The Voice Top 12 Recap: This Is It! (Make No Mistakes or Get Gone)

Wheat, meet chaff — but don’t worry about learning their names.

That was the unspoken theme of The Voice‘s Top 12 performance night — where, when contestants were good, they were very very good, but when they were bad, they were horrid (or at least horrid-adjacent).

Oh, sure, only one contestant will lay his or her head on the chopping block come Tuesday night, but you needn’t have a crystal ball — only functioning ears — to know that Braiden, Korin, Zach, Mark, Amy and probably Barrett are essentially destined to be footnotes in one of the other six singers’ journey to music superstardom the Season 9 title.

A controversial stance? Sure. Premature? Maybe. (You never know when a contestant will suffer Death by Song Choice, of course). But I’m standing by my working theory. With that in mind, let’s get to my letter grades for tonight’s performances:

Team Gwen: Braiden Sunshine, Styx’s “Renegade” — Grade: C- | To be honest, there was cacophonous discord before Braiden got a note out of his mouth — seeing how the doe-eyed high school sophomore had no business delivering lyrics about a hardened criminal faced with a hanging in the public square.  Oh Gwen, you can’t call it coaching when you allow one of your three remaining artists to plunge headlong into the abyss! Braiden hit a higher percentage of notes this week than he did seven days ago, but still, there were moments where he ran out of breath and became inaudible. And what can be said about that “glory note,” other than to ask you all to brainstorm the antonym for glory?

Team Adam: Amy Vachal, Drake’s “Hotline Bling” — Grade: C+ | Amy’s wincing face at the end of her ambitious Drake cover said it all: On paper, she had the night’s coolest idea — taking a current R&B radio jam and turning it into an ethereal jazz number — but from the botched opening cue to the dozens of instances where she found herself underneath the melody, this was her worst performance of the season. At this point, I think it’s safe to say she simply doesn’t have the vocal technique to survive into the upper echelons of Season 9.

Team Pharrell: Mark Hood, Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” — Grade: C+ | I would think any contestant or coach with even the slightest interest in winning the season would studiously avoid the most overdone ballad in reality-singing competition history. But… nope. Seems like every year, someone face-plants into the quagmire of Phil Collins’ gloppiest composition, then fails to bring anything fresh to a lyric that reduces the narrator to nothing more than an “empty space.” I appreciated Mark’s restraint in the opening half, but once he waded into the audience, the performance became more about peacock-y embellishment than emotional connection, leaving me wondering what happened to the dude who slayed in the Blinds with “Use Me.”

Team Blake: Emily Ann Roberts, Patty Loveless’ “Blame It on Your Heart” — Grade: B | Emily’s got a lovely, light tone that effortlessly spreads cheer like a Glade air spray — and “Blame It on Your Heart” was the perfect uptempo vehicle to underscore the teenager’s attributes. To the ears, Emily Ann kept up the pedal-to-the-floor tempo with only a minor glitch or two, but to the eyes… crikey, the kid looked stiffer than a Wall Street exec’s dress shirt coming out of a dry cleaner’s. Granted, Carrie Underwood wasn’t winning any stage-presence awards during her Idol tenure, either, but it’s 2015, and Emily Ann will have to be a quicker study in charisma if she wants to inherit Sawyer Fredericks’ throne.

Team Gwen: Korin Bukowski, David Guetta and Sia’s “Titanium” — Grade: C | I applaud Gwen for understanding that sometimes a singer has gotta shake up his or her look in order to recapture the voting audience’s attention, but no amount of Extreme Makeover: Contestant Edition is going to work if the person who’s holding the mic keeps veering away from the melody so consistently that you’re left wondering, “is she deliberately going this way, or is she simply out of tune?” Also, if you’re going to shout to the world that you’re literally made of titanium, then you’d better do it with conviction, not the intermittent trepidation that colored Korin’s delivery and facial expression, no?

Team Blake: Barrett Baber, Richard Marx’s “Right Here Waiting” — Grade: B- | Barrett’s got a powerfully gruff instrument, but there’s something about his delivery — the ham-handed earnestness and curious pronunciations of common words — that keeps me at an emotional arm’s length. Even worse, though, there’s no real build to his performances — everything’s set at histrionic. Sure, Adam Levine gave seemingly glowing feedback — but his note that whatever tune Barrett is covering, “you just attack it,” could also be taken as very accurate criticism.

Team Pharrell: Madi Davis, Jewel’s “Who Will Save Your Soul” — Grade: A- | In all honesty, Madi’s Jewel cover probably would’ve charted higher on iTunes if she’d sung it straight, rather than following Pharrell’s advice to add a reggae groove behind it. But real risk is an inherent part of the process of becoming a true artist, and so while Madi’s face occasionally betrayed the discomfort she’d discussed in her intro package about going uptempo, she still turned in one of the night’s better vocals. She managed to capture the humor in the lyrics, come off as sly (not ridiculous) on the spoken-word interludes and dang, that final songbird run was delicious.

Team Gwen: Jeffery Austin, James Bay’s “Let It Go” — Grade: A+ | There’s no use in pretending I didn’t jump on Jeffery’s bandwagon right from the Blind Auditions, but this week’s perfect performance means that vehicle is about to get a lot more crowded. Starting on a plaintive falsetto note, Jeffery came across raw and vulnerable telling the story of a relationship careening toward its end — the sparse arrangement only serving to highlight the power of his voice alone. Is there a reason Mark Burnett & Co. keep denying him the end-of-episode pimp slot? Is it a conspiracy to keep chosen one Jordan Smith out front? I’m not sure. But for the second week running, a competing coach (Blake this time, Adam last week) declared Gwen’s sole true contender could “definitely win this thing.”

