The Voice Recap: Some Doubt

The Voice - Season 7

Rumors of a folk legend’s death may get completely exaggerated in the wake of tonight’s installment of The Voice.

I mean, if I hadn’t known better, I might’ve been Googling “Joni Mitchell — still alive?” after No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani started her critique of DaNica Shirey’s “Help Me” cover with by paying lavish tribute to the “Big Yellow Taxi” singer, then somberly declaring, “Joni would’ve liked that”… as if Joni isn’t alive and well and most likely still able to switch on her television set to the NBC affiliate in whatever American city she’s currently residing.

But God rest, er bless, Joni’s soul… the smooth, jazzy riff on her classic 1974 ditty turned out to be the highlight of an otherwise ho-hum Night 2 of the Season 7 Live Playoffs.

I mean, I was really expecting, or at least hoping, that Teams Gwen and Pharrell could continue the non-Adam/non-Blake victory march started last spring by Team Usher’s Josh Kaufman. Now, it’s looking a lot less likely.

Tuesday’s proceedings featured arrangements uglier than a Dexter crime scene, praise more unwarranted than a first-grade art fair, and even Gwen and Adam going momentarily negative in their critiques (then naturally backtracking, apologizing and offering up wilted word salads of subterfuge and slyness.)

In any event, while we’ll have a better picture of how things are going to shake out as iTunes charts get updated overnight, for now let me offer my snap judgments about how the evening went down (bearing in mind I’ll be back overnight to update this URL with more detailed critiques):

The Voice - Season 7TEAM GWEN
Pimp-Slot Assurance of Advancement (Despite an Utterly Pedestrian Performance)
Taylor John Williams, “Stuck in the Middle with You”
To me, the judges’ hoopla over Taylor John’s performance signaled a victory for interesting-ish arrangement over actual vocal performance. Yeah, the half-time, bluesy feel that Gwen’s obvious fave brought to his Stealers Wheel cover was kinda neat, but THIS! IS! THE! VOICE!, as the show likes to remind us coming out of every commercial break – and dude’s vocal was about as indistinct as white crayon on looose leaf paper. And in the spirit of honesty, while the kid is welcome to interpret lyrics any way he likes — OK, so to him the song is about hanging with his grandma during his parents’ divorce — he didn’t breathe any kind of angst or darkness into the lyrics to draw me into his experience.

The Most Fun Anyone Had All Night (Also a Shoo-in)
Anita Antoinette, “All About That Bass”
Was it a perfect vocal? Who cares?! Anita moved and grooved and sassed her way through a reggae-tinged cover of Meghan Trainor’s uniquitous hit — and in the process, reminded us that good music and good times need not be mutually exclusive. That explosive final refrain of “go ‘head and move along” — along with a series of seriously low booty dips — made this one of the few numbers of the night I’ll be watching more than once.

Things That Make You Say “Eh.”
Bryana Salaz, “Amnesia”
Eh. I mean, credit to Gwen for pushing the pre-fab, pageant-y teen toward darker, less diva-expected material, but the more liberties Bryana took with the melody, the more shrill her tone became. If we must have a teenage belter in the Top 12 — must we, actually? — Team Adam’s Mia is superior.

Song Choice Waaaay Too Big for His Skill Set
Ricky Manning, “Lay Me Down”
Ricky’s Knockout Rounds cover of “Wrecking Ball” was heartfelt and laser-accurate, so I had high hopes he could be a major contender for Team Gwen. But, alas, his voice sounded tremulous and occasionally threadbare trying to wrap itself around the intricate rhythms and muscular range of this so-so Sam Smith cut. (Sorry, I know everyone is #TeamSamSmith right this minute, but “Lay Me Down” is not his best work!) The coaches all used nice words in their feedback, but none of them actually came out and declared Ricky’s end product a slam-dunk. In fact, Blake’s “solid” might’ve been the harshest adjective he used all night.

“A Rook in My Coach’s Game of Chess” Award
Ryan Sill, “I Lived”
Oh, Gwen, did you really use the phrase “boy band” in Ryan’s intro package — and then dress him in a shirt that looked like the love child of a chef’s coat and a straitjacket (paired with baggy leather pants)? I mean, you seem super sweet, but that doesn’t mean you’re not capable of sabotage! Then again, Ryan’s unconvincing cries of “come on!” and “hey!” didn’t do him any favors, either, exposing him as a kid with a decent instrument who has not yet developed the stage presence or believability it takes to win over the voting public.

The Voice - Season 7TEAM PHARRELL
Most Likely to Advance
Luke Wade, “Let’s Get It On”
Raw sexuality and the reality singing competition genre aren’t usually a duo you’ll find out behind the bleachers, but Luke somehow managed to take Marvin Gaye’s second most-overt number — thanks, Pharrell, for not going with “Sexual Healing” — and delivered it with just the right amount of playfulness to make it work in this setting. It doesn’t hurt that the versatility of Luke’s instrument — which can soar into falsetto, then suddenly swoop into a growl — will likely allow him to cross into any genre or tempo and make it work. And while this particular number hasn’t answered all the questions he’ll need to answer about “being current,” it certainly indicated he’s a lock for the Top 12.

Performance of the Night (Though Not a Guarantee of Advancement)
DaNica Shirey, “Help Me”
People keep telling me DaNica isn’t “exciting enough” to be a Voice front-runner, to which I ask, “What do we want from her? Should she be jumping through flaming hoops while she sings?!” Phooey! The way her silky tone glided over Joni Mitchell’s complex folk-jazz masterpiece bordered on mesmerizing — and the way she delivered the denouement of “not like we love our freedom” added just the right twist of bittersweet to drive home the song’s uncertain message. Until proven otherwise, I’ve got to believe Pharrell won’t let this gem slip away from us this soon — though there’s still a chance voters will make it a moot point and make her one of the Top 2 vote-getters from his team, no?

Solid (Until Her Voice “Journey” Left the Town of Melody and Veered into Melismaville)
Sugar Joans, “I Say a Little Prayer”
Sugar’s got terrific control — if there’s a note she can’t hit, we have yet to hear it — and a strong sense of dynamics, too. I loved the butterfly delicacy with which she handled the opening verse, and the way it contrasted with the bombast she brought to the chorus. My big problem with the performance, though, was the way girlfriend just hurled the melody out the window and went into ad-lib mode for what felt like the last two-thirds of the tune. Sure, Aretha herself does a lot of hollerating and leaves the hook to her backup singers, but she’s the freakin’ Queen of Soul. The arrangement for Sugar’s cover was pitched so high, that the final set of “this is my prayer”/”answer my prayer” callouts bordered on the unpleasant. There’s no way, of course, Pharrell is going to let her slip away, but veering toward less-expected material and a greater sense of restraint will be the keys to her competitive longevity.

Best Highlight Clip in the Oscar Race for “Wild Overenthusiasm by Reality-Singing Competition Judges”
Elyjuh René, “Latch”
A standing ovation from the judges… for this particular performance? I dunno, people, that should be reserved for things on par with Josh Kaufman’s “Stay With Me” and Amanda Brown’s “Dream On,” don’tcha think? And while Elyjuh’s clear and fluid vocal stylings were more in line with what he did on his Blind Audition to Beyoncé’s “xo,” I’m not going to call him the Team Pharrell front-runner ’til he proves he’s also capable of exhibiting greater restraint and conquering ditties with tighter, more defined hooks (if that makes any sense).

