THE VOICE USA
Gloria Moore (42) revealed herself to be a single mother with three kids. She has always wanted to be a singer, but found it hard to make time for herself to pursue a music career. Now that her kids are older, she decided to go for it and audition for The Voice. Gloria performed Still Into You by Paramore, keeping the pop rock elements of the track intact. Gloria displayed with what were perhaps the most boisterous and strong vocals of the night, blowing away even her teenage children watching backstage. All judges turned around for her, but she showed the most interest in Brendon. But she was also a huge fan of Lorde, so a decision was difficult to make! Both judges tossed genuine compliments her way in an effort to persuade her.
HER TEAM CHOICE: Lorde
The former Disney star Laura Marano (24) has a redemption story of her own. The once famed actress of Disney’s Austin & Ally is ready to get her name in the spotlight again and have another show at a music career. Her and Zendaya talked about their experiences on Disney for a brief moment in a cute and brief little interaction. Laura chose to sing a stripped back version of Violins by Halsey, transforming the song into more of a piano ballad. While being skilled at the piano, Laura’s vocals weren’t the strongest. But they were good enough for Brendon, Lorde and Zendaya to all turn their chairs around. Brendon suggested that she should relax and try picking a song more suited to her range. But he appreciated the artistic ambition. She showed the most interest in Zendaya as her coach, but Brendon was also a possibility.
HER TEAM CHOICE: Zendaya
The next performer to audition for The Voice was Ron Laupe (35), a humble mechanic from Reading, Pennsylvania. He personally never thought he was a good singer, but his friends and family pushed him to try out for the show and here we are! He sang the funky tune Forget You by Cee Lo Green with an out of the box country spin! How unique. His vocals were actually okay, but since the stylistic choice didn’t make much sense, it left the judges lost and wondering why the decision was made. None of the judges turned around for Ron, but Lorde pointed out that potential was there! He could maybe come back next year with a song more suited to him. Ron thanked everyone the judges for having him and walked off stage with grace.
The next performer was the Connect model sensation and self-proclaimed “African Queen”, Samantha Mandela (26)! The confident and beautiful young woman was born and raised in South Africa as a little girl, but moved to America with her parents about a decade ago. Now she wants to try her hand at singing. She told the judges that while growing up, she loved to sing and perform for her classmates but her passion for performance arts got lost as she got older. Now she wants to return to her roots and go back to entertaining others. Samantha sang Kiss of Death by Beyoncé and cited the Primal singer as one of her biggest inspirations. She even incorporated some of Queen Bey’s choreography into her audition, wowing the audience with her stage presence. Zendaya and Maluma both turned around for Samantha. Zendaya and Maluma (jokingly) bickered over who would get her on their team.
HER TEAM CHOICE: Maluma
Next up would be Leo Pear Ery (20)! He would describe himself as the biggest Katy Perry fan in the universe. I mean, even their names sound similar — Perry and Pear Ery! His biggest dream is to be able to release a song with Katy Perry one day. His backstory was rather sad, telling the judges that he survived a skiing accident and is lucky to be standing there right now. That is the reason why he chose to sing the inspirational anthem Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding. His Katy Perry themed outfit and cute but quirky personality would lead some to believe he would be a “joke” contestant. but he was far from that! All judges turned around and praised his performance. Lorde mentioned how shocked she was with how agile his vocals were. They were all trying to best to persuade him, buttering him up with compliments. The show cut to a commercial break before the dramatic decision was made.
HER TEAM CHOICE: Brendon
Next would be classically trained opera vocalist Titi Fifi Bonini (33). After spending most of her 20s singing on an operatic style, she now wants to try becoming a mainstream recording artist. She always loved mainstream music, since that’s what she grew up listening to. She actually seemed a bit nervous. Maluma was a true gentleman and offered her a drink of water before she sang so she could calm her nerves. Lorde told her to take a deep breath. She was finally ready to sing. The song Titi decided to sing was I Miss You by Blink-182, a more stripped back and slowed down version of it. She kept some of her operatic style too, mesmerizing the judges with her voice. They couldn’t see her yet, but Zendaya mentioned she just knew a beautiful woman came along with that beautiful voice. All judges turned around and were interested in having Titi in their team. Lorde applauded her for making the song her own, and Brendon told her how much he loved her unique style of singing.
HER TEAM CHOICE: Lorde
Corinne Babushka III (19) was next. Corinne is a refugee from Zimbabwe, and she came here in search of the American dream. She’s currently enrolled in a community college and sings as a hobby, but after much persuasion from her mother and infant son, she decided to audition for the voice. As she began singing Sia’s hit single, Chandelier, it was clear she’d made the right choice. The performance was exemplary - she perfectly matched the tone of the song and she hit the mark vocally at every turn. All four judges turned immediately, gasping in awe at her dulcet timbre. After the performances, they gave her a standing ovation as they all begged her to join their team.