Team Adam: Shelby Brown, Jamey Johnson’s “In Color” — Grade: B+ | I’d have been happy about Blake pointing out Shelby noticably rushing the tempo in the final third of her ballad — and running afoul of the band’s arrangement — if he hadn’t ignored far worse missteps from several other singers throughout the night. Methinks he’s still stung the country kid chose Adam, and not him. But despite the glitch, Shelby exhibited vast improvement this week in building her song to a meaningful crescendo, all while reminding viewers of the stunning power and tone she’s got in her inexperienced pocket. And while it wasn’t the subject of her pre-performance package, her hair and wardrobe upgrade gave her an added touch of star quality.

Team Pharrell: Evan McKeel, Kenny Loggins’ “This Is It” — Grade: B+ | Paging Mulder and Scully, because everything about Evan’s performance this week could be filed under “unexplained phenomena.” The choice of a tragically-stuck-in-1979 Kenny Loggins tune — and the utter failure to update the arrangement (not even the wee-wahh-wee synth line at the top). The so-ugly-Evan-must-have-lost-a-bet-with-the-show’s-stylist sweater. The uncomfortable hip sway, the skipping and other assorted “dance” moves. And yet, as Evan barreled his way through the tune — he hit pretty much every note and delivered the lyrics with a purposefulness that I’m not sure they deserved. OK, he lost a bit of steam in the final 20 seconds or so, but vocally speaking, you can’t say the dude didn’t deliver.

Team Adam: Jordan Smith, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” — Grade: A | Even more so than Jeffery before him, Jordan opted for a seriously sparse arrangement – a cappella intro, followed by nothing more than his own piano accompaniment – and perhaps just slightly less so than Jeffery, reaped huge benefits. The guy has more control over his gargantuan pipes than Capt. Sully piloting an Airbus over the Hudson River, and it was clear he felt every word of the hymn he’d chosen. I still wish Adam would work with Jordan to stamp out the shriekiness that creeps into the top part of his register, but it’s pretty clear that as long as Jordan doesn’t go all Ozzy Osbourne and bite the head off a bat, he’s pretty much a lock for the finale.

Team Blake: Zach Seabaugh, Little Texas’ “My Love” — Grade: D+ | Critique suffered another stinging blow after the panel went bonkers for Zach’s ragtag vocals — capped by Blake’s declaration that his country heartthrob is ready to hop on a tour bus and get to work. (As what? A roadie?!) Don’t get me wrong — I thought Zach was terrific last week with his raucous, animated “Brand New Girlfriend,” but this week’s choice of ballad exposed a host of technical failings — flat notes abounded, Zach’s voice got completely swallowed up by the band on several occasions and he had all the fire and energy of a Kardashian who’s been cut off from social-media. Hands down, the final performance of the night was the worst — though I’m hoping that he’ll survive into next week… since his overall body of work in the live shows is stronger than Braiden or Korin’s.

Will Be Bottom 3: Braiden, Mark, Korin (Korin going home)
Should Be Bottom 3: Braiden, Zach, Korin (Braiden going home)

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

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. Florence+TheMachineRules!!! #MariahSlays says:

    Shelby, Jeffery, Jordan, and Madi owned the night!!! These 4 could be the final 4!!!

  2. Jaszy says:

    Braiden Sunshine – Renegade – This kid seriously needs to go home. No, Gwen, he did not vocally nail it! He screeched that last note! It was awful. He was just basically yelling. This kid needs more time.

  3. Andres says:

    I thought it was double elimination.
    Anyway I love Jeffery and Jordan they were outstanding tonight. I kind of want Jeffery to something upbeat like he did in his battle next week if he moves on. I love the fact Madi changed it up and did something up tempo. Here is hoping braidin or Zack leave

  4. analythinker says:

    I like Jeffery, but I heard some off-pitch moments, so I don’t think he deserves the +, but we know you like him, Michael.
    Not crazy about Amy’s performance and I can now say Korin has a very limited genre. I don’t know why she chose that song other than because she relates to it, but big songs aren’t for her, unless they’re stripped way, way down.
    Not crazy about Madi’s song as well, but can’t pinpoint why.
    And for the first time, I’d say, Jordan made me cry.

    • what says:

      Yeah, I agree with you in that I think the only way Titanium would’ve worked for Korin is if was waaaay stripped down. Maybe if it the arrangement was similar to Madilyn Paige’s, whose voice also isn’t the strongest, it could’ve been better but I don’t think Gwen knows what to do with Korin or Braiden imo.

      • analythinker says:

        Madilyn has stronger voice than Korin, specially on the upper register, even though I like Korin more. I *think* Gwen sees where they *can* be, but they’re just not there yet. Although if she does know what to do with Korin, she would have stripped the song down. However, in this show, versatility keeps people from getting bored, although “same old same old” worked out pretty well for Sawyer, who I think still remains the same now. I think from Korin, I expect consistency, because she’s just not versatile.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Was not at all into Madi’s performance. A) That arrangement didn’t work for that song. B) the original arrangement was right in her alley and she would have killed it C) She was obviously very uncomfortable doing it. D) Her styling made her look like Monica Lewinsky, which made me gag because she’s a really pretty girl and E) adding power vocals to that song was so weird sounding, not to mention that doesn’t play to Madi’s strength.
      In summary, points for creativity, but no. Try again.

    • Davey says:

      I didn’t hear any off pitch moments with Jeffery. If it was there it wasn’t very obvious.

  5. Jaszy says:

    Amy – Hotline Bling – Amy was taking a risk with this song. It was a good performance, but she had some slight pitch issues, especially in the higher notes. She also needs to work on her stage presence a little more. Her artistry reminds me of Meiko mixed with Norah Jones.

