The Voice Top 5 Performance Recap: The Fast-Forward and the Furious

Are your Facebook friends stressing you out with ominous updates like, “Holiday shopping is DONE” or “Look at my completely completed Christmas decorations”? And meanwhile, your life’s poetry is “The stockings were buried/ In the closet sans care/ Now you can’t find them/ So the mantle stays bare.

Fret not: The Voice has got you covered!

Sure, Season 7 has reached the crucial semifinal stage — America will whittle the Top 5 down to a Top 3 on Tuesday’s results show, then save one ousted member of the Top 12 via Wild Card — but the good news is you can now fast-forward through all of the coaches’ critiques without missing anything of any import whatsoever guaranteed. See, more time for visions of sugar plums and all that!

Oh, sure, watch in real time if you want Variation No. 734 on Blake Shelton’s “I’ve never heard a more perfect vocal on this stage” or Gwen’s umpteenth “you sang it good.” (Oh, the grammar!) Pharrell is almost certain to be on his feet for every other performance, and Adam… well, let’s just say People’s Most Tattooed Voice Judge Alive is engaged in a fascinating and at times violent struggle against the concept of sincerity. (It doesn’t make for very interesting television, surprisingly enough.)

The point is, with all four panelists behaving like Bambi’s mother to the contestants’ salt licks — “OMG! BEST EVER! CAN’T WAIT TO BUY YOUR ALBUM (EVEN THOUGH I WON’T SO MUCH AS GIVE YOU A RETWEET WHEN IT COMES OUT ON ITUNES)!” — there’s nothing left to listen to but the actual musical performances.

And that’s not such a bad thing. To vote for a contestant to make it to the Season 7 finale, you’ve got to have heard something in their body of work and/or in tonight’s two-song set to make you think you might follow them into their post-Voice careers (however much you think a post-Voice career is as real as the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy).

To my ears, only two singers erased all doubt that they deserve berths in next Monday’s finals. Which means Tuesday’s results show will have something that’s been in short supply these last few months: a real sense of suspense. On that note, let’s get to my letter grades for the evening’s performances (bearing in mind I’ll be back overnight to update this recap with more detailed reviews):

Damien (Team Adam) — Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life” — Grade: B- | I worried Damien would bludgeon MJ’s tender melody with 10 tons of melisma, but he showed a lot of restraint in the vocal — even if he hit a patch of wobbly notes heading into his falsetto flourishes. Still — and this is a tricky thing to articulate — I always feel like there’s a lack of specificity to Damien’s delivery, a pantomime of emotion where you want real feeling. I wish Adam would make Damien sit with his lyrics for a full day, study them and apply them to his own life, before he’s allowed to sing even a note of the melody, but I guess it’s a little late in the season for that.

Craig Wayne Boyd (Team Blake) — Merle Haggard’s “Workin’ Man Blues” — Grade: C+ | I’ve pinged Pharrell for some questionable arrangements this season, so it’s only fair that I pose this question: What in ’70s Vegas revue hell was Blake thinking by giving his potential country chart-topper such a dated, chintzy backdrop to his performance? Craig ended up playing into the hokey karaoke vibe the band was throwing down, too, raising his paws to act out the “working long as my two hands are fit to use,” and lazily swallowing ends of phrases like there was an All You Can Eat Wings Buffet just to the left of the stage. This was, at best, Top 12 or Top 20 Week material – hardly worthy of a dude who’s paid all his dues and is just a few performances away from a major label deal.

Taylor John Williams (Team Gwen) — The Swell Season’s “Falling Slowly” — Grade: D- | I’ll admit I raised an eyebrow when I realized Taylor was set to cover yet another song brilliantly performed on Season 8 of Idol — I mean, I loved Kris-Adam-Allison, too, but I don’t mention them in every recap — but the real “Rated W…for Whaa” Moment came when the opening verse exposed some serious structural weakness in Taylor’s lower register. I’m not sure if the arrangement was pitched too low, or if the Amish Hipster was fighting a sore throat, or if he’s merely been excelling at tracks with a limited range, but the struggle continued — actually, worsened — when he tried to reach into his falsetto during the song’s second half. “He’s adorably cute!” raved Adam, as the crowd of young girls in the audience shrieked in delight. PEOPLE, VOTE WITH YOUR EARS, NOT YOUR EYES! Sorry, rant over.

Matt McAndrew (Team Adam) — Ed Sheeran’s “Make It Rain” — Grade: A- | Let’s be honest, the Season 7 semifinals didn’t really begin ’til Matt took the stage in a snazzy gray and white striped blazer and tore into a recent Sons of Anarchy soundtrack cut with palpable passion and gorgeous grit. When this guy is good, he is really, really good — giving you chills when the band takes a sparse approach, and still commanding attention when they’re rocking out full-blast. Am I crazy, or would it be kinda cool to hear the guy cover some Jim Morrison for next week’s finale? (Oh, c’mon, we all know he’s going to advance, right?)