“Competitive Death by Frightful Arrangement” Prize
Jean Kelley, “Piano in the Dark”
I’m not gonna rag on Jean — the only contestant to get actual criticism from multiple coaches tonight — because, to be honest, I have no idea if she sounded good, bad, or somewhere in between on “Piano in the Dark.” And that’s because whatever the band was playing behind her sounded like it was in utter opposition to what Jean was doing with her voice. Girlfriend might as well have been singing “I Will Always Love You” as the music to “The Trolley Song” boomed from the speakers. Yes, I get that Pharrell was trying to update the groove of what’s essentially an ’80s easy-listening jam, but even uber-producers can make missteps. After this debacle — and Jean’s obvious distaste in the pre-performance package for her coach’s song choice — there’s no way Pharrell saves her. But for those of us still enthralled by her Knockout Rounds “Chandelier” (which is still in the iTunes Top 200), her unexpected crash and burn will sting for weeks to come.

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

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193 Comments
  1. Adake says:

    Song choice is so important. There were some really great performances tonight (Luke, Elyjuh, DaNica, Ricky, and Anita), some “eh” ones (Ryan and Taylor) and some really surprisingly over dramatic performances for me (Jean, Bryana, and Sugar) . I’ll be interested to hear other takes on these performances. My guess is Team Pharrell: Luke, Elyjuh, and DaNica and Team Gwen: Anita, Ricky, and Bryana. Tomorrow night is going to be interesting to see who each coach decides to save. It’s fun to see the musical connection that Pharrell, Adam and Gwen have during their critiques. Oh and I can’t believe Pharrell called DaNica “dude”. I know what he meant but still ?

    • analythinker says:

      Oh, don’t count out Taylor John just yet. He’s climbing on iTunes and I predict he will surpass Luke, who’s currently at the top among tonight’s contestants.

      • Adake says:

        You might be right but Taylor’s performance in the final spot was a dud compared to Craig’s the night before. I actually liked Taylor’s performance last week better. And if Taylor makes it, who loses out between Bryanna and Ricky cause I think Anita will definitely make the “lives”?

        • Tyler says:

          I think Ricky will make it over Bryana.

          I thought tonight showed the inexperience of Gwen and Pharrell. Neither of them had standout performances as Adam and Blake did last night.

          My picks are Anita, Ricky and Luke. Except for Luke, I don’t care for Pharrell’s team.

      • JM says:

        I guess that ‘tortured artist’ gimmick really works.

  2. analythinker says:

    Where do I even begin???
    – For a prominent producer, Pharrell’s song choices were… meh.
    – DaNica’s performance: either you get it or you don’t. I unfortunately don’t.
    – Sugar got the pimp spot and not Jean?
    – Out of Pharrell’s team, I probably root for Elyjuh. I’m shocked myself.
    – So Gwen sacrificed Ryan for Ricky or TJW? Okay. Missed Ryan, so can’t comment on that.
    – TJW, on rehearsal, I thought “oh I might actually like this, people will be all over it”. On actual performance: I got bored after 10 seconds.
    – Ricky has a way of emoting, I’ll give him that.
    – Anita: loved her!

    • Bob says:

      You are so right. I love Pharrell but his song choices are mostly awful. Maybe he hasn’t been paying much attention to the history of singing competitions to be aware of what works and what doesn’t?

      • analythinker says:

        I have a feeling he wanted DaNica to advance by giving her a song that’s never been done (?) on singing competitions. Maybe he hoped for iTunes sales to boost her no-prior-fanbase existence. But I just couldn’t help but think it’s still too old a song (AND LOOK) for her. I’m not even sure with his motives right now. He picked a current song for Elyjuh that could end up bad in terms of sales since the original is still charting.

        • Bob says:

          It was an interesting song choice but did not help her image, especially this early in the voting rounds. She needs to show her current side, where she fits in this market. I really want to like her but it’s just not working.

        • JM says:

          Joni worked for James Wolpert last season. Just sayin.

          • Bob says:

            It’s not necessarily fair, but men and women have to fight different battles to be successful on these shows. And what works for one contestant (regardless of gender), does not necessarily work for another. Danica’s problem is that she looks too matronly. So singing a 40 year old song, no matter how well, is not the best idea, imo.

          • analythinker says:

            I LOVED James’ A Case of You. But like Bob said, what works for one does not necessarily work for others. There’s formula of why James’ worked: (1) Male singing a female song. (2) Stripped down arrangement. (3) He just nailed it.

          • JM says:

            Bob, so true about Danica’s looks. She is in need of a makeover, stat.

        • Tom22 says:

          I wasn’t particularly fond of her style but this song really impressed me. I thought she really brought some interesting jazz references to the folk song. and was really in control… until the end which they praised her for but I thought was sorta uninspired choice of riffs even if they were difficult. But all in all it was a great performance and actually made her feel younger to me by staying away from ballads etc.. the song had a real youthful movement to it even if it wasn’t a new song or a current style.

      • Luciana says:

        And ‘Say A Little Prayer’ was made famous by Dionne Warwick, not Aretha Franklin. (Although Aretha may have sung it at some time.) Sugar Joans would have done better with Dionne’s style.

        • TinLV says:

          Aretha did do a cover of “Say a Little Prayer” but it was Dionne Warwick who had the huge hit with it in 1967 and it will forever be associated with her. Sugar didn’t do the song justice no matter who’s version she was singing. If he was going to give her an Aretha song, it should have been one that she made famous.

          • dan says:

            The backup singers overpowered Sugar’s performance. They were too prominently placed downstage by her and they were too loud. At first I thought it was a group song with other contestants, then I realized it was Sugar’s solo performance. She did a fine job and I think she’ll advance, but I was disappointed in the staging and production choices.

        • J Christensen says:

          I was surprised Dionne Warwick received no mention, and frankly I like her version better than Aretha’s. Warwick’s 1960’s work is divine.

    • Scout says:

      Anita is so much fun! It’s great. I am a little shocked at how much I liked Elyjah tonight. He wasn’t my cuppa before, but I definitely voted for him. I really like Ricky. He needs to stay away from the falsetto though…

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Wow, you are so right on the Pharrell critique. What… was… that?!?! How did he think those arrangements were a good idea? Or those song choices? He’s a producer? One of the most respected producers in the industry? So many questions, so few answers.

      • analythinker says:

        I have problem with every song choice, no matter how he thinks it might suit a contestant. If I were to pick songs, I would pick those a lot of people know, but have maybe forgotten as time passing by, rearrange and make them current, making people remember why they were popular in the first place.

        Or something current but not yet popular. “Stars” by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals comes to mind.

      • Bob says:

        I think he does his “thing” and does it well. And he gets to pick and choose the artists he works with in the real world. Those real world artists have more of a history that he can evaluate or he can get feedback from peers he respects. In other words, no snap judgements; he knows what he is getting. The Voice is all about snap judgements so there is a lot of room for error. That said, not sure what he is seeing in Sugar. She is ok, but not all that.

  3. QC Carson says:

    Luke Wade won the night, but Anita was solid as usual. Not the best episode of The Voice, but there were plenty of great performances, like from those two.

    • Bob says:

      Really? I thought that was a poor song choice for Luke. If you are naturally sexy, it becomes too over-the-top. If you are naturally bland, you look like a poser. The is little room for a happy medium. Maybe Matt Giraud approached it on Idol Season 8 but it’s a difficult balance.

