If you made it past the grueling audition process for “The Voice,” chances are you can sing pretty darn well. It’s not “American Idol,” where some horrendous (but lovable) singers belt their hearts out at the judges table. (Remember William Hung?)
“The Voice” is about having that earth-shatteringly good, well, voice. But what is it exactly that makes one vocals better than another? Is it the technique? Is it the singer’s emotional connection to a song? Is it the showmanship? A mix of all these things?
People normally focus on the best performances on the hit show but we’d like to take a minute to talk about the less than stellar ones.
The following performances are in no way horrendous, but we would confidently rank them as the worst on “The Voice.”
Xenia — “Price Tag”
Xenia was a singer on Season 1 with Blake Shelton as her coach. Given she was only a teenager when she appeared on “the Voice”, her rendition of “Price Tag” is alright. However, when judged against the original version by British singer Jessie J, Xenia falls horribly flat. The fun song felt boring. Xenia also sings it a few keys lower than Jessie J, which takes any sort of challenge out of performing it.
Nick Hagelin – “Lost Stars”
Appearing on Season 10 of “The Voice,” Nick Hagelin performed Adam Levine’s song “Lost Stars,” starting off pretty strong with a soothing, yet slightly higher-pitched voice. Once he hits the chorus though, things start getting real pitchy. The expressions on the judges’ faces say it all — Christina feigning a smile, Adam looking confused, Pharrell grimacing and Blake literally covering his face with his hands. The interesting thing though is they all turned around in approval. I’m sorry, I struggled listening to this all the way through. This singer has a unique sound, but his technique is a little too green and his sound gets annoying the more you listen.
Lindsay Pavao – “Say Ahh”
With this performance, the song should have been called “Say Blah.” Vocally, Pavao has a robust set of pipes, but lacks range. She makes up for this by using popular hipster vocal affectations to cover it up. Some call her voice original but every “indie” singer sounds like this now. (Learn how to “Hip-Sing” here.) Secondly, she’s not connected with the song. When you don’t feel what you sing, it ruins the whole performance.
Amanda Brown — “Someone Like You”
Rule #1 of picking a song to perform — don’t do Adele’s biggest hit, “Someone Like You” because no one can do it like Adele. If you overdo it with ad libs you take away from the simple sincerity of her powerhouse, in-your-face voice. Rule #2 — don’t butcher the instrumentation to “make it your own.” When this video started off, I thought I was about to hear Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.”
Cody Belew – “Crazy in Love”
Here’s an addendum to Rule #1 — don’t perform Beyonce, even if you’re a guy. Why? She’s Beyonce. No man or woman can match her energy, dance moves or vocal skills. Any sad attempt to mess with Queen B comes off as cheesy. What’s with the leather outfit? And performing to a karaoke track? Come on!
His voice is decent but this rendition is downright comical. I feel like I’m at a low budget wedding.
Bryan Keith — “Back to Black”
Listening to Bryan Keith from Season 3is like running 5 miles with 0.0 incline at the gym. It’s a decent workout, but the peaks and valleys are what really make you sweat. Amy Winehouse had so much color to her voice with so many different tones to experience as a listener. She let it rip and made you feel. Keith doesn’t do that and part of it is probably because he’s too focused on technique instead of feeling what he’s singing. Notice you don’t get goosebumps when listening.
Did we miss a performance that should be included in this list? Tell us in the comments below.