Chris Jamison (Team Adam) — Maroon 5’s “Sugar” — Grade: A- | Raise your hand if you think somehow Adam subtly (or not so subtly) was the first to suggest that his brand new single might be a killer choice for his hunky protégé’s second-to-last week on the show? OK, I’m cynical, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong! Nevertheless, Chris slipped into the jam’s seductive grooves and extended falsettos as comfortably as Adam slips into his $500 bowling shirts. I could’ve lived without the line of Robert Palmer girls flanking Chris, but it says a lot for his personal charisma that I barely registered their presence ’til the very end of the performance.

Damien (Team Adam) — Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait” — Grade: B+ | Poor Damien! The producers scramble the contestants’ performance order between their first and second songs, and yet he still winds up having to go first? You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to figure out the math: X = It’ll Take a Miracle to Save Him on Tuesday. That said, while his cover of the Dawson’s Creek theme isn’t exactly burining up TVLine’s poll, I enjoyed the way it showed how Damien can do more than ballads, and how he’s capable of taking a song completely outside his comfort zone and painting it a different color (a skill set that was in short supply tonight). Gwen, in one of her more astute critiques, noted the Peter Gabriel-esque percussion (I wrote “Paul Simon’s Graceland” in my notes, but her reference was better) — and the end result of it was a more hopeful, less plaintive mood. Was there a little strain in the final chorus? Sure. But at least dude isn’t headed back to the airport — to go home, not to go back to his day job, hopefully! — without having taken a risk.

Matt McAndrew (Team Adam) — U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” — Grade: B | Do we praise Matt for delivering U2’s most anthemic, roll-down-the-windows-and-belt-it ditty with conviction and purpose? Or do we give him a demerit for imitating pretty much every single note and inflection as if he was competing in a Bono sound-alike contest? I’m going to vote to split the difference: It was color-by-numbers, but really pretty color-by-numbers — and that beats the heck out of somebody slopping paint onto your living room floor.

Craig Wayne Boyd (Team Blake) — “The Old Rugged Cross” — Grade: B+ | I’ll admit that out of every song in a Protestant hymn book, Craig chose my absolute favorite. (Fun fact: This is the one song my mother insists must be played at her funeral someday, which is probably why I have such an affection for it.) But if you’ll allow me a tiny gripe, I really wish Craig had sung it a capella. I mean, yes, the Nashville vet delivered the lyrics with a conviction and growl we haven’t heard since “I Walk the Line” in Top 10 week, but why did the background music make it sound like Paul Mirkovich and the Voice band had been replaced by elderly session players from the Lawrence Welk Show? The raw honesty of Craig’s emotion still percolated to the surface — I just wish it hadn’t had to make its way through a gallon of bargain brand maple syrup to get there.

Taylor John Williams (Team Gwen) — Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” — Grade: C- | Taylor’s vocal accuracy was marginally better on his second number of the night — except for that badly botched final glory note — but how come not a single coach remarked on the part where he completely blanked on his lyrics and had to look over to the backup singers for help? I mean, the contestant himself was expecting it — “Coaches,” he groaned, before his critiques began — but nope, all we heard was “you’re a true artist” and “no one else does what you do.” I’m not sure if Taylor is uncertain that he actually wants the Season 7 crown or if there’s a simpler explanation for his total semifinal collapse, but he performed “Black Space” with less enthusiasm than my three-year-old twins facing down a new species of vegetable. “I don’t want it!” Nope, kids, neither do I.

Chris Jamison (Team Adam) — Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” — Grade: A | From the charisma defecit of Taylor to the “Whoa, this guy could really be a pop star!” excitement of Chris… talk about a tonal shift. Accompanied only by a piano, Chris managed to fill the entire venue his range-y, vocals — from his expectedly lovely falsetto to his clear, booming lower register. For a minute, this felt less like a Bruno Mars cover and more like a tale of Chris’ own ill-fated love affair — which is about the best thing you can say about a reality singing competition performance, no? This wasn’t merely the performance of the night, it may have been the performance of the season.

Should Be Top 3: Chris, Matt, Craig
Will Be Top 3: Chris, Matt, Craig
Wild Card Worthy: Let’s see how they do tomorrow, yes? (But probably DaNica or Anita.)

On that note, it’s your turn. Who were your favorites from tonight’s Season 7 Semifinals? Who deserves a spot in the finale? Who’s going home? 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. debi says:

    The Old Rugged Cross by Craig Wayne Boyd was an A+.

  2. Jeff Marley says:

    For the wildcard, I’m choosing DaNica!!! My top 3 from tonight were Matt, Chris, and Craig!!! I was kinda shocked about taylor tonight. 😔

    • analythinker says:

      I hope DaNica picks her own song, a current one and kill it! I’d pick her over Taylor for sure if it comes to that.

