Natascha Bessez & Ryan Neal, “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
Vocal Performance: A
I mean, this is Natascha and Ryan’s competition to lose. But, while we all know and revere in Natascha’s stardom, can we talk about RYAN for a second?! He gave that 110% and definitely stepped up his game this week, vocally speaking; honestly, I feel like most guys would either try to match pace with Natascha or just disappear completely. Not that the former is legitimately obtainable – Natascha is simply head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. It’s like, I’m rooting for Rudi, but I don’t see how Natascha doesn’t run away from the competition with a healthy lead.
But Falsetto Ryan is my MVP of the week with his impeccable audition for Maroon 5. It’s also pretty clear that Natascha is challenging him to go out of his comfort zone and push himself vocally, something I don’t particularly predict would have transpired had he stayed in his original pairing as Jamie’s stage nanny. Throwback to their “Gravity” performance that in retrospect was about as exhilarating as waiting in line at the DMV.
These two are also just getting the power couple edit – both in show presence and performances. In singing competition shows, the best slots tend to be awarded to the first performer and the last few performances of the night. They were the penultimate act last week and closed the show out this week. We’re being spoon-fed their victory at this point.
Interpretive Routine: A
These two were paying attention during theater camp and it shows. In back-to-back weeks, they’ve brought it in both the vocal and performative department. For one, Ryan actually plays the guitar with personality as opposed to playing freeze tag on stage, aka using it as a crutch. I’m pretty sure these two roleplay as Ren and Ariel from Footloose as they put on an actual show. Natascha and Ryan SHOULD HAVE BEEN the ones pilfering tips off unsuspecting locals on the street.
~Romance~ Level: A-
I’m pretty sure they seduced the entire Listen To Your Heart judging panel when they sauntered up to them and sang so close their NOSES TOUCHED FOR MULTIPLE SECONDS. What the issue is with these two is that we missed the entire buildup of their relationship, and so their connection is impossible to gauge. Friendly reminder that Natascha ruined Julia’s life by torpedoing her performance 12 hours in advance (seriously Julia, has the lead in your summer musical not no-showed Opening Night until the understudy was a minute from entering stage left?), yet we were robbed of the ENTIRETY of Natascha and Ryan’s relationship to entertain Julia’s wailing for 90% of every previous episode.
Remember when these two had a date? That we saw approximately 30 seconds of? That’s why no one can gauge their relationship; this happens literally on every season of every spin-off of this show ever. It just is genuinely puzzling from a production standpoint when they’ve asserted them as the objective power couple of the series. They’re super touchy and in-sync in their performances, but outside of that, we’ve been robbed of their connection as collateral for the drama surrounding Natascha.
With that said, ABC struck a goldmine with Natascha – she is legitimately the perfect reality star. She’s overwhelmingly beautiful for this franchise (seriously, she looks like she should be on the next installment of The Hills), wears unnecessary, incredible fur coats in every scene, and stirs up just the right amount of drama without coming off catty or an outright instigator. To be fair, Julia did 90% of the job for her with her unbelievably classy post-show tantrum. But it’s safe to say Natascha has an indefinite invitation to the next several installments of BiP. I just can’t give my full judgment on this couple with the lack of necessary context. Thanks, I hate it but it would be naive to be anything but unsurprised.
Overall Grade: 97/100
No surprise here – the reigning power couple maintains a healthy lead with seemingly a runaway for the lead roles in A Star Is Born 2. Trevor is QUAKING. And with that, your performance rankings for this week’s Listen To Your Heart are as follows:
1. Natascha & Ryan (hot take alert!)
2. Rudi & Matt
3. Bri & Chris
4. Jamie & Trevor
5. Julia & Brandon (lol, bye)
I am now realizing this is quite literally the exact same rankings as last week, and it’s mildly hilarious that, despite probably being one of the top singers on the show, Julia’s antics have dropped her under Jamie and Trevor two weeks in a row. Alexa, play Justin Timberlake, because what goes around truly comes around when you act like a Disney villain on national television.
Parting thoughts: the nonsensical couple swaps (with clearly no ulterior motives related to Brandon and Julia whatsoever) would have been much more compelling if they made them swap performance duos. Imagine Jamie’s meltdown when Matt doesn’t know how to gauge her fainting threshold, and Chris and Natascha effectively ending the competition two episodes early. Feel free to call me prior to your next mad scientist experiment, ABC.
Who was your top performance duo this week on Listen to Your Heart? Anyone think Rudi and Matt might sneak up and come from behind? Do you have a different dark horse winner? Let us know your thoughts!