The Voice Recap: You Wanna Critique Me! What Rhymes With 'Critique Me'? [Updated]

Nic Hawk The Voice - Season 5We’ve now reached that awkward phase in The Voice‘s trajectory where the coaches’ feedback is like a shot of novocaine — numbing in its bland positivity, but always with a painful little jab of knowing you’re not getting to hear their whole truth (and sometimes anything close to the truth, for that matter).

Things got so ridiculous during Night 1 of the Season 5 Live Playoffs, in fact, that Nic Hawk, coming off a performance of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” that was the culinary equivalent of smashing a dozen eggs with the back of a frying pan, ended up being the only person to admit “the vocals could’ve been better.” (Yeah, yeah, Coach Blake actually reported that info after chatting with Nic on the commercial break, but still…)

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And that wasn’t the only glaring example of The Voice being so aggressively upbeat that you could use an episode of Barney & Friends to come down off the sugar high. When Xtina referenced “that note” during her critique of Will Champlin, you could practically see him wince with agreement — until she suddenly shifted gears and praised his badly botched run. Likewise, uni-monikered Grey looked utterly befuddled at the end of her unfortunate Paramore cover, as Blake took his long-winded critique over the river, through the woods and down to grandmother’s house for a shot of Wild Turkey.

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But hey, on the plus side, mostly everybody from Team Blake and Team Adam proved pretty solid, if not entirely spectacular. (Odd, though, that Blake had four of the night’s first five performance slots, no?) Either way, if you’re jonesin’ for some bitchy realness, let me give you my quick take on the proceedings:

Ray Boudreaux: Marc Broussard’s “Home” — Grade: A- | Once I got over my obsession with the song’s awesome bass line, I really started digging Ray’s sweet, syncopated second verse, and the way he built the intensity from the easygoing intro to a growling climax. Blake’s rehearsal prediction — that this would be the “performance of the night” — came true (at least among the Team Blake acts). Dude is so through to the Top 12 — and he didn’t even need a cameo from his adorable daughter to get there!

Nic Hawk: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” — Grade: D- | Nic’s a nice boy/ But I don’t want it/ And you don’t want it/ No, Blake don’t want it/ Nic’s a fun guy/ But his voice sounded knackered/ Notes got all splattered/ Now his Voice dreams are tattered…Hey-ey-ey! Hey-ey-ey!

Shelbie Z: Reba McEntire/Bobby Gentry’s “Fancy” — Grade: B+ | The verses were pitched just a centimeter too low for Shelbie, but she brought a great sense of timing and fire to the choruses. Alas, though, you never really want to go first in a 10-person lineup. That, plus Blake already having a blonde country protege on the charts in Danielle Bradbery, might mean Shelbie goes home before her time. But if she does, at least she got to sing the priceless line “I shivered as a roach crawled across the toe of my high-heeled shoe” on national television.

Austin Jenckes: The Black Crowes’ “She Talks to Angels” — Grade: B | Austin’s cover started strongly — if you closed your eyes and ignored his incessant grinning during a song about a woman’s drug addiction. And while I wish at least one coach had observed that things got a little rushed and flat in the final third, I wouldn’t be shocked if the dude ranks second or third among voters on Team Blake anyway.

Cole Vosbury: Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” — Grade: B- | Wait, I thought Cole said he wanted to make his rendition different from the original. So how come the arrangement was pretty much a carbon copy of Rod’s? I mean, I’m not saying it was a bad carbon copy, but still…

Preston Pohl: B.O.B.’s “Nothin’ on You” — Grade: A | Apparently, a good chunk of TVLine readers disagree, but nevertheless I’ve got to be 100 percent honest (while wrapping myself in tin foil — with some butter, garlic and rosemary — for the inevitable roasting I’m gonna get): I absolutely loved Preston tonight. (And I say this as someone who only ranked his “Electric Feel” behind Juhi, Monika Leigh and George Horga in his Blind Audition episode!) To my ears, Preston really captured the groove of the song perfectly, while managing to infuse the rap portions with an electric feel (see what I did there?) courtesy of his smokey-cool rasp. As Blake put it, “the pocket, the pitch, the passion.” I couldn’t agree more!

Tessanne Chin: Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross” — Grade: B+ | Again, I cannot tell a lie: Tessanne’s vocal tonight was one of those weird instances where I’m impressed more than I’m moved, where I admire more than I feel. Don’t get me wrong: The woman has range for weeks, never misses a note and could probably recharge every cellphone in a city block with her vocal power. But there was something that felt a little perfunctory in the delivery, like the struggles in the song’s lyrics were something she’d read about in a book rather than experienced firsthand. Which isn’t to say she doesn’t totally belong in the Top 12 — I just want to see her get more creative with her choices once she gets there.

Grey: Paramore’s “Still into You” — Grade: C- | I think Grey may have been so focused on Adam’s notes about projecting rock-star swagger that she forgot that it was her primary duty to actually sing in tune (which, prior to today, has never been her issue). The more Grey worked the stage, the more strained her voice became, leading to an almost desperate vibe where you could sense the singer feeling her dream of music stardom slipping from her hands — right in front of 15 million people. The overall effect had me feeling a little, well, y’know, grey. (Sorry.)

Will Champlin: One Republic’s “Secrets” — Grade: C+ | I’d ranked Will in my Top 3 Season 5 Knockout performances, so it came as a shock to hear his nerves take ownership of the opening verse of “Secrets,” a situation that rattled his pitch like a loose car muffler. Even more troublesome, though, was Adam’s advice to have Will get up from the keyboard, walk away, go back to it, play standing up, try to reattach his mic, sit back down, and resume playing. Why not just let the dude stay fixed on the bench and accompany himself? Sheesh. There were flashes of brilliance interspersed in the performance, of course, which will make it all the more heartbreaking if Will doesn’t survive into next week. In fact, the question comes down to James-or-Will again, it’ll be interesting to see if Mr. Levine shifts allegiances, no?

James Wolpert: Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” — Grade: B+ | The judges seemed especially enthusiastic about James tonight, and maybe that’s because the final third of his Joni Mitchell cover packed a punch worthy of Sydney Bristow. (If you don’t know that name, Google it already!) The opening two-thirds, however, came off a little mumbly, making it hard to fully engage with James’ otherwise gutsy, stripped-down rendition. The coaches all brought up the Ghost of James’ Knockout Past, but we’ll just have to wait and see if it was a sneaky strategy to remind voters of his weakest moment, or an attempt to highlight his massive improvement in a short period of time.