  4. Jeff Marley says:

    Anita just keeps getting better and better!!! She could be the next tessane chin!!! 😃😃😃

  5. Kaba says:

    Jesus Christ this season sucks.
    I’ll say it now.
    Gwen is an awesome coach though, we need committed coaches like her.
    Googled her contestants and boldly gave proper constructive criticism.
    Pharrell…why? His entire team sucked aside from Elyjuh…and Luke did what he could with that song, but it bores me to tears on comps.
    DaNica was as boring as I expected her to be.
    At this point I’m just hoping some sort of miracle occurs and Ricky, Anita, and Bryana progress for Gwen while Jean, Luke, and Elyjuh progress too.
    Worst playoffs ever, both nights.

    • Scout says:

      Poor Jean. They did a hatchet job on her in the critiques. She will need a miracle. Hm… Danica. I guess I didn’t get it. I felt I was supposed to like it, but it was just kinda meh for me. Oh well.

      • Kaba says:

        I’ll never understand the DaNica love. Ever.
        Eeeeevvvveeerrr.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          She can at least sing well, which is more than I can say for more than half these semi-finalists.

          • Kaba says:

            But G-o-d nothing about her makes me give the slightest [insert any curse word you want for all I care].
            She’s so uninteresting it hurts.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Sigh. I know. And yet she’s by default in my top 5. :(

          • Kaba says:

            You’re a better person than me. I could never allow her into my top 5, emotion and a level of interest just has to be there at the very least.
            I honestly have no favorite whatsoever this season.
            Thought it could be Ricky, nope. Boy has 0 falsetto and Gwen didn’t seem to understand that. Maybe he’ll be better if he gets through but I doubt he’ll progress beyond this week.
            Taylor P hasn’t become uninteresting to me. Looooved Breakeven…his 2 recent stuff have been eh to me.
            I just give up

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Remember last season when we had Sisaundra, Josh, Kat, Delvin, Tess, Kristin, etc.? Couldn’t we have saved a few of them for this season? Any one of those people I just named would win this current season.

          • Kaba says:

            Yup, agreed.
            As much as season 6 honestly bored me to a good degree, it at least had competent singers who could sing well even in the face of awful song selections.

          • Kylie Elizabeth says:

            This is my first season watching the show, so I don’t know how the talent compares to previous seasons. I’ve been greatly enjoying the season so far. I think the talent seems pretty great (especially compared to the past couple seasons of American Idol).

          • Tom22 says:

            I like all the talent this season.. even the one’s getting eliminated. I’m enjoying them as much as the names you mention Angie but I also enjoyed those you named. I loved Kat’s “Sail” but could forget about some of her other performances and I think this current year’s group of contestants has everybit the same chance to have their moments.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      “Jesus Christ this season sucks.”

      Word

    • JM says:

      My votes went to Ricky, Anita and Luke. The rest? Forgetaboutit.

    • Tom22 says:

      I enjoyed the whole show and all of the performances …even the ones that weren’t particularly good were good enough to enjoy watching …once. (once)
      .
      Actually Elyjuhs was one of my least favorite performances… that song just wanders in trills in the middle and it just doesn’t make any thematic sense to me. It was more about the song than him though… so I’m good with people liking him if they relate.. he does relate something of who he is and his unique empathies to life every-time he sings even if I’m less inclined to like his particular take on things.. major props to him though for having something to infuse.
      .
      Also differing from the majority I didn’t particularly like Luke’s “lets get it on” because … well I just didn’t feel he wanted to “get it on”… I just didn’t feel the sexuality at all. He’s a great singer though and I don’t think he picked that song so I’d put him through for sure….and let him pick songs with emotions he wants to shout out to the world.. not performing for the sense of performing (i’m ok with the song being about something other than the lyrics for him… but I didn’t get say.. a “lets get together and go forward together” alternative … it was sort of like an amorphous personal feeling without any specific emotions about who he was or what he was feeling about anything… just a performance.
      .
      I’m not going to name my worst 2 or 3. Those two weren’t them. I also liked Ryan Sill’s performance more than the rest of people I’ve read so I’d like to say he wasn’t one of my bottom ones. I found his inspiration about the world written into that song genuine and just delicately enough related to HOPE instead of stridency that.. well I really related to his view of the world as that’s where I’m at. Pefectly done? no.. slightly catching up with the song at times but I thought he got more set as it went on.

    • Tim Seals says:

      go back to last yr and look at Grimmies performances.. these girls pale horribly in almost every aspect, control, eye contact, runs, stage presence.. out classed… Jean made bad mistake not taking Adam… he excels w/ fem singers….

  6. Top 3 Gwen: Bryana, Anita and Taylor ♥

  7. Jeff Marley says:

    Even though it wasn’t her very best, I still love DaNica and I feel she should continue her journey!!! 😃😃😃 #VoteForDaNica!!! 😃😃😃

  8. Adam says:

    Team Pharrell:
    1. DaNica Shirey – Incredible, perfect vocal.
    2. Sugar Joans – I couldn’t stand her at first, but her last two performances have been outstanding.
    3. Elyjuh René – Great vocal, and for the first time, he showed he can be current.
    4. Luke Wade – Super professional, and very unique tone.
    5. Jean Kelley – My favorite member of Team Pharrell coming in, Jean was a bit forgettable tonight; she is a great singer, however, and I don’t think she deserved to be the only member of the Top 20 to receive negative criticism.

    The Verdict: Wow. Based on tonight’s show, Team Pharrell just might be the one to beat. Nearly every member of Team Pharrell should probably rightfully outlast most members of Team Gwen. It will probably come down to sheer popularity/preference rather than anyone making ridiculous mistakes. I would guess that DaNica and Luke will get through based on popularity. As for the third slot, outstanding reviews could propel either one forward. I would love to see Jean slip by both of them because she’s better than what she showed tonight, but I would guess that Pharrell chooses Sugar among the the three.

    Team Gwen:
    1. Anita Antoinette – I haven’t been a huge fan thus far, and I actually am not crazy about the song Anita sang, but this was awesome and easily the best performance on Team Gwen.
    2. Taylor John Williams – Another one I wasn’t a huge fan of coming in, but his charisma is starting to come through; also, he’s apparently super popular on iTunes, so he’ll have no trouble getting through.
    3. Bryana Salaz – Seemed like fodder coming in, but she sang a current song quite well; she’s only down lower because she started off a bit rougher than she finished up.
    4. Ricky Manning – I really like his voice, but this performance was a bit forgettable, in my opinion; because he’s a Knockouts steal and hasn’t been on Team Gwen as long as the others, I suspect Gwen would choose one of the others over him if given the choice.
    5. Ryan Sill – Seemed like fodder coming in, and continued to be fodder tonight; he sings well enough, but he wasn’t memorable enough to advance.

    The Verdict: Gwen has one of the weaker teams this season overall, in my opinion. I think that Anita and Taylor are shoo-ins for the top two slots. If Gwen is picking the third person, I say she picks either Bryana or Ryan (I would personally prefer Ricky, but that’s just me). My money would be on Bryana rounding out Gwen’s Top 3.

  9. Jay says:

    I don’t think I have ever seen a strong vocal so utterly ruined by a terrible arrangement as happened to jean Kelly. When you actually listen her voice, it was really pretty but pharrell killed her with both song choice and arrangement. For a super producer, I thought he had a terrible night. Even Danica, who sounded amazing, struggled with her song.

