The Voice Recap: Are They So Very Special? (I'm Hoping They're Special)

In life, as on The Voice, the accomplishment-to-praise threshhold is not always a balanced one.

Your three-year-old makes a wee-wee on the potty, and you treat him like he’s earned the Nobel Prize in toilet-training. You make it to the gym on a Monday morning (after failing to go even once the week prior), and you’re suddenly Rocky atop the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It doesn’t matter that you had to crawl the last 10 feet to ascend the peak, you’re the heavyweight champ of your own feel-good movie.

NBC’s singing competition takes similar liberties when it comes to coaches’ feedback for their fledgling artists. As viewers, we’ve learned to separate the “E for Effort” from the “Holy crap, that might crack the Top 10 on iTunes,” even if to the untrained ear, the critiques all sound uniformly awestruck.

If you’re new to the game, here are a few helpful tips to spot a bad performance: Once in a blue moon, Adam Levine will actually offer a critical adjective or two — and it is always followed by something like “I’m not being negative”/”I don’t know what I’m talking about”/”I suck.” The man’s “spirit furniture” is not a rotating red chair, but rather, a couch (since couching’s what he does best).

Gwen Stefani, for her part, will talk about clothes, hair or shoes. Blake Shelton will praise song choice or stage presence — while shrewdly avoiding the subjects of pitch, phrasing and breath control. Pharrell Williams will not stand up, nod his head or mouth some variation on “wow” to his fellow panelists. And that’s about as mean as it gets.

All of those “tells” were on full display tonight. And so, if even the coaches are in agreement that not everyone deserves a gold star, let me offer my own letter grades for the Top 12’s performances :

TEAM PHARRELL: Sugar Joans — “Take Me to the River” by Al Green — Grade: C+ | That crafty Adam! Sometimes I swear he says the exact opposite of what he’s thinking, just to plant the negative idea on the flipside into viewers’ minds. Take tonight, when he told Sugar she’d shown vastly improved dymanics — when, in fact, last week’s “Say a Little Prayer” was vastly superior in terms of ebb and flow. “Take Me to the River,” on the other hand, was all boom-boom-bombast (combined with uncomfortable visual of the songbird navigating steep steps in even steeper heels). I can’t pretend Sugar doesn’t have a strong grasp of pitch and a distinctive, airy tone, but this performance was almost as scream-y as the Victim of the Week on Stalker.

TEAM GWEN: Ryan Sill — “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran — Grade: D+ | How do we even look the Season 7 coaches in the eyes in the wake of their blatant lies to Ryan? I mean, the entire second half of his Duran Duran cover sounded — and from his weirdly crouched position, looked — like he was in the midst of passing a kidney stone. If he’s not the first man overboard on the Season 7 ship, then I’m going to start questioning everything about this show: The permanency of Adam’s tattoos, the contents of Blake’s cup, the microchip in Carson Daly’s neck that allows him to introduce every act with as if they were space shuttles — 10 seconds from liftoff. (I kid! I kid!)

TEAM BLAKE: Jessie Pitts — “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia — Grade: B- | The opening third of Jessie’s performance — a lilting, slightly haunted twist on a driving EDM jam — was actually quite effective at breathing new life into the lyrics. Once the kid got up from her piano and tried to catch a groove, though, she struggled with both intonation and emotional connectedness — falling flat in both regards. Blake’s comparisons of Jessie to his wife Miranda Lambert (and her work ethic) will probably be enough to buy her another week — at which point she needs to choose a dark and emotional track that’ll accentuate the contrasts in her baby-doll tone.

TEAM ADAM: Damien — “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” by The Hollies — Grade: C | Damien’s tough to critique. He’s got a range bigger than Pharrell’s Grammys hat, but his approach to vocal interpretation seems based more on a youth spent watching Star Search than on truly connecting to his lyrics. Putting it another way, Damien’s excessive runs and overly earnest interpretation made me feel like Steven King’s Carrie — except for instead of getting sprayed with pig’s blood, I was experiencing wave after wave of melted cheese crashing into my noggin.

TEAM PHARRELL: DaNica Shirey — “Creep” by Radiohead — Grade: B | I’ll admit it: DaNica’s performance was a triumph of interesting over evocative, an instance where I was more impressed by the sweep of the vocals and audacity of the arrangement (Radiohead by way of Al Green, as Pharrell put it) than the overall emotional experience. But there’s no doubt she has a gorgeous, versatile voice — one that deserves a week or two to figure out which lane will help get it from obscurity to possible record deal. And yes, despite wincing at Gwen’s “you don’t look like a mom from duh-duh-duh” — seriously, Stefani? — it’s true that her nifty white dress with the black leather “zipper cross” made her look more youthful and vibrant than at any prior point in the competition.

TEAM GWEN: Taylor John Williams — “If” by Bread — Grade: C- | I may be a little biased by my ambivalence about “If” — a thick slice of hokum with a melody that sounds borrowed from a Captain and Tennille album cut — but Taylor’s rushed phrasing and intermittent struggles with staying in tune did him about as many favors as the absurd “paper butterflies” montage behind him. Add to those woes a voice as common as industrial paper towels in a restaurant bathroom, and he’s definitely wormed his place into my Top 3 “Season 7 Voice Contestants Whose Appeal Escapes Me” list.

TEAM BLAKE: Reagan James — “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” by Lenny Kravitz — Grade: B+ | Reagan got a little gaspy about halfway through the number — although not as severely as Adam tried to make it seem — but the way she reimagined Lenny Kravitz’s rock-with-a-side-of-’70s ditty as a modern R&B jam was perhaps the most unexpexted moment of the night. I can’t shake the feeling that if The Voice is ever going to crown a serious pop-chart contender, Reagan might be one of its only true hopes.

TEAM PHARRELL: Luke Wade — “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran — Grade: B- | Poor Luke botched the timing of his opening line, and while he recovered nicely with some powerful ad-libs toward the end, his facial expression was one of utter defeat through much of the performance (and especially the judges’ kind-and-concerned feedback). I’m not sure Gwen was right when she said the crowed loves when screw-ups happen (not when I’ve paid a small fortune for your concert tickets, mmmkay?!) but this audience member isn’t holding it against him, either.

TEAM ADAM: Matt McAndrew — “Take Me to Church” by Hozier — Grade: B | The peril of covering a very recent smash is that you either need to switch it up from the original arrangement or improve on the original vocal — or else be doomed to karaoke comparisons. So, while Matt did his best to bring the “passion” to life — dropping to his all fours to end the song with an extra dose of theatrics, practically screaming the final chorus — his version still felt like a decent but slightly fuzzy carbon copy of Hozier’s original. An even bigger problem? Matt’s phrasing (and the bizarre staircase graphic behind him) failed to capture the dark, sexual undercurrent that Hozier brings to his hook-laden anthem. I’m sure the judges’/audience’s zealous reception will guarantee him a Top 10 slot, but he’s going to have to strive for greater originality if he wants to win the whole enchilada.

TEAM BLAKE: Craig Wayne Boyd — “You Look So Good in Love” by George Strait — Grade: A- | Like Matt, Craig didn’t reinvent the wheel his coach gave to him — but it’s not as necessary when you’re covering a 1983 country ditty half your audience as probably never heard. Most importantly, though, Craig made palpable the ache and the sense of loss of seeing his ex finding happiness with another man. That willingness to be vulnerable — and that ability to get his audience lost in his lyrics, could spell another Team Blake win if his foes aren’t careful.

