The Voice Playoffs (Team Blake) Recap: Three Out of Five Ain't Bad [Updated]

the-voice-playoffs-team-blake-recap-sisaundra-lewisWait, shouldn’t it be a rule that Blake Shelton always winds up with the weakest team on The Voice?

After all, nobody (not even Usher) has quite achieved the country coach’s delicate balance of homespun humor, goofy self-deprecation, unflinching sensitivity and inoffensive bro-ishness — a combination that, more often than not, inspires Voice fans to vote Team Blake rather than Team “Whose Music Would I Actually Buy in Six Months.” Not that these things are mutually exclusive mind you, but still… if dude’s already got a head start, is it really fair for him to wind up with two of the biggest, most infallible voices in Season 6?

PHOTOS | The Voice: Pre-Playoffs Rankings by Team! Plus: Vote for Your Faves in Our Polls

Then again, to paraphrase the great Tina Turner, what’s fair got to do (got to do) with it? With The Voice coaches now completely in charge of the selection process all the way to the Top 12 — nope, America doesn’t get to vote ’til April 21! — they’ll live (or get sent to the sidelines) based pretty much on their own taste and creativity. (More thoughts on that in the Reality Check video below.)

And anyhow, it’s not as if Blake made his choices based on performance alone. Sure, his first two picks turned out to be his two best vocalists, but Blake’s heart wants what Blake’s heart wants — which is why his doe-eyed, aw-shucks, country kid wound up in the Top 12 rather than the former-garbage-man-turned-modern-rocker (despite the former singer describing his own performance as occasionally “shaky” and “off-pitch”).

Without further ado, though, let’s get to letter grades and reviews for tonight’s performances:.

Letter Grades for Tonight’s Performances
Audra McLaughlin: Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing” — Grade: B+ | OK, so maybe Audra’s interpretation of the country classic was more “rent-to-own” than “total possession” — which is to say it didn’t veer in any significant way from the original — but her gargantuan voice and ridiculous pitch perfection cannot be denied. Better still, there’s an ease and a patience to Audra’s delivery that draws you in to the story she’s telling. I’ve heard “A Broken Wing” performed on lot of (aka too many) reality singing compeititions, but Audra really got me to focus on the lyrical content and the triumph-over-adversity message. [Insert your own “man, you oughtta see her fly” riff here.]

Ryan Whyte Maloney: Shinedown’s “Second Chance” — Grade: B | Like Shakira, I heard some intonation issues in Ryan’s vocal, but he hit the bulk of his marks with power and precision. Ryan’s bigger problem, to my ears, was the way he sacrificed any kind of emotional nuance in favor of rocker-dude bombast. The whole thing kinda felt like rinsing your plates and bowls with a firehose: It’ll get the job done, sure, but things might get broken in the process.

Madilyn Paige: Zedd feat. Foxes’ “Clarity” — Grade: C+ | Burning question: Was this Blake’s song choice or Madilyn’s? Because if the country coach was in the driver’s seat here, he essentially locked the vehicle’s doors and steered Madilyn’s competitive hopes directly into a cold, black lake about a mile off the interstate. Oh sure, the producers added a nice bit of vocal reverb at the ends of certain lines, and after some initial wobbles, the kid’s pitch wasn’t too off the mark. But with Madilyn’s face registering terror and her connection to the lyrics not registering at all, the only true “clarity” was that she was destined to finish the night in a fifth-place spot (out of, err, five).

Jake Worthington: Jake Owen’s “Anywhere With You” — Grade: B- | No one can argue that the kid’s a charmer. (Hey! I said no one can argue, so don’t even try to disprove the prior sentence!) I mean, Jake’s response to Usher asking how he thought he’d done — shaky at the start, a few pitch problems, “I did pretty good!” — was hilarious. Yet, while Jake did a solid job of locking into the lyrics and transmitting the starry-eyed romance of the lyrics, his command of the stage (the body language was very much “nervous fourth-grader giving a history presentation”) and of his vocals (hey, Jake himself admitted they were less than perfect) makes me wonder how much longer he’ll have Blake’s unwavering support. I mean, Shakira may not be able to be objective about Jake’s skill set, but methinks/mehopes voters are going to be more discerning.

Sisaundra Lewis: Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” — Grade: A | Voice. Face. Poses. Attitude. Magnetism. Everything. People keep saying Sisaundra just can’t win The Voice because she’s too old, she’s too perfect, she’s too intimidating. Phooey, I say! Yes, it’ll be a challenge for this Vocal #Beastmaster (™ pending) to show “growth” — and voters do love “growth.” But unlike some other big belters from seasons past, Sisaundra seems to have a better understanding of her stylistic strengths and a warmer personality, to boot. I loved how she started “A New York State of Mind” in the lowest part of her register, a deep rich and rumbling place that made me feel like I was looking out the window of a vehicle at the autumnal foliage (or some other such lovely vision). When Sisaundra finally got out of “tasteful diva” mode and howled, “It comes down to reality,” my fandom was set in stone. It comes down to reality, after all, that whether or not she triumphs in Season 6, our ears will collectively be the better for having undergone The Sisaundra Experience.

Advancing into the Top 12 (in order)

Your turn.

What did you think of Night 1 of the Season 6 Playoffs? Did Blake make the right choices? Who gave the best overall vocal of the night? Who got robbed? Take our poll, then sound off in the comments!

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

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Name That Tune says:

    How is anyone going to beat Sissaundra?

    • Sarah says:

      Same way people have beaten other hugely talented contestants with huge voices – bad song choice or people will be tired of her using the same tricks or wailing glory notes on every song. Don’t get me wrong she has a world of talent, but not my taste at all.

      • ULTIMATUM says:

        I agree. Sisaundra Lewis is not my cup of tea.
        Of course someone can beat her! Danielle Bradberry beat Judith Hill.

      • Sululu says:

        She’s talented, but not my cup of tea.

        • tiffanie says:

          Nor mine. I always want to pick by who is going to get on the radio. Make it big and we all see and know by now its Blake’s country artist. Even the swon brothers are on the radio now. Always mostly country artist from àll the singing shows

          • ETG says:

            I always want to pick who I like. I don’t give a flip about the radio or commercial success.

