The Voice LIVE PLAYOFFS continue tonight, with members of Team Christina Aguilera and Team Adam Levine performing for YOUR VOTES! You can begin voting as soon as the broadcast begins, if you download The Voice app. You can also text, phone and cast your vote online. iTunes downloads also count as votes! A 10x multiplier is in play for artists who enter the Top 10 by noon tomorrow.
The coaches should be embarrassed to praise performances that so obviously do not deserve it. I’m not even sure why we here from them a this stage, because they are completely useless outside of the behind the scenes coaching environment. Even if there was s little competitive trash talking, or dissing, that would be welcome to their dull critiques. I suppose strategic criticism would be viewed as contrary to The Voice as the competition that is “never mean.” But you know what? Niceness is overrated.
Last night’s performances were better overall, but there were a couple notable standout performances tonight. Rob Taylor and Kimberly Nichole were standouts, not only for tonight but BOTH nights. India Carney was also good, but it wasn’t my favorite vocal from her.
Adam totally ruined Nathan Hermida’s chance to advance with a stupid song choice. It was so misguided, that I wonder if he wasn’t purposely trying to tank him And Deanna Johnson. Oy. She got the pimp spot. But that circular hymn gave her no opportunity to show off her unique vocals. The coaches going on and on as if her performance was brilliant was just embarrassing. Looking at Adam’s team–it’s pretty weak. Deanna will probably advance, as will Joshua and maybe even Tonya. NOBODY from Adam’s team really stood out tonight. I expect Sonic and Lexi to head home from Team Christina. They both had off nights against strong performers.
Former The Voice adviser, Sia, opens the show with a performance of her single “Elastic Heart.” She’s donned her wacky blond wig. But where is Maddie? Or better yet…Kristen Wiig OR SHIA LABEOUF.
Tonya Boyd Cannon – Take Me to the Pilot by Elton John – Team Adam Levine – Adam, a huge Elton John fan, sings the song for Tanya to demonstrate what he’s looking for. She’s a church girl, so this is right up her alley. Adam gives her permission to adlib like crazy. “Take me to the Pilot” is vintage Elton. On one hand, the song is a good fit for the gospelly singer, but on the other, Tonya needs to prove she’s more than just a competent, old fashioned belter. She’s consistent, but not very exciting. I bet she’d be great at Gospel Brunch, though. Blake loves that she embraced the moment. Christina finds her confidence refreshing. Pharrell feels she took America on a trip. He loves church! Adam notes that Tonya is the confidence builder on the team. She’s bold and unafraid. Welp. I’d be shocked if she advanced, to be honest. – 1-877-553-3701 – Text Sprint #1 to 8642 – Download from iTunes
Joshua Davis – Budapest by George Ezra – Team Adam Levine – His wife had their baby. He has two kids! This is a GREAT pick for Joshua! George recently sang it on SNL. Joshua is looking forward to putting his own spin on it. He feels Adam is pushing him in all the right ways. Joshua’s voice isn’t as distinctive as Ezra’s. He tends to go sleepy in spots. Adam is pushing him to push his vocal and sing assertively. That is good advice, as the performance could have used more grit and verve in spots. At such a critical juncture, contestants really need to break out the “wow” performances. A solid rendition, but maybe not good enough. Blake notes the off time clapping from the audience. Ha. Former coach, Blake, believes Joshua is with the “right guy” now. Christina found his voice so “soothing” she was “zoning out.” Is putting your audience to sleep a good thing, particularly in a competition? Pharrell wonders what his album would sound like. Adam finds his voice comforting. But is that going to win a competition? – 1-877-553-3702 – Text Sprint #2 to 8642 – Download from iTunes
Hi Chris Jamison! He’s chatting with Adam and Carson in the skybox. He’ll be performing tomorrow. “Trust me,” says Adam, “His record is coming out soon.” Hm.
