The Voice Performance Recap: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About (Top) Six [Updated]

Jacquie Lee Cry BabyWhen it comes to warm fuzzies, good vibrations and positive feedback, The Voice has a coaching panel that’s second to none.

Nevertheless, if you listen verrrrry carefully, you can hear their withering subtext, their coded messages to the viewing public in favor of one contestant or in opposition to another.

Take Blake Shelton’s repeated mentions tonight that it’s not just about hitting big notes full-on (a subtle put-down of Jacquie Lee?) or Adam Levine essentially telling Matthew Schuler he peaked with his Top 12 week cover of “Hallelujah.”

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Of course, when it comes to faint praise, nobody does it better than Christina Aguilera. I couldn’t help but chuckle when her critique of Tessanne Chin’s “Redemption Song” devolved into a memory of a vacation she spent riding horseback on the beaches of Jamaica. Oh, Xtina, we’ve been around long enough to know what you mean when you don’t mention the actual vocal. (Translation: You shoulda picked me when I turned my chair for you during the Blind Auditions, beyotch!)

With the competition so close and so cutthroat, though, can you really blame ’em? If Blake loses Cole Vosbury this week, not only will it break his winning streak at three, it’ll represent his first ever failure to make the finale. And so we’ve got four music superstars attempting to unleash morsels of negativity — while still trying to sound like the world’s nicest kindergarten teachers.

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But enough about Blake, Xtina, Adam and Grumpy Cat. Let’s cut to my letter grades for the week’s performances:

Tonight’s Letter Grades
Cole Vosbury (Team Blake): Hall & Oates’s “Rich Girl” — Grade: B- | Am I the only one who misses the days when Cole was covering unexpected material like The Jeffersons theme and Miguel’s “Adorn”? “Rich Girl” was mostly in tune, but so what? Cole’s rendition of the super-repetitive pop ditty was so devoid of any real passion and any attempt at creativity that it played like — warning: possibly botched baseball reference in 5, 4, 3, 2… — a bunt instead of a swing for the fences.

Tessanne Chin (Team Adam): Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” — Grade: A- | There’ve been moments this season where I’ve doubted Adam’s enthusiasm for and/or skill at mentoring Tessanne, but he redeemed himself by assigning her this mournful anthem by her country’s biggest musical superstar. From the opening note, Tessanne locked in like a guided missile — striking with stunning accuracy and breathtaking intent, and turning verbose phrases like “emancipate yourself from mental slavery” into pure poetry where a lesser vocalist might’ve wound up with word salad. What’s more, Tessanne had to perform under abominable circumstances — bogged down in a sea of audience members where a headphones-sporting producer infuriatingly initiated a round of soulless audience swaying that was completely out of time with the music (and each other). Why The Voice has continued the horrific SwayBot tradition that American Idol has mostly banished in recent years is a mystery worthy of Jessica Fletcher!

Matthew Schuler (Team Xtina): One Direction’s “Story of My Life” — Grade: C- | After last week’s botched Imagine Dragons cover, I figured the odds of the ultra-consistent Matthew coming back with yet another disaster were somewhere between “Xtina Getting Handed a Mic and Not Spontaneously Ad-Libbing” and “Carson Passing on the Opportunity to Add His Own Critique Before Tossing to the Coaches.” But man, was I ever wrong. Matthew’s “Story of My Life” was hampered by a badly mumbled intro, a midsection where he was completely drown out by the background singers and a finale that stretched his upper register to surprisingly strident territory. Dude may have been aiming for another opportunity to upgrade a piece of pop piffle (see: “Wrecking Ball”), but instead, he wound up getting outshone by the carefully coiffed boys from Simon Cowell’s British singing competition.

Will Champlin (Team Adam): Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” — Grade: B- | Will’s opening piano riffed proved he’s got serious skills at the keys, but once again, he refused to stay seated, opting instead to walk to the mic — and botching the lyrics of the opening verse in the process. Will’s vocal was otherwise fairly solid, except for those few final bars where he strained for the top notes like a toddler attempting to reach candy off a kitchen counter. But until Adam advises the guy to actually look engaged and excited on stage — instead of resembling a three-legged impala being dangled over a cheetah pit — I don’t think Will’s got a snowball’s chance in a sauna of winning the whole enchilada.

James Wolpert (Team Adam): The White Stripes’ “Fell in Love With a Girl” — Grade: A- | James took a scouring pad to the White Stripes’ grimey, feedback-fueled original and transformed it into a quirkier, folkier kind of party — and I’ve got to be honest: I fell in love once and almost completely. Was it a tremendous vocal showcase? No, but like Adam noted, not every song or performance needs to be. And on the plus side, James’ nasal quaver and sing-speak cadence brought to life the quirk of the lyrics: I could practically envision the two sides of the bespectacled fella’s brain meeting right then and there on The Voice stage. Will that be enough to catapult him into the semifinals? I’m not certain, but it certainly ought to be.

Jacquie Lee (Team Xtina): Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” — Grade: A | I might be a little impartial because a) the sound of Jacquie’s voice makes me go bonkers like a miniature poodle eyeing an open bag of Snausages, and b) “Cry Baby” probably ranks in my Top 10 favorite songs I grew up listening to on my mom’s record player in the ’70s. But even accounting for said biases, I adored how Jacquie attacked this rockin’ woman-done-wrong-but-still-in-love-anyhow anthem with a spiritual and physical gusto that had her clutching the piano for support, dropping to her knees and hurling the mic stand to the floor as if it were the errant lover who still hadn’t learned to appreciate her. I don’t even know how I’m typing this, ’cause the girl straight KILLED ME. That her performance was equal parts banshee howl and songbird-y perfection only added to the awesomeness. As Adam so cheekily said to the inexperienced teen, “if that’s you not having had your heart broken…” (Side note: Maybe next week, wardrobe can avoid exposing Jacquie’s midriff, since she spent, y’know, three-quarters of the performance surreptitiously covering her exposed skin with her arms. Just a thought!)

