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EVERYTHING I DO R&B performer Vedo sang from the heart while the entire machinery of the show tried to make us cry for/love him.
TEAM USHER: VEDO VS. C. PERKINS
The songs: C. chooses “She Ain’t You” and Vedo chooses “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”
The knockout: Here’s what we know: C. Perkins maybe got in over his head with the Chris Brown song choice -- Can he hit that high-high note? Should he be singing a Chris Brown song? What does a reality competition have to do with patriarchy anyway? -- and so turns up his performance by several notches to compensate. There’s arm pumping. There’s crotch grabbing. (The most crotches.) But his voice is eh until the falsetto hits and then it’s good until it gets bad again.
Also: Vedo’s mom is dead. He’s sad! He sings a Bryan Adams song to feel better and is basically beseeching. It’s touching, and his voice has a heartfelt smoothness to it, but my generosity bleeds out after being poked repeatedly by the producers’ Dead Mom Stick. (She’s dead!)
The verdict: Vedo’s mom is still dead and he’s still singing for her and C. Perkins has a special tone and all but Vedo, y’all.
TEAM BLAKE: GRACE ASKEW VS. THE SWORN BROTHERS
The songs: Grace chooses “I Can’t Stand the Rain” and The Swon Brothers choose “Drift Away”
The knockout: Like Luke, Grace thinks it wise to prove that she can do more than country and picks Tina Turner’s bluesy “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” which she turns into a lived-in, very thick cover. If it’s bluesy, it is also gimmicky, with an extra side of bright lights and big drums. Blake warned her about enunciation -- a smart note, though her general commitment to the song’s ness means it won’t play nearly as well to a karaoke crowd as…
The Swon Brothers’ take on “Drift Away,” which is so pleasing and lively it feels like they’re cheating. As my roommate reminded me: “They could be playing on a frat lawn, true or false?”
NEXT: Blake completes his team