‘The Voice of Western’: Second round elimination

By Nathaniel Conant

October 30, 2012

[caption id="attachment_13420" align="alignnone" width="300"] Gavin Morris performs during "The Voice" competition.[/caption] Although the venue for the second elimination round of Missouri Western’s "The Voice of Western" was changed, the mood wasn’t. The judges were faced with cutting their team from three down to one competitor to represent them in the finals. The thing that really shook up this elimination round was each singer picked a ballad they were assigned to learn and sing, but then had to throw the names of their songs into a hat to draw from. The first team to compete on the night was that of judge Derek Thompson. The first performer on the night was Jacob Mills who sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” After Mills was Steve Talbot, who sang the hit song “Break Even” by The Script. The last singer for Thompson’s team was Joe Dahman, who sang “Go Light Your World.” After short thought, Thompson chose Dahman to move on into the final round. “I’ve always been kind of a shy guy, so standing up there waiting for Derek to make his decision is really nerve-racking for me,” Dahman said. Next up was judge Sarah Waters’ team, with only two competitors to perform. Breauna Watkins, who had drawn “No One” by Alicia Keys, was the first to sing as she walked through the crowd serenading a few gentlemen on the way. The next ballad drawn was Bob Dylan's “To Make You Feel My Love,” sang by Lauryn Roberts. Her performance won her a ticket into the finale. The final team to compete on the night was judge Morgan Breckenridge’s. First up for her was Ryan Lombard, who sang “Listen” by Beyonce. The only duet performers left in the competition are Reagan Barnett and Kirsten Clemens, and they sang Adele's “Someone Like You.” Gavin Morris was the last performer for the night as he drew “Stop and Stare” by One Republic. Out of Breckenridge's choices, she chose Morris to move on. “My favorite part has been being able to come out and try different styles of music," Morris said. "People that know my singing know I’m more of a rocker, and to come out and challenge myself with different genres has been a great experience for me.” The finale will take place at 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, in Kemper Recital Hall. This time, however, the show will start out a little differently; the three contestants along with their judges/coaches will all perform together, followed by a duet between each judge/coach and contestant. After that, each finalist will get there solo, which will be their last chance to impress the surprise guest judge, who is still unknown at this time. “I think singing a duet with our coach will really help me loosen up for my solo performance later in the night," Roberts said. "One of the things Sara has helped me with is come out of my shell and to start off with her singing next to me will be great.”