‘The Voice’ Recap: Top 8 Perform Live, Matt McAndrew Steals The Spotlight
Matt McAndrew and Taylor John Williams sang stripped down covers on The Voice when the Top 8 performed live in the hopes of making it to the Top 5.
Nick Jonas joined the Top 8 on The Voice stage to perform his gospel arrangement of “Jealous,” a track that arguably provided Team Adam’s Chris Jamison with his breakout moment of the season.
And coaches Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams also performed Monday night, making the television debut of their new single “Spark the Fire.”
Ryan Sill switched it up a little bit this week, trading in his alt-rock tracks for a rock ballad, singing Journey’s “Open Arms.” In rehearsals, Gwen told Ryan he had to “anti-perform” the song, wanting him to really feel the emotion, not just fake it. Blake Shelton deemed the heartfelt performance Ryan’s best yet, and Adam Levine lamented his landing in the bottom three two weeks in a row. “Tonight, the most important night in the entire competition for you… you killed it man,” Adam said.
Taylor John Williams put a bluesy twist on Lorde’s “Royals.” The creative take on the song made an overplayed song sound fresh, and the coaches were impressed by his drastic deconstruction of the song, which featured a change in the melodies and key change. Pharrell admitted he’s not a fan of covers that completely alter the original, but he respected Taylor’s risky move.
DaNica Shirey performed Heart’s “These Dreams,” and while the coaches agreed she could never be anything other than perfect, it was less of a showstopper than her previous performances. Gwen commended her for allowing herself to be a bit more subdued, and Adam struggled to come up with new words to describe how amazing she was. Blake, too, was in awe of DaNica, saying, “Unbelievable. You’ve been one of my favorites from the beginning… Man, your voice is enormous, though. So much strength and accuracy, I’m just so glad you’re here.”
Luke Wade sang Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years,” and, while his vocals were on point, as always, the coaches were left feeling underwhelmed by the performance as a whole. Adam noted that Luke didn’t look completely comfortable on stage (perhaps leftover nerves from his lyric slip up a few weeks ago). Blake agreed, saying that perhaps it was the “sparse” arrangement of the song that worked against him. Pharrell, however, defended the performance, saying it allowed Luke to show a different side of himself.
Damien took on yet another ballad (no surprise) to make a bid for the Top 5, singing Adele’s “Someone Like You.” Damien hoped to win votes by going back to a more raw emotion and by showing off his falsetto. The coaches were certainly impressed, with Pharrell specifically commending him on his falsetto.
Chris Jamison showed off more of his smooth moves during his sexy performance of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.” He even managed to make Gwen blush by singing directly to her towards the end of his performance. Pharrell called it Chris’ best performance yet, and Gwen complimented him on his precise, professional performance.
Matt McAndrew went back to being just a man with a guitar with his rendition of Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter.” The acoustic performance harkened back to Matt’s incredible audition, and captivated the coaches and the audience. Blake loved the performance, calling Matt “freakin’ brilliant” and the coaches loved how Matt was able to deliver such a strong performance with so few instruments.
Craig Wayne Boyd got the crowd going with his rousing performance of the Eagles’ “Take It Easy,” complete with a full country stage and banjo player. Team Blake’s final contestant, and the only country artist left in the game, continued to impress the judges and wow the crowd. Gwen, once again, called Craig a peer up on stage, saying he was a pro, and Pharrell thought Craig brought a new energy to the classic. Needless to say, Blake could not have been more proud, telling Craig, “You’re a rocker, and there’s no holding that back.”
Only five contestants will move on to the next week of live performances. Three contestants will be eliminated live on The Voice, Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.
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