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20 January, 2014 6:32 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
After a decent start, some really fantastic talent made it through to Battle Rounds last week, particular highlights being Kedar Friis-Lawrence and the amazing Ciara Donnelly whose quirky, bluesy tone was a breath of fresh air. Will the coaches be able to find even more superb Irish talent this week? I reckon so.
Recap and videos after the jump ...
Roel Villones - 1/4 - 'Nella Fantasia' by Sarah Brightman - Joins Team Bressie
I wasn't expecting Rowell to come out with that! Rowell doesn't look like a typical classical singer although I suppose a classical singer shouldn't have a type. Rowell has a very impressive voice, considering that he's singing in Italian, he's doing a very good job of it. I suppose as we didn't really have anyone covering that genre last year, it's only fair to represent the classical genre this year. Bressie turns around, he certainly isn't the coach I expect to see coaching a classical singer but they could be an interesting pair. He has a good classical voice, Bressie says that he's going to throw songs at Rowell that he might not be so comfortable with but he reckons that he can do a lot with his voice.
Kayla Kehoe - No Turn - 'Royals' by Lorde
Kayla comes from the USA originally but she's now living in Ireland with her family. I absolutely love her voice, she has a really strong voice and a very nice tone, it's not the most unique or quirky tone of voice but she really does the song justice. She's probably technically one of the strongest vocalists to audition so far, I'm really surprised and miffed that nobody turns around for her, Bressie's excuse that he didn't like the Americanized tone is rubbish and whilst I appreciate that the coaches, Bressie and Dolores in particular are interested in quirky, unique vocals, you need a nice variety and forty quirky girls and acoustic rockers isn't going to be the most interesting thing to watch. Kayla had a strong pop-rock voice and would have added a bit of variety to the competition.
Aisling Connolly - 1/4 - 'Cloudbusting' by Kate Bush - Joins Team Kian
Aisling says that she would love to join Dolores' team and plans to pick her if she turns around for her because she considers her voice to be quite similar to Dolores' voice. It's a very interesting song choice, I won't lie I'm not extremely familiar with the track, I've heard it a few times but it took me a while to identify what song it was. Aisling's voice is very good, I think she has a very nice tone and I like her intonation, the only thing I would say is that she sounds very similar to Kate Bush which is a good and bad thing as I worry that she might just be good at soundalike covers of songs. Hopefully this isn't the case and I guess we'll see in the Battle Rounds when she fights for a place in Kian's team in the live shows. Dolores says that she would have liked to have heard it with the banshee wail.
James Sheridan - No Turn - 'Tik Tok' by Ke$ha
This isn't James' first time on the show, he auditioned last year and made it through to the battle rounds on Team Bressie. He says that he wants to improve upon last year and has tried to learn from his performances in the previous series. First up, I really don't like the song choice, I'm all for taking risks and re-interpreting songs but this is just an example of some of the really poor music the modern industry churns out these days. Unfortunately, as the song doesn't really go anywhere, it's very hard to do anything with the song to make it stand out. Vocally, he sounds better than he did in his blind audition last year but it's the song choice that really lets him down.
Aine Finlay - No Turn - 'You Da One' by Rihanna
Aine is the third of RTE 2FM's wildcards and after the success of the last two wildcards, will Aine be able to follow in their footsteps and get the coaches turning their chairs for her? I'm assuming that nerves get the better of Aine because 2FM obviously saw something in her however sadly I don't think it comes across in this performance. She definitely has a lot of potential, her tone is nice and I like her interpretation of the song but maybe it's song choice, maybe it's nerves, she's quite vocally shaky and doesn't manage to convince any of the coaches to turn. Dolores says that she gives it too much vocal acrobatics but I'm not sure that I agree, I don't like the over emphasis on syllables in songs either but the original is the same and if she had just sung it as 'All the time' as Dolores suggested it would have affected the pacing of the song. Anyway, the coaches all give Aine advice on what to work on, hopefully she'll take it on board and audition next year more confident and with more experience.