      • Tom22 says:

        Ok.. I guess I’ll get my whole vent out on this thought early in the season. I’ll be biting my lip later to keep from saying it again… and probably could have broke it up into pieces but… we’ll the stridency of support that Michael and Melinda gave in the idol loonies sort of called for a bit of a counterpoint if only to explain why .. people aren’t insane if they don’t share their opinion. I suppose a sort of righteous indignation is a part of Michael fun schtick and.. I love that !…. just wish it carried a bit more “wink” to the edge it bring with it sometimes..maybe I’m getting more sensitive about that or maybe people are getting snarkier all around.. probably me getting over sensitive.
        I understand why many people appreciate Sissaundra, and after reflecting on it a bit, I think I understood her interpretation of the song (if I be so bold to share my guess) having a bit more complexity than I first gave it.. as being more of a triumphant sort of reflection upon the tribulations that accompany any parent raising kids, especially teenagers through rough patches and sweet patches, and family budgets and broken legs and must be all the more intense in NYC.
        For me though, with full respect for the incredible strength of a voice, and understanding of where the emotion is coming from, it’s just not my cup of tea. .. or coffee.. I really want to smell the coffee that goes with the crinkling sound of that New York times… i want to smell the produce and the tobacco in that corner market, the short nod and a wink hello to that person you see everyday but never met.. the smell of wet city pavement and sound of the rumble of the trains filtering up through the subway…see a filtered light on a grey day bringing out just that bit of glow on muted colors on the Brooklyn bridge. Those things are more between the words for me, so I am not saying “follow the lyrics” S interpretation was just as valid as she meant it…but whether it conveyed a special message is going to be different in the “ears of the beholder” ; )
        You might say, “she’s not that type of singer” , or , that’s not her perspective and I’d agree and respect the skill and her perspective… yet I vote, for what I want to hear….because I think it is silly to try to judge relative quality among solid singers when that really isn’t the bottom line…. if you wanted technically proficient, controlled and powerful singers, we could have a show of dozens of back up singers.
        Sissunddra is more than only technically super-excellent… again, she’s beat that hurdle of only having an amazing voice but missing the sauce… but she overcomes that barrier of only having a great voice in a direction that some find special while others find it distracting

        I loved Blake’s comment about runs being a negative where he came from.. and I’m not sure that people understood that wasn’t a quip of a joke but a true artistic taste value. I like runs.. but I need to know why each are there and they need to be foreshadowed gradually earlier in the song in a theme and variation sort of way that never sound gratuitous and always use the irony of a resolve to emphasize the word or emotion they resolve on. But even if that’s done… I’ve got to appreciate the complex emotion that they’re trying to express.
        We can all be honest to only ourselves on how we relate…and to me..that is far and away the most important thing of any artist….what personal reflections that they can relate and enrichen the audience with through their sharing (and it can be a sharing of triumph or rebellion, or pride, or acceptance or poignancy or love etc…not only the soft ones necessarily.. Kelly’s “stronger” isn’t a delicate sort of thing but it still carry’s a state of mind and a reflection on the place that girl singing it is in as a character in this world.
        Clearly though, there are minimum levels of proficiency for different styles of songs, and some of the songs that do demand a big voice can be particularly powerful. For me though, a voice like Sting…where, I never even notice the power.. I just thought it sounded good…. but the power was there and without it he wouldn’t have made such an impression even if I never owned an album with him on it and wouldn’t play it myself, I enjoyed hearing it everywhere. So, I’m not against a big voice.. but I have a distaste for some types of theatrics that.. strike me as such.
        As for thought that it is a big song.. yes it is a big song … but the little soft reflections of the city that I colorfully described in my second paragraph were there with Barbra Streisand …where neither the intimacy nor the grandness was compromised. Sometimes it is hard when you love aspects of a song…that you think are uniquely special about a song to be done differently. If I think of it as a song of wonder of the grandness of life embodied in the most simple things of our existence….which really is an emotion I don’t hear much… it makes it tougher to hear a different version…but, I think it might be more than that. Again, I understood Sissundras approach…sometimes I’ll knock a truthfulness but not with her at all.. I “got” her message. I bought its genuineness and a song doesn’t need to fit every lyric in my book….but for me to want to listen.. I’ve got to enjoy the experience.. not just respect it.
        Its a difference of opinion on these fan sites whether these are contests of technical merit or if they’re expositions and polls of “what I’d like to hear more of ” . For some they’re one and the same…but I see a divergence a lot more often than others. I also want a special flavor to a voice …not some fake stylization trying to be cool but a sound that is different because the person singing it is different, and/or their vocal chords were doled out with a special grit or head harmonic or something that they also twist into their lyrics. All things being equal I’ll take a strong voice and a strong pitch AND special interpretation.. .. …but a thing like Jason Castro’s hallelujah will carry the day over someone with far better breath control that didn’t have some notes fade on him.

        • ETG says:

          Jesus. It’s just a television show….

        • Jennifer J says:

          way too long for the comments, dude. that’s what your own blog is for

        • spider3tattoo says:

          I always enjoy your perspective Tom. I enjoyed her performance. It wasn’t Billy Joel, but, maybe her vision of New York is different than Joel’s, and that’s as it should be. I usually have a huge problem with anyone that covers this song, but she gave it a unique feel, so she gets a pass from me on this one. I’d like to see her do something subtle soon though.

        • Joe says:

          I remember Bryan Keith this song back in season 3 of the Voice. It moved me more with his raspy voice than Sisaundra’s version

        • meg says:

          Very well said. I totally agree with you but could never have expressed it like you did. Bravo.

        • kakykhaslider says:

          Your rant was longer than the song and I can’t appreciate it because you went on too long and I got bored and stopped reading it. Never use a speech when a paragraph will do. Don’t use a paragraph when a sentence will do. Never use a sentence when a word will do.

        • Crystal Knight says:

          You, my friend, should be a poet. The part you described New York was beautiful.

      • Blank Slate says:

        Here’s my issue with performers like Sissaundra. Every single breath and note and pose and facial expression and hand movement feels practiced down to the inch. Technical perfection with scripted moves does not MOVE me and does not make me want to listen, feel, or sing along. The singers that steal my heart are organically telling me a story, singing from their soul, even when it’s a song they’ve song 1000 times before. She has a pure singing voice but it did not MOVE me. It did not make me cry or shake or smile or feel or remember.

        So… that’s what you do with someone named Sissaundra and HER sound of music.

        You let her go the perfect, pre-fabricated route while you take me on a trip inside MY head– not yours!

      • Jay says:

        Not my cuppa, either. Would not vote for her, would not buy her music.

    • Yo says:

      Anyone can beat her. She is so far over the top, she is heading for Mars with pit stops on the moon and a few un-named stars. She can’t win, and she kills songs by so overdoing them she wrings emotion out by being overwrought. It is emotional browbeating.

      She can be beat; she will get on people’s nerves pretty quick.

      • Timmah says:

        I agree. Unless Blake can reign that in, which I don’t think he’ll be able to, she’s got no chance to win. She’ll make it deep into the competition though.

        • OhMy says:

          Why in the world did she think that was the way to sing that song?

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            That was the way she sang the song, and it REALLY worked. Did you hear the audience and see the looks on the judges’ faces? There was no response anywhere comparable to her performance. That was perfection incarnate.

          • OhMy says:

            It’s a nice song — Billy Joel say he wrote it with Ray Charles in mind. It has some build and some angst and sadness. What it doesn’t have , or need, is that kind of over the top singing. Of course, the woman can sing, but seriously she needs to know the song. And on these shows getting the audience or judges to stand and applaud doesn’t take a ton.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            But that’s not over the top singing for her. That’s how she sings. It’s what she does. I appreciate that her style is not for you, but I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s over the top when that’s simply how she chooses to express herself musically.
            And I don’t agree at all that getting that type of response from the audience and the judges’ is easy. It’s fairly easy to tell when the judges are thinking “whatever… NEXT!” despite their meaningless platitudes and pleasantries.

