The Voice Season 5 Semifinal Performance Recap: Keep Calm and 'Carry On' [Updated]

The Voice Will Champlin Carry OnCan People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” (*With a Current Project to Promote/Not Named Idris Elba) be stopped?

That’s the question surrounding The Voice Season 5 semifinals, seeing how coach Adam Levine hasn’t lost a single contestant since Nov. 7 (aka Top 20 results night) (aka for freakin’ ever).

RELATED | The Voice: 25 Song Suggestions to Make Season 5 More Surprising (and Delightful)

Of course, perhaps the even bigger question is whether membership on any coach’s team means anything at all. I mean, fans of NBC’s reality singing huggernaut — a typo, but that seems apt given all the positive vibrations, no? — have heard each member of the Top 5 perform 10 individual solo numbers over the last few months.

So shouldn’t it be more about the future potential pop stars than the already established ones? Should it be held against Jacquie Lee, for example, that her mentor Christina Aguilera turned her critique of James Wolpert into a mini rant about how she’s the one who should’ve been singing U2′s “With or Without You”? (Insert eye roll here.) Would anyone enamoured of Cole Vosbury’s gruff voice (and silky beard) withhold their vote to prevent Blake Shelton from nabbing his fourth consecutive win on the show? Is anyone more appreciative of Will Champlin, Tessanne Chin or the aforementioned Mr. Wolpert because Adam Levine (allegedly) cooked ‘em eggs for brekkie? (Side note: If Adam truly did rock the kitchen, how the heck did NBC’s camera crew fail to capture it? File under: #CookingIsSexy4Real.)

RELATED | The Voice‘s Caroline Pennell on Tackling Bieber, Rocking ‘Royals,’ Accepting Cee Lo’s Laid-Back Coaching: ‘Everyone Else Was Standing Up’

Forgive me. This recap has devolved into tragic hashtag territory. Who do I think I am? Mariah #Pow Carey? #Ugh #It’sBeenALongSeason #HelpMeIdolStartsInJustAMonth

JACQUIE LEE ANGEL THE VOICEOK, it’s clearly time for me to get to the hard work of assigning letter grades for tonight’s performances:

James Wolpert (Team Adam): U2′s “With or Without You” — Grade: B- | Maybe James was bummed about getting stuck in the undesirable leadoff position — after last week’s Bottom 2, no less — but his performance tonight lacked the haunted urgency and the desperate ache required to sell the lyrics he was delivering. Not only that, but James also struggled with his pitch, especially in the opening third of the song when he wasn’t in full-on belting mode. There’s no doubt the guy has some genuine vocal talent, but his semifinal performance had an aura of defeat enveloping it — kind of like he’d been sent to chop down a sapling with a pair of basic household scissors.

Will Champlin (Team Adam): fun.’s “Carry On” — Grade: A | I’m not going to try to pretend Will didn’t make a couple of mistakes tonight — particularly on that one glory note in his upper register. But minor sins can be washed away, especially when they’re being blasted by a virtual fire-hose of emotions and sanded down with the grit and gravel of a voice that’s full of character and mystery. I know, I know, this paragraph is a being brought to you by the word “excessive,” but the combination of fun.’s stirring anthem and Will’s newfound freedom — the freedom to smile, the freedom to truly lose himself in the music, perhaps even the freedom to imagine winning this whole thing — was truly invigorating.

Jacquie Lee (Team Xtina): Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” — Grade: A- | This just in: Jacquie Lee does not need to be at Diva Defcon One to stay on pitch or to properly communicate the emotions of a song. Despite Xtina’s goofy insistence that “Angel” is sweet and innocent, I felt like Jacquie cut straight to the heart of a mournful ballad about a tortured soul finally succumbing to addiction. The purity and clarity of the airy opening half gave me a serious case of the shivers, and while Jacquie’s detractors will almost surely call “blasphemy!’ on her choice to go for the glory notes and tear into phrases like “dark cold hotel room” and “in the arms of the angels” after the key change, I appreciated that she took a risk and stepped away from McLachlan’s template, choosing her own more intense path rather than keepin’ it ethereal start to finish. Loss is a complicated thing, after all, with grief and anger and acceptance and relief all operating on the same plane. And despite two or three wobbly notes, Jacquie absolutely brought all of those emotions to the stage tonight. Here’s hoping she’s rewarded for it with a spot in the finale.

Cole Vosbury (Team Blake): Billy Joel/Garth Brooks’ “Shameless” — Grade: B | With so much riding on this single performance, I was hoping Cole might take a chance and overhaul a pop or R&B ditty to fit his roots-rock-n-soul style, but as Blake has proven in the past few seasons, big, bold moves aren’t always synonymous with winning. And so we got Cole behind the piano for one of the least hook-y songs in the Billy Joel repertoire, with the impressively bearded fella using his cedar-smoked rasp to infuse the tune with a little extra oomph. Surprisingly, the usually spotless Cole hit a series of flat notes once he stood up and tried to get his rockstar on, but if I’m being honest, the bigger problem was that — like a dark-colored minivan in a shopping-mall parking lot on Black Friday — there was nothing in particular about this performance to make it stand out.