TEAM ADAM: Chris Jamison — “Jealous” by Nick Jonas — Grade: A- | Did I realize I actually liked a Nick Jonas song before today? Honestly, no. But I’m glad Chris covered it with just the right degree of slinkiness — and perfectly timed falsetto — so, that I can head to iTunes and download his Voice version. Yes, Chris may have needed his Adam’s “Save” last week — but if Adam keeps fashioning the kid as a Justin Timberlake-Brandon Flowers hybrid, he and half-goofy/half-sexy dance moves might last all the way to eggnog season.

TEAM GWEN: Anita Antoinette — “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley — Grade: B+ | Q: Is there anything more distracting than when a Voice contestant begins his or her performance out in the middle of the moving-out-of-time-all-the-time Swaybot pit? A: No, there is not. But Anita held her own in said precarious situation, taking her time with every word of the Jamaican anthem — and almost (though not quite) temporarily erasing Tessanne Chin’s cover from Season 5.

Should Be Bottom 3: Taylor, Ryan, Damien (with Taylor and Ryan going home)
Will Be Bottom 3: Sugar, Ryan, Damien (with Sugar and Ryan going home)

What did you think of Top 12 performance night? Who were your faves? Who’s at risk? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments!

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

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  1. Kaba says:

    Aint no one but the last…5 performances deserve a B and Ryan deserves an F.
    Anita stole the night for me cause her performance was just so sincere and heartfelt to me.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Agreed. I didn’t think much of Anita thus far, but she really impressed me tonight. That phrasing was gorgeous. I had a big smile on my face during her performance.

      • analythinker says:

        Sincere & heartfelt yes, but idk about the voice though. Maybe I should watch again.

        • Scout says:

          Hm… this was the first night I wasn’t happy with Anita. I really don’t think she did her best. And I still have TessAnne’s version in my head, I guess.

          • Kristine Richards says:

            Scout, I totally agree with you. Anita had to have known people would compare her to Tessanne, especially if she did Redemption Song or Many Rivers to Cross during this season. I was not happy that Gwen picked Redemption Song. Tessanne not only already sang it, but she actually made it her own so it wasn’t just another Bob Marley cover–which the feeling I got from Anita last night. Her version was closer to Bob’s and I was a little bored with it. Which is the same feeling I got from Adam when he started talking. If you can find video of what he said, listen to it again. He doesn’t say much about HOW she sang it. He talked mostly about Jamaica. I’m sure his winner’s version was still in his head–and, frankly, it’s still in mine. Anita’s version doesn’t even come close to Tessanne’s. She doesn’t have Tessanne’s voice.

          • Brian says:

            I like Anita’s voice better than Tessane’s. It’s not as technically good, but I love the rawness and realness of it, and I love her persona and presence.

          • Tyler says:

            @Brian: If you don’t like Tessanne’s voice because it’s “technically good,” then you must not like Sam Smith or Adele.

        • Kaba says:

          I’ve always found the idea of what is ‘the voice’ to be an incredibly subjective topic and that performance is a frontrunner performance.

          • Brian says:

            I agree Kaba….actually I love all her performances…they grow on me on rewatches too. She is just a fun unique performer, but I love personalities and uniqueness….millions of people in America have great voices, but how many are unique and entertaining performers?

            I felt this way about Troy Ritchie and Brittany Butler as well.

        • sue says:

          I stopped watching because Anita is one of the people I never thought should still be there.

      • Jason says:

        You are dumb.

    • Mike says:

      Really? See I have a hard time hearing that song after TessAnn. It was her breakout performance. Comparisons are useless. I like Anita, but it just isn’t the same.

      • Adake says:

        Yep, Tessanne sang it much better but still like Anita.

      • Scout says:


      • Kaba says:

        They aren’t comparable so I don’t understand the issue. I went back and watched Tessannes performance and found Anita to have captured the essence of the song better. I preferred this to Tessannes because I believed it more. Tessannes was technically better, but Anita told a better story. Which drew more of my attention.

        • Adake says:

          Of course they are comparable. Two people sing the same song on the same singing competition even though several seasons apart, and both from Jamaica, screams of comparisons. For me on this song, Tessanne was better.

          • Kaba says:

            Anyways, I disagree of course.

          • JM says:

            I never understand why any contestant chooses the same song someone else just KILLED on in a previous season! Drives me crazy. There are a LOT of great songs out there . . .pick something different!
            Agree that Anita delivered the feeling and emotion of the song, but having doubts about the actual quality and tone of her voice. Felt the same way last week. She can really sell a song but “The Voice” she is not.

          • Tyler says:

            @JM: ITA. Anita is one of my favorites this season, but why did she have to sing a song that Tessanne sang a year ago?! Bob Marley wrote other songs that she could’ve done. I think No Woman No Cry would’ve been a better song for her.

          • Ana Andrade says:

            @ Tyler: season 3. My bad.

          • Kaba says:

            She did the song justice so the issue is hardly necessary. Gwen is the one who chose the song. To be quite frank, I feel that’s a rather necessary song to sing strategy-wise if you have a reggae contestant on the voice. That song means a LOT.

          • JM says:

            UMMMM, who is this JM? Because it ain’t me!

          • Sara says:

            Tyler: Anita did No Woman, No Cry on season 3. While I would love to see her give that another go, I don’t think they’ll let that happen.

        • bobsaccamanna says:

          Thank you Kaba , you explained perfectly why I thought Anita was much better, despite the fact Tessanne is probably a better pure singer, she didn’t tell the story of that song as well as Anita, and telling the story is really the essence of that song or any reggae song for that matter. Honestly though, other than Anita, the show for me was a pure mess, the first two songs by Sugar and Ryan were literally ear piercing, but actually not as unpleasant to my ears as the heaps of praise given to each performance by the judges. And then some of the song choices, Bread!!! are you kidding me, Bread was one of the groups that would make my car involuntarily turn towards a bridge abutment every time they came on the radio, what’s next, “Alone Again Naturally” Gilbert O’Sullivan. Ugh
          I used to love this show.
          It’s the age old story with The Voice, when the lives start, the show sputters, as bad as Idol has become, the longer journey and chance for artistic growth is more interesting than the Voice’s mad dash to the final.

          • Christine says:

            Agree 100% about Idol, I have said the same thing for years! Here we are at the top 12 and I don’t even remember half of their names even though I have seen every episode! They wonder why no one from this show ends up doing anything afterward and I think it’s because no one gets invested in them because they take forever to get to the top 12 and then drop them like flies! That being said I thought Craig and Chris were very good and I liked Anita but no one else excited me…

        • Tom22 says:

          I’m with you . I liked Anita’s far better. It would take too many words for me to describe why I thought the emotion worked better for me and it’s a matter of taste anyway but, well the message just wasn’t Tessane’s personality and did fit Anita’s.. from what I hear in song.. who knows what they’re like for sure personally… other’s can differ of course on that.

        • The Beach says:

          Huh? They aren’t comparable? Then why dedicate an entire post comparing them? Everyone has their preferences but it is absolutely fair to “compare” them, ergo, they are comparable.

        • Don V says:

          I think they are comparable, but I agree that Anita captured the essence of the song much better, while Tessanne’s vocals were technically better.

      • Adrian says:

        I agree with you. Gwen should have picked another song, as Tessanne did such an amazing version. It was just two seasons ago, and it was too song to reprise this song. Anita did an admirable job, but it is just the wrong song choice for this show.

    • Andres says:

      I don’t think I have heard anyone voice crack so much on the voice until I heard Ryan sing. I agree that Ryan deserves an F.

      • Scout says:

        Ryan was absolutely shockingly bad. Wow.

      • Tom22 says:

        Well.. I listened to Ryan a couple times and I liked his performance better than most of the others. I guess the difference between a interesting break in a voice and a crack is a matter of taste… and I buy the guy somehow when he sings. I think he’s a timid guy on the outside with this really confident “this is how i really feel mf” on the inside and it’s kinda cool to see it show it’s head. I do understand that I seem to be in a minority and I will go back and listen to the judges .. xxxx meter. (I liked the humor on that MS !)