          • Jo Ann says:

            New York State Of Mind is not supposed to be sung like And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going. It’s not an overwrought ballad. It’s an introspective piano ballad meant to be sung intimately, not with hands waving wildly in the air. Imagine if she sang other slow, quiet ballads such as Falling Slowly? She sings every song with a sledgehammer. She can and should just tone it down a little. Not every song needs to be sungon full blast.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I guess you missed the entire first half of the song then, because it’s clear you are giving a review of a completely different performance than any of us saw.

          • abz says:

            @OhMy I agree. I like Sissaundra, but she can be so extra sometimes. She needs to tone it down a bit. I thought Lea Michele sang it way better on Glee.
            Honestly I really don’t like how often this show seems to stress those high notes so much. Every commercial. Every contestant, Every feedback. It’s not really pleasurable to one’s ears when all you hear is screaming and high notes and runs that often last longer than they should. That’s one of the reasons why I really don’t like the battle rounds, because so much of the times it’s just screaming at each other and just a competition to see who can hit the higher note rather than actually singing the song well.
            Also, the audience’s applause means nothing to me as a viewer. They applause for everything. Good, bad, horrible, great. It doesn’t matter to them, they’re there for a good time and to see the show.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Haven’t seen anyone better in a singing competition in a long time.
        My bet is she plays to the voting audience, because she is such a professional.
        Of course, the biggest things she has going against her is her age and the fact that she is so much better than anyone else. Lots of people are just going to go against her because she is the frontrunner.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Agreed that Sisaundra’s amazing, but I don’t think it’s a lock for her. This season has a bizarrely high number of power singers. Even Audra tonight wasn’t far behind Sisaundra. And I was surprised cuz I didn’t think much of Audra’s other performances, but she nailed it.

      • Sarah says:

        Can I just say that I am a sucker for clever use of language and I live the imagery in your comment! I know that’s a weird comment for this forum, but I really do love the description. She is truly on another planet and I’m not positive that’s a good thing, although I’ll allow that we all have different opinions.

        • Sarah says:

          I should clarify: First of all, I ‘love’ not ‘live’ the imagery of the comment I was referring to. Second, this would have made more sense if it actually appeared under the comment I was referring to, which it didn’t. (That was aimed at Yo for the Mars/moon/stars comment).

      • Guest says:

        She won’t win. It’ll be like Judith Hill. Yes, the singing is impressive, but audiences for these kind of shows like to see growth, so if she already hit her ceiling in the blind audition, she may advance a few rounds but eventually she’ll reach a point where the audience wants to hear something else.

      • Sierra1707 says:

        Kimberley Locke did it so much better, American Idol Season 2:

        • Timmah says:

          A thousand times yes! I much prefer her interpretation, and her delivery gave me goosies as J-Lo would say. Or as I would say, sometimes less is more.

      • guest says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Who in the world would buy anything recorded by her?

    • Taylor says:

      I’m sure we’ll see her fall around Top 6 where a “shocking” elimination seems to happen. Voters like growth, and she has done so well so far, it’ll be tough. Plus, I’m not counting out the Grimmie fans and country voters.

      • Sharon says:

        I agree. Contestants who are astonishingly good at the beginning have trouble showing that improvement curve that voting audiences love. Blake also gave Sisaundra good advice in tonight’s show when he encouraged her not to embellish everything – as several commenters tonight have demonstrated, vocal embellishments can distract listeners from connecting with a song and its meaning. Finally, she has a physically dominating presence and makes scary faces when she sings, which may make her seem less approachable (though she seems like a lovely person, in fact). Is she amazingly talented? Definitely. Is she unbeatable? Nope.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I was very literally fighting back a tear listening to Sisaundra’s performance. Not only the best of the season, but possibly the best in the show’s history. That was insane. If she can have a few more of those, the title is hers.

      • OhMy says:

        Oh, Angie.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Gotta say, that I often watch The Voice the next day on Hulu or YouTube. Sissaundra is the only one I make an effort to catch live.

      • JustSaying says:

        I have read your posts for a long time, Angie, and often times you have revealed an extreme (manic) side to your personality, so I’m not surprised you related so emotionally to Sisaundra’s overwrought singing. Today is the first time I’ve thought of you as vulnerable. (((Angie)))

    • Jo Ann says:

      People may tire of her singing every song on full blast. Not every song(the one she sang especially)needso many bells and whistles. That’s supposed to be an intimate piano ballad. Listen to the lyrcs. Its not meant to be so powered up.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Cake sang Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” not as a women’s anthem. Seemed to work out well for them.
        Marilyn Manson sang “Sweet Dreams” as a satanic nightmare lullaby and look where it got him.
        Just because someone doesn’t do things exactly like the original doesn’t make it bad. The important thing is to stay true to your musical identity and make the song work within those confines, which she’s clearly doing.

        • Callitags says:

          Exactly. Sometimes, when someone does something different than what they’re supposed to do, greatness happens.

      • Name This Tune says:

        LOL, what were you listening to. That was a Master Class in how to build a song to finish strong. The beginning was quiet and subdued while she laid the foundation for the end. She was telling a story. And performing, not just singing.

        Stylistically, it may not float your boat, but that’s the way to sing if you don’t want to be auto-tuned to death.

        • Jo Ann says:

          The beginning of the song was her weakest. She just sings every so the exact same way. Can she sing a song simply or sing an uptempo song?

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I never understand that insane criticism: “she just sings every so [sic] the same exact way.” How else is she supposed to sing it? That’s her voice! Would you prefer some performances she suck in helium and wear a Minnie Mouse costume? i for the life of me can never understand how that is a valid criticism of any singer. I would be a lot more worried if she didn’t sound very similar singing different songs, because that would mean she has no style consistency.
            The definition of greatness has nothing to do with whether you can sing uptempos or simply or embellished or whatever. Talent is talent. I would kick all of these people’s booties on any Mozart aria, but it doesn’t mean that many of them aren’t insanely talented in their own respective styles.

          • Jessie says:

            I just wonder if she can sing intimately or simply. She is always so loud and brash. Someone else here mentioned Adam Lambert on American Idol and that’s a perfect example. He had very exciting loud performances. But he also had some tender, subtle performances. Even Candice on American Idol is a good example. She could belt it out with the best of them, but then completely reinterpret a song. For instance, she gave a very jazzy, cool, vocally flawless rendition of Paula Abdul’s “straight up”, but it was never over the top. So I wonder if she can be inventive and reinterpret songs rather than just straight out sing them and make them her own.

