The Voice 8 Top 5 Live Blog and VIDEOS

THE VOICE -- "Live Semis" Episode 817A -- Pictured: Koryn Hawthorne -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

Tonight, The Voice Top 5 take the stage for YOUR votes! Each finalist will sing TWO songs. Click to check out this week’s song spoilers. We have a full night of performances, and we’re live blogging it all right here. Hometown visits tonight!

But first, Nate Ruess takes the stage to perform his new single, “Nothing Without Love.” How handy that the name of the song is emblazoned in the back in lights. In case we forget. Singing in tune would be nice, though.

Joshua Davis – I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt –  Team Blake – Josh did so well with “Fields of Gold” that Adam thought another beautiful ballad would do the trick. He’s right about that. Josh’s sweet spot is the emotional love ballad. The fact that he’s such a regular guy adds to his appeal. Couple that with a pleasing voice and an ability to be vulnerable and convey emotion–reality singing competition gold!  His soothing rasp is perfect here.  I will be really surprised if he doesn’t make the final. The song reminded Blake of Joshua’s first performances. He really likes his ballads. “Super lovely,” says Christina. “Totally soothing and rocking. “It felt good because it was your own rendition,” says Pharrell, who feels Joshua understands his own voice. Adam selected the song. He says he’s making a point NOT to compete with the big voices. “I love listening to you sing. I’m a fan.” –  Download from iTunes

Koryn Hawthorne – One by U2 – Team Pharrell – Pharrell picked the song because it’s a classic brings people together. He’s really positioning Koryn as a singer with a MESSAGE.  I had my doubts about this song pick, but Koryn is delivering a mature and powerful rendition of the song.  Her husky tone is one of a kind But on top of that, she brings so passion and naked emotion to her performances. She’s brave, uninhibited, honest and NOT afraid to get ugly.  That’s what I love about Koryn, even when she’s not perfect. Koryn reminds me of Mary J. Blige, who  doesn’t always sing perfectly either. Also, a young Fantasia comes to mind when I hear Koryn sing.  Adam felt the song was in good hands tonight. Christina has seen Koryn grow, Pharrell has helped her blossom. Pharrell feels he’s learned way more from her than he has taught her. She’s the true definition of being an inspirational singer, he says. –  Download from iTunes

Meghan Linsey – I’m Not the Only One by Sam Smith – Team Blake – Meghan is at her best when she can pour herself into a song, says Blake.  Meghan’s take on this Sam Smith hit is more blues than soul. She takes the song to 11 on the chorus, pushing the upper limits of her register.  It’s unpleasant sounding. She managed to make a modern song sound really old fashioned.  Straying from country is usually a mistake for Meghan. Pharrell feels Meghan is showing the world another side of Nashville. Or something. He’s kind of a windbag, isn’t he? Adam commends her commitment to the moment. Blake’s favorite thing about her as an artist: It’s like she came from a different time. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, Blake. At least not when singing a current pop hit.  –   Download from iTunes

India Carney – Gravity by Sara Bareilles – Team Christina – Christina says you need killer vocals to pull this song off. It’s a singer’s song. But she’s sure she can handle it. Good song pick for India. It gives her the opportunity to flex her vocal muscles, but takes more skill than huge huge pipes to pull off. I heard a few little wobbles on the high notes. But overall, one of her best performances of the competition. She really brought some passion to the proceedings. Adam liked the way she let it build. It told a story. Yes, her phrasing was excellent. Spot on dynamics from India.  Blake loved the softer parts of her voice. He thinks she’ll make the finale. Christina calls her a “smart” singer. She loves her control and sincerity. –   Download from iTunes

JK Simmons is in the audience! Randomly!

Sawyer Fredericks – For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield – Pharrell chose the song because he believes the message is important, and Sawyer has the voice to carry it out.  It just hit me how relevant this song is to what’s going on in major cities across the country, the latest being the unrest in Baltimore. Having said that. I’m not crazy about this arrangement.  There’s something about the languid phrasing that bugs me. It could be my familiarity with the original that’s coloring my opinion, but it sounded whiny to me, rather than forceful.  What is that dude dancing going on behind him? All Sawyer needs is a bare stage. Everything else is a distraction. Adam felt he did the song justice. “Dude it’s getting boring!” Adam keeps interrupting him, annoyingly. Pharrell asks the audience what they thought, and they clap wildly.  Download from iTunes

The Pitch Perfect 2 cast are in the house, taking selfies with the coaches. “Veritable vocal and emotional orgy,” is how Anna Kendrick describes it.

This round will feature Hometown Visits and a special dedication to home! This set of songs, chosen by the contestants.

