PRNewsFoto/Daytona International SpeedwayThere's lots of stuff happening right now in the Train yard. A day after the band announced that they'd be doing another installment of their Sail Across the Sun fan cruise next year, they've revealed that fans can expect a new single in June, with a new album coming in September.
The band revealed the news on Twitter, and singer Pat Monahan further elaborated on the band's new music in his blog, saying he was happy with the material they've come up with.
"There are some good ones," he said of the new Train songs. "I’m starting to get excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way. This record has clawed at my soul, brought loss, change and periods of trouble and illness. But here I stand and I say that this thing might be the best I’ve done. Definitely the best that I can do right now. That’s always the goal."
Train's new album will be the follow-up to 2012's California 37, which produced the hits "Drive-By" and "50 Ways to Say Goodbye."
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Credit: Brian Bowen SmithIf you want to see this year's crop of American Idol finalists up close and personal, grab your tickets for this year's American Idol Live tour. The trek gets underway June 24 in Binghamton, NY and is right now scheduled to run through August 23, wrapping up in Redmond, Washington. Tickets go on sale May 9 at AmericanIdol.com/tour.
Buying the tickets also helps you do some good. One dollar from every ticket purchased will be donated to the Melanoma Research Alliance to help cure that disease.
Unlike some tours in the past, this year's trek will be limited to the Top 10 finalists: C.J. Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette, Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson and Sam Woolf. Of those ten, Majesty, MK and Malaya have already been eliminated, but of course, they'll return for the tour.
This year's winner will be crowned Wednesday, May 21, and he or she will receive the prime spot on the bill during the tour.
Here are the dates:6/24 -- Binghamton, NY, Broome County Arena6/25 -- Albany, NY Times, Union Center6/27 -- Windsor, ON, The Colosseum at Caesars6/28 -- Orillia, ON, Casino Rama Entertainment Centre6/29 -- Syracuse, NY, Oncenter Complex7/1 -- Highland Park, IL, Ravinia Festival7/3 -- Cincinnati, OH, Horseshoe Cincinnati7/5 -- Mashantucket, CT, Foxwoods Resort Casino7/6 -- Vienna, VA, Wolf Trap7/8 -- West Long Branch, NJ, The MAC at Monmouth University7/9 -- Boston, MA, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion7/11 -- Uniondale, NY, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum7/12 -- Bethlehem, PA, Sands Bethlehem Event Center7/13 -- Durham, NC, Durham Performing Arts Center7/15 -- Philadelphia, PA, Mann Center for the Performing Arts7/17 -- Sarasota, FL, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall7/18 -- Clearwater, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall7/19 -- Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Broward Center for the Performing Arts7/20 -- Saint Augustine, FL, Saint Augustine Amphitheatre7/22 -- Greenville, SC, Peace Center Concert Hall7/24 -- Alpharetta, GA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre7/25 -- New Orleans, LA, Saenger Theatre7/26 -- Birmingham, AL, BJCC Concert Hall7/28 -- San Antonio, TX, Majestic Theatre7/29 -- Grand Prairie, TX, Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie7/30 -- Tulsa, OK, Brady Theater8/1 -- Kansas City, MO, Midland Theatre8/2 -- Mulvane, KS, Kansas Star Casino8/3 -- Council Bluffs, IA, Harrah's Ballroom8/6 -- Indianapolis, IN, Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum8/7 -- Mt. Pleasant, MI, Soaring Eagle Casino Resort8/8 -- Springfield, IL, Illinois State Fair8/9 -- Prior Lake, MN, Mystic Lake Casino8/11 -- Broomfield, CO, 1STBANK Center8/13 -- Phoenix, AZ, Comerica Theatre8/14 -- Los Angeles, CA, Greek Theatre8/16 -- Indio, CA, Fantasy Springs Special Events Center8/17 -- San Jose, CA, City National Civic8/20 -- Jacksonville, OR, Britt Pavilion8/21 -- Portland, OR, Theater of the Clouds at The Moda Center8/23 -- Redmond, WA, Marymoor Park
ImageCourtesy MLB via TwitterIt's taken a while but former Kansas City Royals player George Brett has finally gotten to meet the teen whose international hit he inspired: Lorde.