HER TEAM CHOICE: Maluma
Salamand Norriega (23) was next. Salamand is a home grown New York boy, and after dropping out of college, he’s decided to pursue his music career. However, after the death of his favourite aunt, he’s had to take up seven jobs to support his family. Salamand joined The Voice to help out his family - a story that resonated with audience members. Salamand performed Hard Place, by H.E.R. The song was not the best fit for him, but it was clear that Salamand had the vision and passion behind his voice that enabled him to be a success in the future. Only Lorde and Zendaya turned their chairs for Salamand, and it seemed like he was leaning toward the Kiwi Superstar.
HIS TEAM CHOICE: Zendaya
Pedro Pablo Karnoga (30) was next. Pedro is a single dad with his two little girls, Maria Elena Pablo Karnoga and Santana Lopez De Rivera Rosalia Pablo Karnoga. He’s always been told by friends he has the looks, body, voice, and attitude to be a star - so he decided to try out on a whim. He sang Ed Sheeran’s hit song, I’m A Mess, and it was automatically clear why his friends told him to audition - he was absolutely fantastic. He displayed a tremendous range of emotion in the song, which is hard for Ed Sheeran songs because he’s a caucasian straight male. But Pedro made it work - and wowed the judges with his impressive acrobatics and whistle note-esque belts. All four judges turned, and as big fans of Maluma and Lorde, he was genuinely distraught at having to choose.
HIS TEAM CHOICE: Maluma
Kori Ander (22) was next. Kori is a single gay male from Tennessee, and has been the victim of, to date, eighty-three hate crimes. Audiences were stunned at his back story, as Kori had been kicked out of home after coming out as homosexual and was currently living in the parking lot of a Wendy’s, where he also worked part-time. Here to support him was his manager, who implored him to audition after hearing him humming a tune one night during the closing shift. In honor of his several hate crimes, he performed Never Look Back by Frank Ocean, the hate crime anthem. Kori was HOT, and he showed it off, in black leather pants and a red crop top. As he sang the homosexual anthem, Lorde turned around immediately. Brendon then followed suit, and as the performance ended, everyone was on their feet with applause. Maluma and Zendaya looked quite depressed that they hadn’t turned - and as a massive Lorde stan, Kori was quivering. They talked a bit and Kori revealed his story, and tearing up with emotion, Lorde walked up to him and hugged him and comforted him as he sobbed wildly. Going back to the judges seats, she told him how much he inspired her and how brave he was, and how Frank would be proud to see him sing this song.
HIS TEAM CHOICE: Lorde
Cimini Anne-Marie De La Virgen (29) was next. Cimini was diagnosed with terminal esophageal and rectal cancer at the age of 0, and doctors predicted her life span to be around 6 days. However, much like God, on the seventh day she rested because all was good, and her cancer mysteriously disappeared. Forever grateful for this miracle, Cimini decided to do a tribute to her Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of Lambs and Martyr of Nazareth, with True Religion by Lorde. Unfortunately, even God couldn’t save Cimini’s audition. The performance was less than exemplary - and in fact was slightly nauseating. As the song began playing, Lorde let out an “oop!” of surprise and listened intently throughout. No judges turned, and Cimini was visibly upset. As she turned however, the first thing Lorde said was that she was happy that she performed her song and she was honored she picked it. However, she said that maybe the song wasn’t the best fit for her voice but encouraged her to keep trying and keep improving. Maluma, Brendon, and Zendaya offered similar words of encouragement to the young singer. Lorde then walked up and hugged her, thanked her for coming once again, and wished her the best. As Cimini was leaving, she said that she would work hard to get on next season - and that she no longer believed in God, and was in fact converting to Paganism/Atheism.
Ariana Melina (21) performed Sacred Matter. She chose Brendon
Max Martinez (29) performed At Last. He chose Zendaya
Quinn Sampson (34) performed Fiesta Salsa. He chose Brendon
Kelly Clarkson has just made her long-awaited comeback to the spotlight. She recently released her second best-selling single yet, “Better Days,” only to step away from the public eye soon after its release. Over the next seven months, silence would follow, and Kelly would retreat to be away with her family for personal reasons yet to be revealed to the general public. Now, she makes her arrival back on the scene with a bold new release – “Do You Still Think of Me?”. The track, which released this past Friday, harkens back to what Kelly originally set out to do in summer 2018 with the release of the 80s-tinged, “In the Night”. The LP it was originally intended for was shelved, however, due to Kelly not feeling satisfied with where the project was headed. Things are different now, and with Kelly finding new inspiration and direction for the album, things seem to be back on track. Now, Kelly sets out on a worldwide promotional campaign that involves TV appearances, performances, radio interviews, TV ads, and more.