    • what says:

      I feel like Adam was trying to pull off what he did with Christina Grimmie and Hold On, We’re Going Home. I think Amy’s Hotline Bling could’ve been successful but her performance, for me, gave me to much of a “coffee-shop” vibe (at least vocally) rather than the singer-songwriter vibe I think she’s going for.

    • MamaLis says:

      Okay, saying Amy had “slight pitch issues” is like peering at a car that’s flipped over a bridge as “maybe a little distracted.” I’m not sure what was more astonishing to me a) entering at the wrong time b) forgetting 80% of the words c) blowing-off (again) the plead to emotionally connect to the song or d) standing there afterwards like….a thru c didn’t happen. The fact that the judges gave her 100% pass as well. Wow. Beauty works in mysterious ways.

      • Jaszy says:

        Okay, I didn’t think it was that bad. She was definitely pitchy for sure, she did seem slightly uncomfortable as well. I don’t know the lyrics, I’m not familiar with the song, so if she did mess up the lyrics, I didn’t notice. You can’t just say that she accept defeat because she messed up. No one gives up. You hold your head high. If you ask me, all of these contestants have pitch problems, some more than others. All of them should be critiqued, but it’s like they had on blinders with Braiden. He was the worst of the night. Amy did immensely better than him. I don’t think it’s because she’s gorgeous. She has a beautiful voice.
        You could say the same thing for Braiden, girls vote for him because he’s cute. Beauty definitely works in mysterious ways in this case, right? Braiden should’ve been eliminated last week.

      • bobsaccamanna says:

        Guess you don’t like Amy hey Mama? lol
        well apparently the people buying I Tunes are not in agreement she is 7th at this point.
        I thought she sounded just ok but to suggest that the judges gave her a pass because she is beautiful is ridiculous, the judges give everybody a pass, no one gets critiqued no matter how god awful the performance is.
        Braiden, Mark, Korin, Zach and even Madi all could have used a little constructive criticism last night, being honestly critical is just not these shows strong suit. Overblown hyperbole like Zach leaving the stage and heading for his tour bus is.

    • davmon says:

      Risky, maybe; and not her cup of latte. But she still did well. Something in her voice tonight made me think of Sade; some exquisite songs there, if not too laid back for prime time. And either she or Madi could have fun with Twisted or one of the many jazz greats by Joni Mitchell.

    • Timmah says:

      Amy’s yet another promising contestant who’s getting killed by Adam’s awful song choices.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I respectfully disagree with that one. I thought Adam’s song choice idea was really good for Amy on that one, but she didn’t execute well.
        In general though, I agree with you. He’s got some suspect song choices.

  6. Jaszy says:

    Mark – Against All Odds – Mark’s not one of my favorites. There’s nothing about him that excites me. The only good thing about this was the song choice. I’m a fan of Phil Collins. The performance was just okay, in my opinion. His runs were not executed well. He also seemed like he was running out of breath and as a result, his voice was breaking on some notes and those weren’t Sia-type breaks either.

  7. Jaszy says:

    Emily Ann – Blame It On Your Heart
    I’ve never heard this song before, but it doesn’t strike me as the type of song you sing on a singing competition show. You need to sing for your life and this is not the type of song that says to America, “vote for me.” This is not a serious song, it’s a fun song. She should’ve picked something else, maybe Same Trailer, Different Park by Kacey Musgraves
    Emily Ann might be in trouble. She did sing it fine, with slight breathing issues . This was a throwaway performance to me.

    • JM says:

      Gwen’s comment ‘I don’t know that song, but I like it.’ was the best thing about that performance.

    • The Beach says:

      Very true. I thought Blake really bombed tonight on his team’s song choices. Emily Ann’s was cute enough but sure didn’t give her a boost. But even worse was what he did to Zach. Here’s a guy coming off a big win last week for his spirited song and sexy dance moves and instead of keeping that momentum going Blake saddles him with an old, boring and obscure song nobody remembers and that went nowhere. Hell, the kid already knows all the moves to Footloose. Let him sing that and he would have earned his pimp spot and brought the house down.

    • scott says:

      Actually, she kindly sang it well, but the song is very conducive to her range. It was safe. Maybe, the other coaches should not take their contestants out of there comfort zones too much. Challenge them, but not overly. And pick songs you know have a good chance of downloading. For instance, Evans song was very rangy, and sung well,but is anyone under 40 going to download that?

  8. Jaszy says:

    Korin – Ugh, I LOVE SIA! But I wish it was a different Sia song like Lentil or I’m in Here…or any other Sia masterpiece. Gwen needs to stop trying to change every single thing about a person. Korin’s hair looked fine before. But the blonde is cute on her. In regards to this performance, her pitch was off the whole time. There was one instance where it was so painfully out of tune, that I just cringed. She was mostly sharp. All
    of these artists need to work on their pitch. Do these people not realize that they need to sing in TUNE?
    That’s one of the most important parts of being a good singer. You can’t just get by on emotion, you need to have the technique and singing in tune is a MAJOR technique!

    • sara says:

      That song was in HORRIBLY bad taste. Did no one think this was in any way appropriate to sing after what happened in Paris??

      • Bex says:

        IMO I think the song choice was made well before the Paris tragedy. They only have limited rehearsal time so they shouldn’t be expected to change when something like that happens. It puts the contestant at a very unfair disadvantage to do so.

      • Jaszy says:

        How was it in horribly bad taste? Tragedies happen everyday. The world doesn’t stop because of one tragedy. I’m not making light of the situation. What happened was horrible. But you think she shouldn’t have sang Titanium because of the Paris attacks? That’s far-reaching. It is just a song. You shouldn’t look into things so much.

    • Good comment about singing in tune. I also like the understand the words but it has been pointed out to me that many famous singers like Ariana Grande are not enunciating properly

    • scott says:

      Korin needs to focus on softer arrangements.