Major League Baseball tweeted a photo of Brett, who was the inspiration for Lorde's #1 smash "Royals," posing with the singer, presumably backstage at one of her concerts. The Kansas City Royals organization also tweeted a photo of the two, writing, "And we've come full circle!"
Lorde wrote her Grammy-winning smash "Royals" after being inspired by a photo in National Geographic magazine of Brett wearing his Royals jersey. Last month, when she visited Kansas City, the Royals organization presented her with a copy of that particular magazine photo, signed by Brett, and he sent along an autographed Royals jersey for her with his name on the back. He couldn't be there in person, though, so the meeting this week was a long time coming.
Last year, Lorde told ABC News Radio, "The way I write is that I find a particular word or phrase which kind of defines the concept that I'm thinking about, and when I find that word, everything sort of clicks. And so I just cut that picture out of a National Geographic 'cause I thought it looked cool, and I thought, 'Yeah, that's a great word, I've got to incorporate that somewhere,' and it just kinda tied in with what I was thinking about."
Courtesy Teen VogueLorde may complain about being asked to smile during fashion shoots, but that doesn't mean she hates them. In fact, she's perfectly thrilled to be appearing on the cover of the May issue of Teen Vogue.
"[S]o happy about this. teen vogue cover star yaaaaaaaw," she tweeted, and also shared a few images from the fashion shoot, including one which depicts her wearing a strange-looking headband that looks like it was made by a kindergarten student. "My favourite photo from the shoot -- feat. improvised duct tape and feather crown," she tweeted. "My kind of magazine obviously."
In the cover story, Lorde talks about her newfound fame, expressing astonishment that former Lizzie McGuire star Hillary Duff attended one of her concerts. "This is the most insane thing that's ever happened to me. That's my childhood right there. Hilary Duff is a fan—that freaks me out!" she exclaims. She also reveals some praise she received from Lena Dunham, Emmy-winning star and creator of HBO's Girls.
"I finally watched Girls a couple of days ago and I loved it," she tells Teen Vogue. "I tweeted Lena Dunham and she was like, 'You're the dream audience.' I really appreciated that. I was like, 'Ahh!'"
As for the fame that's allowed her to have these sorts of Twitter conversations, Lorde tells the magazine, "Living in New Zealand, you don't get these experiences. I spent so much time in my room before. My life is so wild right now. For me to be able to do something I really enjoy and for that to get me out in the world -- to South America, to here, to London -- every day I kick myself, I'm so lucky."
Teen Vogue has posted a variety of behind-the-scenes shots of Lorde posing for the mag, and while she looks plenty glamorous, in the interview she stays on message about wanting to break the typical teen beauty stereotypes.
"There are a lot of expectations in this industry about looking a certain way and having a certain kind of appeal," she says. "I am feminine, but I really love dressing in boys' clothes too. I guess that's why I get labeled as 'the grumpy girl,' because I don't play into that."
You can read the entire interview when the magazine hits stands April 29.
Interscope RecordsLady Gaga and her boyfriend, Chicago Fire star Taylor Kinney, have been together for two years, so, is he looking to take things to the next level? According to one report, yes.
Life & Style Weekly claims that Kinney has been "secretly" shopping for an engagement ring for Gaga. The mag quotes an insider as saying, "Taylor’s been looking at engagement rings for [her] for a couple of months. He has told a couple of his close guy friends that he wants to propose soon."
How soon? Apparently, Kinney wanted to pop the question last month, when Gaga turned 28, but he hadn't found the right bling yet.
"Taylor was considering proposing over her birthday,” dishes the insider. "But he hadn’t found the right ring in time. He wants to find something unique that will suit her personality.”
But even if Kinney does propose in the near future, Gaga certainly doesn't have time to plan a wedding. She kicks off her new tour, artRave: The ARTPOP Ball, next month, and currently has dates scheduled through November. Teasing fans with what they can expect from her new show, she tweeted, "No pressure but if you are attending the artRAVE we suggest in the outfit category you GO FOR IT BECAUSE WERE GOING TO AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE."