Sonic – I’m Going Down by Rose Royce – Team Christina Aguilera – She’s become famous in Nicaragua! And did you know she was half deaf? Yes, that’s our weekly mention of Sonic’s auditory problems. She’s been singing this song since she was 14. Christina has very specific notes for Sonic, about her phrasing and runs. I’m not loving this song pick. But it does give the singer an opportunity to show off her adlibs. Maybe TOO MANY adlibs. And some pitchy stuff in there. I didn’t love that. I wish the song choice had been more inventive. Pharrell calls it a “cool little journey.” Adam felt that she lost her way a couple of times, but came back. Blake loved her attack and the way she dug in. Christina felt it was important, the way she connected to the song. That she is an inspiration to other singers with hearing loss is important too, she says. – 1-877-553-3703 – Text Sprint #3 to 8642 – Download from iTunes
Brian Johnson – At This Moment by Billy Vera – Team Adam Levine – Really Adam? This song? Really? Adam advises that he be the “architect” of the song. He’s an emotional guy, that’s why he gave him an emotional song. I will say–Brian is very sincere. Cheesy as hell, but sincere. Vocally, he’s an average singer, but he pours his heart and soul into the performance. It’s not enough. But he gets points for trying. If Adam really cared about him advancing, he would have handed Brian a gospel song. Blake is reminiscing about Family Ties. Heh. “You’re a perfect vocalist,” says Blake. “You just left your heart on the floor,” says Christina. Pharrell thought it was “masterful.” Brian had never heard the song before. Adam is a big believer in Brian, because he cares more about singing and sharing his gift than winning. Or something. – 1-877-553-3704 – Text Sprint #4 to 8642 – Download from iTunes
Kimberly Nichole – What’s Up by 4 Non Blonds – Team Christina Aguilera – The song has never been approved for The Voice before. Because, you know, Linda Perry is an ass, basically. But since Xtina and Linda are bffs, she approved. Xtina works with Kimberly on opening up and showing her vulnerability. This chick can REALLY belt. She rips it up on the emotional chorus. I don’t remember Kimberly connecting to a song so thoroughly. Here come the tears. Wow. Up until now, she’s pretty much been paint by numbers. Having her great grandmother in the audience probably added to the emotion. Look at grandma in her fancy hat! She’s crying too. So sweet. The crowd is going wild. Pharrell calls it “Perfection.” He loved her “depth of soul.” He compared her runs to an electric guitar. “She just destroyed it,” says Adam. He notes her command on the stage, all the way down to controlling her stiff dress. “Speaking of stiff,” says Carson, “Lets go to Blake Shelton.” Budabump. Blake says Team Xtina just “lapped” Team Adam. Christina feels she centered herself with the song. – 1-877-553-3705 – Text Sprint #5 to 8642 – Download from iTunes
Lexi Davila – All By Myself by Celine Dion – Team Christina Aguilera – Christina compliments her pitch accuracy, but now they need to work on conveying emotion. Lexi is very young and inexperienced. Can she pull off a big song? Welp. Maybe that pitch isn’t all THAT accurate. Like a million runs in this performance. Way too much ornamentation. This is a really labored performance. Maybe she’s nervous. She’s concentrating SO HARD. She tried to bite off way more than she could chew. Former coach, Adam is so proud of her. He realizes she belongs with Christina. Blake felt she took the song to the next level. Lexi made Christina so happy. She saw her loosen up and try new things. “You nailed it,” says Christina. Not really. But OK. – 1-877-553-3706 – Text Sprint #6 to 8642 – Download from iTunes
Nathan Hermida – Chains by Nick Jonas – Team Adam Levine – “Let’s keep it sexy and more dark,” says Adam. Nathan is so sweet though. Can he pull that off? Adam is trying to get him out of his shell. “Learn it with fearlessness…don’t be afraid of notes,” says Adam. Dark and sexy? Nope. I don’t think this was the right song for him. He comes alive on the bridge, adding some well placed growls, but there are pitch issues, and he looks uncomfortable. I like Nathan better behind his guitar. Why pull this kid SOOOO far out of his comfort zone? Unless you’re trying to bus him. Pharrell liked seeing a “whole new Nathan.” Adam noted the issues, but admires his fearlessness. All he wanted was the effort. A lot of good “effort” will do if the voters reject Nathan. Pharrell struggled to say nice things. Blake and Christina’s comments were cut entirely. – 1-877-553-3707 – Text Sprint #7 to 8642 – Download from iTunes
India Carney – Hurt by Christina Aguilera – Team Christina Aguilera – India is still in school and directing her a cappella group. She didn’t drop out! Good for her. Christina gave India one her most vulnerable songs. Not gonna lie, this song gets to me everytime I hear it. India’s inspiration will come from a real life relationship that has fallen by the wayside. Christina suggests she think of the note RIGHT BEFORE the big note as the hardest. It will relax her approach. Interesting. India is a wonderful, theatrical performer. Here, she is full of passion and feeling. But something was off for me. Her vibrato was too much at times and there were some pitchy moments. Not my favorite, but I still love her! All four coaches are on their feet. “That was so entertaining” says Pharrell. “Emotional, dramatic, powerful,” says Blake. He is loving Christina’s team. Christina is speechless. “You’re a special special singer,” she says. – 1-877-553-3708 – Text Sprint #8 to 8642 – Download from iTunes
Rob Taylor – Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey) by The Weeknd – Team Christina Aguilera – Oh. He’s googling himself on the internet. BAD IDEA. He’s feeling vulnerable. “DeAngelo this,” says Christina, “You need to be assertive.” Previously, I’ve only enjoyed the falsetto parts of his performances. But Rob is firing on all cylinders here. No matter where he is in his range, he’s sounding fantastic and completely owning the stage. It’s a fierce and confident performance. Rob bringing the fire. Maybe his best yet. The coaches are on their feet. “That is the definition of different, effortless,” says Pharrell. Adam demonstrates how Rob puts his whole body in his performance, by demonstrating his Incredible Hulk impression. I didn’t need to see that. Christina loves that he does something unexpected every time he hits the stage. – 1-877-553-3709 – Text Sprint #9 to 8642 – – Download from iTunes
Deanna Johnson – Down to the River to Pray by Alison Krauss – Team Adam Levine – Deanna and Adam work on her nerves. She’s afraid of being judged. She’s comfortable singing in church, so he gives her an old gospel tune. I LOVE Deanna’s deep contralto. It’s so unusual. I’m not sure this is a great competition song, because it doesn’t really go anywhere. She changes key at one point, but it’s pretty monotonous. She closes out the show, so she should be OK. Adam reminds us of how nobody turned the first time she auditioned. Blake thinks she’s coming into her own. Pharrell thinks it was the Deanna they all turned around for. Adam thinks she’s finally done what he’s wanted her to do all season. “Flawless,” he says. But really? I would not call that flawless. Decent, but still wobbly in spots. Adam is pimping her hard for some reason. – 1-877-553-3710 – Text Sprint #10 to 8642 – Download from iTunes