The Voice season 19 LIVE SHOWS continue tonight with the Top 9 semifinals featuring coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson John Legend and Gwen Stefani. Carson Daly hosts.
After the Top 9 contestants perform, fans can vote for their favorites to advance to next week’s FINALE. NOTE: The semifinalists will perform in TRIOS, as well as solo performances. And it’s fan week. Fans from all over will introduce the singers.
On TUESDAY’S Results show, the TOP 5 will be revealed. The format will be simple: Top vote getter from each team goes straight to the finale. The remaining 5 singers will compete in the instant save for the 5th spot. Just like season 18, each coach will be represented in the finale.
Tonight Gwen Stefani will debut her new single, “Let Me Introduce Myself.”
Jim Ranger – Without You by Nilsson (Badfinger) – Team Blake Shelton – The song is one of Jim’s father’s favorites. He is also singing it as a thank you to his congregation. He’s a pastor for the church his dad started. Blake urges Jim to sing as BIG AS HE CAN. “Until you are passing out,” he advises. “Make it as dramatic and huge as only you can,” says Blake. Jim, who is typically country goes classic rock this week. Will it pay off for him? What is that set? Is he supposed to be standing on a big rock? VERY WEIRD. He hits the big notes on the chorus with gusto. He sounds strained, though. That ending was very yelly. John thinks it’s his best song so far “Moving, emotional, flawless,” he says. “You did it,” says Blake. “I don’t know a better time to have that kind of a performance.” Blake thought he might pass out on stage and “fall off that freaking rock.” The rock is…unfortunate.
Cami Clune – The Joke by Brandi Carlile – Team Kelly Clarkson – Cami is dedicating the song to her mom. The singer has a connective tissue disorder that causes her a lot of pain. It’s been hard to be away from mom. Kelly gives Cami tips on phrasing. Oooh. Don’t love the pointy nails, but her outfit is on point. So is this performance. I’m glad she’s changing it up this week. This song, with it’s slow build, is perfect for big dramatic moments. Oh. Her range couldn’t quite handle a big note at the end. She faltered a bit. But overall, a solid performance. Gwen comperes Cami’s tone to an angel and a beautiful star. “I wanna be you when I grow up,” she says. Kelly loves the way she tells a story, like an artist who has been through a lot.
Carter Rubin , Desz and Jim Ranger – Will it Go Round in Circles by Billy Preston – The three ask Nest to start the song over. So these Trios are glorified Google commercials. Three very different vocalists manage to pull this off, actually! Each one has some soul, which is why it works. This vibe is better for Jim than classic rock, to be honest. Desz pulls all the focus, unsurprisingly. CHOREOGRAPHY!!! Wow. I was not expecting that from these three.
Ben Allen – All About Tonight by Blake Shelton – Team Gwen Stefani – Gwen says to Blake “I have your guy Ben, and I’m going to beat you.” I think Gwen views Ben as some sort of Blake Shelton mini-mi. He does resemble her boyfriend vocally. Taking the mini-me even further, he dedicates the song to Blake and Gwen, anointing them doppelgangers for he and his wife. Gosh. Gwen gives Ben tips on how to work the cameras without an audience, and reminds him that he has to make the song his own. Ben’s voice is reedy, compared to Blakes deep voice. But as far as his phrasing and personality, he really doesn’t bring anything new to the song. There is no way in hell Ben advances to the finale. “I finally like that song,” Carson quips. Blake is jealous, and blown away at the same time. “I just kind of wanted to be you,” he says. Gwen admits she was worried. Sheesh. But she’s pleased with his performance. She begs America to vote.
John Holiday – Fix You by Coldplay – Team John Legend – John is so thankful for his “extraordinary” fan base. John the singer thought of his coach and his wife Chrissy when he sang the song. John shares a bit about struggling after his wife miscarried their child. He dedicates the song to his grandmother “big mama.” John the singer says he’ll probably be a mess on stage. He starts the performance at the piano. But at the bridge he gets up with the microphone, allowing the background singers to take the melody while he adlibs. I didn’t love that. I. Just. Don’t. Like. His. Voice. His tone is grating. Kelly says the performance got better and better. She confesses that she almost lost it at the end. “I’m over here crying,” says coach John.