By the way, if Gaga did tie the knot, don't expect to see a magazine spread with photos. In her 2011 ABC special A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, the singer told Katie Couric, "My love life is the only thing I don't talk about. The day I get married, no matter how many helicopters are flying over that chapel, they are not getting one picture."
Walt Disney PicturesThe big freeze continues on the Billboard album chart, as the Frozen soundtrack passes its 10th non-consecutive week at #1.
Billboard reports that in the SoundScan era, which dates back to 1991, only 11 albums have spent that many weeks at #1. Four of those 11 have been soundtracks: Frozen, The Lion King, The Bodyguard and Titanic. The Frozen soundtrack has also passed the two million mark in sales; it's now sold 2.1 million copies.
Elsewhere on the chart, Pharrell Williams' album G I R L has now rebounded to #2 on an 18 percent sales increase. The "Happy" hitmaker has been everywhere over the past few weeks, from Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, to CBS' Sunday Morning and Oprah's OWN network. The album originally debuted at #2 when it came out back in March and has been in the top 10 ever since.
Now the bad news: Pharrell's album has also posted the lowest weekly sales total for a #2 album in the entire SoundScan era. It moved just 29,000 copies in the past week. Frozen, by comparison, sold 133,000 copies last week.
Instagram via Gena GabrielleTaylor Swift has posted a video blog of her weekend trip to Ohio to attend her super-fan Gena Gabrielle's bridal shower. Taylor documented the entire visit including the moment she surprised Gena with a handmade, framed sign, a Kitchen Aid mixer, fine cookware and homemade chocolate chip cookies among other items.
Gena got more than 100 text messages from friends and family once word got out Taylor was at the bridal shower. Even though Taylor is 24 years old, this is the first bridal shower she's ever attended.
Taylor ended the video with a message to Gena saying, "Thank you for inviting me to your bridal shower, and for me into your life. (Since 2007!!!)."
Frank Micelotta/FOXMalaya Watson, the Michigan teen who was eliminated from American Idol last week, was this season's youngest contestant, and the second-youngest ever to reach the live shows, after season 10's Lauren Alaina. While she admits that the Idol experience is "a lot harder than it looks," the 16-year-old says she'd still encourage other young people to try out, with one condition: your grades have to be good.
Speaking to ABC News Radio, Malaya says, "From the outside in, [American Idol] looks like so much fun, but then when you're in show business, you notice all the details of everything. It's a lot. It's a whole lot!" That's why any kid who wants to try out has to make sure they'll be able to simultaneously handle both their schoolwork and all the Idol commitments.
Asked if young teens like her should audition for the show, Malaya tells ABC News Radio, "If their school is good and they have time on their hands, then yeah, if that's something they want to do." But, she warns, "Don't do it while you got all this debt, and your grades look terrible, because then you're going to be bombarded with all this stuff plus American Idol."
"You should do it when you're really comfortable with yourself and what you're doing, because that's the best time to do stuff," she adds.
While Malaya says that she grew considerably as a person and as a performer, thanks to being thrown headfirst into the grown-up world of Idol, she says that the rest of the finalists also have gotten much better since they started on the show.
"Trust me, if you knew everybody...everybody has improved in their own ways," she tells ABC News Radio. "So, there's no specific person that's in the lead. Everybody has just grown from that point to now."
Helping the contestants grow last week was American Idol season seven champ David Cook, who worked with the finalists as a mentor. Malaya says she'd like to see David appear on the show more often in that role.
"Oh yeah, he'd be a good mentor because he's, like, honest with all his opinions," she tells ABC News Radio. "He's very helpful and the man won, so he knows what he's talking about! He knows the highs and the lows about American Idol."
But as much as she liked David, there's another former Idol winner who Malaya would have killed to work with. "Fantasia. Oh my God!" she gushed. "I would really pee on myself!"
American Idol returns Wednesday night with a new theme: Competitors' Pick. For the first time in the show's history, each finalist will select a song for their fellow finalists to perform. Each contestant will therefore get a list of six songs from which to choose.