Tessanne Chin (Team Adam): Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” — Grade: A- | Based on the length and power of her final glory note alone — honestly, that was Shelley-Winters-underwater-in-The-Poseidon-Adventure-level breath control — Tessanne should (and likely will) advance to the finale. But focusing on her grand finale alone would rob Tessanne of the credit she deserves for a vocal that was so regal, I half expected Queen Elizabeth to hop on stage and pop a crown on it. (I know, I know, that sentence went off into the woods and never came back.) If I’m being nitpicky (and I have it an A-, so you know I am), I was more impressed/astonished by Tessanne this week than I was moved/stirred — I still feel like sometimes there’s a hint of reserve preventing us from seeing everything the former background vocalist has to give — but who knows? Maybe the early-front-runner who lost momentum post-Knockouts and has been slowly building back to contending status, is just saving a little somethin’ somethin’ for next week.

Should Go Home: James, Cole
Will Go Home: Honestly, I’d just be guessing at this point.

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What did you think of Top 5 performance night? Who absolutely must make the finale? Who will and should get booted? 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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553 Comments
  1. Dan says:

    I’ll be really pissed if Cole makes it to the finale over Will. Tessane and Jacquie are a given. Will probably will finish third, and although Tessane deserves to win because she technically is the better singer, there’s something about Jacquie that causes such powerful reactions -good and bad- I just think the girl is a star, she really clicks FOR ME, and I think SHE WILL win. Either way, Tessane and Jacquie are both getting record deals out of this… that’s just a FACT.

  2. pat says:

    3- tessane
    8-jacqui
    12-will
    13-cole
    17-james

  3. Naf says:

    Tessanne and Will deserves to be in the finals! as long as they are there.. I’m satisfied! =)

  4. Karen says:

    First, I love Fun with a passion and listen to that song regularly and I think Will did an awesome job with it. Yes I know he had a few off notes, but he put emotion into the performance so it wasn’t distracting. I often cringe when they do songs I love, not this time.
    Jacqui did an interesting job with Angel, I liked Adam’s contestants version last season better. She toned down the screaming, but couldn’t help herself at the end. I like her, but I think she will be a much better artist in a few years when she learns to modulate her voice, the scream is more effective then.
    James did better than I expected with the U2 song.
    Still don’t get Cole, he seemed kind of bored and I did hear the flats (which kind of surprised me).
    Tessanne was gorgeous and I think she almost crossed the line into opening up more to the audience. In her interviews she is more personable, I wish she could project it more in her singing.
    Grades:
    James B+
    Will A
    Jacqui B+
    Cole B-
    Tessanne A

    I hope that it is Cole and James going home. I think that Blake is hoping a country song will save Cole, but I don’t think Cole made me forget how much better Garth does that song.

  5. Kherrrie-Ann says:

    Tessanne Chin was awesome. there’s no other talent on the voice than can test hers. She is going for the win. That woman can sing. She sure was blessed with some pipes….. I am tired of JL screeching and its becoming very annoying, WC has another night to fight for the finals, JW well he has a great vice but I think he has run his course, Cole i didnt really remember his performance…..blah! Go Tessanne

  6. Blank Slate says:

    Did James forget the words to the song? He looked lost and flustered and had to find his way back to where the music was. I don’t think WITH OR WITHOUT YOU gave him anything to SING. It felt like those lines were repeated over and over, without the intensity that punched the lyrics home.

    First time I truly appreciated Tessane’s voice was tonight. I wish we knew what was troubling her off camera. I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Jacquie is no angel. Wind me up, scream, take me down. Sing by the numbers. I feel as if I am watching a well-oiled robot. Sorry, kid.

    Cannot connect with Will at all. I feel sorry Adam never stands up for him after a performance. Will can sing but he has zero personality on stage.

    I like Cole more each week but I fear being on Blake’s team may be a liability for him because of Blake’s record. The show should be about the singers, yes, not the judge. But will the VOICE producers allow Blake to bring it home again??

    • Carla Krae says:

      No, he didn’t forget anything. The song just sounds odd when you cut it down to 90 or 120 seconds. U2 songs are tough to shorten.

      • Blank Slate says:

        Thanks. I wasn’t sure. He was dragging out some of the lines to fit the band’s arrangement. Something about it felt a half-step off. I think that he was The Saved One last week and first up this week can only spell trouble for him tonight.

        • dj says:

          He has been retweeting everything anyone says about him on twitter like crazy since the end of the show. I think he is desperately trying to crack the top 10 on iTunes.