        • MC says:

          Exactly. I would have no problem with Sisaundra winning this season. She feels and understands the music and can sing comfortably in a lower register. It isn’t all about killing the high notes for Sisaundra. She understands the subtleties and nuances of the music that she is singing. I know some people loved Jacquie, but I always noticed her inexperience (and paint by numbers interpretations) more than her ability to hit those high notes (which she did). It didn’t help Jacquie that she seemed to be constantly singing those overwrought, Janis Joplin type songs. Sisaundra has the versatility to tackle other types of music, such as New York State of Mind. Great job!

    • BLANK SLATE says:

      Sissaundra (she needs a nickname pronto; Sissa?) is over the moon fantastic but her voice is taking me out of the From Rags to Riches nature of these shows. You can be too Inside, too professional. Can the show maintain its “blind side” if people like Sissaundra and Tessane are holding the trophies at the finale?

    • Sally Fitzgerald says:

      Did Sisaundra have to sing New York State of Mind? Oh my god, I hear that at every wedding. If she doesn’t get more original, she could be gone. Nobody needed even a verse of that.

      I can’t believe nobody brought up her horrible song choice. This is not where music is headed now.

      • Jan says:

        I’ve never heard it at a wedding.

        • BrazenSongBird says:

          I’m guessing that Sally lives in NY. I grew up on L.I. and Billy Joel is to L.I. what Bruce Springsteen is to Jersey.

          • BLANK SLATE says:

            Not even close. Billy Joel is a poser who thinks about his midnight snack while getting through a concert. His confession, not my fantasizing.
            Billy Joel went corporate phony long ago. He can only dream of having a Long Island die hard fan base the way Bruce exudes and sweats Jersey Soul from ever fiber of his being!

    • abz says:

      I thought the same thing about Judith Hill, but sadly I was proven wrong.

    • Jimmy says:

      She has the least amount of twitter followers if that clues us in to how big her fan base is

    • Kiki says:

      Professional back-up singers winning the Voice two years in a row? How is this a contest? MELINDA, I love you, but I’m calling on you to answer this question since you were a backup singer. Is this really fair? Or even interesting? I don’t find it so. Not when the deck is stacked like this.

    • Marian's daughter says:

      By any measurements of vocal ability and sheer talent no one else in this contest should beat Sissaundra, However, as they say, “Never under-estimate the general ignorance of the public.” Most people don’t know REAL talent if it smacks them in the face! Based on that premise, anyone of them could win!

    • Marian's daughter says:

      No one should beat Sissaundra because she is, by any professional vocal performance standards, far and above the rest of the crowd. However, due to the fact that the “public” gets to vote, anything is possible. As one of my vocal coaches said: “Never under-estimate the ignorance of the general public.”

    • d says:

      If I saw her in a basement lounge or an arena, u leave her performance rethinking your life and wanting to live it better!

  2. Angie_Overrated says:

    Man, I was really rooting for Madilyn, but no way he could pick her after tonight. Sisaundra and Audra killed it, and the two guys were both also very solid in a tie for third place. Madilyn deservedly deserved the boot. Sad but true.

    • Timmah says:

      I think he should have picked Madilyn anyway. You need a few raw performers on the show in addition to the seasoned pros IMO.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        It’s apparently the season of the large-voiced contestants. I don’t mind this development at all. Jake, Audra, and Sisaundra clearly beat her. She kind of sucked tonight and wasn’t great on her last performance either.

      • claudia says:

        If you wanted him to pick a raw entertainer, then he accomplished that with Jake. I’m not crazy about country music but I really like Jake & I’m looking forward to watching his trajectory.

      • Marian's daughter says:

        Picking Madilyn, bless her sweet little voice, would have been a real tragedy. The industry would chew her up and spit her out even with Blake trying to protect her!

      • HTGR says:

        Yeah. And that Clarity song is reallly deceptively tricky. Has anyone on these shows ever truly pulled it off without looking nervous a bit of a stumble or pitch issue? I don’t think so.
        Her timbre is interesting.
        I just can’t get excited about Blake’s team at all now other than Sissaundra. I was never blown away by Audra, regardless. and you just know Jake is gonna be country country from now on out and Audra too. Just not my thing really. Even Sissaundra’s runs and practiced approach isn’t truly my thing, but she does have a wicked insane voice.
        I’d have given Madelyn a chance and then we see.

        • HTGR says:

          I mean I guess Michelle sorta pulled it off. Deep into the season though and it somehow managed to fit her voice in a very straight up sort of style, but I haven’t heard any deliver it perfectly using any sort of more to the original style.

    • Jimmy says:

      Well if we would’ve actually gotten to vote, Madilyn might have gone through.

    • Kaba says:

      Apparently Madilyn clarified that she had not intended to sing the song at it’s original tempo but was pressured by production and the band to do it for the sake of “showing diversity”.

  3. Bonquisha says:

    Poor Madylin 😢

  4. Forwardad says:

    I was kind of bored tonight. I really have no vested interest in any of the singers. Definite being hammered over and over again with back stories, I don’t feel I know them.

  5. Lyss says:

    Bad song choice for Madilyn. She sang it well, but it did nothing to showcase her voice. I like Sissaundra, but I feel like people will get tired of her voice by the time live voting comes around, it’s very unique, but you can only throw the same tricks so many times before you wonder if she can do anything else. Ryan was solid but I feel like with Blake as his coach Jake can go far/further than Ryan would.

    My favorite by far is Audra. Her performances have been getting better and better and she killed it tonight, Her voice is strong and powerful and very well controlled. Some people are just naturals at it and Audra is a natural.

    Of the whole competition, I’d say may favorites to win right now are Audra, Tess, and Bria.

  6. LizzieB says:

    Re: Yay Madilyn <3 (yesterday's show)

    No Madilyn :(

  7. Davey says:

    I don’t think I’ll be voting for anyone on Blake’s team. They are talented but not exciting to me. Sissaundra is the type of singer who always gets elminated too soon. Jake is not my cup of tea at all.

  8. Adake says:

    Good start to the playoffs. Was afraid they were going to wait to announce Blake’s picks. No surprises but would have chosen Ryan over Jake. While Ryan gave a more solid performance, Jake is sure a genuine country singer. Audra is going to be a force to recon with – she was terrific tonight.

  9. Adam Fachry says:

    SLAYaundra. However, I can see why she would not last longer than top 6. The Voice audience isn’t really a fan of seasoned pro contestants, and I think it’s time to point out the elephant in the room: she is Celine Dion’s voice coach. As someone who’s coached a technically adept singer like Celine, some people may find her participation in a reality singing competition unfair regardless of The Voice’s history of having already working vocalists. Nevertheless, everytime she appears on my tv screen, I’m thankful for her. Because she reminds me of how exciting a singing competition used to be!

    • Name That Tune says:

      And how we’ve dumbed down the skills of the singer. We can really expect much better from the talent on these shows.

  10. Quinn Carson says:

    I think Blake made the right choice. Okay, I haven’t seen tonight’s episode yet, but based off of what I heard/how the contestants have been so far, it was resonable.

