The Voice season 14 Top 8 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.
Better VOTE for your favs because FOUR SINGERS will leave the competition tomorrow (May 15).
Tonight’s theme is “Special Duets.” The eight remaining contestants pair up to sing special song “mashups.” Viewers at home can vote for their favorites via twitter during the designated voting window. Also the Top 8 solo will feature “Meaningful Messages.”
Brynn Cartelli – Team Kelly Clarkson – What the World Needs Now is Love by Jackie DeShannon – She’s singing the Andra Day version. Not so retro. Kelly calls Brynn a “unicorn.” She advises her not to sing the song so “linear.” Kelly believes she’ll make the finale. Brynn surprises her friends. They’ll be flying out to sit in the audience. She starts acapella. Her enunciation is a little weird here. But her tone in her lower register is divine! The song has a few jazzy inflections. Nice touch. But something feels off about this? she doesn’t hit her stride until the very end. Brynn has had better performances, but this one had its moments. Blake says, “You’re a master at mastering the performance.” Wut? Kelly can’t believe how “innate” she is at such a young age. “Epic, beautiful and tasteful,” Kelly describes her performances.- Download from iTunes
Everybody plays HQ says the dude who runs it. Erm. I have no idea what that is. Blake and Kelly will host a live version of the game at 11:30. Download the app. You can win $50K!
Kaleb Lee & Pryor Baird – Hillbilly Bone/Hillbilly Deluxe – Kaleb and Pryor faced off in the Battles. Pryor won and stayed on Team Blake. Kaleb lost and was stolen by Team Kelly. But they’re still friends! They both love hunting. YEEE HAW. TRUCKS GIRLS BEER. Other than that. I got nothin’. Blech. Tweet #KalebPryorDuet to vote!
Jackie Foster – Team Alicia Keys – Here I Go Again by Whitesnake – Sarah McLachlan tweeted Jackie after she covered her song last week. Jackie is graduating from Berklee this week, but alas, she will be unable to attend the ceremony. She wants to write songs like Whitesnake! She wants to bring ROCK back. Good luck with that, sis. Oh. the bandleader Paul was a member of Whitesnake and is giving her tips. Billows of stage smoke greet Jackie as she takes the stage. The arrangement is all ballady at first, until the rock elements kick in the chorus. Jackie’s got a big voice. She knows how to wail those high notes. But she sings rock music like a musical theater major. And she doesn’t quite nail the big note at the end. Adam says, “The more fun you have…is how you dictate your success.” Jackie admits she took Adam’s advice last week when he suggested she have more fun. NEVER DO THAT. Heh. Alicia says, “You owned it…you did it proud.” – Download from iTunes
Kyla Jade & Spensha Baker – What’s Going On/Rise Up – Kyla is the “mama bear” of the group according to Spensha. The two have become fast friends. Well, I could not have imagined these two songs mashed up. But it’s working pretty well if you don’t mind the melody for “What’s Going On” being bent to the will of “Rise Up”. In any case, two impeccable singers shine here, effortlessly. Tweet #KylaSpenshaDuet to vote!