    • Scout says:

      Hm… it sounded like something went terribly wrong with Jean’s arrangement. Was it really supposed to sound like that? Weird. I thought she got a raw deal tonight.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I loved Jean and was very excited for her performance tonight. I fully agree the arrangement and song choice destroyed her. But her physical performance was so… weird. Gwen and Adam were being polite even though they were brutal. The faux drama she brought was uncomfortable to watch. Oh well. I sincerely wish her the best.

      • AlyB says:

        Jean has an incredible voice but that song was totally wrong for this. Her situation was not helped by the fact that she positively looks like she’s about to go into some kind of convulsion while singing. It’s beyond Broadway and into operatic level drama & just doesn’t work. Sad because she really is a gifted vocalist.

      • BrazenSongBird says:

        What I saw with Jean was someone who was desperately trying to save a performance that she knew going in would be pretty rough. Problem is, she overcompensated to the point of cheesy. It’s a shame too because I had her pegged a a dark horse contender. She certainly has the goods.

    • JM says:

      Yes, I loved Jean, but Pharrell really let her down with song choice, arrrangement and the acting encouragement

  10. Christian says:

    My Top 20 Predictions:

    Adam:
    Chris
    Damien
    Matt

    Blake:
    Craig
    James
    Raegan

    Gwen:
    Anita
    Bryana
    Taylor (Even though I can’t stand his voice)

    Pharrell:
    Danica
    Elyjuh
    Luke

    • Adake says:

      Christian, those look like pretty solid picks to me. Would prefer Ricky over Taylor. But I’m sure there will be some surprise choices by the votes and coaches tomorrow.

    • PoopyPants says:

      I have the same picks for Blake and Gwen. The only difference I am predicting:
      1. Pharrell: Sugar instead of DaNica. I think Luke and Sugar get top 2 and he picks Elyjuh. If Sugar is in the bottom 3 then everyone else down there with her are screwed. Pharrell has a creepy obsession with her.

      2. Adam: I am picking Taylor instead of Damien. If they end up in the bottom I think Adam will pick Taylor. He sees him as a mini me and can probably relate to him more.

  11. scarpe says:

    Thank god for the DVR and moving past the banal nothingness of this year’s judging. Interestingly — only one negative comment made during the two live shows combined — to Jean Kelley, who was saddled with a miserable song. Loved her last week and was looking forward to seeing more but apparently Pharrell is into sabotage just like the other coaches. (Although I still mostly love him.) It does not help the contestants to lavish false praise. Nearly all of them gave weak performances and needed to hear about what didn’t work. Makes ya really miss Simon. Too bad that Bryana Salaz is advancing. What happened to Gwen Stefani’s face?

  12. JM says:

    While watching most of the performers tonight, I kept thinking ‘Less is more’.

    Jean, oh Jean, less acting, more singing.
    Ryan and Bryana – I actually don’t recall.
    Danica – Less runs
    Elyjuh – Less trying so hard
    Anita – Less grinding into the floor (but she sang great, and I love her)
    Sugar – Less growling
    TJW – Less messing with the song

    Luke and Ricky were good without excess.

  13. Kim Moores says:

    I’ll just say what I liked because what I didn’t like tonight is staggering.
    – Gwen proving she’s the most competent coach…out of them all maybe
    – Elyjuh’s Latch
    – Anita’s performance and personality
    – Pharrell instructing the band on how to perform to bring out the best of the song for Luke
    – DaNica successfully gave me something to replace sleeping pills should I ever need them in the future.

    • Tyrese says:

      Gwen may be competent, but her team is pretty weak. Anita is the only one I see with any chance of winning at this point. Bryana is Jacquie Lee Lite, and the other three could be popular with the tweens but are lacking a bit vocally or in stage presence.

  14. drewish says:

    The best tonight Anita and Luke… Anita’s voice is unique she doesn’t need to hit high notes to get your attention and Luke has that vibe to him that will take him far.. I disagree with Michael I think Gwen or Pharrell have contestants that could win

  15. allboys says:

    Sugar was singing backup to her backup singers.

  16. Kenter says:

    Okay here are my opinions:
    Luke-SO GOOD. At first I didn’t really get him and wasn’t rooting for him, but now I definitely am.
    DaNica-she was incredible but I don’t think people like her for some reason which is too bad.
    Elyjuh-I thought his performance was good but I didn’t get why the coaches were giving him so much praise. I wasn’t wowed by it and was looking forward to the high part of the chorus but he just never went up there which was disappointing.
    Jean-I really loved Jean but her performance just wasn’t good; I had a really hard time picking out the melody for the first half of the song and it was a little dramatic, but I think the coaches were a little harsh, especially considering she was the only person they said bad things about.
    Sugar-I liked the beginning but it just got kinda of screamy and out of control by the end.
    Anita-she was good but there was something off-putting about her to me and she just seemed a little fake after her performance and with the “damn” at the end of her song
    Taylor-I don’t get why people on iTunes love him so much I find him kind of boring and his stage presence is certainly lacking, but he’ll probably be voted through sadly.
    Ricky-Definitely one of my favorites, and I hope he makes it because he had some great moments in his song.
    Bryana-I liked her performance but it didn’t really go anywhere until the very end and I just thought she could have done more. (also too many tears)
    Ryan Sill-He was good, but forgettable and I still find him kinda bland. I’m just really hoping Gwen doesn’t save him because she seems to love him.

  17. Kaba says:

    Luke should cover James Morrison’s “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You”.
    Think he could do it well :D

  18. JM says:

    Random thoughts:

    Anita looked beautiful tonight and better with her hair up.
    Sugar looks better with her hair down. And ‘Sugar’ is your go-to star name? Really?

    Pharrell and Gwen are too nice. Encouragement is great, but don’t let them run hog-wild.

    Is it me or does TJW just reek of artist-snobbery. Sorry, but your arrangement was not all that.

    • Kaba says:

      I thought Gwen was the only one giving critique tonight…and then of course everyone followed suit the moment they realized they wouldn’t look like the jackass of the night.
      I hate the way negative critique only happens when one coach is bold enough to give it, cause then they all essentially gang up on one contestant and never critique again for the rest of the night.

      • JM says:

        Kaba, I agree, and unfortunately, if Gwen is the only one critiquing, then she comes off as a ‘b—‘ a la Christina. So, of course, she’s not going to continue.
        However, when I said Pharrell and Gwen were too nice, I was referring to the rehearsals. I think they encouraged so much that most of the singers went way overboard (especially in Jean’s case).

        • Sara says:

          I don’t think that Gwen came off as a “b—” ala Christina. I mean, it has yet to be seen how Gwen continues with her constructive criticism, but that is the key for me, her criticism was constructive. Christina can occasionally give be more critical than constructive, and on those occasions it comes off as unwarranted, which is why I think she has developed the (not entirely deserved) bad wrap. If anything, I think people are going to get more tired of Gwen’s constant need to comment on people’s outfits.

          • JM says:

            I just want to point out that I DID NOT say that Gwen is b–. I said that if she had continued to be the only person giving critque, then she would have come off that way. Because, sad but true, the public tends to have a double standard when it comes to women and men. Look at AI: people loved Simon, hated Kara and now hate Jennifer. And on the voice people hated Christina until she returned and gave almost now criticism. I’m one of those people who liked Kara and Christina. And while Jennifer isn’t a favorite, I do appreciate her sound critique.

        • Bob says:

          This makes me sad. A female critiques and she is a b**ch.. A male critiques and he is honest. And if a female is the only one who is providing actual constructive criticism to help the contestants on a show, and the men are not, she is still the b**tch. This meme is disgusting and the men who are not secure enough in their knowledge and popularity should be criticised. Good night.