ABC/Lou RoccoMuch has been made of the fact that Lorde has managed to accomplish all that she has at such a young age. But the 17-year-old star from New Zealand says she sometimes wonders if people will still think she's so great when she hits the ripe old age of, oh, say, 25.
Speaking to Elle.com, Lorde, born Ella Yelich-O'Connor, says, "I think a lot about mortality, and I just get way too in my head about it. Since I started making music a lot was made of how old I was and it made me think about, 'What happens when I’m 25? Will people still like what I'm doing? Is it still important if I’m not this hyper-youthful being?'"
"It’s stupid," she admits. "I know I’m being silly. But I can’t help it. It’s just one of those things. I’ll get over it."
Lorde is also concerned with keeping her head on straight as her enormous fame grows. Noting that a year ago, most people didn't know who she was, she tells Elle.com, "I guess it has been fast. But I don’t feel like it’s moving faster than I’m taking it in. I feel very on track with it."
She adds, "A lot of things, like playing Coachella, feel a lot more normal and comfortable now that we’ve had a lot of experiences that could be considered a big deal. But I have an awesome team who help me not burn out and die. And I always have someone from my family on the road with me."
Lorde's tour continues this week with shows in Las Vegas and Phoenix, and she'll return to Coachella this weekend for the music festival's second weekend.
Trainline.comThe guys in Train had such a good time this past February on their first Sail Across the Sun fan cruise that they're doing it again next year -- and you can sign up now for all the fun.
Train's second annual Sail Across the Sun cruise will leave from Miami on February 13, 2015, and visit Key West and Great Stirrup Key before returning to Miami on February 17. You can register for the cruise pre-sale now at SailAcrosstheSun.com, and on that same website, you can watch a video documenting what went down this past year on the cruise to get you psyched up for next year.
Last year's cruise featured musical guests like Matt Nathanson, Michael Franti and John Oates of Hall & Oates, and there was also a food and wine component, with tastings, and famous TV chefs like Jonathan Waxman and Aarón Sánchez giving cooking demonstrations. Of course, there were also plenty of chances to get up-close-and-personal with the members of Train themselves, and see the band perform in intimate settings.
Singer Pat Monahan says in a video, "Stay tuned...over the next two weeks as we unveil some exciting details about our journey together in 2015 at sea."
Meanwhile, Train has quite a few performances lined up for this summer. Visit Trainline.com for their full schedule.
Sail Across the Sun is back in 2015! from Sixthman TV on Vimeo.
(l-r) T.J. Wilkins, Usher, Josh Kaufman, Bria Kelly; Trae Patton/NBCIt was the final night of the playoffs on The Voice on Tuesday night. All five artists from Team Usher performed in a bid to earn one of the remaining available spots in the live round.
Usher settled on Bria Kelly, Josh Kaufman and T.J. Wilkins, thereby eliminating Melissa Jiménez and Stevie Joe.
Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Shakira pared down their teams during the previous two episodes.
Here's what happened during Tuesday night's one-hour episode:
T.J. Wilkins got things started for Team Usher with a cover of "Tell Me Something Good," by Rufus and Chaka Khan. Shakira misspoke by saying T.J.'s ability to reach the high note was his "ace under his sleeve." Adam teased her for botching the idiom. Usher said T.J. nailed the playful nature of the period of time when "Tell Me Something Good" was released, the mid-1970s.
Melissa Jiménez delivered a stripped-down version of Beyoncé's "Halo." Shakira said it was a brave move to take a different approach to the popular song. Adam said there were some moments that were beautiful, but other moments during which Melissa ran into trouble. Blake added that Melissa didn't have enough breath for one particular note. Usher pointed out the effort that Melissa had put into the competition to that point.
Stevie Joe chose B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone." Blake joked that watching Stevie Joe perform is like watching him sneak up on a rabbit. He then declared that Stevie Joe is the "real deal." Shakira said he stretched certain notes for too long, but otherwise his performance was good. Usher commended Stevie Joe for the way he handled a song that's about heartache.
Bria Kelly took on The Rolling Stones classic "Wild Horses." Shakira wondered how Bria could reach the high notes and be so sultry. Blake observed a softer side to Bria's vocals that is "golden." Usher applauded her for making the song her own.
