The Voice season 15 LIVE Finals continue tonight. The Top 8 will perform for your votes–one solo and a duet with a fellow finalist. The Final FOUR will be revealed on Tuesday’s results show. Tonight, coaches Adam Levine, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Blake Shelton are on hand as their respective team members perform. As always, Carson Daly serves as host.
NOTE: The online Vote Window closes at 7 am ET. ONLY Apple streams count as votes. 30 seconds streaming a song on iTunes counts as a FULL STREAM. And instead of the Top 10 chart bonus, this season the MOST STREAMED ARTIST OF THE NIGHT will have their stream totals multiplied by 5.
Sarah Grace – Team Kelly Clarkson – Sign of the Times by Harry Styles – Reigning winner Brynn Cartelli had a showcase last week and Kelly took her team along. Brynn is also on hand to help mentor. “This song just speaks to me,” says Sarah. Kelly warns that this week, the contestants are “on the chopping block.” Kelly is looking for more drama, “You need a moment,” she says. The singer is sitting at a sparkly purple grand piano. I love the dusky tone of Sarah’s voice. She doesn’t employ a ton of tricks when she sings, but her subtle phrasing is effective. At the bridge she grabs the mic and takes the stage. She hits a big long note and sings with urgency. Thing is, she’s not the big tricksy singer like some of the others, and that puts her at a disadvantage. Jennifer is a fan of both her bravery and talent. “I love how you commanded the entire room.” Kelly says, “You are such a musician at this age…your subtleties are my favorite parts of your voice.” I agree with Kelly.
Reagan Strange and Kennedy Holmes – Happy/Tightrope mashup – The two are going on tour together. They’re calling it “The Presidents Tour.” Get it? Apparently they’re good friends. Kennedy did most of the heavy lifting on the melody while Reagan trilled mostly tunelessly.
MaKenzie Thomas – Team Jennifer Hudson – Vision of Love by Mariah Carey – Jennifer took her team to church. Literally. Jennifer and her team practiced in a church (The First Baptist Church of Los Angeles). While the song was Jennifer’s idea, MaKenzie believes the soulful, gospel-tinged song is a good representation of who she is as an artist. Jennifer suggests she soften it up, but also add some gospel grace notes. Jennifer says if she had come before Makenzie, she would be inspired. MaKenzie could dial back the runs a bit. But yeah, she’s hitting those high notes. Ooh. Though. Performing second is a little dangerous. Maybe her duet is coming late in the show. She does the Whitney/Mariah/Celine deal so well. But she rarely takes the performance beyond tribute. Mariah sang it better, right? Ohh. She gets fireworks behind the piano! “I can’t stand it, you are so good!” gushes Kelly, “This show is called the Voice, and that is what this show is all about.” Blake says, “That was one of the best performances that I’ve seen.” He admired the way she worked the microphone. Actually, she pulled it away at the wrong time… “You are like a coach’s dream,” says Jennifer. “It’s bananas! I got to give you all the credit.”
Kirk Jay and Chevel Shepherd – She’s Country/Country Must Be Country Wide – Kirk is going to bust out his dance moves, Chevel will teach him how to yodel. Well, both of these songs, mediocre bro country, are beneath Kirk and Chevel. Chevel in particular. It’s doing neither of them any favors at all. Both are outside of their comfort zones. For Kirk, his wheelhouse is the tender ballad, and Chevel, old school storytelling. This duet had potential to be so much better.
Kymberli Joye – Team Kelly Clarkson – Never Alone by Tori Kelly – “I’m not putting myself in a box,” says Kymberli about embracing gospel, “This is who I am!” Brynn says “This is the most important week.” Kelly thinks the song is a good combo of gospel and radio relevant. “I do think Kymberli can make it to the Top 4,” says Brynn. Kelly says the performance should incorporate a little bit of everything she’s done so far. This is a good song, with a great hook. And the gospel element is right in Kymberli’s wheelhouse. She hits a big note at the key change and then takes the room to church. She’s having some pitch problems, but she’s so full of the spirit, I’m gonna cut her a break. Jennifer says, “You make me feel like I was back home in church!” Exclaims Kelly, “I love you! You are insane! It comes from the heart. Baby girl, you better make the Top 4.”
Oh Look. It’s Jennifer Hudson singing the Target jingle…as a big diva ballad. Hope she’s getting a few extra bucks from Target for this. She and the band are dressed in red. There’s a gospel choir of kiddos. She’s shoutin’ to the lord…for Target. OK then. Was this taped last Thursday along with her performance for Tuesday? Probably.
Chris Kroeze – Team Blake Shelton – Can’t You See by The Marshall Tucker Band – Chris chose the song because it’s “awesome” and he grew up listening to it. Blake likes that Chris stays true to who he is, and brings the party to the room. He basically compliments him for being a bar band singer. “My experience on The Voice has convinced me that I’m a country southern rocker,” says Chris. Well, that’s good to know. The Voice flew Chris’s family out to Los Angeles. That’s nice. And this performance is also nice, but nothing special. Yep. Chris does a great job covering old southern rock classics. I’ll bet he’s a big hit at those USO shows he plays. But he has yet to distinguish himself as an original artist. Kelly calls him “nostalgic” She compares him to Travis Tritt and Guns N Roses. It makes her think about hanging out at the lake with her husband. Blake thanks him for giving the beer drinking back road driving fans of the show someone to root for. None of that sounded like a compliment.
