The Voice Live Playoffs (Night 1) Recap: How Great They Art!

Will somebody second a motion to extend Season 8 of The Voice through the Fourth of July?

No, this is not a damning commentary about NBC’s summer programming plans (or the violent allergic reaction I have to America’s Got Talent).

It’s just that Night 1 of the Season 8 Live Playoffs — featuring the 10 singers who collectively make up Teams Blake and Pharrell — was so indisputably terrific that it seems a damn shame a full 20 percent of ’em are fated to receive the Marie Antoinette treatment on Wednesday’s results telecast.

Heck, I’d even accept a Friday-night series from mid-June ’til Labor Day that allows every premature evictee to just take the stage and jam out — without having to endure Adam Levine throwing subtle shade, then declaring in the most unconvincing and smarmy way ever, “But I don’t know what I’m talking about!”

But enough about that Maroon 5 chump! Let’s cut directly to my letter grades and predictions for tonight’s performances:

TEAM BLAKE: Sarah Potenza — “Free Bird” — Grade: B+ | I didn’t love that the last third of Sarah’s Lynyrd Skynyrd cover found her hollerating without much purpose over The Voice band’s jam session, but that was more an arrangement issue than a performance one. (With such limited time on stage, there wasn’t enough buildup to justify the abandoning of melody.) Nevertheless, the way Sarah used her smokey, supple instrument to bring alive the lyrics hinted that she might turn out to be one of this season’s best storytellers. The way she phrased the “would you still remember me?” in the opening line alone was chill-inducing. (And whatever the result of the public vote, my answer to her question is a resounding “yes!”)

TEAM PHARRELL: Caitlin Caporale — “Best Thing I Never Had” — Grade: B+ | Caitlin’s got the kind of range and accuracy that might even make Beyoncé herself think, “It’s time to replace this chick with Michelle Williams.” The one thing she’s still missing, though — and which Pharrell hinted at in her rehearsal package — is the ability to convey a distinctive point of view in her singing. There were moments in the pre-chorus where Caitlin began to move me with emotion rather than merely impress me with her technical prowess, but that ratio will need to be better balanced — and quickly — if she wants to avoid an early exit.

TEAM BLAKE: Hannah Kirby — “I Feel the Earth Move” — Grade: B- | “Hannah is possessed by the song she’s singing!” declared Blake — and the hippie-chick’s physical abandon during her Carole King cover was Exhibit A in her coach’s testimony. Unfortunately, though, that loosey-goosiness crept into her vocals about midway through the number — resulting in ad-libs that didn’t quite land pitch-wise, and too often sounded like a whole lot of shouting. WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS SHOUTING AT ME, HANNAH? ALL-CAPS DOES NOT NECESSARILY EQUAL EMOTION!

TEAM PHARRELL: Lowell Oakley — “Jealous” — Grade: B- | Lowell was lucky to survive the inexplicably/maniacal laugh he threw into his performance during the Knockout Rounds, and that knowledge seemed to haunt him throughout his cover of a Nick Jonas jam (one that was performed epically just last season by Chris Jamison). You could practically see the gears turning in Lowell’s mind machine — “Don’t do anything goofy! Stick to the game plan!” — and it sucked the sexiness and swagger right out of the song. Dude still has a perfectly pretty voice (albeit not much of a falsetto), but he’s still too green for this kind of national platform.

TEAM PHARRELL: Mia Z — “Ain’t No Sunshine” — Grade: A | Carson Daly opened the episode by promising “stripped-down” performances all night — and while I’m not sure that was an entirely accurate claim, it certainly applied to the sparse, bass-heavy arrangement of Mia’s number. And thanks be to Pharrell for that decision, since it allowed us all to fall under the spell of the 16-year-old’s effortlessly slinky stylings and raspy-cool tone. When four-time winning coach Blake Shelton tells you you’re the one contestant he wishes he could poach for his own team, you know you’re doing something pretty remarkable.

TEAM PHARRELL: Koryn Hawthorne — “How Great Thou Art” — Grade: B | Adam was right in pointing out Koryn’s obvious nervousness at the start of her performance — I honestly wasn’t sure if she was serving deliberate vibrato or just a terrified tremble. But as she marched forward with her hymnal, I heard less and less inexperience — and was able to focus more on Koryn’s husky tone and muscular delivery. She may have overshot a tad when attempting a Beyonce-esque throw-down on the final refrain, but the standing ovation from her coach and Xtina might tip the scales with voters and give her a shot at the Top 12.

TEAM BLAKE: Corey Kent White — “To Make You Feel My Love” — Grade: A- | Corey’s one of those troubadours with a tendency to throw away the ends of certain phrases, but that possibly bad habit added to the earnest, confessional vibe of his Bob Dylan cover tonight. Some credit has to go to Blake for such an astute song choice — superhot guy + big romantic declaration + sole country moment = guaranteed votes — but Corey knows exactly where to go big and where to let his tone crumble under the weight of his emotions. Yeah, he’s got to watch his pitch when he hits the tippy top of his range (and admittedly, the final note was a bum one), but no way he’s not part of the Season 8 Top 12.

TEAM BLAKE: Brooke Adee — “Love Me Like You Do” — Grade: C | Poor Brooke may be the first Voice contestant in recent memory to get harsh-ish comments from more than one coach during a voting-rounds scenario — but unfortunately, I understood Xtina and Adam’s criticisms. Brooke went flatter than unleavened bread during some of the low notes on the chorus, and as the Lady Aguilera pointed out, the teen’s “focus face” kept the emotional aspect of the performance a little chilly, too.

TEAM BLAKE: Meghan Linsey — “Love Runs Out” — Grade: C+ | The coaches seemed particularly elated with the usually spot-on Meghan, but to my ears, this performance was almost as disastrous as the clumsy silhouette and baffling bib of Meghan’s outfit — and pushed the Nashville vet’s voice to the point of sounding haggard and screamy. (The attempted glory note on “for diamonds for dust” at the end of the bridge was particularly wince-inducing.) Sure, there were moments on the chorus where the raw power of Megan’s instrument proved dazzling, but she also seemed a smidge behind the beat for the entire opening verse. Having opened for Blake a few years back won’t hurt if she’s one of her coach’s Bottom 3, but she’ll have to avoid a repeat of this stumble if she doesn’t want her his love to run out, too.