Cole Vosbury (Team Blake): James Morrison’s “Better Man” — Grade: B+ | Cole’s reign as Season 5’s unlikely (aka aggressively bearded) sex symbol continued unabated with this tender soul ballad that he delivered with heart and delicacy and what seemed like hundreds of ye-olde-timey lightbulbs in the background. I’m not 100 percent sure I’ll remember this very pretty performance six months from now — in much the same way I enjoy my daily bowl of breakfast cereal, but can’t really differentiate one from another — but in terms of activating his fan base to hit iTunes and spend $1.29 to support him, I’m guessing this puppy will do the trick.

Tessanne Chin (Team Adam): Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally” — Grade: B | Or as I like to call it, when incredible voices happen to really crappy songs. In all seriousness, though, I’d belong in the trash bin with Xtina’s discarded eyelashes if I failed to note how Tessanne’s cover was in every single way superior to Katy Perry’s own rendition at last month’s American Music Awards. (Not that that’s saying much, but still…) On the flip side, though, “Unconditionally” seemed a peculiar pick for an artist with the range and ambition of Tessanne — kind of like Mario Batale trying to show off his culinary chops with a package of hot dogs and a can of Spaghetti-Os. In her zest to upgrade the number, Tessanne got a tad bombastic — beginning at 10, and inching her way up to the nonexistnent “13” dial — but she never missed a note in the process. The real question now, though, is whether Blake’s “stop focusing on Jamaica” feedback might hurt her chances with xenophobic voters who want the U.S. flag hanging over the gold-medalist’s podium at the end of their reality singing competitions.

Matthew Schuler (Team Xtina): Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” — Grade: C+ | Yikes. Matthew’s fall from front-runner status has been so sudden and so unexpected, that I half wonder if Paulina Rubio (mentor of The X Factor‘s “Boys” category) has created a voodoo doll of the fetching 21-year-old and squeezes its throat every time he takes the stage. (I kid! I kid! That would imply that Paulina gave two craps about her contestants!) All kidding aside, though, Matthew once again failed to live up to the lofty expectations he created in the early weeks of the competition, trailing off at the ends of notes, sounding strained in his upper register and delivering some falsetto notes that were more like squeaks of surrender. I don’t know if there’s any way Matthew avoids the Bottom 2 this week — it’s just a question of whether his fans will rally on Twitter to give him a second straight Instant Save.

Will Champlin (Team Adam): Avicii’s “Hey Brother” — Grade: A- | I’ll admit I’d never heard this track till about an hour before The Voice‘s live broadcast — yeah, I might’ve succumbed to reading song spoilers this week — but to my almost-virgin ears, Will’s cover was actually an improvement on the original — managing to accentuate the smooth and gritty sides of his instrument with equal aplomb, and ensuring that viewers keep viewing him as a guy who can handle modern music as deftly as he does old-school ballads. All in all, a success — and even more so because Will overcame that silly “this backdrop’s on fire!” nonsense on the screens behind him.

Jacquie Lee (Team Xtina): Christina Aguilera’s “The Voice Within” — Grade: B | If I’m being honest, I wish Jacquie had chosen a less-obvious ballad from Stripped (which still holds up as Xtina’s masterpiece) — maybe “Soar” or “Walk Away.” Why? Because, even though the lyrics probably resonated with Jacquie moreso than anything she’s tackled this season, “The Voice Within” is, essentially, the musical equivalent of strained peaches. It’s also something of an infinite crescendo — a ditty that builds and builds and builds till there’s a Gospel choir and a key change and a little more holleration than one wants to hear in 2013. Don’t get me wrong, Jacquie hit most of her notes and brought a lot of emotion to the table, too, but the end result was perhaps 15% more pageant-y than I’d expected (or wanted) from a potential future pop star.

James Wolpert (Team Adam): Meatloaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” — Grade: B- | “You really can’t overdo this!” exclaimed Adam, as he saddled James with one of the corniest tracks in the history of popular song (the sheet music of which might as well have been stapled to a note reading, “You’re my No. 3 out of the three remaining contestants on my team, bro.”) I mean, COME ON! “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” is only OK in 2013 if it’s part of a goofy M&Ms commercial. This had to be sabotage, right? Adam wasn’t expecting anyone to download this on iTunes, was he? Unfortunately, James (who was sick tonight, Adam cried out) couldn’t quite keep pace with the rapid fire lyrics, couldn’t quite come up with a dance move that didn’t make him look like an inebriated speed skater and couldn’t quite convince me that he didn’t want to roll under a drum set and turn to dust. Given Adam’s (ridiculous) praise, though, that James’ Top 8 Queen cover was one of the best performances in the history of the show, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the guy sail into the Top 5 on Tuesday.

*Should Go Home: Matthew
Will Go Home: Tessanne

(*NBC’s publicity team confirms it’ll just be one artist getting axed this week — and that there’ll be an Instant Save in effect.)

