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Posts Tagged ‘News’

Iggy Azalea’s ‘The New Classic’: Review Revue

ae83940a96ce177536a5959f7d4a7a32 Iggy Azalea’s ‘The New Classic’: Review Revue

Iggy Azalea finally delivered her debut album The New Classic today (April 22), and it finds the Aussie model and MC weaving her rags-to-riches tale over top-notch pop production. While it never goes into good kid, m.A.A.d city levels of specificity, the LP is still an intriguing listen, showing how a female rapper not named Nicki can balance hip-hop “authenticity” with blatant pop chart aspirations. Rather interestingly, the fact that Iggy’s entire shtick is openly built on a fake Southern accent may actually make it easier for her to navigate that divide.

But that doesn’t mean she stuck the landing. We gave The New Classic a 2.5/5, saying “most of the album simply sounds stale” and that the reliance on lyrical generalities “makes Azalea’s Cinderella story seem rather ordinary.” That middle-of-the-road assessment seems to sum up the rather tepid tide of the reviews out there. Maybe she was just doomed from the get-go because of that audacious title.

Head below for a roundup of critical reactions to her debut.

:: Rolling Stone matched our score, highlighting her curious rap accent and shameless pop hooks, concluding, “If this is the future, it’s one strange place.”

:: HipHopDX likewise handed out a 2.5, opining, “The level of production and collaborators far outshines the work of the lead emcee.”

:: SPIN called it a “stone cold dud” and “a state of the art 2011 album” in their 4/10 review. “The New Classic establishes the Australian artist as a competent rapper with a decent ear for hooks, but that’s about it.”

:: Time says it’s “a paint-by-numbers exercise in what a modern rap album should be” and notes “she’s perhaps already run out of things to say on her supposed classic.”

:: Deadspin (apparently covering music now!) said, “It’s ultimately a missed opportunity to get to know more about an artist who’s very possibly more multifaceted than she lets on. Equal parts flaw and flair, it seems destined to take its place in hip-hop’s pantheon of albums with unfortunately overenthusiastic titles, alongside inductees like Slim Thug’s gold-selling Already Platinum and Puff Daddy’s forgotten Forever.”

:: The New York Times offered up a report card-style review with this final evaluation: “Student is an extremely hard worker, but so much so that what’s loudest much of the time is the labor involved, not the art itself. Student’s complete commitment to character and form compensate slightly for the unrelenting weirdness of this project.”

:: The Guardian was slightly more impressed, grading a 3/5. “Azalea’s rags-to-riches story shines on Work, but elsewhere her ‘bow down to a goddess’ schtick grows tiring.”

:: The Line Of Best Fit was the most positive of the bunch, scoring an 8/10 and calling it an “an ambitious pop-rap record” that could inspire listeners, suggesting listeners “Let her gospel be an allegory for your rise.”

What do you think of Iggy’s debut LP? Let us know in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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Win A Copy Of Iggy Azalea’s ‘The New Classic’!

ae83940a96ce177536a5959f7d4a7a32 Win A Copy Of Iggy Azalea’s ‘The New Classic’!

Miss Iggy “I-G-G-Y” Azalea‘s been hard at work (work, work, work, workin’ on her sheeeeet) crafting her debut album for years.

And at last, the record’s finally seeing the light of day this week: The New Classic is out in stores today (April 22), featuring cuts like “Work,” her booty-bouncer “Bounce,” “Change Your Life (feat. T.I.)” as well as “Impossible Is Nothing” and of course, her Charli XCX-assisted ode to excess, “Fancy.”

You ready to bow down to a goddess? You wanna get caught in the Black Widow‘s web? It’s super easy — just head below to find out how.

THE PRIZES

5 copies of The New Classic

HOW TO WIN

1.) “Like” us on Facebook, if you haven’t already.
2.) Leave us a comment telling us your favorite track off of Iggy’s debut. (Grab it on iTunes and stream it now on Spotify or Beats!)

Note: You must use your email address to leave the comment — that’s how we’ll contact you if you win!

5 winners will be randomly selected and notified via email on Tuesday, April 29. Good luck!