  7. Carla Krae says:

    I knew Jacquie would butcher that song the second Christina gave it to her. Listen to Sarah M’s original version. Listen to Kelly Clarkson’s version from her pre-Idol days. I have to turn the volume down every time Jacquie is on. Annoys the heck out of me that this untrained newbie gets no criticism. She needs voice lessons, or the way she yells most of her notes will toast her vocal cords by her 20s. I was a vocal performance major in college, so this isn’t just opinion. I’ve taught other singers.

  8. Mai says:

    I only started watching The Voice last season, so can anyone tell me why last week the constestants got to sing two songs and last night (at the semi finals!) they only got to sing one? And why only one person went home last week and tonight two will?

  9. iTunes chart:

    1 Tessanne Chin – Bridge Over Troubled Water (The Voice Performance)
    9 Jacquie Lee – Angel (The Voice Performance)
    12 Will Champlin – Carry On (The Voice Performance)
    13 Cole Vosbury – Shameless (The Voice Performance)
    15 James Wolpert – With Or Without You (The Voice Performance)

    • Dan says:

      According to http://digitalsalesdata.com:

      1 Tessanne Chin – Bridge Over Troubled Water (The Voice Performance) 23,321 x 5 = 116,605
      9 Jacquie Lee – Angel (The Voice Performance) 16,582 x 5 = 82,910
      12 Will Champlin – Carry On (The Voice Performance) 12,577
      13 Cole Vosbury – Shameless (The Voice Performance) 11,524
      15 James Wolpert – With Or Without You (The Voice Performance) 9633

      • Dan says:

        No clue if it’s accurate!

        • lololol says:

          yes its accurate.
          I doubt that the guuy can crack the top 10 at this point, which will really hurt them tonight.

          • Sergio says:

            Will is so close… its 11

          • MAB says:

            My top three are Tessanne, Jacquie ans Will. Will has been lingering at #11 on iTunes. I just purchased his song and went back to check and he is now #10. I know it wasn’t just my purchase that did it but it helps. :)

          • HTGR says:

            Man, the morning crowd is really going for Will and not so much for Jacquie. I’m getting worried that Cole will be a given and then Will bumps Jacquie perhaps. Tess seems like a given at this point. She was miles ahead the rest (other than Tessanne) until this morning.

          • MAB says:

            I already bought Jacquie’s song before I bought Will’s. I wanted to help Will get in the top 10 so his votes could be multiplied. I wanted to give him an edge over Cole. I just do not want to see another Blake win. It will hurt the show plus I like Will better than Cole.

    • Clement says:

      Damn, Tessanne!!!!!!

  10. Jack says:

    No one but Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel has ever performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to my satisfaction. When folks with big voices (like Tessanne) sing it, it comes across as corny and overdone. It’s a song that desperately needs softness and restraint until the very end, during the key change.

  11. ronnie says:

    Tessanne is number 1 on iTunes this morning and Jacqui is #9. The other guys are in the top 15, so a stronger night for all the contestants. Two of the guys will definitely be going home, but it will come down to the online and phone votes. And Michael, Tessanne was flawless last night and you need to be bitch-slapped for not giving her the A+ she deserved!!

  12. Tess says:

    Michael Slezak.. Do you have ears? Jacquie is very cute and has a tremendous voice when she sings deeper and more bluesy songs.. but clearly she butchered “Angle” and Im sure Janice is still rolling in her grave after her other bombed performance. She should not have moved on.
    Tessanne is wonderful. But she is already a professional with a few albums out.( I thought this show was for amatures.)
    Despite the poor song choices , James got all my votes. Will was ok and Cole could have done better.

  13. Sergio says:

    Will has gotten to 11!! would he make it to 10 before 11 am EST?? please buy Carry on!!! :D

    • Dan says:

      I just bought it to help the guy out. I’m also VERY invested in making sure that Blake and his manipulating of Middle America stops NOW! No Cole in the finals! After Cassadee Pope, The Swon Brothers and Danielle Bradberry this man HAS to be stopped!!!

      • darcy the slutty twin says:

        Shut up. I support Cole because I like his performances. I’m not Middle America anything and I am definitely not voting for Cole just because of Blake. Besides, Cole is better than Yelly McScreecherson (Jackie) and Nervous McCreeperston (Will). But that is just my opinion.

  14. Clement says:

    Pardon the many updates, but it is an intense race.

    1. Tessanne Chin – Bridge Over Troubled Water (The Voice Performance)
    8. Jacquie Lee – Angel (The Voice Performance)
    11. Will Champlin – Carry On (The Voice Performance)
    13. Cole Vosbury – Shameless (The Voice Performance)
    15. James Wolpert – With Or Without You (The Voice Performance)

  15. Coryrox78 says:

    I actually agreed with most of Slezak’s assessment. A lot of people think JL is “screechy” but that doesn’t come across for me. I think that kid has some serious star quality and I think she’s only going to get better as she gets older and has more life experience. I like Cole, but he’s just average at this point and a non factor. I am intrigued by James, but I think Slezak was right when he said he was missing that desperate ache the song required. I think Will is great, but for the life of me I can’t see him as a star. He’s more the intimate venue type, which of course there is nothing wrong with. Tessanne can flat out sing and I think with the right people behind her, she can be a star.