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Top 6 performance night? Who were your faves? Who surprised you? Who will and should be at risk? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts 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. Cris says:

    It’s confirmed: Michael Slezak hates Tessane Chin.

    • Confused says:

      He gave her the second highest grades of the evening, so I’m confused as to why he thinks she’s gonna be eliminated tomorrow.

      • cloves says:

        He thinks she’ll be eliminated because she does not have a hardcore fanbase in the US. Most of the people rooting for hee (Jamaicans) cant vote. That’s sad seeing that she is by far the best. With that said, i dont think she will be eliminated tomorrow. But her winning will be a tall ask, she’ll have to step her game up a few more notches even though she’ already a cut above the rest.

    • I’m not sure anyone hates Tessanne Chin. That’s her advantage. There are people who love her, and people who just think she’s good. As opposed to Jacquie, who’s a love-or-hate contestant (I love her…usually.)

    • Catniss says:

      No, he hates Will.

  2. christobal says:

    Tessanne was the best tonight,

  3. christobal says:

    CMG, SLY and GTS are you guys kidding or what. TESSANNE CHIN IS THE BEST SINGER IN THE COMPETITION. LOL. She was the best tonight. Stop hating. Go team Tessanne!

  4. Quinn Carson says:

    Cole Vosbury “Rich Girl” – B
    Tessane Chin “Redemption Song” – A-
    Matthew Schuler “Story of My Life” – B-
    Will Champlin “A Change is Gonna Come” – B
    James Wolpert “Fell in Love With a Girl” – C+
    Jacquie Lee “Cry Baby” – A-

    Cole Vosbury “Better Man” – B+
    Tessane Chin “Unconditonally” – B
    Matthew Schuler “When a Man Loves a Woman” – B+
    Will Champlin “Hey Brother” – A-
    Jacquie Lee “The Voice Within” – C+
    James Wolpert “I’d Do Anything for Love” – B+

    Just my thoughts, although I don’t wanna see anyone go home.

  5. If the show is really about “the voice”, then Tessanne should win. The fact that so much emphasis is placed on the judges winning really takes away the objectivity from the judges. I hear so much crap each week that is being labelled as “amazing” that I swear that the judges really don’t know what they are hearing. We need judges who really know how to properly critique a vocalist. I now understand why the best singer never wins on this show. The Voice may have some of the best talent on the show compared to similar shows, but because the best never wins, none of the previous winners have gone on to greater things. Quite frankly, Christina is a lousy judge and I really don’t like saying that because she is the best singer on that panel of judges, so I expect her to have a better ear………..but I guess not!!!!

    • matt says:

      Agree 100 %

    • George The Onion says:

      She’s afraid to be labelled as a “b*tch” by everyone who doesn’t like their favorites critiqued in any which way, shape, or form. That’s all.

      • sd says:

        She gets that label because of her backhanded compliments that come across as super snarky and fake like when she made sure to tell Cole he should get rest for his ‘raspy’ voice. It was obvious she was trying to find a way to criticize him. And the condescending story about the horse and the man who speaks ‘Jamaican’ instead of giving a critique of Tessanne–that’s how Christina earns her bitch stripes.

        • shadowninja says:

          When she was straightforward in the first 3 seasons, people call her dramatic and a bitch.
          Now she tries to be nice, she is still a bitch.
          God, let the woman off please.

          • sd says:

            Her remarks were not trying to be nice. She was trying to undermine her competition. If she was trying to be honest she would have criticized her own singers like Matt who was the worse of the night. She would have pointed out Jacquie’s flaws especially with the second song. But the fact that she puts her own singers high on a pedestal and knocks down the other singers for any little flaw she could find, that’s where she comes across as bitchy. And the incredible condescension she showed to Tessanne over being Jamaican–she may as well have patted her on the head and said you’re cute for a Jamaican. Could she have sounded anymore superior (aka American) in those comments? Those moments makes her sound bitchy and she gets called on it.

  6. Susan Cee says:

    What’s with all the negativity for Will? Personally, I think he’s one of the most solid contestants still left. The one who is totally over rated is Jacquie. Dear Lord my eardrums are bleeding after that screamfest.

    • Misilin says:

      People can hate all they want but the only album I am buying after the show is Will’s. I believe Will is the only true artist that can actually sell records if he get enough support because his type of genre sells this days.

      • Davey says:

        I wish Will didn’t always look so nervous and could smile a little more. He’s obviously a wickedly talented musician. And Tessanne sings so much better than Jacquie Lee it isn’t funny.

    • YeahSure says:

      Totally agree. Jacquie Lee is now just a complete parody; essentially a SNL skit. She’s confused emotion with being slowly gutted with a rusty knife. And that’s not her fault, she’s a child. This isn’t to say she doesn’t have talent, she does, but she needs to grow up and gain some perspective, reflection, and nuance. Because all we’re seeing is just play-acting and it looks like it.

      • Mark says:

        So how do you propose that she grow up between now and next week?

        • sd says:

          She doesn’t have to grow up but she needs to sing songs that speak to her. She needs songs suited to her youth and experience, something a whole lot younger. Also preferably something less angry and cynical because I’m not buying the she swallowed an old woman analogy. ANd if she wants to sing about love angst then maybe something closer to a Taylor Swift song would be better for her.

