The Voice Top 6 Performance Recap: For God and Country, Country, Country! [Updated]

The Voice - Season 4 Danielle BradberyWelcome to NBC’s The Voice: Country Strong, home of gingham dresses and boot-cut jeans, chewin’ tobacco and four wheelers, and Blake & Miranda as your royal couple. The letter “g” need not apply for the apostrophe’s position at the end of such words like singin’, dancin’, comin’ or goin’. Y’all.

And no, I’m not mocking the redneck way of living. (I’ve had my share of Pabst from a can while sitting around a bonfire, if you must know.) I’m just shocked that Season 4 of NBC’s reality singing competition seems to have abandoned any notion of musical versatility. Instead, what we’ve got is a game of Follow the Blake Shelton. After all, his three artists are consistently killing it on iTunes (and avoiding elimination on Tuesday-night telecasts) while Adam Levine, Usher and Shakira are all down to one contestant apiece.

Putting it another way, when electro-rocker Michelle Chamuel and pop-soul diva Sasha Allen tackle Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, it almost makes you long for an American Idol-esque dive into the Burt Bacharach songbook. (Okay, no, I didn’t actually mean that. And apologies for even putting the idea into the universe.)

Let’s cut to tonight’s set list and letter grades, shall we? Also — BIG TWIST! — only one contestant goes home this week.

Holly Tucker: Martina McBride’s “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues” (Blake’s Choice) | As Blake noted in rehearsal, Holly (aka Most Likely to Get Stuck in Blake’s Sacrificial Lamb Slot) really needed to “set the stage on fire” for Martina McBride’s ode to good girls gone mad, but to my ears, girlfriend was rubbing two sticks together to no avail — and hitting a surprising number of bum notes along the way. Usher’s feedback — saying he “wanted to see more” while looking like he’d found a dead ladybug in his salad — was as close to brutal honesty as we’re apparently going to get on this show for the rest of the season. Grade: C+

Michelle Chamuel: Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” (Usher’s Choice) | I really do love Usher’s enthusiasm for Michelle — “We should continue to do this, regardless!” he chimed in during rehearsal — but there was something about Keane’s wistful ballad that stretched Michelle’s voice to a little too far past her comfort zone. (Side note: When Michelle paused to dig around in her back pocket area, I wondered if there’d been a power outage to her in-ear.) Shakira was correct in pointing out the cool dynamics of the performance — from the gentle piano-led opening verse to the wailing grand finale — but nevertheless, this wouldn’t rank anywhere near Michelle’s personal Top 5 for the season. Grade: B

The Swon Brothers: Darius Rucker’s Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” (Contestant’s Choice) | I’ll admit I groaned a little when the performance opened with a shot of that ye-olde-timey saloon/brothel and the sextet of dancing chicas, but aside from Colton struggling on a couple of his high-pitched glory notes, this was a reasonably good effort. Oh, sure, Blake’s feedback — “nobody in the world sounds like The Swon Brothers” — should’ve resulted in a federal charge of felony hyperbole (honestly, the guys have charm and work-ethic, but a distinctive sound? Please!). And no, I can’t imagine this is the Season 4 act that will suddenly put The Voice on the map as a major hit-maker. But they did succeed in painting a portrait of a rambling man headed for points south, so bully for them. Grade: B+

Sasha Allen: Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way” (Contestant’s Choice) | I’ll freely admit that for weeks now, I’ve been dumbfounded by the praise heaped on Sasha’s patented brand of heavy vibrato with a side of screaming. But “Ain’t No Way” started promisingly enough — with Sasha displaying a heretofore unseen restraint while standing stationary at a mic in front of the kind of big-band-on-white-platform backdrop you’d expect to see in an old noir film or a flashback episode of Moonlighting. Alas, though, Sasha lost me toward the end, when her penchant for “look what I can do!” tricks served as a guillotine severing any real emotional connection from the lyrics. If Sasha were an actress, she’d leave no stick of scenery left unchewed. Why Coach Shakira hasn’t reined those tendencies in is one of the great Voice mysteries of Season 4. Grade: B

Danielle Bradbery: Pam Tillis’ “Shake the Sugar Tree” (Blake’s Choice) | Can someone — anyone? — tell me what emotion Danielle was attempting to channel during her second performance of a Pam Tillis song this season? TRICK QUESTION: There was no emotion whatsoever! (Except for maybe a faint hint of, “Is there such a thing as a sugar tree? And if I shook it, would I be able to catch some Pixy Stix dust on my tongue?”) Okay, in Danielle’s defense, what does she know about telling her man she’s not content with “the cookin’ and the payin’ of the rent”? And what difference does that lack of connection make when the audience doesn’t care about her interpretation of the lyric anyhow? As Blake so plainly exclaimed, “there’s no need to change things up” when it comes to Danielle. Except for the fact that said aversion to any type of risk-taking whatsoever makes me so bored I could die. (And yes, that was a Lexi Featherston reference.) Grade: B-

Amber Carrington: Skid Row’s “I Remember You” (Adam’s Choice) | Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up in the hair-metal era, but I couldn’t have been more stoked about Adam’s decision to assign Amber a Skid Row anthem — or by his critique that Amber’s countrified take “stood alone” from an iTunes standpoint. I mean, it’s not like her rendition was anywhere near a karaoke rendition of the original, or nothing more than a cover of somebody else’s cover. It was a fully realized musical moment unto itself. And this deep in the competition, shouldn’t creativity — or at least having the chops to sell a unique vision — count for something, or maybe everything? I loved the slide of Amber’s voice on “die for your kiss,” the way she really enveloped each word of the song to create vivid pictures of a girl who just can’t let go of a lost love. I could’ve done without the literal ring of fire on stage — Amber probably felt the same — but to me, this indicated the type of big-belting, slightly edgy country crossover artist Amber could easily become. So come on Voice voters, let her get there! Grade: A-

The Swon Brothers: Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee” (Blake’s Choice) | Whether you take the lyrics as a straight up “Square-Pride Anthem” or a send-up of deeply conservative values, the only point-of-view I could detect from Colton and Zach was a slight aura of embarrassment — which continued with Colton’s uncontrolled giggles during the coaches’ critiques. It was as if the bros had gone along with Blake’s song choice just because it reminded folks of their Oklahoma roots, then realized mid-song they were singin’ ’bout not burnin’ their draft cards on Main Street. In 2013. Blake said 10 percent of the audience would “bitch and moan” about the song choice, while the other 90 percent would be smacked in the heart. But methinks he forgot about the large swath of folks who probably found this to be some combo of outdated, irrelevant, drearily sung, not at all believable and absolutely boring.  Grade: D

Holly Tucker: Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” (Contestant’s Choice) | The judges’ praise of Holly’s performance was so muted, it might as well have come with a muzzle. (Shakira’s compliment that Holly consistently gives “good performances” that are “mostly in tune” was especially damning.) And while I can’t say Holly didn’t hit a good 95 percent of her votes, the performance had all the artistry and unexpectedness of a pageant contestant using her final interview question to wish for world peace. If one assumes that a three-way Blake vote-split has to sneak up and bite one of his contestants this week — not an unforseen possibility — then I suspect it’ll be Holly who pays the ultimate price. Grade: B

Michelle Chamuel: Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” (Contestant’s Choice) | Yep, Usher called in the big guns getting Taylor Swift to drop by during Michelle’s rehearsal, but the real excitement began a third of the way into the performance, when Michelle stopped swallowing the ends of her phrases, dropped into her trademark crouch and punch, and brought a raucous rocker energy to the stage that shook the entire telecast to its core. Not only did Michelle land like a jetliner alongside a pile of her model-airplane rivals, but she reinvented Ms. Swift’s pop ditty into a true, gut-busting rock anthem. Based on the thunderous applause Michelle received from the in-house audience, if she doesn’t make it all the way to the Season 4 finale, the show’s producers may have to deal with a riot in the venue. And to be honest, I’d raise a brickbat and torch in protest, too. Grade: A

Amber Carrington: Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” (Contestant’s Choice) | On paper, this could’ve been a safe way for Amber to connect with the core country fan base she desires without stretching her artistry too far, but girlfriend pulled off a tricky fete here: Coloring within the lines of Patsy Cline’s much-revered original, but shading it with unexpected hues like the high notes she selected on “what would I do,” the slide she worked into “worry,” the drag of the mic stand as she moved to the front of the stage. Amber’s got as much — if not more horsepower — than anyone in the competition, but she’s also got a way of polishing a lyric till its meaning shines through all the fog and noise and lighting that are part and parcel of The Voice experience. Blake’s “I thought it was good” may have been as close as he came all night to a put-down, but maybe that’s because Amber is perhaps the only direct threat to his sweet Danielle’s country-radio crown.
Grade: A-