  11. Francine says:

    Thanks to all you guys commenting! The recap didnt list for sure which 3 made it. I missed the show and forgot to DVR. I got Jake and Sisaundra from the recap, but wasn’t sure if it was Audra or Madylin until I read the comments. So thanks. I really enjoyed Madylin previously but it sounds like she kind of blew it tonight…

  12. katedfw says:

    Sisaundra is an incredible talent but I love Jake! He is so honest and real and a true gentleman to boot! He gets my Team Blake vote.

  13. Grenador says:

    I don’t know how the judges interpret the artists performance. Do they see how technically brilliant they’re or they did justice to the song.
    I didnot like any of the perfomances tonight…nothing made me feel like ” Oh! this song is good, this rendition is good, I gotta listen to it again”
    I agree with Blakes choices…Audrey and Sisaundra sang well And Blake just can’t leave Jake..
    Abt Sisuasandra’s performance when I saw that see was going to sing New York state of mind..I expected a lot and was dissapointed…She had good runs, showcased her technical ability but never I felt any connection to New York which the song is supposed to do…I dunno may be I set my bar too high after listening to Steve Clisby’s rendition of this song in Voice Australia.

  14. :) says:

    Ok, why have I only seen two positive things about Audra so far? I mean, no negative things either but this girl is incredible. She deserves to win it all.

    • Adake says:

      :), I agree. Audra gave the best performance of tonight’s singers. She and Sisaundra deserved to go to the live rounds. But I was happy for Jake. Can’t wait for teams Adam and Usher next week.

    • ETG says:

      She’s not bad in her lower register, but when she goes high she gets incredibly nasal. If she would work on that, I’d be more of a fan.

  15. Michael, in your (very true) efforts to explain Blake’s unfair advantage, you forgot to include the names of the contestants that he advanced in your recap.

  16. daezyg says:

    Sisandra was amazing; that’s pretty much all one can say when a vocalist like that blesses your television.

    I don’t know why I like Jake. I’m a huge hater of country music, but I freaking love this kid! He’s just so honest and authentic…

    I’m proud of Ryan. Hardly anyone even attempts to do Second Chance on theses shows, and when they do it usually sounds terrible, but he did really well tonight. It’s one of my favorite songs, and I’m glad to hear it again.

    Audra was decent. I don’t really get what the big fuss is about. She’s a great vocalist, young, and easy on the eyes, but there’s not really much… what’s the word?… ZANG to her.

    Madilyn must have been paying attention to social media, saw she was now considered a front runner, tensed up, and blew her performance. After the first verse, all I could think was “bye Madilyn! You had a good run, but there’s no way in h*ll you’re making it past this night.” I really don’t get what the fuss is about her. There are at least three girls who sound like her in my High School Songwriters Guild. If her sound is unique now, then what will be unique in the next ten years when everyone else has done that style of singing to DEATH?

    • Kaba says:

      I really don’t understand the urgency for a unique voice.
      Half the artist people claim have a distinct sound are either artists we hear so often you can’t help but recognize them or artists that someone listens to regularly so they can identify them regardless.
      There are few (imo) unique voiced artists out there especially given the amount of singers in this world.
      Even the winners of this show and other shows aren’t people I’d say have unique voices, just voices that command attention, which isn’t a unique quality, just one that isn’t always evident in every singer on these shows.

    • seattlejohn449 says:

      I’m loving Jake & was really impressed by not only his vocal but was amazed by how well he worked the stage & how his spontaneous commentary was full of personality & humor…& he’s only 17! Have also been warming up to Ryan & much preferred him to Audra. Would buy records by both of them. Madilyn was good but the unique voice everyone raves about reminds me of a paler version of the great Mindy Smith. Compared to Jake – Ryan, Audra & Madilyn just kinda stood around while Jake owned the stage & totally entertained the audience. Sissaundra sang & performed well but she didn’t connect with me emotionally.

      • daezyg says:

        I like Jake as a singer, but I don’t really include age in as a measure of talent. I do agree that Jake did own the stage more than Ryan, Madilyn, and Audra. I did like their performances (save for Madilyn), but of the three, Blake made the right choice.

  17. Vanessa says:

    I know Sasaundra is immensely talented, but I feel like a lot of her performances are exactly the same. I know what I am going to get every single time. And while that means that she is talented and has a formula that clearly works for her, it sometimes leaves me a bit bored. And if I am honest, while she may have an amazing voice, I probably wouldn’t buy her record either.

    Audra, on the other hand, killed it. Martina McBride is (very) far from being my favorite county singer, but I was entranced by Audra’s voice in this song. Go Audra!

    • Timmah says:

      I think Audra has that rare ability to draw people into her world when she’s singing. She could be a darkhorse to win it all.

  18. Kaba says:

    Still trying to recover from Sisaundra’s performance.
    I’m not doing so well.

  19. Kaba says:

    Audra = just compelling
    Ryan = good, but meh
    Madilyn = :(
    Jake = he could talk his way into the finale

    Loved it.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Sisaundra is my everything. I can’t tell if I need to girl crush on one of the hot chicks like MJ or Tess, or the beastmaster herself, Sisaundra. I was leaning towards Tess because — i mean, c’mon, those legs and that face! — but Sisaundra just edged her out for first place tonight.

      • Kaba says:

        She’s just a vocal goldmine.
        I’ll turn to Sisaundra for vocal slaying and just…mmmfness
        And MJ for sex appeal.
        That’s my season right there.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I’m seriously considering extensions for an MJ ‘do. That girl is so stupidly hot. Tess has that va va BOOM quality to her, like a young Catherine Zeta Jones.
          But Sisaundra… that voice. Oh boy, that voice. It’s timelessly flawless.

          • Kaba says:

            I’d argue that this is probably the most beautiful set of contestants the show’s ever given us. Factor that in with The Sexiest Man Alive, Usher, and stunning Shakira…the show could be picked up for another 5 seasons just on grounds that the beauty must continue.
            Seriously though, MJ is just killer on looks. Hard to believe she’s like 30.
            Sisaundra’s voice, those runs, her voice, her voice. Nowadays it takes a bit for me to go crazy over some runs, but Sisaundra…yes

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            The women are a good looking bunch. The men much less so, but hey, I’ll turn lezzie for a season.
            Sisaundra… I just have no words. I’m speechless. Even the note she chose to end her song on. I can’t play my piano right now with my husband asleep, but it sounds like a major 2nd. Just, wow.

          • Kaba says:

            I loved watching her face the entire time through her performance. So much thrill and just love for singing was just all over her face. And every decision she made was just perfect, like she made a recipe for the most excellent 5 star dish you could ask for and she decided to show off for a good 2 1/2 minutes.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I’m watching the youtube video of her for the 10th time now. I think I need to sleep on it. Perfection like this cannot be digested all in one siting. This was the Mona Lisa of reality show singing performances.