        • YeahSure says:

          She can’t – and that’s exactly the problem with allowing children into these kinds of competition shows. She seems like a nice kid and if she had come into The Voice when she was even a few years older with both life experience and vocal performing under her belt, it would have only been beneficial to her. For example, last week she had to be told to stop grinning like the joker in batman through songs where it’s not appropriate lyrically. Perhaps with age and experience she would not have had to have the obvious pointed out to her. If she had experience and the ability to modulate a performance, she wouldn’t be so polarizing. And because of that lack of experience, I feel very sure that’s she’s not going to win. But in a couple years she could have. So there wasn’t much point to doing it now (unless her parents were looking for her to become their meal ticket!)

    • Timmah says:

      I think I would like Will more if he didn’t always have that disinterested hipster expression on his face.

  7. SoozinCA says:

    I don’t get the high marks for Will’s “Hey Brother”. I love that song on Avicii’s album, it is my 2nd favorite after “Lay Me Down” – but Will blew so many notes and squeaked and squawked through it, making me cringe. One of my all time fave songs is “A Change is Gonna Come” and Will rendered it nearly unrecognizable to me, so he was my least favorite of the night. I wasn’t particularly blown away by anyone this week though my votes will go to Tessanne because I did like her “Unconditionally” better than KP’s original. I’m not a Cole fan but his ‘Rich Girl’ was my next best of the night.

  8. TA says:

    Why did James dedicate “Fell in Love with a Girl” by The White Stripes to his father? I was confused…

  9. Hannah says:

    I hope you’re wrong about Tessanne going home, that would be very upsetting!

  10. Jim says:

    Overall Rankings:

    1. Tessanne Chin – Adam and Tessanne have finally found Tessanne’s X-factor, the thing that makes her a unique and special vocalist, and they hit gold again with “Redemption Song.” I like her singing songs like this, as opposed to the Kelly Clarkson songs from earlier this season because, while she still vocally nailed those past pop songs, she actually seems to connect now and has made me a fan. This is why “Unconditionally” was a less appealing song choice to me than her first song, but Tessanne has been on a roll lately and really connected with this one too.
    2. Jacquie Lee – Jacquie has been another favorite of mine. The “Cry Baby” rehearsal footage worried me because the big notes sounded screechy, but she killed the actual performance. I’ve always assumed Jacquie was #2 on Team Xtina behind Matthew, but I think she’s clinched a clear #1 spot at this point. Jacquie didn’t seem to connect nearly as much with “The Voice Within” (and this was oddly the song where some shrillness occasionally weaved in) as with “Cry Baby,” but the song requires such high notes that perhaps it was inevitable. A very strong showing by Jacquie tonight, especially in her first performance, should keep her safe.
    3. Will Champlin – I have been partial to Will all season, but I think I can objectively say that “A Change Is Gonna Come” suited his voice perfectly. Given his ability to nail current pop hits, it surprises me that he is also nailing these older soulful songs. “Hey Brother” was a great song choice that brought Will back to current pop-rock, and, despite a weak first few lines, this was easily one of the most entertaining performances of the night. I have to dock a point for the occasional pitch issues in the first song, but lately Will’s song choices have largely been risks that have paid off. Will still looks a bit nervous when he isn’t singing, but he brings feeling to all of his performances.
    4. Cole Vosbury – Stylistically, Cole reminds me of the Swon Brothers from last season. “Rich Girl” and “Better Man” both suited his voice perfectly, but my issue with Cole continues to be the lack of vocal risk-taking, especially after cool performances of “Movin’ On Up” and “Adorn” earlier this season. He has a fantastic raspy voice, he is on Team Blake, he sells like a beast on iTunes, and he brought Crying Grandma to the show, so he is in no danger this week.
    5. Matthew Schuler – I am one of the few who wasn’t a huge fan of Matthew from the start, but “Hallelujah” showed me that I might have been wrong. “Story Of My Life” was kind of underwhelming–it was way too soft at the beginning before the chorus, and even the chorus felt strained. Xtina is often all about overpraising her contestants, but even she couldn’t squeak out a compliment about his vocal here. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was a superior vocal, though not without its issues, but I’m not getting Xtina’s song choices–I thought Matthew wanted to do rock music?
    6. James Wolpert – “Fell in Love With a Girl” was a bit underwhelming for me. I kind of felt like he was sternly talking rather than singing during the verses–I know the song and get that this is kind of how the original sounds, but I feel like the song choice didn’t work because it lacked a hook and may not appeal to the American masses. He also flubbed the words a bit at one point. “I’d Do Anything for Love” was a solid vocal, but it was just kind of a strange choice. I’m worried for James this week.

    Performance Rankings:
    1. “Cry Baby” (Jacquie Lee)
    2. “Redemption Song” (Tessanne Chin)
    3. “A Change Is Gonna Come” (Will Champlin)
    4. “Unconditionally” (Tessanne Chin)
    5. “Hey Brother” (Will Champlin)
    6. “The Voice Within” (Jacquie Lee)
    7. “When a Man Loves a Woman” (Matthew Schuler)
    8. “Rich Girl” (Cole Vosbury)
    9. “Better Man” (Cole Vosbury)
    10. “Fell in Love With a Girl” (James Wolpert)
    11. “I’d Do Anything for Love But I Won’t Do That” (James Wolpert)
    12. “Story Of My Life” (Matthew Schuler)

    Predictions: I would personally put James and Matthew in the Bottom Two, with Matthew going home after two not-great weeks. I think that James and Matthew will indeed be the Bottom Two, but I suspect that if America is “instantly saving” someone, it might very well be Matthew again, which means that James could be heading home.