For the final performance of the playoff round, Josh Kaufman sang Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain." His former coach, Adam, said he's so relieved Josh was stolen from him because he deserves to be in the competition. Blake said Josh is a favorite of his and his wife, Miranda Lambert. Usher credited Adam for helping mold Josh as an artist.
The episode ended with Usher keeping Bria, Josh and T.J. on his team.
Here's a rundown of the remaining artists on the other three teams:
Team Adam: Christina Grimmie, Delvin Choice and Kat Perkins.
Team Blake: Sisaundra Lewis, Audra McLaughlin and Jake Worthington. Team Shakira: Tess Boyer, Kristen Merlin and Dani Moz.
Next Monday night on NBC, The Voice will begin its live round.
Claire's Stores Inc.Katy Perry's PRISM collection of fashion accessories will debut at Claire's stores and online on May 15, but if you want a sneak preview, just head on over to the store's European Twitter feed.
Katy's line was officially launched in London on Tuesday, and video and photos from all the fashion reporters and bloggers who attended are all over the @ClairesEurope Twitter feed right now.
The photos reveal necklaces, bracelets and earrings with PRISM designs and themes, as well as notebooks, phone covers and more. There are also rings and bracelets that spell out ROAR across your fingers and wrists.
A note on the Claire's Facebook page has a few more images, as well as the message, "Are you roaring about the #KatyPerryPRISMCollection yet? Katy Perry wants to see you in these pieces at her Prismatic World Tour. The collection officially arrives in-store and online on May 15!"
Katy's Prismatic World Tour gets underway next month in Northern Ireland.
Image Courtesy Claire's Europe via TwitterKaty Perry's PRISM collection of fashion accessories will debut at Claire's stores and online on May 15, but if you want a sneak preview, just head on over to the store's European Twitter feed.
The photos reveal necklaces, bracelets and earrings with PRISM designs and themes, as well as notebooks, phone covers and more. There are also knuckleduster rings and bracelets that spell out ROAR across your fingers and wrists.
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LUTBOver the weekend, John Mayer tweeted his admiration for Beyoncé's song "XO." Now, he's paid her the ultimate compliment by performing the song live on stage.
On April 12, John tweeted, "The best thing about Beyoncé? The break in her voice on the first 'baby, love me lights out' in XO. Real and raw." On Tuesday in Adelaide, Australia, John sang a version of "XO" using only an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and actually managed to make it sound like one of his own songs.
"XO" appears on Beyoncé's current self-titled album, which she released with no warning in December, shocking both her fans and the entire music industry.
Viking AdultA new memoir by Philip Bailey, the longtime lead singer of Earth, Wind & Fire, is being published today. In Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire, Philip shares the story of the pioneering funk/soul band's path to international stardom in the 1970s, as well as his own personal and spiritual struggles.
Led by founding member Maurice White, and powered by Philip's multi-octave voice, Earth, Wind & Fire caught the attention of the music world with its dynamic blend of genres, colorful costumes and over-the-top stage shows.
After scoring an impressive string of hits from the mid-1970s through the early '80s, White put the group on hiatus. Philip then found solo success thanks, in part, to the hit 1984 duet "Easy Lover" with Phil Collins, before Earth, Wind & Fire reformed later that same decade.
The book, which was co-written with Kent and Keith Zimmerman, recounts the many highs and lows Bailey experienced throughout his musical career, and takes a look at his struggle with the excesses of fame.
Shining Star is available in a hardbound edition and as an ebook.
Credit: Alex SermonImagine Dragons have already won an American Music Award and a Grammy, and they're up for 12 Billboard Music Awards. Now, lead singer Dan Reynolds will have another accolade to add to his rapidly-filling trophy case.
Reynolds will receive the prestigious Hal David Starlight Award at this year's Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Gala, which will be held June 12 in New York City. The award, named after legendary songwriter Hal David, is given annually to a young musician who is "making a significant impact in the music industry" with his or her original songs. With hits like "It's Time," "Demons" and "Radioactive," Reynolds is definitely doing that.
