‘The Voice’ Recap: India Carney, Rob Taylor And Kimberly Nichole Take Team Xtina To The Top
Team Christina’s India Carney, Rob Taylor and Kimberly Nichole dominated the live performances from The Voice‘s Top 12 with some help from celebrity advisor, Reba McEntire.
Hannah Kirby “Edge of Seventeen”
Hannah Kirby kicked things off with Stevie Nick’s “Edge of Seventeen.” In rehearsals, Reba fell in love with Hannah’s authentic, wild performing style, but made sure to focus Hannah on the intent of the song – she needs to tell a story, not just sing the hell out of the track.
Pharrell loved the performance, and Adam noted that while everybody is going on about her confidence on stage, he wanted to call attention to how powerful a voice she has. “You must feel terrible right now because you set the bar so high tonight….I don’t know how you could humanly, possibly be a better vocalist than you are right now. It blows my mind,” said Blake, ever the proud coach.
Corey Kent White “Why”
The final country singer in the competition, Corey Kent White was tasked with country song, “Why” by Jason Aldean. Reba loved Corey, saying in rehearsals that he had the sincerity needed in Country music right now.
Corey’s ability to connect emotionally with the audience was on display throughout his performance, and, as Christina noted, he knows how to work the ladies. Adam said the performance was good, but that he could tell Corey was just shy of really breaking out and becoming a star. Blake agreed, noting that while Corey’s performance wasn’t vocally on par with his peers, he still performed the song with conviction, and he’s close to bringing it all together.
Meghan Linsey “Girl Crush”
Meghan Linsey returned to her Country roots with Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” – both Reba and Blake’s favorite song on country radio right now, apparently. Meghan hoped to use her Country skills to help her with the song, and in rehearsals her Country sensibility connected perfectly with Reba.
Meghan’s perfectly measured performance showed off her vocal ability perfectly while also allowing her to be vulnerable on stage. Adam, Pharrell and Blake all gushed over Meghan, and Blake called it her break out moment.
Brian Johnson “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You”
Brian Johnson was saved by Adam last week, and this week he had something to prove. Adam tasked Brian with Sting’s “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You,” and it certainly challenged Brian, who struggled with the higher notes in rehearsals.
Brian gave a solid performance and managed to hit all the notes effortlessly. But, while all the coaches had only good things to say to him, Brian’s performance may have lacked that certain ‘it’ factor to really get America voting for him.
Deanna Johnson “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”
Deanna Johnson continued on her Christian music kick, courtesy of coach Adam, who gave her “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United. In rehearsals, Reba could tell Deanna was a bit hesitant to continue to sing Christian music, worried it might affect America’s voting. That said, Reba and Adam encouraged her to let go of her competition anxieties and focus on the emotion of the song. As Reba said, emotion always wins out over vocal perfection.
Deanna seemed to suffer a few technical mishaps, and the coaches couldn’t hear her first few lines, but the rest of the performance was solid. Christina was pretty tame in her excitement, saying, “It sounded beautiful – really beautiful. Seemed to be a song that fit your voice really well…It was a nice fit for you.”
Joshua Davis “America”
Joshua Davis, the man-with-a-guitar folk singer, was tasked with Simon and Garfunkel’s “America.” Joshua nailed the rehearsals, and even got to flirt a bit with Reba, but Adam could tell that Joshua needed a break out moment, and he needed to mix it up, so he told Josh to put away the guitar. Joshua was nervous about leaving the guitar behind, but he didn’t need it in the end. Though, he could still use a song that pushes him to move around the stage.
Blake complimented Josh’s performance, and earned himself a lot of raised eyebrows when he admitted he had never heard the song. Christina loved seeing him without his guitar, and Pharrell called it his best performance.
India Carney “Take Me to Church”
Christina decided to switch things up with early standout India Carney, giving her a rock song instead of another ballad. In rehearsals, Reba and Christina couldn’t say enough good things about her vocals, but they wanted her to try to be a bit more gritty and less technically perfect.
India completely embraced the dramatic flair of the song and delivered the gritty. Pharrell said that she was a professional up there, saying, “It’s like we’re all at your concert already.” Adam agreed, and Blake complimented her ability to “go from 0 to 100.”
Rob Taylor “I Put A Spell On You”
Christina gave Rob Taylor “I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, which was a bit of a risk considering all the famous covers that have been made of the song before. Christina wanted to push Rob’s vocals in rehearsals, trying to get him to experiment a little with a gritty, raspy tone.
Rob delivered an incredibly dynamic performance that was so impressive, it had Christina taking off her earrings and screaming in her seat. The coaches gave Rob a standing ovation, Pharrell called it a “masterful” performance, adding, “You made the stage yours, you made the show yours.”
Kimberly Nichole “House of the Rising Sun”
In rehearsals, Reba and Christina encouraged Kimberly Nichole to play as much as she wants with “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. Nothing is too crazy, nothing is off limits.
Kimberly certainly put her stamp on the song, belting when it was called for, and stomping around the stage like she owned it. Her commanding performance had Pharrell standing less than half way through the song, and Blake, Christina and Adam all joined him for a standing ovation. The crowd, too, couldn’t get enough, screaming over Pharrell’s coments. “First three, four lines in I was like, ‘Oh I gotta stand up,’” Pharrell admitted. “What? … What? That’s all,” said a stunned Adam.
“I think we have to star talking about Christina winning her first season of The Voice,” Blake added.
Mia Z “Miss You”
In rehearsals singing “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones, Mia Z’s main problem became evident: her lack of enunciation when she sings makes it difficult to understand what she’s saying. That said, her crazy high notes are always in her back pocket, and she’s not afraid to use them.
Adam and Blake both gushed over Mia’s performance, complimenting her song choice and whistle tone “or dolphin cry,” as Blake called it. Christina, too, added praise, calling Mia “an inventive singer.”
Sawyer Fredericks “Imagine”
In rehearsals, Pharrell wisely gave Sawyer Fredericks John Lennon’s “Imagine,” taking him towards his folksy genre and away from the soft pop rock he performed in the Knockouts. Reba was immediately taken by Sawyer’s voice, but was put off a bit by Sawyer’s quiet, straight faced performing style. The song is a song about hope, so she advised him to at least smile more.
Sawyer’s voice gave out going into the end of the first verse, but he sailed through it, playing his guitar in a way that made it seem completely intentional. All the coaches agreed that his natural musical instincts couldn’t be taught, with Adam calling his ability to fill the room “one in a billion.” Blake and Christina noted on his ability to pick up the song even though he lost his voice for a bit. “You make everything you do seem right…Like when your voice went away there for a second, I was like, ‘I love when his voice went away there,’” Blake said.
Koryn Hawthorne “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
Pharrell saved Koryn Hawthorne from elimination last week, and this week decided to mix it up with her song choice. Last week, Koryn performed a religious hymn, and this week Koryn chose Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” She was a bit intimidated after finding out that Reba is Clarkson’s mother in law, but quickly took control of the rehearsal, giving her own suggestion to how to arrange it for her performance.
Koryn’s performance was definitely a defining moment for the young singer. She started with an almost a cappella belting of the chorus before getting into the kick-ass vibe of the song. Koryn’s newfound confidence on stage was not missed by the coaches. She had Pharrell standing in his seat from the very beginning, and the rest of the coaches joined him in giving her a standing ovation. “I am just in such awe…Everybody is with you in this performance,” Pharrell said.
On Tuesday, The Voice Top 10 will be announced, and fans will get to save one artist from elimination using #VoiceSave at 8 p.m. on NBC.