Joshua Davis – When I Paint My Masterpiece by The Band –  Team Adam – Josh visits all the hotspots of his Michigan hometown. His entire community come out . He’s overwhelmed–as possible for the laid-back Josh! Later that night at a local theater, he performs “Fields of Gold” and that horrible arrangement of ‘Desire.” The Band is right up his alley. REALLY old school. They were old school back in the 70s!  A vintage mid-tempo folk tune is probably not the thing to do at this stage of the competition. He should have thrown down another ballad.  He seems really happy and comfortable on stage, and gets a million points for exuding confidence. BLAKE DIDN’T KNOW THAT SONG. Holy cow. C’mon. THAT’S IN YOUR WHEELHOUSE BLAKE. Geez educate yourself. Christina called it “super fun” to watch. She compliments the drummer. Faint praise? “It felt so good,” says Adam, “We’re doing the right stuff.” –   Download from iTunes

Koryn Hawthorne – Oh Mary Don’t You Weep – Civil War spiritual – Team Pharrell – Marching band and cheerleaders greet Koryn back at her high school in Louisiana. Kelly Clarkson congratulates her via video before she sings “Stronger.” After her parade, she gives a heartfelt speech about being just a normal girl chasing a dream. She got the key to the city. It was declared “Koryn Hawthorne Day” in Abbeville. Aw. Koryn is on FIRE tonight, bringing us to church with the power and the glory HALLELUJAH. I’m not kidding. A 17 year old who can convey so much pain, anguish and passion is an amazing, amazing thing. She has GOT TO MAKE IT INTO THE FINALS!  I think this song is going to do it for her. Adam notes her drastic improvement. He’s never seen it on The Voice before. Christiana can’t believe how she feels things at her age. “I’m such a fan,” she says. “Dreams can come true,” says Pharrell, “Anything is possible if you put God first.” More dog whistling! Grab those phones, church people! –  Download from iTunes

Meghan Linsey – Tennessee Whiskey by George Jones – Team Blake – Naomi Judd came to visit Meghan at her house. She calls her “the fourth Judd.”  They are pals! She plays at the Nashville venue, The Wildhorse. The house is full. Big and Rich drop by too. YES WE KNOW MEGHAN HAS CONNECTIONS. Actually, all of that braggety-brag could work against earning her votes.  This is more like it! Love her raspy wail on these soulful country tunes.  Her phrasing and intonation are right on. Her big failing is pushing her voice too far. I don’t remember her ever doing that in her duo. Or maybe I’m misremembering. But this George Jones classic is pretty great. She’s keeping it in check. Christina calls her a “showstopper” and “You can do it all.”  Pharrell says she proved everybody wrong. OR SOMETHING. I don’t understand. Blake feels she’s engaged all of the country fans across the country. He calls it her “most important” performance of the competition.   Download from iTunes

India Carney – Earth Song by Michael Jackson – Team Christina – She headed back to New York City and there were…a few cheerleaders to see her off at LAX. She stops by her grandma’s house. Then, after a TV interview, she performed at the Manhattan School of Music, where she took classes as a child. Then, she sang the National Anthem before a Yankees baseball game. She’s never been to Yankee stadium! Well, that was a little low key, no? That’s what she gets for coming from a big city. Ugh. This song is so cliched and clunky. I can’t understand why ANYBODY would choose to sing this song in competition. Awful. Not a great second song. She’s got a big choir of singers behind her and the wind machine is going nuts. She throws off a few Michael Jackson “hews.” Eh. Overblown. Adam calls her  performance a “mini musical.” Christina says it’s like watching a storybook come to life. “You were a superstar tonight.” –  Download from iTunes

Sawyer Fredericks – A Thousand Years by Christina Perri – Team Pharrell – Sawyer heads to the farm! There’s a “big frickin sign” to meet him. Aw, his doggie is happy to say HI. He helps out in the pasteur and feeds the cows, before he heads off to greet his fans at a speedway. There were 10K people! It’s Sawyer Fredericks day in Fultonville! Later, he heads into the big city of Albany to perform at the Palace theater. He feels The Voice helped him come out of his shell. A little out of his comfort zone, Sawyer is awkward without his guitar, and working the crowd. It’s not necessary to make Sawyer glad hand the audience. He’s the kind of performer who can mesmerize without moving  a muscle. The ballerina dancing behind him is…WHY? This isn’t the kind of thing he’d ever do in the real world. Sawyer dedicates the song to his loved ones, but did he really choose this song? It doesn’t feel like him. Adam compliments him on his powerful high notes. Even if they aren’t very high. Blake calls him a front runner. NO SH*T SHERLOCK. Pharrell believes his generous spirit should be rewarded with votes!  –  Download from iTunes

About mj santilli 30572 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!