Rayshun Lamarr – Team Adam Levine – Imagine by John Lennon – He’s so grateful that America saved him twice. He’s the last member of Team Adam. Rayshun loves the message of the John Lennon classic. He looks forward to showing America a different side. Rayshun sings atop a gospel riff. This is a surprisingly restrained performance. When is he going to go loco on stage? He makes use of his upper register in the third verse and then finally let’s it go–sort of–in the last chorus. Nice job. Don’t think it’s enough to save him this week. But the performance will be an admirable way to go out. Kelly says, “There is so much joy in you…you help everyone escape.” Adam says “That was truly inspired… I believe John Lennon would be proud.” – Download from iTunes
Spensha Baker – Team Blake Shelton – My Church by Maren Morris – Blake notes the song is hard to sing. “You ain’t never lied!” exclaims Spensha. She liked Maren’s CMA’s version which leaned on the gospel side. Blake brags that he’s the only coach with his entire team intact. She starts off with a classic call and response, really digging into her gospel roots. It’s a rootsy, gritty version. She takes the audience to church on the bridge as the instruments drop out. The arrangement suits Spensha’s throaty alto. I would love for Spensha to advance. But she probably should have picked a serious hymn at this point in the competition. Blake says, “Everything she’s been holding back, the dam just broke on that stage.” He’ll be shocked if she’s not in the finale. So what about your other two team members Blake? – Download from iTunes
Kyla Jade – Team Blake Shelton – Let it Be by The Beatles – Kyla can’t believe she hit the Top 5 last week. America’s support has completely changed her life. The song was Kyla’s idea. The song brings her back to her grandfather’s community church where everyone felt at home. Blake says her success will all be in her “ability to blow peoples’ brains out of their heads, into the toilets and the toilets are going to flush themselves.” OK then. Maintaining those low notes is a struggle for many a singer. But not Kyla. I’m not waiting for her to hit big notes. She’s getting it done all up and down her impressive range. Sure Kyla is covering The Beatles this week. But make no mistake, she has most assuredly pulled the Jesus card with this powerful gospel arrangement. The song builds slow and steady until Kyla is shouting to the rooftops on the chorus. Wowee. Alicia compares her to the great gospel singer, Marion Anderson. and compliments her rising confidence. “Superstar iconic performance,” she says. Blake has never been more honored to be associated with a vocalist, “You may just have won The Voice.” So if Kyla and Spensha make the finale, does that leave out Pryor? Heh. – Download from iTunes
Brynn Cartelli & Britton Buchanan – Four Five Seconds/You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The two have become very close friends. They have a love hate relationship. Like siblings “Britton is like my big brother, but also my grandpa.” Britton shoots back, ‘I’m 3 years older than you!” These two songs mash together quite nicely. It’s a little messy, but the duo have an easy charm together. – Tweet #BrittonBrynnDuet to Vote
Kaleb Lee – Team Kelly Clarkson – It is Well With My Soul – Kelly thinks he’s the singer who has grown the most on the show. After his dad abandoned him, Kaleb turned to this beloved hymn to give him hope. His family surprises him at rehearsal. Tears! Kaleb’s rendition isn’t quite packing the punch that it could. Pleasant, but not moving. He’s trying, but doesn’t have the vocal prowess to pull it off. Kelly says, ‘You just killed it man!” Kaleb is teary. Kelly adds “This is the perfect time for this song.” Kaleb has been wanting to sing it from the beginning.- Download from iTunes
Jackie Foster & Rayshun Lamarr – Believer/Radioactive – Jackie calls Rayshun a ray of sunshine. Rayshun calls Jackie a rockstar. First, I’m not the right person to critique any Imagine Dragons cover. I find them entirely over rated. Also, they seem like freaking hard songs to sing. I don’t understand why any singing show contestant makes the attempt. This performance gets a little crazy part way through. It’s not so much a duet between the two of them as a bunch of hollering and shouting and random jumping around. Tweet #JackieRayshunDuet to Vote
Pryor Baird – Team Blake Shelton – Change the World by Eric Clapton – He has dedicated 20 years to music. He has paid his dues! This song pick is his favorite so far. It encapsulates his feelings for his girlfriend. I just can’t wrap my head around Pryor’s gargling on rocks vocal tone. I just can’t. He’s one of the weaker vocalists left. Still, he’s a very good performer and knows how to make the most of what he’s got. I certainly prefer the Clapton version of this song, but he turns the tune into something wholly his own, for better or worse. Papa is in the audience. He looks so proud. Kelly the pleading quality in his voice. Blake thinks America has fallen in love with him because he’s the dude next door. “I’ll see you in the finale,” he says. Blake can’t possibly believe all three of his singers will advance to the finale. C’mon. – Download from iTunes
Ah. Britton has the pimp spot!
Britton Buchanan – Team Alicia Keys – The Rising by Bruce Springsteen – Bruce Springsteen songs ARE NOT easy to clear. Britton pitched it weeks ago and The Boss said yes! The song connects to Britton in a spiritual sense. The Rising tells the story of a firefighter trapped in one of the World Trade Center towers on 911 as it burns. But it’s not a sad song. Britton notes that it’s about ascension. The protagonist literally climbs to heaven with the memories of his beloved family helping him take flight. The song brings me close to tears every time I hear it. Will Britton pull off this special song? YES HE DOES. By the time the young singer hits the verse describing the firefighter’s transcendent climb, Britton is completely lost in the performance. And yes, I am legit crying. MOVING. Alicia says she is “blessed to be working with him.” If Britton doesn’t sail straight to the finals, something is seriously, seriously wrong. – Download from iTunes