As a result of continued promotion and push from her label, Accent Records, “Do You Still Think of Me?” achieved a new peak on the Hot 100 by hitting #13 after out-peaking its debut position on its release five weeks ago. Two weeks ago, the single officially moved into the top 10 and has maintained a steady position at #6 on the charts while also crossing over 2,000,000 units sold (SPS). Kelly continues her ongoing worldwide promotional tour with a special performance of “Do You Still Think of Me?” on The Voice USA.
Before the performance, an epilepsy and seizure warning displayed warning of the use of stobes and other lightning techniques. The performance begins with a short video segment – taken from an outtake of the music video for the song itself. The video begins with a black screen and the sound of heels walking across a floor. The video eventually reveals Kelly walking across a black floor in heels. It pans up to show her walking up to a jukebox. She hits play, and there is a bass drop as the video fades out. The audience roared with applause then as the intro to “Do You Still Think of You?”. Kelly enthusiastically says, “The Voice – Are you ready?”. The audience cheered in response as she began singing the first verse of the new hit single. Kelly wore a fitted, off-the-shoulder black dress with ruffled lace.
A beautiful gold band outfitted with jewels is at her waist and accentuates Kelly’s figure. The stage was designed to look like the inside of the hotel from the music video for the song. An elaborate two-story set was made that sat at the back of the stage by the band. The first story had the lobby of the hotel, the second included Kelly’s hotel room and another on each side. The camera went back and forth showing close ups of Kelly in the hotel room and wide shots of the whole stage. The hotel rooms and lobby have the fourth wall removed so that the audience are able to look inside the rooms and see what is happening. The first part of the performance began with Kelly singing in her hotel room while sitting at a table in the room. In front of her on the table were a bunch of polaroids taken of her and her late love interest in the music video. She gets up from the table as she continues singing the verse and walks around the hotel room. The camera then switches to other lovers in the other hotel rooms next to her laughing, hugging, and kissing one another – meaning to show the contrast between their togetherness and Kelly’s loneliness. She walks up to the mirror hanging on the wall and places her hand on it as she sings. The camera once again shows a wide shot of the other couples.
As Kelly transitioned to singing the chorus, she left her hotel room and entered a hallway. A camera films in front of her as she walks down it slowly. The hallway flashes with a strobe lighting effect of a bright purple color. The camera then moves to show an angle from the point of view of the fourth wall where we see Kelly, from her side, walking down the hallway. The scene was meant to accentuate Kelly’s silhouette behind the flickering strobe effect. As she made it down to the lobby, she continued singing the second verse. It is then revealed that the main stage in center of the Voice studio has been turned into a lounge of sorts that is meant to be connected to the hotel she is in. She walks down into the lounge and continues singing effortlessly. Tables and chairs sit all around with couples laughing and talking at them. Dancers begin dancing around Kelly as she walks around the stage. Kelly makes her way to the middle of the mainstage where a circular platform sits – meaning to mock a stage set up in the “lounge”. As she reaches the second chorus, she stands on the raised lounge platform and the stage around her starts slowly spinning due to the use of a platform that sits on top of the regular stage. The people continue sitting at all the tables, laughing and talking. The camera shows from a wide angle of the whole studio to show the stage spinning like a vinyl record – which makes reference to the beginning of the performance where the video showed Kelly hitting play on a jukebox. The audience cheered at the unique sight as Kelly hit notes of the chorus flawlessly. For the final chorus, a disco ball was lowered from the ceiling. The stage lights hit it from all sides, and it lit up the room. The disco ball reflected all over The Voice studio making the room light up beautifully. The crowd went wild with excitement as Kelly belted multiple F#5s displaying her immense vocal talent and perfect technique as a vocalist. As the performance ended, the crowd cheered once again and Kelly thanked them.
Carson Daly, the host, thanked Kelly and applauded her for giving a “powerhouse” performance. He then invited her to join him over on his side of the stage. Kelly made her way over there confusingly, not knowing what was about to happen. “So, Kelly, I know you’re probably wondering what we’re about to do,” Carson said. “Yes, Carson, I really am [Laughs]”. “Kelly, tonight we have the honor of presenting you with a plaque for ‘Do You Still Think of Me?’ going TWO times platinum!”. The crowd roared with applause again and confetti cannons went off as Kelly’s husband and manager, Brandon, brought out the plaque. Kelly, shocked and excited, ran to meet her husband. She hugged and kissed him and looked at the plaque in awe. “Oh my gosh, this is crazy! I had no idea!” She said. Carson finally asked “Is there anything you’d like to say?”, to which Kelly responded, “Just thank you so much to the fans. You all really have been there for me since the beginning of my career. It means so much to me that you are still here supporting me. I didn’t know when I came back with this first single off my new album if people would still be willing to listen to what I have to say, but you are! And I am so thankful for that and all of you. Again, thank you so much!”