    • Fran says:

      I agree. I loved Anita last night. Even more than the prior week. I also liked Matt and Craig I thought that Danica and Damien were very good and very underrated, whereas Chris was very overrated. He’s very cute and has a lot of charisma, but he has a week voice. Jassie also did a good job, although I thought it was funny that Blake said she reminded him of Miranda.Reagan’s song choice didn’t work for her, which is too bad because she usually does well. I think that song would have suited Jassie or Luke better. I think that Reagan, Sugar and Ryan had the weakest performances. Sugar was a pitchy growly mess and Ryan was fine but he was given a very boring song that didn’t fit him at all. Plus, I really think that Gwen should have saved Ricky

      • The Beach says:

        I disagree that Chris has a weak voice. He hit those notes, especially the falsetto ones, harder and more on point that anyone this season.

    • the real wendy says:

      Danica has a great voice and I love (am in love with) Pharrell – but Creep. No. Just No. It is a slow, painful hauntingly beautiful anthem. It is not KC and the Sunshine Band. Stop it.

  2. Good Gravy says:

    Yikes, did Ryan hit a single note in tune?

    Anyway, fairly solid night regardless. Not sure if I agree with giving Damien a C though.

    • Adake says:

      I agree. Didn’t get the over praise of Ryan and Damien was minimum of a B. Ryan and Sugar are probably going home as it should be.

      • Scout says:

        I second this. Sugar has peaked. Her performance was banal and just weird to me. And Ryan? Just no. Gwen needs to stop judging singers by how cute they are. I am a little over that, though I do like her.

        • InMyPJs says:

          Yea, i’d rather that Matt take me to church even though i’m not religious than Sugar taking me to the river….UGH!!!

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Ryan you might be right, but Sugar? It wasn’t anywhere near as good as her last 2 efforts, but think of the poopfest that was Jessie, TJD, and Reagan. Not sure I can agree Sugar is going home over any of them.

        • analythinker says:

          I don’t like Sugar that much, but I do think she’s better than the 3 you mentioned. Although, the song choice…. again.

        • John Anthony says:

          What’s going on this season? We really are agreeing a lot. I was going to pick the performer I thought would win but none came to mind last night. I try to look down the road and see if a super star can be found in this group but it’s quite difficult. As I said, I think Reagan James may reach that status in time but opinion comes from listening to her itune music. Neon Lights by Blake Shelton is really good and the song isn’t my genre. My type has been passed by. One of the songs I wrote will soon be playing on YouTube soon. Very old country. I’m sure it would not interest today’s pop country culture at all.

        • InMyPJs says:

          Sugar didn’t even hit the top 200 in iTunes. She’s good as dead and I doubt she will be insta-saved.

      • JM says:

        I’m not on the Damien bandwagon by any means (great voice but feels generic to me), but I really liked him last night. Def. not a “C” performance.

    • Scout says:

      Damien was a least a B. A boring B, but nevertheless… the dude can sing.

    • Jennifer says:

      I swear Adam praised Ryan and said for the first time he heard something that made him think “who knew” and Gwen was off camera saying “I knew…” That was weird — right?

      • AlyB says:

        Those kinds of comments always make me wonder just how different the house mix sounds from what is broadcast. I’d love to hear from someone that’s actually been to one of these shows and watched the playback of the broadcast later to see just how different it could be.

        • Scott says:

          Yes! I have always had that same thought. I can remember a few instances on idol, specifically one critique Simon made at Katherine McPhee. He said it was awful the night of, then came back the next night and said after watching it back he was wrong. Anyone ever been to a live show and noticed any differences?

    • Karen says:

      Damien’s performance deserved an A+, not a C. Duh, what did this critic hear? To me the top three were Damien, Chris and it was a tie for me between Matt and Craig. I did vote for Anita tho. I liked her from the beginning, but as far as the best performance voice-wise it was Damien’s hands down.

  3. Kim Moores says:

    1) Anita, Chris, Matt, Craig
    (gap wider than the distance between heaven and hell)
    2) Everyone else
    (travel 3 dimensions)
    3) Ryan

  4. Andres says:

    This Season is really boring. Ryan was really bad. I liked Anita and Chris.

    • Andres says:

      oh and Craig and Matt were good as well.

    • Tom22 says:

      I’ll admit it wasn’t the most interesting song set for me tonight… I like the seasons where I learn about newer (last 5 or 10 years) songs for a larger portion of the night’s selections. Still I thought they were all solidly entertaining peformances … far above karioke … better than most wedding singers.. .what else do people expect? Everyonce in a while you’ll have more but these were far beyond high school talent show or something.

  5. Adake says:

    For tonight, once Damien and DaNica began singing, the performances really began to shine. Won’t be shocked if the lowest two performers come from Sugar, Ryan and Jessie. Itunes seems to be bearing this out as Sugar and Ryan not appearing in the top 200. The rest were simply much better. To bad Luke was so hard on himself, his performance was really good. The coaches did their best to cheer him on. Hope America votes him into the top 10. Chris, Matt, Craig, Reagan, Anita, were excellent too.

    • Jeff Marley says:

      I loved Danica’s rendition of creep. Although I would DIE if she sang a gorgeous rendition of Paloma Faiths “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” P.S. Danica looked excellent tonight!!! She looked younger than 25!!! 😃😃😃 #VoteForDaNica!!! #DaNeekers!!!

    • Scout says:

      Luke will have to faint onstage for me not to vote for him. And even then, he will be leagues better than some of the others…

    • Deseraye Dunn says:

      I thought they all sounded improved over previous performances. It’s just a matter of personal preference, but I like Damien’s voice best. I thought that DaNica was most improved, and she looked cute. I think Luke Wade could have been a bit more gracious with the coaches who were trying to make him feel better about his error. He’s human and certainly doesn’t have nearly the experience that the coaches have. Craig is obviously the most professional of the entire bunch–his years of chasing his career really show. I would be happy if Craig won. He’s different from anyone who has won recently.

  6. analythinker says:

    Oh… what a second half of the night.
    I think the first half bunch HAS potential, but they’re just developing it really slowly. Some even go backwards. Not gonna name names but it’s Luke. His recovery just was not seamless. Some notes:
    – Gwen’s song choices > Pharrell’s, definitely. The execution, however… not that great.
    – Jessie deserves a C AT BEST.
    – Creep with runs = I don’t know…. DaNica sang well though.
    – Bread’s If might in theory be the perfect choice for TJW, was surprised it didn’t go well.
    – I don’t mind Craig winning.
    – Chris’ = best performance of his so far.
    – Not sure about that song for Anita. Supposedly fitting but Broadway-ish in some parts and a little sharp on the big notes.

    • JM says:

      Agree with so much of what you’re saying. Jessie was terrible. I thought both Sugar and Damien sang better. And Creep with runs plus that weird uptempo beat? Ugh.

      • analythinker says:

        I was really surprised when I heard he chose a Radiohead song. I don’t think any Radiohead song fits DaNica though. Switching gender may not be good for someone with a diva voice.

        • JM says:

          I may be wrong, but I think Danica picked the song to show a different side of her.

          • analythinker says:

            Then I must have missed that part. I mean, I love that song and I love singing it, but that doesn’t mean it would be a perfect song for me, kwim? She probably chose it bc it gives her chance to belt, and yes, to show a different side.

        • Sara says:

          It was a very Amy Winehouse version of the song though. I did NOT think I would like it, because Creep is one of my all time favorite songs, but it really worked!

          • analythinker says:

            Oh, didn’t know Amy Winehouse did a version of that song. I’m gonna have to rewatch some performances to see if I like it better or not.

