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The Voice: Top Ten, Season 7, 11/24/14

November 25th, 2014 · No Comments

Last night The Voice featured some very high-powered mentors, including Diana Ross, record executive Clive Davis, and sometime Voice judge Christina Aguilera.  The final ten were singing for votes this evening, and this field proved to be very closely bunched:

1.  Team Adam starts the show off with one of the biggest breakouts of this season,  Matt McAndrew.  He was the only Voice contestant last week who placed in the top ten of iTunes.  This week coach Adam Levine gives his alt-rocker a Coldplay song that’s not “Yellow” and not “Clocks.”  It’s “Fix You,” I think, and it’s a little more rocking.  After the performance, Pharrell raves (as he did last week) about how KROQ and Z-100 (apparently the NY version of KROQ) should be calling about adding the track.  Gwen raves, too, about, “Shows what kind of artist you could be.”  Adam talks about how McAndrew’s voice is able to combine big notes with a “supersweet” mellow side.

2.  Anita Antoinette of Team Gwen gives “Let Her Go” (Passengers) a reggae makeover.  There are only three women left in the field this season and the competition from the seven male vocalists is formidable.

3.  Speaking of formidable, Damian of Team Adam takes on Stevie Wonder’s “You and I,” gives it a serious soulful classic delivery, and successfully updates the original.  “Damian can really touch people,” Adam raves, and later adds, “I felt the entire audience get on board.”

4.  Reagan James, the teenage pop princess of Team Blake, gives the current hip-hop hit “I’m so Fancy” a different arrangement.  During rehearsal she says she wants something stripped down–but with electric guitar.   She plays up the teen appeal but unfortunately some of her inexperience may be starting to show.  The judges are impressed, however.  “That was hard to do,” her coach Blake comments.  “You were doing two people’s job–easily your best performance.”

5.  Luke Wade of Team Pharrell sings his version of the classic Otis Redding hit, “Try a Little Tenderness.”  He offers a mix of soul, blues, and jazz, and shows some personality as well.  Gwen praises how he’s learned to work the stage.  Adam comments the performance “had Pharrell all over it,” like Pharrell singing Otis Redding.

6.  Craig Wayne Boyd began this season doing Southern-fried rock, but lately he’s been showing his softer, more romantic side.  He sings Johnny Cash’s classic, “I Walk the Line” with a completely different arrangement, turning it into a contemporary country power ballad.  His coach Blake talks about how Boyd’s an outlaw Southern rocker–but he’s also a heartthrob.   In judges’ comments afterward, Gwen notes she’s glad she saved him, because that’s why he’s still in the competition. Pharrell says, “Nothing like coming across like you know who you are.”  Blake sums up, “That was magic!”

7.  Ryan Sill, the teen heartthrob of Team Gwen, looks to be going home sooner rather than later–it’s not him, it’s simply a numbers game.  He was Gwen’s save during the semi-finals, and he was in the bottom three last week.  His song this week is Muse’s “Starlight.”  After his performance, Adam says, “I was shocked you were in the bottom three last week.  I didn’t think you deserved it.”  He advises the singer, “Continue to try to figure out who you are.”  Blake concurs, saying, “You continue to figure this thing out.”  So does Pharrell, “You’re seriously most improved,” noting how the young singer’s been guided into the alternative scene.  Gwen says she had trouble getting rights to the song until she sent Sills’ audition tape to Muse, showing them he was capable of doing the song.  She adds, “You’re blossoming into an artist!”  Even if Ryan goes out this week, he can at least say he got sandwiched between Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera during rehearsal.

8.  DaNica Shirey of Team Pharrell sings “I Have Nothing” originally by Whitney Houston–who she idolized–before Clive Davis, the man who made Houston.  During an all-hands coaching session, he tells her that she’s caught the song’s vulnerability.  After Shirey’s performance, Blake declares, “This is the best live show I have ever seen!  The performances are unbelievable!”

9.  Taylor John Williams has an idea for an alternative take on the Beatles’ classic, “Come Together.”  He says he’d like to give each verse its own character.  His coach Gwen is reluctant because the song is “so classic” but she advises, “Get into character–weirdo lyrics…push into your signature bluesy thing.  Make it contemporary.”  All the judges love the result.  “See the beastly dude come out!” says Adam.  “Having fun…keep doing it!”  Blake adds, “To see you smile and have fun, that was really important.”  Pharrell says, “One of the craziest performances we’ve ever seen!”  Gwen caps the praise with, “If I were fifteen and in high school now, you’d be all over my locker!”

10.  Chris Jamison selects a current Bruno Mars song, “Uptown Funk,” explaining how it will be able to show he’s an entertainer as well as a singer.  He is a good match for the Mars vibe.  However, he’s still here only because his coach Adam saved him in the semi-finals, and he may be unable to compete with the field, especially with someone similar like Luke Wade.  Adam comments, “The team I have are guys that aren’t afraid to do something different.”

Next week comes the final eight.  Based on what we’ve seen of voting patterns, Ryan and Chris are in trouble, but all the women are looking vulnerable, too.


Tags: The Voice