  11. Davey says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever disgreed with Michael as much as I have this season of The Voice. James Wolpert’s version of the White Stripes song was awful. He was barely singing. Cole Vosbury was putting me to sleep. Jacquie’s version of Cry Baby was ridiculously over the top and deserves a B at most for overhype and overindulgence. James Wolpert’s second song was so much better than the first.

    Will gave a decent performance of the Sam Cooke song but his Hey, Brother was a highlight of the night. At least I agree with Michael about that and Tessanne’s Redemption Song. That was lovely. But her Unconditionally was even better.

    Cole will probably win this thing for being safe and unthreatening. Tonight he was like as exciting a piece of wood.

  12. Terry says:

    That Christina sure is a sly one with her feedback isn’t she. She’s taken subtle sabotage to a whole new level. I had to laugh when Cole replied to her “I appreciate that” in such a gentlemanly manner because I imagined him saying something quite different. haha

  13. Brian says:

    For everyone who thinks Jacquie sang “Cry Baby” well, especially for a 16 yr old, go to You Tube and listen to Allison Iraheta’s version she did on Idol in season 8, you will hear the difference between Greatness, and the not very good… There really is a world of difference…

    • Mikko says:

      I also thought so, before i had listened Jacquie Lee. One cannot sing it better than Allison. But I was surprised! Jacquie did sing it very beautifully, and I would not compare it with Allison’s performance. Allison was full of raw, down to earth emotion, but Jacquie’s tome and voice is so special and beautiful.

  14. DavidSask says:

    Matthew is over rated and needs to go! Tessanne is my favorite, shame if she wins or anyone else on Adam’s team wins as he is a douche, my mind will NEVER change with that. Blake needs to be humbled to and maybe a loss this season may help, his last remaining contestant does nothing for me. After this spring airing of the show Blake and DOUCHE need to take a break already,and not be there for fall, fair is fair!!!

    • Jim says:

      Tessanne is your favorite, but you don’t want her to win because you hate her coach? With fans like you, who needs critics?

    • homakp says:

      Tessanne is your favorite yet you want her to lose, ’cause you hate his coach? you seem to have some mental problems. as much as I hate to see Adam win, my favorite is Tess, and i think she deserves it so i hope she wins.

      And Blake is so humble saying if Cole doesn’t win, it’s his coach’s fault. one should be humbled in mind not just trying to fake it.

  15. bachelir28 says:

    Obviously no instant save otherwise why even vote tonight. Personally I hate the instant save.

  16. Nickesha Ramgeet says:

    For dose who r hating on Tessanne it doesnt matter..She sang beautifully n u can only appreciate redemption song when u understand d meaning behind it n wat it means to us jamaicans. She embodied it all. U may not appreciate her bcuz as some av said she is monotonous r frankly dey jus dnt care 4 her, but ive learnt in life dat every1 wont like u n if dey do den sumtin is wrong n while many of ur comments wont go further dan dis page Kelly Clarkson’s own sure will as she tweeted dat she saw d best performance on d voice ever n it came frm Tessanne..Kudos to Tessanne she is representing our sweet land Jamaica

  17. Nickesha Ramgeet says:

    Jacqui Lee is a walking screech, she sounds like bubble wrap, dat annoying sound dey make as u pop dem. I wasnt fond of Adams song choices for d guys, for a min I was wondering if he was playing team sabotage. Cole wasnt bad as usual, he held his own n did his ting, Mattew was pitchy in both his songs even tho his coach praised him all d way.I think its time d coaches b honest wit d contestants n tell dem wen dey go wrong instead of sugar coating everything

  18. James says:

    Anyone know who the guest stars are for tomorrow the 3rd? Those free tickets finally came through, but not sure I’m up for the all day affair….pretty tiring

  19. sd says:

    OK, after reading Michael’s expanded review I still can’t figure out why he has Tessanne going home. I don’t see that happening. It’s more likely to be Matthew since he had an obvious bad night or James who was saddled with Meatloaf and whose first song was probably not known enough.

    And I’d love to know what he’s listening to with Jacquie because his review doesn’t compute with reality. B for her second performance was way beyond generous. I think she was bad enough there that I wouldn’t be surprised if she was in the bottom tomorrow. Her first song is doing ok on itunes but the second one is near the bottom.

  20. Chris says:

    All of the contestants are very, very talented. I don’t know what’s going on with Matthew’s singing ability and song choices but the last couple of weeks have been disappointing. With that said I don’t think, “When A Man Loves A Woman” was all that bad honestly. If we want to discuss tweaking out at top of range, then we’d have to throw Jacquie in there – just sayin’….


    Will took the night for me. And, “Hey Brother” was an AWESOME song choice Adam! Have to admit at first I was like… is this going to work? It did!

  21. John Anthony says:

    The best thing The Voice can do for this group of performers for Christmas is send them all home but someone has to win. Tessanne is the most likely to win but even she would probably do better back home where she already has been a professional for some time. Jackie surely isn’t ready for the big time because she screams every time the high notes come along. Matthew needs a few years of professional help and maybe – who knows. The talent seems to be there. The rest need help in the voting from their home town fans like James. The late news here in Pittsburgh keeps telling the locals how to make him the winner just because he’s from this area not because he’s the best of the performers. Another season for the Voice to hail an average performer as a future star.

  22. Karen says:

    Here’s the thing with Cole, I don’t get it. He just sings the songs, he doesn’t do anything to make them special for him. Rod Stewart, sounded like Rod Stewart. James Morrison sounded like James Morrison. I own that song and listen to it frequently, no changes. I was underwhelmed with rich girl.
    I agree Matthew didn’t cut it tonight, he started good on the 2nd song then just devolved.
    I am ultimately rooting for Will and Tessanne. I miss Caroline.

