The Voice Top 12 Performance Recap: Waiting on the Set List to Change [Updated]

The Voice Top 12 recapWhat’s not to like about The Voice? The sleek cruise liner of reality-competition shows is filled with friendly folks, operates beneath limitless blues skies and generally leaves you feeling relaxed, giddy, maybe even mildly inebriated. Heck, it does everything short of dropping you on the dock at Puerto Vallarta.

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Can I just file one little complaint, though? In the Venn Diagram of popular music from the last 50 years that’s been performed on The Voice, American Idol and The X Factor (R.I.M.T.*), shouldn’t the buzziest, Emmy-winningest of the three series be reinvesting some of its profits to expand its songbook, rather than dragging its contestants to the dry creekbed of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “Waiting on the World to Change” and “Rolling in the Deep”? (*rest in mild turmoil)

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OK, yeah, we got some Sam Smith — done transcendently — plus an atypically un-terrible Katy Perry song and a taste of the legendary Juice Newton (if you don’t know her, click here and thank me down in the comments). But when you’ve got a Top 12 with this much vocal firepower and consistency, shouldn’t Mark Burnett & Co. be delivering two straight hours of “!!!!!!!!!!!!” without the slightest hint of “zzzzzzzz”?

There, just one little complaint. Oh, and wait, one more thing: Please, for the love of all that’s holy, buy some new mics. Twenty-two seconds of audio silence during poor Kristen Merlin’s performance wasn’t much fun for anyone!

On that note, let’s get to my letter grades for tonight’s performances:

Bria Kelly: “Rolling in the Deep” — Grade: C- | Sigh. Those crackling flames on the backdrop tonight (oh, Usher, just because the first three words of a song are, “there’s a fire…”) served as a sad metaphor for the tragic inferno of Bria’s once lofty Voice dreams. The staging, with Bria trying to navigate her way down a flight of stairs with her unplayed guitar swung impotently over her shoulder, was a mess, but even worse, her vocal was below par, too. The entire second verse, which was pitched too low to reach the best parts of Bria’s tone, shivered like a toy poodle in a cold bath, and the final refrain was ragged and inconsistent. “You’re definitely a candidate for being able to knock that one out,” Adam muttered, deliberately failing to say that Bria had actually succeeded in the task. And in terms of Voice critique, that’s practically Statler and Waldorf-esque!

Delvin Choice: “Unchained Melody” — Grade: C+ | “Sing like you’re dying!” demanded Adam, in a dubious bit of rehearsal advice. Then again, maybe that approach would’ve been better than Delvin’s, which seemed built around the concept that the longer yoooooou hoooooooooooooold your noooooooooootes, the better. Yeah, I know, “Unchained Melody” is that kinda song, but Delvin took it to extremes, tossing in trills and flourishes that only highlighted his total lack of connection to the lyrics. The end result, while mostly in tune, packed all the punch and passion of Siri looking up the title of that Julia Louis-Dreyfus/James Gandolfini movie that came out last year. (It’s Enough Said, BTW, and it’s terrific.)

Dani Moz: “Just Give Me a Reason” — Grade: B+ B | The talky intimacy of Dani’s opening verse made me feel like I was accidentally eavesdropping on a personal conversation — and I say that in the best possible way. The woman definitely takes her time with a lyric, and doles out her words in a way that allows your brain fully digest and appreciate ’em. That said, on second listen, I heard more than a couple of iffy notes in the chorus, and I also couldn’t help but agree with Adam’spoint that the latter half of the performance needed more rise and fall. Thus, the downgrade from B+ to B.

Audra McLaughlin: “Angel of the Morning” — Grade: B- | Like I said before, I’m a big Juice Newton fan, but even with that leg up, I could only make out maybe a third of Audra’s lyrics in the opening verse of “Angel of the Morning.” Girlfriend’s pained expression and garbled diction had me wondering if, perhaps, she objected to telling the tale of “the other woman” imploring her married lover for one more touch before his exit. Or if maybe she was struggling to remember her lyrics. Don’t get me wrong, there were pretty moments in the mix, too (just not that bizarre-o black dress with the cutouts and the structural integrity issues), but a week from now, my most vivid memory of this number might be Usher saying he’d have to pee if he ever held a note as long as Audra’s.

T.J. Wilkins: “Waiting on the World to Change” — Grade: B- | There was something slightly retro in T.J.’s arrangement of John Mayer’s ode to twentysomething political apathy (which he embarrassingly and grinningly misinterpreted as an anthem of social change). That throwback vibe (and T.J.’s stilted body language) undercut Usher’s edict that his team go “current” for Top 12 night, but on the bright side, at least T.J. showcased near-perfect pitch (if not the world’s most unique tone). Here’s hoping that if the guy survives, Usher finds better advice for working the stage than “clap and point,” yes?

Christina Grimmie: “Dark Horse” — Grade: A- | “Ohhh, so this is what a Katy Perry jam sounds like when it’s sung live and in tune,” said half of America while listening to Christina’s personal best perfomance to date. The opening verses had a great, conversational quality about them, and by the time Christina reached that earworm chorus, it was as if her voice had blown-up — Hulk-style — into something bigger, badder and more ferocious. I believed the dark energy of her warnings, maybe even feared ’em for a second. Yeah, OK, the girl still tends to pull the trigger three or four times where one good glory note would do the track, but this is the first time I was able to envision a Grimmie win without feeling all grim about it. (Uff, that last sentence was brought to you by the words “Painfully” and “Obvious.” My apologies.)

Sisaundra Lewis: “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” — Grade: B+ | Look, the fact of the matter is, it wouldn’t be a shock if Sisaundra someday winds up playing Vegas stages down the block from her former employer Celine Dion. Someday. But for the love of all that’s in your Starbuck’s cup, Blake, let’s not sentence the Season 6 Vocal BeastMaster (™ pending) to a stint in cocktail-lounge prison, OK? Oh sure, Sisaundra didn’t miss a single note. She dug into the emotional core of the song like a giant excavator into a sandbox. And she showed sly, expertly crafted restraint in the process. But Sisaundra is not gonna take home the crown without rocking out, going uptempo and/or choosing current tunes, too. In other words, the more perfect a singer is, the more unexpected and audacious — and perhaps even dangerous — she’s got to be. Is it insane that I want a Sisaundra cover of “Welcome to the Jungle” on the Voice stage/in my iTunes library next week? And is it insane for me to scan backwards to confirm I actually just typed that sentence for the entire Internet to see? Wait: Don’t answer me!

Kristen Merlin: Sugarland’s “Stay” — Grade: B | Argh. I mean, ARGH. Kristen was two-thirds of the way done with her pretty, butterfly-delicate, slightly imperfect rendition of this other-woman anthem (the second of the night after Audra’s!) when her mic went dead — and all the at-home audience could hear was the background music. The judges gave her a big standing O — and a guy on the crew gave her a new mic with which she managed to get out the last three seconds of the ditty, but still, ARGH. Hopefully, that’ll have inspired enough audience voting to keep her safe another week. I mean, Mark Burnett would be required by the Reality TV Supreme Court (fun fact: Coryn from Top Model is one of the seven justices!) to give the woman a one-week repreieve if she actually turns out to be the lowest vote-getter, right?

Kat Perkins: “Magic Man” — Grade: A- | By no means was this the most original, inventive performance in Voice history; after all, Kat was pretty much coloring directly within the template of Ann Wilson’s masterpiece. But in this particular instance, I still couldn’t help but be wowed by Kat’s technical prowess in the face of such high difficulty, the way her voice rose higher and higher, piercing through the auditorium and over the tricky cadences, without ever going the slightest bit out of tune. Next week, we’ll demand she detonate the concept of karaoke. Today, we’ll just offer a slow clap: Kat! Kat! Kat! Kat! Kat!

