Last week, six acts took
the stage, all competing for a spot in the semis. This
week, only THREE will go through, meaning at least one
judge is going to get the hook tomorrow. For some, the
die is already cast by demographics. For others... it
depends on what happens tonight.
But first... our top 5 are treated to a
hero's welcome home.
The Swon Brothers
As a reminder, every iTunes download also
counts as a vote. If your single is
on the iTunes top 10 by the end of the voting window, your votes will be
multiplied by 10. This could be the boost that some singers need. One
singer did accomplish this... Michelle Chamuel at #4 with her version of
"Knew You Were Trouble."
We kick it off with "Twisted", the new
single from our very own Usher.
Now to compete... First in the semifinal
ring are the Swon Brothers. They dedicate "Turn the Page" by Bob
Seger to the many people who've played with them in the past, and the
ones that stick by them to this day.
THEY SAY: Usher thought it was an
incredible performance. Adam invents their own "Swon salute". Blake is
blown away, saying that they've set the bar high.
WE SAY: They're switching from country to
rock and back, and they traverse both fields effortlessly. They've
proven to have the fan base and the support from back home. These guys
are the real deal. A good start to the show.
is next, and she is singing for her two children.... And it's a biggie.
Whitney's version of "I Will Always Love You".
THEY SAY: Adam says that this and the
National Anthem are hard to do, saying... Sasha did an incredible job
with it. Usher says her voice will keep her on the show. Shakira thought
it was so beautiful and so pure.
WE SAY: Emotional. Purely emotional. I'm
waiting for the money note at the end.... and... she could've done a lot
more with that. Instead, it's a soundalike.
After coming back from Massachusetts and
a welcome from her former bandmate from Michigan, Michelle Chamuel
is getting ready to take the stage with "Clarity" by Zedd.
THEY SAY: Adam doesn't know what else to
say except "I love you?" (because he's always saying it). Blake likes
that she's always solid and never stumbling. Blake's waiting for her to
screw up. Usher's glad she never does.
WE SAY: It fits into her indie
electro-pop wheelhouse. A good song choice to be sure, but unless you're
a really big fan of hers (and there are a lot of them, myself included),
it'll probably sail over your head. Still, a good performance of a good
We're back in Houston with
16yearoldcountryphenom Danielle Bradbery getting welcomed by
family and friends... and classmates... and the Houston Astros (Lord
knows they need some good news this year). She's welcomed back on
the stage with "Please Remember Me" by Tim McGraw.
THEY SAY: Usher: "Amazeballs." Adam says
she can't sing a song better technically. Blake says she has
WE SAY: Wow. Another down-tempo country
classic. Who saw THAT coming? Now I'm all for doing what you're good at.
But this is the semifinals. You need to make a case. She's got a lot of
people who'll eat this up. She's not going to gain any more, I don't
think. But it's good enough to get her to the finals.
Last up in round 1, Amber Carrington
is sending a long-distance I love you to her girlfriends, whose idea it
was to sign her up for this thing. Her song, "Firework" by Katy Perry.
THEY SAY: Blake wants to hear Amber sing
something country, even though he thinks she's "phenomenal". Shakira
thought the song was "difficult". Adam thought it was an incredible job
and that she can sing anything.
WE SAY: The only thing that shone about
that performance was a) the backdrop and b) her jacket. That was blander
than month-old pound cake.
At the half, everyone is where they need
to be. The Swons and Michelle are on top, Sasha and Amber are on the
bottom. Danielle in the middle.
Zach & Colton are back in Oklahoma to
accept the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame "Rising Star Award". A charge to
keep indeed, but the Swons can make it happen tonight if they rock out
"Danny's Song" by Loggins & Messina.
THEY SAY: Usher was blown away. Adam
thought it was a great version. Blake thought it was perfect.
WE SAY: Written for a folk-rock duo.
Performed by a folk-rock duo... Ticket to the final punched. Dark horse
to win the whole thing.
It's back to New York for Sasha and her
family, including her daughter and fiancee. After a brief performance,
we're gifted with the long program, "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer.
THEY SAY: Adam thought it was a good song
choice. Usher thought it was "incredible". They need a thesaurus. I
think I counted about 20 uses of the word "incredible". Shakira says she
kept Donna Summer's spirit alive.
WE SAY: She needed to lead off with this
song and finish with "I Will Always Love You", if only to set the mood
properly. But on the other hand, this was a stronger vocal for her. Is
it enough to save her? Who knows.
Danielle dedicates "Who I Am" by Jessica
Andrews to her friends and her mum.
THEY SAY: Usher says "That right there...
is why you are still here." Shakira thought she was a cute little star
who's going to go on to great things. Blake says that she's "unaffected"
by all of this, saying how great a human being is. Awwwwwwwbarf.
WE SAY: A better choice. Obviously that's
coming from a deep place, the way she's singing to her family in the
stands. She's back in the hunt.
We're going to the other side of Texas,
Dallas, to see Amber home with family and friends. After the radio and
the boutique, we have a bit of a party. Just her and about 250 of her
friends. She's anything but "Sad", but she'll be singing the Maroon 5
song of that name anyway.
THEY SAY: Blake says "the fact that you
can make one of Adam's songs THAT beautiful? That's something." Usher
was blown away. Adam says that she sang it better than he did.
WE SAY: A step forward, adding a bit of
her country roots to a pop song, finally being true to herself instead
of ... whatever that was in round 1.
And we're closing it out with Michelle
with a dedication to... Usher. Her closer... Cyndi Lauper's "Time After
Time". "Thanks, Coach."
THEY SAY: Shakira says she's one of her
favorite. Adam thought it was better than Javier Colon's version from
season 1. Usher... "You're the winner."
WE SAY: Say hi to the Swon Brothers.
You're going to the finals, too.
So it's the Swons and Michelle's game to
beat. The other three are scrambling for the final spot. We'll see who
gets it and who's singing for a title next week. In the meantime...
ahem... Stay tuned for the series preview of "The Winner Is..." coming
up next over most of these NBC stations... and remember to support local
& independent music!
To see this episode in its entirety, or to
find out how you can be a contestant, go to