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of tonight’s Live Playoffs? Were the coaches too bland with their feedback? Who were your faves? Who are you worried about? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments!

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. Kaba says:

    Gave Tessanne a B+
    Prepare yourself Slezak.
    A storm is coming.
    Gave Champlin a C-?
    Prepare for a bigger storm lol

    • analythinker says:

      LOL, I usually agree with Michael, but not this time.

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Look, I loved Will in the Knockouts and liked him in the Battles, but I think his grim expression during critiques told the tale that even he knew it did not go well tonight.

      • Kaba says:

        Oh, no the storm won’t be coming from me honestly.
        I had the grandest face of indifference this entire night except for when Will hit that note and when Tessanne came on and gave her American Idol performance.
        Everyone else is just bound to disagree

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Kaba, I won’t disagree. It was kinda lackluster and a little weird. I think a lot of singers (Preston, Will, Austin, Ray, Cole) that are great singers didn’t do their best. It was expecting a lot more from them.

          • Kaba says:

            Honestly I’d never been so bored before. Even Tessanne was great, but literally I only got a vocal stir out of her and maybe a hint of emotional.
            Wills performance was so obvious and it seemed so right for him…but I got nothing serious out of him either except for that glory note…
            James…as much as people want to talk him up I don’t see him going anywhere in the competition

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            I was shocked to see that thus far James has the highest rated song on iTunes. The results will definitely be interesting…

          • Kaba says:

            I’m honestly not surprised. I knew that it was gonna top charts the moment he claimed he was going to do a stripped down performance.
            If there’s one this the voters eat up on this show, it’s intimacy. Remember when The Swon Bros did that one boring song in the semi-finals that got them into the finale and nearly hit #1 on the charts?
            Yeah, it was destined.
            Tessanne is only floating about because of her voice…that song is nothing I’d actually buy from her.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            LOL. You are hysterical…. “that one boring song…” :)

          • Kaba says:

            I was kind enough to not call it “Boring song #354390398903893”

          • Davey says:

            What show is everyone watching. I wouldn’t say the singers were all great tonight but this show is so much better than xFactor and Idol right now it isn’t funny. And at least it wasn’t the same songs we’ve heard before.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            Most shows are better than XFactor :) I was expecting more. Could be the first night jitters?

          • Lee says:

            Right now James and Tessanne have the highest ranking songs on iTunes.

          • Kaba says:

            As expected.
            Personally I was bored out of my mind with a lot of them, but I knew well enough who’d be topping the charts.
            Tessanne for her strong pitch perfect vocals
            James for a “stripped down” performance
            Will because of his glory note
            Cole is granted leeway into the top 100 simply for being on Blakes team

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            I am so happy for James. I thought he might get lost in the shuffle. Yay James!!

          • Lumplestilskin says:

            I’m much more excited about tonight’s episode. Can’t wait for Caroline Pennell, Matthew Schuler, Jacquie Lee, and Jonny Gray!

          • Tom22 says:

            @Davey .. the song list alone is a reason the show is really pretty entertaining. But hey, no matter how strong a voice and how elegantly she might have used it, I never enjoyed Celine Dion ballads. Given how many people love Celine..maybe many of those people don’t like some of the bluesier stuff I appreciate.

          • Kristoffer says:

            I thought the whole show was lackluster. It seemed like everyone… mainly the judges… seemed scared that they were doing a live show. Maybe it’s the way the auditions and battle rounds are edited with all the friendly banter, funny yet snarky remarks at each other, etc – last night just felt weird. In addition to the show just feeling different no one blew me away like I was expecting. But maybe it’s just me.

        • Elisa Granjo says:

          i enyed james amd nic

      • Kes says:

        But that was not C+, Michael, he was mostly on top form. I mean, you gave a growly Preston an A, and he was nowhere near that. And Ray was solid, but he’s not an A either. The best by far was Tessanne, Will and James, and I think you under-graded them.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          Oops! I forgot about James and he was stellar tonight. Going second and giving such a beautifully quiet performance may not work in his favor, but I enjoyed him – for the first time really. I do wish he’d figure out “what kind of singer” he wants to be. His performances seem like disparate pieces just barely hanging together.

      • steve says:

        Will ill give you that Michael But Him & James were much better than a person you gave a grade A to in Preston

      • steve says:

        I think its more to do with what you Gave Preston more than this discussion is to do with what ou gave will. Preston was nowhere near an A if the better will was a Grade C then Preston should be something like a Grade F. Dont get me wrong i love preston but he wasnt good tonight

      • Davey says:

        You’re reading too much into this and there are a lot of positive tweets about Will. And why you thought Preston was good tonight is beyond me. And I usually find you astute.

      • toni says:

        Michael Michael Michael!! You gave Will a C +?!
        What?! Come on! You sounded so negative in your comments! You sometimes border on being mean. : ( like what you just wrote about last night ‘s episode. You normally are mean and I have to say I just got really put off by the severe negativity so I may just have to stop reading your articles. Sorry. : (

    • Sly says:

      I get what he’s saying. Many Rivers to Cross is a great, great song. her version wasn’t bad, but there was almost screechyness to it. I think Adam led her astray by telling her to take it up. Go listen to Jimmy Cliff — it goes high, yes, but he doesn’t he keeps it clean and clear. That said, she’s a lock at this point, of course.

      • Davey says:

        I agree. Tessanne sounded fine in a lower range, much more emotional. Adam should stop telling people to sing higher or do vocal acrobatics. That’s what finally did in Amber Carrington last year. She lost her voice.

    • Pérola Cardozo says:

      Am I the only one that felt like every single songchoice and execution were just… boring?

  2. steve says:

    what Preston was terrible how can you grade him an A Michael???

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Steve, THANK YOU! I knew there was nothing wrong with my sound. I really wanted Preston to kill it – but it was really mediocre karaoke nonsense. He is just so much better than that phoned-in performance.