TEAM PHARRELL: Sawyer Fredericks — “Trouble” — Grade: A- | Those inescapable ads for It Follows have nothing on Sawyer — because this just-turned 16-year-old’s ability to convey adult-level emotions in a song is legitimately spooky. I mean, normally, I’d stamp a “no bueno” on a babyfaced teen ripping into a lyric like, “I’ve been saaaaaved by a woman.” But the dirt-road grit and sly smile Sawyer added to Ray Lamontagne’s chorus disarmed me completely. It’s like the hat-loving teen’s vocal cords are being haunted by some southern blues-rocker who expired a half a century ago without getting properly discovered — and all that heartache and longing are being channeled through a still slightly nervous face of a small-town kid from upstate New York. I’d like to see Pharrell encourage Sawyer to pick slightly less predictable fare — “Trouble” has been done to death on reality singing competitions, and therefore lacked the boom-boom-pow of his “Man of Constant Sorrow” Blind Audition — but nothing too crazy. I mean, we don’t want Sawyer getting derailed from his dream on account of being forced to sing or Katy Perry, do we?

Should advance from Team Blake: Sarah, Corey, Meghan (Meghan based on past potential)
Will advance from Team Blake: Hannah, Corey, Meghan

Should advance from Team Pharrell: Sawyer, Mia, Caitlin
Will advance from Team Pharrell: Sawyer, Mia, Koryn

OK, your turn. What did you think of Night 1 of the Season 8 Live Playoffs? Do you wish we weren’t losing so many singers (who are only just beginning to prove themselves) so soon? Who were your faves? Who would you not mind losing? 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. OhMy says:

    Some good moments. Some goaty moments. And some odd song choices (Freebird?).
    Ahh, The Voice.

    • The Beach says:

      Ok, speaking of odd song choices, this will probably garner a bunch of flames but have at it…my shoulders are broad. I am not a particularly religious person but I found it inappropriate to be singing hymns on a reality competition. Not only is it the wrong venue and vaguely offensive but also appears to be pandering for votes.

      • Kim says:

        Hmmm, lets see, its appropriate and offensive to sing about sex, drinking, etc. but its inapproprate to sing about GOD… Shows what this world has come too. Everyone has their own type of music they like, whether it be country, rock n rock, blues, etc…and I don’t see how choosing to sing whichever type of music that might be it is “pandering”. This is no different than a country singer “pandering” for country votes from Blakes supporters…

        • The Beach says:

          As I said…Just My Opinion !

          • Greta says:

            Mr. Slezak, I have a question/comment. In the most recent “Reality Check”, you and Melinda agreed that you don’t give a damn which coach “wins” or which singer is on what team. I agree! So why do your polls list the coach first?? In fact, why is the coach’s name even on the poll?

        • MC says:

          ITA. I would have been puzzled if Koryn didn’t sing at least one hymnal. You should sing what you know and sing from your soul. Koryn was able to accomplish both of those tasks in one song. Angie Miller also leaned toward spiritual songs, but it also was not due to any pandering. She was singing from her heart because those songs were/are very meaningful to her (and in some cases they were original compositions). You can’t shut down your natural inclinations because some people might take exception to your worldview.

        • I thought How Great Thou Art was just beautiful and Im not really a religious person! Hymns are always a nice change!

        • Renee Rose says:

          Well said.

      • Renee Rose says:

        How DARE you give Sawyer a minus after that A. Lol You gave Mia a higher grade…..Not by much, but she just doesn’t connect with anyone. Personality is so essential to winning over fans and fans are the ones who will buy your music and keep food in your fridge. Mia is certainly good, but there is something so honest, humble and surprising about Sawyer, that I’d be absolutely shocked if he didn’t win this show….not that he even needs to.
        Blake said it best after Sawyer’s performance last night. “All of the other teams are screwed”.

      • paula says:

        I can understand your thoughts on this, but it is the first hymn I’ve ever bought on iTunes because of a TV show. I thought she did a great job.

  2. Kim Moores says:

    Eternally not a fan of thin voiced girls singing Beyonce.
    Lowell was absolutely awful.
    Caitlin hit the notes, she has no character whatsoever.
    Not understanding the Sawyer love.

    • Kim Moores says:

      Liked Koryn, if she had gotten over her nerves sooner it would’ve been greater.
      Little girl was shaking so much, but she overcame it!

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I thought Lowell and Corey were neck and neck for worst performances of the night. Those kids were awful. I felt bad for Melinda’s pitch-sensitive teeth on Corey’s performance. Egad that was dreadful.
      Sawyer was… weird. I don’t know what to make of that kid.

      • Michael H. says:

        I agree with Lowell Angie, but I can see where Michael graded him an A-. I did hear some pitch issues, but I think his ability to connect to whatever song he’s given gives him at least one week to fix his pitch. Sawyer was great though. Love that kid to death at this point.

      • Chris C says:

        I am so upset because I really did like Lowell but now it’s just no okay. I think Corey’s performance was worse though. Sawyer has so much hype he’s most likely safe but he’s not my favorite.

      • JM says:

        Thank you! I did NOT like Corey and thought I was crazy because Michael gave him an ‘A-‘. Thank you again for confirming my sanity.

        • AlyB says:

          I wasn’t thrilled with Lowell or Corey tonight either. This probably won’t be popular around here but I thought Koryn’s performance was seriously flawed. There was no warmth to her tone in her upper register and it got so pitchy it made me wince. My favorites tonight were Mia & Sawyer. I guess Sawyer isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I don’t think its a great mystery why he’s such a favorite. The boy can sing circles around a lot of the others and he’s sweet and humble to boot. I find both Mia & Sawyer extraordinary not just for their age, though there’s that, they’re exceptional up against some of the oldest most seasoned performers there. I really enjoyed Hannah, Sarah & Caitlin too. It’s a shame we lose them so quickly from here on out.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            “[Sawyer] can sing circles around a lot of others…”
            Unless the “others” you’re referring to are Lowell and Corey, I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree. I concede there may be an intangible to his package that I’m missing, but Sawyer is far and away NOWHERE near the top of this group in the top 20.