Jake Worthington: “Anymore” — Grade: C | Shakira correctly labeled Jake as The Voice‘s “most endearing contestant” — I mean, after all, the kid welled up with tears at the sight of his “mama” out in the audience. But all the charm and aw-shucks-ness in the world doesn’t mean Blake should’ve attempted a lie as bald-faced as “the pitch was perfect.” (Ummm, Shelton, do you know the meaning — and the context — of the word “pitch”? Sheesh.) Seriously, Jake’s entire opening verse was flat and gaspy, his notes got clipped shorter than an infant’s fingernails and you could see on Jake’s face that he knew it, too. By virtue of his likability alone, you know Jake won’t get booted come Tuesday night, but I’m not sure that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t.

Tess Boyer: “I’ll Be There for You” — Grade: B+ | Passionate. Powerful. Ninety percent on-point in the intonation department. Unfortunately, though, the new arrangement Shakira was pushing during rehearsals didn’t wind up straying very far from Bon Jovi’s original template, leaving Tess a little more vulnerable than she ought to be. I mean, it’s hard to win a reality singing competition in 2014 when you’re stuck in a prison made of vintage Aqua-Net bottles, circa 1989. (I gotta admit, though, I do love that sitar-esuqe guitar intro — best part of the song, in my humble opinion.)

Josh Kaufman: Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” — Grade: A+ | Sure, Josh got the night’s best backdrop (even if the electronic raindrops would’ve been more apt for his Playoffs round rendition of “It Will Rain”). And yes, he had the special lighting and carefully placed background singers and the added bonus of closing the show. But guess what? He earned it — all of it — by serving up a slice of sheer vocal perfection. Josh alternately ached and seduced, belted and whispered, hit notes of the growly and falsetto varieties — while capturing the reluctant insecurities of a man in one-night stand mode. Could this displace Amanda Brown’s “Dream On” as The Voice‘s all-time best moment? I’m not really sure. But the fact that I’d even consider the thought out loud, well, that speaks volumes. Josh would really have to faceplant after this triumph to fall short of Top 4 (or even Top 3) status.

SHOULD BE BOTTOM 3: Bria, Delvin, Jake (Bria and Jake going home)
WILL BE BOTTOM 3: Bria, Delvin, Tess (Bria and Delvin going home)

What did you think of the Top 12? Who were your faves? Who’s in trouble? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments! And for all my reality TV-related news, interviews and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

The Voice Season 6 Top 12 Rankings: Who Has Momentum Heading Into the Live Shows?

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  1. Quinn Carson says:

    Christina and Josh! Love them!

    • OhMy says:

      Christina was going along fine and then she hit 3 really bad notes in a row. Really uncomfortable notes.

      • Quinn Carson says:


        • ULTIMATUM says:

          here’s where they stand on iTunes, 11:45pm NY time:

          34-Josh Kaufman
          90-Kirsten Merlin
          94-Jake Worthington
          104-Christina Grimie
          180-Kat Perkins
          200-Sissaundra Lewis

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Delvin just broke the top 200 as well. Interesting. So the only ones who are not top 200 are Bria, Tess, Dani, Audra and TJ. I’m guessing our bottom 3 comes from this group.

          • The Beach says:

            I really wish The Voice had Google voting like Idol does. It’s so easy and quick. I’m not someone to spend a lot of time calling in votes and a performance has to be really, really special to me and also much different than the original for me to purchase it on itunes.

          • HTGR says:

            Maybe they changed voting this season, but Idol always had the worst of the worst voting system.

          • Kristal Watters says:

            With Idol you can vote on Google and Facebook 50 times each in less than a minute.

          • HTGR says:

            And you could also call 10,000 times, and plenty did. I guess they finally got rid of that this season? The Voice it’s just one download per contestant and 10 votes per other method, pretty quick on the web and by phone.

          • The Beach says:

            Sorry but I don’t want to spend money buying a song I will never listen to again just so a contestant can get 10 votes. I’ll take the Google system any day.

          • HTGR says:

            You can vote 10x per contestant per email address online or by calling, nothing says you have to spend on iTUnes.

          • Justin says:

            HTGR, don’t play dumb, you know the voting has changed on Idol this year. Its limited now. The Voice has teh worst voting system due to the iTunes bonus. Manipulated for Cassadee.

          • abz says:

            This may be harsh to say but I think a huge factor in Kristen being higher up on the iTunes list than others is because of sympathy for the whole mic thing. She wasn’t the worst of the night, but I just don’t think she’ll make it to the Top 6.

          • lori says:

            You can also just go to They have an updated system that let’s you vote for everyone quickly.

          • tealeaves says:

            @HTGR, no one called 10,000 times for Idol. Not unless they had 10 phones and about 9 people helping them. Even then they could only do that for the finale where the voting window was 4 hours instead of 2.

          • Betty says:

            As of 1:30 AM EST, these were the iTunes results (so I hope they have changed since):

            19 – Josh Kaufman – Stay With Me
            57 – Kristen Merlin – Stay
            64 – Jake Worthington – Anymore
            75 – Christina Grimmie – Dark Horse
            127 – Kat Perkins – Magic Man
            142 – Sisaundra Lewis – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
            165 – Delvin Choice – Unchained Melody
            170 – Audra MacLaughlin – Angel of the Morning
            187 – Bria Kelly – Rolling in the Deep
            272 – Tess Boyer – I’ll Be There for You
            468 – TJ Wilkins – Waiting on the World to Change
            503 – Dani Moz – Just Give Me a Reason

          • HTGR says:

            Some people definitely voted those crazy amounts and plenty voted 1000-2000 times and tons voted a few hundreds on Idol.
            And no I don’t know for sure exactly what voting they are using this season since I’ve barely watched this season and never voted.
            Also who wants to connect up their Facebook to these shows so there goes a chunk of your power with Idol then no? And how is calling 50x easier than calling 10x?
            I mean maybe it is better on A.I. this season than The Voice for voting, I don’t know exactly what the Idol rules are this season, but that would be a first, so it seems a bit crazy to bash all over The Voice’s voting and make it sound like Idol is the current and long time best if Idol has only once ever. Not that it’s a bad thing if Idol has fixed up their voting. A great step and about time.

          • Name This Tune says:

            @tealeaves. Someone with a smartphone, unlimited text messaging, and a little SMS could easily vote 10,000 times. And you don’t have to pay any attention to the phone. It does it automatically.
            I know because I have done it. So HTGR isn’t blowing smoke.
            That said, the new Idol voting system is much better and fair, but The Voice still has online voting on Facebook and at the NBC website that is exactly as easy as the Idol system.
            But I agree with Beach. I am not buying iTunes downloads for either one of those shows.

      • Adake says:

        Completely agree with Quinn. Christina was outstanding tonight as was Kat and Josh.

      • Sandee says:

        It’s true, Christina hit some bum notes. Twitter followers don’t equal amount of talent.

        • Adake says:

          Sandee, this has nothing to do with twitter followers. Christina was excellent tonight and I think she will be rewarded. If you don’t like Christina that’s fine, but your twitter comment is dumb.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I’ve had my differences of opinion with OhMy, but he or she is correct tonight. It was not great. But in fairness to Christina, she did a decent job with an absolutely horrific song.

        • OhMy says:

          I agree that she did a relatively good job with the song — in fact, through the middle of the song I would have given her the best of the night up to that point in the show — but honestly if anyone didn’t hear that bad series of notes then that person doesn’t have ears.

    • JM says:

      Love Josh, but Christina? Meh. Nothing original about that performance, just a complete carbon-copy. (Although I will allow that that is hard on a Katy Perry song.)

      • ULTIMATUM says:

        Have you heard the Sam Smith original version of Josh’s song? Josh also did a note-for-note carbon copy of the original!

        • Brandy says:

          I think the difference is..he owned the living hell out of that song whereas Grimmie didn’t.
          Almost felt like she was filling in for a behind schedule Katy Perry

    • mg says:

      Josh deserved the A+. Absolutely fantastic.

      Christina was great in the first half of the song, but there was just way too much shouting in the second half as she tried to sing over the dubstep, and it detracted from the performance. Not entirely her fault though. The song and that particular arrangement were both awful choices by Adam.

      Currently iTunes placements:
      Josh – #30
      Kristen – #83
      Jake – #87
      Christina – #101
      Kat – #169
      Sisaundra – #187

      No one else is in the top 200. Looks like Kristen’s mic glitch ended up being a gift in disguise iTunes-wise.