    • Cassandra says:

      I’m perplexed at this as well. His voice is interesting, but his lack of range is beginning to grow boring to me. Overall I was not really digging Adam’s team. Tessann was great again but I think it’s time she went lowkey on a performance and Jame’s bounced back nicely from last week.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Yeah, dude. Preston peaked in his blind audition. He’s been a hot mess since then. Certainly not the worst of the night. Michael correctly called Nic and Gray as the clear weakest links.

    • AlyB says:

      I wasn’t at all with Preston tonight either. I like his raspy voice but there was just no finesse to that vocal at all. I think he’ll be in trouble after tonight.

    • Tom22 says:

      I’m with you guys.. wished the best for him but.. it was the rhythm that threw me. The band was spot on.. the back up singers were great (we don’t hear them always on The Voice) .. it was all laid out for him and .. the song was all about his touch with the words and i felt like he walked through it. I gave him a sympathy vote or two from thinking he’s got something I’ll really want to hear but… it sure wasn’t based on merit of the performance tonight.

  3. Kameron says:

    Tessanne>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Preston. That is all.

  4. Chablis says:

    I never agree with you but you are spot on. You should do a poll – biggest disappointment – Grey.

    • Mike says:

      Exactly! Did you listen to her recorded version? It’s 10 times better. She really blew the live performance. It stinks cause I like her voice. I prefer her over some of the others. I think they’re still giving Preston praise(and leeway) from his earlier performances. It’s too early to be voting for someone on their body of work.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        Preston has lost my vote. It was just kind of lazy.

      • AlyB says:

        Grey has a beautiful rich tone to her voice that somehow took the night off and left her with nothing for that Paramore song. If I hadn’t heard her before, I’d wonder how she made it to live rounds. Maybe it was nerves that locked her throat up or something. Whatever the reason, it was not good and I’ll be surprised if she survives this week.

        • HTGR says:

          Yeah a huge shame since she had been one of my dark horse favorites. I had really liked her. But something went totally wrong so she might well be gone :(. I don’t know what happened, her tone, voice, control, it was all lost, maybe got too caught up trying to project stage rocker, I don’t know. I didn’t hear her itunes yet, if she pulled that off, then it makes it even more curious and more of a huge shame.

    • Saabgirlatx says:

      Totally agree. The whole performance I was like, what song is this? Anyone else get the feeling the judges were a bit tipsy?

  5. analythinker says:

    Will sounds good on iTunes! I suppose Tessanne chose her own song as a tribute, but kinda old and sleepy songs don’t do well on charts… hope she gets lots of phone/text votes!

    • B. says:

      Really hope Will is voted through and not left to the mercy of Adam…

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I like Tessanne, but I don’t think doing songs that are dated are doing her any favors. She needs to figure out how to sound more current.

      • analythinker says:

        I hope it’s just this one time, because she wanted to honor Jimmy Cliff (she probably used the opportunity in case she won’t have another).

      • Ggirl says:

        How is her songs anymore ‘dated’ than the other contestants?

      • DeeLi says:

        not everybody likes “current”… what works for you won’t work for others… Tessanne’s voice will take her places way beyond the voice days and there will always be a fan base for whatever style she chooses. And to be second on the voice itunes charts clearly many don’t share the same view as you do

        • Kaba says:

          Not everyone likes current but that doesn’t mean she ought not to try and sound like her music has influences from this generation.
          I’ve heard incredibly soulful music that sounds like this belongs in the 2000’s.

  6. B. says:

    Poor Christina… when she used to HONESTLY critique the performances people absolutely HATED her. I could see how much she was struggling to say just nice things after a few of those performances… lol. Especially Nic… he belongs on X Factor, sorry. Also Grey is definitely gone.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      I am missing honest Xtina, but I think she wants to win. Who could blame her? In the past, I just found her truth refreshing amongst the constant praise.

    • MC says:

      Christina searching for words all night was pretty hysterical to me…her reaction to Nic was priceless. Christina normally has high standards for singers, but tonight (per the wishes of the producers) she had to pretend everybody was great.

      • B. says:

        Not per wishes of producers…more so per wishes of America in general. She was getting A LOT of hate and people didn’t even want her back in the first place… which is so stupid. America loved Simon Cowell’s ‘honesty’ (which was actually just plain mean remarks) and hated Christina’s ACTUAL honest critiques of performances. Double standard.

        • Percysowner says:

          Yep, if a guy does it he’s being honest and straight forward, telling the truth and should be listened to. If a woman does it she’s a b*tch.

        • MC says:

          I believe the producers were very well aware of the negative feedback to Christina and gave her some instructions to follow. It’s very possible that her return was conditional upon following that advice. The coaches are stars in the music world, but they are employees on this show. On a personal note, I think Xtina was overly critical of Amanda and Melanie.

          • HTGR says:

            She was way over critical of Amanda who was the best thing going (although she wasn’t really that harsh on her, just not crazy glowing like she shoulda been), but I think she was actually spot on about Melanie.

    • The Guest says:

      There’s a difference between being honest (her critiques helped Cassadee Pope improve during season 3) and being a patronizing jerk to Melanie Martinez and Tony Lucca.

      • Percysowner says:

        Tony was being a total A** to Christina. It was pretty mutual and I really hated Tony and Adam for some of their stunts. Christina started giving Tony what I thought was reasonable criticism so Tony and Adam struck back. 99 problems was the height of their slapping Christina down. I didn’t care that much for Melanie so I don’t remember Christina’s critiques of her. I do think that Melanie may have gotten caught up in the Christina’s anger at Adam, which was unfortunate for her, but Tony was in a huff from the moment Christina didn’t remember him and he was going off on her from there on in.

      • Lee says:

        I agree. I also got the feeling that Xtina was being particularly hard on the female singers like Amanda Brown. I like her a lot more this season.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Patronizing jerk to Tony Lucca and Melanie Martinez? Lucca was an entitled douch his entire tenure, lost the popular vote to Katrina and still got through to the finals based on Adam’s misguided nepotism. Melanie had some wonky performances that Ms Aguilera VERY GENTLY critiqued so as to help make her better.

        • MC says:

          I do agree about Tony Lucca, one of my least favorite singers on The Voice. Christina was right to be critical of him. He was a rather average performer and leaned too much on his friendship with Adam. The Adam-Christina rivalry was pretty toxic. Christina’s best bud (or only true friend) on the show has always been Blake. I do believe Xtina lost her objectivity at some point and she needed to take a break.