        • danin says:

          Corey, worst of the night.Thought crooner Lowell sounded good.Too bad they won’t let the kid sing the standards he loves to sing. I loved Sawyer.He forgot some words but made an honest emotional connection when hefound a way back into the song.Caitlin, I just don’t like the song so I walked a way from the TV.She clearly has agood vvoice too bad she’s lacking in the likability department which Hannah has in spades.

          • ps says:

            He didn’t forget any words–he nailed it.

          • safado says:

            It sure sounded like Sawyer forgot the words. He seemed to get lost in the song as he went along. There’s something more than a little silly about someone who looks like a cub scout singing “Trouble….trouble….I’ve seen trouble all my life.”

          • Dee says:

            Thanks for affirming Sawyer’s little ‘oops’. I too, wondered if he got a little lost and off track for a moment. There was a fraction of a second of mild panic in his eyes as he hummed a little before finding the words again. It all sounded seem less, so kudos to him on that. He has ‘something’ you just don’t see in a lot of singers, and at 16, for that matter. Whether he wins or not, you know Pharell is going to keep his eye on this kid.

          • Gupy says:

            I like Hannah only in small doses. Don’t think I could stand to watch her in a full solo concert.

      • JM1 says:

        At a minimum, that song choice was weird for Sawyer (as Adam said, and I agree). He went for what he could sing well, but there was a disconnect with the song. Not my favorite of the night, by any means.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          And I think it’s funny when I hear people say India has a goat bleat vibrato. Hers is not a goat bleat at all. A goat bleat is actually what Sawyer has. It comes from not having a natural vibrato, so they compensate by “creating” one in the throat.

        • Birdy says:

          As much as I adore Sawyer, I didn’t care for the choice of song. Not the best showcase for him. And not his best performance this season, by a long shot. I know this is gonna sound bizarre, but there’s a little-known John Denver song that I think would be perfect for Sawyer. “Readjustment Blues” would give him a chance to exercise those pipes and show us versatility in a way one wouldn’t think a John Denver song could do. And it’s about a subject that doesn’t require him to imagine being in love and heartbroken. A young, individualistic person such as he is could relate to the song, I think. Anyway, he’s still my overall fave, although there were some performances on Tuesday that blew me away!

      • bobsaccamanna says:

        Thank you Angie, looking at the voting I see Corey is the top vote getter on Blake’s team and that just makes me crazy, I would rather have heard Dylan sing it the way he wrote it than that mess, it wasn’t good at all. If he manages to stick around at the expense of either Sarah or Hannah it will be a shame. I know Hannah probably isn’t vocally perfect but man, she is entertaining as all hell and I love the power in her voice, when she is on stage I want to watch. Agree on Lowell too I just don’t get why he is even still here at the expense of some of the more talented singers already eliminated. I love Mia, man can she sing, I swear she reminds me of a young Minnie Ripperton, she has that kind of range.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          Agreed 100%. On Hannah, I don’t think she is getting as much love as she deserves. Her performance wasn’t perfect, but you’re right, she is very fun to watch. She’s losing herself in the music and having a great time doing so, which is so much fun to watch as a viewer.

    • Timmah says:

      I don’t get the Sawyer hype either. His voice is average at best.

      • kevstar says:

        Yes. Thank you. I’m glad he’s doing so well, though.

      • SarahRose says:

        There is more to great entertainers than always a perfect voice. Sawyer clearly appeals to a variety of people across all ages. Don’t kid yourself, or sell his “appeal” short. That special Spark or something that draws fans in comes along infrequently… and those that have it (Jagger, Dylan, Denver, Lennon, etc…) were/are more than just a voice to fans.

    • Renee Rose says:

      Oh, there’s quite a bit of love for Sawyer. All young girls want to build homes in his hair.

  3. Michael H. says:

    I loved Meghan more then I should have I feel. Sawyer though, that kiddo is incredible, as is Mia. How does that even happen with those two. I thought Corey was fantastic as well! Not a huge fan of Gospel songs being performed on The Voice, but Koryn was decent as well. Loved Sarah on Freebird. You graded Hannah too low tho, I thought it was a B. Brook confused me a little bit, but I think it’s safe to say she’s not going through. Also, I really did not like Lowell at all. Falsetto was weak and energy was too stilted.

    • Jon says:

      Totally agree on Hannah. I have a low tolerance for Blake’s quirky girls, because they usually seem overly studied and fake and have wispy voices. But Hannah is…the opposite of slick and polished, and I mean that in the best way. She literally dances to the beat of her own drummer, and girl can SING. I find her so refreshing…

    • JM1 says:

      Meghan is an exceptional singer. Still hoping for the show’s stylist to assert him/herself, but M’s voice is great.

      Sarah just makes me happy when she sings.

      Not 100% sold on Sawyer yet. Need to hear him mix it up a little, maybe.

      Mia – my kids asked me if I understood a word of what she sang, and I had to admit I didn’t. She’s so talented but still a work in progress.

      Koryn is lovable but sings a little too goat-like for my taste.

      X-tina . . . I could use about 40% less makeup and hair bleach, but I really enjoy this new and improved (i.e., NICE) X-tina quite a bit. :-)

      Adam . . . I don’t mind the “but that’s just me” thing he does. He’s usually the only one to give constructive criticism, which I think is valuable to the singers, and is trying to do it as gently as possible.

      • MC says:

        Exactly. I didn’t see the show tonight, but Adam has been injecting solid constructive criticism throughout this season (as much as The Voice will allow). I think this is his best season in terms of giving reasonable, helpful feedback. I guess I’m strange, though. I even like the John Corbett Walgreen’s commercials.

      • Mytake says:

        I agree about Adam. He’s trying to give helpful criticism in a subtle way since the others just praise the singers to high heaven even when they did poorly.

      • JMI. I agree Meghan touches me whenever she sings. I don’t agree with her letter grade and I love Adam willing to say something everyone else is thinking. II understand “It’s just me” is a way people who don’t want to make waves, make waves. Mia is a star even without her upper squeal but agree she could use some pronunciation lessons. I love Xtina. She’s smart and kind. I like the way she looks. I think when you are older we see things differently than the young’uns Good show

      • Dee says:

        I agree and do wish the stylist would elevate her look a bit. I keep seeing Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz. Not a polished look.
        Sarah also needs a makeover. I was floored when I heard she was 34! Why does she look 50? It might be fun and work with her personality to throw some color in her hair (like pink), trim it, blow it out. Maybe change up the glasses, too, though they appear to be prescription. I like Sarah and hope her look doesn’t bring her down.

