The Voice: Analysis, Advice and Dream Set Lists for the Season 5 Top 10

It’s hard to believe it, but Thanksgiving is fewer than two weeks away, and by the time you’re passed out on cranberry sauce and tryptophan, The Voice‘s Season 5 will be down to a mere six contestants. (Le gasp!)

But don’t fret yet: Tonight’s performance show (9/8c on NBC, following a one-hour recap special) still has 10 talented singers in the mix.

To celebrate their achievements — and to spur them to further greatness — we’ve put together a gallery highlighting their individual strengths and weaknesses, along with a list of offbeat song choices we’d like to hear ’em tackle.

So click through the photos below for our take, then hit the comments with your own advice and song suggestions!

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. YES! Caroline singing Zero 7 is something I thought about this weekend when it came on my iPod! Or maybe Running up that hill.. Placebo version

  2. I absolutely agree with your Alabama Shakes suggestion for Tessanne. I think you should add some Tori Amos to James Wolpert’s suggestions…can you imagine him singing Winter or Honey with that tender tone?

  3. Chablis says:

    Why do they have to have a recap show? They’ll just recap it anyway.

    • HTGR says:

      Hah good point. Man NBC is THE station for recaps. You get recaps and recaps within recaps and then you get shows which are recaps with scattered bits of new material. :)
      Seriously they need to put a leash on whoever it is at NBC that large-scale produces all of this stuff. Enough with the non-stop recaps and previews surrounding each commercial break and then recaps of the recaps of the recaps.

      • zaza says:

        And this is why I dvr it. Because I really don’t need them to tell me what I JUST SAW every time they come back from a commercial break. It’s like they think we’re too stupid to remember what just happened a few minutes ago! Errrgggg!

    • Alienate says:

      And, it makes use watch until 11 pm. Many younger kids can’t watch what is a good family show.
      NBC always finds ways to screw up a good thing. Hey! NBC Execs: Recap THIS!!!

      • HTGR says:

        Good point, with how crazy early lots of schools start that makes it rough, for voting too.
        MLB pushed World Series and playoff games later and later and they are oh we need the ratings well look now, a generation later and almost none of their playoffs are even able to rate network TV any more. And The Voice doesn’t even have the true live excuse since they tape delay for PST anyway.

  4. So happy you made a Beth Hart reference. She doesn’t get nearly enough attention. :)

  5. Oh goodness, Keith Sweat’s Make U Sweat… Anyone who sings Keith Sweat on this show would get an instant vote from me. (There You Go) Tellin’ Me No Again should become a standard on shows like this.

    • Rivka Simons says:

      Absolutely! Ray needs to forget the swamp songs and draw the adult female demographic. He can do it with anyone of the songs noted brilliantly above. You should be coaching him, Michael, because Blake dropped the ball weeks ago.

  6. zenmaster says:

    Songs for tonights top 10.
    *Austin Jenckes – Team Blake – Your Love by Outfield
    *Cole Vosbury – Team Blake – To Be With You by Mr. Big
    *Kat Robichaud – Team Cee Lo – We Belong by Pat Benatar
    *Matthew Schuler – Team Christina – Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth feat Emeli Sande
    *Ray Boudreaux – Team Blake – You Are the Best Thing by Ray Lamontagne
    *Will Champlin – Team Adam – Love Me Again by John Newman
    *Caroline Pennell – Team Cee Lo – Leaving on a Jet Plane by John Denver/Peter Paul and Mary (Cee Lo is the WORST)
    *Jacquie Lee – Team Christina – Clarity by Zed
    *Tessanne Chin – Team Adam – If I Were Your Woman by Gladys Knight (Hmmm)
    *James Wolpert – Team Adam – Without You by Harry Nilsson/Badfinger

    • Margaret says:

      PERFECT song choice for Ray!! Matt Wertz/Dave Barnes/Ray LaMontagne fits Ray’s voice like a glove!!

    • Re: Caroline: I really like the Chantal Kreviazuk version of Leaving on a Jet Plane. If she sings that version, it could be the biggest seller this week. It definitely suits her than the more well known versions.

  7. jalahyacitnh says:

    Potential Break-up Song? That is my JAM. I thought I was the only one who listened to Aly and AJ. :D

  8. Sly says:

    Let’s just hope this week’s episode is better than last weeks — pitch control by someone ould be nice.

  9. Jennifer J says:

    Clarity is Michelle’s song! I don’t wanna hear anyone else sing it, not even Zedd.

  10. Angie_Overrated says:

    I was eating sunflower seeds and nearly choked to death when I read Ray Boudroux (spelling?) should sing Keith Sweat’s “Girl I Bet I Can Make You Sweat.” People often use that expression but don’t actually mean it, but I think I may have been turning blue. No joke. Why not have Caroline sing “I want to bleep you like an animal” by NIN?

  11. A says:

    I would love to hear Ray do Needtobreathe’s Girl Named Tennissee

  12. trimaran12 says:

    Michael, I saw you tweet that you were a bit bored with this episode. Reminds me of Season 9 of American Idol. Idol producers figured that people were into the acoustic stylings of Kris Allen. And maybe he was fun in the context of his season but 10 Kris Allens are kinda dull. It feels like we have so many bluesy, singer-songwriter type guys on The Voice this season that it all blends together. Yes, they may be in somewhat different genres but they all have the same guitar-strumming feel. Variety is the spice of life on shows like this.