      • MC says:

        Exactly. It’s not like Melanie couldn’t learn something, but Christina was extremely patronizing in her tone. And Christina seemed to have something to say about every Melanie performance. Christina always gave Amanda very faint praise or no praise at all. It’s clear that Xtina was exacting revenge on Adam for his ill-advised support of Tony Lucca. That’s why she needed a break.

    • Elisa Granjo says:

      i think nic is in his right place:the voice

    • Ram510 says:

      Yes I also miss the honest Christina! They need to have Christina and Usher in the same season because they were both actually honest with critiques and great coaches

  7. EAP says:

    Did we watch the same show? I thought Preston was not good at all and that Will was great.

  8. Kaba says:

    But anyways…onto my real opinion.
    I think…
    That whoever is doing the order in which contestants perform needs to be fired…
    It was like watching the Season 4 finale performance night all over again.
    How hard is it to just alternate between teams?
    I think that Will made me throw my metaphorical (and very nonexistant) panties at him with “that note” amazingly.
    I think you’re rating Preston’s performance a little too high, as much as it kills me to say…
    I think I only remember Ray and Shelbie from Blakes team…He made Cole sooo boring to me -____-
    Nic Hawk…it’s time for him and his flawk to take flight away from the stage…but I did like how he didn’t just try to “domesticate” ya…he tried to “domEHS[stank rasp]ticate” ya
    Grey was one big bowl of “ooh…no child…no” for me…
    Honestly I’m hoping for more excitement from CeeLo and Christina’s teams, I saw the song lineup and I feel it should be exciting…though I’m perplexed at who the poor sacrificial soul is that’s singing “Wrecking Ball”
    Fine night. It was almost as if everything was in preparation for Tessanne though.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      This show seemed very, very, very long. I look forward to CeeLo and XTina’s teams. Maybe the pressure of the first performances got to them. I don’t understand how some of them (Preston, most of Blake’s team) were so underwhelming. Oh well… I have yet to hear someone cover Wrecking Ball well? Good luck with that one…

      • Kaba says:

        Sacrificial lamb Danie Geimer sang it on Xfactor… Poor thing was sent home so… I wonder who got that to be quite honest. This should prove to be an interesting night tomorrow. I can’t even take a decent guess at what Caroline might sing… So that makes me happy about ceelo… But worried

      • MamaLis says:

        Wrecking Ball. That’s hilarious.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Kaba doesn’t wear panties? That’s my important takeaway from this post.

  9. okay. Preston Pohl’s performance was NOT GOOD. I literally fast-forwarded through the second half because it was so pitchy. Let’s hope Melinda sets you in your place, Slezak

  10. Chablis says:

    And what the heck was Christina wearing? Bathing Suit, Nightgown?

  11. dee says:

    Yea it’s strange. I actually agree with you completely!!

  12. Ed says:

    Preston Pohl gets an “A” for his forgettable effort, while James Wolpert’s brilliant performance (the best of the night, BTW) only rates a B+. Slezak, you’ve lost any credibility you had….

    • nhf7170 says:

      Agree about James. At least Adam’s bromance this season has talent (-cough- unlike receeding hairline italian-name-I-can’t-remember guy -cough-). Plus singing Joni MItchell is worth +100000 points.

  13. analythinker says:

    Welp, Ray & Austin are already climbing the charts. Ray’s even #4 on Rock chart already! Looks like my theory might really have a weight…

    • Ed says:

      I don’t get Ray. I think he’s rather karaoke, and the song he sang tonight was dark and forgettable.

      • Jules says:

        Ray could very easily win. Not that I feel like he should but stear him a little more modern r&b and he’s the “package” that they’re always talking about. Him & Matthew both have that going.

  14. GTS says:

    Really? I normally agree with you, but what’s with the hating on Nic Hawk? I LOVE him. Yes, this wasn’t his best performance, but it was the only actual performance of the night.

    Also, you gave Preston an A? Was that a typo? The first section of his song was literally horrifically bad. As in, I unsuccessfully looked for the remote to mute it. There were so many bad notes. It was worsened because this was a bad choice for him, with his tone. I normally like a risk taker, but he might have ruined the song for me.

    And Grey? Well, a grey performance.

    • Mike says:

      I’m still confused as to why people are looking for a “performance”. It’s called The Voice. And Nick’s is marginal at best. He needs to leave and let the better singers actually face off.

      • twostepcub says:

        Nick’s performance, as is a big chunk of this year’s lot, is good if you’re considering them for a reality show, not a singer. This year they’ve really gone the gamut to grab for “personality” over performance, and Hawk is a gaping wound of an example. I’m gay and he makes me cringe.

        • zenmaster says:

          Nic Hawk seems like a joke audition on the X-factor…. please go away Nic. Holly should of been in the LIVES!

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Or in a Voice first, Blake should have refused to take either to the live shows. They both sucked. I would have loved to hear Carson Daly’s response to that development.

          • Oh my goodness, Holly made me want to slit my wrists with her dark eye make up, vampire-in -training pale skin and her crying voice. So glad she is gone! At least Nic is entertaining and doesn’t make me cringe!

        • Tom22 says:

          I liked this performance of Nics and actually bought it.. only bought 4 total this season. Bought rays but I think I’m going to regret that a year from now.. I have a feeling I’ll still enjoy Nics a year from now. I didn’t really like his other performances.. this one seemed like a lot that I like in art.. something that is a satire of the world around us while at the same time a “WTF i’ll jump in a relish this crazy texture of what I’m satiring”. You can be an anthropologist and a wanton reveler at the same time ? ! – sorry of i lost anyone there…. old mutli-disciplinary liberal arts major here. It was pleasant sounding and rhytmic and stil took the time to relate with emotion to what he was saying.. not just run through words at the marks.

        • beach bum says:

          Nic’s performance was not great but if I had to watch any performance again it would be his. My favorite singers are tess and shelbie and ray but Nic is fun to watch. So I hope he does not get the flawk out of here just yet. He does not make me cringe and I am straight

    • Sydney says:

      Please tell me you don’t actually believe that Nic is a better singer than Grey…

    • Elisa Granjo says:

      yes.i do not understand the hate about nic..very actual performance!!!