    • darcy the slutty twin says:

      I disagree. To me (and probably a lot of people voting for Cole), he sings songs like he wrote them. Will over sings, but his eyes are so blank.

  23. Mikko says:

    Jacquie Lee: I was quite worried to hear, that she was going to sing this song, because I felt Allison Iraheta owned it, and although it is great originally by Janis Joplin, it can become really monotonic and screamy, if not delivered really well. But it was so miraculous to listen Jacquie to perform it. Her voice is so spectacuar and beautiful, and I did not feel she secreamed in this song. Her voice is UNIQUE! The other song was also great until the other half of it started, and there was some annoying screaming, but she will learn to control her voice in the future. Anyway, what a beautiful singer she is.

    Cole: I think both of the song selections were quite boring, especially “Rich Girl”. Anyway I feel that cole is serious and creative artist. Whatever he performs, there is always standard quality and one likes him. With the right songs, he could become a big and solid name in music, because people would definately want to hear him and buy his albums. I have never been disappointed with him, but with the right songs he could be phenomenal.

    James: I did not like either of the song selctions, but i really hope, he will get to the finals, there is so much promise in his singing, that it is grazy. he has the same danger as Jacquie Lee, that he gets too carried away by high tempo singing and starts to scream annoyingly, although I think he CAN sing with the edgw without being annoying.

    Will: Did not like the song selection either. Adam is gining to him American classics in order to keep him in the show (and I did not like for example “At Last” so much). People like him, and for reason. I could see him developing in a great way, but would not push him towards the direction of nostalgic music, but towards new, creative music.

    Matthew: I do not think we have seen now “the real Matthew”, when he has not been good. He might just have had bad luck or been nervous, and everything has gone off the rails. But he is really a wonderful singer, and I am hoping these couple of mistakes do not destroy his singing career. Thw song selections were again horrible, but in the latter one (“When…”) he was able to transmit some of his macig also.

    Tessane: She is a wonderful singer and a really nice person, but you know, to me she looks and feels too “glamourous”. I just could not watch “The Redemption Song” sung in this kind of context, so I had to stop in the middle. The other song by Katy Perry did not inspire me. To me, she does not speak to me emotionally (although she is a great singer), and like I wrote, she is too glamourous (especially singing down to earth reggae).

    So I hope that final four would be in this order: Jacquie, Cole, James and Will.

  24. Kathy says:

    Matthew should be the one going home, but something tells me that it will be James.

  25. darcy the slutty twin says:

    Mr. Slezak – you break my heart. First you give Cole a B-, and then you insulted “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).” Cole is aggressively bearded and aggressively sexy. He makes my ____ (rhymes with Susie) tingle.

  26. spongebob says:

    1. Tessanne: I loved both of her performances. Her inflection point in the competition was last week’s awesome reggae moment. She is gaining ground in my eyes. Her performance of Unconditionally was 100x greater than Katy’s at the AMAs.

    2. Jacquie: I’m not a fan of hers or her voice but I think Cry Baby was one of her best (not as good as Allison’s though). I wish she would stop screaming week after week. I liked her bluesy/rock side more. But I can appreciate passion and being lost in the moment when she was banging on the piano or kneeling on the floor. Her second performance was subpar compared to Xtina’s. She is trying to catch up with the music.

    3. James: I didn’t like the first song but there are some brilliant notes in there. The second one was tailor made for him and I know if he’s not sick and has a voice, he would have nailed it. Side note, he was the best performer in the Sing Hard video. He can act.

    4. Will: He seems disconnected to both songs but his vocals in the first song made up for it. Also, I wouldn’t play the banjo with the second song. I didn’t like the arrangement.

    5. Cole: The first song was just okay. His second song was better but not the same level as Adorn or last week’s song.

    6. Matthew: What happened to him? From top to bottom for the second week now. I’m afraid his time is up. The second song really exposed all of his flaws.

    Prediction: Matthew (and I hope the Insta Save curse lives on)

  27. jaxguy says:

    jacquie was BRILLIANT! I even heard a little Janis in there. You guys who didn’t hear really missed a lot. I hope she wins the whole thing.

  28. dkd says:

    Cole will probably end up in the top 4 just because he’s Blake’s guy and the only “country” guy left.

  29. Kathryn says:

    I actually really liked Matthew’s first song, much more than I thought I would when I heard he was singing One Direction. Guess that’s just me though.

  30. Bramy Entertainment says:

    It doesn’t matter what Cole sings – since he’s on Team Blake he will be at the final and will probably win. Do you think he would be doing so well if he was on Team Ceelo? I doubt it. As an avid Will fan, I’ll be the first to admit that his first song wasn’t that great. But, Will is probably the most experienced entertainer on the Voice this year. I mean, how many of the Voice contestants have graduated from Berklee College of Music, played piano on a song on Michael Jackson’s last album and wrote a song that is on a gospel R&B album that has two Grammy’s. So, no matter what – Will is already a winner.

    I think Tessanne and Jacquie are both good vocalists, but I’m bored of both of them. Matthew lacks any type of REAL emotion in any of his songs. I think that’s my real problem with Matthew. I don’t believe one word of anything that he’s singing about. And, he’s always “bopping” around and I think that distracts from his performances. James is just interesting all over (and I’m not saying if that’s good or bad.) Cole – he’s okay. He can sing, but I think he’s incredibly boring. But, again – that doesn’t matter because he’s on Team Blake.