      • Birdy says:

        Couldn’t understand Mia, either. She’s a little too “trying to be slick, smooth, and polished” for my tastes. Cute, with a good voice, but needs to find her uniqueness, I think…. JMHO, of course.

  4. Chris C says:

    Brooke Adee? A C???? I have a headache. And Corey and A-???!?!?!?! Okay I think I am going to have a heart attack. I would give Corey a B- and Brooke a B+ but whatever. Okay…… That’s fine…

  5. Mia was unbelievable tonight. So subtle and so brilliant. I love Sawyer too. Incredibly talented group.

  6. analythinker says:

    The only thing I can think of about the reason Pharrell picked Jealous for Lowell is “man, he’s throwing him under the bus with no mercy”. Poor kid.

    • Michael H. says:

      IKR, I knew it would be a disaster.

    • Jon says:

      Especially when the memory of Chris Jamison slaying “Jealous” is so fresh (Chris was better than Nick Jonas IMO). Poor Lowell peaked in his battle with Kimberly, and it’s been downhill since then.

      • analythinker says:


      • SJ says:

        Totally agree about Chris Jamison. I downloaded almost all of his songs last season and listen to them frequently. I like his version of Jealous more than the original. It was a terrible choice for Lowell. I think he is the weakest link on Pharell’s team and will be going home this week.

    • Mytake says:

      To give Pharrel the benefit of the doubt, he could have given Lowell that song since it’s current and not 60 yrs old like the crooner songs that Lowell prefers. Pharrel knows that being a young, fairly attractive man on the show can garner Lowell a lot of voting from teenage girls even if his singing ability isn’t up to par but he’ll get more votes if he’s singing a popular current song. So I think Pharrel was trying to actually help Lowell get more votes. Unfortunately it backfired since Lowell did so badly.

      • analythinker says:

        There are voices that only fit with certain songs or vice-versa. Professional singers should KNOW that and should know not to force something that’s just not happening. It should be in their conscience to always strive to give best performances, from themselves or people they coach.

        Also, I stopped giving Pharrell the benefit of the doubt some time last season.

      • analythinker says:

        I’d give you example of what Adam did with Amber Carrington. He knew her voice could handle Pink’s Try and Rihanna’s Stay even though she has country voice. There’s just this radar in your ears that immediately tells you “this song would be great for her/him, that one would suck”.

        • Joy says:

          Adam gave Amber “Try” to sing against Sasha and everyone thought Sasha would easily win. I don’t think Adam ever thought Amber would do that well on that song. But he gave her Adele and other songs that you might not think she could sing.

          • analythinker says:

            Oh, I believe with all my being that going in, Adam knew he would pick Amber. Sasha was just not his thing.

  7. Jon says:

    Oh my God…MIA. I understand what Blake meant about her being underrated, but I’m not sure why. I can’t believe a 16-year-old has that much control over her voice, perfect smoky tone and timbre, and effortless stage presence. She could handle Amy Winehouse with no problem. LOVE her.

    And then there’s Sawyer…another 16-year-old with talent beyond his years. For the first time I saw a hint of nerves with him tonight, but he still killed it. Both he and Mia are locks for Top 12.

    • Renee Rose says:

      It must be so hard to be that young and have so many people focused on you. I’m a pianist and am just fine hiding at the piano on stage instead of being the one front and center as the lead solo singer. No thank you. Lol If Mia and Sawyer are like this now, can you imagine them in 10 years? Not only will Sawyer sell albums, he’ll be the new spokesperson for Pantene.

  8. analythinker says:

    Pretty sure Corey’s & Meghan’s grades should be switched there…

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Right?! Not that Meghan was amazing tonight, but she was closer to an A-minus than Corey. By a few miles actually.

      • Michael H. says:

        I really liked Meghan, so I’m not sure where the C+ came from. Still gonna stand by my Corey position. He had some pitch issues, but the sincerity was so real for me. It touched my heart.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I guess, but sincerity will only take you so far. A musician has to be in tune. All the heart in the world isn’t going to save a singer who can’t sing correct notes.

          • Michael H. says:

            Oh god I’m having CJ Harris from Idol Season 13 flashbacks now. Corey can go home now.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Ha! I loved CJ. He was such a fish out of water that it was one of the few entertaining things to watch on that dud of a season.

          • Kaba says:

            Makes me curious as to how you feel about Quentin on AI if you’ve ever watched him

          • Michael H. says:

            True, he was such a sweet kid, but the dude couldn’t sing lol and yeah, it was entertaining sometimes. Lol

      • Chris C says:

        Corey could have gone home a long time ago. Yeah switch their grades and then significantly lower Corey’s grade and I agree!

      • analythinker says:

        I think she should stay off of tricky runs.

    • Jon says:

      100% agree…Meghan was really good, and I agreed with Adam that Corey was completely underwhelming. I still can’t believe Blake chose him over Cody Wickline!

      • JM1 says:

        Agreed – Slezak definitely mixed up the grades for Meghan and Corey!

      • Melinda says:

        I was super disappointed that Blake sent Cody Wickline home so early in the competition. He’s an incredible talent and should still be there. I haven’t chosen another favorite yet cause I so loved Cody’s voice!

      • kevstar says:

        Yes, I agree with everyone that Meghan was WAY better than Corey. I’m wondering how her country fans take it that she really wants to be a soul singer. Lord knows she had the pipes to pull that off. She is the best one on Team Blake, IMO. Mia was AH-MAY-ZING.

  9. Florence+TheMachineRules!!! says:

    Here’s who I want to advance after tonight:
    Pharrell-sawyer, mia, and Koryn or caitlin
    Blake-Meghan, hannah, Sarah or corey

  10. wild_child says:

    I demand you re-watch Corey’s performance and re-grade him immediately. Next to Lowell he easily had the weakest vocal of the night. That kid is generic in every way and it is a travesty that he beat out a much stronger vocalist in Cody due to mostly a sob story. An A- really? I can’t even take you seriously anymore.