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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Alexa Goddard Arrives With “Marilyn”: Watch The Lyric Video For Her Electro-Pop Debut

951247a0ee47fc006f2ff4ba91db68fb Alexa Goddard Arrives With “Marilyn”: Watch The Lyric Video For Her Electro Pop Debut

Alexa Goddard doesn’t want to be normal, she informs us on her debut single. She wants to be someone, like Marilyn Monroe. Lofty aspirations, for sure, but Alexa isn’t some wide-eyed newbie who’s just starting to daydream about fame and excess and the glamorous life. The 23 year old has been at it for a few minutes now, having done time as a “YouTube sensation” and featured on songs by Trans Siberian Orchestra (with whom the singer toured several years back) and fellow British artist Wiley.

So here we are with “Marilyn,” Goddard’s first proper, major label single. It’s not going to revolutionize the pop scene in any way, shape or form — and in fact, the opening lyrics (“Let’s go down to Carnaby, get fucked up like we’re royalty”) veer a bit too close to the Shamelessly Borrowing From Lorde‘s “Royals” department. But all in all, “Marilyn” is a harmless pop track that might please the casual tween-aged radio listener…or soccer moms looking for a slab of edginess to spice up their afternoon.

Listen to Alexa Goddard’s debut single “Marilyn” above.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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Bad Suns’ “Salt” Gets A Dance Overhaul Courtesy Of Peter Thomas: Idolator Premiere

90e2700dd7a42b63c3baf4b546b77345 Bad Suns’ “Salt” Gets A Dance Overhaul Courtesy Of Peter Thomas: Idolator Premiere

Bad Suns really should be on your radar. The LA-based quartet’s Transpose EP landed at number 41 on the Billboard 200 and their debut single “Cardiac Arrest” made major waves on alternative radio. Throw in high-profile tour support slots for Fitz And The Tantrums and, currently, The 1975 and you have a band on the cusp of a major commercial breakthrough.

Their material is certainly catchy enough to crossover to top 40 radio and the guys have even called on Betty Who‘s right-hand man Peter Thomas to remix new single “Salt”. He gives the already synth-strewn anthem an irresistible new wave sheen that conjures English bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode (in their happier moments). Listen to the winning dance overhaul after the jump.

Bad Suns On Tour:
4/10/2014: Santa Ana CA- Constellation Room**
4/16/2014: Los Angeles CA – Club Nokia^
4/17/2014: San Francisco CA – The Fillmore^
4/18/2014: San Francisco CA – The Fillmore^
4/21/2014: Sacramento CA – Ace of Spades^
4/23/2014: Portland OR – Roseland Theatre^
4/24/2014: Seattle WA – Showbox^
4/25/2014: Victoria BC – Sugar Nightclub^
4/26/2014: Vancouver BC – Vogue Theatre^
4/28/2014: Edmonton AB – Starlite Room^
4/29/2014: Calgary AB – Flames Central^
5/1/2014: Winnipeg MB – Garrick Center^
5/2/2014: Minneapolis MN – First Ave^
5/3/2014: Madison WI – Orpheum^
5/4/2014: Pontiac MI – Royal Oak^
5/5/2014: Columbus OH – The LC Pavillion^
5/6/2014: Toronto ON – Kool Haus^
5/8/2014: New York NY – Terminal 5^
5/9/2014: Providence RI – Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel^
5/10/2014: Boston MA – Royale^
5/11/2014: Baltmore MD- Rams Head Live!^
5/12/2014: Washington DC – 9:30 Club^
5/13/2014: Carrboro NC – Cat’s Cradle^
5/14/2014: Charlotte NC – The Fillmore^
5/15/2014: Nashville TN – Marathon Music Works^
5/16/2014: Gulf Shores AL- Hangout Fest^
5/17/2014: St. Petersburg FL- Vinoy Park^
5/19/2014: Jacksonville FL – Free Bird Live^
5/20/2014: Ft Lauderdale FL – Culture Room^
5/21/2014: Orlando FL – House of Blues^
5/22/2014: Atlanta GA – Buckhead Theatre^
5/23/2014: Birmingham AL- Bottletree^
5/24/2014: Baton Rouge LA- Spanish Moon^
5/26/2014: Houston TX- Bronze Peacock Room- HOB^
5/27/2014: Dallas TX – HOB- Cambridge Room^
5/28/2014: Tulsa OK- Cains Ballroom^
5/29/2014: Dallas TX- House Of Blues Dallas^
5/30/2014: Austin TX- Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater^
6/01/2014: New Orleans LA- House of Blues^
6/03/2014: Charleston SC- Music Farm^
6/04/2014: Norfolk VA- The Norva^
6/05/2014: Baltimore MD- Rams Head Live!^
6/06/2014: New York NY- Mercury Lounge**
6/07/2014: Richmond VA- Strange Matter**
7/04/2014: Milwaukee WI- Summerfest**
7/05/2014: Sauget IL- Pop’s**
7/06/2014: Nashville TN- 3rd & Lindsley**
7/07/2014: Kansas City MO- The Riot Room**
7/09/2014: Minneapolis MN- 7th St Entry**
7/10/2014: Chicago IL- Schubas Tavern**
7/11/2014: Cincinnati OH- Bunbury Music Festival
7/12/2014: Sterling Heights MI- MO POP Fest
7/19/2014: Englewood CO- Fiddler’s Green Ampitheater