      • Tom22 says:

        see what I wrote above and explained more in a post bumped to the second page of comments. I ‘m with you ! people who liked it shouldn’t be bashful about what they saw… even if it was a bit too surreal for some people. People who do like something kinda surreal should listen to it through again if they didn’t get it on TV.. need to get into the mantra like pulse of it to a degree

        • Tom22 says:

          btw.. i’m not saying it was amazing or the best.. just memorable in a good way for me – some of the far more perfectly executed songs will be forgettable. (yeah, I’m ready for the ‘ill remember it because it was so bad cracks’ .. I think its just too strange for those people.)

          • HTGR says:

            No, I think it’s mostly just that he sounds like nails on a chalkboard to many- very thin and grating vocals on all songs.

  15. Misalign says:

    Will a C+, that is so not fair. That guy has one of the best radio voices out there and what a talent. I just bought the iTunes version and it’s sick. I’ve never voted on any show before but I will not only vote for this guy but buy all his song on iTunes .

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I think Will’s a great singer, but tonight he was way off his game. But even Cy Young winners have games where they give up 5 runs in the first inning. Tonight was that night for Will. It sucked and he is so much better than that.
      The strange thing was that it wasn’t just slightly sharp or flat, but he was actually singing wrong notes. That’s weird. You don’t often hear that.

  16. Teeny Bikini says:

    I literally have no words for Nic’s performance. I actually kind of liked him but it is clear that I was on crack so I will happily recant all previous compliments. He was just so um…. well… you know? Bizarre. Austin was smiling while singing a song about drug addiction. And the rest of Blake’s (maybe not Shelbie) team was just bland. I liked Shelbie. But singing first is the death knell. Michael, I think Ray is often off-key or flat. I am so bored by him I actually miss his daughter. As for the rest? Meh. I am a little ticked that Preston forgot everything that was luscious about his voice. I would be shocked if he gets voted through. His performance was dreckitude or no higher than a C-. I’ll vote for Tessanne and Shelbie, I guess… Generally I am underwhelmed with this lot. I was expecting a lot more. Hmm….

  17. Dee says:

    Poor Christina couldn’t say one negative comment tonight, or else the housewives would’ve been breathing down her throat. I commend her for trying, ha.
    Overall, tonight was very boring and average. I think song choices had a LOT to do with that;too many similar songs. Only one or two people stood out to me. I’m hoping tomorrow is better.
    And PS Ceelo needs to get high on his own time, he acted really weird tonight.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      LOL. And it was not fun-weird, just the weird-weird. CeeLo isn’t great at picking great songs for his team so I am hoping he has learned from his past mistakes and that show is better than this one. That shouldn’t be hard?

  18. dj says:

    I agree with Michael; I liked Preston’s performance better than Will’s. Ok, Will had some interesting things he did with it, but the whole pacing of the song was too far off for me, and I like that song. On the other hand, I really enjoyed Preston’s performance, and I’m unfamiliar with that song, so I wonder how that played into it. Maybe if you’re really used to Bruno Mars’ version, you have a different reaction. I thought Cole did a good job on Maggie May, but he didn’t seem to change it up at all from the original. I didn’t really like any of the other songs except Tessane’s. I think the judges could be a bit more honest without being bitchy, and it would be welcome. This everyone/everything is awesome is like that old Star Trek episode where even Spock gets sappy.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      This is what happens when voters are voting for the contestants *and* the judges. They really can’t say anything of import. This is when they become the most useless as well.

      • dj says:

        Just because someone’s opinion is different from yours, you call them useless? I do not care which judge’s team wins, so your conclusion is incorrect. I just stated my opinion of the performances. You don’t have to bully people on message boards to get your point across. Have your say and let others have theirs.

        • Teeny Bikini says:

          dj, I was talking about the judges, not you. You tooooooootally misread my comment. I agreed with you – for what it’s worth. But I stand by my original contention – If they judges give unilateral praise regardless of song execution – they are useless at this point and really have nothing to offer to the televised performance/audience. Their value becomes coaching alone – but watching them agree for 2 hours has no value to the viewer.

          • dj says:

            Ok, sorry, I get what you were saying. I agree that the judges need to be honest or they are useless. They can be honest in a non-bitchy way–we’ve all seen them tell a singer gently what was wrong with his/her blind audition, so we know they’re capable of that. Christina is definitely holding her tongue this year. I think she learned that there’s a backlash when she gets bitchy, and all of the judges seem to be avoiding telling the other judges they picked the wrong song.

          • Teeny Bikini says:

            No worries. Cheers!

  19. Davey says:

    Wow Michael. Preston was bland and boring tonight. I hope he’s gone. I voted for Will, James and Tessanne online and on iTunes. Will may not have been perfect but he was the one who stood out for me tonight with sincerity. Tessanne deserved the last spot. Ray may look good but his version of Home was not very exciting.

  20. lizzieB says:

    not much james love over here? I loved that song. joni mitchell = chills. never cared for this guy before but i loved him tonight. wow this season’s building up to be a snoozefest and a lovefest. geez we don’t watch these people rise to fame while they’re smothered in gold stars for effort. also what the heck does adam see in grey? she’s so, you know, grey. such a waste of space. other people could have easily earned her spot rightfully instead.

    • lori says:

      Completely agree. His performance, for me, was the best of the night. I think otherwise, Adam made some weird song choices that didn’t work. Blake, as usual, makes the most obvious choices. Cole has a raspy voice, let’s give him Rod Stewart. Ray is from Louisiana, give him Home. I don’t think Blake listens to any interesting music.

  21. Priscila says:

    I love Bruno Mars and I love Preston, but unfortunately Nothing on you wasnt a good song choice for him. Rap, really? For his voice?? Noooo! I’ve been disappointed with him since the blind audition, that was crazy good, I still cannot stop listening to It. But I agree with ceelo, he would be a better coach for Preston.
    Anyway, Preston still has my support, due to Electric Feel and the two songs he has in his You Tube channel (Wishing Well sensaational).
    For me, the best tonight was James, that showed vulnerability and did not seem cocky like the other times (and, of course, sang very very well). He surprised me.

    • Lee says:

      Wishing Well by Terence Trent Darby? If so, Preston should’ve sang that song.