          • Sara says:

            I should have rephrased. As far as I know, Amy Winehouse did not do a version of that song, but it was done tonight very much in her style, in my opinion.

          • analythinker says:

            Yeah, just realized what you meant after I sent that, lol.

          • danin says:

            My thoughts exactly.I Loved the Ronson/Winehouse throwback horns.My whole body got chills w/DaNica&the arrangement.

          • Sara says:

            Lol! I definitely could have phrased it better, though! :-)

          • Sara says:

            Danin, yes, totally agree! It took me a minute to place it stylistically, but then I had to rewind and watch again. I really enjoyed the arrangement!

          • Meri says:

            I kind of agree. I think if anyone is going to do it now, they should try to change it a bit. I think Jeff Gutt from X Factor set the standard for covering the song in a way that’s close to the original. His cover is my favourite from these shows, but I did appreciate Danica’s.

          • Sara says:

            Merl, I would say, for me, the standard bearer of Creep covers on reality singing shows would go Marty Casey who did it on Rock Star: INXS, years ago.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Can’t say I disagree with anything you said. I was way more on board with Anita than you, but everything else I’d say is spot on.
      Yes, let’s talk Creep. Several things were wrong here.
      #1: BIZARRE arrangement! I know Pharrell is a crazy talented producer, but he’s been sucking wind at arrangements on this show. That was horrendous. It sounded like an Oompah band’s rendition of Creep at Oktoberfest in Muenchen. So so weird and inappropriate. That was arguably worse than Jean’s arrangement last week.
      #2: Her voice is too pretty for that song.
      #3: I don’t think she understood the lyrics at all
      All that being said, she did sound very good. It wasn’t my favorite performance, but I’ll hand it to her that she at least sounded good.

      • analythinker says:

        LMAO at #1: what an accurate depiction!
        Like I said to JM, apparently switching gender is not a formula for everybody. I don’t like the fact that since the beginning, with DaNica’s performance, I was like “she’s good, but…”. That may hurt her chance and I think she’s more deserving than some others.

      • Michael says:

        I may be a conspiracy-theorist, but I think that Pharrell is sabotaging his artists with “new” “cool” arrangements. It’s very strange, because he had perhaps the strongest team going into the playoffs, but Jean, Sugar, and Danica now have suffered through his arrangements/”risky song choices” and it hasn’t worked yet.

        • Mytake says:

          It does seem that way :(. But why would he do that? Intentionally try to lose. Maybe he’s got some hot project upcoming and wants to get rid of his team and coaching responsibilities so that he has more time for this something else?? Hmmm. Either that or he’s just terrible at picking songs and arrangements which doesn’t seem to be his reputation.

      • Sharon says:

        “Oompah band’s rendition of Creep at Oktoberfest in Muenchen.” Keep breaking into fits of the giggles whenever I think of this line. I’m disappointed to think that Pharrell seems to be trending toward the CeeLo disease of being different for its own sake.This is in surprising contrast to some very spot-on notes Gwen is giving her team members.

      • I agree for sure about the song Creep. What you said about her understanding the lyrics, exactly. Not a good song choice for her. I still think Jeff Gutt did the best with it!

    • Scout says:

      Preach! But aw… why you gotta pick on my baby, Luke? ;)

      • analythinker says:

        Aw, sorry! I just thought that having been touring a lot with his band, he should’ve mastered recovery on stage by now, no?

  7. Carola says:

    Matt and Chris were my top 2 of the night!
    Chris was such a nice surprise! His performance was such a big step ahead for him and that falsetto, incredible. Oh and Matty did awesome too! Why did you give him a B? What´s up with that? That was an A too.
    Those two have major potential outside the show..

  8. Angie_Overrated says:

    There were only three performances I thought were abject disaster tonight, which is a shocker. I expected far more. So I’ll get all my negative feedback out of the way in one fall swoop:
    Jessie: Pitch, dear. Pitch. That sounded like an atonal early 20th century composition because of the dissonant “harmonies” from all her wrong notes. Sounded like Stravinksy was trying his hand at contemporary dance ditties.
    TJD: Can’t wait to hear what the TJD apologists have to say after that performance. Good lord.
    Reagan: Wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be laughing at her “singing’ or dialing 911 for her potentially fatal impending asthma attack. That was… interesting.

    • analythinker says:

      EXACTLY. I just can’t see what Blake sees in Jessie. Reagan always seems to be better at the beginning of the song.

    • JM says:

      Completely agree with your assessments. However, what about Ryan – you can’t seriously call that singing? And what did you think of Danica’s strange rendition of ‘Creep’?

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I’m not as down on Ryan as everyone else. I don’t love him, but I don’t hate him.
        lol Yeah…. Creep…. I just responded to analythinker above on Creep with my detailed thoughts. Hey, she sounded good! But yeah…

    • Michael says:

      Hmmmm Angie you and I disagree tonight. I didn’t think Reagan was super bad tonight. She does need help working on breath support, but can we give her a hand for her arrangement? Same thing with Jessie, except I agree with you on some of the pitch issues, and she needs help with breath support. Other than that, I 100% agree with you as usual! lol

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        :) Yeah, Reagan is polarizing. I know some people love her, but wow, not into it at all. I simply don’t get it. The debate is reminding me of Sisaundra from last season, except I was one of the ones staunchly defending Sisaundra.

        • Michael says:

          Opposite sides of the spectrum this time. Lol My favorite performance of hers so far has been Try in the playoffs, but I didn’t think this one was as bad as you said.

    • Scout says:

      I wish Reagan would stop walking around so much. That might help her a bit. She just can’t do it. I wonder if she would sing any better if she just stood in one place and sang? Hm…

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Maybe? But I think what she’s doing is intentional. I don’t get the sense that what’s coming out of her mouth is a mistake. I think it’s exactly what she envisions is going to sound good. She reminds me a lot of that model on Ceelo’s team from a few years ago. They have 5 note ranges and both get ridiculously breathy outside of that 5 note range because they’re not singing properly.

        • John Anthony says:

          Hi Angie. I am going to take you back, probably beyond your years to a singer named Eddie Adams. She sang songs all the time with that out of breath feature in her tone. Some older performers considered it a little sexy to do so, others do not. I’m a do not guy. Will it work for Reagan, I don’t know. Slow R&B artists use it from time to time also calling it smoky as they slowed the lyrics down performing some R&B tunes. Will it work for Reagan in this environment I do not know. I guess time will tell but all the top critics I’ve read seem to like it and as Mike Slezak said, Adam only mentioned it to slow Reagan’s popularity down but I doubt it will work. Blake, as you noticed, paid it no mind. I doubt if Adam even knows if Reagan and Blake put it into the performance purposely or not. I certainly do not. It’s similar to watching football. I doubt any one not involved has any idea what is in the mind of the coaches and players. I like to think I do when I watch football but I’m a realist knowing I probably don’t. If I did I would be in Blake’s place but it’s still fun critique these shows right?

      • Sara says:

        I definitely got the impression that some of her breathlessness came from trying to move too much. One moment stands out in particular as she got very breathless as she was bending down to the crowd. I would be curious to see how she sounds with less movement, since all of her performances thus far have had her moving quite a bit.
        She definitely needs some vocal training as well though.

  9. kevin says:

    Am I crazy or did they say they were doing original songs? Didn’t I hear Carson say they had the best songwriters, then proceed to do covers? I know, because I come to hear them sing songs I’ve heard of. I picked Latch and Take Me to Church to be sung, and they listened! Lol

  10. JM says:

    Craig and Chris were definitely the best performers tonight. But don’t think Damien will be in the bottom 3, because he’s charting 2nd (after Matt) on itunes at #40. There appears to be something wrong with Sugar’s votes. Her song is nowhere to be seen in the top 1200. Even Ryan charted!!! So there definitely must be a problem.