    And, for those of you who say that the itunes positions don’t seem to be lining up with what ends up happening on the results show – I beg to differ. I make my predictions of the bottom 3 and then who ends up going home every week – primarily based off of iTunes. Obviously, there are other things that go into account, but I’ve been doing this now for four weeks and I’ve been 100% correct on who goes into the bottom three and who goes home every single week. I won’t make my prediction for tonight until after the voting is closed.

    • Mikko says:

      I think Cole would be doing fine in what so ever team. When in the knockout rounds, he performed that Passenger-song “Let Her Go” in an absolutely great way, and it went very top in iTunes and stayed there also a couple of weeks. Yet, Ceelo picked Jonny Gray instead of him, and Blake got him. So he was very popular even before Blake got him. Blake is a great guy, but it may even be so, that he is the biggest hindrance for cole not to win, because Blake plays quite often so safe, but that passenger-song for example was quite a bold pick. Cole is not discovered by Blake, but people watching The Voice.

    • I think this whole “Blake is always gonna win” conspiracy is completely ridiculous. People didn’t vote for Cassadee and Danielle because they liked Blake, they did it because they liked the contestants. People really like Cole too, and he has a nice voice, but I’m not sure he’s the most liked this year.

      • Tom22 says:

        Good point. I think Blake knows to pick contestants with a confident, unique but still likable charm that can sing pretty well while putting that personality of their into te performance s.
        Note the adjectives I used. I didn’t say nice or friendly. .. they need that but with a confident outlook on top. .perhaps wry humor too that they can infuse. People want more than a well executed song cover

  31. Michelle says:

    I wish Jacquie would be given a fun, age appropriate song just once. Belting out songs while strutting her stuff is getting boring. Talking of age appropriate, as it’s a family show perhaps Christina could cover up a little; I thought it was only a matter of time before she burst out and it wasn’t in song. Her comments, as always were less about the artist performance and more about her, her feelings, what the song meant to her and other lala moments. Is she morphing into Paula Abdul?

    • Joy Johnson says:

      Michelle, I couldn’t agree with you more! Sometimes I think I missed hearing about it when they changed the name of the show from “The Voice” to “The Xtina Show” because they sure do let her ramble on (I’m still trying to figure out what they hell her advice to “get in touch with your inner truth. . .” was even about! I mean, WTF?) And while I commend her amazing weight loss and sexy new look, she really needs to rein those puppies in a bit! Children ARE watching!

  32. Roger says:

    If anyone but Matthew goes home tonight, there is no justice. He has been terrible two weeks in a row. I don’t know what happened to him as he started off so well in the competition.

  33. Jacqi says:

    For the love of God, make Matthew go back to his earlier song choices. I love him but the pop tracks the last 2 weeks were awful. He did much better on when a man loves a woman. Did anyone else find James song choice for his dedication wierd (Fell in love with a girl dedicated to his dad)? Not sure who will go home tonight, maybe James or Matthew. I would love to see Cole go home he is my least favorite.

  34. MB says:

    I must disagree with the A given to Cry Baby. Jacquie Lee is super talented, but last night she simply yelled her way through both of her songs. Everyone knows she has power, but she needs to deliver dynamics and nuance too. It’s fatiguing to listen to pure power, and it strips any emotional dimension from the song. I feel there’s some truth in that for Tessina too, but Tessina’s control is so fantastic that it smoothes the ride.

    • rolichan says:

      on the ‘power’ thing with a few of these vocalists – has anyone ever listened to a military flight being marched by a person calling (we called it “singing”) cadence? (flight – ten hut! left, left, left right left, etc. sounds like FLI! TEN-HUH! HEF, HEF, HEF-HI-HEF etc). that’s power. that reaching down to the very bottom of your diaphragm and belting – with zero passion and less than zero emotion – but maintaining pitch and breath control. dunno about anyone else, but personally, don’t think i’ll be buying an album of anyone singing in that manner.

  35. Anna says:

    Allison Iraheta totally owns Jacqui when it comes to covering “Cry Baby”

    Matthew was probably a little overhyped after his “Hallelujah” performance, but he has really struggled the past 2 weeks, which is strange considering he was very consistent early on in the show.

    • Mark says:

      This constant referencing of some other version of a song performed by a contestant on another show or season is entirely pointless. Those other performers aren’t competing this time, so the comparison serves no useful purpose. Is it really possible for every performer to sing the best version of a song ever heard by anyone in the entire history of time? Of course not. So why do we continually hold these kids to that standard?

  36. RD says:

    Matthew’s problems this week lay entirely on song choice. There’s only so much you can do with a One Direction song,and singing classic soul ballads is just not where he’s coming from. They label him an ‘indie rocker’ and then Xtina serves him with this? Just bad judgement all round,I believe. Having said that,I thought Cole and Tessanne came on top,generally. Jacquie performed well but she just doesn’t have the depth of voice yet.And I believe James will be going home.

  37. shar says:

    I love Blake Shelton, and rooting for Team Blake, but I got to say, I just love Will. Everytime I hear him sing, I love him more and more.

  38. Andrea says:

    My husband, who normally doesn’t watch “The Voice”, wandered into the room just as Tessanne was starting to sing “Unconditionally”. He said “wow, she’s singing that song better than Katy Perry does.” My sentiments exactly.

