Last week, America finally got the power and now The Voice contestants are only as good as their last performance.
But, just in case, we forgot what the show was really about, tonight’s episode gave us some power of its own, in the form of new guest mentors (including reality-show-to-riches songstress, Jennifer Hudson) and knockout performances from the Top 10.
Complete with a new ‘do, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton kicked off tonight’s live shows, reminding America and their mentees how it’s done. But enough of these old pros, it’s time for that new talent!
So let’s get to it!
Giving us a bit of a throwback, coach Christina Aguilera enlisted the help of Ron Fair — the man who helped her get her start — to give a few tips to her teammates. First up, Sylvia Yacoub singing Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire.” Going from being a pre law student to The Voice was still a bit surreal for the young powerhouse, but after shaking a few rehearsal nerves, she hit the stage ready to burn.
Though she started soft on the piano, Sylvia quickly shed that low-key look and worked it, showing a new confidence that was refreshing and proved that she’s got star power.
Coach Adam Levine said he was “blown away’ and Blake agreed, telling America that we would have a hard time forgetting this show opener.
Terry McDermott, the Scottish rocker who’s quickly become a frontrunner, was up at bat next. Getting some advice from coach Blake Shelton and country music producer Scott Hendricks, Terry lit it up with Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ‘69.” Terry’s got some great pipes of course, but his greatest asset is his shrewd choice of songs. He knows his wheelhouse inside and out and performs each tune flawlessly. (And on his tiptoes no less, as coach Christina fondly pointed out.)
The performance made a fan out of Cee Lo Green and a frenemy out of Adam Levine, who’s apparently still smarting from not getting a chance to work with him.
Coach Blake was just happy that Terry made him look good, which frankly isn’t hard.
Letting her hair down this week was the youngest contestant in the game, Melanie Martinez. Tasked with “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes, Melanie got some much-needed advice from coach Adam in rehearsals-step up or ship out. Not to say that she hasn’t already shown us her stuff, but in order to move forward, she would have to amp up her quiet smoky voice.
And amp up she did. As Melanie, armed with her guitar once again, hit those energetic yet haunting notes with a vengeance, all behind a background slideshow of her own photography we had to ask: what can’t this girl do??
Christina thought that she was trying to push herself, but didn’t quite make it, but Cee Lo, dusting off his ‘90s vocab, thought it was “uber cool.”
Cody Belew, our dear Arkansas pig farmer with the personality of a Hollywood superstar, brought it to the stage next. Coach Cee Lo knocked it out of the park this week with his guest mentor, Jennifer Hudson. Side note: girlfriend has never looked better. J Hud was just in awe of Cody’s sassy edge, and honestly, once he hit the stage, so were we.
First of all, this kid was wearing a dominatrix-meets-goth-rock get up that just set the fun, slightly manic tone of his version of Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love.” And while we love the divaesque tribute to the Queen Bey, we got to admit, his actual singing didn’t quite live up to the hype. But then again, when we saw that last minute booty shaking “bam bam” breakdown of his, we couldn’t even hate.
And neither could the coaches. Christina gave snaps for a fellow diva, Adam was just tickled pink, and Blake, as expected, was just confused.
Dialing it down a bit, the always polished Bryan Keith took it in a new direction with his take on Billy Joel’s “New York State Of Mind.” Dedicating the song to the Hurricane Sandy ravaged East Coast, the song was a soulful, if slightly somber, rendition that had us swaying.
We love this dude’s voice and can’t get enough of that fedora (and neither can he, apparently). His easy going laid back attitude is such a departure from the flashy and flamboyant performances of the others, and as a much needed break from the theatrics, it gives us a reminder of what this show is actually about.
Coach Adam thought he “kicked its booty” and frankly no other commentary is necessary after a remark like that..
Coming off of an “only okay” performance last time, Amanda Brown wanted to blow it out of the water tonight. Singing “Stars’ by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, it looked like our old Amanda was back. Stripping it down to just a couple guitars, she let her voice do the talking. And what a voice she has.
Every note out of her mouth was just gorgeous, and it was clear that she was simply more comfortable this week, ending on a tender high that made her (and us) a little weepy.
A “very emotional” performance, as Christina said, it really resonated with the coaches, and as coach Adam said, “we did a good job.”
Rocking that crazy cool vibe that we’ve come to love, Nicholas David was up next. Mentor Jennifer Hudson got chills just from his rehearsal, so it was no surprise that his live performance of Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” had that signature “hey now!” swag that had us all rocking from side to side.
Holy Buckets Nicholas — what a show! The audience was on their feet, and the coaches were grooving too. Calling him “legendary chicken soup” for the soul and a “voice of the generation,” they were all picking up what Nicholas was putting down and if that standing ovation was any indication, so was America.
The sweetest kid with an even sweeter voice, Trevin Hunte, wanted to take a risk this week and showcase a younger side to his already soulful self. Singing Usher’s “Scream” was a huge departure from regular ballad repertoire, but Trevin was surprisingly confident in the choice.
Hearing his experienced voice has made us forget that he’s actually just an 18-year-old kid, but this week he reminded us, giving us a fun, but still powerful performance of the Top 40 hit.
This wasn’t our fave performance, but like Adam said he could “sing the phonebook” and kill it, so kudos for going out on a ledge with this one, Trevin.
Pulling from her own experiences and her coach’s personal tragedy, Cassadee Pope took it to a new level this week with Blake Shelton’s “Over You” — a song the country star and his wife Miranda Lambert wrote for his late brother.
Cassadee has had a problem showing us a her genuine self, but this week, she managed to do just that. Singing right to an obviously emotional Blake, Cassadee hit a homerun with this one. We knew she could sing, but with that added gravitas behind the song, she gave it that push to a new level that absolutely floored us all.
Adam called it her best performance, and Blake said that he made him feel like “he was hearing it for the first time,” which coming from the songwriter himself, was the biggest compliment she could have gotten.
Closing out the night was the resident heartthrob, Dez Duron. Singing MIchael Buble’s “Feeling Good,” our dear Dez was on his game tonight.
And he was right about one thing, It’s a new dawn, a new day — the Dez days, to be specific. I mean, what else can we say? Rocking that white tuxedo jacket and a smile that could melt butter, the always adorable Dez showed us that he was more than just a pretty face, delivering a solid and super sexy performance.
And just like coach Christina said, we were sure feeling good after that one.
And on that hot and high note, we end tonight’s live performances! What did you think of tonight? Who will you be voting for? Tell us below!