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Round of 8: Unplugged - July 30-31

There's nothing quite like an intimate, unplugged performance. Tonight, the 8 remaining singers will give us such performances, in the hopes that those will get them enough votes to stick around.

As the show starts, Ben shows that his right thumb has been bandaged up, and he mentions that knives are sharp. Ouch. Anyway, because of this week's theme, the stage has been modified a bit, and some audience members are sitting in seats on the stage. After the opening comments from the judges, we get a bio of the man that has given the competitors some help and advice while they prepared for this week; Enrique Iglesias! He has now sold over 40 million records around the world, having recorded in 5 languages, and yeah, he has a new album, Insomniac.

On to the performances. When Martha Joy was getting some advice from Enrique, he said that she could control her voice really well, despite her nervousness. Tonight, she hopes to control the direction of the votes, singing "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper. Jake thought that she picked the right interpretation, but he still isn't feeling it from her. Farley said she sings well technically, and her interpretation was solid. Zack agreed with Farley, though he added that he heard a horrific note in there.

Dwight d'Eon is next up. Enrique notes that Dwight chose one of his top 5 favourite songs of all time. That song? "Every Breath You Take" by the Police. Sass said that wasn't his greatest singing, but she appreciates what he tried to do. Zack felt that he did find a way to make it his own, but his vision of Dwight winning is "slowly fleeting away". Jake thought he made some good stylistic choices, and despite a couple of bad notes, he got into the song emotionally.

Now, let's see what Jaydee Bixby can do. Some advice that Enrique gave him for this one is to give the song that rough edge. Sounds like appropriate advice, since the song is Green Day's "Time of Your Life". Sass thought the arrangement and approach was unpredictable. Jake didn't feel that it was an honest performance; he doesn't believe Jaydee felt the words that he sang. Farley said that he needs to stick to who he is, and that performance exposed flaws that he normally wouldn't have.

Maybe Tara Oram will do better. It's possible, since Enrique thought that her singing is amazing. We'll see if the judges and the audience agree, as she sings "Heaven" by Bryan Adams. Zack thought that she started off strong, but then, it fell apart, though she did have a strong presence. Jake felt that it was an honest performance, but she didn't hit all the notes. Sass said that there was a great note at the end that made it better for her.

Moving on, Brian Melo was told that the singing is the easy part; he just has to believe in what he does. This would be a good time to believe, as he sings "She Talks to Angels" by the Black Crowes to hopefully get out of the Bottom 3. Farley said that he supplied his own power, he showed intensity, and it was fantastic. Sass thought that this was the first performance of the night where she's glad to not have earplugs! Zack thought he used his flaws as virtues, and it was killer.

Next up is Matt Rapley. Enrique told him that he needs to feel the song, and to put more emotion into it. I think that's good advice to follow when singing Bill Withers' "Ain't no Sunshine". Farley said that he has a beautiful voice and tone, but he needs to slam it a little harder. Zack thought that he's probably the most gifted vocalist they've ever had, but he needs to dig deep, and he wimped out. Jake agreed with Zack; he needed to kill those notes, but he didn't.

Carly Rae Jepsen is apparently a big fan of Enrique's. And he thinks that one would only need to hear 10 or 20 seconds of her voice before buying a record from her. Tonight, we get about 75 seconds of her singing Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn". Zack felt that she's a true contender to win this thing, because that was fantastic. Jake loved the start of that song; he got goosebumps from that performance. Farley thought she was really accurate with her interpretation.

Last performance tonight; Greg Neufeld was told that he apparently has the type of voice that Enrique wishes he had! With that nice compliment in mind, Greg closes the show with the appropriately titled "I'm Ready" by Bryan Adams. Zack thought that, at least for tonight, nobody was in his league, as he was phenomenal! Jake said it was a fantastic performance, and he has it all. Sass felt that he has the right amount of passion, intensity, and integrity.

A nice night of unplugged performances overall. In terms of "Safe, Trouble, Out", though, I think that Tara and Matt will be seen in the Bottom 3, but Jaydee may have made his last performance of the competition. I was wrong about that last week, but this week, I don't know... Tomorrow, we find out what Canada thought, and Enrique performs a couple of songs.

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Last night, we saw 8 unplugged performances. Tonight, Canada pulls the plug on 1 singer's life in this competition.

We go right into an unplugged version of "These Are Days" from the Top 8. I wouldn't say it's their best group performance, but it was nice nonetheless. After a recap of the week's performances, and a break, we get Enrique Iglesias performing an unplugged version of "Somebody's Me". Sounded good to me. Ben then asks him a few questions, such as why it took 3 years to make his latest album. He says that (a) he thought he was going nuts, and (b) he wanted to make sure he was 100% satisfied with it. After that, Enrique goes into an earlier hit, "Be With You". That gets a standing ovation.

But now, after a hair care segment, we gotta get to some results. This week, we apparently have a Bottom 2 instead of a Bottom 3. With that in mind, let's see what Canada did...

Tara - SAFE
Greg - SAFE
Matt - Bottom 2
Carly Rae - SAFE
Brian - SAFE
Jaydee - SAFE
Dwight - SAFE
Martha - Bottom 2

So it's either Matt or Martha going home. Farley was surprised, because he thought neither of their performances was the worst. Sass didn't think they were missing anything, except maybe a little extra edge. Zack felt that the best people last night are still on the couch, safe. Jake's advice for those who make it to next week: to make those songs their own.

After one more break...

Matt - SAFE
Martha - OUT

With that, Martha Joy has been eliminated from this competition. She closes the show with "True Colors", but as the others gather around her for hugs, she doesn't quite get to sing the whole thing. Next week, the 7 that remain will be rocking the house with the music of Queen, and 2 members of that band, Brian May and Roger Taylor, will be there!

 

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