Heather Stuart - 1/4 - 'Red' by Taylor Swift - Joins Team Bressie
Heather Stuart is a music student, she says that she reckons her friends would be surprised to see her auditioning as she's quite shy normally. With her taking on a Taylor Swift song, I expected that she would have a country tone but she doesn't really, that's not to say that she doesn't sing well, she has a nice voice but it's more poppy than I expected it to be. She sounds a bit like Perrie from Little Mix randomly, she has a nice voice and she has a lot of potential. I love her tone and she really connects to the emotion of the song, good performance, Heather is perfect for Bressie's team and I think they could be a perfect team, I'm looking forward to seeing how she progresses in the competition.
Catherine Hughes - 1/4 - 'Blown Away' by Carrie Underwood - Joins Team Jamelia
Catherine is from County Armagh, she's 30 weeks pregnant at the time that she's auditioning, after Kelly Mongan made the final last year, perhaps there's a place in the competition for another expectant mother? Catherine has a very good voice, she has a strong country tone but more than that, she has a really powerful voice, she powers through the song with ease and the big notes are handled brilliantly. Bressie says that he reckons she will sing someone else off the stage in the battle rounds. Jamelia is really excited to have Catherine on her team and says that she's happy that she was brave enough to audition whilst pregnant as she wants to reinforce the message that women shouldn't let having children stop them from doing anything.
Keith Tormay - No Turn - 'Hard To Handle' by Otis Redding
Keith describes his music interest as mainly rock singers, he is taking on a song I personally don't really like and whilst there's no denying that he has a good voice and a good rock tone, I'm underwhelmed by the song itself. It just doesn't do anything for me, I find it really karaoke and his performance of it does nothing to make me think otherwise. Keith is disappointed to have been rejected, Kian and Bressie say that the last note was brilliant but came too late in the performance.
John Hogan Jr. - 4/4 - 'Little Boy Blue' (Original Song) - Joins Team Dolores
John is a singer-songwriter, he describes the song he's singing as a folk interpretation of a rap, the 'Little Boy Blue' hook is absolutely brilliant and really sticks in your memory. He has a very strong voice, definitely worthy of a place in the next round. He has such a unique tone and I love the song, it's very good, the rap isn't as good as the hook but it's still great, I really like his voice. John has a lot of potential and it's no surprise when everyone turns around for him, he can go seriously far in the competition with the right mentoring so it's no surprise that he chooses Dolores as his coach.
Emma Collins - 1/4 - 'Touch The Sky' by Kanye West - Joins Team Jamelia
Emma's re-interpretation of this Kanye West reminds me a little bit of Roisin Carlin's blind audition last year. I really like her voice, she has something very unique about her and does a great job of reimagining a rap track. Bressie says that her anunciation is really poor but I don't think it's much of an issue at all, I think Emma has a lot of potential and even though her nerves are definitely noticeable, she does a good job in her blind audition. Jamelia presses her button pretty early in the song for Emma, it'll be interesting to see what she does with her in the Battle Rounds.
Siobhan McNamara - No Turn - 'We Can't Stop' by Miley Cyrus
Siobhan describes her music taste as mainly jazz, she says that her style is different to most girls her age so I'm not sure why she then chooses to pick a Miley Cyrus track. Her vocals are alright, she can sing but she doesn't really do anything different with the song, it's a pretty standard run of the mill cover of the song. Perhaps Siobhan's nerves kick in, she doesn't impress me as much as I was hoping that she would, she sings the song fine but that's just it, it's a decent cover of the song but that's it. She hits a few bum notes, she's not ready for the competition just yet, she needs a bit more work on her vocals, she sounds too theatrical right now.
Michelle Revins - 2/4 - 'Hurt' by Nine Inch Nails - Joins Team Dolores
Michelle's interest in singing was fuelled when she joined the Dublin Gospel Choir and started singing at various events and functions as part of that group. She says that she has quite a unique voice which will be displayed by her audition. I absolutely love her voice, it's so refreshing and unique, the rasp in her voice gives the song a very deep, dark feel. She really connects with the emotion of the track, it's a very hard song to do justice to because the original version and the Johnny Cash cover are so widely praised. She has raw talent and really connects with the audience and interprets the song so well. Dolores raves about her, Bressie says that he didn't turn around because there was an obvious choice of coach for Michelle. Kian delivers a tongue in cheek pitch but Michelle obviously goes for Dolores.