**headlining date
^ with The 1975

Do Bad Suns have a hit on their hands with this remix? Have your say in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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Watch Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX Perform “Fancy” On ‘Good Morning America’

2711c3532bd1810d6fee41a89cc470e3 Watch Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX Perform “Fancy” On ‘Good Morning America’

After the debut live performance of “Fancy” last month at the mtvU Woodies, Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX brought the hyphy hair-flipper to Late Night, and today (April 22) they marked the release of The New Classic by performing it for the early risers watching Good Morning America. While the pop stars stuck with the Clueless visual aesthetic, this time the setting was the high school hallway, and everyone was decked out in black-and-white instead of Cher’s iconic yellow plaid.

Charli was sassy as ever, and Iggy seemed to be enjoying herself on the big day. Watch “Fancy” up top, and head below for Iggy’s interview about the new album.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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Avril Lavigne’s “Hello Kitty” Video Is Probably The Worst Thing You’ll Watch All Week

0bf33227bf2560d00b3bcb2d5cd4c118 Avril Lavigne’s “Hello Kitty” Video Is Probably The Worst Thing You’ll Watch All Week

“Oh, no — there’s dubstep?” Those were words muttered in our office — mind you, after a string of various other laments — upon watching Avril Lavigne‘s “Hello Kitty.” Apparently there’s a demand somewhere out there for yet another single and music video off the Canadian singer’s dearly departed, self-titled fifth album, so voila.

To be honest, I kind of shut down physically and emotionally after the first four seconds here. Has anyone reminded Avril that she’s nearly 30 lately? See if you fare any better by watching above, and keep this in mind: “Hello Kitty” took four people to write, including Chad Kroeger. Konichiwa, bitches.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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Nicki Minaj Says “Hell No,” ‘The Pink Print’ Will Not Have A “Starships” Or “Super Bass”

00ef3e1c8ff84d5cf8681d3bcfd163cb Nicki Minaj Says “Hell No,” ‘The Pink Print’ Will Not Have A “Starships” Or “Super Bass”

The “Nicki Minaj is returning to her hip-hop roots” narrative is already in high gear, even though Minaj has yet to officially release a track from her forthcoming album The Pink Print. But the storyline is undeniable, from the Jay Z-referencing album title to the furious rhymes she has unleashed so far this year on tracks like “Lookin’ Ass” and “Chi-Raq,” and even factoring in her uncharacteristically toned-down new looks. But now Nicki herself has confirmed she’s focusing on rap and isn’t worrying so much about pop sheen this time around.

When asked whether the new LP will have a song like “Starships” or “Super Bass,” Minaj responded with a simple “Hell no.” “The tracks on Pink Print are back to my hip-hop roots,” she told MTV in a recent interview. “And I don’t think it’s something that I’m necessarily trying to do. As soon as I started working on my new album, that’s just the songs that I’ve been writing.”

“I went so far to the other side that there’s only one place to go from there,” she added. “You can either continue doing costumes or you can just say, ‘Hey guess what? This will shock them even more. Doing nothing will shock them even more.’”