      • Jeff Marley says:

        Agreed!!! And she does get to pick her own song. Do you think she would slay Bang Bang by jessie j, nicki minaj, and ariana grande?

        • analythinker says:

          I actually want something slow for a change. Something that could really highlight her voice, just with less runs, please. Her arrangement has been so crowded every time, courtesy of her coach, heh.

    • JM1 says:

      If you mean surprised by how bad Taylor was . . . let’s just say, I wasn’t. :-)

    • Betty says:

      Well Craig is at # 4 & #26; Matt is #6 & #17 and Chris is #7 & #17 on the iTunes chart. they get bonus points for Top 10’s I believe. They were definitely the best last night and have been pretty consistent all season.

      • AlyB says:

        Right now the chart (and final tally I think) is:
        #2 CWB – Old Rugged Cross
        #5 Matt – Make It Rain
        #6 Chris – When I Was Your Man
        #10 Chris – Sugar

        I wonder how the multiplier works with Chris having both of his songs crack the top 10. Anyone know?

        • Sara says:

          I would assume that would mean each of those songs would have their totals multiplied. For Matt and CWB, each would have their one song in the Top 10 multiplied. I don’t really feel like going to The Voice’s voting rules page again (I was trying to read up on the Wildcard voting last night, and holy confusion Batman!), but to me that would be the thing that would make the most sense. But we are talking about The Voice here, so I suppose anything could happen with those multipliers,

          • Inmypjs says:

            It doesn’t make sense to have a wildcard round for the finale. They should have done it after they whittled down the contestants to 12. Make America vote in 2 contestants from the eliminated 8 contestants of the top 20 regardless of team affiliation. This way Taylor Phelan and Elyjuh would have been voted in for a top 14. Then the week after get rid of the weaker contestants from the other teams by voting them out. Some teams are stronger than others so it would have been fairer that way.

        • Sara says:

          Also, I am pretty sure (again from what I have read from the rules page) that getting in the Top 10 only multiplies the iTunes votes, not the other methods, in case there was confusion on that.

          • AlyB says:

            Thanks! I think I get it. So if Chris’ #6 song represents 10,000 downloads (I have no idea what the real #’s have to be to chart on iTunes) & his #10 song represents 7,000, he would get 100,000 + 70,000 or 170,000 votes added to the calls, texts, online votes. Seems to me this makes him a shoe in for advancing. I’m glad. I think he, Matt & Craig deserve to move forward.

  3. Chris says:

    Why would you say Chris should be in the bottom when Taylor was clearly worse

  4. analythinker says:

    Finally! Agree with your assessment, Michael! Chris, Matt, Craig each deserves to be in the Top 3.

    Also, can you all now finally see how unoriginal Taylor John (aka Kris Allen’s wannabe) is??

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Agreed on all points (shocker). Those 3 were amazing tonight! I was really impressed with all of those 3. And Damien was also excellent but I understand it’s his time to go. TJW… ugh. I felt kind of bad for him in that first song. It wasn’t even bad karaoke. It was just bad by any relative measure. Even his mother couldn’t clap for that one.

      • analythinker says:

        Really? I didn’t catch that. But it was dishes time, so I only heard it.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I’ve been meaning to ask. How did your English get so good? As a fellow non-native English speaker, I’d imagine having an Asian language as your first language would make English close to impossible. I can’t even imagine how hard it would be for me to learn the Chinese or Japanese characters.

          • analythinker says:

            Aw thanks! I still envy your vocab, though :) Fortunately, we have Latin alphabets so it’s not that difficult. Also, English was my favorite subject in school. And I’m a translator/editor :D

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I have the advantage of having lived in the states for nearly two decades. Those first few years sucked but now I have more trouble speaking in my “mother tongue” as I don’t use it anymore! lol
            I didn’t realize Indonesian used the same alphabet as the western languages. That certainly does make things easier! Russian / any of the Slavic languages, Chinese, Japanese, or Thai would seriously drive me to a life of drinking if I had to learn those languages.

          • analythinker says:

            I wouldn’t attempt any of those, but many have and succeeded, so it must not be that bad or they have special talent :)

      • JM1 says:

        Am I just a bad person for not feeling bad about TJW? He has been assaulting my ears and eyes for too long now. I believe I may have caught a mini-nap during both his songs. It was refreshing.

      • Davey says:

        That’s his grandmother, not his mother.

  5. Good Gravy says:

    I think the term “FTW” is stupid, but… Craig, Matt, and Chris FTW!!!!

  6. David says:

    Doesn’t matter. They’re all going to follow Josh and Tessanne down the rabbit hole. No breakouts this season.

    • Good Gravy says:

      But like Josh and Tessanne, they have talent. And that matters the most, doesn’t it?

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      It’s a tv show, not a career-starting vehicle. Those days have been over for a very long time.

