Tonight on NBC The Voice season 13 Playoffs begin. Team Blake Shelton and Team Jennifer Hudson will kick off the 3 night round. The teams will perform–but unfortunately NOT for your votes. For the first time since season 6, the round was taped ahead (Aug 30/Sept 1).
Tonight, after their six team members perform, Blake and Jennifer will hand-pick three members to move on to the live shows set to begin Nov 20. The Top 12 was chosen months ago. There are spoilers. DO NOT DISCUSS SPOILERS IN THIS POST PLEASE. Do it here:
Team Miley Cyrus performs Tuesday night, and Team Adam Levine on Wednesday. Check out tonight’s song spoilers:
We begin live blogging at 8 pm ET. Join us!
The coaches will each announce a comeback artist. Jennifer calls the twist a “game changer.” Erm. Not really.
Team JHud is FIRST. Oh. I guess the comeback announcement is happening later. As if everybody didn’t know.
Davon Fleming – I Am Changing from Dreamgirls – Jennifer picked HER OWN song for Davon to sing. He’s a little intimidated. He shouldn’t be. Jennifer obviously trusts him not to trash her song. He loves the big divas. Fun Fact: Jennifer says this song was harder to sing than “And I Am Telling You.” Davon is making the song his own. But then, it’s a girl song, which gives him a leg up on a female singer. Having said that–he’s doing a really beautiful job with the big notes and runs. It’s just enough. He nails the big key change. That’s important stuff. It’s an effortless performance, despite pushing his upper range. Welp. Until the last line–his voice sounds strained. He does a run in his falsetto that’s just glorious. Adam calls it a humongous risk. “I hated that performance because it wasn’t on my team.” Miley declares “You’re going to the lives!” Jennifer says, proudly, “You outdid yourself.” – Download at iTunes
Hannah Mrozak – Learn to Let Go by Kesha – Jennifer stole Hannah from Team Adam. Hannah shares a devastating story about her 15 year old brother’s suicide. She was the one who found him. The two bond over loss. “Jennifer is really teaching me how to open up,” Hannah confesses. Jennifer compares the singer to Demi Lovato. Hannah’s got a beautiful deep tone. She seem nervous here though, and intense–but not in a good way. She’s forcing it. Her face is full of tension–it’s a frantic performance. Breathe deep girl! It’s obvious she wants to advance so much, she’s overcompensating. Adam says it was hard to let go of Hannah, but she’s in the right place. Jennifer calls her “a star” and “the dark horse on my team.” – Download at iTunes
Jennifer surprises Lucas Holliday backstage after he was eliminated at the Knockouts. SUPRISE YOU’RE COMING BACK. Jennifer calls him a “raw talent.”
Lucas Holliday – The Beautiful Ones by Prince – Jennifer specifically chose a challenging song for Lucas. She feels it will push his performance skills. Plus–this is a really hard song to sing. He’s running all over the stage. I’m not sure that’s necessary. But vocally, he’s over the top. By the last verse he’s on his knees literally screaming at the audience. Uh. Nope. That performance had good moments. But Lucas’ showboating did not work here. Adam said he got a little uncomfortable while he was writhing. Blake says he’s not sure “what the hell happened” but he wants to see it “again and again and again.” Jennifer says, “You delivered baby.” – Download at iTunes
Shi’ann Jones – Tattooed Heart by Ariana Grande – Jennifer feels the song choice is “cute” and age appropriate. She’s only 15, and has never been in a relationship, but will use her parents marriage as a guide. Jennifer suggests that she stop listening to Ariana’s version. Shi’Ann’s lower register is to die for. Her tone is rich and thick. But she can hit those whistle notes too. In a few years, she’ll be a force. Not quite there yet though. She hasn’t quite grown into her artistry. Miley loves her “little squeaks” and “quick runs.” Blake declares her his favorite from the other teams. “I see a star,” says Jennifer. Coming from a “show like this,” she says, “I understand these are life changing moments.” Miley says, “She seems like a young you.” – Download at iTunes
Chris Weaver – California Soul by Marlena Shaw – Jennifer thinks her song pick is a lot like his Blind Audition. I don’t see it. “Try a Little Tenderness” was a show stopper. This song not so much. I mean, it’s nice? But OK. Jennifer calls Chris a “freight train” again. It’s a good soulful performance, reminiscent of R&B singers from the past. But I don’t think the song pick gave him a chance to really show his stuff. “Nice job,” says Miley. “This dude is someone who should never be let go of,” says Adam. Blake would like to see a softer side. “Something to think about,” he says. Jennifer believes he hasn’t tapped into everything he’s got yet. Hm. – Download at iTunes
Noah Mac – In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins – Noah knew of the live version. And then produced his own track with the band. Jennifer gives him a few tips on how to attack the song. But this 17 year old high school senior is completely in control. We previewed this performance earlier. The first verse sits so low in Noah’s range that he seems inscrutable. But then he opens up on the second verse, and we’re off. He works the stage like a pro. This kid is a natural. I wasn’t crazy about his Knockout. But this is easily his best performance yet. Here, Noah is fully engaged and confident. “You got yourself a finalist,” Miley says to Jennifer. “You’re the front runner right now,” says Adam. Blake turns around to the audience, “I’m the guy who had Noah on my team and let him go.” Yeah, Blake. Why’d you do that? – Download at iTunes
After the break, Jennifer chooses her artists! Team Jennifer takes the stage. “You made this extremely hard for me,” says Jennifer to her team. “Take it from me, it doesn’t end here.” Yep. She should know. First she chooses Davon Fleming. Next it’s Noah Mac, because she feels he can be a great vocalist and entertainer. The remaining singers thank their coach. “I need some tissue,” says a teary Jennifer. She’s crying! “Everything is about the heart,” she says before choosing her third artist, Shi’ann Jones.