    • JM says:

      Okay, Sugar was nowhere in the top 1200, then she shows up at #669 and now she’s at 613. But Ryan is at #165????

    • JM says:

      Quick comment – how did we get two JMs on here? :-)

      Chris sings well but doesn’t do much for me. Liked Danica’s surprising song choice and she did great.

      SOOOO happy no one has even mentioned Taylor Two Names yet (oops until now). He was beyond boring. For the couple of us who know that song, it’s a lame song, he sang it completely straight, and did not a single thing special to it. He’s my vote to go home sooner than later. And take his silly hat with him.

  11. Sharon says:

    I think Sugar, Ryan, Taylor John and Jessie were the weakest. Matt, Chris, Craig and Anita were the most fun to watch. The other four did some nice work, but were just less riveting. But overall, I actually thought it was a pretty good night. The sound engineer had one of those nights (there are usually a couple per season) where the balance was off and the band drowned out the vocals.

  12. Oh God Nooooo! Dont take the best Talking Heads song and make it a diva Cruise Ship performance. For anyone who KNOWS that song, it was a haunting, swampy ,slower, super cool song. Where were the keyboards? And then there was David Burnes perfect vocals that made that song complete! I couldnt even hear any of the original beat and tone! Well at least Gwen didnt allow “Ordinary World” to be changed. But Ryan is no Simon LeBon, thats for sure. I would like to someday hear the right version of “Take Me To The River” on one of these shows!

  13. Scout says:

    Reagan, a B+? Like no. When she can sing an entire word without losing her breath, then, and only then will I go there with you. Until then, nothing higher than a C. Michael, I like her to, but if she wants to be a singer, she’s got to learn how to sing properly.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      But she’s an “artist”! Where’s that guy who keeps saying she has amazing breath control? That might be the funniest comment I’ve read on these boards in years.

      • Caitlyn says:

        She doesn’t have great breath control … but this isn’t music class, where everyone has to do things the “proper” way. The only proper way, is the one that is entertaining. I find her unique and interesting, and full of wonderful flaws … probably not the winner of the show, but I bet she hangs around at least a few more weeks, in spite of fans that are only interested in doll parts.

      • Sharon says:

        It’s interesting how Reagan’s sass and confidence seem to be diminishing as the season progresses. I wonder if it’s an issue of pressure building as she advances, and given that she’s so young? I agree that her breath control isn’t good, but her phrasing is usually very nice, sometimes on tough songs, but she was just kind of off tonight.

    • JM says:

      Scout: +100 to that.

  14. Michael says:

    Wow! I didn’t think it was that bad tonight Michael! I definitely thought that Anita had the performance of the night, with Chris right on her heels.

  15. Ana Andrade says:

    My rankings of tonight’s performances:
    1. Chris
    2. Craig
    3. Matt
    4. Anita
    5. DaNica
    6. Luke
    7. Reagan
    8. Taylor
    9. Jessie
    10. Damien
    11. Sugar
    12. Ryan

    • Michael says:

      Swap Anita and Craig, and then Anita and Chris, and then switch Craig and Matt, and finally switch Reagan and Matt, and that’s my rankings.

      • Brian says:

        I almost agree perfectly with your Michael, though I wouldn’t switch Reagan for Matt at the end, but probably Reagan with DaNica and maybe then Reagan with Luke.

  16. MC says:

    Chris and Craig were terrific tonight. Anita and Matt were tied for third in my mind. I wish Reagan would use her full voice more often, but I think she’s limited by her r&b leanings. She probably won’t be a big success (after the season) until she learns to trust her full voice more frequently. Lastly, I missed Sugar and Ryan live and had to watch them on YouTube. Ryan was incredibly awful; that was a very unfortunate performance.

    • Jules says:

      I kinda feel the opposite about Ryan. If Blake would give her a real, current R&B song instead of trying to add R&B “flair” to non R&B songs, I think she’d be way better. I would’ve loved to see what Pharrel would’ve done with her. He wants to make Sugar the next Amy Winehouse & it’s not working. Ryan could be a very different, fresh kind of new R&B.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I don’t understand this R&B leanings thing. I don’t hear R&B at all. It’s more indie. Personally I’d say it’s more performance art akin to Bjork or Yoko Ono, but regardless of what you want to call it, it’s not R&B.

      • Sharon says:

        Agree, Angie.

        • MC says:

          Performance art is always something intentional, often with an overarching political or social message. Reagan is just engaging in amateurish singing.

        • MC says:

          Regarding the R&B label, that’s not my spin on things. Reagan has continually called herself an R&B artist and that term was used again in the pre-taped package last night.

          • Sharon says:

            But I think Angie’s point, one I agree with, is that Reagan doesn’t sound R&B. She sounds indie. Though I should not speak for Angie, who speaks so well for herself!

    • Davey says:

      I like Craig but what was terrific about him? He just stood there and sounded like every other country singer who’s been on ABC country specials over and over. I think he can sing and he’s handsome. But he’s so cookie cutter. But I’m sure he’ll be in the top three.

      • Sharon says:

        Setting aside his nice looks (and yes, I know we really can’t after the blinds), he has a lovely, rich, warm voice — caramel syrup with a dash of bourbon. He also knows what to do with a song in terms of delivery: pacing, breath control, use of the stage and, most of all, sincerity. When he sings a song, you believe he has lived it. You’re right that these attributes are not necessarily unusual in country music, but I still think he’s kind of terrific.

        • AlyB says:

          “Caramel syrup with a dash of bourbon” is the perfect description. I really just love to listen to him and I’m not even a country music fan. He’s got just the right bit of that old school rock mixed in to his sound coupled with the country storytelling ability & honey warm voice. Add in the fact that his makeover brought him into the 21st century without stripping away his rugged style and I think he’s well positioned to go far in this competition. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a really handsome man. Not cute. Not boyish good looks. He’s got that ruggedly handsome thing going on and I like it lol.

          • Sharon says:

            Aly, I’m not a big classic country fan either, but I am a big southern rock fan. And I agree. Whatever Craig is singing, I just like listening to the man. And he’s not hard to watch, either.

        • JM says:

          Sharon, you win the prize for best description: ‘Caramel syrup with a dash of bourbon’. Just perfect!

  17. Mike says:

    I liked Damien. best tonight. Inspiring and soulful. Sugar the least as usual. This bunch in general is inconsistent. The voice is pimping Matt with that huge set. No one else got a monster set.

    • Scout says:

      Sugar makes me question Pharrell and I don’t like doubting him. I just don’t get what he sees/hears in her. Her voice is just so unpleasant and her performances are odd – not artist-odd, just odd-odd.

      • Sharon says:

        I realize that taste in voices is to a great extent personal, but I find Sugar’s voice is almost like nails on a blackboard for me, and while she has toned down the growls and contrived phrasing quite a bit, I just don’t enjoy hearing her sing. I want to, because she seems like a likable person, but I don’t.

        • Scott says:

          I feel the exact same way. I really want to enjoy her voice becasue I believe Pharrell knows what he’s talking about, but I just don’t get it.

          • AlyB says:

            I’m so glad to see this. I agree. There’s something about her tone that’s just flat out unpleasant to hear, even in her speaking voice. I’ve been wondering at how many people seemed to like her when from the very beginning she just sounded awful to me. Maybe it really is just one of those subjective things but I was surprised and puzzled that people thought she sounded good.

        • InMyPJs says:

          Exactly! She has the worst tone of the bunch and then she screeched her song from start to finish. That was not enjoyable. What was Pharrell thinking ditching Elyjuh for that woman! Then it was followed up by Ryan taking a huge dump of hard elephantine stool on stage with that screamfest face he did. He needs Metamucil.

