‘The Voice’ Recap: India Carney, Sawyer Fredericks Continue To Impress, Matt McAndrew Returns
Sawyer Fredericks broke out of his comfort zone and India Carney performed a musical classic on The Voice.
The Voice Recap: Top 8 Perform Live
Gwen Stefani, Cee Lo Green and Usher returned to The Voice, with Cee Lo helping out coach Blake Shelton, Usher joining forces with Adam Levine and Gwen helping out both Pharrell Williams and Christina Aguilera.
Hannah Kirby “We Don’t Need Another Hero”
Hannah Kirby, Team Blake’s off-center, quirky girl with a big voice, took on her biggest challenge yet: Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” Hannah immediately got along with Cee Lo, and, Cee Lo certainly put his stamp on Hannah’s performance. In rehearsals, he pushed her to embrace the theatrics in her voice and in the final performance, bringing in a children’s choir to join her on stage. It was a spectacle, the kind Cee Lo always brought to The Voice when he was a coach, but it might not have worked in Hannah’s favor.
Blake and Pharrell both loved it, giving her a nice standing ovation, and seemed to really enjoy Hannah’s showmanship. Pharrell commended her for being “different,” and Christina’s only critique was to encourage Hannah to work on her lower range going forward. “You’ve become one of my all time favorite artists that I’ve had a chance to work with [on The Voice]. There’s never been anyone like you,” Blake told her.
Meghan Linsey “Something”
Meghan Linsey ditched the country twang for a soulful take on The Beatles’ classic, “Something.” Meghan picked the song and hoped to embrace singing about love, and not heartbreak for once. Meghan’s power and soul was present as always, and Cee Lo said he wanted to let her honest voice shine while also winning over the audience with a gigantic show – a huge orchestra, that’s why Blake brought him back, isn’t it? Lucky for Meghan, her voice can outshine a huge orchestra without missing a beat, and the big production didn’t drown her out, which could have been a huge problem for an artist with a weaker voice. “You are badass,” Adam said.
Corey Kent White “When I See You Smile”
Blake’s last Country man standing, Corey Kent White, took a bit of a break from his genre and branched out with a rock song, “When I see You Smile.” It was Blake’s hope that Corey could connect to the country-esque storytelling aspect of the song, while also showing that he could have a future in other genres as well. The song choice gave Corey a chance to show off his rasp and charm. Corey has always been able to connect with his fans in the audience, and this was no different – the girls were screaming louder than ever. Adam loved it, adding that he thought it was a great song choice for him. And Blake called it his best performance of the season. “That is the moment that every artist prays for on this show, and that is a breakout,” Blake said.
Joshua Davis “Fields of Gold”
Team Adam’s last contestant standing, and recipient of last week’s Voice Save, Joshua Davis, took on Sting’s “Fields of Gold” – yet another guitar ballad. Joshua’s signature tone was clear in rehearsals, but Usher knows that’s not enough to get votes. To make escape the bottom two, Usher tells him, he needs to really lay his heart out on the stage. Blake was happy to see Josh return to what he’s good at, and Adam commended him for giving a stripped down performance in a sea of spectacle.
While Adam may only have one contestant left in the competition this season, but last season, three of the final four standing were Team Adam. Last season’s runner up and Team Adam darling, Matt McAndrew, returned to The Voice stage to debut his new song “Counting on Love.”
Kimberly Nichole “Creep”
Christina wanted Kimberly Nichole to show off a softer, more vulnerable side with this performance, and in rehearsals, Kimberly needed an extra push to allow her voice to show a bit more insecurity, as opposed to her usual tough power. Style queen, Gwen, also told her in rehearsals that she should maybe ditch the tough, rocker look just this once. Kimberly may have looked glamorous on stage surrounded by candles and fake fog, but her voice was raw emotion. She had both Pharrell and Christina jumping out of their seats. Pharrell couldn’t even bring himself to sit back down as he had to give his comments. “If that is what insecurity sounds like, we could all use some,” Pharrell gushed. “That’s the kind of performance that would be worked on for months,” Blake told her, in awe. Finally, Coach Xtina was as proud as could be: “You are a true artist, I love you to death.”
India Carney “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
India Carney continued to deliver on the dramatics with her take on “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” In rehearsals, Gwen pointed out that India may have technical perfection, but she needs to let her personality shine through a bit more and needs to try to figure out the artist she wants to be. India’s emotion was able to come through in the song, not only due to her pitch-perfect vocals, but also with the help of minimal accompaniment, which really allowed her voice to drive the performance forward. “That had magic in it,” Blake said, noting that there was no way she wouldn’t make it through to next week after that.
Sawyer Fredericks “Simple Man”
Sawyer Fredericks has been a natural standout from the beginning, but he has had some trouble connecting with the audience and being comfortable onstage. Gwen and Pharrell encouraged him to try walking around the stage with his guitar, pushing him outside his comfort zone. During the performance, Sawyer did manage to walk a bit around stage and connect with fans in the audience, but he was clearly a little bit uncomfortable. Despite any awkwardness, Sawyer’s rasp and rich tone didn’t fail him, and the coaches gave him props for being willing to try something new.
Koryn Hawthorne “Girl On Fire”
Koryn Hawthorne has been steadily upping her game throughout the live shows, and she took a risk this week, performing her own take on Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire.” In rehearsals, Koryn came in with her own arrangement, and she worked with Gwen and Pharrell to make sure her performance had emotional dynamics. Koryn’s big performance earned a standing ovation from the coaches. Adam said that Koryn, at 17, has had the biggest evolution of the season, telling her, “You came in as a girl and now you’re a grown ass woman.” Christina agreed, adding that Koryn was bringing it at the right time in the competition.
The Voice Top 6 artists will be announced on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.