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01 April, 2015 10:10 PM
Published by Kevin Mc Stravock
Last week saw Patrick, Helena, Kieran and Emma make it through to the quarter-finals after the first third of the contestants battled it out in the knockout rounds. Tonight, twelve more contestants will perform with just four of them (one from each team) making it through to the quarter-finals in a fortnight's time.
Recap and videos after the JUMP...
Fionn Gardner - 8/10 - 'What I Like About You' by The Romantics
Fionn has been one of the standout contestants from Team Kian this year after his coach told him that he was a potential winner following his blind audition. This isn't a revolutionary song choice but it's a solid performance by Fionn. Fionn has a bit of an edge to his voice but I find this a little pedestrian, I would have liked him to do something quite leftfield, a song by a quirky girl perhaps as he has quite a quirky voice himself. That said, of the three performing on Team Kian tonight, I think he's probably the most marketable.
Pat Fitz - 7.5/10 - 'Thinking Out Loud' by Ed Sheeran
Pat's experience shows in his confidence on stage but I kind of feel that his years as a professional singer have given him a few bad habits as well. When it comes to a song like this, the beauty is in its' simplicity and it sounds far better being sung purely and from the heart. For me, as talented as he is, Pat threw in too many runs and took away from the emotion of the song. Vocally, it was strong but in terms of the emotion, there was something missing there, I just felt like he didn't connect with the lyrics of the song so much. A very good vocal but the emotion was somewhat lacking.
Kate Purcell - 7/10 - 'Sweet About Me' by Gabriella Cilmi
I was concerned about Kate after the battle rounds where she was landed with a really poor song choice. This is slightly better but it still doesn't feel quite right for her. This song is quite a sultry, bluesy song and I feel that Kate's charm is in her storytelling ability. She can tell a story with her voice and something stripped back with real feeling and emotion would have suited her a lot better than this song. It was a decent effort but the song doesn't really stray much from the melody, it's lacking a moment.
Kian brings Fionn Gardner through to the quarter-finals.
Sarah McTernan - 7/10 - 'Ghost' by Ella Henderson
Sarah is one of the favourites due to her standout blind audition, her battle round didn't measure up quite as much and to be honest, I still don't think she has topped that initial performance. Her timing seems a bit off at the beginning and it sounds like she's too low for the song. I like her tone, it's what makes her stand out but on a song which thrives on the power in Ella Henderson's vocals, I feel like her quirky tone isn't best suited to the song. She has a good range but I feel like her voice has other strengths which this song didn't really do justice to, I would have preferred something like 'Holding Onto Heaven' by Foxes or 'Only Love Can Hurt Like This' by Paloma Faith that embraced her quirky tone.
Paul Taylor - 8/10 - 'Father and Son' by Cat Stevens
Paul had never performed in front of a big crowd before his first audition where he sang his heart out. He has the opposite problem to Pat Fitz, vocally the start is a little flat but he does in fairness get into his stride with the song. However, there's no teaching anyone what Paul does with this song, he absolutely immerses himself in the emotion of the song and connects with it brilliantly. I spoke earlier about storytelling voices and this is what Paul has, as Bressie puts it, he's able to tell a story with his voice and I love that aspect of his performances. I'm not sure if he has as much room to progress as Sarah but that was a really strong performance. He's like the male equivalent of Sally Barker from last year's Voice UK.
Cian O'Melia - 6.5/10 - 'Blame It On Me' by George Ezra
It's hard to pinpoint what it is about this performance that doesn't totally register with me. Cian has a decent voice and a nice Irish folksy twang but even though the style of the song should work for him, it's a sort of middle of the road performance. Cian's issue up to this point has been his performance and I still feel that he lacks the charisma and stage presence that would have given this song a bit more gravitas. Vocally, it's not bad, there are a few flat notes but it's the performance I've more of an issue with. He sings the song but I don't feel like he really engages with the feeling behind it, a bit like Pat, it's a bit singing by numbers for me. There's not enough personality or feeling in his performance.
Rachel chooses Sarah McTernan. This was tough because they all had problems but I do think that Sarah has the most potential and has been stronger up to this point.