    • Lee says:

      Well, it looks like she has Adam in her corner. And probably Ryan Tedder. Adam supported Sara Bareilles all these years (she was the opening act for Maroon 5) and look what happened to her–she just got a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.

  16. xwiseguyx says:

    I 100% agree on your pics to go home. I rarely download tracks from iTunes, but last night I downloaded Tessanne’s Bridge Over Troubled Water and Jacquie’s Angel, the latter surprising me the most because I was never a fan of the original, and only semi-sold on her talent.. but her rendition was amazing. Will was good as well, but like you said flawed, so the A for him and A- for the other 2 winners, doesn’t really make sense, but who cares as long as the right 3 make it to the finals!

  17. Sergio says:

    this semifinal is sooo close!!!!! Go Will!!!

  18. Quinn Carson says:

    Sergio is voting still open? :o

  19. Claudia says:

    I really like Will, and am kinda rooting for him after Matthew left, but although I liked the energy of his performance, his high notes last night were painful. Actually my thought at the moment was that he had probably hurt his voice or something. Was it just me? Still rooting for him I guess. Would be a more interesting outcome that the ultimate underdog wins, than the one who is onli there because of the coach (aka Cole).

    James was fine, and for the first time I guess, more consistent than Will, but it wasn’t a greaat performance – the song choice was extremely predictable, and I think he could at least have weared something different than what he weared when he sang Without you. It feels like the same thing

    I really liked Jacquie’s performance; she showed restraint, it was soft, I liked it much better than her usual performances. She does scream a lot.

    Tessane is the most consistent overall. She never deserves anything less than A-. I’m kind new to these reality singing competitions, but the only time I’ve seen a note remotely likely her last one, in terms of highness and length, was in Carly Rose Sonenclar’s Hallelujah. Carly, by the way, had the same problem as hers: she was so perfect that it lacked humanity. That’s why she lost and that’s what has stopped Tessane so far. Except that although Tessane has more experience and she sings from a very different point than Carly, I liked Carly A LOT better.

    Finally, I liked Cole at the beggining – really loved his’ Let Her Go. But he’s been doing the same thing ever since Adorn, and I’m pretty sure if it was only for his fans, without the support of Blake’s fan club, he wouldn’t still be on the show.

    For me, the top 3 would be Tess, Jacquie and Will. But I don’t really think Cole’s leaving, so who knows.

  20. cloves says:

    Will finally at 10 wonder how big a difference it’ll make at this stage tho. #Teamtessanne

  21. Claudia says:

    And my favorite performance of the season so far is not Bridge over troubled water, nor Angel, and not even Hallelujah, it’s actually Cosmic Love.

    • Quinn Carson says:

      Cosmic Love was amazing, yea. Otherwise my favorites had to have been “Hallejuah.” “At Last” and “I Put a Spell on You.”

  22. Claudia says:

    Is the 5x votes for reaching Itunes top 10 thing still on? If it is, then yes I think it makes a big difference that Will is in

    • Sergio says:

      Of course it is on! thats the thing with reaching the top 10.. we will see if Cole reach it as well or not. but people need to vote by phone, nbc webpage and facebook, not just the song

  23. Sergio says:

    Yes!!! Will is in the Top 10!!! i’m still voting for him!!!

  24. Quinn Carson says:

    Fantastic! …Wait, if there are 3 people going into the finale… didn’t 3 just get the itunes bonus? lol

  25. sd says:

    itunes votes so far with 20 minutes to go
    #1 Tessanne
    #7 Jacquie
    #10 Will
    #13 Cole
    #15 James

  26. Quinn Carson says:

    I like it! Thanks //_^)

  27. Dan says:

    Seems like the final will be EPIC… My 3 favorites: Jacquie, Will & Tessane!!! Sorry about James… Cole will NOT be missed.

  28. I wasn’t impressed with will. Is it just me? The first half was great, but those high notes sounded off.

  29. davey says:

    Will Champlin reminds me a bit of Elliott Yamin from Idol years ago. Not exactly sure why. Though no one this year reminds me of Katherine McPhee or Taylor Hicks, thank goodness.

  30. davey says:

    Noticed that Adam never mentioned that Will wasn’t feeling great either this week. And what do you think was bothering Tessanne?

    • cloves says:

      Couldnt mention that one of his contestants was sick two weeks in a row…. Heard her friend committed suicide not sure how true it is though

  31. Dan says:

    1. Tessanne Chin – Bridge Over Troubled Water (The Voice Performance) 26,225 * 5 = 131,125
    8. Jacquie Lee – Angel (The Voice Performance) 17,219 * 5 = 86,095
    11. Will Champlin – Carry On (The Voice Performance) 14,476 * 5 = 72,380
    13. Cole Vosbury – Shameless (The Voice Performance) 13,212
    15. James Wolpert – With Or Without You (The Voice Performance) 11,055

  32. cloves says:

    Oh dear will dropped back outta top ten

    • Dan says:

      No he didn’t. That was MY mistake! SORRY!