Time for Team Blake
Red Marlow – Chiseled in Stone by Vern Gosdin – “God, family and country,” says Red, “That’s how I try to live my life.” Yep. He’s a walking stereotype. Blake thinks Red harkens back to another time in country music. He wishes there were more artists like him. Folks who like honky tonk ballads sung with a twangy ache will like this. “You have such strong presence,” says Jennifer. Miley thinks he could win the show. She wishes he was on her team. “You tap into truth and trust,” says Adam. Blake loves that he wants to rep classic country. – Download at iTunes
Chloe Kohanski – Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper – Chloe’s song choices so far has Blake feeling a real connection to the singer. He’s allowing her to arrange the song her way, which is a thing he does when he trusts an artist’s instincts. She wants to perform the classic song as a tribute to Cyndi and female artists like her. This song is deceptively difficult to sing. There’s not much melody! This isn’t my favorite performance, but her smoky rasp is cutting through here. Jennifer calls Chloe “her own thing.” Miley declares, “You’re a punk rock queen!” Blake liked that she saved the big note for the end. No matter what, Chloe always brings her distinct style to the covers she sings. – Download at iTunes
Blake Shelton sneaks backstage to let Natalie Stovall know that she’s his comeback artist. Blake says, “I’m not going to stop until you play the fiddle on The Voice!”
Natalie Stovall – Callin’ Baton Rouge by Garth Brooks – She’s played over 200 dates a year for “many years.” The song is about being on the road. She relates. She sings the song without changing the pronouns. Interesting. Full of energy and fun, Natalie could be the heart and soul of any band. But her vocals are just…average. The fiddle playing is affecting her voice. It was probably not the best idea to play. Jennifer compliments her on her coordination. Miley calls her “fun to watch.” Adam calls it the “Blakiest performance.” Natalie’s Blind was montaged. Nice that she got another chance here. “Nice job, sis,” says Blake. That’s it? – Download at iTunes
Esera Tuaolo – How Do I Live? by Leann Rimes – He’s the former NFL player who came out as gay after retirement. He relates the song to the fears he had about losing everything if people knew his secret. Blake encourages him to hit the high notes. Hm. This is kinda pitchy, dawg. His knockout was montaged. I was semi-impressed by his blind audition, but this is a hot mess–yelly with intonation issues. Ouch. How do I live with screamy notes? Jennifer points out the pitch problems, especially at the beginning. “There’s something so tender about you,” says Adam. He chalks up the pitch problems to nerves. Blake says backstage “He hasn’t mastered technique yet.” Oooooh. I assume that’s a no… – Download at iTunes
Mitchell Lee – Heaven by Bryan Adams – This is a Mitchell favorite. The song hits home–he thought he’d be married with a family by now. But alas–he’s been too busy “chasing this dream.” Blake feels Mitchell straining on the high notes and suggests he take the song down a step. He would not mind being known as an anthem singer. His middle range is strong and clear–super recordable. He’s got that Hootie vibe. But are his vocals distinct? Not really. Until he goes tender on the last line–his voice even breaks–the performance is bland. Jennifer confesses that it wasn’t her favorite performance. She wanted it in a different key. Whoops. Miley, on the other hand, really liked it. Blake calls it a “solid” and compliments his performance skills. – Download at iTunes
Keisha Renae – Love Can Build a Bridge by the Judds – Blake is VERY excited that Keisha wants to be a country artist. He picked one of his favorite songs for her to sing. “Not too much icing on the cake on the verses,” says Blake. In other words, sing the verses without the runs. Good advice, otherwise she’s merely turning a country song into R&B. In rehearsal she sings so hard, her hat falls off. Heh. Those notes, those runs–Keisha is nailing it. Jennifer is ready to throw a shoe. It’s a moving performance and a perfect way to close the show. “Bridge between gospel and country,” is how Jennifer describes her artistry. “As dumb as Blake is, I don’t think he’s dumb enough to let you go,” says Adam. “You’re special…I’m in your fan club,” says Blake. – Download at iTunes
It’s time for Blake to choose his team for the live shows. He wants the group to be proud that they made it this far. Blake chooses Keisha Renae first. A no-brainer. Red Marlow is next. Not a surprise. Before he picks his last team member, the remaining four singers thank their coach (and plead their case). Blake calls it the toughest situation in 13 seasons (a bit of hyperbole for dramatic effect). He calls his last pick a “surprise…never saw this coming.” He chooses Chloe Kohanski, an artist he stole in the Knockouts! Good choice.
The Top 12