      • JM says:

        Angie, do you ever follow any of the contestants’ careers you like each season once the season is over? For example, Sisaundra or Kat Perkins, since you’ve spoken of them several times this season. Or when a season is over do you just move on to the next batch?

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I’d say a few times a year I google them to see what they’re up to. I’m really bummed I missed Michelle Chamuel when she was performing here. I’ve bought a handful of singles and albums as well, the first one being Frenchie Davis.

    • The Beach says:

      I liked both Tessanne and Josh a lot but I not heard anything of their after-Voice work. I guess I should check them out.

    • Caitlyn says:

      I guess it depends on what you consider “breaking out.” I think several of these artist this season have a lot of potential. I certainly think Craig is not going to be singing to empty houses any longer. Matt has a smooth, effortless delivery. My guess is that while she does need a lot of work, we haven’t heard the last of Reagan. I think Angie said it best when she mentioned Bjork … can’t sing a lick, but people love her anyway.

  7. JM says:

    Chris, the dark horse, has just declared himself the front-runner!

  8. Pat says:

    Taylor and Damien each better have a hell of a WIld Card song prepared. They’ll both need it. Damien blew his chance with the Dawson song and Taylor blew it on both songs with sloppy arrangements and very lackluster vocals.

    Matt and Chris made their airtight cases for the finale, and Craig did well enough on the second song to join them.

    • Davey says:

      For all you Taylor haters, he tweeted today that he was having some personal trouble tonight. Not that it excuses anything but he apologized to his fans and thanked them for his support.

      • Ana Andrade says:

        I’m not hating on Taylor. I liked what he did last week with Royals but not what he did with Blank Space tonight. I think it’s cool that he’s thanking his fans for their support.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Singer have to sing through strep throat, death of family members, broken bones, etc. Professionals don’t ever bring their problems to the stage with them. Ever.

        • Kristine Richards says:

          Angie, you are correct. It is the professional to do and not use it as an excuse. But sometimes it can help them. On S5, Tessanne was upset about something during the semi-finals when she had to sing Bridge Over Troubled Water. And I think whatever she was going through helped her bring something to the song she may not have brought otherwise. Just a weird observation. :)

  9. Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit says:

    For once this season, I actually agree with Slezak. Matt and Chris should be the final two. Both of them sang the crap out of both their songs. Craig was good at what he does (not my taste, but I can’t see how he doesn’t make it). Damien’s first song was very good, but what was he thinking with the Dawson’s Creek theme song that he couldn’t quite keep up with? And Taylor John Williams…yikes. I’ve liked him for the last few weeks, but Falling Slowly was boring, and Blank Space was a disaster.

    I’m hoping for a Matt McAndrew win, but I’ll take Chris, too.

    And can we please vote a woman into the finals? I’m waiting for the last chance performances to decide who.

    • Jeff Marley says:

      Danica, because that girl can SING!!! She also seems like a real genuine person. 😃

    • Gailer says:

      I too agree with Michael

    • Matt says:

      I also agree with Michael and that’s something that doesn’t happen often (especially not regarding Damien). As for the girls that made it to the top 12 though… I think Danica’s the only one who deserves to make it at all. Reagan and Jessie have no business taking that spot, Anita’s far too inconsistent and while I like Sugar, she simply doesn’t have the fan support to make it.

      • Jeff Marley says:

        I agree about DaNica. With the right song choices, she would have been Definete top 5.

      • Tom22 says:

        I don’t often agree with Michael but I do enjoy reading his opinions and quips etc.
        Damien seems more genuine than the vast majority of singers on these shows to me. I think that it is more a matter of Michael and some people just not “getting” him as a person more than him not interpreting the lyrics… but I suppose that is a personal judgement too. While MS has often criticized Damien for over emoting at the same time as saying he’s stoic… and he doesn’t get the melisma because it isn’t melisma but it’s a genuine inflection of the emotion he doesn’t see.
        While sexual orientation should have nothing to do with it, and for all I know Damien might be gay, I think Damien’s swagger is an understated “walking the walk” of a neighborhood dude kind of thing that is more alien to some peoples life experience than others. He’s that normal everyman trying to stay cool yet we get the experience of seeing a breaks through a persona of personal restraint.. often with floodgates as barriers suddenly melt. Well I suppose I didn’t get anywhere closer to understanding with those words but maybe just enough to stimulate thought
        I like to think of emotion in songs as sounding like some magical muse has suddenly inspired a normal man/woman to sing, and pour out wisdom and insight they never knew they had in a cathartic way…. (think of how characters in musicals break out in song, but take away “comedy” or “Broadway” and make it a person on the bus or say, a guy at the TSA. A persons voice will break with emotions, they’ll do little yodels and twirls of emotion with their voice where they show exasperation and sum up inspiration at ends of point made melodically or lyrically. Its gotta fit and it does fit for me with Damien.
        Still, while I get all of it, I’m still not 100% connected to the message of the songs themselves as the song choices are right for him but aren’t songs I personally really love.