  2. Wesley says:

    Wait Slezak, you want Tess in the bottom 3? You sure that was your will be? Cuz a B+ compared to Jake’s C…

    • Wesley says:

      Ok I see its fixed now *thumbs up*

    • Michael Slezak says:

      Good catch, sir! I’ll weep openly if Tess gets the axe.

      • Ethan says:

        everyone will weep openly :P I love Christina will all my heart and crap, but she shouted the high notes and tried to over sing (I blame Adam for choosing that song) it would be cool to see her do Trouble Is by Allison Iraheta :D a kid can dream

  3. Dee says:

    Bria & Delvin both will be safe cause I think they did good tonight. Dani Moz and Audra on the other hand….not so much

    • MC says:

      Audra, Delvin and Bria all struggled tonight. Bria might get the votes anyway, but the other two are in trouble imo. Dani did fairly well with what I think is a very demanding and difficult song to sing solo.

      • JM says:

        I thought Delvin did really well with a piss-poor song choice.

        • MC says:

          I have seen people push back successfully against the song choices. I would have vetoed that one if I was Delvin. It is an uncomfortable song to sing and most people don’t have the range to pull it off. I thought the other two song choices from Adam were manageable. Good singers can manage that Katy Perry song and the Heart song. I understand people hate Katy Perry, but it’s a decent song and the Heart tune (though not their best material) is a perfectly good one for a female rocker like Kat. The Righteous Brothers, however? Anyone could look bad on that one in less than thirty seconds.

  4. James Smith says:

    Bria C-, Josh A+…. Mmmkay

    • OhMy says:

      Well, Bria was not as good as C- would lead someone to believe.

    • Flicker says:

      Bria has to using her guitar as a necklace! THIS NEEDS TO STOP!

      • NotQuite says:

        Thats’ what I thought! This is the second week in a row. When did a guitar become a fashion accessory instead of a musical instrument? I mean, I get that she’s trying to hype up some I’m a rocker chick persona (as opposed to cheerleader, which is actually more what she looks like). But it’s just not working and the end result is that she just looks ridiculous.

  5. Angie_Overrated says:

    Adam Levine needs someone to kick him in the groin for the songs he saddled his team with tonight. He took three excellent singers and heavily marginalized them with ridiculous songs that made them sound like American Idol season 13 rejects. I thought nonsensical song choice was Shaki’s dept? KATY PERRY!?!?!? NO!!!!!!!! Just, stop. Never again. No more EVER!!! And of all the Heart songs, he chose that one for Kat? Why?! I can’t even talk about Unchained Melody cuz I’m just going to get upset. Delvin rightly fought back against that one, but apparently not hard enough, and now he’s going home tomorrow.

    • bobsaccamanna says:

      He might not be going home Angie. I think people like him but I couldn’t agree more on Adam’s song choices, especially Katy Perry. I have yet to hear a Katy Perry song sound good on any of the singing shows. I really had a problem with all the song choices, so predictable, can’t someone ever step out of the box and do something unpredictable. I love Christina, I think she has pop star written all over her, but she needs to get the right songs, and she needs to win on merit and not reputation. I’m usually not so wrapped up in “performance skills” so to speak, but whatever that is, she has it.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I hope you’re right, Bob. Delvin is crazy talented but he got a TERRIBLE song tonight. If we’re judging solely by tonight’s performances, the three in trouble should be Jake, Audra, and Bria. I don’t really care who gets saved out of those three cuz they’ll be gone the following week regardless.

        • Kaba says:

          The instasave will save Bria. So don’t expect her to be going home at all whether you’re hoping she is or not.
          She will probably be in the bottom though, this was a piss night for her.
          Usher needs to zone in on just the right songs that give her a chance to belt if she wants a shot at winning.
          And do something about that damned guitar. It’s awkwardly placed and useless for too much of the song.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            As long as Bria’s save is not at the expense of Delvin or Kat, I’m ok with that. There were worse performers than Bria tonight. Jake comes to mind…

          • The Beach says:

            I thought the same about Bria’s guitar. It’s basically a useless prop. I think she only struck a couple of chord anyway. It must be her security blanket.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Really? That song is kind of from my era. Well, not exactly. It hit #1 two years before I was born, but I know a whole lot of Heart songs listening to my parent’s radio growing up, but not that one. I can name probably 10 off the top of my head and I’ve never once heard Magic Man.
            Oh, and I saw your post from above. You actually can vote on these folks the same way you vote on Idol. Just go to the nbc website. It’s a pretty user-friendly format.
            Now in gratitude for me informing you of how to vote more easily, you MUST send at least 5 votes Kat’s way, m’kay? :)

          • Colton Smith says:

            she won’t go home because she has an amazing voice, she sang great tonight

          • Kaba says:

            Angie, the problem with Delvin is that he really isn’t memorable. He has a great voice, but his issue is that he hasn’t left as much an impression as Bria has.
            Kat hasn’t left as much of one either, but she’s doing better than Bria and standing out.
            Adam’s song choices are murdering Delvin’s chances.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Dunno, Delvin was crazy memorable on Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I think he just needs the right sons. His voice is stupid good. I want to hear more from him.

          • The Beach says:

            Thanks for the info on the nbc voting, Angie. Do you know when their cut off time is? I’m a Kat fan so I’ll gladly throw her some votes.

          • Kaba says:

            I gauge it off of how much buzz I hear from peoples performances and whatnot.
            After “Signed Sealed Delivered”, I heard buzz saying Josh ought to have won and blah along with people saying they have a hard time saying they remember Delvin.
            We’ll just have to see if I’m right, my prediction is that he’ll probably be close to the bottom if not in the bottom. The song choice shafted him and it certainly is not his time to leave yet, but that was just a sheepish song.

        • BrewsterFly says:

          I would say T.J. should be in trouble based on last night… I thought the arrangement was awful and he was very very boring! I also thought Christina SHOUTED MOST OF HER SONG! I really didn’t love anyone tonight. I certainly wouldn’t give Josh’s performance consideration for the best ever. I thought it was great…best of the night , but after last night, that’s not saying much. And…poor Kristin. She can’t catch a break on this show!

    • Adake says:

      Completely disagree with you Angie. Adam gave Christina (Dark Horses) and Kat (Magic Man) excellent fits and they killed it. I only would have preferred a different song for Delvin but he sang Unchained Melody well. No one was bad tonight so it will be interesting how the popularity contest goes tomorrow. Cause that’s all this show is now.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Dark Horses is a song for people who can’t sing, and Magic Man is not a song people are going to want to download. Has he learned nothing after the White Snake fiasco that got Amanda Brown booted? Picking obscure rock songs doesn’t work on a show that relies upon downloads for a giant chunk of the voting.

        • HTGR says:

          I wouldn’t exactly say the Whitesnake song was obscure. That’s one of the best known hair metal songs and was a break through pop charts hit too. That was a super, duper well known song. Granted certain types of songs, even if far from obscure, might not be the type that people who watch these shows tend to download the most these days though.

        • tealeaves says:

          Those are not obscure songs. Not by a long shot.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Magic Man is not an obscure song? Really? If you asked people to name three Heart songs, do you think most people would mention Magic Man? I know it hit #1 on the charts, but it’s hardly had the staying power of so much of their song book.

          • The Beach says:

            Oh Angie…I just knew the day would come when I would find myself in disagreement with you and yet I still shed a small tear…but Magic Man is a very well known Heart song, well, maybe not to people in their 20s but…

          • MC says:

            It depends on your age. For those of us who lived through those years as young adults, it’s a very well known song.

          • HTGR says:

            It’s not maybe as well known as their 80s hits, but it’s definitely quite a known song of theirs. It was the song that broke them into being a hit band. Their breakthrough song. It was before my time to be able to remember, but even so it had to have been quite popular since I easily recognized it so it had to have gotten play along the years far beyond the year it hit for them. And it’s on their greatest hits/essentials type albums. Maybe he was smart, for some reason viewers seem to hate on the mega-known 80s hits and say they are covered too much so using a hit but one from a bit earlier on….
            And once again that Whitesnake song was as far from obscure as you can get.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            The Whitesnake song was the song that got Amanda Brown booted. It was ranked last out of all the songs in downloads that week, and that was a week when all the remaining contestants were singing 2 songs. It’s hardly the classic you’re making it out to be, HTGR. No one’s gonna download a song like that, which clearly showed in the numbers.