Ken Murphy - 6/10 - '20th Century Boy' by T-Rex
It's hard to know what way to take Ken, I mean he's certainly entertaining and memorable but as a vocalist, it doesn't really work for me. He definitely has talent but there's too much running about and dramatic stage antics which distracts from his voice. I mean as part of a tribute band to some of the classic 70's and 80's rock artists, he would be good but his voice sounds too put on, it doesn't come naturally and in terms of producing original music, I feel like that's where he would struggle. As an entertainer, he's very good but he's not the voice of Ireland for me.
Denise Morgan - 8.5/10 - 'Ten Story Love Song' by The Stone Roses
I don't think this is Denise's best performance by a country mile, but it says a lot that it's still easily the strongest performance of the night so far. I would place the blame with the song choice as I'm not sure that it suited her voice brilliantly. I think the song had a slightly limited ranger for her voice so she sounded a bit sharp on those higher notes. However, I feel like she immerses herself in the song, and actually shows a different side to what we've seen from her so far. I love her tone and the celtic feel that she gives this song, which is weird because she's not even Irish herself. I would love to hear Denise singing a bit of Alabama Shakes or Nerina Pallot.
Laura Enright - 6.5/10 - 'Four Five Seconds' by Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
This was just a bad choice straight up, Laura has been brilliant up to this point but this song just seemed to be totally unsuited to her. It should have been alright but she oversang it, particularly in the bridge about a minute and a quarter in and it didn't feel like the same singer we heard in the blind auditions. What I loved about Laura was her individuality, she really put her own stamp on 'Hey Ya' but this didn't have the same feel to it at all. It was just a straight up cover and because her vocals were so exposed, they just didn't hold up. I'm disappointed for her because she has an undeniably great voice but it wasn't her best.
Bressie picks Denise Morgan. She was definitely the strongest singer tonight.
Nicola Lynch - 6/10 - 'Fancy' by Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX
Weirdly, what has been the thing which has made Nicola stand out from the other singers to this point is what sort of done her in tonight. The band sort of mangled that song, the backing just sounded really weak and there was just no real ambiance or atmosphere to the performance. Add to that, Iggy Azalea is a very good female rapper and to me Nicola, as talented as she is, just can't hold a candle to her. So by performing arguably her most recognizable track, she was putting herself under a lot of pressure. I just don't feel that this performance really held up, it felt a little stilted and awkward, the song just didn't really work for this show.
Niall O'Halloran - 6.5/10 - 'Love Me Like You Do' by Ellie Goulding
This is so frustrating, again, just like Laura I feel like Niall's song choice has served him badly. The song is beautiful but firstly, it doesn't lend itself well to being cut down to 90 seconds or so. Secondly, it sounds like he sang the song in the wrong key the whole way throughout because there was no real progression in his voice. Ellie's voice soars in that higher part of the song but whether it was the arrangement or the key the song was in, it didn't sound right for his voice. Niall's one of the strongest singers in the competition but this was not his best performance by any standards. I'll give him credit for his control but it just didn't work.
Chloe Wilders - 7/10 - 'Blank Space' by Taylor Swift
Again I don't feel that the arrangement of the song really worked. There was definitely a lack of progression in the song, the arrangement made it sound like it doesn't really go anywhere when it does actually. Vocally, if Chloe had sang for the entire song like she did in the last 30 seconds, I think it would have been much stronger, the backing singers coming into the song sounded particularly rough. I love Chloe's tone so much but I don't think this was the best song for her, some of Taylor Swift's earlier material which has a much stronger country flavour would have suited her a lot better, even something like 'Born To Try' by Delta Goodrem would have worked out pretty well for her in my opinion. Then again, nobody in Team Una has had a particularly strong night and I happen to think Chloe was probably the best of the three tonight.
Una chooses Niall O'Halloran. This was a decision I think everybody saw coming as he's a great singer but I fear Patrick and him will split the votes. He didn't have a great night tonight and I feel if it had been purely based on tonight's performances, Chloe should have been put through. The knockout rounds format definitely hasn't benefited Team Una, if either of the two she sent home last week had been on this week they would have made it through with ease.