  9. Bart says:

    Jeffery’s voice is like a hot cup of coffee in the morning. So warm, so nice.

  10. JM says:

    Jeffery killed it tonight! I want that song. Madi was also very good. I thought everyone else hit some bad notes (obviously some more than others). Michael, you’re too nice; Braiden definitely gets an ‘F’.

  11. Kyllito says:

    I have ready people’s comments over the past couple of weeks with their praise of Madi. I want to like her but I can’t. Go back and listen to her last three or four performances. She rushes, her performances are a bit uninspiring, and they are downright not enjoyable. And if you listen to the audience they didn’t cheer as much for her compared to others. Jeffery is the real Zealand deserved the A grade he got tonight, not Madi.

  12. Jaszy says:

    Barrett – His blind audition was great. He hasn’t excited me as much since. In the beginning, he did remind me of a country version of Gavin DeGraw. Their voices are similar. This performance was better than I expected. He really tries to sing in tune. The moment he started moving a little too much, that is when his pitch wavered. But overall, this was better than last week.

  13. Jaszy says:

    Barrett – His blind audition was great. He hasn’t excited me as much since. In the beginning, he did remind me of a country version of Gavin DeGraw. Their voices are similar. This performance was better than I expected. He really tries to sing in tune. The moment he started moving a little too much, that is when his pitch wavered. But overall, this was better than last week….yep.

  14. Florence+TheMachineRules!!! #MariahSlays says:

    Shelby and Jeffery both made me cry. Seriously, both are IMMESILY talented!!!

  15. Jaszy says:

    Madi Davis – I LOVE Jewel. So glad she picked a Jewel song! Who Will Save Your Soul was a good choice for her. I feel that this is the type of artist she is. And Pharell’s right, she DOES know exactly who she wants to be. Those Jewel, Joni Mitchell, Feist, Fiona Apple,
    Regina Spektor type singers, I LOVE! I can’t believe she’s only 16. She looks much older. She did have some intonation problems. But overall, this was a different kind of performance. I think she’s safe.

  16. davmon says:

    After losing half of everyone last week, this show seemed anti-climactic. The jump from 24 to 12 was too brutal, especially since this week goes only from 12 to 11. That is incongruous, absurd, & crazy! Next season, whether they do 24 or 20 (as before) for the Live Playoffs, why not go to 16 for this week; go from 6 (or 5) to 4 on each team—three by vote and one by save, instead of 6 (or 5) to 3 like this time. Then next week would be the 12, two by vote and one save, per team, like we are doing now. Then, go from 12 to 8…or whatever. But after losing half of everyone last week, this week seems anti-climactic—hardly worth voting for the difference from 12 to 11….Plus, tonight was so uneven. Half seemed to belong (Jeffrey, Madi, Jordan, Amy, Shelby, and Mark); the rest deserved to be back in the Battle Round. Ho hum.

    • Yes Davmon, I miss Viktor, can’t believe he’s gone and some of the others who were way better than the chaff here

    • TTorvo says:

      You are absolutely correct. Their going to 24 made little sense, except as a gimmick. Then to brutally cut so many at once was dumb. Then they cut only one this week! Crazy planning by the producers. They will probably cut several from the show in a week or two to get down to the final four in an expeditious manner. Goofy TV entertainment.

  17. Patrick Holmes says:

    I vote Korin.She is the best.

  18. OhMy says:

    “This is it” is such an awful song, that even if you sing it well, it doesn’t sound good. He didn’t sing it well.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Agreed that it’s an awful song. It’s dated in a totally non-fun, unironic kitsch sort of way (much like the sweater he was wearing). Joyless even.
      I thought the vocal was reasonably good though.

      • AlyB says:

        That sweater omg. Then he did that hip swivel. The camera immediately cut away & they went to a close up on his face as if even they were like nooooooo. It was pure kitch & not even in a humorous nod to kitch way. Evan has a good voice but that whole performance from song choice on, was simply embarrassing.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          That sweater is very Supermarket Sweep. I can’t paste a link on this site, but google “Supermarket Sweep David Ruprecht sweaters” to see what I’m talking about. This show was on in my home country on the English channel when I was learning English, and this was one of my favorite shows because his sweaters always had me dying of laughter. So ugly.

      • OhMy says:

        Ok, I’ll give you sort-of reasonably good.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          On a night like this one, I’ll take reasonably good. “Reasonably good” was a rare commodity in this top 12. He and Jeffery were the only two I could muster any interest in.

    • scott says:

      He sang it well though, good pitch, on time. More of a degree of difficulty than you give it credit for. Downloadable? Not if you’re under 40. Remember, we all like to hear songs we enjoyed when we were kids

  19. Andre says:

    My favorite performances were Jeffery’s, Madi’s, Evan’s, and Jordan’s. I usually always think Madi, Jeffery, and Evan are always so good, (especially Jeffery, like wow) but I would say the best performance for me today was the “well-hyped” Jordan Smith because it brought me to a place of strong faith and hope during this devastation that is pervaded throughout the world.

    The performances that were disappointing were Zach Seabaugh’s and Amy Vachal’s. Amy Vachal was very dragging on Hotline Bling and didn’t really change the arrangement for the better. Zach didn’t show the voice or the charisma he had in the playoffs.

    Again I still think Braiden should go home. But sadly, if its Korin, which I really hope its not because I was very attached to her from the start, I do get why she could go home since her performance was on the fence for both the playoffs and today.
    Bottom 3: Korin, Braiden, Mark/Amy

    • Bex says:

      I think Zach was uncomfortable with the song. I can see why. While the song is not bad, it was originally recorded by a band. Those songs rarely translate well to a solo artist on a talent show. Blake made a bad call there. If he wanted to go 90’s flashback he could have chosen something by David Kersh or Wade Hayes and had the same affect with a better outcome. Blake has nobody to blame but himself for that fumble.