Past winners of the Hal David Starlight Award include Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas, and Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls.
In a statement, songwriting legend Jimmy Webb, chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, said, "Dan Reynolds is a dream ticket for the Songwriters Hall of Fame Starlight Award. He has helped create truly contemporary rock n' roll with the band Imagine Dragons: a sound at once musically literate and issue-driven, yet founded on solid composition and songwriting."
Ray Mickshaw / FOXBruno Mars' Moonshine Jungle tour hits New York City's famed Madison Square Garden on July 14, and if you've got the cash, you just might be able to hang with the singer backstage.
Bruno has teamed up with the website CharityBuzz.com to auction off four tickets for the show, as well as backstage access after the show; that's where you'll get a chance to meet Bruno in person. The only downside? You'll have to get yourself to New York and pay for your own hotel.
Bidding for the auction closes on April 29, and when we last checked, the highest bid was already up to a whopping 10 grand. It's sure to go higher still.
The money from the auction will go to the Stephen Gaynor School, an independent, non-profit New York City school for students with learning disabilities.
S-Curve RecordsAndy Grammer, best known for his hits "Keep Your Head Up" and "Fine By Me," is back with a new single, "Back Home," from his upcoming second album. If you want a preview of the disc, which is coming out this fall, make plans to catch Andy's newly-announced headlining summer tour, because he'll be debuting a huge chunk of his new material live onstage.
"I'm going to play almost all of it, which is kind of an interesting way to go," he tells ABC News Radio about the new material. That's because when he was putting together the new album, he specifically wrote the kinds of songs he felt he would make his live show more complete.
"I definitely wrote some songs knowing that I didn't have 'those' [kinds of songs] yet and I need those. So I think the show will be a little more dynamic, because I specifically went in to write thinking like, 'I wish I had one of those [songs].' Or [I'd] see someone else play and be like, 'Man, I need a song like that, that's a little bit darker'...so I'm excited and its different. There's some different music on here."
But even though he'll be packing his set with new music, Andy says he'll still play the hits from his first album, including "Keep Your Head Up." But since he's been playing that song non-stop since 2011, when it came out, isn't he tired of it yet? He says no way.
"People don't understand that it's not about me getting bored with playing it," he tells ABC News Radio. "It's about me never getting bored of someone loving it. So if you're still going to love it, I will do whatever you want, if you guys are still going to freak out, I'll play it." (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)
Andy's tour kicks off June 10 in Phoenix, Arizona. Tickets go on sale April 10. The new single, "Back Home," is available now on iTunes.
Here are the tour dates:
6/10 -- Phoenix, AZ, The Crescent Ballroom6/12 -- Houston, TX, Fitzgerald’s6/13 -- Austin, TX, The Parish6/15 -- Dallas, TX, House of Blues6/17 -- Nashville, TN, 3rd & Lindsley6/18 -- Atlanta, GA, The Loft6/19 -- Jacksonville Beach, FL, Freebird Live6/20 -- Clearwater, FL, Capitol Theatre6/21 -- Orlando, FL, Beacham Theatre6/23 -- Charlotte, NC, Visulite Theatre6/24 -- York, PA, The Pullo Center6/25 -- Boston, MA, House of Blues6/26 -- New York, NY, Irving Plaza6/27 -- Ridgefield, CT, The Ridgefield Playhouse6/29 -- Philadelphia, PA, World Cafe Live6/30 -- Alexandria, VA, The Birchmere7/1 -- Millvale, PA, Mr. Smalls Theatre7/2 -- Chicago, IL, House of Blues7/5 -- Covington, KY, Madison Theater7/6 -- Pontiac, MI, The Crofoot7/8 -- Minneapolis, MN, Varsity Theater7/11 -- Denver, CO, Summit Music Hall7/12 -- Salt Lake City, UT, The Complex7/14 -- Seattle, WA, Neumos7/15 -- Portland, OR, Hawthorne Theater7/17 -- San Francisco, CA, Great American Music Hall
Trae Patton/NBCThe Voice resumed its playoff round on Monday night, with artists from Shakira and Adam Levine's teams performing for the opportunity to advance in the competition. Only three of five artists from each squad ultimately made the cut.