Danielle Bradbery: Sara Evans’ “A Little Bit Stronger” (Contestant’s Choice) | It was a little jarring to see the show’s producers use rehearsal footage of Danielle struggling with pitch — especially because if they wanted to level the playing field, they’d could’ve just had Danielle take Holly’s usual position and go first or second in the lineup. On live TV, though, there were no such snafus hampering Danielle’s performance, aside from the fact that (as is becoming standard) there was no real sense of surprise, no great payoff aside from that king-sized final glory note. The question is, though, if Blake’s bunt-and-get-to-first strategy is paying off, is there any incentive for him to encourage some risk-taking from Danielle and go for the homer? I’m hoping for Danielle’s shake — and for all the sake of our next two Mondays — that the answer turns out to be “yes.” It’d certainly make for better (or at least more suspenseful) television. Grade: B

Sasha Allen: Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” (Shakira’s Choice) | When I first heard that Shakira had picked a Carrie Underwood tune for Sasha, I was as flummoxed as the first time I listened to “Poem to a Horse.” But when Shaki encouraged her last woman standing to take the tune from the country to the city, I started to get excited. Sure, I could’ve lived without Sasha ripping off her red cape-dress to reveal a set of thigh-high boots and sparkly black romper that seemed at odds with everything we’ve seen from her to date, but the vocal and the arrangement were really, really cool. I loved the introduction of horn and organs into the opening verse — the way the story of a woman scorned and angry got transformed from a country-pop classic into a Broadway blues tale. If Sasha doesn’t lose her taste for risk-taking mischief, she might just rise above her underdog status and make Blake wish he’d kept an oddball contender back in the Battle or Knockout Rounds. Grade: A-

[PSA Time: On the subject of risk-taking oddballs, have you heard former Team Blake-r Grace Askew’s fantastic new single “Empty Rooms“? If not, click here and give a listen — and bear in mind you can download it at CDBaby. Anyhow, back to your regularly scheduled recap!]

Should go home: Holly
Will go home: Holly

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 4 Top 6 performance night? What did you think of the coaches’ comments? Who was your favorite? Who’s going to be in trouble come results night? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments, and for all my Voice-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Danny says:

    I thought it was another good show. I liked 10 of the 12 performances. With the understanding that I like all 6 who are left, my take is it went like this.

    Round 1
    1) Sasha- WOW!!!!
    2) Amber- I thought it was a great choice. I like Skid Row quite a bit, so maybe a bias there. Off the subject a bit, but the lead singer’s sister is a model and his brother played pro hockey in (I think) the LA Kings organization.
    3) Swon Brothers- I like em. Straight ahead music w/ good personalities.
    4) Danielle- I don’t get the disdain for her on this board. I think she’s doing real well.
    5) Holly- I had her #1 the last 2 weeks. This was good, but not as good as before.
    6) Michelle- Breathed into the mic a bit too much. I still enjoyed it, I enjoyed them all this round.

    I liked 4 of the 6 in round 2. I really enjoyed 3 of them a whole lot. Danielle was good too.

    Round 2
    1) Sasha- Wow again!!! She won the night IMO.
    2) Swon Brothers- How can people not like these guys? Maybe they aren’t the A+++ best singers, but they enjoy themselves up there so much. They took 2 songs I’d never heard and I enjoyed them both.
    3) Amber- Another great job IMO. I don’t see why Patsy Cline (or any group) would be off limits. If Amber hadn’t sang this song, I never would have heard it to be able to like it.
    4) Danielle- She was good,
    5) Michelle- I’m in the minority I’m sure, but I didn’t care for it. I like some of Taylor’s songs, but don’t care for this one too much. She’s going to get mad votes due to Taylor making an appearance, so she doesn’t need my support on this one. I liked her first song better even w/ the breathing issues.
    6)Holly- Even Blake didn’t stand up for her. There was this air about the whole thing from Carson to the judges comments that I think she’s going home. It’s almost like it’s pre-determined. Ya had to figure whoever’s going home is going to be from Blake’s team. I think Holly’s the one.

    Overall, I like all the singers. I think it’s pretty obvious Holly’s going home. If she stays though, I’ll be fine. I’d take any of these 5 as a good top 5.

    • Joline says:

      If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Adam taking Amber country for both songs was one thing, but never, ever thought I’d see Sasha tackling a country song. What was Shakira thinking??

      • Adam Fachry says:

        She did tackle Not Ready to Make Nice by Dixie Chicks as her blind audition which was a contestant’s choice though.

        • Joline says:

          I think I’m the only one who didn’t like “Before He Cheats.” I thought it was AWFUL and didn’t have anything to do with her as an artist. Her first song was great though.

          • ETG says:

            No, you’re not alone. It is a hideous song.

          • Mac says:

            it was better than I expected but still didn’t like it.

          • tmelange says:

            I thought it was a hot mess, and Shakira trying to turn Sasha into a stripper/dancer did not work for me. If you’re going to strip, try not to end up in granny panties. Yeesh. I thought the vocals were a horrible, screechy grwoly mess. I think she was channeling Sarah.

          • rac says:

            I thought it was awful–and did she mess up lyrics at the beginning??

          • senor skippy says:

            I’m not so sure the song was Shakira’s choice. I’m not necessarily a believer in conspiracies, but I do think they prefer a Michelle win and this may have been an attempt to make sure Sasha doesn’t make the final 4. Except for the screaming at the end of the song, I thought she did a good job for a city girl. However, as I stated last week, no star this season. Pray another Judith quality talent comes along in season 5.

        • HTGR says:

          @senor skippy – wow I think you read that WAY wrong, they clearly want Sasha to make the next round

      • BillyBob says:

        Shakira should not be thinking or picking out the tunes for Sasha. Period! What next? A Selena Gomez song?

        • HTGR says:

          So basically now that someone not country schools the country singers all you country lovers suddenly hate country? LOL that figures. I guess you can’t handle anyone not doing the same exact thing and same exact precise style everyyyy singgle performance or something.

      • Yo says:

        Oh my god, I was just horrified!!!!! Shakira ruined my estimation of her as a coach when she did that. I think Sasha could have done far better on a song more in her wheel house.

      • HTGR says:

        What was Shakira thinking? That Sasha could sing country better than any of the country singers. And she was right!

    • Crazy Heart says:

      Agree about Michelle singing “Trouble.” Didn’t make any sense to me at all and don’t expect it to generate big iTunes sales. It’s not the kind of record she would record and you can’t take the melody anywhere different. It’s a composition based on the rhythm, not the singer/artistry.

      • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

        “it’s not the kind of record she would record” umm, she picked it saying talking about her being on the radio. So how do you know her better to contradict her own choice?

      • analythinker says:

        Well, she’s now #10 on iTunes overall…

        • Trent says:

          She’s now #6 on iTunes, her best sales rank so far. Although I don’t like Taylor Swift, I LOVE Michelle’s version of this (and bought it immediately). Usher really is a marketing genius — between the “four eyes on the prize” slogan last week and bringing Taylor to the studio this week he has promoted Michelle better than a music label would. I love Usher’s enthusiasm and obvious affection for Michelle — it’s given me a new appreciation of him as well.

      • BillyBob says:

        That was great sound choice, and it was Taylor Swift approved. At #11 on iTunes. So it was a brilliant choice by Michelle. Usher bringing Taylor in for the surprised visit will all the Swifties voting.

      • tmelange says:

        It’s selling like hotcakes. I loved the song choice. She totally rocked it out. *shrug* The arrangement let people see what Michelle brings when she’s fronting her band. Belting diva vocalists are a dime a dozen; Go to any of a thousand of churches and pick one out of the choir. Michelle’s may be the lesser voice as compared to others but she has that “it” factor that makes you want to watch her perform.

      • senor skippy says:

        I don’t think the song choice was bad and, even tho I have never been a Michelle fan, I thought she did a good job on this song. However, Michael said it best in his analysis about Michelle swallowing the ends of her phrases. That has been my objection to all the love she has gotten in spite of the fact you understand 90% of her song. If she is as great as they say, she shouldn’t be doing that.

