The semifinals for The Voice season 10 has arrived. Though obviously not the last time these eight artist will perform, this is the last time they will perform together on the same stage in the competition. It’s arguable to say that the semifinals is even more important than the finale because about half of the Top 8 will be eliminated, thus leaving a Top 4 situation for the finale. Though the last spot of that Final 4 will be determined by the Instant Save on the results show, the artists should have to pull out all the stops in the semifinals if they want to get a guaranteed spot in the finale. Let’s find out what happens in this Voice live blog!
Remember, this is a live blog, so stay on this page and refresh for the latest updates about who is thriving, who is dying and what weird crap Christina has put in her wig — I mean, hair — this time.
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Shalyah Fearing Performs “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”
It’s not great that Shalyah is given the death slot of opening the show. It’s also not great that she is singing the most over-played song of the reality TV singing competition community. I could go without someone mentioning Jennifer Hudson’s “iconic” Dreamgirls moment for the rest of my life and be a very happy man. What is great is Shalyah’s performance, which nearly makes me forget that I’ve heard this song way too many times before. The big problem with the overabundance of covers for this song is that so few singers actually connect to the emotions. Shalyah, somehow, captures all the pain and beauty of this famous ballad.
Adam Wakefield and Alisan Porter Perform “Angel from Montgomery”
I really can’t remember if this has happened before on The Voice. To be honest, after the season is over, the whole thing is pretty much wiped from my memory, like how Will Smith used his flashy stick in Men in Black. Whether it is new or not, I really love the idea of pairing up artists from different teams for duets. As far as time-stalling performances go, this is better than literally anything else The Voice could’ve done. Alisan and Adam sound fantastic together and I actually think I enjoy them more as a duo than I do as solo artists.
Paxton Ingram Performs “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”
All due respect to Pink (by the way, Pink is in this episode for some reason), but I am not nearly as impressed by her as Paxton is. This is a really energetic performance, but it’s just a tad too much for me. The fireworks, the dancing and the singing, which verges on screaming at times, is overkill. I’m glad Pharrell brings up the Broadway comparison because this is very Broadway-esque, which is fine but not really the right type of music for The Voice. I do think I would be more likely to go see Paxton in a Broadway musical than I would to see him at one of his concerts.
Laith Al-Saadi Performs “One and Only”
Is it possible to think something is both beautiful and boring? Because I certainly feel that way with Laith’s performance. Everything about Laith feels like an act to me. He does the same thing over and over again. I’m over it. The notes of every song feel all the same. Pharrell even constantly talks about why Laith is this amazing treasure each week. (Seriously, does Pharrell have something financially riding on Laith? He’s not even on his team!) It’s not like Laith’s gone down in quality at all, but he’s certainly waned in my interest.
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Bryan Bautista and Mary Sarah Perform “Break Free”
Well, they are certainly going with one artist’s strengths in this duet and it is not Mary Sarah. I think Mary does a passable job of singing an Ariana Grande song. I am, however, relieved that she doesn’t sing pop or try to match Bryan’s awesome (and effortless) high notes on a regular basis.
Alisan Porter Performs “Desperado”
This is a more subdued performance by Alisan and it is a refreshing change of pace. I don’t love this as much as the coaches do, but that’s not to say I don’t like it. There’s really not much to say in general. I’m still living in an alternate reality where Alisan and Adam joined The Voice as a singing duo, so I’m not sure if I’m ready to face the harsh reality that that partnership only truly exists in my mind.
Hannah Huston and Laith Al-Saadi Perform “Knock on Wood”
This is a step up from Bryan and Mary’s performance. Hannah and Laith sound great in their harmonies, but their solo sections don’t mesh so well together. Mainly, it is just because Hannah doesn’t really seem to be trying that hard and Laith is trying too hard.
Adam Wakefield Performs “I’m Sorry”
This is good because Adam is singing it. The song choice itself is really dumb. It’s so clearly designed for Blake’s voice and his particular twang. No matter how good Adam is, I keep hearing Blake and that has nothing to do with being familiar with the original because I’ve never heard it before. Adam isn’t in trouble because he is Adam, but this is a classic case of a good singer with a terrible song choice.
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Bryan Bautista Performs “Hurt”
If it was intentional by The Voice to have Bryan and Adam go back to back singing their coaches’ songs, it’s a poor one for Adam. Of the two, Bryan does a much better job. Adam Wakefield’s performance of “I’m Sorry” did nothing for me. Bryan’s raw and emotional connection to Christina’s “Hurt” hits (and hurts) me hard. Even if every note isn’t pitch perfect (and they’re not), this is easily the most memorable performance of the night.
Paxton Ingram and Shalyah Fearing Perform “Masterpiece”
This is not the best duet of the night in terms of vocals. It’s not even the second-best duet of the night. It is the most fun I’ve had watching a duet during this round, though. Paxton and Shalyah are having so much fun singing together and I love watching them sing together. It’s clear that with some of these pairings (mainly Laith and Hanna), the artists had no real interest in working together. This feels like something Paxton and Shalyah would actually do in their downtime.
Mary Sarah Performs “I Told You So”
This is probably the most bizarre performance on The Voice this season and I’m including that time Nick sung inside a wire box. Why is Mary obscured by a veil for 70% of the performance?! It’s not even blocked out well! She’s half in the flowing curtains and half exposed. This is just incredibly distracting, not to mention super strange.
Luckily, she is freed of this frilly prison eventually, but the damage is already done for me. I’ve stopped listening to her sing and have started wondering who on Earth thought this was a good idea. The sad thing is that with the parts I do hear, she sounds really good.
Hannah Huston Performs “When a Man Loves a Woman”
It took the entire episode, but Pink finally gives some real and helpful advice in her adviser role. I’m not really complaining that Pink is in this episode because Pink is charming, funny and super talented. I don’t even care that she is really just there to promote the undoubtedly terrible new Alice in Wonderland movie because Pink is awesome.
It’s still gratifying to see Pink really connect to Hannah and bring out her emotional side. It translates into another great, emotional performance by Hannah. I don’t know if Hannah will make it to the finale, but she absolutely should.
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The Voice season 10 airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)