With coach steals and contestant saves no longer part of the competition, Monday night’s episode of “The Voice” left the dirty dozen’s fate in America’s hands as the finalists performed for their chance at the Universal Music Group recording contract.
As part of the last round of the competition, it marks the beginning of a two-contestant elimination per week with a new season twist. Only a few minutes into the show, host Carson Daly revealed that no judges will be guaranteed to have a contestant in the finale, which means all of singers on any given team could be eliminated early or late in the race.
Here’s the highlights from Monday’s live round:
Michaela Paige: Trading in her colorful sky-high mohawk for a simple sidedo, Paige went for the kill with her rendition of Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”. Throwing in some high energy and her always-spunky attitude, the pint-sized contestant did her best to keep up with the pop/rock tune and was recognized by the judges for her performance ease. “You weren’t thrown by anything. The movement was amazing and you really did kind of keep your breath,” Levine told her. Shelton offered praise to her preciseness for such a fast-paced lyrical song.
Cassadee Pope: Emotions behind a performance can change everything, and that’s what Pope was aiming for when she channeled her parents’ divorce for her cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” Looking as if she raided some of Xtina’s extension closet, the big-voiced singer played the guitar and simply left her heart on the stage, particularly nailing the bridge’s high note. Pope shed some tears during critiques, especially during Blake’s words. “There is something undefined about you and that means that there’s no limits and there’s no boundaries as for what Cassadee can do,” he said.
Terry McDermott: Choosing McDermott to end the show is probably for the best because he just knows how to perform like a rock star. In his rendition of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling,” he utilized the stage and band, winding in and out of the group like a professional. Cee Lo called him “damn good” and specifically praised his falsetto at the end of the song. Blake couldn’t be prouder of his singer as he congratulated McDermott on the number.
Dez Duron: For a contestant that looks like he could easily fit in as a member of the Wanted, Duron has a lot of soul, and he let it out and about with Lauryn Hill’s version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” As Xtina recommended during pre-rehearsals, the charming crooner worked the audience, more particularly the ladies, and threw in some distinctive jazz inflections. Asked about his performance, Cee Lo called the number “impeccable,” emphasizing Duron’s balance of sex appeal and vocal talents. It was definitely enough to win over his coach over as Xtina commended his “true star quality.”
Adriana Louise: If there’s one coach who can teach sass, it’s definitely not Adam, but instead Christina, who advised Louise to decorate Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl.” And that she did. Sparkling in a gold minidress, Louise played up vocal acrobats and paid some extra attention to Adam when she seductively walked to his chair to serenade him for the song’s final lines. While Adam thanked her for coming on over, Xtina exclaimed, “The best is yet to come from you.”
Sylvia Yacoub: It’s no surprise that Yacoub shows her share of jitters on and off stage, and her cover of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” was filled with them. But that’s not to take away from her performance considering she hit some rather impressive notes. In the end, Levine applauded her upper register usage and Aguilera took time to make it known that the Titanic theme song is a tough one to tackle and that Yacoub really made it her own.
Amanda Brown: Coming off last week’s rousing performance of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” Brown kept her versatility factor going strong with a performance of Florence and the Machine’s “Spectrum.” On a high platform mid-stage, the contestant stayed put and flowed her arms from left to ride while doing her best Florence impersonation, even though it may not have sounded the best. While Cee Lo took notice of the performance’s constriction, Shelton, gave props to Brown for how many different sounds there are to her voice.
Melanie Martinez: Simplicity shines and Martinez was probably fully aware of this going into her rendition of Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup.” Sitting underneath an overhead with her band, the singer conveyed genuine emotion and offered some heartfelt moments during the tune. Xtina took found a liking to those undertones, saying, “That was probably your most emotional performance and that’s what I liked about it…It didn’t have to be big and over-the-top.”
Bryan Keith: There’s something old-school about Keith, and with that aura, he perfected the late Amy Winehouse’s hit “Back to Black.” In a matching suit and fedora, his voice couldn’t have sounded better over the vintage sounding track. “You definitely did have this cool modern day raspy Sinatra thing happening, and I like that,” Xtina shared. Ultimately, his judge Adam believed he stole the night (even though it was mid-evening), saying, “You definitely had that kind of breakout thing.”
Team Cee Lo Green
Cody Belew: Belew had some big shoes to fill with Tina Turner’s “The Best,” but it looked like the shoes fit just about right. Bouncing around the stage, the singer played up his comfort as a natural performer. Vocals remained consistent, but his onstage charisma is what really stood out. It was just a tease for Xtina though, who requested “more up-tempo” tracks in the future and just enough for his coach Cee Lo. “You remind us that this is still fun because you’re so fabulous and you’re so free,” he said.
Trevin Hunte: Out of the dirty dozen, Hunte delivers a ballad with the most ease and show-stopping vocal moments, so one can imagine his take on Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” was impeccable and full of larger than life notes. “For the first time, I think you did everything we wanted you to do as fans. We always felt like maybe you were holding back for a little bit for whatever reason,” Shelton told him. Judge Cee Lo admitted that as an artist he can’t even sing like the contestant, calling Hunte a “natural born champion.”
Nicholas David: Before his onstage number, Cee Lo tells David that he needs to get into pop superstar mode for his performance of “The Power of Love.” This isn’t exactly your average open mic night. It’s one of the many qualities that make this particular contestant stand out for the good (and bad) as his demeanor can appear humble. With the band behind him, David walked down the lit stage, amped up the 1985 hit single and proved naysayers wrong. Cee Lo made notice of his authenticity as a performer and even got a little deep. “There is no better success than realization of self,” he said. Wise words, Cee Lo.
Did your favorite contestant prove worthwhile on Monday? Let us know below!