    • Josh says:

      I agree about Michelle. I really love her, but vocally she struggles more than almost everyone else (except for the Swon Brothers, who don’t really take enough vocal risks TO struggle). However, no one beats her energy up there, and I’d totally love to see her live (live in concert, not live as in “alive”).

      • dani n. says:

        Michelle always sounds stronger to me in her rehearsals
        BUT Yeah she kicks butt energy wise physically on stage. Sasha killed tonight.

    • ETG says:

      I think Holly’s as good as gone. Everyone else was pretty darn good. I honestly didn’t care for Sasha’s version of that hideous Carrie Underwood song…. one of my LEAST favorite songs of all time!!

    • Keith says:

      Michelle wasn’t great doing the Taylor Swift song-I don’t get the praise

      • ETG says:

        I am a HUGE Michelle fan, but I didn’t think either of her performances tonight were up to her usual standards…..

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          I know. I didn’t want to admit it. Sigh. I still voted for her, but I hope there was enough for other people to follow suit. The first song was definitely not on, but the second might be enough to pull her through… Fingers crossed.

      • I don’t get it either. She struggles with it. But as long as Sasha stays it really does not matter.

      • The Beach says:

        I liked Michelle’s “Trouble”…a lot. But part of what I liked about it was watching her perform it. I wonder how well it will transfer in the studio though.

        • BillyBob says:

          The part I like on Michelle’s ‘Trouble’ was when Taylor made a surprised visit. That SOLD me. I’m voting 10 times for Michelle!

    • kiki says:

      YEEEEES IF MICHAEL GIVES HER AN A and a B!!!Hahaha!!The guy has always been giving her C.Yeaaah He finally cleansed them ears out!!YESS SASHA IS MY GIRL!!!!!Damnnnnn

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Hm…. why is it obvious that Holly is going home? I am just curious. I liked her first song a lot. I think she was stronger than Danielle this week (but we “know” the Danielle robot is here to stay…) I appreciate Danielle’s talent and consistency – but the “sameness” of performances is starting to become meh. I really liked Sasha this week. Nice to see her loosen up more… but Michelle will get my votes until I can’t vote for her :)

      • The Beach says:

        I agree, I preferred Holly to Danielle this week also.

      • Danny says:

        @Teeny- I went to reply to your post and clicked your name & got your blog instead. From there I read on those 6 men who were imprisoned. I spent 2-3 hours reading that stuff. What a story. It totally changes one’s opinion on things. I know this is babbling to anyone who reads it. It just struck me as ironic how a few hours ago I was all about the Voice. Then a sudden change and I realize how good we’ve got it, no matter who stays or who goes.

        As for why it seems obvious as to Holly going home, the reactions she got from Carson. The undercurrent of comments from the other judges, Blake not standing up for her. She went first and second in the singing order. It just seemed like everyone associated with the show was distancing themselves from her. All those things just seem like they’ll add up to her going home.

        I’m not so sure Danielle is quite the robot. I play poker, and am pretty decent. I’m not good enough to beat the guys on tv, but I was ranked about 12,000 out of 850,000 people who were ranked at the time. So that would put me in the top 2% or so. Anyway, one common thing at these tournaments is that as people get close to the money, they tend to tighten up. By that I mean they play real safe trying to make sure they don’t lose their chips before they cash.

        The same mentality often happens to chip leaders later in the tournament. They often try to play it safe to maintain their chips. I think that’s happening w/ Danielle a little bit. She’s only 16, though it happens to people of all ages, and for a lot less money. She’s got to be thinking about what her future holds if she wins this thing. For that matter the others are too. It’s easier to be the chaser in this than the chasee.

        Though I don’t think they’ll win, the Swon Brothers seem to be handling all this the best. They’ve got a support system with each other. There’s no expectations on them. So that’s a huge plus. The pressure gets to a lot of these people, from all the shows. I loved AI last year, but the top 3 and top 2 had 5 good songs out of a possible 15 (3 each top 3, 3 each top 2). I’m not blaming anyone. I’m actually more suprised when it doesn’t happen. In most cases, rarely is the finale show the best one. For that kind of $$$, even if I could sing, my voice might crack a little if I was singing for a million dollars or whatever a record deal is worth.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Danny, you are just so reasonable. And you are making a really great point about the natural human instant to play is safer in the face of danger (of elimination). I really appreciate Danielle’s talent from a lot of perspectives. To think that this show is the first place she has performed publicly is astounding. And she’s introvert and she’s a kid and, and, and…. But you have brought up another reason that I think having duets compete with individuals is insane – a built in support system on stage must come in handy right about now. Maybe Holly would be more at ease too if she were up there with a peer, ie, not alone? Anyway, it’s just a TV show…. Thanks of reading my blog. Cheers :)

    • Diane says:

      I also don’t understand why he doesn’t like Danielle. I think she is a gifted singer. Also, what’s wrong with country. He sounds like he discriminates against country songs. When you critique you should not show your bias!!

      • Dan (Haleyloony) says:

        1000 country songs were sung tonight. Also, even though Danielle is a great singer, she can’t connect with songs. Plus she does the same performance every week.

      • George TheOnion says:

        Danielle sings, she doesn’t emote at all, she sings from her nose, she has no substance when she belts, and she refuses to be versatile.

      • Ridiculous. It’s a recap written from one person’s point of view. He’s paid to give his opinion, not an objective recitation about who sang in tune and hit their notes correctly. How do you not understand this?

      • DL says:

        I don’t think it has anything to do with her voice. He’s mentioned that she does have a great voice (which she does… Especially for someone her age). I think he’s trying to say that all of her performances sound the same. I personally think that. She has never done anything that’s wowed me. She doesn’t take any risks in her performances so while she’s been very good and consistent, I don’t feel like she’s done anything overly special and I don’t really get the hype from the judges

    • SnoopKitty says:

      Swon Bore Brothers you mean? Come on, playing the Oklahoma card again? It’s the new Vedo’s mom angle. I also oppose any song (Okie from Muskogee) that begins with the line “We don’t smoke marijuana.” Also, is it just me or did Colton get even less to do this week than in the past? I don’t think he got to sing a single solo line in either performance. This thing is just cheesy, karaoke ridiculousness. Blake seems to think only 10 percent of America HATES that they’re doing pure country, but 90 percent of the country LOVES it. Where is he getting those numbers from? His ass? Because I’m pretty sure the percentage of people who love country this much is a lot lower than 90 percent. I hope they are done and gone!

    • HTGR says:

      HMm I’m surprised you have Michelle so far down. I thought she had a great night. And the second Swon song….

  2. Jacob P. says:

    One of the most disappointing weeks for me. I’m having a hard time grading performances, most of them felt like the same thing. Country, Country, Country. ;)

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Aw… I get that the lack of different genres can become boring, but there is definitely a difference between the country blondes. I’d rank them in this order: Amber, Holly, Danielle. I am not sure why the Swons are still there.

      • ETG says:

        I think the Swons are still there because they have personalities. Michelle is about the only other one who has a semblance of one…

    • The Beach says:

      Ugh! I never could stand that “Sugar Tree” song. In fact, I remember some friends and I used to make up some pretty risque verses for it.

  3. Jake says:

    LOL @ your take on Swon Bros’ lyrics!!
    1. Amber Carrington – First song: The judges’ praise seemed oddly muted, despite a really creative song choice/arrangement and fantastic vocal. Second song: Amazing. That is all.
    2. Danielle – First song: Not a hard song to sing, kind of forgettable (“Shake the Sugar Tree”???), but of course it’s going to be enough for Danielle to sail through. Second song: Easily her best performance of the season – the song was actually challenging, it wasn’t boring, and she did amazingly well.
    3. Sasha – First song: Ignoring the occasional over-the-top bleating vibrato, this was easily her best performance of late. Second song: (producers: why didn’t you tell Sasha her dress was falling off before that commercial break!? Follow-Up: ooooh, that’s why…) Thought it was an odd song choice, but she sang it really well; however, the random striptease and subsequence clomping down the stairs kind of ruined it a bit.
    4. Michelle – First song: Wobbly at the start, amazing by the end. Second song: (producers: way to spoil the song choice with the photo early on) Hated the song choice when she first said it – then it ended up sounding completely amazing in rehearsal, so yeah – the live version maybe wasn’t as strong in the verses, but there’s no one like her, and her onstage energy is amazing.
    5. Holly – First song: Still a great voice, still lacking the stage presence to match. Second song: Holly excels with ballads vocally (she nailed it) and because there’s no onstage “energy” required.
    6. Swon Brothers (aka Zach Swon and that bearded guy): First song: Good but not great – they’re hilarious personality-wise, but musically, it’s hard to believe they’ve beaten Judith and Sarah. Second song: See first song description, plus a dash of Kristy Lee Cook “God Bless the USA” sympathy strategy.
    Should Go: Swon Brothers
    Will Go: Holly Tucker

    • David says:

      THIS^^^ My only add is that I am a little higher on Holly’s ‘My Wish’ than most people. The Swon Brothers need work. I actually agreed with the crowd on Michelle’s take of ‘Trouble”. I cringed when I heard that Sasha was doing a Carrie Underwood standard. Her first song made up for it.

