so sweet it was like caramel drizzled over more caramel. He seemed to struggle a bit as the ballad got bigger, but he nailed the landing so effectively that I suspected no one would remember any doubtful spots. Gwen exclaimed that Justin’s performance was “beyond my dreams” as it would sound.
Morgan Myles, “Let Him Fly” — Grade: B+ | Ha – clever of Morgan to play guitar during her performance after last week’s “Holy crap, does she have hand cramps?” Moment. The move cut down on the gesturing a lot and let us just focus on her Patty Griffin cover, which for the most part was gorgeous. “Your pitch was perfect,” Blake cheered. Mm, I’d say 85 percent perfect, but who am I to argue with Blake Shelton?
Eric Who, “Rumor Has It” – Grade: B | After Camila told us that Eric had the same instincts as Lady Gaga and Beyonce, he strutted onto the stage and proved it damn well. If the show gave an award for best body language, he would win it. If only Eric had the vocal abilities of Gaga or Beyonce too. He definitely has moments of awesomeness – and charisma to burn – but at the end of the day he’s just an above-average singer who genuinely enjoys watching.
Kate Kalvach, “You’re Still The One” – Grade: C-| After Kate’s performance, we learned that she couldn’t hear herself in her earbud, which really undermined her. While she tends to use that much vibrato, I’m not sure how much it would have helped; Her vocals shake so much that they think of the goat Blake once tried to recruit her with. I’m guessing it’s Toast Tuesday.
Devix, “Sex on Fire” — Grade: B+ | Oo, as of note #1, Devix made me live for his version of Kings of Leon. His voice was so strong it sounded like he’d been to the gym eight days a week. As his performance continued, he got into trouble with his high notes, and the arrangement never really got us anywhere. But for my money he’s the busiest star on Team Camila.
Bryce Leatherwood, “I’ll Be Somebody” – Grade: C | On his Travis Tritt cover, Blake’s only country boy sounded good…but only fine. Nothing about his performance would have really made us sit up and take notice. That said, he’s probably a safe bet to survive the Results Show since he’s (a) country and (b) basically team country.
Rowan Grace, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” – Grade: C+ | OK, first bonus points for singing Livvie. Second… oh dear. Rowan needed those bonus points. Love them, however I like to say, this performance was a bit muddled, shrill in some places, oddly loud in others. It just never came together into a cohesive whole, and definitely not one that reminded us of just how good the 17-year-old is at her best.
Brayden Lape, “Buy Dirt” – Note: B | The singer, whom Rowan dubbed “the heartthrob of the season,” delivered a beautiful, understated rendition of the Jordan Davis song that started at A and ended at A. It never really went anywhere, but it was perfectly enjoyable throughout. No vocal “Zowie,” but the teen idol factor seems likely to get Brayden a ticket into the top 13.
bodie, “Look at us” — Grade: B+ | To wrap up the evening, Bodie, who appeared to be having earphone issues a la Kate, had unfortunate pitch issues at the start of what should have been head-to-toe, intimate and powerful performance. However, he recovered like crazy, and when the song released him, he roared with emotion that combined with his innate liking made him a sure bet to move on.
So, which singers do you think are the safest bets to get ahead, and which do you think will go home? Vote in the polls below and the comments section awaits your criticism.
https://tvline.com/2022/11/14/the-voice-recap-kique-bodie-parijita-bastola-top-16-performances/ The Voice Recap: Kique, Bodie, Parijita Bastola – Top 16 Performances