The Voice season 14 Top 10 contestants from Team Adam Levine, Team Blake Shelton, Team Alicia Keys and Team Kelly Clarkson perform live tonight for YOUR VOTES. We are live blogging every performance. Carson Daly returns as host.
In order to vote, download The Voice Official App to your smartphone, head over to nbc.com/voicevotetv, stream and/or download an artists song from iTunes. Also, XFinity cable customers can vote through their set top box. Check this link for more information. Two singers head home tomorrow night (May 8)
Tonight’s theme is “Challenge Week,” which may be song or genre-based, or have to do with performance and stage presence. Each singer will tackle something that they see as a challenge on their journey to become a well-rounded artist. Plus, coach Kelly Clarkson is set to perform her latest single “I Don’t Think About You”
Kyla Jade – Team Blake Shelton – This Is Me (Greatest Showman) – Kyla says that this song is the story of her life. She shares a painful anecdote with Blake–a guy on line called her a talented singer but he couldn’t look at her perform. Blake assures her she’s beautiful and tells her avoid the negativity. She tears up during rehearsal. Blake gives her a big hug. He urges her to do the big notes–the ones that make Kelly Clarkson stand. The song is barely a year old, and it’s already been sung on singing shows many times. The message is irresistible–I will love myself no matter what dammit! Kyla belts her way through the song with a choir backing her up. When she becomes emotional near the end of the song, it is very moving. Alicia calls Kyla stunning and riveting and a glorious Goddess. “Thank you for baring your soul like that. Blake says “I love you…everybody in this room felt your message.” He added, “You just punched your ticket for the semi-finals.” – Download from iTunes
Kaleb Lee – Team Kelly Clarkson – Boondocks by Little Big Town – This week Kaleb wants to work the crowd a little more. Last week he barely moved while performing an upbeat song. He also plans to put his guitar down. The challenge is to sing a song as a solo that was originally performed by a quartet. He wants to put a little swamp in it. He relates to the song–he’s missing home. His wife and mom drop by rehearsal. He sits through the first verse and then gets up to work the stage. Dude can sing, but as a performer, he’s very stiff. He glad hands the crowd a bit. His stage presence is a little better than last week, but he still needs to work on it. Kelly is on her feet screaming. Adam calls the performance “phenomenal.” He feels Kaleb has grown a lot. Kelly calls him a great dude and a solid performer. – Download from iTunes
Jackie Verna – Team Adam Levine – Love Triangle by RaeLynn – Adam takes his team to Conway studios (where he records). The song is sung and co-written by season 2 alum RaeLynn. Jackie’s challenge is to tell a story that may not be exactly hers. Jackie’s parents are not divorced. Adam feels that they found a song that highlights the “sweet spot” of her range. Note: RaeLynn, in her Voice days, was a mediocre vocalist. I would imagine she writes songs to accommodate her own limited range. The song doesn’t feature a ton of melody–Jackie makes the most of it, however, and does work in a few belting notes near the end. Blake loves that song, because he loves RaeLynn. He compliments Jackie on her delivery, “You hit home,” he says. Adam adds, “Finally, we found the perfect song for you.” He urges everyone to vote for Jackie’s “understated elegance.” Download from iTunes
Next it’s Kelly Clarkson performing her latest single “I Don’t Think About You.” Kelly puts on her usual vocal masterclass. YAY KELLY.