    • AlyB says:

      LOL @the Kristy Lee Cook “God Bless the USA” reference. That’s exactly how that struck me too. I couldn’t stand that song but I’m sure it’s getting the down home vote it was aimed at. That performance reminded me why I hate country music.That song sealed it for me. It’s a shame too because I actually had started to kind of like the Swon brothers in spite of that. Now I hope they go home. Since I doubt that’ll happen, I won’t be sad if it’s Holly. I just don’t even want to hear the Swons anymore. We get it, they are authentic, cowboy boot wearing, livin’ right and free Okies and everyone else sucks according to that song. Too bad I find that whole schtick makes them look ignorant and proud of it.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      LOL. “Clomping down the stairs…” I couldn’t focus on the first part of the song – I thought she was gonna fall and break her ankle. Very distracting. The walking part. The striptease would have been hot it were done better. I just don’t see her as that “kind” of singer.

      • Dan (Haleyloony) says:

        One day, Sasha daughter will see her mother’s stiptease. And it will be awkward.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Sasha definitely looked liked she wasn’t comfortable… I think that won’t be repeated anytime soon ;)

          • BillyBob says:

            i wanted to see Sasha do the Nicki Minaj lap dance / twerking action. Let’s hope Shakira gives Sasha Minaj’s “High School,” if she makes it next week? How cool would that be? Hehe!

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            @BillyBob. LOL. Sometimes I just don’t know what my sweet Shakira is thinking sometimes. Some of her choices are just odd and way off point. Oh well… Oddly, I am glad Sasha is still there, if only to break up the monotony.

        • Claudia says:

          Regardless, she looked gorgeous. I want that body!

  4. Tommy McKee says:

    Holly is not going home, watch and see

    • Timmah says:

      I think it’s between her and Sasha.

      • Emilie says:

        If Sasha didn’t go home last week with those terrible iTunes sales, she ain’t goin’ nowhere this week. Also, she got kinda nakey. No idea if that will appeal to voters. I thought it was a bad call.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          I don’t think anyone wants to see her strip. She’s a beauty, but it didn’t seem authentic. That is just not “her.”

          • Catfish says:

            agree – that was a cheesy act, better left to the psuedo X X dancers like Beyonce, Rihanna and J Lopez.

          • BillyBob says:

            Maybe the dirty old men. LOL! I know, that strip was hokey pokey lame. What next? A stripper pole to slide on? Oh my! Hate it!

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            @BillyBob. It was lame. It was like watching the girl next door – rip off her dress. Just weird.

          • Adam Fachry says:

            Oh gosh, look at yourselves. That was hardly JLo’s level of trashiness. I’m sorry, I can’t help but detect the double standards in these comments. I’m sure y’all would’ve been happier if it was Adam Levine who sang without his clothes on.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            Nah. What I am saying is that she should be true herself as an artist – and not strip to make herself more appealing. She is already appealing. I don’t think anyone has ever critiqued her looks. Clearly, that would be stupid. Comments were always about her performance and the creative choices was/wasn’t making. Adam naked? No. Adam silent? Maybe…

          • HTGR says:

            How do you know what is her? It wouldn’t even get noticed compared to everything that goes on day in and day out in videos.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            I am talking about the image that she has chosen to present thusfar. It has been pretty consistent thusfar. Even in her video packages – it’s the same. I am not saying I know “her.” Literal much?

          • HTGR says:

            BIllyBob you are being a total hypocrit since you were loving the daisy dukes and all when it was country singers…. but that is why country wins out of proportion. If are country country loves you no matter what. If you are not, then forget it.

    • ETG says:

      Holly is the MOST bland and boring performer left.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Hm… I think there might at least be a 3-way tie for most boring, depending on the night. Did you really like Danielle singing about the tree? Did that light up the stage? Really? I think everyone on Blake’s team is staying because they are on “Blake’s” team – and people like him, more than anything. And his fans are voting full tilt.

        • ETG says:

          Danielle could sing about a pile of cow sh*t and her robotic fans would think it was the most WONDERFUL, PURE thing to ever come down the pike :-)

          • Danny says:

            @ETG- Not so fast there. I happen to like Danielle. Oh, btw, what color cow?

          • MC says:

            @Danny – I’m glad most of the people on here are not professional talent scouts. Carrie Underwood was considered a “robot” by many “fans” of AI several years ago. I think they would have passed on her as well. It is so clear to me that Danielle is only going to get better and become more connected to songs. Does anybody remember what it was like to be sixteen?Anybody? There is a parallel to sports here where scouts have to project the talents of college players as they move upward to the pro level. Danielle would be considered a blue-chip prospect, a can’t-miss, a sure thing. Does that mean she’s the only good singer on The Voice? No, but she very much deserves to be in the final five imo.

          • Danny says:

            @MC- Whoaaaaaaaaa, cool beans in your analysis. I love college football and think of it the exact same way. That “not so fast” to ETG was actually said in a Lee Corso tone. For those who don’t watch college football, when Corso disagrees w/ his buddies predictions, he’ll say “not so fast.”

            These are the college kid equivilent of NFL football players. I don’t expect them to be 100% pros. If I want that, I’ll go see the Who, Moody Blues, Celine Dion, or someone along those lines. I’ll also pay $100 ticket more than likely.

            These are kids who I’m watching on tv for free. Even when I don’t like something (this years AI for instance) it’s never the kids w/ a dream that I’m annoyed with. It’s the judges who make $8 million or the producers who make I don’t know how much. Those people are fair game to be blasted.

            I’m certainly no talent scout. I’ve learned that I don’t have a clue as to who’ll be big and who won’t. In addition to the AI winners, I thought Bo, Crystal, Siobhan, Haley, Allison, Melinda, Amanda from last year’s Voice, and a whole slew of others were going to be big. It’s not who I like that’ll make it big. It’s whoever the record companies will get behind and promote that will make it big.

        • The Beach says:

          Blake watches itunes like a hawk and chooses his songs accordingly. You could just hear his gears turning: “Hmmm,…Danielle sold the most downloads when I gave he an old Pam Tillis song, think I’ll do that again….Check. Holly got saved last week cause I gave her an unbeat, sassy song…Check. The Swons…let’s see…what can they sing about Oklahoma..ah, Check!”

          • BillyBob says:

            LOL! I think you are spot on. That Blake is a crap of genius. :)

          • SnoopKitty says:

            That SOB Blake playing the Oklahoma card again? It’s the new Vedo’s mom angle. Blake seems to think only 10 percent of America HATES that they’re doing pure country, but 90 percent of the country LOVES it. Where is he getting those numbers from? His ass? Because I’m pretty sure the percentage of people who love country this much is a lot lower than 90 percent.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            @The Beach. Gotta admit the guy is “playing” this game like a pro. I am not sure how they can beat him in future seasons, or even now… He’s just killing on the strategy front, I feel like I am watching Survivor and not a singing show. I just wish it made the show more interesting to watch.

          • Lee says:

            I agree Teeny. By the coaches manipulating The Voice, they’re ruining this singing competition. Instead of being about the singers, it seems to be more about the coaches. Just like Idol. I think all these singing competitions have run their course.

    • Joline says:

      Think Swon brothers going home. They got bad performance spots and their second song was alienating for most non-country viewers.

      • Ted says:

        Nope. Their personalities will save them. Holly is going home.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Alienating? Really. Now, I have go back and watch it… That sounds interesting. I would like them to go home. That sounds really nice.

      • The Beach says:

        In addition, they just didn’t sing that Okie song very well. It’s been done just as well at 100 karaoke bars across Oklahoma.

