The Live Playoffs on The Voice continue. After Team Blake and Team Christina opened up the Playoffs, the other half of the coaching panel takes the stage. Team Adam and Team Pharrell will be on display to wow us with their talent and try to gain our votes. Though if I’m being 100% honest, it is likely that only one of the teams will be able to do the former.
Now that it has been revealed that the coach comebacks apply to any of The Voice rejects, we also have to wait and see who Pharrell and Adam will bring back. Will they go outside their team like Christina or stay firmly with who and what they know like Blake? Will any of these returning players even make a difference?
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Pharrell Brings Back Daniel Passino and He Performs “When I Was Your Man”
Pharrell really had more riding on the coach comeback than anyone else. While the three other teams are mostly solid and have no real no desire or need for a comeback, Pharrell needs this. A good comeback artist could really change Team Pharrell’s chances. His team is weak; there’s no getting around it. Daniel probably wouldn’t be my first choice to bring back, but I’m not upset about it. Daniel should have gotten stolen by Pharrell rather than who he did pick, Lacy.
Daniel starts off okay, but then he hits that high note. Is one amazing high note enough to get him through? I don’t know. I will say right now that Daniel is officially my second favorite artist on Team Pharrell. Again, though, he really isn’t facing much competition.
I really have to talk about the coaches’ appearance tonight before I go further. Not only are Adam and Pharell plagued by some absolutely dreadful facial hair in the practice session (Pharrell should not be growing out his black facial hair with that bleached blond ‘do), I need someone to write me an essay explaining Christina’s outfit. The half-gloves, the dress that doesn’t fit. It’s like Jessica Rabbit and Elvira had a love child and Christina is wearing the clothes of that bastard’s backwoods cousin. It is disturbing.
Emily Keener Performs “Still Crazy After All These Years”
Wow … Okay, Emily I get it. I see you. I had no hopes for Emily after the Knockouts and the Battles. After a great Blind Audition, she crashed fast and it was surprising that she made it this far. This song brings back some of the spark from Emily that was missing in the last two rounds. She was good in the Knockouts but was completely outshined by Shalyah. This is a huge step up. She is not quite at the level of the polish that makes her the frontrunner, but she might survive with the low bar that Team Pharrell has set.
Laith Al-Saadi Performs “With a Little Help from My Friends”
Laith has officially cornered the market on Joe Cocker cover songs. His best moment on the show was probably his Blind Audition covering Joe Cocker’s version of “The Letter” and this performance blows that one out of the water. I typically don’t like it when the artists use their instruments on stage, but Laith destroys this classic rock anthem with his voice and guitar. Laith annihilates Daniel and Emily, who were both very good, and they should be thanking whatever deity they pray to that they are not facing him until the Top 12. Team Adam is coming out swinging and I can’t wait to see what the rest of them have in store.
Moushumi Performs “Love Yourself”
I’ve been waiting since Moushumi’s Blind Audition for her to have a real breakout moment. There are several beats in this performance that Moushumi flirts with burgeoning into real greatness. She doesn’t quite get there for me sadly.
I agree with Adam. There are times when this feels a little too over-produced. Of course, Christina in her Halloween costume posing as a sensible outfit approves of it, though.
The Voice Recap: The Live Playoffs
Lacy Mandigo Performs “Love is a Battlefield”
I’m not positive, but I think Lacy likes pointing to people in the audience. I say that because every other note is punctuated with a very emphatic gesture to some random person. It’s like a little kid’s impression of a rock star. It would have been adorable if it wasn’t so annoying.
You can’t deny that Lacy was trying her hardest with this one. The problem is that maybe she’s trying too much. This entire thing feels very sweaty and desperate. I don’t really understand why Lacy was stolen after the Knockouts. She definitely earned the Steal she got in the Battle Rounds, but otherwise she hasn’t exactly been what I would call memorable. I’m thinking this performance will result in her last and most final elimination, or I could just be hoping for that.
Owen Danoff Performs “Hero”
I never perceived much of a confidence issue from Owen in his previous performances. Owen has been my favorite since his Blind Auditions and I feel like he has consistently improved. Yet there’s marketed improvement here from the moment Owen starts singing. This replaces his Blind Audition as his best performance on the show.
