A popular Disney hit re-imagined as a rock song was not a problem for Kat Perkins, who turned the catchy tune embraced by fans worldwide, “Let It Go,” into a head-banging anthem on Monday night’s The Voice semi-final.
“You murdered it,” said an enthusiastic Usher of Perkins’s powerful take on the song from Frozen, which she dedicated to the Keller children for whom she served as nanny, and who watched adoringly from the audience.
“I don’t know what I can say anymore. It doesn’t get better as far as vocals are concerned,” noted her coach Adam Levine.
“That’s the most connected that I have ever seen you be with a lyric,” coach Blake Shelton told Merlin. “She dumped her heart and soul into that performance. Man, that was moving.”
Added Shakira: “You give people chills. You’re a storyteller The way you narrate stories, they are so emotional and that is something I revere in an artist.”
Among the night’s happiest moments came from Shelton’s lone artist left on the show, Jake Worthington, who showed off his down-home, Texas roots.
“You’re about as real and as genuine as it gets,” Levine said. “You need to have a made-in-America stamp you’re the genuine article.”
Indianapolis singer Josh Kaufman offered up his own big stage moment on One Republic‘s “Love Runs Out.” Usher said he chose the song because he wanted Kaufman to show the world that he’s a current artist and not just someone who soars on throwback tunes.
The choice paid off, as the crowd would not stop cheering and Levine, Kaufman’s former coach, praised, “You’re amazing.”
Shelton compared Kaufman to the late Robert Palmer. “It’s like he’s got the song by the throat. You have so much command on the stage. You’re a natural-born, killer singer.”
Added Usher: “You came out here and left it all on the floor.”
Shelton remained upbeat, even as he became the butt of Levine’s turnaround-is-fair-play practical joke. As the audience and coaches watched footage from a camera stationed outside of the studio, two yellow bulldozers dumped piles of manure atop Shelton’s bright red souped-up truck.
“I thought I would return the favor, why not pay him back a bit,” Levine mugged, weeks after Shelton gave out the Maroon 5 front man’s private phone number on Twitter. “That is cow dung, that is feces of animals,” Levine said in delight as Shelton shook his head in disgust.
“That’s going to be a bad ride home for you tonight,” host Carson Daly teased. “Shut up!” Shelton shot back as the crowd laughed.
“In the beginning, I was a bit disconnected. It was a great risk. I wasn’t connected as much until you started to sing without the vocoder and then you connected,” said Usher, who opened the show with his new song, “Good Kisser.”
But Levine defended Grimmie’s originality. “As an artist myself, I enjoy and like to push things with my team. I don’t think we want to sit here and do karaoke,” he said. “I think we are actually injecting something refreshing and different into the show and I stand by it.”
The Voice returns at 8 p.m. Tuesday with performances by Season 5’s top three artists Jacquie Lee, Will Champlin and winner Tessanne Chin. Two more artists will be sent home on the way to next week’s championship finale.