        • Catfish says:

          True, they did an amateur karaoke version of the song, I have no beef with the Swon Bros. at all, but that was not to good even for old-timer country fans.

      • SnoopKitty says:

        Yeah, that second song from the Bore Brothers, come on, playing the Oklahoma card again? It’s the new Vedo’s mom angle. I also oppose any song (Okie from Muskogee) that begins with the line “We don’t smoke marijuana.” Also, is it just me or did Colton get even less to do this week than in the past? I don’t think he got to sing a single solo line in either performance. This thing is just cheesy, karaoke ridiculousness. Blake seems to think only 10 percent of America HATES that they’re doing pure country, but 90 percent of the country LOVES it. Where is he getting those numbers from? His fricking ass? Because I’m pretty sure the percentage of people who love country this much is a lot lower than 90 percent. I hope they are done and gone!

        • Red Eye says:

          The reason Blake’s singers win is because he knows that they are country singers and doesn’t make them sing 70s hard rock songs or some song just for the challenge. I, for one, enjoy listening to the voices. I listen with headphones so I don’t know who did a strip, or who wore what. It is the Voice right? What I can tell you who was pitchy or forcing it. Danielle, (I don’t care what she sings) is just pleasing to the ear, boring for you or not. On a final note, country is in the roots of all music, (excluding opera and classical) and country fans are the ones who buy the records and do the voting. Anyone watching the last 5 years of these singing shows should have picked up on this fact many years ago.
          It’s not that Blake is boring you with country, it’s the other judges making their singers (who aren’t country), sing country songs, just for the votes… Last year Cassidy pope wasn’t forced to sing country songs, because Blake lets the singers sing what they love, not what you love.
          The other judges were so busy trying to steal country singers, they forgot to pick singers that would fit in with their coaching. (Judith Hill whom I believed was the best singer in the competition is gone and it proves that being best and being country are two different things.)
          The way the show manipulates the voters is distasteful as well. Showing Taylor Swift loving Michelle’s song wasn’t a plea for votes? Please… Let them sing the songs first, then put up the coaching bio, to see how they did. Showing Danielle or any other of the singers struggling to hit a note, only makes the viewer listen for a mistake, instead of just enjoying the song..
          I love the country haters on here, but if your honest, when was the last time you bought an album or record… remember I said honest…
          Based on “The Voice” The Swan Brothers should have left many moons ago.. can’t fight country..
          all of this is of course IMHO.. Don’t get upset, just have a great day..

          • BillyBob says:

            @Red Eye; You have great points! Should of brought in Taylor the next day, after Michelle’s performance. Like with Idol. They had Paula Abdul and Drake showed up for Candice. But it was after the voting and performances. I admit I was listening for a slight mistake from Danielle, because of that showing. Great input. Good day to you.

  5. Lauri says:

    I love Michelle. She sang that song better than Taylor Swift ever could.

  6. EVPandHC says:

    Michelle is actually leading iTunes this time with I Knew You Were Trouble. :D

  7. John says:

    Come on…you’ve gotta rate the Swon Brothers. I actually thought that was a lot of fun, and there are people that will eat that up! I’m loving the fact that Sasha slayed it tonight.

  8. Dan (Haleyloony) says:

    My favorites were Amber (Save the [insert title here]), Michelle “White Girl With Gigantic Glasses” (WGWGG), and Sasha Fierce ( I mean Allen) :)

  9. Atlanta Mike says:

    Sasha Won the night in my opinion :] … 1)Sasha 2)michelle 3 or 4)Danielle/Amber (They were a tie) 5)holly 6)Swan Bros

  10. Sergio says:

    Wow definetly Sasha killed it today with the 2 songs! She was awesome! Also michelle with the swift taylor song was good, im tired of team blake, they all sing the same way…

    • the girl says:

      I wasn’t a fan of Sasha before this week. The way she cleaned up the entire stage with Ain’t No Way, I am ready to buy her album right NOW. She was amazing. That was gorgeous and she did Aretha justice. On another note, the way people criticize Sasha’s vibrato and runs, it makes me think they don’t understand her musical perspective. That powerhouse emotion, that tearing up the melody and throwing it away vocally, that is the heart of R&B soul, and she’s got it. People think of Beyonce as being a representative of R&B and they are wrong. You need to check out Chrisette Michele. Even better, check out early 90’s Mariah or late 80’s Whitney. That’s where Sasha’s coming from, not that hip-hoppy-pop crap that’s all over the radio now.

      • Trent says:

        Thank you, @The girl, I couldn’t agree more! Not sure why Slezak (and many posters on here) are so dismissive of Sasha, when to my ears she is an incredible vocalist. The “she’s screaming” comments are especially bizarre, given that almost every female vocalist on the show (and on AI) has “screamed” at one point. The same people who criticize Sasha for her exuberant style probably love hard rock vocalists who screech through their songs. Face it — R&B as a genre has a different style that prizes emotion and OTT vocalization. IMO, Sasha is just amazing and I’m shocked that she hasn’t been signed to a label before this.

        I really hope the final two are Michelle and Sasha…

  11. Vicki says:

    Let’s face it. The Voice is now the Blake Shelton show. You knew it was going to happen. So next year on the Voice, the contestants will cringe when Blake doesn’t turn around and always choose for him when he does.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Oh, sigh. I love Blake too. But I think he might be singlehandedly ruining the show… I am okay if this season is an outlier, but if every season is going to be the Blake Show – it’s going to get old and fast. If Michelle and Sasha weren’t there I don’t think I could take it – and I actually like country music… One of the interesting things about the show was the diversity – like Nicholas and Dia and many others.

  12. Mafs95 says:

    OMG Michael gave Sasha a B and a A- !!!!! I’m very happy, because these last weeks I’ve been thinking she had great performances but his ranks were all C/C+ and I didn’t understand that at all. In my opinion, it should be either The Swon Bros or Holly leaving the competition tomorrow.

    • dan says:

      I haven’t understood what Michael has against Sasha. Week after week he heaps on the criticism and gives her low grades. This week she did a great job and its nice to see Michael ackowledge it…kind of.

  13. Davey says:

    Sasha Allen’s first number was so much better than her second, I don’t know what Michael was listening to tonight. I purchased both of Michelle’s and Amber’s songs on iTunes. The majority of my votes went to Amber because I’m scared Blake has too much control of this show. Hope Amber and Michelle make it to the top 3.

  14. kaba says:

    If I were Taylor Swift I’d be begging my label not to drop the living hell out of me after watching Michelle decimate everything about the original version…
    I literally imagine a nuke going off over Taylor’s head when I re-watch Michelle’s version.
    As for her first song, I can see why it was weak and came off as weak, as a person who’s been in band of 8 years I was ogling over the first intended and well executed use of crescendo’s and decrescendo’s. Gave the song depth

  15. debi says:

    Michelle’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” itunes version is MUCH better than the live one. It’s really good, but Danielle is still my favorite, and I loved “Okie from Muscogee”.I LOVE country music. Everyone did well, but I agree with Michael that Holly will most likely go home tomorrow night.

  16. Scorner says:

    Now there is more versatility on Idol than there is on The Voice this year. At least with the Burt Baccarat theme we heard Candice slay “Don’t Make Me Over” and Kree’s version of What The World Needs Now. The song choices on the Voice just make it seem like they are trying to hard to become today’s pop stars and copy them. No thanks!

  17. Adam Fachry says:

    Sasha’s Ain’t No Way deserves to get an A- if not an A tbh. Slezak loves himself some Jennifer Hudson vibrato, Sasha demonstrated that tonight. Also, don’t mock Merle Haggard. Some people may view the lyrics as a proclamation of morality when it’s actually a satire of small-town america and its reaction to the anti-war protests and counterculture in US’ larger cities. A very smart choice of song, if I may say so.

    • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

      This. I can’t believe nobody “gets” this song. It’s satire, people!

      • HTGR says:

        Hard to say, he originally he was very adamant that it was supposed to be 100% serious and it was to be taken straight and he was disgusted and sick of all the protesters and was standing up for small town folks and good people (although from what I read he was in and out of jail like a million times so). Many years later he claimed a few times that it was to be taken 100% as satire and once went so far as to call it a knock on the small town uneducated. I’m not sure I care for taken either way to the extreme, so I’d just call it a bad song.
        So yeah I don’t know what to make of that. The guy who wrote it 100% contradicts himself depending upon which interviews with him you read. Blake seemed to be taking it as straight OK pride and I can’t imagine him using in ironic fashion on the show.