          • Meri says:

            That’s not always the case Bob. I think Sarah was on to something in her explanation about Christina. She’s not picked on by viewers for being female. She’s picked on because it’s sometimes not constructive criticism and there have been seasons where she regularly went after one particular person (ex: Melanie and Tony) even when they weren’t the worst of the night by a long shot (From what I read, Tony’s fans were NOT bothered by the JT comment. They were bothered by the one-dimensional comment because she didn’t explain it further and more explanation was needed – and on top of that she complimented Erin Martin who was possibly the most one-dimensional contestant in the show’s history). J-Lo and Demi could also be critical on Idol and X Factor and I only found they got hate about it when they also regularly singled out one person (Hailey, Jessica – while blatantly favouring Jena – and Vino Alan). The reason critical males tend to get less flack is because it seems less personal to them. Simon and Harry give criticism any time it’s warranted regardless of the contestant. It’s not a gender thing, it’s about being consistent and it does seem the women have a higher rate of being less consistent). Gwen wasn’t being mean. If she does it again to someone else next week, than I won’t rag on her for it. But if she did go after Jean again after an at least decent performance than I would have a problem with her. I would have a problem with a male judge like that too.

  19. abz says:

    I already know that my favourite this season is Taylor Phelan. I want him to win or at least reach the Top 3. I want to buy his album and I want to continue hearing him sing. I was really pissed he went to Adam’s team. I’m a fan of Maroon 5 and Adam, but I HATE his song choices and the way he screws over his contestant. Seriously if singers like Damien who almost bores me to tears or Mia Pfirman who is just a boring nasal belter advance over Taylor, I’m gonna be pissed.
    I’m really over The Voice show format. The fact that they’ll be getting rid of 8 contestants tomorrow and then 2 or 3 each week after that is just ridiculous. Some favourites may never have a chance and one bad week or poor song choice at the hands of their coaches can ruin everything. I haven’t watched Idol in years, but one thing I enjoyed about it was that you got to see a wider range of each of the contestant’s talents. If if were only one elimination per week, contestants like Taylor P. (I don’t trust Adam not to screw him over eventually) and many other past Voice casualties (e.g., Judith Hill) may have made it a lot farther than they dud

    • nurul says:

      I agree with you 100%
      I wish the contestants should have a say in the song the coaches picked.
      But if Taylor P is out, then I’m out. It’s getting frustrating when people you know could do well, but they got screwed. For example, in Season 4. Omg. That was my favourite season. So many talented people but they were robbed because of poor song choices. I still remember Judith’s #thatPOWER. I was crying because I know she was going to go home after that. Ugh. Sometimes, I wish the coaches would take some time and read some reviews on here. Not just read the “OMG I love you as a coach” tweet on twitter. Then, they will never learn.

  20. Kim Moores says:

    Someone needs to explain to Jean that drama and emotion aren’t the same thing.
    What a melodramatic performance and such fugly facial expressions.
    The arrangement was murder.

    • Exactly Kim, I just this morning commented on last nights page and said many of the women are way to dramatic to the point of fake and sickening. Thats one reason I said I liked Taylor Brashears. She is real and very confident. The over dramatic ones are Jean and Reagen and one other one! We can tell when some of that emotion is fake. Now the girl who had the father there for veterans day was sincerely emotional! I also commented on some of the “ugly facial expressions”. UGH! I thought Taylor ruined “Stuck in the Middle with you”. Its a happy fun song. Why does he have to change every damn song. Some songs need to be left alone! I loved the Joni Mitchell and Dionne Warwick song though!

      • Tom22 says:

        Interesting thoughts on the emotions. It is a hard thing to explain. One thought is that teenage girls make statements in questions ? (hehe,.. that was an example.. looking for approval). Then, on the complete other side of that is “stridency” … when the singer “tells you how you should feel” rather than “telling it as it is”.(expression means more giving an poignant. observation even though it also uses the word “tell” Did Jean do a bit of both ?
        .
        Another possible way of putting it “telling people how you feel” versus “letting people see you feeling”.
        .
        It’s really a hard thing to put to words and I’m not sure my words actually helped express it correctly.

        • Tom 22 I think Gwen said it best to Jean. Way to over dramatic! But yes I understand exactly what you are saying! But do you see the difference with Taylor Brashears. She is just so comfortable in her own skin and just performs honestly which I have to give her props!

  21. danin says:

    Are you kidding me,Slezak? Tonight was 100% better than last night. Many more solid singers in this group.

  22. Angie_Overrated says:

    I won’t even bother with my critiques as that would be a War and Peace length novel, so….
    Sugar: I have a feeling no one will agree with me, but I thought she was head and shoulders above everyone tonight. I heard the song choice and I winced (damn you, Pharrell, and I had such high hopes), but that was really exciting! Prob my favorite performance of the playoff, which is saying little because these playoffs were abysmal. I’m enjoying this renaissance of high sopranos in pop music like Keisza, Beyoncé, and Ariana Grande. The sound of her voice is very current (despite that AWFUL song she got saddled with tonight).
    Elujahas;dlkfj; I feared he was done for, but I thought he beat DaNica and Luke. It wasn’t karaoke, the runs were more pointed, I was having fun watching him, and he sounded good.
    Brianna: not bad. Wasn’t much of a fan, but that was not terrible.
    The bad: everything else.
    To quote Kaba: “Jesus Christ this season sucks.”

    • analythinker says:

      I’m still unsure about Sugar. Maybe I was just uncomfortable with her “closeness” to Pharrell, heh.

    • Ana Andrade says:

      Sugar was great, I’m just nit that interested in her.

    • JM says:

      Angie, I have liked Sugar from the beginning, but her exaggerated growls put me off. She needs to tone it down, but I fear that Pharrell is too nice to see that.

    • Kaba says:

      I’m convinced Pharrell shot all his contestants in the knee via song choice just to make Elyjuh look leaps and bounds better than the rest of him because he probably got sideways looks for choosing him over Ricky in the knockouts.
      Elyjuh gets the only song from even close to this decade? Nope, that’s just intended sabotage.

      • Bob says:

        Why bother with conspiracy theories on this show? The winners rarely go anywhere. Most contestants just get a nice boost to their existing careers. Pharrell can save him this week and maybe next. Then he can be like Blake and mentor how he chooses by getting him gigs, etc. No one needs to be sacrificed so Elyjiah can survive.

        • Kaba says:

          What about the winner of the season pertains to what I just said?
          The point I’m making is that Pharrell’s song selection seems imbalanced. He essentially gave 4/5 of his contestants boring, dated songs, then gave only 1 of them a song people know and could connect to easily.

          • Bob says:

            I am wondering what you are upset about. There is no need for the judges to sabotage anyone. The judges and contestants make good and bad decisions. E will either rise above or go out early. If Pharrell is invested in him, he will help him regardless of the result of this competition.

          • Meri says:

            I’m in my early 30s and knew all of the choices accept for Jean’s. I actually like what he did. He chose songs that aren’t staples for these shows, songs that we haven’t heard several arrangements of already. Danica’s was especially hard to sing. Blake gave Danielle quite a few old songs in a season she won. This is a good way to introduce viewers to some really good music. I don’t think he intended to sabotage anybody. He challenged his team.