          • HTGR says:

            How popular a song was or whether it was a classic or not has little to do with downloads. That was a huge hit.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Yes, it WAS a hit with no staying power on today’s playlists. That was my point. I’m not arguing that it wasn’t a hit. i’m arguing that if you’re going to do classic rock, it needs to be something that doesn’t necessarily exclude a giant chunk of the voting population.

          • Francine says:

            Yeah, Magic Man is not an obscure song. Its one of Heart’s biggest hits. If you’re not talking about their ballads, Magic Man and Barracuda are the two that always come to mind. I will say though, the ballads are probably what is going to be more well-known to many of the people that watch the show, but those have all been done to death. I loved this choice, it was perfect for Kat’s style.

          • gregk says:

            The best Heart song performance was Allison Iraheta’s “Alone” on Idol. Totally blew me away and I was not a Heart fan. The best “obscure” song performance of all time was, again on Idol, Adam Lambert’s “Mad World”. Absolutely stunning that he could take something virtually no one had heard to that memorable level.

          • HTGR says:

            “mad World” wasn’t a song nobody had ever heard of.

        • Meri says:

          Magic Man is a popular song, trust me. I’m not a huge Heart fan, the song is not from my time and I know it. Kat is also in the top half on itunes. She’ll be fine this week.

          • Meri says:

            And Amanda was just not memorable on the White Snake song. She had an uphill battle after “Dream On”. That was the problem.

      • Kaba says:

        How is Dark Horse an excellent song choice?
        That’s a song that comes on and people dance, not comment on how vocally and lyrically deep or interesting it is.
        That song is literally just an addictive beat with some yelling over it.
        Not an excellent song, just developed for the sake of being a visual song, not a song you “listen to”
        Even Katy Perry herself doesn’t perform the song in a way that makes the lyrics or the song itself worthwhile.

        • HTGR says:

          It’s a good pop song. Catchy. Her songs can be tricky to sing though.

          • daezyg says:

            As an young woman whose a major fan of the recent lyrical changes that have become popular in pop music over the last three years, I will say that Dark Horse is a terrible pop song. I’ve listened to pop music most of my life, and Dark Horse has got to be one of the creepiest songs just based on lyrics. Seriously.

            “She’ll eat your heart out like Jeffery Dahmer.” – Then why the h*ll are you so in love with her?

            As for the beat, it’s…decent, I guess? It’s an okay attempt at trying to get some hip-hop cred, but not really. I’m a fan of her’s when she’s being especially b*tchy for no reason, like on “You’re So Gay” or “Hot and Cold”, but I do agree that her songs are hard to sing. No one can out Katy Perry, well, Katy Perry. Although I like Christina’s version better, simply because her voice just sounds more interesting on the track.

      • Adake says:

        Had to know the two twins on this site would team up here. Dark horses is a big pop song and that’s the direction Christina is headed. And she killed it. If you don’t like Adam and his song choices that’s fine. We’ve heard numerous times how much Kaba hates Adam so I know she can’t be objective here. I just don’t agree with either of you. I’ll wait to see how well Kat and Christina do but suspect they will do just fine.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Dark Horses might be a big pop song, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s written for someone who can’t sing. I don’t understand why anyone who could sing would ever sing Perry. I had to laugh last season on Idol when Jimmy Iovine implicitly railed on Paula Abdul when Candice sang Straight Up. His response was “why? You can sing!” Same dynamic here.

        • Kaba says:

          And for some reason you seem to believe that my hatred for Adam overrides how willing I am to like his decisions. “Dark Horse” is a poor song choice. Point, blank, period. I don’t care what coach were to pick the song.
          I’m sorry you’re inclined to not listen to me because I don’t like Adam and I’m not worshipping the ground below Grimmie, but feel free to continue to assume you understand how I interpret things pertaining to his team for all I care if it makes you sleep better.

        • Francine says:

          The two twins? What a snippy comment. We all have our opinions here.

        • Jon says:

          I thought Tessasnne Chin turned in an excellent performance of Unconditionally.

    • JM says:

      Oh Angie, Delvin better not go home! I know I feverishly dialed his number after that horrendous song choice for him. I did think Kat performed quite well. My question was: what was up with all the guitar players??? Awkward, much?

    • analythinker says:

      LOL, what you’re yelling was what I was screaming as well.

    • Ethan says:

      If you mean like before live show rejects, if they ever sound like Paisley Van Patten I’m fine with it :P but if you mean Marialle Sellars.. I get what you mean by terrible :|

  6. Bonquisha says:

    No Offense Michael, but I have not been agreeing with you at all with Bria. You have Bria a C- and you gave Kat a C. Why don’t you like her?

    • Bonquisha says:

      Actually I looked back and you gave Kat a A- for that screechy preformance. At least Bria tamed down the grit

    • will says:

      Probably because she has consistent pitch problems, strain, and uncontrollable vibrato, and when she pushes the rock growl, her notes veer off to bad places that don’t do service to the music she’s singing. Plus, spending most of your performance with a guitar you aren’t playing hanging off of you is just sad.

  7. B? You gave Kristen a B? She was the best of the night, even though we only got to hear the first minute of her song.

    • JM says:

      I agree that her performance should be graded at an ‘A’. That song was perfect for her, and the public agrees, since she is at #99 (the highest from the Voice) on Live Pop Bars so far…

      • kcostell says:

        This is one of the times an “Incomplete” grade would actually be appropriate.

        I’d have no objections to them announcing that Kristen advances automatically regardless of the actual voting results after what happened.

  8. Kaba says:

    Top 3:
    Any combination not including Sisaundra, Tj, and Christina.

    Josh was transcendant

  9. LADY_in_MD says:

    Loved Sisaundra, Josh and Kat tonight didn’t care for Jake or Bria felt bad for Kristen but thought she was good and handled her mic going out very well while I didn’t know many of the songs it did make me have a new liking for some of them I think that’s what some of the coaches were going for with their choices I wonder if the contestants will get a chance to choose their own songs during the live shows

    • Tom22 says:

      I agreed with Adam’s comments about a big enhancement in the end product when she pulled back . I recognized her abilities last week but I was pretty negative about my personal appreciation of her handling of her song (Thanks Melinda and MS for re-wording your enthusiasm that you maintained while acknowledging a “polarizing” aspect on last weeks Reality Check — it put to bed an implication that shady ulterior motives would be involved if we all didn’t appreciate her…glad that was put right )
      Anyway, I enjoyed the performance and felt like I saw a glimmer of something I could really get on board with if her artistic urges continued that direction.
      In the interview clips, Sissaundra strikes me as not only self-confident but also so charming and loving and…..should I use the word?… . cute (say visually attractive in an approachable way?) I would love to see a lot more of that charming, friendly, warmth of her’s brought into her performances…..even more than this week. (but again what that means could vary person to person)
      The power notes can still be there. I know that an artist can’t just copy others… but I wonder if Sissaundra could bring a more young-Whitney part of her personality into her performances? That “beast-master” (MS’s name not mine, but easy term) pride and strength could still show it’s head now and then within a song
      … but could even the beast-master smile while taming those beasts?.. its not like Whitney was some shy blushing violet . But props to Sissaundra for widening her audience by pulling some parts in..

  10. Steve says:

    Bria a C Yet Kat an A TJ A B mmmkay michael you just have something against bria

    • I love Bria, but she just wasn’t good tonight.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Bria’s prop guitar is getting funnier and funnier. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look more awkward with an unused guitar hanging from their neck. I’d bump her up to a B-minus simply for the comedic entertainment value.

      • Alexa says:

        Yeah… WHY was she holding the guitar? That was ridiculous! And yeah, her vocals were pretty rough. I fear she peaked with her audition.

      • Adake says:

        Jake did the same thing. If you aren’t going to play it for at least half the song, don’t bother.

