With it being Sunday means it’s time for Sunday Best. Last week, we’ve witnessed ten of the twenty contestants sing their heart out to move one step closer to becoming the season seven winner of Sunday Best. This week we hear the back half of the twenty and ten singers go home. The first up tonight was Brittany Jones with Jesus is the Best Thing, which was, at best, average. McClurkin and Yolanda gave her their kudos while Sheard, whom opened up the show with a powerful performance, wanted more. That’s the problem plaguing these past two week; we have twenty great singers, give or take a few, whom had terrific performances but haven’t performed to the best of their ability.
The second singer of the night was Drew Chambers whom sang I Need You Now. The song was a breathy, soulful, smooth song but lacked any conviction, as Kierra Sheard puts it. While he was praised for his vocals the judges expressed he needed to add more feeling into his lyrics. Donnie McClurkin also wondered how well Chambers would do if he were given a much more uplifting and powerful song.
The third singer of the night, Jay Williamson performed He Saw the Best in Me. While the song was meant to uplifting and filling, Williamson looked blank and uninspired. Kierra thought he paced himself well and complimented him on his quartet work. Yolanda thought it was very enjoyable. Candice Benson, the fourth singer of the night sang Breaking of Day. From the moment she opened her mouth to sing, I knew that she was going through to the next round. I’m writing this as the show is premiering so I’m placing my bets now. “You were phenomianl,” McClurkin stated. Yolanda Adams commented that Benson’s performance was what Sunday Best was made for. Audrey Givens, the child actress from What’s Happening?! Performed Search Me. I thought she was fine but Kierra thought she should have paced herself a bit better. Yolanda said the same thing; she said Givens needed to take control of her notes before they go off “into the wilderness.”
Kelli Gates, the sixth singer, sang Go Get It by Mary Mary; she was one of the best singers of the night. Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin told her to “come back down” in terms of her notes. All three judges told her that if she can’t hit the notes, that she should play them to a comfortable level. Despite that, I thought she was one of the better ones of the night. Speaking of better, seventh singer Brandon Gaines, whom sang Lord Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary, wasn’t great. Gaines couldn’t land each note and sounded all over the place. McClurkin and Adams agreed with me.
Singing Every Moment, Anita Johnson, the eighth singer of the night, came out and stumbled a bit with her notes. Though she continued to struggle through the song, McClurkin complemented her for her control. Kierra wanted to hear more from her.
The ninth and top singer of the night by far, Ayodele Owolabi sang 10,000 Reasons to Bless the Lord. If Kierra and Donnie were looking for a singer with conviction they found it with Ayodele. Her pure singing talent without the “acrobats of performances,” as Adams put it had all three judges in agreeance.
The final singer of the night, Serena Young, poured her heart out into the song There is No Failure. She clearly has the vocals to perform a song like that and the anointing to make the song a ring failure in those who aren’t familiar with it. McClurkin said, “God has greater and bigger things for you.”
With all twenty singers having sung their hearts out to remain in the competition, all three judges have the task of letting go of half of the singers. After what felt like an overlong commercial break, all three judges decided to let go Kristen Jamison, Steven Howard, Audra Jones, William Demps, Rome Washington, Jarveous Williams, Brandon Gaines, Kelli Gates, Audrey Givens, and Drew Chambers.
With Serena, Ayodela, Anita, Candice, Jay, Brittany, Demarka, Tequila, DeAngelo, and Geoffrey moving forward, who are rooting for? For me it’s a toss up between Ayodela and Serena.