  20. I think you were a bit too nice on that grade for Madilyn. I just felt so bad.

  21. Ram510 says:

    Madilyn was terrible. It makes me wonder how did she make it this far. I would’ve liked to see her sing a softer song, that could’ve saved her

    • Timmah says:

      I still wish that Blake had picked her over Jake, who just seems like a boring country cliche to me.

      • MC says:

        Exactly. The cliché factor there is very obvious, but Madilyn is not a country girl like Danielle and Blake understandably loves the good ‘ol boys. The outcome was inevitable. I think Madilyn was doomed tonight even if she had delivered a more confident performance. Madilyn would have been a good fit on Shakira’s team imo, but that ship has sailed.

        • ETG says:

          She would have been a good fit on this year’s American Idol. Not “The Voice” material.

          • MC says:

            I agree that Madilyn would have had a chance to win on AI this season because nearly everyone there (except Caleb) is not maximizing their potential. However, Shakira’s team is relatively weak and Shakira could have been an effective mentor for Madilyn imo. It’s a separate consideration from winning. I agree that Madilyn was out of her depth against this field, but would not have been a liability on Shakira’s team. Deja, for example, is very similar to Madilyn. Madilyn might be better than Deja, but both of them have to overcome stage fright and/or shyness.

    • Jimmy says:

      She didn’t pick the song, the production company did. And I really think if we would’ve gotten to vote she would have gone through.

  22. Joe says:

    I must hate myself because I’m reading this message board only to see the Sisaundra haters out in full force. I often wonder if it’s a racial thing (which I tend to think it is) and/or they’re just threatened by her talent so they find fault to feel better about themselves or something. But reading tripe like since she’s too good so she won’t improve from week to week so she should lose is infuriating. You really want bruised peaches. And NY State of Mind can only be sung one way? Really? If it was some lithe little quirky white girl wailing away on it with a ukulele you’d all be wetting yourselves. Or maybe a nice white bearded boy whose looks are not too threatening, right? Oh, how that would be so kewl. The good thing from reading these comments is it makes me often wonder why I even bother watching shows that involve audience participation. I actually love that no votes have been cast. If they were, this show would look like American Idol’s current snooze of a cast.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Some people just have no idea what they’re talking about. I think if I didn’t have a sense of humor about it, I’d be as furious as you are. The woman is mind-blowingly good. People said that about Judith Hill, but Sisaundra Lewis takes it to a new level of ridiculousness.

      • Timmah says:

        If it were only a matter of technical ability, then opera singers would be the biggest pop stars. There’s a subjective element to music and people have different tastes and opinions, it doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re talking about.

        • Joe says:

          Timmah – When “taste” trumps “talent” it does prove they don’t know what they are talking about. It means you’re bringing a bias into art and aren’t truly open to it.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          There’s absolutely a subjective element to music. I’m not arguing that. But whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, there is also absolutely an objective element to music. And I can very confidently state that people who are saying Sisaundra can’t sing have no clue what they’re talking about.

          • Timmah says:

            I didn’t see anyone say that she couldn’t sing. Most just said that they thought she was too over the top, used too many histrionics, wasn’t their cup of tea, etc.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            “Not my cup of tea” is a very different statement from “Anyone can beat her. She is so far over the top, she is heading for Mars with pit stops on the moon and a few un-named stars. She can’t win, and she kills songs by so overdoing them she wrings emotion out by being overwrought. It is emotional browbeating.”
            One is a statement of opinion that is perfectly respectable. The other is a rambling idiotic analogy from someone who has no clue what he/she is talking about.

          • Jo Ann says:

            Saying she kills songs by overdoing them is also a valid opinion. You may think her histrionics are appropriate for the song, but not everyone feels the same way. In other words, it means she is not the cup of tea.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Ok, Jo Ann. You can’t have it both ways. Above you were saying the worst part of Sisaundra’s song was the beginning, where there were no high notes and no histrionics whatsoever. Now you’re saying she kills songs with histrionics. So she’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. I get it, you don’t like her style. That’s fine. But you’re clearly making things up as you go along to fit your nonsensical argument and embarrassing yourself in the process.

        • Guest says:

          Well Chris Mann was probably the biggest Voice success story until Cassadee Pope.

      • Joe says:

        Angie – I’m not arrogant enough to think everyone needs to think the same way. But talent is talent and Sisaundra is loaded with it. She shouldn’t even need to be on a reality show except as a judge/mentor, but she is and we should all want to see her sing every week on this show because she is a rare singer. I don’t love opera, but hearing Pavarotti sing Nessum Dorma brings tears to my eyes. I don’t love gangster rap, but hearing NWA rap Straight Out Of Compton gets my pulse beating and my head bobbing. Dismissing incredible talent because “it’s not my taste” is the height of small minded fearful thinking and these message boards are loaded with it. And the people who criticize her for singing with power really need to be tased or slapped repeatedly with a dead fish. I wish them an eternity locked in a room with soft quirky non threatening “singers”. And hearing how humble Jake is vs how arrogant Sisaundra is makes me ill.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to love someone’s style. What I was reacting to are people’s dismissive attitudes towards vocalists whose styles don’t fit with their own aesthetic tastes. It’s one thing to say “Audra’s style of music doesn’t appeal to me” and it’s an entirely different thing to say “Audra’s voice is horrible.” Audra’s voice is very clearly far from horrible. She was amazing tonight, and it pisses me off when people who don’t like country music immediately dismiss a singer because of their style. We’re pretty much on the same page here from what I can tell from your posts.

        • Francine says:

          I LOVE your points about opera and rap! Those are two styles of music that are generally not my thing at ALL- yet sometimes someone comes along and you can’t help but be blown away. Talent is talent and it can’t be denied. People are missing out on a lot of great music by being so dismissive of a certain style or sound.

        • Eurydice says:

          LOL. Of course, people don’t have to all think the same way. It’s just that if they think differently they should be tased and slapped with a dead fish.

    • Self-hating hypocrite says:

      I’m also glad that no audience votes have yet been cast. The judges may bend over backwards to bestow their gentle brand of criticism on the contestants but they have had no problem addressing the studio audience’s consistent desperation to draw attention from the singers. After the fiftieth time that someone anonymously screaming, “I LOVE YOU, ADAM” only results in an exasperated, obligatory, “I love you, too,” what makes people think that the fifty-first time is going to be any different? Is their experience somehow better because, “Gee. I may not be able to sing so I know I’ll never be on that stage but dammit, I’m important enough to get Adam Levine to talk to me.” It is transparent to the nines. However, as much as all that hollering back and forth used to drive me nuts and I’m pleased that the producers seem to have taken a stand against it in recent seasons, reading these comments makes me feel like a glutton for punishment, simply reinforcing the belief that this is a forum for people who just NEED to be heard even though they clearly have nothing to say. The outcome of the show is reliant on audience votes so it’s not like anyone is threatening your opportunity to participate. And until then, your two cents are cashing in at about half their value so maybe just save it until the time comes. Don’t worry. Adam still loves you.

    • Marian's daughter says:

      Whoo-hoo! Someone who can actually hear! Love it and love your comments! You’re right on!