      • ElleKay says:

        Jake did more or less the same thing with his guitar, but I agree. I’ve seen her youtube videos and she’s fine with accompanying herself on guitar while she sings, but think she should focus more on singing without it while she’s on the show. James Wolpert and Will Champlin from last season were both WGWG’s, but only used instruments in a few of their songs while on The Voice.

  11. Tiff says:

    You’re on something, Slezak, and it ain’t just alcohol. Bria is pretty magnificent, in my opinion. Other than that, you have my other two faves spot-on – Christina owned that song and stage, and Josh was perfection.

    Sisaundra, Kat, and Tess were all strong, too, but there’s a definitely lead with the first three in my opinion.

    Also, can we just admit right now that The Voice this season is just better than Idol? The singers are better, the staging is great, the judges are fun, and the band is mostly pretty solid.

    It’s all down to the fact that the kids on Idol have no mentorship and no one to tell them when they make stupid choices (aka What the Hell is Randy doing?). We all might have disliked Iovine, but no one can tell me that he didn’t do his job.

  12. Gailer says:

    I only liked Josh

    • guest says:

      So did I. Lots of disappointment to go around tonight. My wish for the future, though, is never to have to sit through a Bria or Sisaundra overkill performance again.

    • Patti says:

      Me Too! Josh is superb and heads up above the others. Sisaundra is great, but not for this competition. I just can’t understand the Grimmie love here. She is good, but nowhere near the class and quality of Josh’s performances. Delvin was given the wrong songs, as he has a beautiful voice. The rest are just ok performers. Kristen should not get sympathy votes on that mic episode, although she handled it beautifully. She has a very good voice, and a good future in the business. Josh for the win!!

  13. HTGR says:

    The sublime:
    1. Kat (Ann Wilson!?!)
    2. Sisaundra
    The great:
    3. Josh
    4. Tess
    The either mixed great at times/OKish at times or the evenly very good:
    5. Bria*,Dani,Christina,Kristen
    The fine:
    9. Delvin
    10. Audra
    11. Jake
    12. TJ

    • HTGR says:

      Just to make it clear the (“Ann WIlson!?!” was just a comment on how MAD hard that song is).

    • rwfblog says:

      My two favorites of the night were Josh and Sisaundra. My least favorites, to the point of being hard to listen to, were Audra and Jake. Audra was even hard to watch, with her face clearly showing every mistake she made, as well as fear.

  14. Christine says:

    Was just going to comment the same thing Wesley. And Michael I luv ya, but there is no way Jake is going home this early – too popular! My guess for going home is TJ for sure and to my ears either Dani or Delvin

  15. CM says:


  16. MAB says:

    First time I watched The Voice in a while. I was impressed with Josh but to be honest I was not excited about most of the contestants and was really surprised with the boring song choices.

  17. Cassandra says:

    I went into this episode thinking that the producers were trying to sabotage Kristen by quick editing both of her battle rounds knowing she was going to be in the live shows. The fact that she is the only person I’ve ever seen on the Voice have their audio cut for 22 seconds just adds to my curiosity of what they have against her. I call Shannanigans.

    • Billie says:

      I think that microphone malfunction might end up being a good thing for Kristen. I think her biggest problem coming into these rounds was the fact that she had had the least amount of exposure. But no one is going to forget the girl who kept pouring her heart out when her mic quit. I think she was the best of the country singers tonight and she shouldn’t have much trouble picking up the others votes when they go home now.

    • ElleKay says:

      I downloaded her song and she nailed it, but would have done it anyway without the mic malfunction. I like her voice quite a bit and was pissed at her getting montaged to death for the battle rounds.

  18. Laura says:

    I really don’t understand your should-be bottom 3. Bria and Jake? Jake is my favorite in the competition! His voice is so rich and so meaningful. I feel like Dani going home for sure; I felt her to be very boring.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Jake was a bit of a mess tonight. He was going flat, sharp, etc. That was clearly the worst performance of the night. He kind of choked tonight.

      • HTGR says:

        He was originally one of the strongest guys, and I don’t even like country, but he has been going so so country country too much for me, plus singing less and less well each week. But I bet he is pretty popular.

      • cheryl says:

        Im glad someone else heard that! Also really cut off words that should have been held out in my opinion

      • PB says:

        His first verse was definitely a train wreck. It’s sort of tricky little song and Tritt really has a interesting tone on that record. Jake definitely recovered somewhat and the last half of the performance was pretty good. He nailed the two big runs and his big rich tone was able to shine. I think he has somewhat of a limited ceiling right now b/c he’s just an oversized kid. It’s a beautiful song, but he definitely struggled in that first verse.

      • The Beach says:

        Jake seemed to be more affected by this being their first live performance than the others. The jitters definitely showed up, especially in the first half.

  19. gracelessk says:

    It’s pretty clear you’ve got something against Bria. She was nowhere near the worst of the night. I mean, Dani? Audra? TJ?

    Is it because Usher have her a Jena song? It’s making me not want to read your Voice recaps. :(

  20. Evan says:

    My favorites of the night were Audra, Christina, Sisaundra, Kat and Josh. As far as eliminations, I’m not too impressed with Delvin or TJ, but I suspect it may be farewell for Bria, who is way too divisive and got the dreaded opening slot. Kristen’s mic mishap might have been the best thing that happened to her considering how little screentime she’s gotten this season (also, darkly ironic).

  21. Spenceer says:

    Top 3: Christina, Dani, Kristen
    2nd 3: Sisaundra, Tess, Josh
    3rd 3: Audra, Delvin, Kat
    Bottom 3: Jake, T.J, Bria

  22. David H says:

    1) I think most of us can agree that Josh stole the night. I think that there are two individuals that need another look. Sisaundra did not pick that song. Please judge her for what she did with it. As for Tess, could someone tell me where she went wrong? Because I don’t see it. She’s in my top 3 (or 4) this week.
    2) Whatever grade you intended to give Kristen Merlin, please add ten points for professionalism above and beyond the call.
    3) I’ll give you Jake as one of the worst. Now let’s talk about Kat. There were only four contestants that were consistent with their pitch tonight and she wasn’t one of them. The only original part of her arrangement was when she got off tempo. To me, she was one of the worst of the night.
    4) I don’t think she deserves to go home, but Christina wasn’t one of the four either. BTW, the four were: Sisaundra, Tess, Kristen, and Josh.

    • HTGR says:

      kat one of the worst of the night???? are you kidding? and let me see the rest even begin to try that song.

      • David H says:

        Yes, Kat. Was her intonation better than Jake’s? Yes. Was it on? No. There were a few bum notes there. And let me reiterate. She got off tempo and nearly ruined the song. That was her sole contribution to an otherwise karaoke performance. I’ve heard better from her.

        • HTGR says:

          Oh come on. If you get that picky you can tear the rest mostly to shreds. And most of the rest on the that song would’ve been pure horror story, they couldn’t have even begun. Anyway we’ll just ahve to radically disagree.

    • Davey says:

      I agree with most of what you say. But Kat was not the worst of the night, she was in the middle.

    • JM says:

      To me, that was Sisaundra’s best performance so far, and I think it was a good song choice. I must have missed some shows, because I don’t recall hearing that song done many times before. ‘Rolling in the Deep’ however….

    • MC says:

      I’m trying to think of one show where Josh has not stolen the night. Hmmm, there may be a pattern here.

    • Eric Niewohner says:

      David I have been singing for a long time and Kat was on pitch and sang and incredibly difficult song really, really well. It is a hard song to modernize though, but Kat sang the heck out of it.

    • Lena says:

      Sisaundra made a bad decision choosing Blake. Either the man doesn’t know what he is doing or he just doesn’t care since he is all about his country boy Jake. She should have chosen Usher.

  23. Kaba says:

    Dani Audra and Jake are who I expect to take a leave tomorrow.
    Audra was scared and just…no.
    Dani ruined that for me. Ran back to Michelle asap.
    Anyways…Christina tackling “Dark Horse”
    Was….it was just stupid to me honestly. It was good vocally, but I doubt Katy Perry is an accurate representation of the pop music she wants to do.
    Sisaundra not in Beast master mode is not a Sisaundra I love.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      YES!!! “Sisaundra not in beastmaster mode is not a Sisaundra I love.” I was really upset with what she did tonight. It sucked the soul of her performance and we weren’t left with much to stick our teeth into.