  18. Mytake says:

    Just started watching but had to say your D+ for Ryan was, as you used in your overall critique of the night, kinda, was like watching a 10 year old trying to go potty but missing and peeing all over the floor and still getting effusive praise from all and sundry. An F- would have been too high a grade for him. I spent 90% of his song wincing at the notes. Geez Gwen he’s not going to be the next justin beiber no matter how cute he is. HE CANNOT SING! Clear yet?

    • Mytake says:

      Btw I’m just going to add that I understand that the judges don’t want to be too harsh to the contestants but this over the top, ridiculous praise for blatantly crappy performances is not only insulting to the viewers (to the point I am far more irritated by the judges when it happens than the bad singer), but it also doesn’t help the singer at all to know what he or she needs to work on to improve.

      • Sharon says:

        I wonder if that isn’t one of the essential weaknesses of The Voice, as compared to Idol. Remember that on The Voice they are coaches, not judges as they are on Idol. I suspect it isn’t just the contestant’s coach who gives suggestions off the air. For example, Adam said he planned to speak privately to Luke to help him feel less terrible about blowing his opening. MS is right that you can tell the difference between fluffy praise and sincere praise. The coaches do give more meaningful feedback (sometimes) before the public voting begins, but I have noticed in every season that once the public is voting, they seem to want to just help the contestants feel good after they’ve performed. I’m okay with that — we all come here and do the serious critiquing. :)

    • Lol Out of tune definitely (Ryan), and the judges all thought he was great. I am listening as I write and WTH is she doing to Creep? LOL I hope Radiohead never hears this version lol! Jeff Gutts on x factor was the best. Dont like when they change the song too much. A Jazzy version of a sick, disturbing, but great rock song? Dont even try! UGH!

      • kevin says:

        You have to appeal to other people than alternative rock fans. I wouldn’t know Radiohead from Machine Head, and I suspect most people have never heard of Radiohead before.

        • I might have to disagree. Most people do know who Radiohead is. They made that song a huge hit! as well as the song Karma Police and many others!

          • Ashbash says:

            I honestly had never heard of radiohead until holly henry sang creep 2 seasons ago. Just because they had huge hits doesn’t mean most people know of them because from what I understand from looking up radiohead unless you were into alternative music in the 90s you wouldn’t have known that Creep was a radiohead song and not just a song by TLC. Because believe me I was so confused when I heard the lyrics to creep come out of holly henry’s mouth and it sounded nothing like TLC.

    • Shawn says:

      The whole time he was singing I kept thinking about how it should be Ricky Manning there instead of him.

  19. Wow Damien did a great job with He Aint Heavy Hes My Brother! Well at least some of the song choices tonight are brilliant tonight! That song was perfect for Damien! BTW I thought Jess Pitts was boring. I have already forgotten what she did. Dont get why Blake thinks she is so great!

  20. Timmah says:

    That might have been the worst rendition of Creep I’ve ever heard. It reminded me of when they take deep, emotional songs and make elevator music out of them.

    • Mytake says:

      I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the best of the night but man she can at least sing! Props to the styling dept too. They managed to take her from looking 40 yrs old to about 30. Maybe by next week she’ll look her real age :)

    • I couldnt have said it better Timmah! That is a very disturbingly emotional song and I dont think it is at all a song for girls. It doesnt fit. I have that Radiohead album and all of their music is emotional and disturbing!LOL But I love it! What about The cruise ship version of Talking Heads? Horrible! Get the song to fit the personality at least. Why would someone pick Creep for an older woman who looks innocent and nice? Give it to someone who is a little off their rocker and is kinda messed up! LOL As for Take Me To The River, Im so mad they took the whole original melody away! I couldnt even tell at first what song it was.

      • Sara says:

        Look up Tori Amos’ cover of Creep and rethink your assessment of it not being for girls.

        • Oh Well I didnt know she has a version. She is actually one of my favorites! Love her song “cruel”. I wish someone would do that song. But Tori I could see doing the song Creep because she has many emotional deep songs! She gets the emotion about as deep as you can get it. In other words she is not mambi pambi. She has the darker side!

        • Timmah says:

          I agree about it not being a boy/girl thing. Jena did a pretty good version of it on Idol this past season. Danica just doesn’t seem to connect to anything she’s singing IMO, and the arrangement was horrible.

          • Scott says:

            Yeah I with yall Caleb and Timmah. I love Radiohead so maybe it’s my bias, but I hated that arrangement, and don’t think she stayed true to the original message of the song in her interpretation. Vocally though yes, she sounded good.

      • Ok I think Jesse Pitts and Ryan are going home! Lets see if Im right? Anyone else want to try and call tomorrow nights eliminations?

  21. Angie_Overrated says:

    So I did my bottom 3, now here’s my top 3. And the biggest shocker for me is that one of them is someone I’ve consistently disliked (Matt). The other two are people I barely noticed all season.
    Anita: stole the night for me. She was one of the few who really told the story with her voice. I was so into that it wasn’t even funny. Perhaps Tessanne did sing it better than Anita, but Anita made me feel more when she sang it.
    Matt: Wow. Was not expecting that at all. Still not entirely my cup of tea, but I was apparently wrong in writing him off thus far this season. That was — dare I say it — good.
    Chris: Quite a few people were upset Chris got saved over Taylor P. I posted an argument in defense of Chris, which not everyone was having. Let’s just say that Chris’ save was vindicated tonight. And I say that as someone who is allergic to falsetto singing. That was a fun performance, appropriate song choice, technically well executed, and he’s got star potential just because of his looks. He could be a dark horse candidate for it all.
    Honorable mention: Craig and Luke

    • Kaba says:

      I generally have this irrational distaste for team adam members cause of adam himself, but man I loved Chris.
      That guys falsetto made me pretty much throw panties…and I’m a guy. >.>

      • MamaLis says:

        LoL! Agree with you both!! He made me want to throw mine & I’m twice his age! Who knew he could deliver THAT well?? And talk about the “je ne sais quoi” factor. WOW! Sizzle-icious!

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Ha! Wait a year, Mama! I think it’s illegal for us to make those comments just yet. lol But yeah, one thing I do know is perfectly legal to say is he is going to be one handsome man when he gets older. I definitely had an idea he could deliver like that vocally. There were glimpses we saw here and there, but that’s the first time he did it throughout an entire song. Go him!

      • MamaLis says:

        Totally agree with you both!! You should hear the studio recording! It’s crazy. He was definitely sizzle-icious tonight!!!

  22. Greg says:

    You have officially lost your mind giving Reagan a B+. That was TERRIBLE. She was out of breath and flat for the entire song! The best VOCAL performances of the night were from Damien and DaNica, with Chris, Craig, Anita and Matt also fairly strong. I’d include Luke in that category had he not screwed up so badly in the beginning. The worst was Reagan, followed by Ryan and Jessie.

    • I feel so bad for Luke, because other than that his vocals were on spot!

    • InMyPJs says:

      Totally agree, I can’t believe Slezak gave Reagan a pass for that gaspy rendition. Nothing special about the vocals except that the arrangement was different. I would have given are a C- while I give Luke a C+ for botching his song in the beginning although he was still good. Had he not recovered from it, I would still have given him an E for effort.

