‘The Voice’ Recap: DaNica Shirey Takes On Whitney Houston As Top 10 Perform Live
The Top 10 contestants performed live in front of coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani on The Voice.
The Voice Top 10 kicked off the show with a group performance of “Bless The Broken Road/Stand.”
Team Adam: Matt McAndrew, Damien, Chris Jamison
Then it was time for solo performances from the Top 10. First up: Team Adam’s Matt McAndrew. Coach Adam decided to give him the Coldplay hit, “Fix You,” a beautiful song, but also one commonly done on singing competitions. In rehearsals, Adam and celebrity advisor, Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, encouraged Matt to take advantage of the stage and really interact with the entire audience as much as possible. Matt certainly worked the audience, even hugging a woman randomly in the middle of his performance. “You have the drama, and you have the range,” Blake told him.
Team Adam’s Damien worked with Patrick on his breathing and posture, to ensure he was able to hit the high notes on “You and I.” In rehearsals, Adam was convinced it would be Damien’s night to shine, and he was right – the crowd went wild for the singer, and all four coaches gave him a standing ovation.
Chris Jamison, Team Adam’s final contestant, ended the night with his performance of “Uptown Funk” – a song Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars just performed (perfectly) on SNL. Chris keeps improving every week, and his stage presence, especially, has improved drastically since the beginning of the show. In rehearsals, Adam and Patrick worked with Chris to bring out his inner cocky playboy in order to make the performance feel like a party. Adam stood up for Chris, and the crowd clearly loved it – with the screaming overtaking comments from Blake.
Team Gwen: Anita Antoinette, Ryan Sill, Taylor John Williams
In a Voice first, two female coaches worked together when Gwen Stefani brought in former and future Voice coach, Christina Aguilera to be her celebrity advisor. Christina was pleased to see Anita Antoinette again, and worked well with Gwen and Anita to perfect a reggae version of “Let Her Go.” The performance allowed Anita to stay with her reggae roots while also having a bit of fun vocally. Blake complimented Anita on her loose and confident performance style, and Pharrell added that she really has fun onstage, and that makes all the difference. Coach Gwen was very proud, saying, “You killed it.”
Ryan Sill was committed to giving a great performance after his near-elimination last week, and Gwen continued to send him on a rock path with Muse’s “Starlight.” In rehearsals, Christina seemed truly impressed with Ryan, even telling him that he could win the competition. If one thing can be said for Ryan, it’s that he never gets overwhelmed by the band, orchestra, or whatever grand production is going on onstage with him, and this performance was no exception. Pharrell, Adam and Blake all agreed that Ryan was the most improved, and that it was great to see him figure out his voice and what kind of music he wants to sing. “I feel incredibly proud,” Gwen told Ryan.
Taylor John Williams, another Team Gwen favorite, continued on his funky rock kick with his take on The Beatles’ “Come Together.” In rehearsals, Gwen expressed some concern at his song choice, but both she and Christina got behind Taylor’s decision to get “into character” for the song. “I have to release my spirit animal a little bit onstage,” Taylor said in rehearsals. Adam loved the performance, and particularly applauded Taylor for breaking out of his usual stationary performance style. Blake also enjoyed seeing a different side to Taylor – a smile. And Pharrell told him that it was “one of the craziest performances we’ve seen,” and that he only had two words to describe that: “Rock. Star.”
Team Blake: Reagan James, Craig Wayne Boyd
Team Blake’s Reagan James took yet another musical risk, performing Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” In rehearsals with Colbie Caillat, Reagan had trouble really working on her breathing due to the fast pace of the song, but she managed to pull it together for her live performance. Adam respected her commitment to the song, complimenting her on tackling such a difficult track. He even called it her best performance yet. Blake wanted people to know, “That was hard to do. Easily the best performance of your journey so far.”
Craig Wayne Boyd, the last country artist left in the competition, took a page out of Reagan’s book, putting his stamp on the country classic, “I Walk The Line.” Boyd slowed down the song to make it his own. Blake feels a kinship with Craig, saying in the package, “The only difference between Craig and me is that I got a break when I was younger.” Boyd’s emotional and powerful performance earned a standing ovation from the coaches. Gwen told Boyd that he gets better every week, and proclaimed that he was definitely going to have a “long career” after the show. Adam chimed in, telling him that he was good when they started, but now he was “well beyond good,” and Blake called his performance “magic.”
Team Pharrell: Luke Wade, DaNica Shirey
Pharrell brought in legend Diana Ross to help him advise Luke Wade on the soul classic, “Try A Little Tenderness.” Ross told Luke that he needed to sing the song from his “soul and heart.” The coaches could hear Pharrell’s influence in the arrangement and break down towards the end, and they loved it. “You actually exceeded my expectations. All I can say is, well done, young man,” Pharrell told him.
Fellow Team Pharrell standout, DaNica Shirey, had a challenge this week, singing Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” It’s always tough to do a Whitney Houston song on a competition show, but DaNica pulled it off beautifully, reinforcing the coaches’ belief that she can sing anything. “This song isn’t a song you should give to just anybody, unless they can do what you did,” Adam told her. “Wow…I just, can you do it again?” Gwen said with a smile. And Blake topped off the compliments declaring the show the “best live show I’ve ever seen.”
Two of the Top 10 will be eliminated during The Voice live show on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.