      • HTGR says:

        not everything has to be R&B all over the place

        • Kaba says:

          Problem is, the best part of her in beast master mode is that you can feel the joy and passion she has when she’s like that.
          This was like caging a bird.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Hers isn’t your run of the mill R&B. It’s Baptist church on a Sunday. Not sure if you’ve ever been to a service like that, but it’s a very specific type of singing and I’m so happy to see someone like her on the show. You can tell she was pretty “meh” about her performance as well. No soul. That wasn’t Sisaundra. That was just bland and unexciting. BRING BACK SISAUNDRA!!!!

          • HTGR says:

            That tends be a bit over the top for me.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Different strokes, but that’s the way they sing. Many folks are referring to it as “overwrought” which is kind of starting to piss me off a bit. To call such a statement culturally insensitive is a mild understatement. But you like what you like, ya know?

      • Adam Fachry says:

        She must’ve read the blogs and seen how polarizing her approach to singing was, which is sad because she didn’t really present the best of herself tonight. She sang it really well, but the impact wasn’t as indelible as her previous performances. But part of it was also how overdone that song has become.

        1. Kat
        2. Josh
        3. Christina
        4. Sisaundra


        5. Tess
        6. Dani
        7. Kristen
        8. Bria


        The rest

        • HTGR says:

          overall that’s actually fairly close to how I ranked them, just a little shuffling in each group (and I’d have Tess above the first gap and perhaps Christina below it (her first half was awesome, but I wasn’t quit as impressed with her second half).

      • JM says:

        Sorry ladies, but we will have to disagree on this point. I thought this was her best performance to date. And since many people think she oversings, Blake was smart to have her reign it in a little.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Meh. I respect that you feel that way, but all the magic from her voice is gone now. I can’t get behind this at all.

    • Joe says:

      I think my girl Sisaundra is playing all you maroons who rail against her. By not coming out of the gate like the Beastmaster, she gave herself room to arc which we all know is so important to the brainless voters of these shows who think they’re Professor Henry Higgins watching Eliza become a proper lady. Sisaundra did just enough and she’s laying in the weeds waiting to pounce.

      • MC says:

        I think that was the strategy behind the song choice and Blake’s advice to her. Blake always has a game plan for his best singers.

        • Lena says:

          Blake’s strategy sucks. He is the wrong choice as Sisaundra’s coach and as a fan, I’m pissed off about it. Sisaundra is too talented to be stuck with a guy who doesn’t know what the hell he is doing with her.

          • MC says:

            You could always switch to decaf. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I hear that helps.

          • Lena says:

            Your comment=fail. Try again sweetheart.

          • Tammie says:

            Yep. That’s why he’s won more than anyone else. Sissaundra is not stupid and knew that Blake is the best at choosing the right songs for his artists.

  24. Justin says:

    I wouldn’t exactly call The Voice the cruiseship of singing shows. If idol is the Titanic, so is The Voice. Their ratings have been dropping this season too.

    Now its obvious Slezak likes The Voice better than Idol *rolls eyes*

    • daezyg says:

      The quality of the singing plays a big part of it too. Honestly, the kids on Idol (as vocalists) stand no chance against any current contestant on the Voice (if any of them were put in a singing competition against any of the contestants on the Voice, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Voice contestants didn’t even bother to sing and instead just ate them – alive). The worst of the rejects from the Voice could win Idol right now. That’s reality.

      Also, preference plays another huge part. If you don’t like apples, then maybe you’ll like oranges or lemons.

      • Justin says:

        Oh please, how much of The Voice kool-aid have you been drinking? You don’t think anybody from Idol stands NO chance? What about Candice from last year? And from this year Caleb can easily out sing any of them and nobody has come close to Jena this year. And you really think TJ could win idol? Or some of the horrible rejects like Music Box? PUH LEASE.

        And Jena did Rolling In The Deep better, so how do you explain that they are all better? At least the contestants on idol are actually famous after the show. That was such an idiotic statement, I can’t even.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Justin, this is your mom speaking. What did I say about posting on message boards after bed time?!

        • Meri says:

          Caleb could compete against some of them, but not all of them. The closest to his equivalent – Kat- would send him home in a barrel. And Jena murdered “Clarity” and the Evanecence song – and I don’t mean that in a complimentary way. I mean that in a I-greatly-mourn-toe-loss-of-my-love-for-them-because-now-they’re-dead way. What’s idiotic to say is that The Voice contestants don’t come close to a singer who is merely pimped by the moronic J-Lo, but is mediocre at best. Please, she’s a little girl in comparison to Christina, Sisaundra, Kat and Tess. Even her co-contestant Jessica is better despite not receiving proper credit. You’re also wrong about Voice alums fading to oblivion. Listen to a country station – Cassadee and Danielle are constantly on them. Former Team Blake members are always on the country chart lately. Cass and Danielle lasted a long time with their songs, now the Swon Brothers are climbing and Blake’s duet with season 2’s Gwen Sebastien is there. Chris Mann has had PBS specials. You’re comment is the one that’s off. Do your research before implying someone else is an idiot!

          • Justin says:

            Nope. Nobody from The Voice has made it after the show. Having one song do moderately well doesn’t make you a star. Nice try though. Kat wouldn’t send Caleb home either, he would probably beat her. You must really hate Jena and don’t want to give her credit where its due. She can out sing almost ALL of the singers on the Voice. How does that make you feel?

            The Swon Brothers barely having a song at #30 doesn’t mean they have “made it.” Gwen Sebastian is merely a backup singer for Blake. Not really the life of luxury.

          • HTGR says:

            Well at least The Voice doesn’t try to trash and destroy it’s own contestants for ratings and to “keep on script”.

        • daezyg says:

          Just because one performance of one song was better than another doesn’t mean that Jena’s a superior vocalist to those on the Voice. If you don’t like the Voice, then don’t comment on it and keep watching Idol. Seriously. You parading Idol around on a high horse in the comments won’t make it seem like the superior competition because, like I said, preference also plays a huge part.

          • Justin says:

            You are pretending the talent on The Voice is better when Jena clearly performed better on a song. You make a claim that even the weakest singers on the Voice are better than anybody from Idol, when Jena performed better. Your theory is wrong.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Ugh. You keep comparing Idol’s best singer to The Voice’s worst singer. Of course Jena is better than Bria. Very few people would argue otherwise. Now stick Jena up against Sisaundra, Kat, Christina, Josh, Delvin, etc. and Jena would be eaten alive.

        • CTZ says:

          There is such a difference in the two shows — Voice has mostly “second chance” singers, Idol has mostly raw talent. You can’t compare the two. It depends on what you like to watch, seasoned singers from The Voice or Idol with raw talent. I love to watch Idol singers through the season. Some grow, some don’t. Idol has always been that way, it just since The Voice that people are complaining the singing levels of Idol. It is two different shows, why is there the constant comparison and why heavy debate of which is better. To each his own….

      • ElleKay says:

        I like both shows for different reasons…Idol uses more raw talent and most of singers on The Voice have had professional experience and some have even had record deals in the past. I simply expect different types of singers on each show.

    • JM says:

      At least the Voice band is willing to learn new songs…

      • Justin says:

        Have you not been watching idol this year? compare the top 12 show on idol with this one, and there were more new songs on there than tonights show. HA!

        • daezyg says:

          And the band on Idol is good, but they normally play loudly over some of the QUIETER singers of the group UNLESS that singer can play an instrument with them. Your point?

          • Justin says:

            At least the mic doesn’t cut out on Idol. Awkward.

          • HTGR says:

            Maybe the mic doesn’t cut out on Idol, but they do let a demon or two shriek into it while someone is singing hah, unless you think that was Candice!

          • daezyg says:

            If the mic cut out on one of your Idol kids, they wouldn’t know what to do. They’d awkwardly stand there and wait for it to be turned back on. What Kristin did in that situation was professionalism at it’s best. Even in the event of a technical difficulty, she persevered.