    • He beat Cody because country music is about storytelling and he proved tonight that he can tell a story and connect with a lyric. Which is what 90% of the other guys on the show are being coached to figure out how to do..

      • lacy says:

        He : beat ” Cody because Blake, mistakenly, thought Corey was more marketable for modern country – I totally disagree. He is a good singer, nothing special . The young girls will swoon ( but they would have over Cody also ) . Some people will vote country no matter how average the singer – Craig Boyd sucks BTW , and he won .

        • Blake was totally upset at having to send Cody home as he fully expected and seemed to want to keep Cody’s old school sound. Blake loves old school country. But, BUT Corey killed his knockout song, connected to the lyric and told a story. Cody didn’t. He sang words nicely.

  11. Andres says:

    I feel like “Love Runs Out” should be banned from singing competitions. Just out of the first time I have heard it (Josh, Sarina Joi, Lovey and Mehgan) only one of those performances was good that being Josh, the others just fell short.
    Mia for me stole the night and I love the fact she didn’t use her dolphin note and for me it made the song more dramatic and I wanted more of it. Sawyer and Corey stole the night. I feel that the people under the age of 20 have a shot at winning.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Oh, I kind of like that song for a competition because it separates the men from the boys (or the women from the girls). Finding your pitch in that bass line takes some skill, the song the moves quickly with rapid fire lyrics, has some bigger notes that require power, etc. It’s a beast at so many levels, which is why I love it. Anyone who can sing that song SHOULD sing that song.

      • analythinker says:

        I can’t, but who am I anyway, lol. I’m scared of the runs.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          The runs I find less intimidating than finding your pitch from the minimalist bass line. Ask Sarina Joi about that one! I think I would be an insomniac mess if I knew had to perform that live. I’ve never used one of those ear pieces. Can they feed the pitch to those?

      • Andres says:

        You bring up a good point. I never thought about it that way before.

    • Tammy says:

      I agree! I am tired of the same old songs being sung over and over again.

  12. Jerry says:

    Lowell was terrible! i don’t see how he is so high.

    • Jon says:

      I still don’t understand why Pharrell chose Lowell over Jacob Rummell last week! I loved Lowell when he battled Kimberly, but he’s been terrible ever since. And there’s no way (I hope) that Pharrell will choose him again after Mia and Sawyer go through to top 12…

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        I hated Lowell back then too and couldn’t figure out why anyone thought he was good. He absolutely lost to Kimberly, he absolutely lost to Jacob, but luckily for our ears the road ends here.

  13. Kaba says:

    Apparently some folk thought Koryn’s song was pandering.
    I agree with those who said otherwise.
    Is it so surprising that a girl who ministers and sings at church would sing gospel?

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I say this as an eternal Koryn fan; I didn’t love her song choice. It was the wrong song for the moment. I’m hoping her raw talent carries her through, but I have this gut-wrenching feeling Pharrell will save Caitlin, not Koryn. Mia and Sawyer look to be the two locks.
      All that being said, she sounded great. But the song itself did nothing for me. :(

      • Michael H. says:

        I don’t think Koryn will be saved by Pharrell, which breaks my heart. I think he might actually follow through with his obsession with Lowell and save Lowell…

        I’m almost scared to see if he does.

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          No. Lowell? Everyone — including Lowell himself — knows Lowell is out. It’s definitely between Koryn and Caitlin for the third spot. I honestly don’t know which one he’ll choose.
          Then again, this is a show where Jake Worthington was runner up one season, so I suppose anything is possible.

        • Charles Elliott says:

          Am I missing something? If America votes, how can Pharrell save or ditch anyone?

      • Kaba says:

        Totally understandable, I think she just had nerves that prevented the full effect of the performance.
        She really started to let loose toward the very end.
        I pray he won’t save Caitlin. You can’t say ‘she reminds me of Beyonce’ then send her home. the heck?

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          It’ll be interesting to see what he chooses. Does he choose the pretty girl who can sing but has a generic voice, or does he choose the less-polished teenager who may not have a lot of performance experience but has a voice that’s one in a million? Not sure.

          • Kaba says:

            This is where Pharrell being unpredictable scares me.
            This is a man who ruined his own team in one knockout session.

          • Angie_Overrated says:

            Just wait until the Sawyer fan base has a collective rage stroke when Pharrell assigns Sawyer a Latin-infused version of I’m Every Woman complete with backup flamenco dancers, castanets, and electronic marimbas.

          • Kaba says:

            Omg, can this happen?
            Anything to make Koryn the winner LOL

          • JM1 says:

            Just have to point out that Koryn is easily as pretty as Caitlyn, just in a less-generic way. :-)

            That said, it depends on what Pharrell goes for. He preaches about finding something different and “other” – that is clearly Koryn. On the other hand, Caitlyn seems much more commercial and I could see most judges going with her for that reason.

    • JM says:

      Koryn is third highest on itunes after Sawyer and Mia, and I couldn’t even find Caitlin or Lowell. Hopefully, Pharell will pay attention to that.

    • Surprising? No. Enjoyable? For me at least, not at all. In fact, I disliked it so much that I elected to use the FF button to skip completely through the performance, which is something that I virtually never do – over 13 seasons of Idol and 6 seasons of the Voice, I’ve probably only done it 4 or 5 times since I really want to be able to discuss each performance. However, gospel music just drives me nuts & bores me to tears.

      • In case the context isn’t clear since my comment didn’t appear next to the comment to which I was responding, allow me to clarify – I was responding to Kaba’s comment in which she asked if it was surprising that a young woman who ministers and whose father is a preacher chose a gospel song.

    • Jaszy says:

      Sometimes I wish Koryn would stop relying on that thick vibrato she has and just sing a tune in a straightforward way sometimes. I mean, it’s almost as if she’s ‘putting on’ a vocal rather than showcasing what she truly sounds like. I mean, I was singing along to the song as she was singing, and I was doing the same vibrato sound she was incorporating in her vocals; it’s not hard to sing like that. That alone makes me think that that’s not really what her voice really sounds like.

