'The Voice' Recap: Top 10 Perform Live, Christina Grimmie Reinvents Drake's 'Hold On, We're Going Home'
The Top 10 artists performed in Monday’s live episode of The Voice, with Christina Grimmie showing off her musical ability and Blake Shelton getting into trouble with his BFF Adam Levine.
The night began with a performance by the UK band Rixton, which is comprised of young men who look like a slightly edgier version of One Direction, bonus points: they play their own instruments and generally seem more talented and less pop.
To help his artists this week, Adam called in his buddy Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills & Nash). Adam and Nash work with Kat Perkins, hoping to expose her sensitive side to the public with Fleetwod Mac’s “Landslide.” Kat doesn’t quite nail the low notes, but her performance is solid and the judges are impressed that she was able to strip down her rocker style and give an acoustic performance. Her performance had Kat in tears by the end, and Coach Adam blowing her kisses.
Team Shakira’s Tess Boyer, who narrowly escaped elimination last week, was up next. Shakira’s advisor this week is producer/songwriter Busbee, who coincidentally wrote Kelly Clarkson’s “Dark Side,” which is the song Tess sang last week to save her from going home. Tess was aiming for a comeback with Paramore’s “Ain’t It Fun.” The song was a fun change for Tess, allowing her to really have fun onstage. Blake called her performance “pitch perfect” and Adam said the performance let everyone see another side of Tess. But, was her performance enough to keep her out of the bottom this week?
Blake brings in producer Scott Hendricks, who apparently is already in love with Audra McLaughlin. Audra sticks with the country, performing Reba McEntire’s “You Lie.” The biggest factor working against Audra is that she had to follow up the awkward moment when Blake tweeted out Adam’s cell number.
HEY EVERYONE!!! Here it is: (310) 493-7939 <– @adamlevine's CELL NUMBER! Think I'm kidding? Try calling it!! Bitch!!!
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) April 29, 2014
Audra gives a seamless performance that has Blake giddy. Shakira told her, “You’re not going anywhere,” and is confident that she is going to make it to the Top 5.
Usher brings on producer Natural as his mentor this week, and first up on Team Usher is Josh Kaufman, who stole the show last week. Josh’s package starts with him sharing a sweet phone conversation with his wife and kids, and ended with Natural telling him to play around with the delivery of Kenny Loggins’ “This Is It.” Josh, as always, delivers a great performance, but the song choice doesn’t do him any favors. Shakira called his soulful songs his “sweet spot,” and Adam berated himself for eliminating Josh from his team and sending him over to Team Usher.
Christina Grimmie from Team Adam gives the most inventive performance, taking on Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and turning it into something only she could deliver. Christina sang the track with restraint, saving her high notes and belts for key moments instead of going full force. Christina also impressed with her decision to start the performance behind a piano, with no other music before standing up for a climactic finale full of belts and standout notes. Usher told her that her reinvention of the song would make Drake proud and certainly earned her a spot in the finale. Shakira agreed, calling it her best performance yet. Adam used his time to make clear that he was not behind the decision to cover Drake, giving full credit to Christina and making her tear up a bit.
Jake Worthington, Team Blake’s endearing cowboy, followed Christina on stage singing “Run” by George Strait, “The King” as Jake calls him. In rehearsals, Jake proved once again that he has earned the title of ‘most charming’. When Blake says, “You want a hug now, or is it weird?” Jake responded, “I’ll take a kiss.” (Amazing.)
It’s a slow song, and Jake’s voice is, as always, perfectly steady and melodic. It’s not his best performance, and the judges don’t fall over themselves to give him praise, but Usher says he is proud of him for ignoring online haters and finding peace on stage. After the coaches said their piece, Jake somehow managed to be even more adorable, thanking all his fans and everybody at home.
Bria Kelly of Team Usher took a risk with Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You.” In rehearsals, Usher told her that this performance would be a ‘make it or break it’ moment for her. Her number one goal: to connect to the audience. Bria’s voice was weak this week, and her off-key performance earned her disappointed comments from the judges. More than that, she seemed uncomfortable on stage, walking around with her shoulders hunched over.
Adam started off calling Bria one of his favorites, and admitted he wanted to give her real criticism out of respect: “I do believe that there’s more that we need to see, and we want to see from you because we love you that much.” Bria started crying listening to the judges, causing Carson Daly to ask her if she’s ok.
Bria’s underwhelming performance is followed by frontrunner Delvin Choice from Team Adam. Delvin goes for Gary Clark Jr.’s “Bright Lights,” picking up the pace from last week and delivering a funky and fun performance that excited the crowd and the judges. Delvin’s more upbeat and edgy performance was a nice departure for him from the smoother songs and proved that he can be more than a crooner.
Team Shakira’s Kristen Merlin was able to perform Passenger’s “Let Her Go” without any technical malfunctions, which is a blessing for both Kristen and the audience who finally gets to hear her beautiful voice in all its glory. Blake is quick to praise Kristen’s performance, calling it her best yet, and Adam applauds her increased comfort on stage.
Sisaundra Lewis from Team Blake is last, but not least, singing Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie.” The rock song is definitely a departure for Sisaundra, but she performs it with her usual gusto. Sisaundra’s big voice and huge vocal ability are not in question, but at a certain point, the voice can only take you so far. What matters now is a performer’s ability to connect with the audience, not their ability to belt every single note.
Two artists will be eliminated from The Voice live Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong
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