    • Kristine Richards says:

      Tiff, I absolutely agree with you. I like Taylor because he is a little different, but he doesn’t have as strong of a voice as the rest of them. I like Damien, but he definitely had a problem with I Don’t Want to Wait last night. I like Craig, too, but I think he might have peaked already. Last night, even his second song didn’t impress me as much as it should have. I’ve liked Chris from day one and keeps he improving every week. It’s funny, Matt has never been my favorite but he’s growing on me. His voice and look are unique and each week he impresses me more. Chris or Matt for the win. I’d be fine with Damien or Craig, but I’m rooting for Chris or Matt!

  10. NEmma says:

    I agree with your grades tonight. Matt has been consistent so it will be a real SHOCK if he doesn’t get to the finale. His itunes sales are once again ahead of the pack. Chris was a revelation. He’s fighting really hard for a place in the finale. I hope America rewards him for that. Craig is a shoo-in. I mean, the country voters will make sure he’s in. Taylor was so out of it tonight. He gave 2 bland performances IMO. Damien was okay but may not be enough to move him forward. His first single though is doing well on itunes so we’ll see if his loyal fans will vote hard for him tonight. My top 3 also is Matt, Chris, and Craig!

  11. Kaba says:

    Chris on that final song…
    I was gay for a little while afterwards.

  12. Ana Andrade says:

    Taylor ruined my favorite song :(
    Chris was definitely the best of the night. I agree with Chris, Matt ad Craig being the top 3.

    • Lorraine says:

      I think Craig’s second song was the best of the night. Chris and Matt kind of cancel each other out. They’re both good but Craig should win.

      • Loraine says:

        To Lorraine with two r ‘s from Loraine with “one”. Lol–I agree Craig should win. I think it will be between him and Chris, although I’m no a big country music fan, I don’t t like the Chris or Adam Levine high pitch whinnning like a brat and screaming! ( I’m going to get bit for that comment! But – to each his own!!).

  13. Davey says:

    I don’t get the love for Chris. He seems so fake to me. Someone who belongs on a reality show but not at a concert. And Craig turned me off twice tonight.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      You take that back!!!! :)

    • analythinker says:

      That’s Taylor for me, no offense for those who like him. He really comes across as bored and unappreciative every time I see him on screen.

      • Davey says:

        I love how people read things into people they don’t really know. What evidence do you have that Taylor is unappreciative?. He certainly looked grateful in his videos home tonight on the show. Just because he didn’t cry and make his relatives cry on camera doesn’t mean he doesn’t care.

        • analythinker says:

          Please read the definition of “come across”. I’m sure that’s not his intention, but it’s how I feel, and apparently I’m not alone.

        • Sara says:

          Yet you say that Chris is “fake?” Where’s your proof of that? Hey pot, the kettle wants to meet you.

      • Skipper2425 says:

        Unappreciated and arrogant as he, unlike all the other contestants, tells his coach what he wants to do and seems to ignore Gwen’s advice.

        • Skipper2425 says:

          * unappreciative

        • Sara says:

          This! I noticed that weeks ago and was pretty annoyed and Gwen seemed annoyed, too. That’s probably another reason why she loved Ryan so much; he was very eager to learn.

        • analythinker says:

          That doesn’t mean it was a good decision (to trust himself and not his coach), because it seems like he insists on some songs to sing because he sees a cover he likes on YouTube (*Kris Allen’s*) and decides to imitate it. Again, seemingly so.

    • Estelle says:

      Bruno Mars is incredible. Chris is not. The feel for the music just isn’t there for Chris.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I hereby charge thee with blasphemy!

        • JM1 says:

          Chris can hit all the notes and then some, but I honestly don’t hear enough of a unique quality to his voice that I’d recognize him on the radio, let alone stop on a station if he’s on. Sorry, just calling it like I see it and of course you can love him enough for us both, hehe.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I hearby charge THEE with blasphemy! :) Yeah, well aware, I have a problem.
            I made my husband watch Chris’ Bruno Mars cover and prefaced it with “this is the man I will be leaving you for.”
            His response: “I support that.”

          • Michael says:

            I love your husband Angie lol

      • Lorraine says:

        I agree. Chris did a good job but he is no Bruno Mars!!

    • JM says:

      Chris-fake?? Why you didn’t appreciate the Robert Palmer tribute with the excellent female guitar players??
      Oh, who am I kidding? That must have been Adam’s brilliant idea.

    • Scott says:

      Okay bub hold up, I know Chris actually, I go to Capital with Chris and he is far from fake, in fact he is one of the most down to earth people. If only u knew what he is all about. Most unselfish person I’ve met.