  18. GTS says:

    Was I the only ne who didn’t like Sasha’s performance of “Before He Cheats”? I thought it was not nearly as good as Carrie Underwood’s original. It seemed he she didn’t phrase the whole first half of the song, I hope this doesn’t propel her into the finale, after weeks of bad songs.

    • Sergio says:

      Well i really liked it it didnt sound so country!!

      • Mike says:

        But it IS a country song. She was enunciating things like she was in a musical. Country music has twang and throw away sounds. It just wasn’t a good song choice. Didn’t matter though cause her first performance may have been the best of any of them tonight.

    • ETG says:

      No, you’re not the only one. I HATED the song, just like I hated the original. It is SUCH a contrived, formulaic song that never suited Carrie at all, IMO. She tries to make it sound like she’s gonna go out and kick some ass, lol, right :-D

    • Sg. Grant says:

      I didn’t like it. She didn’t enunciate the words properly, it had a bit too much screaming, and it didn’t feel like it was true to her. It was like she was just trying to sing it how she thinks Beyonce would sing the song.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I don’t think that song was a great fit. I kept thinking of Carrie’s version. I couldn’t help it. The stripping and stairs were just distracting. She sang it well for her, but Carrie is another level.

  19. Jo says:

    The Voice should ask Idol how catering to hicks worked out for them. AI’s ratings never recovered after Scotty McCreepy’s win.

  20. Robin says:

    The dancers behind the Swon Brothers bothered me. “Wagon Wheel” is not a song that needs dancers behind the performer…I’m just saying. Also bothered by Sasha’s costume change/disrobing… during Before He Cheats.
    Adam is a smart coach. Part of me does wonder if the “blacklash” from Adam’s comment (that I personally didn’t even hear or pay attention to much last week) kind of played into the “overly” country episode tonight. Probably not but it seemed odd for Sasha and Michelle to sing country songs really…

  21. Em says:

    This is a pretty strong group of contestants and I think all the contestants had some of their best moments today. Sasha, Michelle, and Amber just killed it today. I understand how Blake is trying really hard to get a country artist to win, and he has 3 really good country artists, but I feel like his team’s song picks aren’t really challenging the contestants like the other coaches are doing. The best performances tonight came from contestants taking songs from outside their wheelhouse and making them their own. For that, I hope all 3 of the non-Blake contestants get to remain. I guess if I had to choose any contestant(s) to go home, it would be either Holly (who I adore) or the Swon Brothers.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Aw…I don’t want Holly to go home. I thought she did great tonight… I think Blake will sweep and unfortunately someone I don’t want to go will.. like Amber :(

      • Sheilalala says:

        SHHHHT hush your mouth Teeny! That’s my worst fear! All the Amber lovers/whoever else haters need to zip over to itunes and buy her songs instead of whine and moan for 6 days if she goes..

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          @Sheilala. LOL. My bad. It was weird last night – I couldn’t find some of the songs on iTunes. I makes me think the fix is in when stuff like that happens. Fingers crossed.

  22. Adam Fachry says:

    It is very odd to see pretty much songs by country artists dominating the show tonight. But, I don’t find it odd for both Michelle and Sasha to sing one. First of all, Michelle’s song is HARDLY country at its most traditional and even contemporary country radio sense, it even has a subtle electronic sensibility (in the original due to the whole dubstep-esque production) that Michelle seems to possess. Also, Sasha has once nailed a Dixie Chicks song during her blind audition. So, I don’t get what is so unusual about their performances.

  23. Claudia says:

    I don’t get the praise for Amber’s take on Crazy. I’ve heard it sung by a lot of people & this was easily the worst rendition. I understand “make it your own” but she ruined it, plus she was flat again as usual.
    I don’t think anyone was all that good in the 1st round. 2nd round I loved Michelle & Sasha & I always enjoy the Swons.

    • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

      I really liker her, but I agree, it was meh for me. I’m worried about her slipping through the cracks.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Yeah. I wish that wasn’t Amber’s last song. After two notes, I had to move on… That’s a deceivingly tough song, and I don’t think she nailed it. I think she might be in trouble…

    • The Beach says:

      “Crazy” is the song I was hoping Kree would sing on AI.

    • algalhi says:

      I think Amber may be in trouble. Holly has a strong fan base and has surprised us that, week after week, she keeps getting voted in. What will Adam say if Amber gets kicked off? “I hate the world”?

    • Timmah says:

      Yes, I thought it was a rather sleepy version. As in, I had to nudge myself awake at the end. Amber will be safe though.

  24. Angie_Overrated says:

    Did Slezak really give Sasha higher than a C? Wow. I think I just saw a pig fly by my window. I can see why some people might be turned off by her quick vibrato, but I’m happy to see she had the right vehicles to showcase her talents tonight, even if her Underwood cover was clear vote pandering. I don’t blame her though. If you can’t beat the country vote, might as well join them. Besides buying herself at least 1 more week, I’m more happy to see that Sasha has justified her spot this deep into the competition with her performances tonight.

    • George TheOnion says:

      Yeah, I didn’t understand why he never liked Sasha. I’m surprised that he gave her higher then a C, hell I’m flabbergasted that he gave her an A-.
      Though, I do love me some Florence and The Machine and Grace Slick. I guess I’m used to the faster vibrato.

  25. EVPandHC says:

    19. Michelle Chamuel – I Knew You Were Trouble
    39. Danielle Bradbery – A Little Bit Stronger
    54. Danielle Bradbery – Shake the Sugar Tree
    55. Michelle Chamuel – Somewhere Only We Know
    71. The Swon Brothers – Wagon Wheel
    72. Amber Carrington – I Remember You
    74. Sasha Allen – Before He Cheats
    80. Amber Carrington – Crazy
    91. Sasha Allen – Ain’t No Way
    107. The Swon Brothers – Okie From Muskogee
    151. Holly Tucker – My Wish
    247. Holly Tucker – When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues

  26. daynamonet says:

    Sasha killed it! Very beyonce-esque w/her the thigh highs and costume chng. Also loved her first song snd slezak should’ve def gave her an A. Loved michelles second performance. She was def rockin out. I liked amber as well in both songs. I think her 2ndup song she had great showmanship and looked really comfortable. Didnt care too much for the 3 country artists but i personally think swon bros should go gome but holly prolly will go.

  27. PB says:

    Okay, let me just give a correction because it’s unfortunate that folks don’t know their musical history and that Blake didn’t correct them or that he doesn’t know himself. Wagon Wheel, a great song, isn’t a Darius Rucker song. He covered it. It’s actually a Old Crow Medicine Show song taken from an unfinished chorus of Bob Dylan’s and the original is fantastic. Better than Rucker’s, which is pretty good. I hate when these shows don’t give proper credit to the original artists. Check out he original, it’s excellent.

    • Mike says:

      That’s exactly what I said. Just because Darius just came out with a version doesn’t mean it’s his. I was disappointed no one pointed it out. I thought maybe in the critique afterwards someone might(especially with the Bob Dylan connection).

  28. allie says:

    I love The Voice. I do. I even like country music a little bit. But I don’t watch Nashville Stars (or whatever the reality show is for country music) and this is getting old fast. I am pretty sure Danielle sang the same song twice. Holly needs to go stat. I can’t even begin to say anything positive about Oakie from Wherever. Amber is better but flat, flat, flat. Why don’t the judges call her out on that? Her last note on her first song was like nails on a chalk board. Sasha was vastly improved tonight. Michele is my favorite and I am hoping all these other mediocre country singers cancel each other out. Not a single one of them compares to Carrie Underwood or any of the better acts currently out there.

    • Ed says:

      Thing about country is…. the market is FLOODED with great performers. I just don’t see where there is room for any more, or even the need. The Swon Brothers could probably carve a niche out for themselves, but there are already PLENTY of performers out there like Danielle, Amber and Holly. By the way, Nashville Star didn’t make it. Curious, since country fans seem to make up the lion’s share of The Voice’s viewers. Blake Shelton was even a judge on NS for one season.

      • Mike says:

        Nashville Star never had any real backing. Nothing like American Idol or the Voice is getting. Which is odd considering it’s first season created Miranda Lambert. And why is it so bad that the market is flooded with talent? Does everything have to be “new”? Overflowing talent will NEVER upset me.

