The Voice Season 8 Koryn Hawthorne and Pharell Williams “Can’t Work It Out”

 What in the name of “whatever” is this hiccup version of “We Can Work It Out”, as performed by The Voice Top 4 vocalist, Koryn Hawthorne, and her coach/mentor Pharrell Williams?  

It’s like they are having a seizure throughout this performance.  It is the epitome of awkwardness. Really and truly!  What an absolute mess and, believe me, I say this as a huge Pharrell fan. 

This song does not work for either singer and basically exaggerates the flaws in both their voices. The phrasing is abrupt and, at times, non-existent and there is no nuance in their vocal delivery. One dynamic rules the day – loud and abrasive, especially in Koryn’s case.  You can barely hear Pharrell. And that syncopated rhythm in the vocal line is just plain weird. 

And what’s with all the bouncing?  It just uses up energy that could have been redirected back into the vocal projection. 

What a shame that we are left with a lacklustre group of finalists, safe for Sawyer Fredericks. I think that The Voice voting has become as flawed as what we have encountered on American Idol.   It’s pretty sad, really. That Twitter Save thing is turning into the frantic and unpredictable mess we knew when, back in the day, the viewers texted and dialed phone numbers for votes. 

I personally cannot stand the Twitter Save. The last person standing should be the last person standing based on votes from the Performance Show, not the Results Show. 

And, quite frankly, the Top 4 original songs do nothing for me. Nothing.  Not even Sawyer’s.  American Idol winner Nick Fradiani’s “Beautiful Life” has all of them beat by a mile.  It is positive and upbeat and fool of hooks galore. 

Have a look at the video below and see if you agree. And, if you don’t, be nice. All comments are welcome here. 

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

16 Responses to “The Voice Season 8 Koryn Hawthorne and Pharell Williams “Can’t Work It Out””

  1. I agree, that duet was just a nightmare. The only duet I liked was Adam and Joshua. The only original song I liked was Joshua’s and Sawyer’s. Sawyer, of course, will win by a landslide.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They changed the arrangement so much I barely recognized it when it started.


  3. No it was so jumpy and kind of silly. Like they didn’t know what they were doing. That arrangement? Horrid.


  4. The only duet I liked was Adam and Joshua.

    The original songs – I liked Joshua’s, Sawyer’s, and Meghan’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved Sawyer’s Please and Old Man that was about it.


  6. The song should be retired from all competitions. I can’ think of anyone who has done it well. And being a West Coaster, Twitter saves are especially irritating as all that takes place 3 hours ahead of our viewing time. How fair is that to the contestant as well as a third of the nation?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They were trying to do Stevie Wonder’s version rather than the Beatles, but the key word is “Trying.” Pharell isn’t a singer is he? Happy? His Yoda coaching style of this season was way better than his awful advise to everyone last year to scream loader, and he seems to be one of the coaches who will help his artist going forward.

    In spite of her flaws, I think Koryn will sing before more people that came just to see her, not as an opening act, and sell more CDs, from her tour bus and the trunk of her car than the rest of the finalist. She will sing in predominantly black churches throughout the south and Midwest doing three or more shows a week for a love offering and CD sales and do quite well for herself. She isn’t a pop star but she has stage presence, heart and a pretty loyal following.

    Sawyer seems more and more like a novelty act to me. His voice is interesting and the fact that he likes his granddaddy’s music is cool too. Put five years on him and take John Hartford’s bowler off his head and have him perform original songs that the whole world doesn’t know and love and he may look a lot more ordinary.

    MCL, I enjoyed the story about your granddaughter but just now have had a chance to respond. “Out of the mouth of babes.” What do I know? There is no substitute for that uncontrollable natural reaction of a fan and no predicting it either. (See also Taylor Swift) I was also glad to hear that she liked the music he chooses to perform as well.

    The performances were a hot mess for the most part. I thought Josh’s voice was lost in both of his duets. Sheryl Crow wasn’t very generous with Josh much like Fogerty was with Sawyer. I think Fogerty was just there to peddle the unsold tickets for his concert tour. The girls all stars performance gave India a chance to shine without the pressure of the competition. Kelly and Meghan performed well together but it was just ok. Let me address the elephant in the room; get your rocks in hand, I’m going to say it. There is “something adversely affecting Kelly Clarkson’s singing. Maybe it’s too much bass as Meghan Trainor would say.

    The highlight of the night was the BB King tribute. Not necessarily that it was a great performance, it was ok, but just the fact that they did it. The highlight of the season was reading the news posted yesterday that Mia Z had released a single on the Republic label. She was the only artist that I really liked a lot this year, all though many were very interesting, For a label to grab a 12th place contestant and release their single ahead of the winner’s album is petty impressive. The song is decent although it is more Soul than Blues. Ironic that she auditioned with BB.King’s “The Thrill is Gone.”

    I hate the Twitter save. I hate Twitter. Hash tag


  8. I though Kelly’s singing sounded fine. But, healthwise, I’m worried about her weight. Being overweight eventually killed my aunt. It led to diabetes and heart problems and she died after a massive stroke.