  13. Adam Reinaldy says:

    Matthew Schuler:
    Janelle Monae’s We Were Rock and Roll
    Frank Ocean’s Bad Religion
    Vampire Weekend’s Step
    Arcade Fire’s Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

    Jacquie Lee
    Tom Waits’ Big Black Mariah
    Jeff Buckley’s So Real
    PJ Harvey’s Kamikaze
    David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream
    Fleetwood Mac’s Black Magic Woman

    Caroline Pennell
    Torres’ Chains
    Julia Holter’s In the Green Wild
    Elliott Smith’s Between the Bars
    Fiona Apple’s Hot Knife

    And more to come…

  14. danin says:

    I’m thinking Cole’s voice is more like Ray L’s

  15. Jeremy says:

    I’d love to hear Caroline do some Dia Frampton’s song like Don’t Kick The Chair or The Broken Ones.

  16. Jasril Nazmi says:

    God damn Slezak, absolutely spot on with a lot of the lesser known songs. I mean Alabama Shakes for Tessane would be breathtaking and just the song to get her to the next level, James covering Sacrilage will bring the house down for sure (this time, and only this time is it ever so appropriate to bring in the church choir) and Caroline will melt America’s heart for sure with Emmylou (please make it happen Cee Lo, I beg of you!). And I honestly think that if Jacquie sings Stay With Me, she’ll probably give the performance of Season 5. Well done again Slezak.

  17. Mark says:

    This list contains some of my all-time favorite songs, but assigning them to the indicated contestants makes no sense at all. Seriously, Sacrilege for James Wolpert? Why don’t you just put in a steel cage with a rabid pit bull? He’s have a better chance surviving in the steel cage. Give him something in his range, like C’mere by Interpol. Or, if he wants to try something a little more challenging, Right Action, by Franz Ferdinand.

    I liked Gimme Shelter for Tessanne, but she needs to be made more current. Alabama Shakes is in the right direction for her, but I would go with Always Alright, instead.

    Kat keeps mentioning David Bowie and Queen as her influences, but hasn’t come close to performing anything by either of them. How about the perfect synthesis of the two, Under Pressure?

    For Cole, I’d like to see him tackle Holdin’ On, by Citizen Cope. It’s a smooth, sexy, beautiful song that he bring down the house.

    Float On for Matthew Schuler? How about Drown On? I’d like to see him get totally funky. Give it to Me, Baby!

    Jacquie has been tearing things up with the bluesy rocker chick songs. Maybe dial it back just a little and go with Blow Me One Last Kiss, by Pink.

    For Caroline, I kind of liked the Ho Hey, suggestion. She could also stay in the same vein with Little Talks, or go with Norah Jones’ Happy Pills.

    I’d like to see Will go for something with a higher degree of difficulty, maybe Hang Me Up To Dry, by Cold War Kids.

  18. Pegster says:

    you all above have made some great song suggestions I think if Caroline doesnt change her song style to something funky she will not make the next round i think Ray needs to sign something Old style to show off his range and sexy attitude a little more I dont think ceelo is really trying to push Caroline enough

  19. Jess says:

    Tessanne singing Hold On FTW!

  20. Stephdot says:

    “If I Didn’t Know Better” was originally done by the Civil Wars, not Sam and Clare.

  21. Timmah says:

    How about Tom’s Diner for Caroline?

    • HTGR says:

      Does that have enough to it for a contest like this? It’s nearly just syncopated talking. It’s sort of cool, but it seems awfully risky and if she doesn’t pull it off just right it goes to both simple and total disaster.

      • Timmah says:

        You may be right… I’m also thinking Wrecking Ball for her. Not the crappy Miley Cyrus song, but the Emmylou Harris one.

    • Gerald says:

      I think the perfect song for Caroline during this season would be “Santa Baby”. Her voice and personality are PERFECT for this song.

  22. Terry says:

    My dream song for Tessanne would be “Let’s Run Away” by Haley Reinhart. It’s a reggae-ish light-hearted catchy song, not like the over dramatic power ballads Adam keeps giving her. She could go all out Jamaican accent on it and have a lot of fun with it.
    And since I’m a biased Haley fan I’ll also suggest that Jacquie should totally sing “Undone”, I think she’d do great with that song.

    • HTGR says:

      That could be an interesting choice (Let’s Run Away).

    • HTGR says:

      Undone is good too but I’m not sure that would be a good next choice for Jacquie, maybe she needs another just like her two tops of the tops first. So far contestants haven’t been easily able to pull off Undone either and I’m not certain that is quite Jacquie’s top wheelhouse style.

      • Terry says:

        I think she’d so well with it, but it doesn’t really matter, it ain’t ever gonna happen, I was just dreaming. It’s just that it’s such a great song it makes me sad that it didn’t get the exposure it deserved. :/

  23. Paige says:

    Will should do Daylight by Maroon 5!