            Why are you here, anyway? You seem to be quite obsessed with this forum, even though you claim to hate it. You always have the option of changing the channel, man. It wouldn’t hurt.

  25. Justin says:

    What’s not to like about the Voice? Where should I start? LOL.

  26. Alexa says:

    Michael, I just want to say we really missed you this past week!!! I was so bummed I didn’t get to hear your opinions on Idol because this was probably THE most interesting week of the season… and not necessarily for good reasons!
    I believe Dani and T.J. are going home based on tonight. I loved Josh the most. I actually really liked Jake’s performance. Audra was wonderful despite forgetting lyrics. Tess sounded great but what a lame song choice! Poor Kristen, she was sounding lovely and then the mic died. Still, that incident proved how professional she is under pressure and she earned my respect. I love Delvin but, again, not the best song choice. Sisaundra was her usual greatness. Sorry, but I was not a fan of Christina or Bria this week.

    • Mytake says:

      Thank you! I’ve been reading all the comments to see if I was hallucinating when watching Audra and thought she fumbled through quite a few lines of the song. It sounded and looked like (her facial expressions were pained like she knew she was screwing up) she completely forgot the lyrics. Yet you are the first person to mention it. I was surprised not 1 of the judges mentioned it either and instead praised her like she’d delivered a perfect performance.

      • MC says:

        Forgetting the lyrics on these shows is the kiss of death. I remember Majesty forgot most of “Stars” during Hollywood week and I had a feeling that would be a bad omen for her. The judges and the producers remember these things and may withhold praise later in the season because a huge gaffe (forgetting half the song) is a red flag. Audra might face a much more immediate reaction. She could be gone tonight. The younger generation doesn’t know that Juice Newton song at all, but back in my day it was playing constantly on the radio. “Angel of the Morning” was ubiquitous at that time.

      • JM says:

        Oh, I noticed at the time. I just forgot about it–and the whole performance actually.

  27. Kaba says:

    And sigh Bria darling.
    There’s this part of me that wants to see her be as great as her blind audition…but her voice is the greatest road-block ever.
    A mixture of going first, being the first live performance period, and that piss poor guitar handling didn’t help her.
    I want to see her do well, I do. But that was baaaaad tonight. The 2nd half was a [bare] redemption though.

    • bobsaccamanna says:

      I’m not a huge Bria fan, but don’t you also think that was a very bad song choice for her. Whatever Bria is trying to be as an artist, it isn’t Adele. She looked as uncomfortable as she sounded while singing it. And I know Blake is all about country but Angel of the Morning was not originally a country song, and the best version I know of is sung by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, and she doesn’t sing it country.

      • Kaba says:

        Oh I thought that was a bad song for her.
        Funny thing is she has a cover on youtube of it that she did MUCH better at
        Too low for her belting suited voice

      • JM says:

        Yes, it definitely was a bad song choice. I’m an Usher fan, but that was just so wrong.

  28. Andrei says:

    Did you really give Christina Grimmie an A-? She was Pitchy with a capital P! She started off great, but when she belted, she went from undershooting the note to overshooting When Sisaundra belts, her precision on staying on pitch is immaculate! She deserved an A-, but I’m guessing you gave her a B+ due to her song choice.

  29. danin says:

    Switch Bria’s and Audra’s grade and I am in pretty much agreement w/your list,Mike.

  30. HTGR says:

    Kat, Sisaundra, Josh, Tess

  31. Davey says:

    I thought Christina was striking at the beginning of her song and then halfway through I didn’t want to listen to hear any longer. Something fake happened.

    Sisaundra, Tess, Josh, and Kat were consistent throughout their songs. Kirsten, too, if we had been able to hear the whole thing.

    If Delvin is in the bottom 3 tomorrow he may be able to save himself by singing something else tomorrow night.

    • HTGR says:

      Yeah I thought Christina was one the best for the start, but then it was a mix of more average later on for the last half.

      • Lani Dale says:

        I personally think that Christina Grimmie is one of the best of the night. I love her performance. Well, I agree with Michael. Top 3 of the night were Josh, Christina and Kat.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      What happened towards the end was highly inelegant shouting. It just wasn’t pretty. And I don’t think that that was Christina’s fault. I place 100% of the blame on Adam. Don’t ever take someone who knows how to sing and give them Katy bleepin’ Perry!

  32. Yeah right! complain about their set list and be hyped about Idol’s stagnant, repetitive, and mainstream-centric set list.

    • Huh? Idol’s set lists have been awesome. If you compare the Voice’s opening night to Idol’s, Idol brought us Tightrope, Satisfaction by Allen Stone, The Crow & The Butterfly, and Pressure & Time by the Rival Sons. The coolest song we got from the Voice was Magic Man (I must admit, vintage Heart is killer.)

  33. Davey says:

    What is Jake’s appeal? He’s like Dexter on Idol. A block of country wood. No originality whatsoever. Yes, he’s sincere. That doesn’t mean I want to listen to him.

  34. Whimsical says:

    LOL. No way in heck Bria goes home this week when she was better than at least half of the others.

  35. OhMy says:

    AI quality tonight (and that’s not a good thing).

    • And X-Factor quality from the tech department.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      And we agree again. The vocal talent is miles ahead of Idol, but it was hard to tell that tonight. Hopefully once they start to lose contestants they can zero in on more appropriate song choices. Tonight was borderline bad.

    • Justin says:

      Oh please, that should be a compliment from a show that has been a cultural phenomenon and produced people like Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Candice Glover, etc.

      I think the bad nights on idol should be called “The Voice quality.” Actually, most of the season this year on idol has been “The Voice quality.” Which is NOT a good thing.

      • tealeaves says:

        There is a complete double standard for these two shows. Every Idol episode is panned if there is not at least one ‘moment’ that will be remembered for years to come. Every Idol who doesn’t sell 20 million records is in the category of ‘not selling as much as Kelly or Carrie.” Meanwhile there is only about a handful of The Voice contestants who have sold even 200k records. Every week, the Idol judges are (rightly) ripped apart for every wrong comment, but what about The Voice judges who tell everyone they are amazing and tell everyone they are a star and who saddle their contestants with terrible song choices half the time?
        The Voice started off as a refreshing alternative that would allow quirky or acts that you would never see in the live rounds of Idol, but this season it does not even have that.

        • Justin says:

          Thank you! Yes, if there is not one moment to be remembered for years to come, the show(idol) is a failure. If it is a competent night on The Voice, it will be hailed as “better than any night we have ever seen on idol!”

          And actually, nobody from The Voice has sold 200k albums yet. Not even Cassadee or Danielle.

          There has never been a watercooler moment on the Voice that measures up to Billie Jean, HOTRS, Love Song, In A Dream, Summertime, etc.

        • MAB says:

          Wow, I totally agree with you. This is why I find The Voice as boring. It’s the same show every season. They say the same things over and over from the blind auditions to the finale. Every one talks about Idol ratings dropping but guess what so is The Voice.

    • Justin says:

      Or maybe they have just been plain The Voice quality tonight, which isn’t a good thing.

  36. skrable2 says:

    Poor Kristen. The openly out singer has her battle rounds truncated, then a mic malfunction. You’d think Mark Burnett and company were responsible for some divine intervention

    • The Beach says:

      LOL…I just got a vision of Burnett behind the curtain shutting down Kristen’s mic while raising a hand to the heavens and laughing maniacally.

  37. Lani Dale says:

    That girl was amazing! Her rendition of Dark horse is waaay better than Katy Perry's version.

  38. polarvortex says:

    So even though Jos had to contend with that stupid light show on the screen, the backup singers that almost drowned him out at times, and an audience that can’t seem to clap in time he still manages the performance of the night!!
    It was nice to hear Sisaundra sing something quieter this time and not chew up a song and spit it out!