  39. Kaba says:

    Am I the only one ever so slightly more tired of being reminded that Tessanne has Jamaican heritage than hearing Carson call Jacquie the youngest contestant on the show? I feel like Tessanne’s heritage is being turned into a gimmick regardless of whether she wants it to or not. All I ever seem to hear is “blah blah blah for Jamaica. Blah blah blah your accent in the song. Blah blah blah your heritage.” and while I understand that Jamaica is a huuge part of her and she wants to always stay true to her people..It feels more like the judges insist on making what she does about Jamaica rather than about her more often. I feel like they regard her more as “Tessanne, the Jamaican” more-so than “Tessanne, the singer” a lot.
    But that’s just me.

    • Sean says:

      I absolutely agree and I liked Blake’s take on it. However, she seems to have found a sweet spot singing Reggae or Reggae-infused songs (her background is a Reggae-fusion singer so it makes sense) with this week and last week. Perhaps she could sing a Reggae fusion song along with a pop song from now on (assuming she survives this week). I’d also like to hear her sing a country song at some point (she has covered some country songs before).

  40. AC Milan says:

    I don’t remember who said that Tessanne is “too old” for the competition and not “marketable,” but whomever said it is clearly pushing an agenda. One of the biggest songs of 2013 was sung by a relatively unknown artist at 33–Robin Thicke. Is he not marketable? Is he too old for a more successful career?

    • YeahSure says:

      You’re forgetting that “too old” only applies to women. It’s in the rulebook somewhere!

      • AC Milan says:

        Ah, the double standard. My favorite is when a guy says something critical and he is “harsh” or “honest” but a woman is a “bitch”

  41. Amie says:

    Will’s Hey Brother was the only thing all night I really loved. I liked A Change Is Gonna Come, too, but Hey Brother was just wonderful. Everybody else was all BIG and LOUD in a way that really isn’t in style anymore unless you’re watching Michael Bolton on those ads. James was awful. Nasally. His Meatloaf song sounded like a disco remix, which… No. Jacquie is shouty and screechy and comes off like a little kid playing dress-up. I was offended that she thought she could do Janis Joplin. Again, NO. The opposite of real or genuine. Tessanne was fine on The Redemption Song but the swaybots kinda ruined it, and I hated the Katy Perry song. I forgot Cole as soon as he was done and can’t remember a thing about either performance except that he kinda looked like a muppet on one or the other or maybe both. And I don’t know what’s happened to Matthew except that maybe Xtina wants Jacquie to win so she’s sabotaging Matthew. I didn’t hate When a Man Loves a Woman as much as most people seem to, but it was just so bland and pop/vanilla/phoned in.
    1. Will — Hey Brother A+
    2. Will — A Change is Gonna Come A
    3. Tessanne — Redemption Song A-
    4. Cole — What He Sang Second C
    5. James — White Stripes thing C
    6. Cole — Whatever He Sang First C-
    7. Matthew — When a Man Loves a Woman C-
    8. Tessanne — Katy Perry thing C-
    9. Jacquie — Xtina thing D+
    10. Matthew — One Direction thing. D
    11. Jacquie — Cry Baby D
    12. James — Won’t Do That. Please don’t do it again, either. D

    Going home? I have to think it will be Matthew. And maybe Cole will visit the B2. After all, he sang first. Tessanne in the two-spot may also be vulnerable.

  42. Petreanna says:

    I honestly feel as if either James or Matthew is going home. If Tessanne is in a bottom 2, she is not gonna go home. To me, she is the favourite and even those who have other favourites like her. Plus, she has the most Twitter followers.

  43. Catniss says:

    Slezak, you are so wrong about Will. He is as hot as an overheated sauna and has a good chance of winning the Voice! I have come to the conclusion that you dislike any male contestant with facial hair. The top 3 will be Will, Cole and Tess. The ones fighting for survival will be Matthew and James, possibly Jackie joining them.

  44. dj says:

    All I could think of during James’ song was M&Ms. Does Adam never watch TV?

  45. angelstorm says:

    HA ! “In yo face” Michael Slezack !! Tessanne stays !! :D

  46. Carson says:

    To me, Tessanne clearly has the best voice in this competition. By far. I’d be shocked if she doesn’t end up in the top 3.

  47. Shantelle says:

    I love James, Cole and Tessanne. Their voices are the most pleasing to me. Will is talented but his voice’s tone is not pleasing to my ear as much as the others. And Jacquie, OMG, her voice is like a cheese grater on my eyeball. I actually have to mute the TV. Not something I would ever buy. And this business is about selling music, right?

  48. Meme says:

    Love Will! Love Cole! Either one winning will make me happy … they are the 2 most true to themselves.

  49. Sonia says:

    Tess is the best

  50. Taylor says:

    I like every one of the contestants except for Jacquie Lee. I can’t stand her. All she does is scream her songs. And I know she does that because her pitch is way off when she tries to sing softly. I don’t care how old she is. She should not get a free pass because she is young. That is unfair to the others who are so much more talented.
    But you know what, she probably will get the most votes because she has her school behind her. The Voice is not about the best voice winning. Jacquie Lee is not technically a good all around singer. And what is with that constant giddy laugh and smirk on her face after every time she performs and is waiting to be praised by the judges.
    The talent on this show is so great but people are going to pick her because they seem to think the higher you can scream is talent. You really need to have trained judges judging this competition. And for all we know, the whole thing is rigged from the beginning.

    • HTGR says:

      ” And I know she does that because her pitch is way off when she tries to sing softly.”
      And yet last week her pitch was most off on the few notes she really did blast out last week.