[via MTV]

Are you disappointed Nicki won’t try to top the sugar rush of “Starships?” Let us know in the comments.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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Katy Perry Is A Master Of Disguise In “Birthday” Video Teaser: Watch

31a73d52d33b37c785db3d571a2b41ef Katy Perry Is A Master Of Disguise In “Birthday” Video Teaser: Watch

Katy Perry channels her inner Eddie Murphy/Mike Myers in a new teaser clip for her forthcoming “Birthday” video. Filmed documentary style, it features interviews with “The World’s Worst Birthday Party Entertainers,” who are all depicted by an unrecognizable Perry thanks to some blockbuster movie-worthy makeup. KP plays an elderly woman who inspired “The Lady Is A Tramp,” a Jewish comedian, a drunken clown and other washed up party hacks. It’s… funny, or whatever.

The video for her fourth Prism single will premiere April 24, and promises to show KP in even more disguises. Check out the preview up top.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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Austin City Limits 2014: Eminem, Outkast, Skrillex, Pearl Jam To Headline

c35f4f95bc50a39ff2009b72d147f947 Austin City Limits 2014: Eminem, Outkast, Skrillex, Pearl Jam To Headline

Following Eminem‘s Texas-themed Instagram post hinting he’d be headlining Austin City Limits this year, the official 2014 lineup has been announced, and Marshall Mathers is indeed at the top of the bill. Em will headline the fall festival along with Pearl Jam, Outkast, Beck and Skrillex, the latter serving as the lone youngster on the top line. But millennials will find plenty to like on the lineup’s second row, with Calvin Harris, Lana Del Rey, Lorde and Foster The People rounding out the second level of acts.

Idolator faves like Zedd, Major Lazer, Chromeo, Chvrches, Phantogram, Iggy Azalea, Icona Pop, Capital Cities, Sam Smith, Kodaline and Bleachers also made the cut, along with a bevy of under-the-radar artists. They’ll perform across eight stages at Austin’s Zilker Park over two weekends, October 3-5 and 10-12. Passes for both weekends go on sale today (April 22) at 11 a.m. ET at the ACL site.

Check out the full lineup here.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.



 

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‘The Voice’ Recap: Live Playoffs Begin With Killer Covers Of Adele & Katy Perry

1f995af3f1cac4f654045167692e50d4 ‘The Voice’ Recap: Live Playoffs Begin With Killer Covers Of Adele & Katy Perry

“Tonight the stakes are at an all time high,” Carson Daly said with no further explanation as he introduced the premiere of The Voice Live Playoffs. Twelve finalists finally got their chance to compete for a voting public, with the voting duties of Usher, Shakira, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton officially relieved.

With the launch of the live show brought some of the typical NBC Voice-isms. Part of the TODAY cast made an appearance (no Al Roker = no one cares). The awkwardness of the social media box was back in full force. Carson tried desperately to keep the verbose coaches on a timetable. Equipment went down. The best part of the show has returned in all of its glory, and the audience is no longer just along for the ride, but calling the shots.

Here are the 12 singers who competed for the 10 remaining spots.

Team Usher – Bria Kelly
Time to tread on sacred ground, or at least to hear the coaches talk about said ground, because Bria Kelly kicks off the Live Playoffs with Adele! Bria, who had a breakout performance with “Wild Horses” last week, moves into this decade with “Rolling In The Deep.” In an effort to avoid a “karaoke” version, Bria gives it more of a rock edge, and even uses her guitar.

Let’s clarify that: she wears her guitar. Again. In front of a flame background imported straight from an ’80s music video, Bria belts out the song and it in no way sounds karaoke. The fact that both of her hands are on her guitar for only about 10 seconds toward the end, however, proves to be a weird distraction. Reminder, Voice contestants: instruments aren’t accessories.

“Taking an Adele song is really a challenge, because her voice is so unique, but if anyone could do it, it was you,” says Shakira. “I love it when you get all fierce like that.”

“The key is hard because it’s a lower key. I selfishly want to hear it in a higher key,” says Adam, who adds, “It was angsty and it was young and it was different.”

“It is courageous to step in the shadows of incredible artists, but that becomes a motivation for incredible artists,” says Usher. “I felt fire in your voice. I felt like you killed it.”