  9. I’m concerned about her as well, just trying to say it with a little humor. She is beyond the point of letting your body seek a normal healthy weight where you are happy and healthy and not having to starve yourself to death. While some people are perfectly happy and healthy at a plus size, something tells me that isn’t the case here.

    I was glad to hear her singing from her more soulful side last night. That is what she does best in my view.


  10. Gene,

    Can you duck, Bob and weave all at the same time…I hear them rocks zinging past your head!!! LOLOLOL

    I liked Mia too…Thank you for summing up what I have been thinking about this season of the voice! I think some went home in the challenge rounds who could have made this season a bit more interesting; there was a lot of power voices and then Sawyer!


  11. That’s funny Vonnie. 🙂 Just my opinion. I don’t disagree with the point of view expressed with such good humor in the song “All About The Bass” either. I had a “but” to add on the end of that sentence, but I’ll just stop there. The rocks are getting closer!

    Did you watch Mia’s video? It’s not bad for a first effort. I bought the download to support her effort. She has an older, possibly self issued album on iTunes that has a few good cuts as well. I just hope that she can remain herself and grow as a Blues artist, which is a hard path to take, where her heart is.

    Yeah, there was a lot of potential in the early stages of the season, or at least it appeared that way. Have you ever watched performance night and then watched the performance recaps on results night and noticed how they tend to omit the bumpy bits and show the contestants at their best? Also you see people who are spectacular at audition and then seem unable to sing in the live rounds. The same thing happens on Idol. All of that to say you can make performers look much better with skillful editing. So,given the judges (or staff) make the majority of the cuts throughout the competition, maybe they do select the best, or what ever balance they may be trying to achieve, contestants for the live rounds.

    Since they allow duets on the Voice, I would like to see them form duets during the battle rounds, like they did on the X-Factor, if the contestants are willing. They have so many that perform well together and raise each other to a higher level.

    Couple of random thoughts.

    Reba would be a great substitute for Blake if they would ever dare let him leave for five minutes.

    It seems like time to phase out the pretense of the “blind” auditions as well. Seems kind of silly, especially when yo look at the results at the end of the competition,


  12. LOL, Gene! Duck…!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I went in search of Mia’s song…Was it “Child”? I love her voice, not crazy about the video! Geesh! is she ever a throw back to Ella Fitzgerald and Bille Holiday! Such a Jazzy feel to her voice. They coulda filmed that Video in a smoky bar, an old Mic, her in a long dress…you know where I’m going with this! Definitely will be following her career!

    Yeah! I see what you are saying about the challenge rounds, just seems that maybe we didn’t get to hear some of the best though; a lot like idol.

    So I guess from here we gear up for America’s Got Talent on the 26th!!! Bring it!!!


  13. Koryn was one of my top favorites from this season. I’ve listened to her studio recordings. I don’t think her voice is flawed.


  14. Vonnie, That’s right, “Child” is the name of her new song. It was hard for me to spot on iTunes because it was listed with the Voice artwork as if it was a song she had done on the Voice.

    You know, it occurs to me as I’M typing this that the expected, and rightly so, that Mia would be in the finale and recorded her single when the other expected finalist did theirs. In the beginning I expected Sawyer, Mia, Josh, India and Meghan to be in it till the end but that didn’t quite work out.

    Another interesting thing happened. The day after the finale I went to iTunes to see if Sawyer was still topping the charts, and as usual when I go to iTunes, I got distracted. They were running a special on singer song writers albums. Kind of neat that the old legacy artist that we grew up with and have their albums in two or three formats are getting a boost in albums sales from a kid too young to drive on a TV show!

    Yeah, I can see your video. I think I liked about Mia was she dressed stylishly cute you might say, she was always age appropriate. I think they are trying to bring the Blues to a new generation in much the same way as Sawyer introduced younger viewers to Folk Rock and traditional Americana music styles.

    BTW, You missed a great season of DWTS.


  15. Gene, The hubby and I had Mia topping out the finale also! He stopped watching after she was sent home. Not sure what happened, other than maybe she was a bigger threat to Sawyer!!! I remember Blake gushing about her each week, and really thought she had a chance at winning!

    I need to go check out iTunes, haven’t been there for awhile. Glad to see some of the old artist getting some recognition; isn’t it funny when the “younger Generations” hear the old music and think it’s new stuff…my son used to do that all the time. He would come in, “Mom, listen to this song, it is so Awesome” only to be Pink Floyd or Areosmith, etc. I be like singing along, he looked all puzzled!!!

    I did hear though that Taylor Swift told Megan Trainor and Kelly Clarkson to Shake it off about the Base issues!!! 🙂 She told them that she had heard there was some rock throwing going on!!! But, in all seriousness, Kelly has went beyond being comfortable in her own skin, to unhealthy!

    Yeah! From the bits and pieces of Dancing I seen, I think too I picked the wrong year to not watch!


  16. Just got a chance to listen to Nick’s Beautiful Life song. One of my least favorite Idol coronation songs.


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