        • Ed says:

          The problem with oversupply is that you get groups of people that start looking/sounding ABSOLUTELY the SAME. I mean, why buy a Danielle song when there’s already a Carrie?? I am always surprised during my infrequent visits to CMT, when I see some new artist who looks and sounds exactly like the new artist they showcased LAST week, lol

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      You nailed it. Thank you.

  29. Jane says:

    #TeamShakira SLAYED tonight!

    Sasha’s delivered her best performances, since the season started.

    Lol, Usher bringing in Taylor Swift. He’ll do whatever it takes to get people to vote. I like is style.

    I’m tired of people kissing Danielle’s “almighty” derriere. She’s completely full of herself. I rolled my eyes, when she started talking about how high her twitter fan-base continues to grow I’m just not buying it. She’s so pretentious.

    • kiki says:


    • The Voice says:

      You speak the truth about Danielle Bradbery! She needs to be taken down ASAP!

    • Ed says:

      I don’t think she started out that way, but now it’s gone to her head. That’s a damn shame for such a sweet young girl to be ruined by the show biz machine…..

    • delores90 says:

      completely agree!!! talking about twitter followers – every damn song is the same…i know she’s only 16 but her voice is too high pitched for me. there is absolutely no change in her range whatsoever

    • BillyBob says:

      Shakira should of brought in Carrie Underwood to surpirse Sasha. LOL!

    • HTGR says:

      I don’t think you should get on Danielle for that, the leading questions begged her to say that practically. People need to stop reading so much into every little thing said on a show.

  30. DaysGoBy says:

    I agree Amber was very flat doing “Crazy”.
    I absolutely detested “I’ll Remember You” when Amber sang it it had no edge like the original and I loved Skid Row

    Sasha singing Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats was horrible!!! Like Holly trying to pull off “Done” last week..It’s an angry song I didn’t believe Sasha AT ALL.

    The Swon Bros entertaining as always they will have a career but hardly The Voice!!!

    This was Holly’s weakest night

    Danielle did very well and that last note — Amazing!!

    I love Michelle but I didn’t like either performance.

    I thought Sasha won the night before she sang Carrie U. Danielle was the only one with two solid performances

    I think tomorrow could be Holly, Sasha or Amber we’ll see.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I fear it’s Sasha and Amber.

    • BillyBob says:

      Hey fellow #TEAMDANIELLE. Shakira should not be picking tunes for Sasha anymore. PERIOD! LOL! I thought it was a hot mess with Sasha doing ‘Before He Cheats.’ What a hot mess with her pulling that dress off and and wearing that Fredericks of Hollywood outfit. Bouncing up and down. Sasha should of brought a baseball bat and started bashing things and do a Nicki Minaj lap dance? Danielle did well on both songs. I like the Sara Evans choice. I wanted her to do a Martina McBride song. I thought of a Sara Evans another Sara Evans song, but this song is good to go too! I actually liked the Taylor Swift surprised visit, that sold the song for me personally. Smart move by Usher.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Nah, disagree with your take on “Before he cheats.” Did you see what Jennifer Lopez and Mary J Blige were wearing at the London benefit concert this weekend? Sasha’s outfit looked like Mormon Sunday attire in comparison. It was clear what Shakira was going for, that being rebranding Sasha Allen as Sasha Fierce. Smart move. Sasha has the skills, but what she’s lacking is the pizazz and presence.

  31. Mike says:

    To put Holly’s first song over Michelle’s is a joke. That was a terrible song choice by Usher. And Sasha’s Carrie Underwood song was a train wreck. To give it anything over a C is an indication that maybe you don’t know much about country music Slezak.

    • Joline says:

      Couldn’t agree more but apparently we are in the minority on Sasha’s song. To me it was totally unbelievable in every way.

    • Sara says:

      Did you not understand that Sasha was making it “city” (Shakira’s word)? It wasn’t meant to be country. It was a great interpretation of the song.

      • Mike says:

        To make that song “city” you’d have to change the words. It’s a country song through and through.

        • Sara says:

          Because urban women can’t get jealous and trash a guy’s car? Please.

        • HTGR says:

          right, unless you mean to tell us that only country guys cheat and only country girls get all crazy and that Northern folk are more honest and upright and peaceable? Well maybe you are.

    • Will says:

      Why do you think Sasha’s interpretation of a country song should remain country?

    • BillyBob says:

      Count me in the ‘train wreck’ hot mess mode. Attention Shakira, please do not pick songs for Sasha anymore.

  32. pylgrym says:

    Hello to Blake’s Bitchin’ 10%. I knew exactly where you would be, led as always by your tireless South bashing cheerleader.

  33. DaysGoBy says:

    Everyone is in the Top 100 on ITunes except Holly

    • ETG says:

      Poor Holly has all the personality of a cedar fence post. Everyone’s favorite busybody Christina Milian even gave her the chance for a breakout moment by handing her a sax….. and what does she do?? She plays a freakin’ SCALE!!! How unimaginative and boring!!! If she had been cool, she would’ve broken right into Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” without even missing a beat!!!

    • SlimJim says:

      She or The Okies can go home now. Bye!

  34. kaba says:

    Re-listening to “Somewhere Only We Know”
    At first, I find myself easily agreeing with everyone saying it didn’t do as well as expected…

    But there’s a refined quality to the way she’s singing it that makes me like it more and more each time I listen to it.

    I just like EVERYTHING she did to the song vocally each time I listen to it again. I get this feeling that every note was intended to come out the way it did and it just…I love it now

    • That was the best of her 2 performances tonight. Why she sells more copies of I Knew You Were Trouble is just one of those mysteries…

    • Vetle says:

      I agree. I don’t think I’ve been this moved by a The Voice performance ever. Such a beautiful songs. I just love Usher and Michelle for picking one of my all time favorite songs and absolutely slaying it. She must win.

  35. Alan Dvorkis says:

    This show has completely lost its way. Contestants can do no wrong. It is no longer fun. I miss the old Simon. I hope he reappears soon, whether it be this years x factor of by a miracle, next years Idol. If not, like The Voice, I shall be done with all singing shows. Shame.

    • kaba says:

      Even Simon has his head up his ass now.
      Did you see Xfactor Season 2 where he was assuring that all his dismal acts (well…Emblem 3 specifically) were the greatest things to be introduced to music? Not to mention all he does is tote around his 300 million records bull.
      It’s exasperating. He’s changed, too corporate.

      • chrysta says:

        Well at least we don’t have to put up with the old Simon and his awful cracks about “needing a bigger stage” if a large person auditioned or being more concerned about what someone was wearing! I like how the judges seldom mention the contestants outfits and play up the the big glasses Michelle wears.American Idol would probably have her wear contacts!

    • Ed says:

      That is SO true…. the judges are SO AFRAID to critique the contestants!!! WTF?????

    • Jane says:

      You’re watching the wrong talent show. The creator of the show, Mark Burnett, recently talked with Oprah and said he prides himself that The Voice has succeeded without having a Simon like figure on the panel. He LOVES the family friendly format of the show.

      • ETG says:

        “Family Friendly”?? Give me a break. It’s like going to one of these kiddie soccer games where they don’t keep score, since it might make the losers feel “bad” about themselves. Stupidity at its finest.

  36. AlyB says:

    Tonight, for me, after both performances. I have to give it to Sasha.

    1) Sasha – She slayed it tonight on both songs. I was impressed and I haven’t been a big Sasha supporter at all.
    2) Michelle – Loved both her songs. She’s so much fun on stage
    3) Amber – I put her ahead of Danielle because she connects to her songs and delivers them with an emotional punch. Amber is capable of incredible vocal nuance.
    4) Danielle – Danielle probably has a voice that’s more pure with raw talent but I’m still seeing her as kind of a singing machine. You can see her eyes wander the crowd, registering the people, looking around the stage and there’s never any feeling there about what she’s singing. Her itunes sound great but watching her sing is kind of uncomfortable.
    Tied 5 & 6 I’d prefer the Swon brothers go I hated their Okie song that much but I won’t be upset if it’s Holly. I really don’t care if I ever heard either of these again.

    • ETG says:

      I think Danielle should do the county fair circuit. Little old ladies would come up, pinch her cheek, and say, “Ain’t she so CUTE????” That, apparently, is why her fans vote for her.

  37. Jenny says:

    Please correct Wagon Wheel credits. It’s a Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show song not Darius Rucker’s. He just recently covered it.