  23. Sara says:

    My favorites tonight were DaNica, Chris, Craig, Luke, Anita, and Matt. I have been a huge fan of Damien since the get-go, but tonight something just didn’t hit me right with him.
    I personally loved DaNica’s version of Creep, which was a surprise to me since I love the original so much. But stylistically it reminded me of an Amy Winehouse/Duffy type song, that whole blue eyed soul/jazz thing if you know what I mean. And she also sang it beautifully.
    I felt like once Luke pushed through his issue with the way he started, he really took off with that song! I felt so bad for him, and he seemed to be pretty hard on himself, but the fact that he got back on track and ended that song so beautifully showed that he is a professional and takes his musical career seriously. Kudos, and votes, to him!
    I’ve liked Chris for a while and was so happy he was saved by Adam last week. He more than proved in his performance tonight why Adam saved him.
    And Craig, Anita, and Matt were all amazing, per usual. Though, I was one of the very few people who was not a fan of his “God Only Knows” last week, I think he got back on track this week.
    I would say that the bottom two who should go home would be Ryan (who has potential, but his time has run out on the show) and Sugar.

  24. Davey says:

    Reagan deserved a C tonight. No magic. And Taylor was not as bad as Michael rated him. A lot of the singers were straining their voices tonight.

  25. Davey says:

    Craig Wayne Boyd sounds like every other country singer ever recorded. He’s very likeable but totally unoriginal. He sings well but I can’t vote for him.

  26. Davey says:

    Anyone miss Taylor Phelan and Ricky Manning or even Mia tonight?

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I miss Sisaundra Lewis, Kat Perkins, Kristin Merlin, Delvin Choice, Josh Kaufmann, Christina Grimmie, and Tess Boyer.

      • Michael says:

        Bless you. I miss them desperately.

      • koolkatz says:

        Don’t forget Caroline Pennell, and Michele Chamuelle

      • John Anthony says:

        Come on Angie! Danielle Bradbery will out shine all of the above in a very short time. She already performed on top the Country Top Twelve list a record amount of consecutive days beating out performers like Blake,His wife, and Carrie Underwood. I do not know if you like country but since it’s as big as any type music they are not billing he4r as the next woman of country for nothing. A slight mention may be in order, especially with the above group of mention. How about it? I even give Stevie Wonder his due and I hate his type of music.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I was only mentioning last season’s contestants that I liked, my point being that I view that as a vastly inferior season to last season. The girl you mention wasn’t on last season.
          I wasn’t aware that Danielle Bradbery was up to much. I know she sold some singles and whatever, but “next woman of country”? I did not know that.

      • Sharon says:

        Angie, Kim and MamaLis, I used to teach college, and Chris looks EXACTLY like one of my former students, who was a terrifically smart and nice guy in addition to being adorable. Interestingly, the girls in the class weren’t interested in him, but all the middle-aged female faculty thought he was a total cutie…in an arms-length, theoretical, completely professional way, of course.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          That is hilarious, Sharon. I wonder what it is about that look that calls out the cougars? I’m pretty much 2x his age, but man is that boy sexy!

  27. Adam says:

    I think I mostly agree with your grades, especially for some of the performances that were praised so much but weren’t actually that great.

    My Personal Rankings:
    1. Matt McAndrew
    2. Chris Jamison
    3. Craig Wayne Boyd
    4. Anita Antoinette
    5. DaNica Shirey
    6. Luke Wade
    7. Jessie Pitts
    8. Damien
    9. Sugar Joans
    10. Reagan James
    11. Taylor John Williams
    12. Ryan Sill

    Predictions: I’d send home Ryan and Taylor. No way will America send home Taylor, so I’m going to guess that Ryan and Sugar are the first two eliminated from the Top 12 this year. (I swear I wrote that before reading the article – haha!).

    • Taylor needs to just come out in a flannel and jeans and be down to earth! No hat! I think people see him as one-dimensional! After all, flannels are what Phil Phillips wore and Jess Kinch. He needs to pull more emotion from songs. It is like he is blank behind those eyes which makes it hard to feel connected to him!I think he should do “hurt” by Johnny Cash because its dark and the judges were saying he is dark. The nine inch nails version is very dark too! He always does slow songs and that is one I love! Both versions! I really think people are bored with his look! What if one of the girls wore the same sweater or jacket on stage every time? Thats how I feel about the hat! Also there are other types of hats to wear!

  28. Kim Moores says:

    I hope GraNica is outta here soon -____-

  29. Scott says:

    It wasn’t necessarily a bad night, but everything is just meh to me. Nobody is drawing me in and making me really excited about their performances like in seasons past. I love this show, but I kinda don’t care who goes home right now. I’m hoping someone will really make me fall in love with their voice in the next week or so.

  30. sd says:

    I disagree with some of these ratings. jessie Pitts was a little off and should be in the C range. Also Reagan had lots of breath issues and should be lower as well.

    Also, I don’t understand the dislike for Damien. He’s consistently on of the top itunes seller but I never read anything but put downs for his performance. He was definitely higher than a C tonight and should at least have gotten a B.

    Also I think Danica is a good singer but I did not like the arrangement done for her song.

    • Tom22 says:

      I like Damien quite a bit and I’m quite confused about MS thinking he over does the runs when that was a very clean version of the song where I was thinking to myself.. thank gosh he isn’t running up an down melismically or sweating away or spitting fire etc.. He really seemed to bring down the house too so there must be some personal magnetism to him that hasn’t entirely been done justice with the standard (and creative.. not a knock) camera angles. Maybe it’s just that his voice is even better blastingly loud like you’d have it in a live concert but not in your living room ?
      Still I have been enjoying his performances each week.. waiting for songs I’d like to buy though….song choices.

  31. I wish Craig Wayne Boyd would do Seminole Wind by john Anderson! Thats one country song I love!

  32. Adrian says:

    On a night filled with clever placement of “beat” headphones (“Beat” must be sponsoring all the Voice franchises around the world, as I see them at Voice China too), the show started off rather weak, but thankfully it got better. Pharell Williams is a great coach, but tonight shows why Adam and Blake are so good with this show because they know a few things about song choices. Adam nailed it tonight with three great song choices for his three artists. I just love Matt McAndrew’s “Take Me to Church,” as it just captivated me from the first note, and it has already reached top 10 in the iTunes chart by 10:15pmPST/1:15amEST. Chris definitely showed a strong comeback this week with a great song choice. There were a few misses but I believe the front runners remained the same. Matthew really steps up the game at the right time. Craig was just amazing tonight. Luke, despite the messed up in the beginning of the song, should be fine this week, and I really like him taking more contemporary hits. Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” is one of my favorite songs from Ed Sheeran’s new album. Luke really has a distinctive voice and you can really tell that it is a Luke’s song! Taylor’s iTunes version actually sounds much better than his live version, as he seemed to be a bit nervous. Damien is good vocally, but Adam really needs to pick up some contemporary songs for him and needs to move away from ballads, or else he can’t last long.
    Bottom three will possibly be Ryan, Sugar, and Jessie. Next week will possibly be rougher, as we will start to see some strong singers being voted off. Everyone really need to step up his or her game, as the crown is still everyone’s game.

  33. Greg says:

    The only four who haven’t cracked the Top 100 on iTunes are Sugar, Reagan, Ryan and Jessie. Imagine that… the four clear worst performances of the night getting the four least amount of downloads! Sugar is definitely B3 because she is way off from all the others while Ryan is the likely second boot. Reagan and Jessie may skate by for one more week but if they’re as bad next week as they were tonight they are both history.

    • InMyPJs says:

      Don’t forget the Twitter save. Jessie or Reagan….if they join Sugar and Ryan, should be saved. Can you imagine if Pharrell chose Elyjuh and Gwen chose Ricky instead? They would have stood a better chance.

  34. Mercury says:

    Slezak, I cannot believe you rated Damien C. He was the best vocal of the night considering that Adam gave him a very old and boring song. Apparently, majority of the people disagree with you because he is the second highest on Itunes two weeks in a row.

    There is absolutely no way TJW and Damien are in the bottom two. These two will not be in the bottom two for quite some time.