    • Dan says:

      1. Tessanne Chin – Bridge Over Troubled Water (The Voice Performance) 26,225 * 5 = 131,125
      8. Jacquie Lee – Angel (The Voice Performance) 17,219 * 5 = 86,095
      10. Will Champlin – Carry On (The Voice Performance) 14,476 * 5 = 72,380
      13. Cole Vosbury – Shameless (The Voice Performance) 13,212
      15. James Wolpert – With Or Without You (The Voice Performance) 11,055

  33. Quinn Carson says:

    Pffft wow, that kinda sucks. Does he lose the itunes bonus?

  34. Clement says:

    And final rankings:
    1. Tessanne
    7. Jacquie
    10. Will
    12. Cole
    14. James

  35. sd says:

    He’s still in the top 10 on my itunes. And as long as he got in the top 10 at some point I believe it counts. But again, I don’t show him dropping out at all.

  36. Dan says:

    1. Tessanne Chin – Bridge Over Troubled Water (The Voice Performance) 26,225 * 5 = 131,125
    8. Jacquie Lee – Angel (The Voice Performance) 17,219 * 5 = 86,095
    10. Will Champlin – Carry On (The Voice Performance) 14,476 * 5 = 72,380
    13. Cole Vosbury – Shameless (The Voice Performance) 13,212
    15. James Wolpert – With Or Without You (The Voice Performance) 11,055

    • Dan says:

      Yeah, Cole is now #12, but that was AFTER the voting closed. In any case: It’s IRRELEVANT! I’m only gonna miss his grandma!

    • HTGR says:

      If you think about, those are numbers are actually ridiculously small compared to the number who watch the show. Crazy small. What is that like less than 1 in 100 maybe even less than 1 in 400 or more even in semi-finals week vote with iTunes.
      .
      Man really hard to call a winner, especially with Will just barely hitting top 10 at the very last second. Guys often have stronger voting bases on these shows so does he bump Jacquie now if Cole’s Blake base is strong enough to put him in? Or is Cole’s base not as huge as expected? I’m kind of worried about Jacquie making it.
      With things so close and the itunes votes so low when you think about it it’s really hard to say anything about what will happen.
      You never know what can happen. Carly was miles ahead of Tate on iTunes but lost to him (and was favored by bookies to lose by quite a margin). Jermaine jumped out of nowhere to knock off three who did way better on iTunes (of course that was before the 10x 5x bonus stuff).

  37. cloves says:

    Fingers crossed it’ll be a Tessanne, Jaquie, Will final. Woulda preferred James instead of Jaquie tho. But i guess it would be unfair(?) to have a team adam finale. In any case i find Jaquie extremely annoying and Cole extremely boring. Have never liked a SINGLE thing Jaquie did and i only like Cole’s Jefferson’s Theme Song.

    • Sergio says:

      +1000000 in everything you said! only different I think Jacquie was ok in her 2 first live performances after that she has lost it for me…

  38. ali427 says:

    Michael, I adore you and I read/listen to everything you put out there. However, I think Tessanne’s performance was one of the best I’ve EVER heard, on Idol, Voice–anywhere. It was sheer perfection. Her pitch, her passion, her humility–reminded me of my favorite all-time Idol contestant, Melinda Doolittle. I loved Clay Aiken’s version way back, but this was truly transcendent. A+++!!!

    • davey says:

      Also Tessanne didn’t need a gospel choir for her to send us to the heavens. Thank you Simon and Garfunkel.

    • Tyler says:

      I’ve said this before. You can’t compare the two. S & G’s version was folk rock; Tessanne’s was more like a soulful R & B version. Between the two, I prefer Tessanne’s.

  39. Sum Ting Wong says:

    Yippy Tessanne Chin is in the finals, and Jacquie Lee too. That’s the two I like.

  40. Jennifer J says:

    I wish they’d each gotten to sing twice last night. I think that would have really helped all of them.

  41. Jenny says:

    James was so boring last night. Put no real emotion into the song, it was average.
    I absolutely love Will,he killed it last night!
    I love Jacquie lee. But I think she butchered an amazing song. There is no need to change that song up.
    I don’t care for cole….boring.
    And Tessanne ..love her!

    Would love James and Cole to go.

    • Sergio says:

      Agree on everything u said, those Screams like Yelling in the near end of angel were beyond HORRIBLE.. the rest of the song she did really good.

      • HTGR says:

        Why were a few of her belts nearish the end (before she went delicate again) so unforgivable though when Will and Tessanne belted even more total notes last night (and one of them belted some with strain and misses to boot) and her delicate parts with wonderful delicate tone were more delicate than anything he did and a lot of what Tessanne did? I just don’t get that, maybe you liked other two better, but it’s something weird to put it in these terms.