  23. StupidPeopleShutUp says:

    Are all of you people who’ve decided how New York State of mind is supposed to be sung? Songs can have radically different interpretations depending on the arrangement and the artist. I can’t quite believe what I’m reading. As a matter fact she did the beginning in a very jazzy style and sort of got called out on it by Adam Levine. Sisaundra is unbeatable. Period. She can sing anything. Technique is flawless, interpretation is impeccable, her natural ability is amazing, and it comes straightbfrom her core. I am in agreement that she doesn’t need to reach for the stratosphere throughout every single solitary song but I think Blake will be able to rein her in. Do me a favor–when you express your opinion as far as your own personal taste is concerned, don’t make sweeping statements about what can and can’t be done in terms of song interpretation because it just makes you sound stupid.

  24. Kaba says:

    People are so worried about Sisaundra going home.
    Funfact: this season will include save me songs. (a la instasave though..)
    Even if she’s in the bottom..chances are she’ll just continue to sing her way out of it.

  25. Terry says:

    There was no suspense in this episode. Seemed like obvious choices to me.

  26. Kaba says:

    People attacking Sisaundra for singing big…
    Goodness…big voices just can’t catch a damned break on these shows. Initially they’re loved, next minute they’re just loud and screamy, next you’re demanding a softer vocal, then the softer vocal is fine…but it’s boring so you want the bigness again, the bigness comes back and it’s screaming/screeching/loud/etc.
    Pick something.
    Yeesh, Jacquie Lee practically belted her way to the finale. Wanna know why? Because people enjoyed her and so long as Sisaundra keeps doing what she wants to do because she does it greatly, people will stand with her.

    • Timmah says:

      I think what most people want is variety. Adam Lambert had the big voice but he was also able to create a moment with songs like Tracks of My Tears and Mad World where he reined it in.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        There has never once been a singer of this style and caliber on any reality singing show. Never. Not once. I dare you to bring up even one person who sounds anything even like her. She’s like the love child of Tina Turner and Barbara Streisand. I’ve honestly never heard a voice quite like this, so I fail to see how this isn’t variety.

        • Timmah says:

          I thought the same about Adam when he was on Idol. A lot of people disagreed, and they were entitled to their opinions.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            So I’m still waiting. Since her voice is a dime a dozen, who are all the singers who sound exactly like Sisaundra? You made the claim, now I want the evidence.

          • Timmah says:

            I never made such a claim, and since you’re making stuff up now, I’m done with this discussion.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            “I think what most people want is variety.” I guess it’s easier to run from a discussion than to face the facts when you know you’re cornered.

        • abz says:

          Wow, you’ve really become obsessed with her. I think she’s good but she’s not as exceptional as you make her sound. She’s personally not someone I’d be so beyond ecstatic to buy their new music. Musical preference is subjective and we all know what our ears like to hear. Not everyone will worship her the way you see to be.

          • daezyg says:

            Obsessed? Kaba is stating a fact. Big voices cannot catch a break on this show because people are too afraid of them. When they try to reign it in, you call them boring. When they return to their belting, you say they’re screaming. It’s nothing about preference or musical taste when you’re completely dismissing and diminishing talent.

            It’s funny when someone sticks up for an artists on these shows with a naturally loud voice, they’re labeled “obsessed”, but when someone else defends a softer, quirkier singer the exact same way, people are quick to agree with them and say they’re dedicated fans. Gimmie a break!

          • abz says:

            First of all, if you look, you’ll see that my reply was to @Angie_Overrated not @Kaba based on her replies that I read towards people who don’t worship Sissaundra like she seems to.
            Secondly, I never completely dismissed or diminished her talent. I do think she’s talented. She has a big voice, yes. However, I think she can sometimes be a little extra and overdoes it IMO and doesn’t balance it out. Even Blake told her that he didn’t want her interject every little trick in the book. But that’s just my opinion and my taste preference. I think she’s good and talented, but I’m not as crazy about her as I was about past contestants like Judith Hill for example.

          • daezyg says:

            *Angie. Sorry. Typos.

          • Matrix says:

            @Angie, I think Timnah was talking about variety of dynamics in singing. Not saying ” S is not unique.”

      • Variety says:

        Yes, Timmah, people want to listen to variety (fast/slow belt/soft etc.) from a singer and Adam Lambert wonderfully fit the bill. Adam had great instincts, vocally, and made smart choices. No voice coach needed to rein in Adam.

  27. Adam Fachry says:

    Introspective ballads can’t be sung with some aggression? Tell that to Tom Waits’ “Anywhere I Lay My Head”, Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren”, Elvis Costello’s “I Want You” (especially when covered by Fiona Apple), Fiona Apple’s “Left Alone”, PJ Harvey’s “Rub Till It Bleeds”. Those are all introspective/pensive/ contemplative ballads that are delivered without being understated, with emotions pouring from every fiber of the artist’s being. Notice how My examples revolve around non-Sisaundra-esque singers? Because I want to give you all information that any singer from any kind of genre has done ballads in a more severe manner. Not just those from the R&B/Soul/Gospel realm.

  28. anna says:

    slezak, we need you back in the glee recaps pleeeaaaase!

    • abz says:

      Yes please. I read through the article without first seeing the author’s name and I instantly felt after reading it like it was missing something.

  29. Eric Niewohner says:

    Sisaundra was once again fantastic and for those people saying she just belts it out that is pure baloney. She sang the first half of the song with great restraint, style and showed off her lower register, then she built the song up utilizing a thing us singers like to call dynamics. She started out metso forte and ended up fortissimo and did a very nuanced version of New Your State of Mind. Having sung for most of my life I love someone who not only has great technical singing skills but can also sing with passion and heart. I can understand that some people don’t like that style of singing but to say she just belts it, or screams is completely inaccurate and ignorant. She is the most talented vocalist on this season and she will go far, but I also don’t think anyone is ever a lock as it is hard to say how America will vote. It will be very interesting indeed to follow her journey this season.

  30. Vince V. says:

    Sisaundra was AMAZING. People keep saying she’s too much, and too old, and too perfect and blah, bleh, bleh. Whateverrrrrrrr. She’ll be fine in this competition. Audra lowkey shocked me tonight, deserved her spot. And I knew after Madilyn performed Blake would choose Jake. Madilyn just crumbled under pressure and her exit is just a precursor of what to expect next week.

  31. Mary says:

    Okay people let’s stop the Sassaundra bashing. She is a wonderful singer and she seems like a nice person. I think she is being criticized because of her age more than anything else. Michael was 100 percent right in his assessment of her. He was however 100 percent wrong about Madelyn. I loved her voice on Clarity and based on her overall body of work she should have went through. I think if the audience had decided she would still be in the competition. She got a bum deal.