  14. Jenna says:

    i was impressed by Caitlin, Sawyer, and Mia tonight. Megan has a strong voice but it’s always at full throttle and it gets annoying. I also don’t understand how you can have charted music from two different bands and have gone in major tours and be allowed to qualify for the show? She won’t make it to the end so I wish it could be someone looking for their first break.

    • To Me Megan Is Just Like A Writer, You Do Great And Have All The Attention, Then Hit A Blank Page, She Has Done This For A Lot Of Years, She Should Have Gone With An Alternative Way For Her Music And Gave Someone Else A Chance .

    • Jaszy says:

      OMG, you people need to stop with the “it’s not fair” stance. Meghan deserves this chance as well as the other contestants. She’s not the only contestant who has had a career before the show. GET OVER IT!
      She deserves to be there!

  15. Jerry says:

    I’m shocked that Lowell doesn’t have a D.

  16. Way To Go Teams, This Is Going To Be A Tough Year, But Sawyer, And Koryn, Boy Can You Make Everyone Feel What You Have To Say, Way To Go.

  17. Maddy says:

    I think that Sawyer had the best performance of the night. Not understsnding the A for Mia. Her performance was not that good.

  18. Jane says:

    You want memorable singers – Sawyer is the one. He has innocent, untainted talent — reminds me of the young James Taylor. I enjoy the others, but won’t remember them in a month. Sawyer has star quality. Mia is right there with him, but I put my vote down for Sawyer to win.

  19. Guilherme says:

    There is something on your top 20 list that is very, very wrong, Sawyer and Joshua are NOT better than Kimberly Nichole, the girl’s a beast!!

  20. What was up with Xtina? If she gave one more backhanded compliment, she’d have had to ice her hand. That was a lot even for her.

  21. I don’t understand how Meghan Linsey can even be considered. She’s a professional, for goodness sakes. I don’t care that she is now a soloist. She still has an unfair advantage.

    • analythinker says:

      The unfairness is certainly not showing on the chart though, don’t be so worried about that.

    • Jaszy says:

      Uhhh….no she doesn’t. Don’t you remember season 6…with CHRISTINA GRIMMIE?! She was clearly the one everybody (and I) expected to win….but she came in 3rd place.
      What do you have to say about that?
      Meghan has no advantage at all.
      A lot of the contestants on previous seasons were professionals as well…doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be on the Voice.
      Put yourself in their shoes, for goodness sake. How would you feel if people were telling you that you shouldn’t be on the show because you already had a career?
      Well, guess what?…Meghan’s career didn’t work out too well since she’s on the Voice!
      She deserves to be there.

  22. Timmah says:

    20 percent? I thought it was 40.

  23. Loved Caitlin … Petite with a strong, popwerful voice…. Not skinny at all … Could model if talker … Great performance … Loved, loved, loved her … Polished, professional and talented …. Zteam Zcaitlin … Bern a mistake to lose her

    • Kaba says:

      And utterly bland. Notice how your commentary on her voice, and even her performance, begins and ends with ‘powerful voice’.

      • Unfortunately, I type on an Ipad which is difficult… My apologies. Yes, powerful. She is the type that they look for on Broadway… Bland.. Not at all… But to each their own . The young woman can sing … And it is The Voice.,

        • Jon says:

          As someone who attends Broadway shows (and also loves a wide variety of other music) I don’t think Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, etc. could be considered “bland.” Yes, to each their own, but I hate this oft-repeated stereotype about theatre performers.

  24. Ellie says:

    I think everyone mostly gave a good performance tonight. The standouts for me were Mia and Sawyer. I do feel like it’s pandering when you pick a religious song. I thought Koryn was good but not my favorite. I found Kaitlin a little forgettable and Lowell wasn’t very comfortable with his song.

    For team Blake I think while Brooke had an interesting voice with odd pronunciations, she was very shaky and didn’t seem ready for the spotlight. I see people on here complaining about Corey but he was actually the one I liked the best on Blake’s team. Sarah has a good voice but she reads old fashioned. Hannah also picked a song that was too old and was a bit one note. Meghan also can sing but I thought Love Runs out was a poor choice. Songs for bands just don’t work well for solo singing in contests like these. Still she’s probably the likeliest to be voted in along with Corey for Team Blake.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      With all the pandering that happens from the country artists, I’m A-OK with a little pandering from a pop/R&B powerhouse. The country artists are far and away the biggest panderers on these shows. And Koryn sang her face off on that, so I’m willing to give her a pass as long as The Voice doesn’t become the 700 Club anytime soon.

  25. analythinker says:

    Based on iTunes: Sawyer, Mia, Koryn, Corey, Meghan, Hannah, Sarah, Brooke, Lowell, Caitlyn

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Wow, Koryn is holding up on itunes? I’m already prepping myself for her exit on Wednesday. I don’t want to get my hopes up.
      Mia deserved the praise she got tonight. I may not agree with Slezak’s grades too much tonight, but he absolutely nailed who had the best performance (in my opinion, of course). I’m even considering buying that single, and this is not a thing that I do.

      • Jon says:

        Angie, I’m listening to Mia’s iTunes single right now, and her tone is as silky as it was on the show tonight. I’m picturing her singing this song late at night in a smoky jazz bar — which is horrible, I know, since she’s 16 years old! The Voice has a lot of old souls in young bodies this year…

        • Angie_Overrated says:

          I did it. I just did it. I downloaded a song from the show. I do this maybe 2x a season, and Mia earned it. You’re right, Jon, this is some silky, sexy stuff. The girl is a musician through and through. A very enthusiastic thumbs up.

  26. EPJ says:

    Wow….You’re oddly positive on this slew of contestants who turned in mostly bland, average performances. And yet Meghan, the one with the best performance and vocal of the night, gets a C?! You really are swayed by the awful judges, aren’t you? Lol….I thought this episode was unbearable. So many flat notes and try-hard vocal attempts, people coming across phony singing songs that don’t work for them, boring crap like that country boy getting an A-. SMH, Slezak, your stock has fallen.

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      I like Meghan. A lot actually. But she pooped the bed on that song tonight. My guess as to what happened is she was singing too much the last few days. Her voice sounded very hoarse.
      And can we find whoever is styling her and publicly shame this person? I refuse to believe that whatever is happening in Meghan’s midriff requires these tragic ensembles. There has to be a better way.