        • Sergio says:

          I’m not saying she didnt hit the notes.. she had those upper notes wich made no sense to the point of the song and she ruined it… besides those notes she was good…

        • Sergio says:

          Tessane was the best last night by far of the rest her interpretation was sublime… Will was better than Jacquie just because he didn’t ruin the song and Jacquie did… (this is personal since Angel is one of my favorites songs ever written…)

  42. Angie_Overrated says:

    Wait a second, Slezak. I just read your updated thoughts on the contestants. Let’s zero in on Will Champlin. A “minor sin” when he missed his glory note?! SINCE WHEN IS MISSING A GLORY NOTE A MINOR SIN!?!?!?!?!? You can’t be taken seriously as a vocalist if you’re missing glory notes!!!! That would never happen in the real world, and I’m shocked that this is viewed as permissible within the confines of a singing competition. I’m very curious to hear what Melinda has to say on this matter. I have a very strong suspicion that you and she are going to disagree on this one.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      And I need to pull up the inconsistency… I distinctly remember you knocking Kree Harrison’s grade down a few notches on her rendition of “Here Comes Goodbye.” She temporarily went under the pitch on the glory note and quickly fixed the problem, which you noted and downgraded her for. Why does Will get a free pass for his “minor sin” when he never even fixed the problem yet Kree gets penalized?

      • sd says:

        In the real world the top money makers in the music biz miss notes all the time. Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are regularly off when singing live. Even the Voice coaches don’t sound that great all the time when they sing on the show. I think if you sing the true emotions of the song you tend to be more forgiven for a flawed performance. It’s why someone like Jacquie will get more criticism because people aren’t believing that she’s feeling those emotions or understanding the song.

        • Kaba says:

          In the real world, all of your examples aren’t fighting for a record deal and potential international, unwavering fame. They already have that.
          Shows like these have shown that you can sing amazingly, but it will be for naught if you miss a note that everyone was hoping for.

        • HTGR says:

          Ironically, I think Jacquie has connected better and more truly than Tessanne even if Tessanne has hit the largest number of notes to perfection.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I know what you’re saying, SD. And that’s the reason I have zero respect for Taylor Swift or Katy Perry (or Adam Levine). I like the “sangers” and I’m not willing to cut slack for someone who nails it emotionally. If it’s not the type of voice that required years of vocal and musical training, the performance is dead on arrival for me.

    • BA says:

      I totally agree. Slezak said that he gave Tessanne an A- on Redemption Song because of the swaybots, which had nothing to do with her singing. But, he didn’t take off anything for Will’s missed glory note. That’s why I say that Slezak is going to lose his credibility if he continues to be so obviously biased.

  43. MrsBeale says:

    Jacquie’s constant oversinging — just like her mentor, who has made a career of this — leaves me cold. This girl has no native interpetative ability and relies on belting when she should be thinking about how to tell a story through the song. Last night was the first time I did not hear her go flat in her head voice. But there was no pain in this rendition, no consolation. Xtina is going to ruin her student’s abilities permanently by encouraging her to go powerhouse all the time. Great singing is about more the big notes; it is about connecting with your music and audience on a personal level and then conveying that in a way that is accessible. Jacquie shows no signs at this point of learning to do either. Tessanne is far more accomplished and understands the power of restraint. Although personally, I love James’ quirkiness and orginality and Will’s smoky voice and deep commitment to every song her sings. Cole? Nice voice. Zero personality.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I hear what you’re saying on Jacquie. I am not opposed to power vocalists; in fact I prefer them. But you need to know how to pull it back. I don’t think it’s an interpretive shortcoming for Jacquie that she doesn’t know how to do this yet. I think she doesn’t have the technical proficiency to do so. Singing softly is counterintuitively much more difficult than singing loudly. She’ll get there, but she’s not there yet.

    • John Anthony says:

      I realize the judges try to take iconic songs and put a fresh spin on them to be different but these songs are already super hits. They were already judged by the public as great so why not have these performers try and top the original performer or at least perform the songs as well in their original form. Making anything as good as the original is nothing to be ashamed of. A great performer can do this. They all sing enough songs to be original at times. I’ve heard the song Danny Boy sung by numerous performers over the years, just like A Bridge Over Troubled Waters and it’s very easy to critic the performer when they stick to the original score of the song. Tessanne’s version was sung to her strength and maybe I’m wrong, but I do wonder what she would have sounded like singing the song closer to it’s original release? I do agree that Cole has very little stage personality.

    • jones says:

      ADAM LEVINE, once said to James during rehearsal, to NEVER compromise technicalities for EMOTIONS.

      Oh the irony.
      Well I know some people just watch the performance and not the whole song, but hey, with that comes with not making assumptions as well.