    • MamaLis says:

      You know, Pricilla, it’s interesting you bring up the Celo comment. I’m a huge Preston fan but I think he HASN’T made great choices these last couple of weeks. Now that I think about that comment, I think it was 3-second “dig” on that very point – and the point that everyone has been making. Preston is running the huge risk of flatlining, which would SUCK and be a waste! I think Celo was observing that and saying, “Wouldn’t of happened with me!”

  22. JM says:

    I won’t rag on you, Michael. To each his own. Here are my grades:

    Nic – C+
    Shelbie – B+
    Austin – C-
    Ray – B+
    Cole – A

    James – B+
    Grey – F (as in I FF thru it, it was so bad)
    Will – B+
    Preston – C
    Tessanne – A

    Top 3 got my votes.

    Yeah, there really wasn’t any critique. I ended up FF thru most of the judges comments, because I got tired of hearing ‘That was great’ ad nauseum.

    I want a little of the ‘bitch Christina’ back, because honestly, she’s the only judge who has ever had the courage to really criticize, and I miss that.

    • Davey says:

      Cole gets an A? For what? He did nothing interesting with Maggie May.

      • The Beach says:

        Was I hearing things or did Cole jumble up all the verses in the second half of Maggie Mae? It seems I was going “Huh? Wait..hold up…that verse doesn’t go there” through most of the back side.

      • JM says:

        The problem is that Cole’s voice sounds so much like Rod’s that it is difficult to hear the differences, so perhaps this wasn’t the best song choice. But I love ‘Maggie May’ and to me, he emphasized different words than Rod and held out different notes than him. Was it completely different, no, but to say that he didn’t change it at all is an understatement.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      This ranking seems more accurate. I would love to know what you like about Cole’s voice. Just askin’. He seems to have tons of fans so I am curious. And yes, I am voting for bitchy Xtina to come back.

      • JM says:

        Well, it’s a combination of things. First, I loved how he chose to sing the Jefferson’s theme song at the blinds, because it has to be one of my all-time favorite TV show songs.

        (Just want to take a moment to shout out that I love how CeeLo turns for these unusual singers that no other judge would turn for. Remember David, who ended up third last year? One chair turn by CeeLo).

        Back to point, I also love the raspy quality to his voice, and I am a big fan of the quiet singer/songwriter types (not that I don’t like other types, such as Tessanne). Lastly, he seems genuine and humble.

      • rio says:

        Your marks are right on. Cole was easily the best of the night, and I really hadn’t noticed him earlier. What a great voice–no show-offy trills, just pure, beautiful singing.

    • Ed says:

      Pretty accurate IMO, but there is no way that Cole gets an “A” for a karaoke performance of “Maggie May”. He said he was going to change it up, but I never heard it. I thought his performance was safe and boring.

    • Tedatbent says:

      I agree with your rankings so much more than Slezak’s. James, Tess and Cole were the best by a wide margin. If you listen to the original “Home” you will realize how lazy Ray’s version was. Preston should shoot Adam for saddling him with that song. Austin has a good voice, but did not understand the song. Will is a puzzle. He tried to do too much and it hurt what could have been a very good performance. The rest aren’t worth mentioning by name.

  23. rowan says:

    Grey absolutely flopped, but that song is honestly really hard to sing. Poor choice. Tessanne is just TOO good, I wish there was a little quirk? She’s not interesting to me. I liked Will a lot. WHYYYYY was there no criticism? Why can’t they ever admit when someone is awful? Grey and Nic deserved to be torn apart. If I wanted boring, by-the-book, “fair” critiques, I would watch the X Factor.

  24. Petreanna says:

    I think we really need to give Tessanne even MORE props added onto her near-perfect vocal….she chose a song that hasn’t been butchered/sung over and over on talent competitions. I think its admirable that she chose that song from someone she personally toured/sang with. I totally disagree with Michael here. She was the best on the night and should have the highest grade; either keep her at B+ and downgrade everyone else, or bump her a up a grade, cuz she was the best.

    • Ed says:

      She definitely has great control over her voice, but I’d like her more if everything was not a power balad; I’d love to see the more sensitive side of her, musically speaking.

  25. Adam says:

    James butchered that song horribly. Joni’s delivery is so much subtler, with ther perfect juxtaposition of soaring falsetto and gentle cooing. Also, it doesn’t need any change of melodies. The lyrics are the most important aspect here, as cliched as that sounds. But it is one of–if not the most powerful breakup song ever to grace the planet earth, encompassing a mournful backstory of Joni Mitchell and Graham Nash’s then rocky relationship. And what’s with the pseudo-rock twist at the end of it? The screaming is gratutiously unnecessary. He didn’t inhabit the protagonist’s mind, body, and soul. He didn’t embrace her plaintive intricacies. I’d give it less than a B+, even though he did sing well. A Solid C would do him justice.

    • Davey says:

      James did not butcher Joni Mitchell’s song. He sang everything on key and to do a version like Mitchell’s would have been deadly.
      He was one of the few subtle singers tonight.

      • Adam says:

        Nope, I have to disagree with you on this one. He might have sung well, but his melody-changings were pointless and ddn’t add anythng to the authentic beauty of the song. News flash: Some songs do not need a makeover because they’re already flawless as they are.

    • Ed says:

      What a crock. If you want to hear the Joni Mitchell song, then by ALL means go off and listen to it. This is NOT SUPPOSED to be a damn karaoke contest!!!!!!!

      • Adam says:

        Contrary to what you said, I’ve been wating for this song to be covered by any reality singing competition contestant, ranging from Kree on AI to Sasha Allen. It’s not gonna be a karaoke because clearly they all have different tones. Have you ever listened to the original version, though? If you do, A Case of You is one of those songs whose melodies are already so elaborate,it would be sort of impossible to change any more of them. There’s a way to sing a straightforward version without sounding karaoke.

        • Jay says:

          Adam-you’re not wrong-he made some bad choices compared to Joni that kind of killed the flow a little-BUT his voice sounds good overall and let’s both be happy that one of the greatest songs of all time was covered.sometimes the glass is half full.

  26. Davey says:

    Now that I see Cole and Ray are leading on Rock (?) iTunes, I give up. If Blake wins again this year I’m thinking only the South votes and they vote for Blake. This is getting really annoying.