Rayshun Lamarr – Team Adam Levine – Grant Green by Mr. Jukes – Conway studios was one of the first Adam ever recorded in. He shares the story about writing “Sunday Morning” in his early days as a songwriter. Adam chose the song for Rayshun–a contemporary tune with a throwback feel. He says the challenge for the singer is to entertain, because that’s what he “literally does best.” How is doing something he generally does well a challenge? That “literally makes no sense” Adam! The song very 60ish–I’m getting some heavy Curtis Mayfield vibes here. It actually is a good song choice for Rayshun. He’s still working the stage, but not as frenetically. Rayshun has the tendency to be cornball, but not here. If Rayshun does not make the semis, I’ll be surprised. Kelly says she’s never had so much fun watching someone. “You nailed it. You’re just pure pure joy.” Adam says he separated himself from the pack today. – Download from iTunes
Spensha Baker – Team Blake Shelton – Red by Taylor Swift – The song is a challenge, because she’s never performed a straight up country pop song. “Go ahead and swing for the fences,” Blake advises. And it’s another terrific vocal from Spensha. Her delivery is effortless. She brings more feeling to her rendition than Taylor ever did. Oops. Don’t kill me Tay Tay fans. Adam thinks she’s doing exactly what she needs to be doing. He says a bunch of other stuff, but it is basically word salad. Blake calls it her best performance on the show so far. “You’re going to make country music history!” He’s convinced she will be a star. HYPERBOLE. I mean, she’s good, but… – Download from iTunes
Jackie Foster – Team Alicia Keys – Gravity by Sara Bareilles – Jackie chose the song, in order to reveal her tender side. Alicia says she picked the perfect song and time to sing it. Coach brings her team to her personal studio. Alicia shared that she was first signed at 16, but was no overnight success. Jackie is a very good vocalist, but she tends toward a glossy delivery that lacks grit. She struggles with connection. But she’s really allowing herself to be vulnerable here. It’s a heartbreaking performance. “You did such a beautiful job,” says Alicia. “I was totally riveted and taken into your world, she says. Jackie’s mom blows her kisses from the audience. – Download from iTunes
Britton Buchanan – Team Alicia Keys – What’s Love Got to Do With It by Tina Turner – His girlfriend, eliminated contestant Livia Faith, surprises him at rehearsal. Alicia and he chat about the songwriting process. She needs a quiet place to do her best work. Britton feels like he’s been playing it safe, which means it’s time to flip a female song! And he does, He turns the classic 80’s pop tune into a bluesy slow jam. He plays some lead guitar. It’s a bold and very smart choice from Britton this week! He hits some big notes and even manages to wander out to the audience. By the end, he’s clutching his heart and I am totally buying it. Adam says his heart remains broken that he was blocked! But he’s still rooting for him. “Your swag is on 30 million,” says Alicia. “You smashed that.” – Download from iTunes
Christiana Danielle – Team Alicia Keys – Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers – The song is a classic, so it’s important to keep the melody recognizable, Alicia says. Christiana talks about her love of Nina Simone. Her challenge this week is to overcome her fears after being in the bottom 2 last week. Indeed, Christiana can play with melody TOO much. This week, she keeps it pretty basic. She adds her jazzy elements while keeping the song’s bones intact. She does a scat thing, playing off the clarinet player. This is simple, and very good! The Nina vibes are definitely coming through, yet Christiana remains her unique self. Kelly says, “Your body sings…it’s a living breathing orchestra!” Alicia calls Christina a “unique special being….your instincts are spectacular.” – Download from iTunes
Pryor Baird – Team Blake Shelton – My Town by Montgomery Gentry – Pryor brings his mom to rehearsal. Blake thinks the song will be a challenge, because its from a duo. Bob Seeger tweeted him congratulations last week after Baird covered his song. It was the highest charting recording on iTunes this season. Blake mentions the passing of Troy Montgomery during the past year. Blake chose a suitably crowd pleasing song for Pryor. He’s so popular however, he doesn’t have to try very hard. Adam calls him the “best screamer ever.” I don’t consider that a compliment. His screachy rasp is not pleasant. But Adam feels he showed more range this week. Blake believes his momentum is building because fans are realizing how special his voice is. O rly. Blake thinks Pryor could win. He’s probably right. – Download from iTunes
Brynn Cartelli – Team Kelly Clarkson – Fix You by Coldplay – The inspiration for the song–Brynn’s mom has been experiencing health issues lately. She wants to help. The challenge for Brynn is to make the song her own, while still honoring the original. Brynn struggles to convey the song’s big anthemic themes. She’s not quite mature enough to deliver the gut punch this song requires. Still, she does phrase the song in a unique way. In the last verse, she plays off the guitarist, shifting into a big rock moment. Brynn isn’t quite there yet, but her potential is limitless. Kelly is tearful, “It’s an amazing thing to hear someone so young sing that message…you were born to sing…you’re an anomaly, you’re special. – Download from iTunes