    • Nedsdag says:

      I do not understand the Chris love either. He didn’t bring anything new to either of his songs, but since he’s “cute” and “the ladies love him,” he’ll be in the final (personally, I find Taylor more appealing and sexier).

  14. David H says:

    The most consistently good singer was Matt. Chris (though I’m not a fan) was probably right behind him. Craig almost lost it with his first song, but stormed back into contention with his courageous second song. Damien had a decent first song and a “pitchy” second. Taylor put me to sleep.

  15. Kaba says:

    TJW was just…awful beyond repair tonight.
    Falsetto was awful on falling slowly and it sounded like he was just learning how to breathe.
    Then he brought those same breathing issues over the Blank Space.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      As much as I’m happy to finally have TJW’s weaknesses I’ve been complaining about all season on display, I did honestly feel bad for him tonight. That was hard to watch. I honestly don’t think he should have made it this far. Had he been eliminated earlier like he should have been, we could have avoided this ugliness. It’s reminding me a lot of CJ or TJ or whatever his name was from last season of Idol.

      • Bob says:

        Yes! He’s been boring and derivative and just not that good since day 1. Now he has been fully exposed.

        • JM1 says:

          Anyone notice Gwen mentioned she doesn’t know him that well (or is just getting to know him, or something)? Even to his own coach he hasn’t shown any personality or opened up.) That’s how I feel about him.

          • S7 Fan says:

            Ditto. Gwen’s comment was not typical of the coaches. It revealed how TJW has apparently kept her at arm’s length.

  16. Davey says:

    I’m sorry Will Champlin’s version of the Bruno Mars song far surpassed anything Chris sang tonight.

    • Kim Moores says:

      Will who?
      I just remember irrelevant deadweight. -____-

      • Davey says:

        You know zero about music if you thought Will Champlin was a deadweight.

        • Kim Moores says:

          Now what on God’s green earth do I need to know about music to feel (and know) that Will was the (and still is) the most irrelevant finalist…and probably artist the show had?
          So uninteresting.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I know a great deal about music and I do not agree Will > Chris. I liked Will, but Chris has a far better chance at a career. He’s far better looking, younger, and has a more current sound. But to your point, Will is very talented. I’d say it’s more a matter of preference because they’re both talented singers.

    • analythinker says:

      Loved Will but I think Chris takes the cake (and eat it too, in a good way).

    • Yes Will Champlins version of the bruno mars song was way better! I also loved Josh Levi’s version (x factor) of that song!

  17. Spycigal says:

    Please vote for and download Chris’ songs – he was amazing on both!

  18. analythinker says:

    iTunes placement:
    #10 Craig – The Old Rugged Cross
    #14 Matt – Make It Rain
    #20 Chris – When I Was Your Man
    #41 Matt – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
    #42 Chris – Sugar
    #52 Taylor – Falling Slowly
    #54 Craig – Working Man Blues
    #56 Damien – She’s Out of My Life
    #72 Taylor (not Swift) – Blank Space
    #122 Damien – I Don’t Wanna Wait

  19. Davey says:

    Ugh, the Old Rugged Cross was bad,

  20. Michael says:

    Yassssss! Chris slayed it tonight, and Angie, I can swoon with you on Chris now lol. When I was Your Man was wheeeeeeeew! That needed to happen, and that was really good. Sugar was also a great song choice for his falsetto to soar as well. Taylor… I apologize Angie about that XD Didn’t mean to praise him for a second. Matt was good as well, especially on his first song. Damien still confuses me, he is really good sometimes, but than other times, he’s not so good. Craig also confuses me, starting out the live rounds really strong, but then not living up to it last week, and this week’s first performance was, IMO his worst performance yet. He did redeem himself with the second performance though. But, I think this season’s title is Adam’s to lose. I swear to god if he throws Chris under the bus for Matt, I am going to be so mad.

    My top 3: Chris, Matt, Craig

    My wildcard choice: DaNica, Anita, or Jessie depending on the performance

    • Davey says:

      If Taylor has to go through the Wild Card thing, he will be the Wild Card. But don’t be surprised if his West Coast fans pull him through.

    • Davey says:

      Matt is Adam’s choice of his three. Matt has been his choice from the beginning.

      • JM1 says:

        It takes a lot of work (and $$) to get the rights to sing a U2 song. When Adam gives you U2, you are his favorite. James Wolpert one year ago (still love him).

    • Jeff Marley says:

      I leaning more towards DaNica based on her overall body of work. I hope she can give it all that she’s got into the performance!!! 😃

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Yay! Swoon with me! But you stay back cuz Chris is MINE!!! This obsession is becoming just slightly creepy, but I will wear my creepiness proudly on my sleeve.

    • JM says:

      He already started to throw him under the bus after the first performance. Remember he said, ‘and if you don’t make it tomorrow, I will still be so proud…’ real subtle.