    • scott says:

      Hmm, yeah, you kinda nailed it. My only change would be Zach, not Amy. But then there’s the country factor. Jordan, probably 3rd best performance for me.

      • Andre says:

        Well, now I stand corrected most likely, since Amy is now in the top 10 Itunes chart and Is probably going to advance, but you know, she sang a song that was completely out of her comfort zone and very contemporary, I will give you that, but that doesn’t mean it was her best (it was her worst)

  20. Angie_Overrated says:

    Still watching the episode and only up to Emily Ann, but this is far improved from last week’s disaster. I was expecting to actively root against her this season, but this is suprisingly not terrible. Best of the night so far, but pretty easy to be #1 thus far when the only other two were Amy and Braiden.

  21. Trent says:

    Jeffery is everything to me. That is all.

    Some of my other thoughts that aren’t “Omg Jeffery is amazing” and “Why is he not getting the pimp spot for 3 weeks in a row?”:

    Braiden is just Braiden
    Not sure if I actually like Amy’s take on a not very good song, but I appreciated her shaking it up a bit
    Really Mark and Pharrell/the Voice producers? THAT song?!
    I love you Emily Ann, but why are you singing like 4 different notes?
    Madi was pretty awesome and I liked her on that Jewel song, but I think other Jewel songs would’ve been a little better
    Jordan/apparent greatest singer in the world was actually awesome and he actually put some kind of emotion into it, but I still need for him to round his tone more. But who am I kidding, he’s going to win regardless.
    Zach, what just happened? Where the key and half the words at?

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Jeffery is easily the best singer this season by a mile. Which means he won’t win. I’ve already accepted that, but I’m going to enjoy the Jeffery train for as long as it lasts. The kid has talent oozing from every pore. Tonight wasn’t my favorite performance of his due to a few wonky notes, but it was still good enough to be the best one of the night.

      • Trent says:

        I feel like he’s having a trajectory similar to Amanda Brown and Amber Carrington – starting off with a one chair turn, then slowly proving how good he is by turning out some of the best performances of the season, then tragically getting eliminated over some other pimped-up contestant

      • analythinker says:

        Yay, you heard the wonky notes too!

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Well, yeah, they were there. They didn’t ruin the song, but they were there. Thinking back to his Sam Smith cover in his blind audition where he nailed pretty much every single note, we know he’s capable of near-perfection.

    • davmon says:

      Yeah, Mark got a bum steer on the Phil Collins’ ditty. He can mix it up, but had to play that one straight up. Was OK considering….Korin, a sweet kid, but a lot of flat notes whatever the song….Madi was great considering the quirky arrangement….Jordan, yes, has a great voice, but does falter with sublety and imaginative phrasing. He needs a good bit of schooling in vocal technique to have a professional career. But has lots of raw talent….And Zach, simply did not connect with that song; his heart wasn’t in it. BS must have forced it on him. Let him just do Elvis: Love ballad? Love Me Tender. Pelvis shaking? Blue Suede Shoes. Spiritual? Peace in the Valley. Sobbing soulfulness? American Trilogy (Dixie-Battle Hymn-All My Trials.

      • Trent says:

        Aside from song choice, I feel like Zach needs to sit down and focus on the vocal rather than holding audience members’ hands and needs to learn how to hold the mic.

      • Trent says:

        He tears up iTunes every week though, so people are buying what the show is selling. That being said, he’ll probably fall to the musical wayside like Cassadee, Danielle and Sawyer who also tore up iTunes in their respective seasons

    • JM says:

      Jeffery is amazing. Should be #1, but unfortunately, the writing is on the wall that this is the Jordon show, and the others are just backup singers.

      • Norma says:

        Jordans show! Up till now he hasn’t stepped away from his heavenly songs all in the same style ..maybe he should sing a song showing he has more to offer. Love,love Jeffery-Evan#1-2

    • JM says:

      Forgot to mention that I agree with your assessment that ‘Hotline Bling’ isn’t a very good song. It’s so overrated.

  22. danin says:

    I love Jeffrey(the maestro)& I love Evan..Evan has that appeal to my heart.’s got no lower register. I thought the kid,Braiden did nicely,and Madi,I was shocked..I thought she was in her early 20’s. I wasn’t a total fan of song choice, though she played w/it as much as she could. And though I hadn’t been paying attention to Korin(who Gwen tried to turn into mini me Gwen) I liked how I got to hear all the possibilities of her voice.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Jeffery and Evan (minus Evan’s sweater and song choice) would be my top two as well.

      • danin says:

        Haha..I really didn’t get a good look at it.

      • Agreed. I think Emily Ann did a fine job. It’s not a song I like, but there’s something intriguing about her voice and style. I thought most people had some pitch issues here and there tonight and some of the song choices were….perplexing.

      • scott says:

        People are holding song choice against Evan. The song may not be people’s cup of tea. But he nailed it for what it was. His timing, pitch were right. And good tone. Maybe a more suitable song for the crowd and he’ll be up there with Jeffrey. If that does happen, they might cancel each other vote though.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          It was a terrible song for this competition, as evidenced by the # of downloads we’re seeing, but he did pretty well with the vocals. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he “nailed it” like you said, but I think he did well enough to be #2 of the night behind Jeffery. In a field of 12, that’s pretty impressive.

      • Those are also my favorites, Jeffery and Evan. Evans voice is so good,if they would just pick his songs better!

  23. Vocally, Jordan and Jeffery were the best. But the performance I enjoyed the most was Amy’s. I hate “Hotline Bling” (mostly bc of Drake’s embarassing dance moves on the video), but this version was way different from what I was expecting. Yeah, she had some vocal problems there, but I loved it.
    On the other side, I could’t stand Braiden and couldn’t even finish the video on Youtube of Zach’s perforance. What in the heck happend to this kid sing so bad like that?