Ben Allen, Ian Flanigan, Tamara Jade – Tulsa Time by Don Williams – Tamara seems to be the odd one out. But since she can sing anything. Not at all! She’s total sass with a tambourine. She and Ian sound great together. So far, these trios are pretty great. Putting random artists together doesn’t always work. But this is a pretty talented bunch.
DeSz – Don’t Let Go (Love) by En Vogue – Team Kelly Clarkson – Desz shares that she loves representing a confident plus sized person. Her fans look up to her. She’s dedicating the song to anyone who has ever struggled with confidence. During rehearsal, Kelly sings the backgrounds to help out. Woah. From the very first note, Desz lets the audience know that SHE IS NOT MESSING AROUND. What a dynamic performance. She commands the stage with her fierce and powerful voice. She lays on the rasp in all the right places. She lets loose on the chorus. So far, the BEST performance of the night. “WHAAATTTT” screams Kelly. John FELT THE FIRE. He loved the powerful higher parts. John still thinks she’s an “assassin.” Kelly calls it possibly her favorite performance she’s ever had on her team. “There’s no way you aren’t making the finale!” She wants to be Desz’s backup singer.
Bailey Rae – Georgia on My Mind by Ray Charles – Team John Legend – She comes from an Oklahoma small town, and the support has been incredible. Bailey picked the song. “I feel like you make a lot of smart choices in your range,” says John. She’s nasally and too twangy, and pitchy in spots. She’s only 18 and not ready yet. The phrasing needs some work. Blake calls her refreshing, comparing her to great female artists from the 80’s. John reminds America that Bailey is young. “It feels like she’s been here longer than she’s been.” He’s proud to be her coach.
Next, Gwen Stefani takes the stage to sing her new single “Let Me Re-introduce Myself.” She calls back to her hits and basically reminds us she’s been around forever and a day. Does she really want to do that? Totally cornball, this song.
Bailey Rae, Cami Clune, John Holiday – Pompeii by Bastille – The trio had all been on Team Legend at one point. It’s like a reunion! Of the top 9, these three feel like the leftovers? The others were so well matched. This song choice is very odd. The harmonies aren’t working. Bailey is pretty bad. Cami and John are holding on. But again…bad song choice.
Ian Flanigan – Angel by Sarah McLachlan – Team Blake Shelton – Ian was a one chair turn, and managed to make it straight to the Top 9. Kelly suggested Angel. He dedicates the song to his now fiance. We see a clip of the moment he proposed. I can’t listen to this song without thinking about sad dogs. But Ian mentions that the song is about addiction, a thing he has struggled with. His voice is so different, that he makes this very familiar song new. And he doesn’t have to change it up all that much. It’s stripped down and simple. The performance is plaintive, yet emotional. Kelly calls his voice one of her favorites. “You killed it Ian,” says Blake.
Tamara Jade – Let it Be by The Beatles – Team John Legend – Tamara’s fans are called “good luck charms,” a play of Tamara;s last name. Aretha recorded “Let it Be.” her version is the inspiration. Tamara dedicates the performance to John. In rehearsal, he thinks she’s holding back. “Sing it like you’re in church,” he says. The requisite gospel background singers are here! Not that Tamara needs them. This arrangement is pretty great. Tamara’s voice soars. She’s got range, but her terrific phrasing make her performances special. Gwen calls Tamara “sparkly and shiny.” Tamara says, “I sparkle for you baby!” John calls her “an unstoppable force.”
Carter Rubin – Rainbow Connection by Kermit (Muppet Movie) – Team Gwen Stefani – Blake’s mom is Carter’s biggest fan, says Gwen. Carter loves the Muppets, so he’s cool with Gwen’s song choice. He dedicates the song to his brother Jack, who has autism. The fans who introduce Carter are from Canada! I felt the song might be too babyish for Carter. But at only 15 years old, he really knows how to stylize a song with finesse. Most young singers (Bailey for instance) haven’t honed subtle phrasing. That, on top of a beautiful tone–Carter really is the one to beat right now. Gwen is losing it! “Your mom is crying, I’m crying.” Gwen sings that song to her kids, she says. “That was flawless,” she gushes. “Your heart is full of music.”