Team Adam – Delvin Choice
Delvin Choice, the Starbucks barista who turned all four chairs, continues his stint on Adam’s team with the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody.” “You need to sing this like you’re dying,” says Adam, before demonstrating what that sounds like to Delvin. Instead of giving it such a romantic desperation, however, Devlin chooses to add joy to the song and dedicates it to his parents for their 25th anniversary.

It is underwhelming, and has a cruise ship vibe… until Delvin nails the final high notes. Not even the cruise ships with functioning plumbing have singers that can hit these notes.

“This week, [your hair] is back in the calzone, and you still sang the crap out of it,” says Blake.

“This is, in fact, one of the most nostalgic songs of all time and you did not disappoint,” says Shakira. “Your command of falsettos and trills and runs is just superb.”

Coach Adam praises Delvin’s efforts. “This song is basically building up to a cathartic moment over there with some lucky young lady, and I’m so happy that that all came to fruition,” he says.

Team Shakira – Dani Moz
Dani Moz is carving a niche for herself covering poppy rock ballads. Last week, the coaches raved about her Lady Gaga cover, and this week she attempts the challenging  “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink.

Her performance doesn’t embellish too much on the original, but earns a standing ovation from her coach, and a near lip-kiss from Carson Daly (a prize in and of itself). The coaches also have rave reviews.

“It was so powerful, but I wanted there to be more dynamics,” says Adam. Shakira practically leaps out of her chair to strangle him she disagrees so strongly.

“I didn’t know if you were going to take one of those Dani moments that we’re use to you making,” says Blake. “It changed everything when you did that.”

“You did unbelievably well. You were so fantastic. Your dynamics were perfect. You were so heartfelt,” says her coach.

Team Blake – Audra McLaughlin
Blake’s female country artist, Audra McLaughlin, goes even more classic than Martina McBride when she sings “Angel Of The Morning” by Juice Newton. It’s a little breathy to begin, but builds to a powerful performance that earns a standing ovation from her coach.

“You have such an incredible, powerful yet very personal voice,” says Usher. “Maybe it’s just a girl thing for you to hold notes that long. Because I have to pee if I hold notes that long,” he adds, inexplicably.

“I know you’ve been going to school to be a medical assistant, and I just don’t think that’s what you’re going to be doing with your life,” says Blake “You are, I swear, one of my favorite country singers.”

Team Usher – T.J. Wilkins
Team Usher’s T.J. Wilkins chooses John Mayer’s “Waiting On The World To Change” as a contemporary pick to deviate from his typically classic choices. Before his performance, T.J. solicits some tips from Usher, who shows him how to incorporate onstage theatrics. The result is a lot of pointing and arm gesturing during the big performance, but T.J. still brings it vocally.

“I’m always rooting for you T.J., because you are extraordinary,” says Shakira.

“It is hard to not pull for this guy, even as an opposing coach,” says Blake.  “You have something that’s infectious about you (in a good way).”

“This was the first time I got to see a different side of you,” says Usher. “You’re a leader. And that, right there, is what being a performer is.”

Team Adam – Christina Grimmie
It will be hard to top her reviews from last week, especially Usher’s comment that she is a “Baby Celine Dion,” but Christina Grimmie gives it a go with another pop hit. The former YouTuber chooses Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” and sounds effortless in her delivery.

“You are 100% proof that dynamite comes in small packages,” says Blake “For me, as an opposing coach, you’re the artist to beat on Adam’s team.”

“Your range is just so impressive. You nailed it girl,” says Shakira.

“I continue to be just more and more impressed and surprised at what you’re capable of,” says Adam. “I might as well have been watching the VMA’s.”

Team Blake – Sisaundra Lewis
Blake’s powerhouse vocalist Sisaundra Lewis takes on the Elton John hit “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” As always, she delivers a very consistent performance, and one that blows the coaches away vocally.

“Does it get any better than this? Every time you come out here you blow everybody’s socks off,” says Usher, who compares Sisaundra to Patti LaBelle.

“The restraint that you showed was the most beautiful part of your performance,” adds Adam.

“I hope that you are taking all this in,” Blake says of Sisaundra’s consistent rave reviews. “You left the music industry for 10 years, and you’ve always been in the shadows. I hope you are enjoying what’s happening.”