  27. JM says:

    I guess I’m in the minority, but I actually enjoyed Brooke’s performance. She got my vote along with Meghan, Hannah, Koryn, Mia and Sawyer.

    • Chris C says:

      Yes!!!! I loved her performance and I am so afraid she won’t make it she is the only one I am voting for until she beats Corey who deserved a way lower grade than her! Go Brooke! Go Brooke’s other fan! Go Minority!

  28. 2Blessed says:

    Pharrell- Sawyer, Mia, Koryn
    Blake- Meghan, Sarah, Hannah

    • Craig says:

      No way will Corey NOT make it through on votes and if Meghan doesn’t, Blake is going to save her. Hannah and Sarah are competing for his last spot. I’d imagine Brooke is out of the running. I think you nailed the Top 3 for Team Pharrell though.

  29. Jill Moy says:

    Caitlin should go through. But the others are hyped more in Pharrell’s bunch! Koryn should go, like Mike said, but she’s a hype job!

  30. Davey says:

    Kris Allen sang the same song Corey sang tonight 10x times better and in tune.

    Only voted for Sawyer, Mia and Lowell (who was thrown under the bus) because Koryn sounded bad to me tonight. Don’t care about anyone else tonight.

  31. Timmah says:

    Caitlin reminds me of Eva Avila from Canadian Idol.

  32. NoName says:

    Sarah was OK, but what’s with wearing the guitar like a fashion accessory? Either play the damn instrument or leave it behind. Otherwise it just make her look like a total poser.

  33. Mytake says:

    I would like to request of the judges “can we please STOP making the guys sing falsetto in almost every song!” I know it’s some current fad or trend but having the guys throw that in everywhere unnecessarily is stupidly gratuitous and for those guys that can NOT sing falsetto at all or well (most of them) it only makes their performances worse than if they were left to just sing the songs in their normal voice. Frankly I’m soooo over that gimmick. I totally blame Adam for the increase in this new affectation we are getting shoved down our throats. He can sing falsetto well, so now everyone is copying that crap.

  34. Owen says:

    Hannah was the highlight.

  35. Jill Moy says:

    My opinion on Mia Z is her voice is creepy and weird; she rubs me the wrong way! A is perfection and Mia is far from that! She is weird to me all around! Even her Thrill Is Gone didn’t impress me.

    • Cip says:

      agree 100%. In my opinion “Ain’t No Sunshine” is perfect as is. There is no need to mess it up…and that’s exactly what Mia did by re-arranging it and trying to make it edgy. I hated it.

  36. David W says:

    I love Sawyer and have listened to his first three performances over and over. Didn’t care for his song choice tonight tho. I’m sure he is a lock all the same. Mia Z is terrific too!

  37. Adam says:

    I’ve loved Brooke all season, but, man, Blake saddled her with a horrible song. I’m surprised you ranked Corey so high – I’ve liked him all season, but tonight was kind of weak. I also was not as enthused by Mia as much tonight as usual. Sawyer was decent – it might just be my own preference, but his “big” notes just sound do painful, like he’s destroying his vocal cords.
    Meanwhile, I thought the first three of the night were the best – Sarah, Caitlin, and Hannah. Based on the review above, my opinions are clearly completely off-base from yours, but there they are! :-D

  38. MarbleMouth says:

    Why can’t Mia pronounce ANY of the words in a song? Literally the only lyric that was understandable was “I Know”. She’s so freakin’ concerned with sounding cool, she completely misses any connection with the lyric.

  39. Mytake says:

    I think Mia can really sing but one thing she can improve on is her mush mouth pronunciation. It’s like she’s an alien that came to earth and can mimick the running sounds and patterns well but doesn’t know that words are seperate sounds with individual meanings. She slurs a lot of words and others are mushed together making one nonexistent word, and others are cut off mid word.

    Pharrel please work with her on that and you’ll gave a top #2 for sure.

    • Jon says:

      I concede this is true (although I love her) but if slurry-voiced Ariana Grande Latte can be a huge superstar, then Mia, with a little work on her diction, can too.

    • Jill Moy says:


      You are accurate! And Mike gives marble mouth an A!

    • NotVirgin Mary says:

      I would agree with you on her other performances, but I think it worked here, really well. Sawyer’s diction was worse during the second half of his performance than Mia Z’s diction was has been throughout the competition. I couldn’t understand anything he was saying.

      • danin says:

        That’s cause he forgot some lyrics and after he froze he managed to find a way to complete the song.Still he found some emotional honesty.

        • NotVirgin Mary says:

          I haven’t gotten any emotional impact from his past two performances. He has a way of belting in this husky voice that cuts through and is more powerful than him just singing. He creates a contrast from his soft, wilted tone, to this powerful belt that cuts through the rest of the song. He exaggerates it, and it comes to him easily. I’ve heard it every one of his performances and it’s beginning to become annoying to see him labelled as an ‘old soul’ when it really isn’t anything that special. He’s probably going to win, which is okay, I guess, but when he gets more credit for that sloppy performance than Mia Z gets for that ridiculously great performance, it grates on the soul.

          • Mytake says:

            I think it’s a tie. Both are great singers IMO, but tonight sawyer forgot some words and therefore covered up by slurring. Mia knew the words but just slurs through all her songs.

  40. NotVirgin Mary says:

    Mia Z was fantastic. For once, that slurry diction worked in her favor.
    I don’t understand Sawyer’s grade, though. Am I the only one who heard a couple pitch problems? And I couldn’t understand a word he was saying on the second half of the song.
    Meghan’s voice folded halfway through the song. That performance reminded me of a less insufferable Bria Kelly. That gravelly tone felt so forced from her tonight. I don’t know what Slezak is on… how was Corey an A-? Shame!

    • Angie_Overrated says:

      Yes to every single word in your post.
      And no matter how many times I see it, your screen name never fails to make me chuckle.

      • Michael H. says:

        I think I agree with everything NotVirgin said except for Sawyer. I don’t think it was an A-, but I think it was an easy B+ for him.

  41. danin says:

    Ew I, thought Corey was pretty mediocre tonight.And man I would swap his and Meghan’s grade hands down.