Kymberli Joye and MaKenzie Thomas – Got To Be Real/Best of My Love – They’re roommates. MaKenzie says Kymberli talks in her sleep. Ha! I was so sure they’d do gospel together. But this is good! Two big voiced singers covering two of the greatest disco songs of the 70’s era. So much fun and the gay dudes are gonna love it, amiright?
Bandleader Paul arranged all of the duet arrangements. John Legend and Esperanza Spalding will perform on next week’s finale.
Kennedy Holmes – Team Jennifer Hudson – This is Me by Keala Settle (Greatest Showman) – Back at the church–Jennifer shares that she gave “This is Me” to Kennedy because it’s a great transition song for a young person. Kennedy breaks down a little during rehearsal. It’s a little overwhelming for her at times. The young singer is turning 14 this week. Oh man. I’ve kinda had it with “This is Me” on singing shows. But as song picks go, it’s a good one for Kennedy. It’s relatable for a kid her age. She has such a gorgeous tone, this girl. In a couple of years, she’ll be an incredible artist. Oh. The kids in the pit changed into white shirts for a black light effect. Carson wants to know how that happened. Ha. Jennifer is so proud of Kennedy. “I feel you can truly relate to this song…and be who you are.”
Reagan Strange – Team Adam Levine – You Are the Reason by Calum Scott – Adam and Reagan volunteer at a Toys for Tots event. “It was a strange week.” Adam says only glancing over the drama that went on last week. “DeAndre’s my boy. I love him. It’s All good.” And that’s all Adam had to say. Did Adam talk to DeAndre before the singer called him out during a local new interview or after? And for the fans, I have a feeling it’s still not “all good.” Later, DeAndre calls Reagan to give her a little Facetime pep talk. That’s the way to paper over a controversy. Good job producers! /sarcasm.
Reagan and her mom love to go “song shopping” and it was actually mom who found this song. Adam says Reagan really feels the songs she sings. Her emotions are “evolved” he says. I was pretty sure Reagan would be eliminated in the bottom this week, but maybe not. The show made a big deal out of proving there were no hard feelings all around. And, this is one of Reagan’s better performances. Her stage presence remains awkward, but she’s connecting to the song and staying in tune (mostly). And then she gets a little weepy at the end. So. Blake calls the performance a “breath of fresh air.” “I’m so proud of you, but also so happy for you,” says Adam. “I was so connected with you the whole time. That’s why this girl deserves to be in the finale next week.” Adam is sure she will have a bright future, no matter what happens.
Chris Kroeze and Sarah Grace – Jumpin Jack Flash/Chain of Fools – They do a fun thing together in a photo booth. Chris compliments Sarah, saying he didn’t have the voice she does at 16. Chris is on guitar and Sarah on keyboards. They’re playing out in front of a very loud band. Sarah’s vocals aren’t really cutting through the way Chris’s are. But then they do a little musical interlude, where they jam on their instruments, and it’s pretty cool. When Sarah grabs the mic and walks out from behind the piano, her vocals are finally front and center. The sound mixing on this is kind of wonky.
Chevel Shepherd – Team Kelly Clarkson – Blue by LeAnn Rimes – Kelly wants to show off Chevel’s pure voice this week. “LeAnn Rimes is going to love you!” Chevel began crying when Loretta Lynn reached out to her on Facebook. “Make your moment! Be a diva for a minute,” says Kelly. These glimpses of Brynn at the showcase include previews of some new songs, so that’s cool. Chevel kicks off the song real slow with just a twangy guitar as back up, before the band kicks in. Kelly picked another perfect song to show off Chevel’s old school country soul. Her yodel is like an ache, her tone clear as a bell. So pretty yet so real. Adam loves her voice and what she represents. “It’s been so much fun watching you.” Kelly says, “This is pure country! They don’t make it like this anymore!”
Kirk Jay – Team Blake Shelton – I Swear by John Michael Montgomery (also R&B group All-4-One) – Kirk has the pimp spot AGAIN. This boy is going to win the whole thing. “It’s not even about me no more,” says Kirk. Blake picked the song because it fits his style as a country balladeer with a pop sensibility. Kirk is dedicating the song to a girl named Courtney who is battling cancer. Her father reached out to him after his blind audition. “I’m here because of people like Courtney,” says Kirk. He does his country ballad thing, like he always does. He’s super earnest and emotional. His voice sounds tired this week, he’s struggling a little on the high notes. But does it matter? Kirk is a crowd pleaser. Jennifer is his biggest fan. She’s going to miss watching him sing every week. She begs people to vote for him. She’s advocating for him more than her own singers. Adam calls his voice “identifiable.” Blake says, “I could not be more proud of you.” And then Carson cuts in, because we are running short of time!