  23. Ana Andrade says:

    Anita was awesome tonight! :) And I’m probably in the minority when I say I like that song.
    My top 3 after tonight :
    Team Gwen: Anita, Bryana, and Taylor
    Team Pharrell: Luke, Elyjuh, and Jean

  24. Mike says:

    Can someone explain to me what anyone sees in Sugar? I just don’t see anything redeeming out of her at all.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Her voice, for starters. In a season with few real vocalists, she stands out IMO.
      Just out of curiosity, did you like Taylor tonight? Or Matt and Reagan from last night? Cuz those are the three I’m left scratching my head wondering why in the world would anyone pay to listen to this?!?!

      • AlyB says:

        I liked Taylor tonight. I find his voice soothing, love his tone, his delivery feels authentic & I like his general vibe. I didn’t care for Reagan’s performance yesterday but her studio version is good. I find her voice interesting if still a little wild & in need of control but she is only 15. I thought the Beach Boys was groan inducing but Matt sounded fine & the song charted well. I like his more indie efforts and hope they don’t try to stick him with ancient pop fluff. There are probably enormous numbers of better technical singers out there but it’s never purely about that for me. I find these three compelling as artists & look forward to what they’ll do next. Then again I tend to prefer the indie, coffee house, grunge band vibe to the big dramatic diva singers.

        • Kylie Elizabeth says:

          I agree. I prefer more simple, indie voices as well most of the time. That’s not true in all cases, but it’s true for me this season. My favorite of everyone right now is Matt. But I’m also a huge fan of Jessie, and I like Reagan and Taylor John Williams as well. My love for a more indie type of voice started intensified last season on American Idol with Alex Preston. He was hands down the most talented person of the season.

    • Timmah says:

      She gets my “Someone save that cat that’s being strangled” award for the night.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        My “someone save that cat that’s being strangled” award is Reagan. That is the most vile sound I think I’ve ever heard come out of a human larynx.

        • Kate says:

          Ah, but Reagan was LAST night (not that I think she took that “award” last night). Sugar definitely took that prize tonight. I am pretty sure she wasn’t using words at one point, just weird growls and groans. I know, from what you’ve said on various other comment sections, that you are some sort of vocal pro, but I really can’t hear what you hear that is apparently good. Different ears, I suppose.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            She’s one of the few who actually understand and implements real breath support. Despite having a smaller instrument, she was throttling the tone like few people on that stage tonight have the technical ability to do.
            I also greatly admire her ability to flip into her whistle register like it’s nothing. Like Josh from last season. That’s not easy to do, and she does it like a pro.
            I don’t mean to overstate my case for Sugar. Out of this season’s final 20, I’d say she’s one of the best, but that’s not saying much because this final 20 sucks.

          • Tom22 says:

            I’ll give Reagan a bit more of a pass than others when listening to the fullness of her voice based on her throat most likely not being fully matured and Because of all the rest she does so well.
            .
            If it comes to a final 5 or so I’d be less likely to give that “pass” or if she sings a ballad that focuses and highlights the slight weakness. At some point “what are you now’ is more than “what can you be”.. but to be honest.. I lose interest in these competitions when it gets down to the finals … I’m more interested in who makes the final 4 than who actually wins it. Who wins is based on viewer taste and I don’t knock that.. i vote based on what works for me once it gets down to a collection of very good performances.
            .

        • Caitlyn says:

          Reading your thoughts always cracks me up (in a good way). I think I might be the only person on this board that agrees with you about Sugar. She is really the best pure vocalist on this year’s show. Where we part ways is Reagan. She is a basket of flaws, but I bet in the long run she will sell more records than the rest of this year’s contestants combined.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            You well could be correct, Caitlyn. Lots and lots of talentless people have huge recording careers. I long for the days when actually being able to sing was a requirement to be a singer. Oh well.

  25. NotVirgin Mary says:

    Poor Jean… I hope she doesn’t feel too bad. Her arrangement was piss poor.
    I thought Anita was good, just hope that this isn’t all she can do ’cause it might get a bit boring.
    I just keep comparing this to a couple seasons ago when Sasha Allen could slay Oh! Darling and still not be the best performance of the night (arguably.) This season, “good” performances seem like bad performances from 2 seasons ago. Ugh. I’m so bored of all the contestants. There are only a few that show any promise, and they’re gonna get screwed by their coach. I’m looking forward to xTina coming back next season.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Thanks! I just youtubed Oh Darling to remember what a good performance on The Voice looks and sounds like. Magical.
      I wonder if Slezak would spew less bile towards her if she was a contestant this season? :) He was not team Sasha!

    • MC says:

      I am definitely not looking forward to Xtina returning. We will once again see a bunch of Xtina wannabes excitedly join her team only to crash and burn in spectacularly painful fashion. Haven’t we seen that before? We’re going to seem much more of it, I’m sure. I don’t even own any Christina A. music because she doesn’t do much for me, but young female singers love to imitate her (often in disastrous fashion).

      Regarding Sasha Allen and Amanda Brown, it doesn’t speak well of this show that neither one of them had a realistic chance of winning. I still have nightmares from the overpraising and overhyping of Cassadee by Blake. Blake has had some good moments as a coach, but I turned off his hyperbole that season. I had to gag or change the channel.

  26. Lorraine Williamson says:

    Why isn’t Gwen wearing a ribbon for Veteran’s Day?

  27. Kaba says:

    I’ll just rewatch Michelle Chamuel and Josh Kaufman’s set list of performances all over along with Sasha’s “Oh Darling” and “Ain’t No Way”, Amber C’s “Sad”, Jacquie Lee’s “IPASOY”, and all of Schuler’s journey up to Hallelujah to make myself feel like I like the show again.

  28. AlyB says:

    I like TJW. There. I said it lol. Honestly I feel like I’m at odds with opinion on favorites here this season. I don’t care for Sugar at all. DaNica has a good voice but I just haven’t been that into her & I hated how she sang that Joni Mitchell song. If TJW is “pedestrian” & DaNica & Sugar are the limo, let me out of the limo and sign me up for the walking tour.

    • Timmah says:

      I’ve been saying all along that TJW has a certain “it” factor that can’t be explained. He’s certainly not the best singer, but he seems to know a thing or two about making his performances interesting that most of them lack. And like Taylor Swift said, success in this business is about being a great performer, not a great singer.

  29. Scott says:

    Very disappointed with these top 20 performances compared to previous seasons. I mean yes there are some great singers, but not impressed with these performances. Oh well.

  30. Adrian says:

    I actually find myself very energized about this season of Voice. Tonight’s live playoff (Team Gwen and Team Pharell) was just way better than last night. It might be the breath of new air and some unique song choices involved. I enjoy seeing how Gwen and Pharell coach and they definitely bring in some much needed new vibe to the show. Song choice is always difficult but I am sure both of them will eventually get a good grasp. Plus you don’t always get the song you want, and many former contestants of these singing competitions can tell you. I am still a fan of Luke and Taylor John Williams, and given their current iTunes sales, they should be okay! It will be interesting to see how Gwen and Pharell pick from the bottom three.

  31. eman says:

    Wow not a great night, which suprised me i expected tonight to be better than last night and not the case. Some bad song choice, some poor singing and no real moments.

    I really do love Danica’s voice and she sang that song beautifully but did she connect, not quite. She hit every note took some good liberties with the song but it just didn’t connect for me, but I do love her voice.

    Sugar started out great and it was going really well until the last chorus and then she went into vocal histrionics that just took me out of the song. She could have hit the “Forever, forever” really dramatically instead of that non-sensical vocalizing she did, just took me out of the song.

    Luke did as well someone could do on that song, but that is a terrible song choice by Pharrell. Luke will get through, but I hope Pharell picks better songs next week, please.