  27. Carrie says:

    Curious about how many commenters actually can sing. Especially Slezak – I may be alone in this but as a singer myself I actually like that the judges are nice to contestants and don’t shred those that may have been less than stellar – the biggest pop stars on the planet lip
    sync in concert because they do not have the ability to sing live as well as some of these contestants and these judges know how hard a live performance can be – even Christina’s opening performance was flawed. That being said, some appealed to me more than others and of the singers featured tonight my favorites were James, Ray, Will and Tessane.

    • MC says:

      Live singing is tough enough without being on tv. I always thought Adam had the most tact on these matters. He will often say, “There were some issues that we will address in the next coaching session, but I also liked xy and z that you did with the song.” I think some hints of a critique can be helpful. The producers will permit it during the taped rounds, but it’s clear they want the live rounds to be totally decided by the voters.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Yup. I’m a classically trained working vocalist, and reading some of these misinformed comments and articles is often very frustrating. Slezak (assuming he is a non-singer) I think has a good handle on what constitutes good singing. And I totally agree with you on the being nice thing. Having had my share of abusive conductors and music directors, I can’t watch that Simon Cowell nastiness. I literally have to hit the mute button or leave the room. But typically I’ve already hit the mute button or left the room before he can make those comments. lol

      • Mary says:

        My believe is you can give good constructive critiques without being nasty. Point out the positive and negatives. Someone will never improve if never given proper critiques. If the voice does not want any negatives responses then there is no need for the judges at this point. Just let the audience vote.

        • Mary says:

          Should be belief.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Agreed. But when Christina was giving good constructive criticism to Melanie Martinez, she was basically getting death threats from middle America and being called every name under the sun. Viewers — for better or for worse — have spoken and they want basically no criticism in this show, even criticism of the constructive variety. I am totally on board with what you’re saying. You can be real and nice with criticism, but unfortunately even that is too much for many viewers.

          • MC says:

            There was a definite subtext of friction between Adam and Christina that season due to the Tony Lucca controversy. Christina offered very specific and long-winded critiques of a couple of major players on Adam’s team, but more marginal perfomers from that season (who were not on Adam’s team) were rarely, if ever, crtiicized. This created a skewed impression that some singers were better than their actual talent, while others (like Melanie and Amanda) were not properly recognized for their creativity and originality. Melanie obviously had flaws, but very few singers on the Voice (or any talent show) don’t have noticeable flaws. When some are singled out on numerous occasions for criticism and others skate by without ever hearing that kind of input, the playing field is no longer level.

          • Elisa Granjo says:

   the past xtina was getting death threats

    • HTGR says:

      True, but completely over the top praise for everything doesn’t make much sense, at least reign it in just a little more for the disasters. I mean they made Nic’s performance out to be a better vocal than Whitney at her best and a better stage show than M.J. at his best! Sure, don’t be harsh like well I’m being here, sorry, but don’t be ridiculously fake either, although you dance around a bit if they’ve been consistently great and had one bad week.

  28. Gailer says:

    In a word, the show sucked.

    • NotHappeningTonight says:

      Actually, that’s three words….
      And no it didn’t, there were far more exceptional performances (tessanne, ray, james, will) than there were melt-downs (grey, nic)

    • Tom22 says:

      I enjoyed the pretty much – far more than the typical series of over sung-power ballads we’ve had foisted on us too many times on other tv singing shows for years(fine the first 5 years but enough is enough). I don’t want to sound like a broken record but its amazing to me how I went from being negatively distracted by the band two seasons ago and the portion of last to absolutely loving it this year. The band as a whole, top to bottom, really was incredible as Ray’s performance went along(special props to that sort of Brother-where-art-thou rich harmonies the back up singers flirted with). Is that interaction with the band about singing skill ? yes it is. Right now I’m really enjoying ZZ Ward and Grace Potter .. how they mesh with their bands.. how they (tennis) serve and return serves from those around them (often its just a fraction of a second between one or another following the rhythm or flow of a riff) really speaks to how good of a singer they are.

  29. Percysowner says:

    Currently James Wolpert and Tessanne Chin are in the top 100. James at 25 Tessanne at 75 and Cole’s song from last week is still in the top 100 as well, so that should buy Cole another week.

  30. sd says:

    Grey was the worst of the night–terrible song choice. She’s not a rocker. Then of course Adam has to tell Tessanne to go higher key because that’s how he coaches all his female singers. He’s so busy worrying about the high notes and the runs instead of getting them to sing the soul of the song. He did the same thing last season with all his very good female singers and they lost because he doesn’t know how to coach them.

    Nic’s Blurred lines was all over the place. Another bad song choice.

    Shelbie–She’s beginning to seem limited and one note to me.

    Austin–It all just seems like a continuous high notes with him. I’d love to hear more nuances

    James–I liked this although I wonder if that whole nerd thing is an act. He’s got a lot of youtube videos from earlier when he was in some kind of reality show competition for High School Musical and it seemed he didn’t have this nerd persona then.

    Ray, Will & Cole– I thought they were good.

    Preston: I didn’t hate it as much as people on here.

    If I was getting something from itunes it’d probably be Will. That seemed the most real of the performances tonight.

  31. Dwight says:

    Throughout the show Tessanne displayed that she could hit all the high notes YES WE GOT THAT… But glad she did that song in a sense to showcase that she’s not only able to sing the “High notes” but she’s able to sing “Low” I LOVE HERRRR!! My opinion she’ll be in the top 4

  32. Jeremy says:

    Tonight’s show is a little underwhelming. I still have high hopes from last week’s stellar knockouts. Based on Itunes, Tessane & James will be the top vote getters. I’m curious who will be chosen by Adam. I wish it’s Will since he reminds me of Michelle Chamuel but I highly doubt that Adam will let go of Preston. Team Blake is easier. Ray and Cole will go through, Shelbie will be saved because Nic is a complete disaster and Austin is just Cole No.2.

  33. Jeremy says:

    Nic’s performance of Blurred Lines is even more dreadful than Holly Henry’s Creep.

  34. Jules says:

    How about “You Wanna Judge Me? What Rhymes With Judge Me? as a title??? Maybe???

  35. Christobel says:

    The main reason I stopped watching American Idol was because of Simon telling contestants that their performances were “dreadfull” and “cabaret” without ever explaining why he thought they were dreadfull and cabaret!
    I know the show’s producers don’t want that same biting criticism but the judges should be able to tell the contestants what they are doing wrong without being stupid about it!
    Fair criticism balanced with praise where it is deserved will probably help contestants rather than hurt them!