  35. patdamico says:

    I don’t mind the lack of criticism on the panel. Actually, that’s the one thing I’ve always liked about The Voice. It’s up to America now, anyway, and we see the contestants getting coached behind the scenes. The criticism, as well-meaning and constructional as it could be, can have a subliminal effect upon voting. I think this show strives to give everyone an even playing field and realizes the negative perception even the best criticism can manifest.

    I posted last week that I think Chris has the most potential for that all appealing growth arc, and he’s well on his way. I’ve been a fan since his blind audition. He has a very good voice… very pleasing to the ear… impressive stage presence and a genuine sense of rhythm (it never ceases to amaze me how many of these singers just can’t move to a beat), and his personality is, for lack of a better word, cool.

    Craig killed that George Strait song. I’m no country expert, by any means, but that man was born to sing country music. He needs just a tad more work on his stage presence (what is with all these singers’ hand flapping?), and I think Blake will have another country star on his hands. Excellent song choice, BTW. Gotta’ hand to the cowboy.

    Anita sang that Marley classic with a genuine, fierce belief that, corny as it might sound, really moved me. I’ve heard it many, many times (and really enjoyed TessAnne’s), but I honestly felt like I’d really heard it for the first time tonight. I liked that she conveyed everything with her face and voice, rather than extraneous, distracting stage movements. Plus, she looked gorgeous.

    Matt killed it with a really difficult song choice. I really like that guy.

    Damien gave a lovely performance. I just don’t know what kind of record he’d make.

    I don’t think Danica’s arrangement was so terrible as much as the sound engineering and band were off. I say that even though I actually think The Voice’s house band is one of the best I’ve ever heard on these shows. Just not their best night. She looked pretty.

    I totally don’t get the popularity of Regan (very limited range), Jessie (always sounds off tune to me), Sugar or Tayor. Enough has been said about Kyle.

    Luke has an interesting voice but there’s something a little too desperate about him. I felt really bad for him tonight, though. I liked that he admitted it was his mistake, and not some technical glitch.

    My favs: Anita, Craig, Chris, and Matt.

  36. colton says:

    ryan sill is just awful , how he got here is beyond me
    mat,craig,luke ,anita and danica are the best this season

  37. Bob Loblaw says:

    Slezak, you really hate Gwen, huh?

  38. yeahhhh says:

    TJW was not that bad.

  39. Gary Brown says:

    Spot on comments about last night’s show. Agree, agree, agree. And could someone tell Carson not to give a left-handed salute at the end of the show like he did last week to all the vets. It’s like giving the finger to every current and former veteran. Bad form and a left-handed salute is considered a huge insult by the military.

  40. Tom22 says:

    A few other thoughts I didn’t put in comments yet. I liked the discussion Matt and Adam had about Matt’s tattoos.. let me get my head around that a bit better (I still don’t like tattoos, especially on necks and faces(thank gosh none ther).. but closer…
    Anita looked so pretty in studio…I liked her in that tshirt young and fresh skinned and althletic looking… not so sure about the stage clothes but had the studio in my mind at least. Danica did look good in the dress and with the younger styled hair.. keep at that. … and I loved Gwenns line about looking like a mother from duh duh duh.. .. it was clear to me… and a mom from duh duh duh doesn’t want to look like a mom from duh duh duh either so they wouldn’t be offended.

  41. After seeing Sugar do that “unrecognizable version of Talking Heads “Take Me To The River” I had to go listen to the original on u tube. If you heard this original version, you would know why im upset. Some people may have never heard the original version as it is an 1980 song!

  42. Hey Lets make song lists of what we think would be good songs! Heres mine!
    Damien- Coming From Where im From by Anthony Hamilton (good song)
    Sugar- Rhiannon Fleetwood mac
    CWB- Blake picks his songs great so far, so I wont
    Matt- A White Stripes song, any of them
    Anita- This Womens Work or Respect by Aretha
    TJW- Hurt by Johnny cash or Nine Inch Nails or a slow version of Cry Little Sister (Dark Songs)
    Chris- Adorn By Miguel or Cry Me a River Justin Timberlake
    Jesse Pitts- Carnival By Melanie Martinez, cause their voices are similar
    Ryan- wont be there next week maybe, not sure
    Reagen – Anyway Martina Mcbride, even though its country I think it would be great!
    Danica- Diamonds by Rhianna, because she has a powerful voice
    Luke- Imagine by John Lennon
    Kinda fun thinking of ideas! Would love to see any your guys song choices too!

    • Jeff Marley says:

      Intresting choices!!! I would love DaNica sing something a little uptempo, but I would also love if she did a florence and the machine song like shake it out or breath of life!!!

      • Jeff, Yes I love Florence and the Machine! Good Call. I was watching Dancing With the Stars and heard Alanis Morrisette, “:Uninvited”! I wish someone would do that one. I know Josh Krajik did it With Alanis on x factor and it was great!

    • danin says:

      I was thinking Chris ought to do Suit&Tie! Adorn is a good choice too.

  43. Diana says:

    At this point in the live rounds, I am not nearly as concerned with who will go home tonight as I am with the sound problem that this show can’t seem to correct. Throughout every performance last night, the instruments buried or came darn close to burying the vocal. This show is called The Voice for a reason and I’m sick of the poor decisions being made by whoever is responsible for sound. The judges even complained about it last night. The most frightening part is that it seems to be getting worse. It’s bad enough that each show contains at least some way overproduced numbers. But when those productions make it impossible for listeners to hear what they tuned in for, it is maddening. I for one don’t want to be impressed by the voice band (or back-up singers either, while I’m on the subject) and how they are used. Let me hear the voices or I will soon give up.

  44. Yo says:

    Luke is going to get creamed tonight, but I thought he had far and away the best voice and the best personal style. Right after him was Craig Wayne Boyd. Danica can sing, but no one ought to be allowed to do that to Creep and I was astonished Pharrell thought it was a good idea. It is kind of like turning Chandelier not Reggae.

    • I think Ryan is in more trouble than Luke! He has quite a fan base! I think Jesse is in trouble too! Or maybe Danica is in trouble, because Creep was not fitting with her style!

      • JM says:

        I agree Creep wasn’t Danica’s style, but strangely that’s why I liked it. It was like a “I’m so good I can sing the phone book” kind of moment for me . . . and she really can.

  45. Moi says:

    I find Anita slightly painful to watch. I don’t feel any authenticity there. Not to mention she doesn’t finish her notes. Ugh.

  46. daphine says:

    Slezak and obvious favoritism strike again…how can Slezak give Danica B and Damien a C?they both did great vocally but both did not “feel’ or convey the emotion of the song….I’d give Damien a better grade for feeling the song actually…..and Luke was a B?Luke never recovered from the flub….Chris, Matt and Craig were the best this week

  47. scarpe says:

    The coaches do these contestants no favor by piling on fluff comments of nonsense. Maybe they think none of the contestants have a real shot at stardom so why bother? Reagan and Anita both have star power but both suffered from crowd interaction last night. Could not believe the judge’s tepid response to Anita’s sterling vocal. I don’t listen to country music but Craig’s voice and lack of pretension make me a fan. The person I don’t get: Matt McAndrew. Just shake my head at his popularity. Taylor John Williams feels cold and closed down. Maybe he had a rough life? He needs to let go of his public mask (and his hat) and open up when singing. Slezak is dead wrong about Bread’s song “If.” Love it.

  48. Kate Jackson says:

    That’s my Jamaica sister.

  49. Emmy says:

    In order here are my top performers of the night: Craig, Matt, Damien, Luke and Chris. I really didn’t enjoy anyone else. I know I am in the minority but I just don’t get the appeal of Anita, and I certainly don’t get the appeal of Sugar. Part of my problem with Danica is that I really don’t like that song…also, that hair did not flatter her at all!