TV Recaps

‘The Voice’ Review: Excellent Song Choices Has the Top 8 on their ‘A’ Game

THE VOICE -- "Live Show" Episode 516A -- Pictured: (l-r) Cole Vosbury, Ray Boudreaux, Tessanne Chin, Will Champlin -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Last night’s The Voice was one of the best nights of television since its season five premiere several weeks ago. The eight contestants in the competition no longer played it safe as they stepped up their game by taking classic songs chosen by their coaches in hopes of grabbing one of the six spots for next week’s show.

Robin Thicke, who was a previous advisor on the show, opened up the show with his latest single “Feel Good”, showing off his falsetto throughout the song. He knows how to show the glitz and the draw in the crowd when he’s on stage. During his time talking with Carson, he mentioned that he will be on tour briefly with Maroon 5 but also doing his own tour come February.

Kicking off the night of performances was my favorite, James Wolpert, from Adam Levine’s team. It was huge gamble of Adam to select the classic hit from Queen, ‘Somebody to Love”, but the gamble paid off big time. Dressed in a tuxedo, surrounded by other James look-alikes, James commanded the stage with his vocals. The proud look on Adam’s face said it all; James got the job done. If James isn’t one to be slotted in for of the Top 6 spots, I’ll be floored because he gave one of many great performances of the night.

Tessanne Chin, the second artist from Team Adam to perform, killed it with her version of No Doubt’s “Underneath it All”. It was a great song to add her Jamaican flow to it. The song just fit for her as a loving dedication to her family. Adam has a great gift of choosing his team’s songs and Tessanne’s selection fit her like a glove, and just had the crowd in a frenzy. The reggae breakdown that she did was on point and was so right for this song. I want to see more of Tessanne, so I am hoping that America’s votes keeps her in the competition come next week.

Cee Lo Green’s lone artist, Caroline Pennell, who performed the song “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine. Last week, being in the bottom three, Caroline was saved by the Twitter Save to come back to compete again. This time around, Cee Lo and she agreed that it was time to do a song that would surprise everyone. She did just that; and it was great to see her stepping out of her comfort zone of soft ballads and doing something that would step her up in her game. The question that will be on the minds of some viewers is; will this performance keep her in the running for a Top 6 spot?

Last night was also another night of group performances. For the first group performance, we had Blake Shelton’s artists, Cole Vosbury and Ray Boudreaux joined Adam’s team members, Tessann and Will Champlin on the song “One Day” by Matisyahu. This was such a beautiful, yet powerful song for the four of them and they just harmonized so well together. This season’s group of artists are just amazing. Each of them has shown so much growth, that it’s no wonder why it’s so hard to choose who stays.

Cole took on Vince Gill’s “I Still Believe in You”, which simply fits Cole. He has such a tender heart and his expressions are always so endearing, so hearing him sing with such vulnerability really hit a cord for me. I was glad that Blake did remove him from playing the piano on this tune, because, it would have been too much and with a song like this, you don’t want to really hide behind a piano, but be seen front

and center. Cole, as the rest, keeps growing and showing that he belongs on that stage and in the competition.

Matt Schuler, who won Christina Aguilera over with his blind audition of “Cough Syrup”, took her advice when going back to what she fell in love vocally about him. He did a stellar performance of “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, back by a troupe of dancers doing military moves. This performance shows that he is versatile and can change it up when he needs to. Each week his vocals get stronger and his ability to own the stage just shows when he performs. I couldn’t find anything flawed about his performance, which makes it hard when you have eight performances that are phenomenal.

Host Carson Daly showed a little video of Adam dancing during rehearsal time. It was cute seeing Adam goofing around a bit. The videos of behind the scenes can be found on The Voice’s YouTube page. After showing that little reel, they went right into the second group performance of the evening. On the stage, Jacquie Lee, James, Matt and Caroline all performed the song “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran, who was the musical advisor for Christina during the Battle Rounds.

The final performance from Team Adam was Will, who sang Etta James’s “At Last”. The boy took that song to a completely new level and it was fantastic. I loved that he came from behind the piano and just sang at the microphone. Will has a wicked vocal register; one minute he’s singing low, but the next minute he’s hitting every high note you couldn’t even imagine. I, like Christina, fell in love with this song, and now I have another version to connect with. Once again, Adam has done it again with song selections. It is very clear that he wants to win this competition, and he very well might if he keeps choosing wisely for his artists.

On Team Blake, Ray took to the stage to perform the song “Gimme Some Lovin” by The Spencer Davis Group. He did a great job on the song and he once again holds close to performing his style of music. I am glad that he steered a bit from his comfort zone by taking on a huge hit. He pretty much took over the stage as if he were performing a concert, getting the audience involved by shouting out to them from time to time to join in and enjoy his performance.

The final performance of the night was sixteen year old Jacquie Lee from Team Christina. This girl is a serious threat to all the rest in the competition, and her age has nothing to do with the fact that she is a powerhouse. Singing The Jackson 5’s “Who’s Loving You”, she showed shades of Christina when she was sixteen. She just dominated the song and showed that raw emotion that her coach wanted her to show when performing the song. All I can say is that the rest of the artists should be afraid, because this young lady made it clear in her performance that she’s not going anywhere.

Tomorrow night is elimination night and two artists will be going home. Will Adam’s team once again stay intact? Will Cee Lo be able to keep his only artist in the competition? Will there be another Twitter Save? The only way to find out is to tune in Tuesday night for the next episode of The Voice.