Chairs were a-swivelin’ like hips doing the twist during Tuesday evening’s episode of The Voice as we, along with Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Camila Cabello, were introduced to an affable Shawn Mendes wannabe, a country boy with the winningest smile this side of Yellowstone’s Kayce and a contestant who was making history for the show. How? Read on, and we’ll discuss not only her but all of the advancing artists from Night 4 of the Blinds.
Tanner Howe (Team Gwen), “Mercy” — Grade: C | This 29-year-old took to the stage well aware that he was about to perform a Shawn Mendes song in front of the pop star’s ex, Camila. But, though she didn’t turn her chair, she was impressed by the supposed sound-alike. “I thought that was Shawn” singing, she said. Not sure how Shawn would take that, mind you, considering that Tanner was “off” as much as “on” anytime he wasn’t really singing in full voice.
Sydney Kronmiller (Team Camila), “Latch” — Grade: B+ | OK, so maybe Team Blake’s Madison Hughes doesn’t have the most unique voice of Season 22. Sydney probably stole that distinction with her chill performance, which called to mind Tracy Chapman. Sydney isn’t just different, though, with a voice that answers the question “How low can you go?” with “How low ya want?” She also demonstrated a control of her pipes that boded well for her going forward.
Tanner Fussell (Team Blake), “Anymore” — Grade: B | This Nashville landscaper, blessed with a voice that can go from yodel-ish to growly, only got one chair turn, but it was most definitely the right one for him. He couldn’t have sounded more quintessentially country if he’d performed in the bed of a pickup truck with a wad of chewing tobacco in his cheek. Actually, he might have had chewing tobacco in his cheek; a few of those lyrics got awfully mumbly, no?
Eva Ulmman (Team Blake), “Light On” — Grade: C+ | From what little — and I do mean little — that we got to hear of the one-chair turn, she was fine but just fine. Pleasant, lightly twangy and not immediately memorable. But really, we heard so little of her performance, she should be given an “I” for “incomplete.”
Kayla Von Der Heide (Team Gwen), “Jealous Guy” — Grade: C | Before her tryout, this 30-year-old revealed that she’d often been told that her voice sounded like it came from another time. And sure, I could hear that; it also had a nice soaked-in-whiskey quality to it. Gwen likened it to a cross between Fiona Apple and Stevie Nicks. I’d more call it a cross between “quite nice” and “almost good.” Fine but not compelling.
Destiny Leigh (Team Gwen), “A Song for You” — Grade: B- | Another abbreviated Blind. We were given such a teensy snippet of Destiny’s singing that the most I can really say about it is that it left me wanting to hear more. If she’s a powerhouse, as her coach said that she was, let us hear at least that part, huh?
Eric Who (Team Camila), “bad guy” — Grade: C- | Yet another short-short. His coach loved his stage presence and tone. But from the little sample that we got of him talk-singing Billie Eilish, I have a feeling that he’s going to have to lean heavily on personality.
Parijita Bastola (Team Legend), “Jealous” — Grade: A | The first Nepalese-American contestant ever on the US Voice, this 17-year-old turned all four coaches’ chairs with a near-perfect Labrinth cover that had it all: passion, power and runs so long and intricate, they might have qualified as mazes. (I kinda got a Jennifer Hudson vibe.) Parijita is definitely another one to watch.
So, who stood out to you Tuesday night? Vote in the poll below, then hit the comments.
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