    • Miss Otis Regrets... says:

      Yes, I cringed when I heard Adam talk up Darius for this song. It’s Ketch and Critter!

  38. Miss Otis Regrets... says:

    A shame that so many people actually take the song “Okie from Muskogee” seriously. Even you Michael. As a music critic, you should know a little more than the average commenter about the meaning of songs.

  39. Crittab says:

    I think Sasha won the night. Everyone else I could pretty well take or leave. Even Michelle seemed off tonight. I like her falsetto when I can actually “hear” it, but sometimes she just gets a little to weak. However, he powerhouse moments always blow me away.

    I’m ready for Dead Eyes McGee (Holly, in case you actually needed clarification) to head on out. I thought she did well in her second song, but I’m done with her. I’d also like the Swon Brothers to head home ASAP. If we MUST continue to listen to irritating country crap, I’d like it to only come from Danielle and Amber, please.

    As for Danielle – I give her a “D” for “Delightful”. And for “Danielle”…. because that’s her name. Like Sasha’s name is Sasha. Oh Shakira, I heart you.

    • Sheilalala says:

      Perfectly said, thanks for saving me the typing Crittab! Athough I will still be posting to whine and complain here and there. God my ears are bleeding from the country horribleness. My thumb hurts from fast forwarding too. Wahh!

  40. delores90 says:

    i’m sorry but this guy has been bashing sasha for weeks and its GETTING OLD. to put michelle’s wispy, airy somewhere only we know (which was AWFUL, and i’m a michelle fan) above sasha’s ain’t way no is just RIDICULOUS. i don’t know what your problem is with sasha, or I should say, has been with sasha but you need to wake up and recognize. that woman is talented and few people outside of aretha herself could’ve done what she did with ain’t no way.

    • kaba says:

      Awful? No
      Holly was awful.
      Michelle did a fair feat. I think it was great (it grew on me after listening over and over) the but to say it was awful is musically ignorant

  41. SlimJim says:

    WOW! Taylor Swiftie approved – #TEAMMICHELLE & #TEAMUSHER are the front runners!

  42. Kay says:

    I sense a bias against Blake’s team. Which is kind of odd, since he is the only one with his team intact.

  43. BillyBob says:

    Everyone except for Holly is in the top 75 iTunes. Looks like Holly is GONE. No biggie.
    I really like Michelle doing Taylor Swift’s song. I like it when Usher brought Taylor in and surprised Michelle.

  44. Keith says:

    Sasha Allen won the night!!!!!

  45. Bogey says:

    Sasha looked uncomfortable because she was afraid of falling down those stairs with this big boots on! LOL .. she was stepping down VERY carefully.. I thought she did well. Too much country not enough diversity at this point. Re who’s going home… let’s face it, one cannot really predict these things and it’s most certainly not representative of who the best contestant left is. I knew last year Cassadee would go far, and her winning didn’t shock me, but Amanda Brown’s elimination sure did. For me, she was easily the most diverse, interesting and talented contestant on that show. I like Sasha, but she’s not as versatile.. that Aretha Franklin song/sound and Whitney songs plus Broadway stuff is her wheelhouse..Too much vibrato for my taste.. but she’s incredibly sweet and humble. I’m pulling for her. Don’t quite get the over the top love for Michelle, especially this week.

  46. The Voice says:

    Go Michelle and Sasha! Down with Danielle BLANDbery

  47. OtterChaos says:

    I get the comments that Okie from Muskogee is satire but if all country music fans know this why did the Swon brothers sing it? How does singing this song help them in any way if nobody out side of Oklahoma would care for it and Oklahomans treat it as a joke?

    I wonder if the reason they are keeping 5 for next week is that they know the vote totals from previous weeks and if they let two acts go they might lose two coaches as well.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      It was supposed to be witty, Blake was just trying to have fun. Now don’t get me wonrg, I’m not necessarily a big fan of Blake either since I agree with pretty much the majority here that the show has soon becoe all about him. But that Merle song is something that’s been missing in a lot of singing competition shows these days: humor. It’s a spoof of redneck anthem. Countercultural acts such as Beach Boys, Grateful Dead, Melvins have all covered it. I think The Swon Bros’ version was good, but they lack a little bit of Haggard’s dry, intentionally deadpan yet still charismatic delivery. You guys should thank Blake for actually introducing a song so layered in its subtextual discourse.

      • The Beach says:

        Maybe Merle was smokin’ a doobie with Willie when he wrote it and meant it tongue in cheek, but coming from someone who grew up in that “hippie” era, I can testify that all the country fans that made the song a hit were not in on the joke. They considered the lyrics as gospel.

  48. Jenny says:

    Yup I agree Michael…it’s like THE VOICE: COUNTRY EDITION. I like some of today’s country, but I really wish they would stop shoving it in our faces. Amber, Michelle, and Sasha are amazing talents. Sasha has really come forward and shown that she has IT! I didn’t believe it before, but after tonight, now I do. Holly and Swon Brothers are average country artists. Danielle is a great singer but she’s so young, she lacks emotions in her performances every time. I think Holly should go tomorrow.

  49. karen says:

    Michelle singing Taylor Swift did not work for me. I thought it was shaky all the way through. Too bad, cuz I enjoy her, but I don’t get the praise. Puzzled, Puzzled, Puzzled.

    • kaba says:

      I never understand when people say “I don’t get the praise” or some kind of variation of that.
      Music is subjective and therefore the simple answer to why a song gets praise is “people like it”
      Otherwise it wouldn’t get praise. :/
      Such a silly statement

      • karen says:

        No it’s not a silly statement. She was wavering, shaky, pitchy and overreaching. I don’t get the A grade or the praise on this particular number.

        • kaba says:

          Yes, it is.
          A massive amount of people disagree with you.
          What’s not “to get”.
          There’s not a science to it, especially since that only even slightly applied to one song

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I agree with Karen here. Music is not always subjective. If someone is singing off pitch or off the beat or is using phrasing not even fit for a commercial jingle, then it’s bad. There are objective elements to music as well, regardless of style or genre.

  50. Sheilalala says:

    On top of my disdain for the 1000 country songs tonight, I was really disturbed by the shameless ‘countripromotion’ by the Non-Blake coaches. ALL country songs? Usher dragging Taylor Swift in?? Sasha had frikken blonde hair extensions in! Yes, because now she will beat Danielle? What a mess the most promising season of the Voice has turned into. I get that they are trying to save their artists, but at what cost?

    Sasha took the night for me with the cheatin’ song. The non-sexy strip/bow legged stomp aside-she didn’t overdo the runs or vibrato, and her performance had star power. She looked like she was having a blast.

    Amber was amazing with ‘I will remember’ but I downloaded ‘crazy’. She’s such a magical singer and performer. I wish Blake’s stepford fans could recognize her insane talent and vote for her.

    Michelle-I’m getting tired of you. If its exciting to see performers grow and change, I think Michelle has hit her top bar. She’s great, but nothing new here.

    Danielle-Soooooo frustrating to have this girl picking off superior singers week after week. She had to sing about what she ‘thought’ her sister must have gone through in a breakup because she is an embryo. And she gets a standing O just for hitting a high note that Sarah or Judith could emit by sneezing funny. GMAFB. I can’t look at her smug, goofy, underbiting grin any more.

    Holly-You are now Hollow-the ‘my life is awesome singing with my folks’ did nothing to endear me to you, and I’m beyond bored with your performances. Go home tomorrow Hollow.

    Snore Bros-worst performances so far. I really like their personalities, but I just can’t.

    • kaba says:

      Do you like anybody? I’m astounded by the lame excuse for why you’re tired of Michelle. God forbid she does music her way and it’s still effective.

      • Sheilalala says:

        I think I was pretty clear with my ringing endorsements for Sasha and Amber. Michelle is great, but I would like to see her continue to grow-not just level off. I won’t be upset if she wins.

        • kaba says:

          She’s grown every week, one week shouldn’t been enough for you to assume she’s leveling out

          • Sheilalala says:

            Has she? Because all I have seen is Michelle 1.0-Power ballad with ‘quiet’ dramatic moment and Michelle 2.0 Rock song with the air punch and high note on one knee. Sorry.

          • kaba says:

            I have absolutely not a single clue as to what you want out of her. I question your idea of the term “growth”

    • ETG says:

      Blake’s “Stepford fans”, hahahaha!!! I love that!!!