‘The Voice’ Recap: Anita Antoinette Returns To Her Raggae Roots, Top 12 Perform
Chris Jamison, Anita Antoinette and DaNica Shirey dominated the stage as the Top 12 performed on The Voice live playoffs Monday night.
Sugar Joans kicked off the show with Al Green’s “Take Me to the River,” a song that she usually sings with her brother, who was in the audience Monday night. The crowd loved her performance. Gwen Stefani was a bit hesitant because she’s still a little bit confused about what Joans would sound like as an independent artist, saying she sounded “a little retro” but still calling her performance “incredible.”
DaNica Shirey put a soulful spin on Radiohead’s “Creep,” and continued to deliver both big and controlled moments, proving why she’s always been a frontrunner. “Wow. I just love watching you because you are – you are a freak of nature…I just love watching you sing, it’s shocking, it’s incredible,” Gwen said. Adam Levine complimented her unexpected song choice, saying that, because she could sing anything, the fact that she chose something interesting just takes her to the next level.
Luke Wade went more contemporary with Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” and, at the beginning, he seemed to have a bit of microphone issues, but then he revealed that he actually came into the song a few measures early. Carson Daly and Adam were both impressed with how he recovered – without missing a beat. “It’s happened to all of us,” Gwen said, adding that the misstep actually didn’t matter, because the performance was still awesome. Luke didn’t seem too convinced, and was clearly uncomfortable taking about his flub.
Team Gwen’s Ryan Sill took on Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” and Gwen was hopeful that he could deliver the emotion of the lyrics. He pulled it off, earning a standing ovation from all the judges. “You are such an amazing singer…His voice is just so perfectly beautiful…really, rock ‘n roll music is the way you gotta go because you just killed it,” Adam said. Pharrell Williams agreed with Adam, telling him to grab onto the rock genre.
Taylor John Williams slowed it down, performing Bread’s soft ballad, “If.” Williams’ challenge was to showcase his emotion and really connect to the audience. Gwen was clearly moved by the end of the performance. Adam told him he nailed it, and Blake and Pharrell complimented his vocal ability, which is always strong. Pharrell even said he had a “Taylor thing” that was “dope.”
Anita Antoinette finally returned to her reggae roots, singing the Bob Marley classic, “Redemption Song.” The song clearly means a lot to Anita, and the coaches were clearly moved by her performance. “Honestly, that was incredible…For me to be part of his message tonight, America got to hear it through you. It was authentic, it was beautiful, it was true,” Gwen said.
Jessie Pitts decided to show off a bit more of her artistic flair with Madilyn Bailey’s “Don’t You Worry Child.” The performance was well received by the judges, but Adam gave her a bit of constructive criticism, telling her to continue to push herself to go after the big notes. Blake loved Jessie, telling her that she reminds him of his wife, Miranda Lambert, and saying, “The show is called The Voice – she’s got that. If it was called ‘The Artist’ – she’s got that.”
Reagan James, the youngest contestant, sang Lenny Kravitz’s “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over.” Reagan has consistently switched up her genres for each Voice performance, and balanced out last week’s slow song with a fun, rock performance. Reagan seemed to really enjoy being onstage, even ending the performance singing directly to the audiences in front of her. “Yeah! I feel you,” Pharrell started. Pharrell and Adam both complimented her on making the song her own, but Adam did note that he still heard some problems with her breath. Coach Blake had nothing but love for his young contestant, saying, “The way that you navigate a melody blows my mind. I mean, this girl just turned 16…and the way she creates – you’re so far ahead of your time,” Blake said.
Craig Wayne Boyd took on a country classic, George Strait’s “You Look So Good In Love.” Former coach, Gwen, loved it, saying that she always felt like she was at his show when he took the stage. Adam called the performance “really special,” complimenting the work of Craig and Blake as a team. “Gosh, I’m so excited right now,” Blake said, chuckling. “Every time you get on this stage, you show a different side of who you are and you take it to the next level. And that’s the mark of a star,” Blake added.
Damien performed yet another R&B ballad, this time choosing to sing The Hollies’ “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” The crowd certainly loved it, and Pharrell was on his feet before it ended.
Matt McAndrew performed Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” showing a completely different side than last week’s “God Only Knows.” The crowd went crazy for it, and both Pharrell and Adam stood up for Matt. Blake and Adam both felt like there may have been something weird with the sound, saying they couldn’t hear him clearly enough. Meanwhile, Pharrell and Gwen felt like Matt’s rocker side finally showed them what he would be like as an artist after The Voice. “Man, I can’t wait to hear the album that you make after the show,” Pharrell said.
Chris Jamison continued on his modern pop kick, singing Nick Jonas’ single “Jealous,” fully embracing the heartthrob image. Gwen and Pharrell agreed that it was the perfect song for him, and his best performance so far. “Yeah, you’re cute,” Adam began, earning high-pitched squeal from the audience, “But, you are a talented, talented singer, and that is the most important thing.”
Find out who makes it into the next round of live shows on The Voice results show Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.