    Anita is a lot of fun, but again just didn’t feel anything during the song to make it stand out for me.

    Everybody else was mediocre to bad. Yes Elyjuh sung well, but he doesn’t connect for me at all.

    I was feeling pretty good about the season but now after two nights of live performances they need to seriously step up their game bot the coaches and the contestants.

    Finally the judges lack of honesty on some of the performances rings so false. I wish they could really just say that wasn’t good. However I think they worry if they do that to another judges singer than that judge will do it to their singer. Unfortunately what that leads to is too much praise for performances that don’t deserve it and not enough criticism for a performance that is not good at all.

  32. Angie_Overrated says:

    Oh GAAAAAWWWWDDDDD!!!! As if my dislike for Reagan could possibly take a turn for the worse….

    HER MOTHER IS A PRODUCER FOR AN UBER-CONSERVATIVE TALK SHOW!!!

    SHE’S GETTING TWEETS OF SUPPORT FROM RICK SANTORUM!!!

    RICK SANTORUM!!!

    I just had a mild rage stroke reading that. She’s now The Voice’s Bristol Palin. I know it’s not fair to fault the kids of parents who happen to be crazy, but Rick Santorum? I can respectfully disagree with most right wingers, but RICK SANTORUM!!! HE IS TWEETING SUPPORT FOR HER?!?!?! This development is disturbing indeed.

    • Kaba says:

      Lol, nope.
      Lost all my support. Can’t do it. Not doing it.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Her name all of the sudden has new meaning. lol I thought it was a peculiar spelling for a first name. Makes a lot more sense now. I don’t have strong opinions on the Gipper, but it’s funny nonetheless.

        • NotVirgin Mary says:

          It all makes sense now… I just hope Reagan as a person reflects her edgy style.

          • AlyB says:

            Yeah. I’m not going to lay her parent’s politics at her feet though. She’s not even old enough to vote. She’s got edge to her & the exposure to people in the music industry is likely to broaden her horizons a lot. If she were singing fluffy pablum or got political herself that would be one thing but I like her potential & want to see some more of her. Besides, I suspect Angie would be spitting nails if another commenter suggested a kid contestant should be discarded because their parents had Democratic ties. It’s just not fair to the contestants to drag their parents politics onto that stage. Ftr I’m about as liberal as they come.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            AlyB: “I know it’s not fair to fault the kids of parents who happen to be crazy…”
            I pretty explicitly stated I’m not going to hold her parent’s politics against her. Not sure how there was one iota of confusion here.
            My problem is the biggest homophobe in the United States is tweeting his followers to vote for this girl.

        • Well now I just want her eliminated because I dont want politics to ruin the whole season of voting for everyone else. We are watching the voice and I think we have all had enough with politics these last couple of months on the news and CNN and Fox. If she goes home we wont have to worry about it. She is a good singer but not worth bringing politics into the whole season of the voice. If they do that live “tweet” save and she is in the bottom she will always get the live tweet, because of the PULL she will have.

      • Me too, No support for that!

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Let the culture wars begin! I guess we know who’s winning this season now.

      Rick Santorum retweeted

      Tullian Tchividjian @PastorTullian · Nov 10

      If you want to go to heaven when you die, you’ll vote for my friend @thereaganjames right now! #voiceplayoffs

      Michelle Malkin ✔ @michellemalkin
      Follow
      Good luck to the talented & adorable @thereaganjames in #voiceplayoffs tonight (& congrats mama @producersusan !)

      Hugh Hewitt @hughhewitt

      @thereaganjames on The Voice Tonight. Don’t miss and be sure to support her

      • This worries me! Not fair. The best singer should win and not because they have PULL with a political party. Also worried that the conservatives just won everything in the election, so now is that going to repeat itself on the voice? A political season of the voice voting? Is this going to be war? LOL Lets get Clay Aiken to push some of our favorites votes!

        • Ok Now Im peeved off! I have a series recording for the voice and I am West Coast and it says the voice is on at 2am in the morning, so I checked NBC and there is sports on in place of the voice at 8pm, when the voice should be on! So now I have to wait until 2am to watch the voice? Does anyone else have this problem?

    • analythinker says:

      UGH, seriously? Bye, girl. (But political tweets aside, she also got support from Kelly… oh well.)

    • JM says:

      I’m with AlyB–I’m not going to fault her for her parents views nor for her mother getting her buddies to support her or for them using her to appear ‘hip’. Remember Bush and Springsteen? Springsteen could afford to speak out against Bush, but Reagan can’t. She needs all the support she can get.
      Now if SHE were voicing political opinions, then that would be a different story.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        JM: “I know it’s not fair to fault the kids of parents who happen to be crazy…”
        I pretty explicitly stated I’m not going to hold her parent’s politics against her. Not sure how there was one iota of confusion here.
        My problem is the biggest homophobe in the United States is tweeting his followers to vote for this girl.

    • DidntWork says:

      It’s really not necessary to scream at us. It’s really best to leave the histrionics to the actual 13 year olds.

    • Timmah says:

      I haven’t a clue about the politics of most of my favorite entertainers, and it doesn’t matter one iota to me anyway.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        The biggest issue I see here is not that she has extremist political views or whatever. I personally don’t feel that that’s any of my business what she believes. What upsets me is that this season is going to turn into Dancing With The Stars featuring Bristol Palin. It won’t matter how well Reagan does as she’ll have a giant swath of the country voting for her as a political statement. I think that’s BS whether it’s liberals or conservatives doing it.
        At least you’ll get your wish, Timmah. Your girl, despite having questionable talent, is sure to be a finalist, if not winner.

        • Timmah says:

          I don’t watch DWTS so I’ll have to take your word about Bristol Palin. Maybe she won because she’s a good dancer? :). And there could be just as many people who will turn against Reagan because of her supporters. People vote for or against contestants for reasons that have nothing to do with their performances on all of these shows all the time and there’s nothing we can do about it anyway. We just have to enjoy our favorites while they last.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I don’t watch DWTS either, but apparently Palin made it very far despite her dancing not being all that great. What I find disconcerting is that politics will have anything to do with the voting outcome. We have other elections for that. It layers on a level of nastiness that I hope doesn’t become the center of attention.

  33. Marissa says:

    Am I missing something? This was maybe the second or third time I’ve watched this season, and I thought Anita was god-awful. And frankly, she looked uncomfortable moving on stage in those heels. I guess I don’t get the hoopla.

    • justme says:

      This. I read all the way down here to know I’m not alone. Seriously — what “not necessarily on-key reggae themed song” can we pull out now? More Marley? Some No Doubt? I predict “Red, Red Wine” for next week.

  34. Cy says:

    I guess I have to disagree. Last night was way better than Monday’s episode.

  35. Cherie bramley says:

    Franklin didn’t sing I Say a Little Prayer. Dionne Warwick did.

    • TinLV says:

      Franklin did do a cover version and it was really good..but Dionne Warwick had the mega-hit with that song and its much more associated with her. Apparently, Pharrell wanted Sugar to sing the Aretha version, but I didn’t think she pulled it off. Anyway.. you tube Aretha’s version, its good..personally, I like the original better, but maybe that’s just me.

