On Monday and Tuesday, the Live Playoffs happened on The Voice. Each coach put forth their best five and were then allowed to choose one comeback player from any team as a number six. This made for a lot of good singing and some interesting picks. I wasn’t a big fan of the comeback twist only because I hate when they change-up the rules mid-season but I don’t think any of the comebacks will go far so I was happy to see a few of them get another chance to sing for a whole lot of people.
Because there were so many and I’m doing two nights, let’s recap by team and in order of my prediction of their staying power. On Monday, we heard from Teams Christina and Blake. I think these are the two strongest teams so I would have split them up to make Tuesday a little more interesting, but whatever.
- Adam Wakefield sang Seven Spanish Angels by Willie Nelson. It sounded like an Adam Wakefield song. This dude is for real and I’m putting him in the finale right now. Probably just jinxed you. Sorry Adam!
- Mary Sarah was a little rough this week singing I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. She is darling and I dig her vintage country vibe but if people are voting based on this week she might be in trouble. I’m still giving it to her, she’s good!
- Katie Basden sounded too much like Trisha Yearwood to not get the save from Blake. She sang Georgia Rain and had a few problems with pitch, but nothing to not deserve a spot on team #country. I predict she gets the save if not the top two.
- Justin Whisnant got the save from Blake and my heart soared. I hated that Justin got kicked to the curb so soon. I’m not sure he’ll take a top three spot because the other three are so strong but I’d be happy if he did. He sang Here’s a Quarter Call Someone Who Cares by Travis Tritt. There is a lot of great Country going on with Blake’s team right now.
- Paxton Ingram is an amazing performer and I wish Pharrell could steal him because he deserves to be on the show but Blake is country and he’s got too many good country singers. Paxton jammed to How Deep is Your Love by Calvin Harris but he got the hole shot on Monday which is never good for voting.
- Joe Maye was much better this week on Long Train Runnin’ by the Doobie Brothers but I just don’t see the loyal Blake fans choosing Joe over Paxton or any of the country kids.
- Alisan Porter really can’t be stopped at this point. I’m seeing a few cracks but her rendition of Cry Baby on Monday is the highest on the iTunes chart right now. She just kills everything she tries and seems like a cool person you want to be friends with.
- Bryan Bautista sang Pillow Talk by Zayn and my old self doesn’t even know this song but who cares. I like Bryan and his version just fine. He’s hot and sings good and I think chicks dig him. I expect him to get the top two vote. If not, Christina better save him or I’ll threaten my first boycott.
- I’m torn for spot three but I think I’ll give it to Tamar Davis. She sang Rise Up by Andra Day on Monday and I wasn’t a fan of the up-tempo that she gave it but she is a powerhouse vocalist and that’s what X-Tina likes.
- If Tamar doesn’t get the save, I think Ryan Quinn should. Christina asked him to take off his glasses Monday when he sang Not the Only One by Sam Smith. He had a few shaky runs but hit really good sweet spots and sounded great, but the glasses off thing distracted me. Why do you take off an identifying feature (glasses) during voting week. Don’t confuse us!
- Kata Hay sounds better every week but I just don’t like her brash style of performing. This week she did Natural Woman which was a chance for her to be vulnerable and emotional. Instead, she cranked it up to Kata and it seemed indulgent. Judges commented that it felt like an exorcism which doesn’t seem like a good thing to me.
- Nick Hagelin was Christina’s comeback performer and my biggest head-scratcher of the night. You have Mike Schiavo or even Angie Keilhauer to choose from and you bring back Nick? No offense to this guy but I just didn’t see it. He sang Stay by Rhianna and I’ll probably have to eat these words because he is higher on the iTunes charts than almost everyone.
- Owen Danoff is a down-to-earth, folk artist/white guy with his guitar and I love him. It’s a thing. He sang Hero by Family of the Year and it was perfect for his vibe. His confidence is building but I like his unassuming awesomeness. I didn’t enjoy his middle of the pack placement tonight (I’m looking at you NBC).
- Laith Al-Saadi is probably the coolest dude on the show. (I’ve been using dude a lot lately) Everything he sings is cool. On Tuesday, he sang With a Little Help from my Friends by Joe Cocker and it was a perfect, mature, growly, raw performance. Vote for him! Pharrell even told people to vote for him! #nothisteam #PharrellforPresident
- I think those two are lock for voters but I’m torn on where Adam will turn for the save. Shalyah Fearing had a pretty amazing night with Listen by Beyonce but I wasn’t as AMAZED as the coaches seemed to be. She is good but she is young and her edges are still a little rough. I think Adam will save her based on tonight and her iTunes performance so far.
- Brian Nhira looked liked a sexier Erkel tonight (that might not be a thing) and he tackled one hell of a song and almost pulled it off. He chose Alive by Sia and that song is tough for Sia to sing. Ok, I don’t know if it is but that is a seriously tough song. He did ok but had some pretty rough spots. This will come down to weird Adam logic which I can’t predict.
- Caroline Burns is so beautiful and seems like such a sweet girl. I wasn’t a fan of a girl of her age singing a lyric that had something to do with taking her body. She’s got chops but this song was weird for her and she seemed nervous and tiny on stage. Awkward.
- Nate Butler was Adam’s comeback performer. Sure, he deserved it but I would have thought Adam would choose Mike Schiavo just to make up for that crap-pairing he gave him in the battles. Any-who, Nate did Sara Smile by Hall & Oates and I wasn’t feeling it at all. Too much quiet singing and being drowned out by the background singers. Not strong…sorry.
- Hannah Huston is just an amazing human being. She sang Ain’t No Way by Aretha Franklin and there ain’t no way this girl isn’t in the Top 12! She is pure and her voice is natural and she makes everything her own. She is Pharrell’s shot at winning.
- Emily Keener is a quiet, earthy girl from another time or a unicorn or any number of the awesome things Pharrell comes up with during his coaching sessions. She sat at a piano tonight and sang Still Crazy After all These Years and twisted it up perfectly. Great singer/songwriter vibe in such a young girl. She takes risks and most pay off.
- Caity Peters had a rougher night tonight doing Adele’s I’ll Be Waiting but her dress was adorable! No, for real, she was really good last week but taking on Adele might have been more than she should try during voting week. She should stay though because I think she is better than the next three.
- Daniel Passino was Pharrell’s comeback performer tonight and I get it, but I don’t. They gave Daniel the opening spot and mostly rushed through the whole selection part. He sang When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars and it was good but not better than the three girls above on their good nights.
- Lacy Mandigo is a mystery to me. Pharrell nailed it when he said stop trying to check all the boxes. She sings like she is acting like a rocker. Tonight she tried Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benetar but it was just all too much for me. She’s too polished to be a rocker and had a little nasal sound going on. Didn’t understand the first save or the second.
- Moushumi also seems like a great girl but her performance tonight nearly put me to sleep. I still can’t figure out how she is still here other than sage advisor Pharrell likes to do nice things like give young Indian girls a role model – which is completely awesome. Just not a great performance tonight on Love Yourself by Justin Bieber.
So that was a lot of recap but I think the top eight are pretty obvious at this point. The last four will be tricky to predict. Tune in tomorrow night when the top 12 are announced. I have no idea who is performing but I’m sure it will be somebody fabulous or we’ll be here to make fun of them tomorrow night. See ya!