    • Davey says:

      I agree. Amy was a bit low key but she was different.

      • davmon says:

        Jeffery and Jordan WERE great, but they were in their proverbial wheelhouses. Why ever Pharrell had Madi reggae-ing Jewel and Adam had Amy jazzing Drake, who knows!…the amazing thing was that they managed remarkably welll. You cannot say the same for Zach who could not switch his country station from upbeat honky tonk to quaalude love ballad; nor Emily Ann who could not manage to get out of the high school talent contest, losing the tune while chasing the lyric. [They are likeable sweet kids; but will only stay around because they are Team Blake.)

    • JM says:

      I think Zach was overwhelmed with a bad song choice and having to follow Jordan. I can’t even imagine following that performance. I thought it was the end of the show, it had ‘final performance’ written all over it, and then they showed Zach coming up next. Poor kid.

  24. Davey says:

    I would have liked Jordan more if he hadn’t screeched at the end. And if he’s going to sing a hymn maybe everyone should have done a song for peace or something. Really if you’re going to start invoking God, everyone else should, too.

  25. Ginger Snap says:

    Team Adam: Jordan Smith, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” 25.92%
    Team Gwen: Jeffery Austin, James Bay’s “Let It Go” 23.88%
    Team Pharrell: Madi Davis, Jewel’s “Who Will Save Your Soul” 12.69%
    Team Adam: Shelby Brown, Jamey Johnson’s “In Color” 7.91%

    That’s about right . Jordan brought tears to my eyes .
    Everyone else was forgettable .

  26. joy says:

    I know everyone is on the Jordan band wagon but I don’t see this guy having a career. The biggest complaint about The Voice is that it hasn’t created a real singer with a career. Jordan can sing but he will never have a stellar career. The Voice has to start going for the whole package or it will never have a Kelly Clarkson or Carrie. I’m not sure if anyone that is left is up for it but I know Jordan is not it. Young people are not going to line up in droves to buy tickets to see him in concert. Let’s face it that is what it is going to take, to finally have someone make it big.

  27. Davey says:

    Adam and Blake have told Jeffery that he could win the whole thing but then the only person they all go nuts for is Jordan. So they don’t really want Jeffery to win the whole thing, do they?

  28. joy says:

    The Voice is never going to have a real winner until they create another Kelly Clarkson or Carrie. Right now I don’t see anyone left that could pull this off but I know Jordan is not it. There is no way people are going to line up in droves to see Jordan in Concert and that is what it is going to take to make a real star. The biggest complaint about The Voice is that it hasn’t really created anyone that has made it. The audience is going to have to start thinking is this someone that will make it by touring etc. There are literally 1000,s of people out there that can create music in a studio but that won’t cut it. If you can’t get people to come see you in a show then you are going to be dropped by the label.

  29. bighug says:

    JEFFERY ‘s voice is sweet

  30. Ginger Snap says:

    If the B3 are Braiden, Mark, and Zach, who will you save ?
    Because I wouldn’t save any of them .

    • analythinker says:

      I wouldn’t either.

    • davmon says:

      I would save Mark. No one on Blake’s team was better. Nor on Gwen’s except for Jeffery. And Evan on his team was in a weak pocket throughout that disco song. I had Mark at #6 behind Jeffery, Madi, Jordan, Amy, and Shelby.

    • Timmah says:

      I would love to see Braiden or Zach go, but knowing how these shows work, there’s no way either one is sniffing the bottom this week. Most likely the bottom 3 will be all girls.

      • scott says:

        Unfortunately you may be right. Shelby is definitely worthy of top 4 or better. Definitely the best of the girls overall

        • Timmah says:

          I think Shelby will be safe. The most vulnerable are Amy, Emily, Mark and Korin as they were the ones who the coaches had to save last week, so they obviously do not have strong fan bases. I think the bottom 3 will come from those 4.

  31. Jaszy says:

    Jeffery – Let It Go
    I can’t get behind this dude. His voice is not that special to me. In my opinion, he’s trying too hard to be the second coming of Sam Smith, who I don’t really like that much either. I love this song, though.
    James Bay is an amazing artist.
    Jeffery did sing this really well, though he went a little overboard with those gruff growls, whatever he was doing. That was unnecessary. But, he’s just not one of my favorites. In my opinion, he always seems like he’s “putting on” a voice. It doesn’t seem as natural to me.

  32. Jaszy says:

    Shelby – In Color
    Shelby’s such a great singer, I just worry about her being too predictable. This was a great performance. She looked amazing. That song choice was PERFECT for her voice. Except for those few iffy notes toward the end, this was one of the better performances of the night! Go Shelby! She’s getting my vote. I’m just surprised that they criticized her, yet they didn’t say anything to Braiden, whose voice is not that strong.

  33. Jaszy says:

    Can’t get into Evan. Something about him rings really phony to me. He’s my least favorite artist of the TOP 12.

    • davmon says:

      Evan is occasionally very good, but more often mediocre. Last week, he got the softball toss of Overjoyed, but was off his game and swung with a whiffle-ball bat. Tonight, he got this kitschy disco number by Loggins, that does not transcend the genre–if we be polite. And he nailed it–a warbly lyric with a chintzy beat; nailed it to the wall in the hall of songs to be forgotten..

  34. Jaszy says:

    I don’t know about you people, but I just can’t jump on the Jordan bandwagon. His voice tends to carry on this thin, whiny tone especially when he goes for the highest notes possible. He’s good, but am I falling over how good he is? No.

