Tonight on The Voice, the Top 12 finalists perform live. After yelling at your screen all season long, now you get to have a say!
After the Top 12 perform, America will vote for who should advance to the next round.
Will Delvin dominate?
Will Adam regret cutting Josh from his team?
Or will one of the ladies from Team Shakira steal the show?
Most important, will Usher be wearing his fox hat?
Welcome to The Voice live blog!
Bria Kelly (“Rolling in the Deep” by Adele)
Bria has chosen “Rolling in the Deep” to showcase the soulful edge to her voice. Usher is happy that she will be performing with her guitar again. Bria says she will be putting her own unique spin on the song so it doesn’t sound like a karaoke performance.
During rehearsals, Usher is amazed that Bria can hold the notes for so long. He says she is an artist who could be on the radio today.
Maybe the guitar is just a prop because Bria isn’t even using it during the song. Her take on the song sounds very Stevie Nicks-ish. Okay, now she’s strumming the guitar a little. Not enough to justify having it, but whatever. The vocals are spot-on, but I don’t think it was a great song choice. It didn’t do anything for me.
Shakira thinks Bria did a great job. Adam applauds Bria for making it sound different, but he wishes it were in a higher key. Blake thinks that performing in a lower key served a purpose of allowing her to keep moving up on her long note. Usher is happy with her performance and liked how she showed her passion.
Delvin Choice (“Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers)
A glasses-clad Adam has given Delvin “Unchained Melody,” which he deems an ambitious song choice. Delvin says he will be dedicating this song to his “Mommy and Daddy” because their anniversary is coming up.
Delvin hits his notes throughout, but really hits his stride on the “Baby I neeeeed your love” verse. It is a great song choice and perfect for his voice. Still, there weren’t any chill-producing moments for me.
Blake enjoyed the performance, even though Delvin has his hair up in the “calzone” style that Blake hates. Usher felt that Delvin turned the song from a painful one to a happy one. He isn’t sure whether that’s good or bad. Shakira gives no real constructive criticism, but liked it.
Adam tells Delvin that “Unchained Melody” is about a long buildup to that goosebumps moment, and he thinks Delvin achieved that.
Dani Moz (“Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink)
It’s time for my favorite artist on Team Shakira to perform! Shakira feels her song choice will keep Dani confined, yet also propel her to the next level. Does that even make sense?
I find this song choice interesting because it’s supposed to be a duet. This is evident, because Dani seems to be rushing to get to all the verses.
The performance definitely does have potential to be outstanding, but she misses the mark. It’s all over the place.
Adam acknowledges that there was little time for Dani to breathe in the song, which is basically what I said. He also wishes there was more dynamic in the performance. Shakira jumps in to say that Dani started out soft and controlled and kept building, so basically, you’re wrong, Adam. Anything else?
Shakira thinks Dani was fantastic, perfect, amazing, heartfelt and the best ever (basically).
Audra McLaughlin (“Angel of the Morning” by Juice Newton)
During rehearsals, Blake is full of praise for Audra. He thinks that she has an incredibly unique country voice. Audra’s more excited about the fact that Martina McBride tweeted her back.
Blake has selected “Angel of the Morning,” a classic song that has never been performed on The Voice. Audra says she will focus on her breathing so that audience members will be able to connect with every note and every emotion.
Audra begins the song very softly and I can barely understand what she’s saying. As soon as she reaches the chorus, though, she turns it up and sounds like a legit country star. Blake is right about her voice. She is born for this type of song, that’s for sure.
Usher loved the song and is curious how all the ladies are able to hold notes for so long without peeing. Adam has nothing but praise for Audra and says he’s a huge fan. Blake believes that Audra will not be returning to her career as a medical assistant. He thinks she is definitely going to have a career in music. Agreed!
T.J. Wilkins (“Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer)
Wow. Is T.J. really that tall? How am I just noticing this now? Usher thinks the song choice of John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change” is a gutsy one, because T.J. doesn’t usually do modern songs.
T.J. relates to this song, because he wants to be the change … through his music. Usher gives T.J. some pointers on breathing and dancing. (If Usher could change the world, it would be through his dance moves.)
John Mayer who? This sounds like a T.J. Wilkins original. That’s the sign of a great performance — when you make the audience forget about who really sings the song.
Blake and Shakira can’t find fault with T.J.’s performance. What’s up with none of the coaches giving criticism tonight? So far, only Adam has really voiced any suggestions or pointers.
Usher says T.J. is a leader and needs to keep performing how he just did.
Christina Grimmie (“Dark Horse” by Katy Perry)
Adam tells Christina that she rises to the occasion, depending on who she is performing against. Her song this week will be “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry.
“This song specifically paints the picture that she wants to paint as an artist in real life … and she has the ability to become a huge pop star,” says Adam during rehearsals.
Christina says that live television brings added pressure (duh), but she will just take the song and kill it.
