I couldn’t have been more bored with Monday night’s episode of “The Voice.”
This first round of live shows is being billed as the “Live Play-offs,” which I think is kinda silly. Enough with the sports terms, already! It’s not as catchy as you think it is!
As far as the performances themselves, I hate to go all Simon Cowell on you guys, but I thought they were very karaoke. Most of the singers — this time from teams Adam and Blake — sang their chosen tunes exactly like the original artists did. There was no creativity or reinvention going on.
That is, until the awesome, amazing Amanda Brown hit the stage at the end of the two-hour broadcast and blew all of the competition out of the water with Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”
Brown has been one of this season’s standouts all along, but she certainly cemented her status as a front-runner here.
“You totally obliterated the notion that you could only do one thing,” her proud coach, Adam Levine, said. “Tonight, up there, you were a rock star. … I don’t like to use the term ‘rock star’ because it sounds so painfully lame, but that’s exactly what you were.”
I had to laugh at Christina Aguilera’s reaction to the performance. At one point, the camera cut to her with a total sourpuss on her face, and her compliments after it was over weren’t nearly as effusive as Brown deserved.
“You were going for it, man,” she said, in a completely lackluster fashion. “So hats off to you.”
In the spirit of fairness, here’s a quick roundup of the other singers, who can’t hold a candle to Brown:
Joselyn Rivera opened the show with Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart a Break.” The judges loved it (Adam said she thrived in the live environment), but I wasn’t super impressed.
The quirky Melanie Martinez — she of the two-toned hair and Michael Strahan-style gap between her front teeth (see, I can do sports references, too) — actually did a pretty cool version of Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack,” but I think her quiet demeanor might not endear her to voters.
Bryan Keith sang the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” which Christina loved, saying it was the most passion she’d seen him perform with.
Loren Allred was super excited to spice it up with Lisa Stansfield’s “All Around the World” (is it bad that I associate that song more with P. Diddy than Stansfield?), but didn’t really deliver the goods.
Scotsman Terry McDermott tackled a classic with Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin,’” which I didn’t love as much as I thought I would. Some songs are better left to the original artists, buddy. But Christina was all about it, saying that Terry’s singing is easy on the ears. And Blake told him he was making classic rock cool again: “When God was passing out the ability to rock, he gave Terry just a little bit more.”
Liz Davis, who I thought should have gone home during the “knockout rounds,” sang Martina McBride’s “Independence Day,” a performance that did nothing for me.
Cassadee Pope chose Avril Lavigne’s “My Happy Ending” and didn’t rock out as much as she thinks she did.
The likeable Michaela Paige sang Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks” and, until Brown hit the stage, had the performance of the night. I like this kid (she’s only 16!) and her crazy outfits. She’s got stage presence.
Julio Cesar made the bravest move of the night, singing the Mariachi song “El Rey” entirely in Spanish.