  36. analythinker says:

    Anyone know why Ray tweeted #VoiceTop12 next week? Surely they’re not eliminating 8 people at once?

    • Percysowner says:

      My understanding is that each team will lose 2 members tomorrow. Voters save 2, the judge saves one of their team. I don’t know why they didn’t string this out for another week, but there it is.

    • zenmaster says:

      Yep 8 will be gone… 2 from each team.

      • analythinker says:

        That might mean James & Tessanne are safe, and Adam will save Preston (he seems to have a soft spot for Preston). Oh well.

    • The Guest says:

      Yeah, this is what happened during season 3 when each coach had 16 singers and the blind auditions took four months. 20 in the live rounds, two on each team gets voted through, the coach saves one. Then it’s all voting regardless of teams from that point on.

  37. Andrew says:

    Tessanne was definately the best tonight. I think she is so good that people tend to judge her harder than the rest but I totally felt that performance. I hope Preston gets another chance because his song choices are really failing him.. By the way things look Adam is going to have to save him.. so i guess that’s goodbye Grey and Will

    • Paul says:

      I agree that Tessasnne was the best, but I hope Adam saves Will. He deserves it after what he’s been through and still able to accomplish.

  38. ronnie says:

    Right now Tessane and James are the highest charters on iTunes but they are not even in the top 20. A lot of these singers didn’t even show up in the top 200. Hmmmmm.

  39. Tyrexus says:

    Ray – B+
    Nic – F
    Shelbie Z – A-
    Austin – B-
    Cole – B

    Tessanne – A-
    Preston – F – Seriously I’m all about individual opinion but he was horrific.
    Grey – C-
    Will – B+
    James – A

  40. drenes says:

    For those who think Tessanne did an ok job on many rivers, they NEED TO watch the original by Jimmy Cliff.

  41. mjdolorico says:

    I kinda knew in the back of my mind that the magnitude of talent this Top 20 has this season will lead to expectations that will not be met, but I didn’t expect this level of mediocrity tonight. It’s really flat across the board for me. Biggest misstep goes to Preston. Srsly, what the heck was that song choice!? Horrible. At least I was entertained by Nic. Grey tanked too at the Paramore song, but I doubt she’ll make it thru anyway. Biggest surprise goes to James, who really redeemed himself tonight by showing that he’s not just a powerhouse indie-rock guy. And iTunes is clearly showing him as a frontrunner. Adam having a mancrush on him won’t hurt his chances at the Top 12 one bit. I’m a little worried for Will, my favorite since the blinds, because while the song choice wasn’t bad, he didn’t really make fireworks with it either. I still believe he deserves a spot in the Top 3 along with Tessanne (who turned in a really showy but technically amazing performance) and James, but honestly, with Adam and his history of favoring artists due to past performances rather than current ones, anything could happen. I really think Will is better than this perfomance and I hope America still gets him through because I don’t trust Adam.

  42. mjdolorico says:

    Ray is the best contender on Team Blake. He showed another side to his bluesy sound that sounded amazing. I really didn’t pay attention to him until his Battle Rounds and noe I’m officially a fan. Shelbie Z is a prime example of how sticking to what you do best can really be the best move for you. I love an artist with that kind of integrity.

  43. mjdolorico says:

    iTunes Top 100 chart update as of 1:14 AM, Nov. 5:

    James Wolpert at #17
    Tessanne Chin at #48
    Ray Boudreaux at #60
    Cole Vosbury at #63
    Austin Jenckes at #65
    Will Champlin at #71

    Oh god thank goodness Will broke the Top 100! Whew. I can breathe easier.

    • mjdolorico says:

      And in an interesting development, Ray, Cole and Austin now occupy the top 3 slots in the iTunes Rock chart.

    • Jeremy says:

      Haizzz, Blake again!!!

    • Arvind says:

      Even though Will made the top 100, James and Tessanne have higher totals, so it’s unlikely he’s gonna be saved by the voters. You’d have to trust Adam to choose him over Preston (we can all agree that Grey is more or less done). Given that Adam said that having James and Will is redundant, it’s likely gonna be James, Tessanne, and Preston for team Adam.

      On a side note, why don’t they disregard teams as soon as they get to lives? Team Adam has 4 singers who are potential contenders, whereas Team Christina has maybe 2. Why should they lose an equal amount of singers?

    • Elisa Granjo says:

      NICWAS A 126-NOT SO BAD!
      HE IS WITHIN 200

    • Elisa Granjo says:

      nic-who is so critized was in 116

  44. Scamp says:

    I liked Preston the best! Preston’s voice during the rap part was as smooth as honey. I voted for him every which a way!!!

  45. Sarah says:

    I loved Preston’s blind audition and I really, really wanted to like him tonight – but I didn’t. I’m hoping for a great performance from Matthew tomorrow.

  46. Timmah says:

    James won the night for me. That happens to be my favorite Joni Mitchell song so I was worried that he was going to ruin it. But instead he put his own spin on it and knocked it out of the park.

  47. Jenny says:

    Tonight was boring ….fast forward most of it..Only really liked Will and Tess.

  48. Bad, so FF’d through it: Preston, Nic, & Grey

    Meh performance: Shelbie Z, Ray, Cole, Will & Austin

    Liked: James, & Tessane

    C’mon…I can’t be the only one here who thought Preston was just awful. LOL I have a feeling Preston will make it through though. I felt sorry for Nic…awful song choice.

  49. DavidSask says:

    Can Adam hire a stylist already? For someone who has his own clothing line he looks like a dumb-ass, already know he acts like one!! That hair tonight, honey you so gross!!! Blake has an excuse as he is drunk!

  50. Jake says:

    I think Will fumbled a few lyrics, but he’s still easily one of my favorites. However, I suspect he and Grey are in trouble. Speaking of Grey, did anyone notice Blake’s comment to Grey that he criticized her in her Battle Round so that Adam would eliminate her and Blake could steal her? Her opponent in that Battle Round was none other than Nic Hawk, so if Blake had been looking to steal Grey, perhaps his out-of-nowhere steal of Nic occurred because his actual intended steal hadn’t worked out. Which would then mean also that Nic is fodder for his team in these live shows, which I think we all already knew anyway.