  42. Ram510 says:

    And we’ve reached the point in the competition where the judges say everything is great even when it clearly isn’t. This is typically when I change the channel

    • Timmah says:

      That’s one thing I don’t like about this show, is that it’s very rare for the judges to say anything negative during the live rounds. And I think they’re doing a disservice to the contestants because they’re all experienced in the industry and could probably give them some really valuable tips on what to improve on with regards to not only their singing but their image and presentation.

  43. missvci says:

    I can’t choose who deserves to stay on team pharrell: Hannah or Caitlin, I think Caitlin sang better tonight, but Koryn’s knockout round perormance is still one of my favorites even though she was underwhelming tonight. I’m sure Sawyer and Mia are safe on team pharrell as they should be. So Pharrell has the impossible choice between Cailtin and Koryn, but i’m kinda scared he’ll choose Lowell because he has this unexplained love for the kid.

    As far as team Blake, the only performance I really enjoyed was Corey. Meghan was good again, but again it was a let down from her performance last week.

    I wish just top 6 from both teams then it could be: Mia, Sawyer, Corey, Koryn, Caitlin, Meghan.

    wasn’t a fan of Hannah’s or Brooke’s performances at all. And Sarah is good, but forgettable at the end of the day.

    • Jaszy says:

      What is this love and obsession people are talking about with Pharrell and Lowell? I don’t see it at all! I don’t think he’s obsessed with Lowell. Just because he picked him twice as the winner doesn’t mean anything.
      I mean, last season there was SUGAR JOANS (I loved her so much!) and Pharrell was clearly obsessed with her! (I was too!) He couldn’t stop gushing about Sugar Joans. I don’t see that same obsession with Lowell, so when people on here are saying that Pharrell has this unfathomable obsession with Lowell…I’m sitting here scratching my head…

  44. Jill Moy says:


  45. Jay pete says:

    Sawyer…I love Sawyer. Adam…could somebody shut him up. Such a whiny sort of man. I don’t know how Blake stands him.
    Sawyer…I LOVE YOU!

  46. gracelessk says:

    Sawyer sounded like Bob Dylan tonight.

  47. Eman says:

    Mia was amazing and I so appreciate the control she showed not going too crazy, but working the song so effortlessly. She moved around the stage with ease, was on top of the song the whole way and gave off this smoky vibe that was super cool. Her voice is crazy good, although as a trained vocalist it does drive me crazy when singers do not articulate and don’t close out their consonants but I can forgive her because she is crazy awesome and just took that song and really made great choices with phrasing, dynamics, and when to use her range and when to back off.

    I don’t know what to think of Sawyer he is very talented and seems very sweet and while I like that song it just felt strange for met to hear this young, very sheltered kid who probably has never kissed a girl singing those lyrics. Yes it fits his voice and yes he is somewhat captivating on stage, but there was just an odd disconnect for me. My wife just thinks he is fantastic and cannot stop raving about him, but I’m not sure what it is but there is just something off. However he seems to be the favorite right now.

    Angie I completely agree with you about India anybody who says she has a goat bleat is an ignoramus, she is an amazing singer! Her vibrato is natural, but some people don’t like vibrato in general and especially in women in their lower register so maybe that is it, but she is a tremendous vocalist.

    I have to think Michael just made a mistake with how he graded Corey and Meghan, but if he didn’t he has gone completely bonkers. Corey was off pitch all over the place and really while I could tell he was feeling it, it was pretty dull and lifeless. Meghan on the other hand took a hard song to sing because of the rhythm and range, because it is written for a tenor voice, and really just showed what a great vocalist she is.

    Mia A, Meaghan A- and although I enjoyed other performances those two were clearly the best.

    • MC says:

      It’s all about an expectations game regarding Meghan. Some folks might automatically think Meghan has to be five times better than someone like Lowell. Meghan was only twice as good on this particular episode, so people are going to start nitpicking Meghan for her imperfections. This wasn’t her best due to a timing issue, but the recapper and some of the comments are exaggerating the flaws of this performance. I don’t think she was 100% in synch with the band, but vocally there were some very strong moments here. Can she do better? Of course. Meghan has a smaller margin of error because she doesn’t have “dreamy” eyes or dimples and may not appeal to young female voters.

  48. Choir Girl says:

    What’s the average amount of time it takes for comments to be posted on this site?

  49. Choir Girl says:

    Great show, tonight.

    Pharrell’s teenagers:
    Sawyer – So cool to see such a pure and unique talent on a show like this, being completely himself, not trying to be a generic pop star. He’ll bring folk and soulful rock back to the masses whether wins this show or not. Didn’t even matter that he’s likely never had a relationship where he’s been “saved by a woman” or that maybe he forgot a few words? He sold it and I believed it and I want to hear more. He’s a lock.

    Mia Z – Crazy gifted musician. Seems to come to her so easily though that I don’t feel much when she sings even though I really like the musically acrobatic sounds she’s making and her generally cool vibe. Again, so young, the emotional connection will probably be stronger as she gets older. Definitely top 12,

    Choice will likely be between Koryn and Caitlin. Both great singers.

    My strong preference would be Koryn. She reminds me of Southern girl Beyonce when she was a kid too. But more impressively, I believe EVERY BIT of every lyric she sings even though she’s also really young. When she gets going into that high raspy belt I feel her spirit in my bones. She doesn’t sound like anyone else, is versatile and a true musical storyteller. Really hoping we get to hear more. She could kill some Tina Turner.

    Caitlin is also super talented and has a very typically commercial sounding pop/r&b voice, with solid tone and power. But as a performer I still find her just a little stiff and vocally a bit generic. Christina Aguilera light. In a weaker season she would be at the very top of the list for me, but this season I’m praying Pharrell will go with the more memorable , emotionally impactful performer who in this case I think is Koryn.

    Lowell- Has potential, but he’s still figuring out who he is and he’s simply outgunned on this super stacked team.

    • Jemmabrie says:

      I think you’re spot on about the Koryn and Caitlin thing. I really hope pharrel picks Koryn. But it’s pharrel who happens to be the least predictable coach and has been known to make some pretty inexplicable decisions so that’s worries me ALOT. In the long run I think Koryn could and most likely would go a lot farther than Caitlin.