Blake Shelton previously watched his artists take part in the playoffs last week. Usher's protégés will have their turn on Tuesday night.
Here's what happened on Monday night's two-hour episode:
Kristen Merlin offered the first performance of the night for Team Shakira: a rendition of Carrie Underwood's "Two Black Cadillacs." Adam said she's at the top of her game. Adam and Blake both thought it was Kristen's best performance of the season. Shakira said Kristen was in control and had command of the stage.
Deja Hall took on Jordan Sparks' "Battlefield." Blake and Usher both observed that she came out of her shell with the performance. Shakira said Deja showed off a more aggressive voice.
Tess Boyer belted out Christina Perri's "Human." Her original coach, Usher, called her ability to hold notes "super-human." Another of Tess' former coaches, Blake, said Tess handled with ease what is typically a difficult song to perform. Shakira said Tess has a gift for singing.
Patrick Thomson performed "Trouble," by Ray LaMontagne. Blake repeatedly antagonized Adam for losing Patrick earlier in the season. Shakira said Patrick seized the moment with grace and poise.
Dani Moz played Lady Gaga's "The Edge Of Glory" on the piano. Blake said she completely connected with the song and her instrument.
Of these five, Shakira chose Tess, Kristen and Dani to advance in the competition.
Delvin Choice was the first of Adam's artists to take the stage. He covered the Al Green classic "Let's Stay Together." Usher called him a "threat" in the competition because he can sing tunes from many genres. Shakira said Delvin is one of her favorites on the show. Adam claimed Delvin solidifies his team as the one to beat this season.
Jake Barker sang "She Will Be Loved," by Adam's band, Maroon 5. Blake complimented him on his strong falsetto. Jake's former coach, Usher, said his growth has been impressive. Adam described Jake as the most improved artist, given how little experience he had performing in public before competing on the show.
Kat Perkins delivered her take on the Journey tune "Open Arms." Usher said it was flawless. Blake said it wasn't "open arms," but rather "open lungs." He couldn't come up with the words to describe how much he liked the performance. Adam agreed with Usher's assessment, and said it's only the beginning for Kat.
Morgan Wallen brought a little country to the show with Florida Georgia Line's "Stay." Usher admitted that when he was Morgan's coach, he steered him in the wrong direction, wishing he had focused more on the country genre with him. Blake added that there are hints of two alternative-rock bands -- Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots -- in Morgan's voice. Blake noted that Morgan brings a different angle to country music, much like Travis Tritt has. Adam said he knew Morgan is "legitimate" when he heard him rehearse the song.
The remaining artist on Team Adam, Christina Grimmie, performed "I Won't Give Up," by Jason Mraz. Blake wondered how such a big voice can come out of such a small person. Shakira said Christina was tender in the verses but powerful in the chorus. Adam said Christina made a good song choice, and that she did everything well.
Christina was the first contestant selected by Adam, followed by Delvin and Kat.
Usher's team will enter the spotlight Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
Capitol RecordsIf you checked out the new lyric video for Katy Perry's single "Birthday," you know that it's chock full of delicious treats, including cakes, cupcakes and candy. All the sweets were real, and were created especially for the video by Ace of Cakes chef Duff Goldman and his team at Los Angeles' Cakemix Bakery & DIY Decorating Studio. But who got to eat all those yummy cakes at the end of the shoot? Well, it wasn't Katy.
“The camera guys, sound guys, production guys took those home,” Goldman tells People magazine. "I’m sure there are photos of them all at home with their families eating Katy Perry cakes!” But Katy herself, who appears briefly at the end of the video, did get a little something for her efforts: Duff's team made her a gift of some glittery pink cupcakes that spelled out her name.
Goldman also reveals that he and his team of 12 created everything in the video in less than a week, following a list of shots that called for a hamburger cake, a cat cake, a cake that looks like a suit and others. Unfortunately, Goldman says that the day of the shoot, when Katy came to the set, he missed her, because he had a delivery to make. "I was bummed,” he tells People, but adds, "If she ever wants another cake, I’ll deliver it personally!”
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