Sisaundra is certainly a powerful force, though so much of voting at this point relies on how many people will download the contestants’ performances on iTunes. It remains to be seen whether or not this young audience will rush to download an Elton John single that’s so old that the version with George Michael was the updated take.

Team Shakira – Kristen Merlin
Country singer Kristen Merlin is in for an onstage surprise when she performs Sugarland’s “Stay.” The number, picked by Shakira and Kristen to showcase Kristen’s vulnerability, is a strong choice for the only country artist left that is not on Team Blake. Her performance is simultaneously sweet and powerful… until her microphone goes out. Seemingly unfazed by the technical difficulty, Kristen keeps singing, until a new mic is handed to her for the very last note.

In spite of audio issues (or perhaps because of them), the audience loves Kristen, and the coaches are stunned by her professionalism.

“You handled it so gracefully; it was as if nothing had happened,” says Adam. “I would have been in a puddle of my own nerves.”

“You keep getting better and better every time you step out here,” says Blake. “For you to take that chance and sound that incredible, I’m kicking myself,” he adds, lamenting not turning for Kristen back in the Blind Auditions.

“Your performance was so heartfelt and so moving,” says Shakira. “We were just mesmerized by what you were delivering.”

Team Adam – Kat Perkins
Up next is Team Adam’s singing nanny, Kat Perkins. The rocker stays in her wheelhouse with Heart’s “Magic Man.” She delivers everything she sets out to deliver, and proves herself to be a rocker with an impressive range. Her coach is downright giddy after the performance.

“Am I correct: were you a nanny?” Blake asks. “You’re a rock star.”

“That was really amazing. Your voice is dope,” says Usher. “You really have what it takes to be on the radio right now.”

“It’s impossible to sing these songs,” says Adam. You do it with the same power, charisma, proficiency and soul that all these guys did it with. It’s mind-blowing.”

But will it get downloads?


Team Blake – Jake Worthington

The ultimate country crooner in the competition, Jake Worthington, stays the course with his performance of Travis Tritt’s “Anymore.” Blake, in turn, stays the course with evangelizing a young audience to become ’90s country fans. Whether it’s the nerves, or the weight of his huge hat, the performance is one of his weakest.

“You may be the most endearing contestant on this show,” says Shakira. “You’re showing us and everyone out there who’s trying to make a career out of music that honesty goes a long way.”

“The pitch was perfect, but that’s what happens with a cowboy like you,” says Blake. “You nailed it, dude.”

Before leaving the stage, Jake yells a shout out to his girlfriend.

Team Shakira – Tess Boyer
Team-hopping Tess Boyer was with Blake and Usher before landing with her current coach, Shakira. Both guys must be kicking themselves, because she’s starting to stand out in the pack of finalists. Tess sings Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There For You,” and wants to make it sound more modern. While it’s hard to see said modernization, it’s a fun ’90s throwback, and an on-pitch delivery of some challenging notes.

“I think you are the artist on Team Shakira to beat,” says Blake, his second such prediction of the evening.

“It has never been a question whether you would go this far,” says Usher. “We as a collective celebrate you.”

“No one can deny your prowess as a technical singer,” says Shakira. “You are so admirable. She’s so damn smart.”

Team Usher – Josh Kaufman
Closing out the night is Josh Kaufman, who landed this coveted position by performing Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.”

Or was it the Ushersizes? Usher, in an effort to get Josh to open up on stage, has him do a few awkward laps around the stage during rehearsals. It must be the needed steps for success, because Josh overcomes the awkward audience clapping to bring down the house.

“I’m such a fan of yours. You are so clever to start the song so understated and contained, to later on just knock us out with the sickness of your voice,” says Shakira.

Lamenting letting Josh go, Adam says, “I am so stupid.” He goes on to praise Josh’s performance, and adds, “I have almost a borderline anxiety attack when the audience starts clapping out of time.”

“You are the guy to beat on Team Usher,” says Blake in his third and final prediction of the evening.

“I have to give it to Adam, because he got you prepared, and then you came over here and just took it away,” says Usher. “You told all of us a story, and completely commanded this entire room.”

And so they’re off, with only a voting audience and a live save in between the contestants and their eliminations. Two will go home tonight… but not before Shakira performs “Empire,” live on the show. Get ready for the hotness!



 

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