  35. Jaszy says:

    The fact that they had the audacity to put Zach
    last, do they really want this dude to stay? Once again, the teeny bopper girls go crazy over him. What else is new? They should stop voting for Braiden and Zach simply because they are cute. On a side note, I can’t believe Braiden, Madi, and Zach are nearly the same ages, yet Zach and Madi look soooo much older than Braiden.

  36. Bernie says:

    Not sure there are many classic country fans like me watch the show . Emily Ann knocked it outta the park with Patty Loveless’s 1993 hit ” Blame it On your Heart ” . My favourite performance of the night .

  37. Dbrillz says:

    My performance rankings:
    1. Jeffery- He DESTROYED that song.
    2. Madi- I love her. She should keep singing songs in that Jewel-Joni Mitchell vein. Maybe some Fiona Apple or Regina Spektor in her future could be nice.
    3. Jordan- He was excellent as usual, however, as a Jew, I’m tiring of these countless Christian hymns. Nonetheless, flawless vocal.
    4. Shelby- I don’t know where her timing was off in the judge’s eyes, but what I heard was a near-perfect vocal
    5. Amy- I know it’s not popular, but her “Hotline Bling” was so creative. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    6. Evan- Excellent vocal, zero connection
    7. Barrett- Awful song choice, decent vocal
    8. Korin- I like her, but Gwen is sort of sabotaging her. I miss the earlier style of her performances.
    9. Braiden- You can’t say he didn’t try, and he wasn’t as off key as last week
    10. Mark- I HATE this song, but he sang it ok but nothing special here
    11. Zach- 💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤💤
    12. Emily Ann- So off key it hurts.

    Final takeaways:
    Team Adam, Jeffery, and Madi are so far ahead of everyone else. And Team Blake is the worst team I’ve ever seen. Morgan was much more versatile and a stronger singer than Emily Anne, as were Ivonne and Nadjah, but just because a top 10 iTunes vote didn’t work, Blake overlooked them. He’s made the wrong decision here clearly. Let’s hope the strong top stays or else this could go downhill fast.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      On Jordan, I had the same problem. So Jesus-y. I’m fine with whatever someone’s faith is, but the religious music tends to come up a bit more than I’m comfortable with myself. I loved Celeste last week and didn’t even realize how religious that song was until someone one here pointed it out. Oh, there’s something in the water… THAT kind of water! Got it now. Still loved it nonetheless.

    • Mge says:

      Agree with you except for I thought Hotline Bling wasn’t a good choice for Amy and I actually like Against All Odds as a song (just not for Mark) This Is It is also a terrible song choice, how can you even connect to it? I thought Evan did as good of a job as he could with it.

    • I’m half Jewish but I like the hymns. I would love to hear a beautiful Hebrew song but I am not holding my breath for that.

    • Karen says:

      Patti Loveless always sounds a little flat to me, so Emily Ann actually sounded a lot like Patti. I have never been a big fan of Patti Loveless’ voice though

    • Dbrillz says:

      I also only consistently download Madi’s songs because she’s wonderful on recording. Also will likely start downloading Jeffery’s songs as well.

  38. Jaszy says:

    These coaches need to stop being wimps and start really critiquing these artists. Simon Cowell was harsh, but he was honest. We need a Simon Cowell type of coach on this show. Seriously, the good would be weeded out from the great if that were the case. Overall, this season has had very subpar singers. Last season, the talent pool was deeply immense. There were great singers left and right. This season…where are the GREAT singers?
    I’m not sold on Jordan. He’s only ‘good’ to me.

    • Russ says:

      NBC has not let the coaches give a negative critique since season 2 or 3. You have to read in between the lines on the critiques to see if the coaches liked the performance or not. If they are complimenting everything but the contestants singing, it is a good bet they did not like the performance. Xtina is the best at giving a positive critique and letting you know how she really felt. She might say something like wow I really like your socks, they went great with your dancing.

      • Jaszy says:

        Trust me, I can tell if the coaches really like a performance or not. I’m very observant. But how are these people going to get better without any critiques? Last week, you had the wuss Adam who was about to give a negative critique and then back-tracked saying it was stupid when, in all actuality, he was starting to make a valid point with said criticism. I mean really, how hard is it to tell the singers to watch their pitch? There were dozens of pitch issues in these performances tonight and a lot of it stemmed from song choice, but it was also due to these singers not really understanding that they need to sing in tune. THEY NEED CRITIQUES! These judges try so hard to be nice, when they need to be more helpful. I actually like the judging a lot more on Idol…sigh…can’t believe there’s only one more season…

        • Karen says:

          I don’t know, Xtina got a lot of flak for her criticisms.
          I watched the latest season of the Voice Australia, Jessie J was a coach and she was very critical to the point where it got very uncomfortable. I actually skipped the blinds, because she was so harsh to singers she didn’t pick. One of the coaches actually walked off stage she got so fed up with her.
          I’m okay with a critique that contains both positive and negative. But if someone really sucks, its better to do it off screen.

          • JM says:

            Christina was crucified for her comments, and her team paid for it – always eliminated first. So yeah, small wonder that the coaches don’t critique anymore.

    • Polarvortex says:

      Simon was much too harsh if you ask me!He often made nasty remarks about peoples appearance and weight and would say a performance was dreadful without explaining why it was dreadful!And while I do agree that the judges need to be more honest with the singers they can tell the truth without being harsh!

    • KT5 says:

      I think I’ve made this comment before but I believe that they have always been referred as ‘coaches’ or ‘mentors’ and never judges so I don’t think ‘judging’ is expected of them. It is, however, always a pleasure when they slip in an honest comment.

  39. kevstar says:

    Note to Gwen: STOP changing these people to be you. If you’re going to change Korin’s hair, why not to do her brows as well. Let these people be themselves and to all the coaches, pick better songs! Titanium was the wrong song for her. What was that song EmilyAnn did? Too many words. But does it matter to country music fans what team Blake does? Probably not.