    • PoopyPants says:

      I think Jessie has been gone too long to have a rabid fanbase. I’m putting most of my money on one of the two eliminated this week unless one person eliminated last week takes down the house. We have to remember that the top 3 will not be getting votes and wonder who the people that vote for them would try to get into the finale. For me, I would vote for the person I think will give my favorite the least amount of competition….

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Reagan James it is! That’s not a bad strategy, Herr Poopy.

        • Kaba says:

          To be fair, nobody outside of the top 5 is capable of giving a performance that could rock the vote no matter how they tried. My only guess would be that Luke would come the closest. The rest were never really competitions on toe left particularly in the voting section. But yeah, reagan can return…but I liked Anita’s redemption song so I she could reproduce that again

  21. Kaba says:

    Chris dodged the hell out of Adam’s famous “doesn’t matter if you win” speech with his final performance.
    Adam slapped him with it after Sugar so Chris falsetto’s his way out of Levine’s idea of hell.

  22. Kim Moores says:

    Heaven is a place where Chris’ falsetto is made <3

  23. Carola says:

    Chris Jamison is such a star in the making! Go Chris! He needs to be in that finale!

  24. jennifer s says:

    I disagree with your rankings…. I would vote Craig, then Matt, then Chris….

  25. Matt H says:

    Chris was really the best of tonight’s Top 5. Matt came next and then Craig. Taylor really disappointed me. For Damien I have no comments.
    BTW, the level of the performances of the semifinals was a little bit lower considering the others seasons of the show.

  26. Greg says:

    Damien deserves an A for his first vocally flawless performance and Craig deserves an A for his second.

  27. Antonio Hall says:

    These 5 artists was very powerful with there performances. My top 3 is going to be Damien , Chris , and Matthew .

    • jules says:

      I’ll only take that top 3 if it means that Adam will finally take a season off!! I can’t even begin to imagine how much insufferable douchery we’ll have to endure if ALL 3 of his guys make it to top 3. Hopefully either Craig or Taylor will knock out Damien. He has no personality.

      • JM1 says:

        I am strangely indifferent to the top 5 this year, but have to disagree about Damien lacking personality! People often say that about the slightly older contestants. I just see it as them being a grownup and keeping their emotions in check. I don’t hold it against them. )(If we are talking a REAL lack of personality, on the other hand . . . let’s talk Taylor John.)

        • jules says:

          The funny thing about that is I’m probably older than Damien and he bugs me because he’s always crying!! LOL! I guess I meant that I don’t feel like he makes songs his own as much as the other guys do. He sings what’s given to him phenomenally but I don’t look forward to his performances. It’s sad because I love r&b, it’s my favorite so I want to root for him but I just can’t. I get what you’re saying about TJW but I also kind of adore him & his weird shyness. I think he totally changes when he performs and I look forward to his performances and his cute grandma! Granted, he screwed the pooch tonight which was dissapointing. I’m going to have to go with Chris. I’ve loved him since the blinds. He peaked at the perfect time.

          • FarmGirl says:

            I am so glad someone mentioned the fact that he is always crying. That is all we can talk about. We just call him the crier….

        • Loraine says:

          Yes. I thought Matt could only sing, not TALK until his home town show. The boy has personality. Poor Damien just too scared acting but I love his sweetness as a person! Taylor? He should have thrown that black hat up in the air and danced a real “jig”!

  28. Angie_Overrated says:

    I have to give some love to Damien. That boy sang amazingly well tonight. I literally got the chills at one point during his MJ cover. He is a crazy talented singer, but unfortunately for him, three other vocalists happened to have huge moments tonight, and only 3 are going through tomorrow. Here’s to the wild card, Damien! Rooting for him.

  29. Janie says:

    Craig Wayne (Old Rugged Cross) is already in the Top 10 on iTunes, and Matt (Make It Rain) and Chris (When I Was Your Man) are closing in on Top 10, as well.

  30. Joy says:

    Hoping to see Chris Jamison make Pittsburgh proud, he has a perfect voice.

  31. Laurie Lewis says:

    I am still singing The Old Rugged Cross, can’t tell you what anyone else sang.

  32. Myles says:

    Not only teeners love Taylor but also people at my age (40+). He’s so good. He deserves to be atvthw top 3.

  33. LEE says:

    VOTE FOR TAYLOR. His voice is incredible and it’s one I don;t get tired of. I like Chris too. THe others are trying too hard and most are getting a little commercial……

  34. Angie_Overrated says:

    I honestly have no idea how to vote. I want Damien, Chris, Craig AND Matt in the final 3. As Kelly Bundy once said, I’m on the horns of an enema.

    • Kaba says:

      Oh my, you like Matt now? Damn Angie

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Ya know, he’s not my kind of voice, but he nailed so many performances over the past few weeks that I have to give credit where credit is due.