    • HTGR says:

      But Tessanne went to power more often than Jacquie did last night and arguably changed the song up more. And nobody was more delicate last night than Jacquie was for a solid chunk of her song. So I don’t get how you can say that about last night. And overall yeah Jacquie has gone for power a lot and I’m OK with what you say there, but come on like Tessanne hasn’t??? Heck that is all Adam has those types of his singers do, even James he put there all the time. Will too. (And as for her interpretive ability, I think she hits more emotional points than Tessanne even if Tessanne is the most clinically technical, this last part is obviously subjective, but I think it’s Tessanne and her phrasing that are more often empty than Jacquie who is one who seems to really hit that often enough. Tessanne is the one who is clinically perfect but not connecting things due to phrasing and micro-phrasing often seeming dull to me. And Jacquie has a more unique tone to me.)

      • HTGR says:

        James and Will have also strained more often on belted notes than the others so I don’t get why they get a free pass on it and one person gets slammed for it.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          “James and Will have also strained more often on belted notes than the others so I don’t get why they get a free pass on it and one person gets slammed for it.”

          100% accurate observation. I look at these shows’ contestants through a purely clinical technical perspective, and I’m baffled as to why some people rooting for a certain contestant are slamming other contestants for vocal issues that their own favored contestants succumb to themselves.

      • Jelmazmo says:

        Ok, HTGR, we get that you love Jacquie with unwavering devotion, and your defense of her is justified as she’s undoubtedly a great singer, but this is about the fourth time I’ve seen you put in some subtle jabs at Tessanne at the same time. We get it, you think Jacquie’s better than Tessanne or whatever- it’s all subjective at this point I guess, and our personal tastes influence how much we like a particular singer on the show, but the difference between Tessanne and Jacquie is that, OBJECTIVELY, when Tessanne pulls out all the big notes or ‘goes for the power’ (in your words) it’s more nuanced and ‘chills’-inducing. That woman can saaaang. On the other hand, when Jacquie does the same thing, it can sometimes come off as abit strained. Personally I havn’t really had any problems with Jacquie’s singing so far. I enjoy her performances and she’s very likeable, which will carry her far, as everyone keeps going on about the need to ‘connect’ with the audience. At the end of the day though, no matter how much I like Jacquie, I think Tessanne ruled it last night. Last night was hers and hers alone. However, no matter how much I disagree with some people’s gripes about Tessanne, I wouldn’t put down another singer in my defence of her just to justify her position. And stop stressing, I’m pretty sure Jacquie’s going to win it either way. The voting public seems to relate more to the young All-American ones, if past winners are an indication.

        • HTGR says:

          @Jelmazmo – I’m not slamming Tessanne by any means. I didn’t really say anything different than you did, even less perhaps since I called the difference between them more subjective whereas you say: “but the difference between Tessanne and Jacquie is that, OBJECTIVELY, when Tessanne pulls out all the big notes or ‘goes for the power’ (in your words) it’s more nuanced and ‘chills’-inducing. That woman can saaaang. On the other hand, when Jacquie does the same thing” but I do not feel that Tessanne is more chills inducing to me although she has hit the most notes on and with least strain but there are other parts that reach me less and I don’t find as nearly interesting that said. You feel that Tessanne hits you more, I feel that Jacquie hits me more and I think she has a more unique tone and the ability to switch to more different tonal types and her micro-phrasing reaches me more. But I’m definitely not slamming Tessanne and I’m not being like all those trashing Jacquie to bits and tossing whatever at her whether it even objectively makes sense for the performance or not. I did put Tessanne down for second some of these weeks and I do believe she belongs in the finals. I don’t think Tessanne deserves any sort of trash down by even the remotest means. That said I do think Jacquie is better.

    • Stephan says:

      Christina was actually the one telling her to pull back when she sang Clarity… in terms of actually helping people become better singers, I think Christina is probably the best coach for that.

  44. Harris says:

    I’ve been waiting this whole season for James to sing Carry On.. Oh well.

  45. Kaba says:

    Damn. I just thought of the person song(s) for Caroline to sing! Anyone listen to Mikky Ekko? His songs would’ve been absolutely sublime for Caroline. “We Must be Killers” or “Feels Like the End” or “Pull Me Down” or “Kids” or….omg yes! “Who Are You Really?” would’ve been great. They have a similar style imo.

  46. starship says:

    I wasn’t feeling Tessanne at all this week, then again I’ve only liked her No Doubt and Bob Marley, when she’s not doing her Jamaican accent and just doing boring big note ballads she does nothing for me. I would have actually liked a Jacquie, Will and Cole finale, but it will probably be Tessanne, Jacquie and Cole (even with Will’s iTunes bonus I don’t see Cole not making it, he’s the only folk-y/acoustic-y/country/blues-y guy left on the show, so all the people liking that type of music will probably vote for him).

    • Sergio says:

      Tessane was the best last night.. she gave me goosebumps… excellent interpretation, thats why she reached number 1 in itunes.. Regarding Cole I think is more he is in Blake team than the rest, and yes I can see him in the final even with the bonus for Will due to exactly that.. He is in team Blake not because he deserve it he has sing the same way 4 weeks in a road..