    • joy says:

      I’m a country fan and all other music as well but I think Emily Ann sounds terrible. I wouldn’t of saved her! I haven’t purchased a song she has sung or voted for her. I’ll go the flip side to that I think Jordan is too predictable as well. Plus who would actually stand in line to buy tickets to see him in concert. Yet, people are flocking to him not considering that he really doesn’t have what it takes to make it in the business!

    • davmon says:

      Yeah, Gwen, if you want a lookalike, why did you have Blake get rid of Nadjah? On her return, she totally did up as you and looked so cute. And she was more talented than anyone on Blake’s team….Oh, that’s right, she looked like you and was twenty years younger. Get her outta here!

  40. kevstar says:

    Jeffrey should change his last name to Awesome! I didn’t really like Madi this time. Sorry.

  41. Ronnie says:

    Right now Jordan, Amy, Jeffrey and Barrett are in the Top 20 on iTunes with Jordan at #2. Jordan and Jeffrey are going to be your top 2 as long as they keep picking the right songs. We all know, one bad song and you’re out or fighting to be saved on twitter. Btw, when do we get video recaps with Michael and Melinda? We need those!!!

  42. amy says:

    Jeffery >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jordan

    Just as good of a voice, more commercial/marketable and doesn’t play the God card to try and get votes (hopefully he will never do that)

    I really really REALLY hate it when these shows pull the God card. The show doesn’t seem to underatand the fact that not all of their viewers are religious, let alone conservative Christians.

    • analythinker says:

      I think it’s probably because of the holiday season. I’m not even Christian, but I’m okay with religious songs.

    • I guess the show can be accused of playing “the God card” by showing Jordan’s song at the end. But the song choice comes down to the coach and/or the contestant, and every song choice will not resonate with every viewer. After all, we’ve seen some songs done on this show about revenge, heartbreak and heavy partying…none of which speak to me personally, but if the song is done well, I can enjoy it. I don’t know these contestants, so I have no way of knowing whether singing a religious song or hymn is for vote-getting purposes or is a sincere expression of faith, or both. Again, if they sing it with skill and conviction, I can appreciate it, even if I don’t share the sentiments.

  43. kevstar says:

    I’m not very religious, but Jordan SANG tonight! Those hymns are very beautiful. My favorite Christmas Carol is Come All Ye Faithful.

  44. Monica says:

    They were all totally awsome but Jordan nailed it

  45. Boy some of us sure have differing opinions. I loved Evan & his dancing! The song, which I love, is about passion, heart, fighting for what you want & he was. Him, Jordan & Jeffrey were my top 3. Next is Madi, Shelby & Emily & Barrett-though Em & Barrett had safe songs. Blah for me was Amy, though I like her style normally. Blah also was Mark (why that song for him?), Braiden, Korin. Now Zach-blaming all of that on Blake Shelton. How dare you pick that boring, average song for an artist not strong on vocals but everything else. You stripped him of his unique style & tried to make him ordinary. Let him choose his own songs Blake!!

    • JM says:

      Thank you, Laurie. I was beginning to think I was the only one left who loves, ‘This is it’. I am a big Kenny Loggins fan. Is it dated, yes. Is it a bad song – absolutely not.

  46. Let’s talk about Zach!! Living in Nashville & working in country music, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY did Blake chose a 2 decades old, bland, pop country song w/a below average lead singer? There was NOTHING dynamic about that song. It sucked when it was out & it sucks now. The melody, blah, the lyrics, blah, the vocal, blah. It’s completely forgettable. He has 1 of the quirkiest, most unique artists on the show, one who actually pulled off a very hard song last wk & in his audition. He goes out of his way to be different & Blake’s trying to block that out & make him ordinary. He’s not a strong vocalist-not a don’t go there. Focus on the other things, like the charisma! Let him pick his own song if he gets through.

  47. analythinker says:

    Looks like Jordan is unstoppable…
    iTunes chart:
    1 Jordan
    9 Amy
    15 Jeffery
    19 Barrett
    27 Emily Ann
    37 Zach
    45 Shelby
    49 Madi
    68 Evan
    70 Korin
    76 Mark
    101 Braiden

  48. Jaszy says:

    If Jordan runs away with this competition, I’ll be slightly pissed because he’s not even all that.

    • scott says:

      Unfortunately, it looks like we’re headed that way. Let’s see if they give him a song not suited for him. Doubt it though

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      At least he can sing. He’s not my cup of tea either, but there’s no denying he’s got an impressive set of pipes there.

  49. The only song I would buy is Jeffrey’s. He is so good!

  50. skrable2 says:

    The D+ for Zach was too harsh, particularly in relation to the other misfires this evening. Zach was better than Braiden, for instance. Granted, I don’t think either is in the upper echelon of this final 12, but the D+ strikes me as an “agenda grade” instead of an honest evaluation.
    Jeffrey has the most well-rounded approach to this type of competition, but I really find his voice to be too clean. He’s a strong singer, but he doesn’t elevate beyond the sound of his voice. Jordan has somewhat the same problem, frankly. They both hit most of the notes to within an inch of perfect each time … butI’m not getting the emotional connection that others are sensing.
    Much more interested in Amy and Madi as vocalists. They’re not as “perfect” as the other two, but seem more present. Those four, Shelby and Evan would be my top 6

    • allen t says:

      basically, who cares anymore. this is where the show gets boring. the girls vote cute, and thats the way it is.

      • Екатерина says:

        I see what you mean about people voting for cuties, but…Viktor didn’t make it through. He was way hot and had a great voice. Really surprised Briaden made it further than him. Then again, maybe viewers felt like Viktor already had a career (in Hungary), was polished enough vocally and therefore didn’t need more coaching?