        • Kaba says:

          Fair enough. So how do you feel about this top 5 in comparison to the past ones?
          I think they alone make the season live up to the precedent former seasons have set honestly.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            I’ve been rather negative on this season as a whole, but this was a really good night for 4 of the 5 singers. Last season’s final 5 was really good too with Kristen, Christina, Jake (UGH!), Josh, and my girl Kat. I still probably won’t look back on this season fondly, but I’m happy that they whittled it down properly (with one glaring exception) to a highly presentable group of semifinalists. I hope and pray Damien gets that WC spot, but I’d also be ok with DaNica, Luke, or Anita.

  35. Scott says:

    Wow Taylor was so bad tonight.

  36. SoozinCA says:

    This is the 3rd time Taylor did a song the way it was done on American Idol season 8 and I am afraid Taylor pales in comparison. The judges have praised his originality when it was undue. I think I like Damien a lot more than you do, Michael. And I told my husband I want to see Craig in concert too.

  37. R. Mozingo says:

    Craig Wayne Boyd really touhed my heart tonight with his amazing voice & the special song he sang.I think he is #1.

  38. AlyB says:

    Taylor definitely crashed and burned tonight. His first song was just all around awful and the second didn’t come close to redeeming him. Chris earned a spot for sure. I loved him tonight. I’ve loved Matt & Craig all season. I don’t think they’ll have any problem moving forward. Hopefully this will be the top three!

    • Jeff Marley says:

      Who’s you’re wildcard pick? Mine is DaNica all the way!!! 😃😃😃

      • AlyB says:

        I’d like Danica to have a shot at it but I also want to see what everyone else brings to the table tonight. There’s no question that she’s technically, vocally superior to most everyone there but she’s got an identity crisis going on. Pharrell certainly hasnt haleped guide her in any interesting, relevant direction. I want her to let her hair down and belt something loose and fun like Joss Stone’s version of Son of a Preacher Man. She’s been needing to shatter the matronly vibe all season. If she can do that tonight, she deserves the wildcard. If, at this last chance moment, she can’t finally do that, I’m sorry but I’m just not interested in hearing any more from her.

  39. Suzanne says:

    Chris was on fire tonight…way to go Chris!!!!!

  40. Mytake says:

    Strangely enough looking at ITunes for the singers and clicking on Chris Jamison showed several albums by *a* Chris Jamison from 2007 onward. I clicked on some of them and listened to the preview of some songs and really liked the voice! I almost thought it was the same guy but an album in 2007 didn’t make sense for our Chris so I googled and sure enough it’s a different Chris Jamison. He still sounds good though!

  41. Brenda says:

    It seems that some coaches select songs that the contestant doesn’t really want to sing and they are usually the ones to go home. That is what happened to DaNica. Just like with Usher and Michelle Chamuel. The coaches praise each after the performance as the best and tell their next artist the same. Can we all just be honest with critiques?

  42. Alisa says:

    This season has been great, If it had not been for Gwen’s transformation Craig would not be there…..not because he doe not have the talent. Gwen knew he needed a change to be accepted….she was RIGHT!!!!!!

  43. Dee says:

    Chris Jamison became a serious contender tonight! Tonight he was fabulous!! Matt has been my other favorite since day 1. When he did his hometown performance, my oldest daughter went and saw him and hugged him. She said he was extremely nice and sounds even better live.

  44. Hyde says:

    I never feel like Taylor is trying at all. Almost like he doesn’t want to be there. Plus the Amish boy on his Rumspringa ambiance he gives off is disconcerting.

    I don’t get the appeal. I think if Chris keeps improving like he has been he could win. He’s got the most range artistically.

    Damien is great but is sort of a One Trick Pony vocally.

    Craig can rock but until tonight I didn’t know if he could carry a ballad. He’s fun and wicked talented but not much with range artistically.

    I honestly don’t get the Matt appeal. He’s alright but he doesn’t sing so much as scream on key. Another one trick pony in my book.

    My money is on Chris for the win. A hot guy who can sing that good? He’s gonna be #1 or #2 at the very least. That’s my prediction.

  45. Connie Johnson says:

    You mention Bambie’s mom, so I wonder, did you really watch all of Bambi? Because if you did, I think you forget what Thumper’s mom made him recite, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”

  46. Craig deserves to win this contest for sure !! He is such a natural ! He sang the Old Rugged Cross so wonderful ! Bravo!!

  47. Adam says:

    If I got to choose, Chris, Craig, and Matt are easily the Top Three.
    Sidenote: Am I completely not with it for not knowing who Randy Houser is?

    • Mytake says:

      I don’t either but I’m not a big country fan. I googled him though and he’s been nominated for some country awards (new artist, best video .. Can’t remember exactly the categories) but they were a few years ago and it looks like he didn’t win. Perhaps he showed up at CWB’s performance not to give CWB a career boost (by association) but rather to give himself a boost on the back of CWB’s rising star :)

  48. barbara schaller says:

    I love christ jamison i hope he wins