Granted, the fact that Owen has picked an obscure song means that there’s not a lot to compare it to, but he still owns this song. This really does feel like Owen’s original song and no one else’s. He makes the song, which I’m sure most of The Voice audience has never heard in their life, into something that won’t be easy to forget.
Shalyah Fearing Performs “Listen”
I’m not exactly sure why Lacy has bounced to three teams and is still in the competition. Shalyah Fearing is in the same situation and I understand completely. She is so far ahead of Lacy in terms of talent and just keeps getting better. After the Live Playoffs, Shalyah is so much farther ahead than pretty much everyone else in the competition. I’m not a huge fan of the word “slay,” but there is no other word for what Shalyah does here. She slays this song.
I can’t remember the last time a Voice contestant had such a huge moment in the beginning of the live shows. She pours all of her young 16 years into the song and it’s explosive. She commands the stage with authority and dominance. She deserves every bit of that appreciation that The Voice live audience gives to her.
Adam Brings Back Nate Butler and He Performs “Sara Smile”
It doesn’t matter who Adam brings back. His team is so talented that he’s basically giving someone false hope by giving them a second chance. That being said, this decision makes no sense. Adam bringing back Nate of all people is a real head-scratcher. I can think of two eliminated people from Team Adam alone that are more deserving of a second chance over Nate. You can say that Nate is a better singer than eliminated artist Mike Schiavo, but I will just call you a crazy person.
This performance changes nothing for me. It is so boring and not a single moment grabs my attention. Once someone is done explaining Christina’s outfit to me, they need to explain why Adam loves Nate so much.
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Caity Peters Performs “I’ll Be Waiting”
If you’re going to cover Adele — and if you’re an aspiring singer on a reality show, you shouldn’t sing Adele — this is the type of song you should choose. Caity is singing a deep cut from Adele’s second album. It never got radio play, unlike almost all of Adele’s other songs. You can’t compare her constantly to Adele because no one but Adele remembers this song. So while Caity has avoided that problem, she is still not as good as Adele. She is struggling a lot at the end here, but it could have been much worse. Caity is probably not going through after this one, but she was a long shot anyway.
Caroline Burns Performs “All I Want”
Team Adam is absolutely ridiculous. Adam’s team is so good that a singer like Caroline might be a long shot for making it to the Top 12. Caroline is so good and she is pretty much a scientific marvel. It shouldn’t be possible for such a big and impressive voice to come out of such a small body. This is so different from everything that Caroline has done before on The Voice and yet it raises the bar on her already impressive pedigree.
Brian Nhira Performs “Alive”
Fair warning that the clip in the package of the nonverbal child being overjoyed at hearing Brian singing nearly destroys my cold, black stone of a heart. I might be emotionally compromised watching this performance and unable to judge it without bias. I want (and honestly need) Brian to move on after that child warms the cockles of the black hole in my chest that pumps my blood. I’m really worried it might not happen.
“Alive” is such a hard song to sing and Brian is really stretching to get some of the notes. When it works, it works so well. It’s not consistent enough, though. Again, I want Brian to move forward, but I want every member of Team Adam to move forward, with the exception of Nate.
Hannah Huston Performs “Ain’t No Way”
Hannah might be my favorite personality left on the show. She is so sweet. I tend to suffer through a lot of the practice sessions with the coaches, but Hannah is an absolute delight. I adore her video packages and especially this one for the Live Playoffs. I hope I’m not alone in wanting to see the entirety of that book her pre-schoolers put together.
No matter how likable Hannah is in her pre-recorded packages, her voice always catches me off guard. This is no different; she is such a pleasant surprise. She might have just started singing professionally, but she is by far the best artist on Team Pharrell. She is so polished and controlled in every performance. This isn’t just grading on the Team Pharrell curve either. She is just that amazing. She completely deserves her final spot of the night. She is the only Team Pharrell artist in which it would be a total tragedy if she went home early.
The Voice Live Playoff results airs Wednesday, April 13 at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.