The beginning of the song is soft and sultry, and Christina nails it. She builds to the crescendo of the song and even interacts with the audience members like a real performer, slapping their hands and not showing nerves at all.
Blake labels Christina as the artist to beat on Team Adam. Shakira loved it. Usher loved it. Of course, Coach Adam loved it. “I continue to be more and more impressed and surprised by what you’re capable of,” says Adam.
Sisaundra Lewis (“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John)
Blake tells Sisaundra that his good pal Kelly Clarkson is a fan of Sisaundra, who doesn’t seem to care too much. Sisaundra would like to be a pop soul singer, so Blake gives her an Elton John song to sing. Huh?
I’m pleasantly surprised that Sisaundra is able to take one of my favorite songs and put a spin on it that I like. It sounds like the gospel version of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” She owns it.
Usher thinks Sisaundra was incredible and amazing. Adam says that exercising restraint was the most beautiful part of the performance. Once again, Adam gives the most helpful commentary. Blake is happy that Sisaundra did hold back and that Adam noticed.
Kristen Merlin (“Stay” by Sugarland)
Shakira wants Kristen to show a different side to her — a vulnerable, sensitive side. Kristen is very guarded, so this will be a challenge. Also, she will probably have to change out of her standard leather jacket.
She must have heard me, because the leather jacket is replaced by a blazer. She starts off beautifully, but about halfway through the performance her vocals cut out and we hear nothing. #TechnicalDifficulties
Carson explains that a new mic was about to be brought in or something. I couldn’t really follow, but it sounded like he was pretending like it wasn’t a huge live TV flub on the part of The Voice production staff. (Which it was.)
Adam praises Kristen for continuing to sing through the microphone adversity. Blake also liked what he could hear of the song. So … does she get a free pass to the next round? I think she should.
Shakira needs to get a thesaurus so she can look up alternate words for “amazing” and “heartfelt.” Every singer gets the same comments! I mean, they are true for Kristen, though. She was amazing. And heartfelt. From what I heard of the performance before it cut out, anyway.
Kat Perkins (“Magic Man” by Heart)
Adam feels classic rock is a great choice for Kat, and Heart is her all-time favorite band. Adam suggests that Kat be aggressive and get into everyone’s faces.
Kat starts her performance down in the midst of the audience and is on fire from the start. She is one of the only singers who could carry off the style and power of “Magic Man.” She sounds as good as the original Heart version.
She makes no mistakes and totally kills it. She should definitely be moving on to the next round. Blake is dumbfounded that Kat was just a nanny before this. He says she is a rock star. Usher tells Kat that she has what it takes to be on the radio now.
Adam would like everyone to know that Kat’s song choices are impossible songs to sing, yet she does them with power and charisma.
Jake Worthington (“Anymore” by Travis Tritt)
Blake has chosen a song from the ’90s that some country fans might not know. He advises Jake to make every person in the audience feel like the song is being sung for them.
I have never heard this song before. I like its complexity, and Jake totally takes control. He could be singing this song on the radio and I would turn it up. Seriously! He shows emotion during the mournful parts and gets loud during the forceful parts. Blake gives him a standing ovation. I would, too, if I wasn’t too lazy to get out of bed.
Oh good, someone gave Shakira a thesaurus. She has replaced “heartfelt” with “endearing.” Blake tells Jake that country music is about honest storytelling with emotions. “You made me proud,” says Blake.
Tess Boyer (“I’ll Be There for You” by Bon Jovi)
Never mind what I said about Dani being my favorite on Team Shakira. It’s Tess. Or Kristen. Right now, I’ll go with Tess. Hopefully, her mic doesn’t fail her like it did her teammate!
Tess will be singing the classic Bon Jovi ballad “I’ll Be There for You,” but in a higher register than it’s normally sung.
I’m not a fan of Tess’s outfit choice. She does a wonderful job on the song, but there’s too much background music going on for it to be her best performance. It’s hard for her voice to shine.
Blake thinks Tess is the best singer on Team Shakira. Usher takes pride in the fact that he coached Tess for a hot minute, like Blake. Shakira is thrilled with Tess’s performance, citing that it’s Tess’ attitude that shows when she sings.
Josh Kaufman (“Stay with Me” by Sam Smith)
Damn straight, they are ending the show with my boy, Josh Kaufman! Let’s do this.
Get these choir singers out of here. I want to hear Josh and only Josh! Josh sounds amazing, as usual. Usher is clearly digging it, as he bops along and smiles from his seat.
Okay, I have chills. This is just as spectacular as when Josh sang “One More Try” during the Blind Auditions.
Shakira loved Josh’s performance. Adam doesn’t care that he doesn’t have Josh on his team anymore, he’s just glad that Josh is still in the competition. Blake calls Josh the man to beat on Team Usher. Usher tells Josh that he commanded the room during his performance. “You have completely made this my night,” grins Usher.
That concludes the live performances from the Top 12. Viewers can now vote to save their favorite singers.
The results air Tuesday night at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)