The Knockouts are often a mixed bag on The Voice, for while they give artists the opportunity to better express themselves through their unique song choices, they also give these contestants more chances to butcher great numbers. Sadly, several of this week's artists were way off the mark, choosing songs that either didn't appeal to viewers or were completely wrong for their voices.
The importance of song choice was particularly evident during Maya Smith's performance. A talented singer, Smith proved to be less adept at song selection. She chose Alicia Keys' "No One" because it is an "emotional song, yet fun at the same time." Unfortunately, "No One" is also an incredibly risky song, and only a select few can truly pull it off. Smith tried her best, but her performance ultimately fell short. Had she selected a song better suited to her voice (or had Christina Aguilera had the good sense to steer her in the right direction), she could have moved on to the next round of the competition. Instead, she was sent home far too early.
Smith's was just one of several ill-informed song choices to disappoint viewers this week. The chief issue viewers had with this week's songs was that they didn't appropriately showcase the artists' talent. A few critics also spoke ill of what they referred to as subpar lyrics.
This song doesn't suit Maya voice #thevoice Maya should've picked better— Pamela (@Mercymew) March 30, 2016
Not loving all the song choices on #TheVoice tonight. Really too bad, I think some might have made it through with different song choices.— E. Sue Huff (@ESueHuff) March 30, 2016
It's great getting to see glimpses of each singer's personality show through as they choose their own songs, but the Knockouts might not be the most appropriate time for this. At this point in the competition, the chief factor determining whether a singer moves on should be vocal talent, which can only be on full display if the right song is chosen.
Yes, song choice is also a factor during the blind auditions, but once the artists start working with coaches, they need better direction as to the types of songs that are most likely to complement their unique voices. The coaches offer great criticism regarding vocal technique; now they need to do the same for song choice. The apparent lack of guidance in this area could very well result in a potential superstar being sent home sooner than deserved.
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