  47. Kaba says:

    I hear Will hit 10th spot at the last second. See, I’m still not inclined to believe he made it through. Last season Michelle Chamuel did not receive a 10x multiplier (or was the lowest of them all in the top 10) and still manage to kick Amber Carrington out from the finale. Looking at Cole, he’s got the most leg-room for a strong fanbase considering he’s the only one of his genre left AND the only one on his team left. Whereas with Will, the guy’s still fighting with 2 of his own teammates at the end of the day. So as I see it, things are still VERY up in the air considering that iTunes isn’t the be-all end-all for voting.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      That’s what I’m praying for. Cole is not necessarily my thing, but I will concede he’s talented at what he does. I think he will pull off a Chamuel tonight. We’ll find out soon enough.

      • Kaba says:

        I agree with everything you just said. I am by no means a WIll fan and haven’t liked just about anything. People fawned over “When I was Your Man” and I sat in my bed like “No…no.” and then with “At Last” I was ready to go to war. Nonetheless, I just don’t want to hear him anymore especially considering his voice sounds like it’s at its wits end along with James. Which is funny considering you’d think the 16 year girl dubbed a “screamer” would have pulled a voice muscle by now. Nope.

        • Sergio says:

          well so many other people really like Will thats why he is there :)

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          When I was your man I think was Will’s best. It wasn’t perfect, but I very much enjoyed it. You and I were very clearly the minority on “At Last.” That was so offensive at so many levels. It’d be like Carrie Underwood taking on “Eye of the Sparrow.” Just, no. Wrong! It wasn’t technically bad, but it was just so wrong.

          • Kaba says:

            I think with “When I was You Man” I found myself more enraged that people dared to say he sang it better than Bruno did. God no, I’ve yet to hear a male artist tackle that song and beat Bruno at it. At all. “At Last” was…no. No. no. no. no. no. no. no. no. no. no. I can condone the “screaming” that Jacquie does, I cannot condone the literal SCREAMING WIll did in that song. When he hit the highest note I wanted to leave my room. My roommate stared at me like he was afraid I was ready to break something.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Oh boy, I tune out the judge’s “critiques” so I didn’t hear that quip. Better than Bruno Mars? Not so much. It was good for a show like this but ain’t no one gonna top Mr. Mars. Candice Glover was closer, in my opinion.

          • Kaba says:

            Exactly. I am patiently awaiting the day someone actually does a Mars song more justice than Mars himself. It appears to be coming close to impossible. Though I will say Khaya Cohen sang a mean rendition of “Locked Out of Heaven” on Xfactor.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I only watched one episode of X Factor this year, but that Jewish girl was awesome. I read she left early. Figures.

          • Kaba says:

            I tried watching. Watched all the way up to the 1st live show.
            Then Demi decided she was going to remain as stupid as she was last season, Simon decided he was once again going to tote around his power as the owner of the show, and I was somehow supposed to be convinced that “Restless Road” could actually sing even though you can blatantly hear the backup vocals covering for them while the girl group is somehow terrible even though they can harmonize better than 5th Harmony ever could…..So I resigned myself to watching the youtube uploads. Then Khaya was sent home and I just read Michael’s recaps and determine if anyone is worth listening to. Such a pitiful show, nothing but a disservice to Kelly Rowland (the only judge with any sort of common sense on that panel).

    • Sergio says:

      Just a little correction, last years semifinals everyone sang 2 songs, 1 of Michelle was in the top 10 same as 1 of Amber, the other one from Michelle was top 20 while the other one from Amber was number 50…

  48. BrazenSongBird says:

    I think a B- is too harsh for James. James’ interpretation was to take a slightly more subdued approach (concession, as well as urgency, can certainly be interpreted through some of the lyrics). But maybe the song itself is too dangerous to cover because any male singer using the same arrangement is going to suffer by comparison. No one has yet to match/surpass the pleasing, plaintive wail that is Bono’s voice. Still, in his own way, James did an excellent job.

    I like James quite a bit. I just wish that he could have had a different trajectory. His talent is undeniable, but I think that not only song selection, but the wrong KIND of songs did him in this season. An instrument that fine needs to have the quiet, haunting moments that astonish. There should have been more Joanie Mitchell type of songs and way less of the rock anthems. Think of how much he shone in the quartet of of No More Words. In that instance, he was The Voice.

  49. Dave says:

    Michael Slezak-I thoroughly enjoy reading your reviews. I don’t always agree but they are great to read. Thanks.

  50. Terry says:

    I have no problem connecting with Tessanne. I don’t know why Michael thinks she’s reserved. What I do have a problem connecting with is cute little girl trying to pretend like she’s had any kind of life experience whatsoever! Sure she has a powerful (some may say screechy) voice but you wanna talk about lack of connection?!?! C’mon man. smdh.