  39. NotVirgin Mary says:

    Do the producers have something against Kristen? That was ridiculous.
    Dark Horse was a terrible song for Christina. I could barely hear her over the loud wubwubs. I don’t think it was A-worthy, but hey.
    Bria… Ugh.
    Delvin is so good, but WHY DID ADAM CHOOSE THAT SONG? It felt so overbaked. I’ve never complained about vibrato, but it really irritated me so much during that song.
    Josh was perfect. Ugh, so perfect.
    Jake was flat for the first half. He looks so uncomfortable on stage.
    Kat was electric. Love her, but so many people don’t like her. I don’t understand it.
    Sisaundra pulled it back quite a bit. People seem to be welcoming it, but the occasional wail wouldn’t hurt. Just sayin’
    Dani was good. Forgettable, but good. I would say the same about Tess and Audra. Audra didn’t connect to the song, and what she was doing on stage was I didn’t like Tess’ song. She was solid, but with people like Christina, who catch your attention, you should be more than solid.

    Jake, Bria, Delvin for bottom three.

  40. Faye says:

    Hands down, my favorite of the night was Josh.
    I liked Tess and surprised myself by not hating Christina…she was pretty good.

    Dani gave me a headache. Sorry, Delvin, you didn’t give me what I wanted from that song.
    What happened to Bria ? Wrong song choice and I did not enjoy her delivery of it.

  41. Kaba says:

    I thought all of Team Adam was just…no
    All of Team Blake was…underwhelming
    Team Usher 1/3 bad, 1/3 eh, 1/3 astounding

  42. HTGR says:

    Hmm early iTunes tally shows Christina running away with it all by like an order of magnitude. With Bria a strong second. The rest are not even ranked/rated by my system of peeking at iTunes so can’t say any more other than those two appear to be way ahead of the rest and Christina way, wayyyyyyyyy ahead.

    • HTGR says:

      Coming in with a Cassadee-like fanbase seems to be a big deal.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Really?! I’m seeing Jake at around #40 followed by Kristen and Jake in the low 100s. Christina is pretty far down the list.

      • HTGR says:

        I was going by how many reviews they had so far. On some seasons that matched very well how the final tally of voting went and better than anything else.
        I guess we will find out.
        But man your #’s are far worse with Jake #1 and Kristen #2. That was Jake’s weakest performance ever and he is #1 on iTunes raw?

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          My bad. the one at #40 was Josh, not Jake. I misspoke (mistyped). Isn’t it by whether you can break into the top 10 in your specific genre? If so, none of the country or pop ones are close to the top. Josh and Kristen are in striking distance, but getting into the top 10 looks like it’s gonna be hard. Christina Grimmie isn’t even close to top 10.

          • HTGR says:

            No breaking into the top in a genre doesn’t count for anything at all. That would be pretty unfair anyway since some genres are wayyyy easier to break into top 10 on iTunes. You need to be top 10 overall, nothing else counts for bonus.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            If that’s the case, then no one has even a remote chance of getting the bonus besides Josh. Christina is at #103 right now while Bria isn’t even in the top 200. Kristen is shockingly in second place tonight. Good for her! She’s by far the best of the country singers.

          • HTGR says:

            It shows the inordinate power of country vote though on these shows. She was pretty good tonight, but I wouldn’t say second most impressive by any means and Jake was pretty far off for a good chunk of the song and yet he is way up in the top group. If he was all stand-up guy, aww shucks and country, but a bit in your face and pop or rock and performed that way he’d be way down.

    • Kaba says:

      Funny I see Josh pissing on everyone and Bria nowhere to be found.

      • HTGR says:

        Well more results in now, by my method of ranking by number of reviews (which has at times been more on point to total votes) we have these unfortunate results:
        1. Christina – 159
        2. Josh – 86
        3. Dani – 77
        4. Kristen – 68
        5. Jake – 46
        6. Kat/Bria – 35
        8. Sisaundra – 27
        9. Delvin – 23
        10. Tess – 20
        11. Audra – 16
        12. TJ – 0
        Man why is Tess in so much trouble??? Maybe it’s all the very youngest set hating on Bon Jovi these days? The bad thing is she is down by this method and down by raw iTunes position too. The only plus for her is that her after show tweet level was pretty solid.

        • Kaba says:

          I just wish Josh would get the recognition he deserves for being so stellar tonight.

          • HTGR says:

            Well there is no saying that voting is going by what my comment method suggests. Once upon a time it often did, but who knows at this point.
            Anyway, Josh is #1 on raw iTunes downloads (easily) and 2nd on comments so he is utterly safe and fine for a long while I’d think, so I wouldn’t worry about him. I’m really worried and shocked about Tess though, hopefully it’s just people hating on Bon Jovi and nothing to worry.

          • Kaba says:

            Sucks seeing people not get the hype they deserve.
            I kind of wish The Voice would switch to AI’s current voting format. It’d make things so much better.

          • Justin says:

            @Kaba- wow you actually gave idol a compliment.

          • Kaba says:

            I used to love AI, not loving this season, though I like it more than last season just a bit.
            The new voting format is perfect

          • Justin says:

            @Kaba its not like the Voice this season is amazing either.

        • HTGR says:

          OK, will my method didn’t work so well this time. Other than for last place. A 0 ratings is guaranteed pure doom. The one it was way off on was Dani.
          She looked in badish shape on iTUnes raw downloads though.
          If one person has wayyyy less on this way of looking at it and has no strong signs on the charts then forget it, otherwise I guess this method is no longer as reliable as chart position.

    • Justin says:

      Lol we all know you are watching idol this season, quit playing dumb.

      • MC says:

        Is this Danny from the AI board? I hope AI is paying you handsomely for your slavish devotion to their brand. Shame on them if they’re not paying you.

      • HTGR says:

        Well yeah lol if about three episodes over the entire season counts as watching, then yeah, you got me!

        • HTGR says:

          although i have a nasty feeling i’m gonna hate how voting goes on TV this season so I might do some AI near the end of it’s run

  43. Jason Hawes says:

    I’m getting sick of Bria, but I can’t see her going home. She’s been built up too much and at least from what I hear has the second biggest fan base after Christina Grimmie. Don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it is anywhere close to accurate, she ain’t going home. But yeah, for me personally that was bad. It bordered on heavy metal screeching at times and after a while I couldn’t make out a thing she was singing. Janis Joplin had that style, but she didn’t overdo it like Bria does. Kat’s a rocker through and through but at least has the diction and style to understand the lyrics.

    Jake shouldn’t be in the bottom 3, nor should he go home. While his vocal wasn’t perfect and his talent isn’t as dynamic as some of the others, anyone who’s heard the original from Travis Tritt should know Jake did a pretty good job with it.

  44. JM says:

    Josh Kaufman!!!!

  45. JM says:

    Just checked Live Pop Bars:

    99. Kristen Merlin
    100. Josh Kaufman

  46. Adam Fachry says:

    I’m starting to think that the only reason Usher chose Bria was her big fanbase. He needs someone whose following could match Christina’s because not only would it result in an invincible number of regular votes, those fans could increase Bria’s iTunes sales. Let’s hope he can back that srategy up with good coaching so Bria can go back to being her Steamroller Blues self.

  47. mani says:

    There was only one singer tonight that made me sit up and take notice and that was Josh. Amazing performance.

    As for the others: I think Kristen sounded good before mic went out. I liked Dani and Delvin more that most on here.

    My least favorites were Bria and Christina.

    The most bland were T.J. and Audra.

  48. skrable2 says:

    Christina could go onstage, sing one line, stop, burp, then just stand there dumbfounded for the final 2 minutes and still win the iTunes vote

    • Quinn Carson says:

      She’s in fourth place, but that saddens me because I thought she was at least ONE of the best tonight.

  49. Angie_Overrated says:

    Kat #2 on the rock charts! Ok, I guess I will eat my shoe now, Adake. :) You were right and I was wrong.
    My girl will last another week!

  50. Wendy says:

    Blake was crazy to give Audra Angel of the morning. It is a classic country/pop song. Way classic. If people don’t like Country then they will hate her singing it. I personally love the song. She had some trouble with her lower range, but towards the end she nailed it.

    • HTGR says:

      I wouldn’t say that. That was one of the few country/pop songs that actually got pop radio play in a region that avoids country music like the plague. However, she didn’t sound too pop on it and not quite sure it worked out.

    • MC says:

      Audra’s lower register was shockingly bad. It’s a classic song, but one would never know it from listening only to her version.