  32. claudia says:

    I love New York State of Mind & the first part of it was beautiful. Sisaundra sang it with feeling & restraint. But I’m with the people who think she can’t win because IMO she ruined her performance with the ending. We’ve already heard what she can do vocally so I think it wasn’t necessary to remind Blake that she can hold out a high note. She should have killed it by ending the song tenderly & softly & letting us hear the emotion of the song instead of pummeling us with unnecessary runs. For those saying that’s just the way she sings, I doubt that’s the way she sings to her grandbabies around the house. I for one would like to hear that soft side of her when the song is appropriate to that mood.

  33. ara says:

    Does anyone here watch The Voice Digital Exclusives on Youtube? I hate that I can’t watch “Facing Off with Preston Pohl” videos because NBC hasn’t made them available in my country. :-(

    • Mafs95 says:

      Google “Proxy Youtube”, go to the first page, choose a server from the country you want (anyone from US) then copy the link of the video you want to see. And… voilá! :)

      • ara says:

        Thank you very much for the tip! It was all silliness but at least it made me laugh a couple of times. I wonder how much Preston got paid for doing that (if anything).

  34. situatedness says:

    I liked Ryan much better than Jake. I also thought that Blake should have saved Music Box. Her tone was amazing. I hate the way that people get typecast and so if there is one type on a team, then presumably there can’t be another. This isn’t fair to …. us as listeners.

  35. situatedness says:

    Interestingly, just saw slezak poll from yesterday that listed madilyn page as the most favorite of people who read this site. Just shaking my head…she has a nice clear voice but Music Box has a much more interesting intonation and I would have liked to see how she blossomed (Shakira’s word? Usher’s?)

  36. I agree with the comments about Sisaundra – her “warm personality” makes her genuine, which gives her a distinct advantage over past powerhouse divas (like Judith Hill, for example). I hope she goes far!

  37. Nit Picker Jr says:

    I pity the fools that have to go up against Sisaundra’s voice. I mean… wow. Just, wow. Yes, I get that some folks don’t dig her for reasons of personal taste, but the show is called The Voice for a reason. Vocal ability, the ability to take a song and make it your own, to tell your story through someone else’s words and music, rather than looks or personality or gender or place of origin or personal/professional background, or, whatever else, should be at the forefront. With that in mind, advancing Sisaundra, Jake and Audra was a no-brainer to me. Madilyn and Ryan were … good (Ryan more so than Madilyn who did better in the Battles imho) but nowhere near good enough. And if Sisaundra’s voice doesn’t somehow win this season there is something fundamentally wrong with the system. I pity the fools that have to go up against the #beastmaster.

  38. LG says:

    I didn’t realize Uncle Kracker made The Voice. I would have voted for him.

  39. Jimmy says:

    Sissaundra was a lock, she has a great voice. It just can be a bit much sometimes for my taste. Audra deserved her spot, I enjoy listening to her voice. The one I can’t figure out is Jake. He is a nice enough kid, but not sure he deserved to be #3. I personally was surprised he made it this far. I just love Madelyn’s voice but the choice of song did her in, but she is very talented. Ryan too I feel was done in by choice of song. I feel both are much more talented than Jake. Enjoy reading everyone’s thoughts.

  40. Simon says:

    Sisaundra is like an awesome mutant hybrid of Melinda, Siobhan, and Zoanette. I don’t usually care that much about the front-runners but this lady is INSANE.

  41. BrazenSongBird says:

    I’m not understanding the comments about not liking where Sissaundra took the song. Something about restraint and then she “ruined” it?? Whoever says this and those who agree have forgotten that she is still in the audition process and it’s her job to IMPRESS over her competition. America’s not voting for her yet. A seasoned professional who is perhaps a little more difficult to sway is deciding her fate. So, she pulls out all the stops and makes SURE that she’s the last one standing. Good on her! Who knows? Maybe her more subtle performances are yet to come.

  42. Sisaundra is Amazing.
    She deserves to win the whole thing. (Probably won’t -coughJudithHillcough- )
    The NYSOM version was the most amazing one since Lea Michele’s in Glee.

  43. fallen sparrow says:

    I guess maybe I look at these competitions differently than most. When I watch I am watching as a fan. And the most important thing to me is I want to be moved. Audra and her version of A Broken Wing did it. Granted I don’t really know the song but I was moved by her performance. The same with Jake. It looks like he’s having fun and I like entertainers who have as much fun performing as I do watching. Jake does that for me. Sisaundra, although a great singer does not move me. I feel she oversings, if that is a word, every song. And although technically a great voice I get no emotion from her performance. I thought Ryan should have been the third voice chosen. Even though his performance wasn’t perfect he brought emotion and energy to his chosen song. That plays big with me. And I think he was getting better and better as the competition went along. Just my two cents.

  44. Antonietta says:

    I didn’t like what Sissaundra did with the song either. If she wants to show off her big voice she should go for a Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston or Celine Dion song not Billy Joel. Why is louder supposedly better?

    • John Anthony says:

      Sissaundra was already accepted as a professional back up singer by the public. She tried to make it as a professional single act prior to her back up position but failed to do so. This is her way to attempt to make it as a single again. You know as a back up singer you are not allowed to hit higher notes than the star of the group who hired you. I think she has a chance to win as one of the elder singers this season but she will never become the star The Voice is searching for. This is the one failure of the Voice thus far. Other critics of the Voice, like Beast Entertainment, think they use too many of these pro type back up singers on their shows. The Voice is still hoping Pope and Bradbery work their way up but we’ll have to wait and see. Maybe Sissaundra will prove me wrong but a lot of back up singers have come and gone on these shows with no success. She has to sing a few songs that do not call for the, so called, high note she tries to hit every time out. I think she’s afraid to try.

  45. damnfingers says:

    Jake won me over when he said his girlfriend treated him like someone thin. That kind of homespun honesty goes a long way towards making someone with a little less talent more likeable and easier to listen to than someone with more talent and less humility.

    • Sharon says:

      He is a lovable kid. But I also think he has a genuine talent. This week’s song wasn’t the best he’s done, but it was fine. And if you think of past performances, he has a good range, a rich tone, a nice little rasp and some power. I also think he has a natural sense of pace and phrasing, which can be hard to teach. Whether or not we are a country music fans – and I’m not particularly one – it shouldn’t affect our ability to appreciate talent, growth and effort that any contestant brings.

      (And damnfingers, this isn’t aimed at you…I just can’t figure out how to post without replying!)

  46. Terry says:

    I was so happy when Blake stole Madilyn and then boom, one week later she is done. But unfortunately the song choice wasn’t right and all that talk the prior week about how much her confidence was improving just went straight out the window. Too bad, I liked her voice but I have to concede she wasn’t ready for this quite yet.

  47. kakykhaslider says:

    Mahalia Jackson, Pattie Labelle, Fantsia,Yolanda Adams,Tamela Manns, Angela Bofill, Milira Jones, Phyllis Hyman, Sisaundra Lewis, these voices, and more, were born out of singing gospel. It is not for you If you don’t like overly dramatic vocal acrobatics. How are you going to like what you don’t really understand,and know nothing about???