    • Squeek says:

      THANK YOU for giving Dionne credit. What bothered me last nite was Blake’s comment about “Stuck in the Middle With YOu”. Taylor, Live, waiting for responses and listening to inappropriate comment. Blake, my favorite , was disappointing in that regard

  36. TinLV says:

    Yes, song choice is so important, but with few exceptions, Gwen and Pharrell aren’t that good at it. I’m not as sold on Luke Wade as everyone seems to be, but at least the song was in his wheelhouse. Same with Anita.. she made me like that song, it was perfect for her.. The rest of them would have benefited from better songs, though Danica held her own on Help Me.. There were way too many sappy songs tonight. Boring. Elijuh has an awesome voice, but Latch did nothing to showcase it. These coaches are way too soft as judges; they obviously hate to criticize. When they do, the immediately backtrack and make nice so none of the singers get the benefit of constructive feedback.

  37. Yo says:

    I’m a little shocked: I thought the rendition of Joni Mitchell’s Help was horrendous. Just horrendous. And too many songs throughout the evening were too old and too tread worn.

  38. lori says:

    Okay, so I have a complaint about the new voting system. If you can vote the minute the show comes on doesnt that defeat the whole purpose of the show and make it a blatant popularity contest? You don’t even have to hear anyone sing. Come on, it’s called THE VOICE. I’m not naive, I know to some extent it is a popularity contest, but now we are taking away any of the pretext of it being about the singing.

  39. Emmy says:

    Ok am I the only one who thought Anita’s performance of All About That Bass was the worst of the night? It showed no range whatsoever and I just didn’t connect with her at all. I was completely surprised by Sugar, I finally understand what the judges saw in her (I don’t think she will go far but she was wonderful) If I were picking the teams last night it would be the following Pharrell: Elyjuh, Danica, and Luke; Gwen: Ricky, Bryana and Ryan (although I wouldn’t be upset with Taylor). The performances on the tuesday’s show were consistently great…while Monday’s show just had a few standouts.

  40. Are we still pretending this season is…good? Also, if I hear one more Sam Smith song on this season, I’m going to cry. This is getting ridiculous.

  41. Kylie Elizabeth says:

    My picks for Team Pharrell are Luke (one of my favorites for a while now), Sugar (someone I was never really on board with until her performance last night), and maybe Elyjuh (who I’ve never really liked all that much but I thought did pretty well last night). I’m not crazy about Danica. My picks for Team Gwen are Taylor John Williams (I really like his voice) and Anita Antoinette (I don’t like her voice that much, but she’s fun to watch). I don’t care who the third is. I don’t really like the other three. My picks for Team Blake are Reagan (who’s grown on me the past couple of weeks), Jessie (one of my favorites for a while now), and Craig Wayne Boyd (another favorite). My picks for Team Adam are Matt (hands-down my favorite of the season so far), Taylor (another favorite), and Mia (she’s not perfect, but I think she’s really talented). That’s my hope for tonight. I think Gwen probably has the weakest team. Not sure which team is my favorite.

  42. Lloyd says:

    Keeping this (mercifully :P) short, in case TVline decides not to post my comment again, so the subsequent frustration is minimal.
    TJW – yawn – not an engaging vocal at all and a scared facial expression. His apparent popularity doesn’t cease to confound me.
    Bryana – she seemed to have been struggling on a few spots, but overall, it was decent. I feel she conveyed the emotion of the lyrics well.
    Ryan – he actually might be more boring than TJW. At least he does more with his voice. Those leather (?) pants were an interesting choice, though.
    Anita – in a song about the bass, she ironically seemed to have problems with the low notes. :P As the song went on, she got better.
    Ricky – I agree with Michael – Ricky bit more than he could chew here.
    Elyjuh – a beautiful tone (not when he goes to falsetto, though), but again, too many gratuitous runs.
    Jean – she looked uncomfortable up there and her facial expressions were distracting. I didn’t love this performance, but still would love to see her advance.
    DaNica – not her best (also, red isn’t her color), but I’m still hoping she advances.
    Sugar – didn’t love the beginning, then she improved significantly, then she got a bit shrieky. She’s talented, but I wouldn’t miss her if she were gone.
    Luke – I kinda hate the song, so I can’t really comment on the singing. It was fine, I guess.

  43. Jennie says:

    None of the performances from Monday or Tuesday have come even close to hitting the iTunes Top 10 (so no one will get the 10x votes). Matt’s rendition of “God Only Knows” got to #29…no one else even cracked the Top 30. Anita’s performance of “All About That Bass” is the highest charter from last night (at #62 right now)

    To me, Elyjuh and Anita were the only ones who were good last night. Everyone else was meh to bad. DaNica’s and Jean’s song choices were very odd. Joni Mitchell and DaNica have nothing in common as artists, so I have no clue what Pharrell was going for there. Same thing with Jean.

  44. TC says:

    For the exception of Jean Kelly who absolutely killed the beautiful song “Piano in the Dark” (and not in a good way), team Pharrell’s team slayed it last night. It was very obvious to me that after those performances, he has, by far, the best team of all the coaches. My only concern is his selection of songs. I personally LOVE Joni Mitchell and Burt Bacharach’s songs, but I’m not sure if they will generate votes from the younger fan base. And let’s admit it, those are the ones who vote. My personal choice for best performance of the two nights is Danica. She was amazing singing “Help Me” which is a crazy difficult song to sing.

    • PoopyPants says:

      Funny how opinions vary. I think he has on of the weakest teams. I think his ONLY chance for the win is with Luke. Here’s my ranking of teams as far as how string I think they are:
      1. Blake
      2. Adam
      3. Pharrell
      4. Gwen

      Bummer because I think Gwen is the best coach.

  45. Caitlyn says:

    Just took a look at iTunes. The current top two for each team:
    ***Team Adam***
    27 Matt
    38 Damian
    ***Team Blake***
    49 Reagan
    52 Jessie
    ***Team Gwen***
    64 Taylor John
    65 Anita
    ***Team Pharrell***
    66 Luke
    80 Sugar

  46. Sideshowgeorge7 says:

    DaNIca?
    Celine Dion tries to do Joni Mitchell. Wanna-be diva destroys the melody, mood and feel of a classic song. Bad choice. Overblown performance. And Michael, Joni is a good Canadian girl. Do the geography

  47. PoopyPants says:

    Recommendation for anyone who makes it through: Pick a song you KNOW you can slay and bring it to the first run through with your coach. (Especially if your coach is Pharrell). A lot of the choices do not seem ho have fit the contestants. Or if they did, they were too big for them. (except Luke) Even Anita could not handle “All about that Bass”. I thought her vocal sucked, but she got praise because if hew infectious personality.

    These judges need to SERIOUSLY pick more current songs. WTF was the ditty Craig did? If anything, Blake needs to find a way to make him CURRENT, not stuck in the 70’s!!! Ugh!

    • TC says:

      Personally, I like the fact that some of the coaches are picking songs that aren’t in the current Top 40. Music from the 60’s, 70’s and even some of the 80’s is so much more interesting and certainly better written. It’s all in how the contestants pull the songs off. Some of the best performances from contestants on The Voice and AI were songs that were written long before the time of the contestant singing them. Anyone who appreciates music should be familiar with these songs-despite the genre’ and when they were written. The mere fact that Blake had never heard “Help Me” by Joni Mitchell before last night’s show is a bit disturbing in my book.

  48. Tim Seals says:

    The HAT screwed Jean Kelley royally…what a waste

  49. Scott says:

    Pharrell screwed Jean. Feel so badly for her.

  50. Eidi says:

    I am from Brazil and there is also a gay contestant on the Voice who sang Latch much better than Elyjuh.

    Besides that, I think these two last nights did not have any current or popular song choice. Boring!