‘The Voice’ Top 12 Perform: Mic Malfunctions, Showstoppers, And Stumbles Prevail

Photo courtesy of NBC The Voice Tumblr
Photo courtesy of NBC The Voice Tumblr

Welcome everyone to The Voice Live Rounds!

Thank the Lord! It feels like it took us forever to get to this spot. We had the Blinds, then the Battles, then the Battles again, and then the Playoffs. But we have done it! The Live Rounds are here! The top three performers of each team are ready to kick some ass!

Bonus! The performances are going to be able to fit into one night. Which admittedly is nice with the smaller number of contenders. The three night Live Round debut was a bit taxing especially if you have other shows.

Now the coaches can sit back while the audience warms up their voting buttons because it’s in America’s Hands now folks.

Let’s do this thing!

“Rolling in the Deep” sung by Bria Kelly: Ouch. She’s in the death slot. She and Usher choose a more modern song with a soulful edge. Usher tells her to let people “savor” her voice. Bria wants to make sure she doesn’t do a straight karaoke version of the song. I really miss hearing Bria’s softer vocals. I hate that they keep pushing the rougher edges of it. Because I feel like she goes screechy? It’s an alright cover. I prefer Adele’s more. Shakira loved hearing the grit and that she was “fierce.” She is glad to see Bria showing her true colors. Adam tells her that took courage and was a “dangerous” choice. He thinks that the key was a bit low for her and wanted it to be higher. He applauds her for making it different. Blake was impressed and wanted to know the note she held. He guessed that’s why she went with a lower key. Usher said that it was a good introduction to who she is as an artist and that you can be caught up in the music in the song. He got his energy and the emotion. He said she started them off right.

“Unchained Melody” sung by Delvin Choice: Adam’s glasses are kind of stupid. Delvin needs to add some emotion to the song. He wants to dedicate the song to his parents who have been together for 25 years. That’s kind of sweet. Still everyone knows it as that Ghost song. How many times has it been parodied? A lot. Delvin sounds really good as usual. I wish I can say more. I think the song choice wasn’t the best for him. Adam should be focusing on other genres. Yeah that was a really, really good karaoke cover. Awww! They cut to his parents which is freaking adorable. Blake’s theory about Delvin’s hair was proven wrong. Usher said that Delvin may have a girlfriend now. He said that Delvin made the song joyful and doesn’t know if it’s good or bad. Just that he enjoyed it. Carson tries to go to Adam but SHAKIRA WILL NOT BE DENIED! She loved it and lost herself in the song. Adam said the song built up to a cathartic moment and got goosebumps. He is blown away as always.

“Just Give Me A Reason” sung by Dani Moz: I’m kind of lukewarm on Dani. I still feel like I’m waiting for a “wow” moment from her. Also she’s doing a song that my goddess, Michelle Chamuel, covered last season. So I’ll probably be biased. Shakira tells her to watch her pitch and breathing. Oh. Wow. No Dani. Bad Dani. That was not good. I heard some pitch issues. She does some weird affectations. It was too…peppy? This song needs to be slower and softer. The song needs emotion and rawness. Adam tells her she budgeted her breathing well and thought she did a fantastic job. The only thing he wanted was more dynamic. Shakira defends Dani like a Mama Bear. Blake tries to explain what he means about picking her moment. Shakira is so proud and thought that she was dynamic and budgeted herself well.

“Angel of the Morning” sung by Audra McLaughlin: Audra is freaking out because Martina McBride tweeted her back. Blake gives her a classic country song. He wants to move her away from her heroes. Blake tells her to watch herself and that she should remain stationary for her breathing. I turn to my friend who knows country way more than me to help me here. Audra looks pretty. She sounds good. Does she do the song justice though? Okay my friend says that the song should have been a bit more stripped down to show her voice more. Apparently the original arrangement is quieter. She liked it though. Usher says that the way she holds out her notes so long is impressive. If he holds out the notes that long usually he feels like he needs to pee afterwards. After more talk of urine, Adam tells her that she’s a fan and still wants her on his team. He thinks she is amazing. Blake thinks that singing is her path and her unique. He loves her and thinks she is amazing.

“Waiting on the World to Change” sung by T.J. Wilkins: Usher said that T.J. is doing something more modern. He wants to do something to honor friends that he’s lost. T.J. wants to give his own twist on songs. T.J. Usher tells him to do what feels natural when he performs. Please don’t ruin the song, T.J. I really love it a lot. Oh honey. No. It’s too happy. You’re allowed to make the song darker and grittier. No. Why is everyone afraid of being emotionally honest tonight? I miss Stevie Jo. It’s too pure. The cover is too pure. Shakira adores T.J.’s voice and his talent as a showman. Blake said that T.J. has a natural infectious quality to his voice and to his performances. Usher wanted to see something new from him. He was glad to see T.J. control the audience and do amazing things onstage. Usher thinks that T.J. has had a breakthrough moment and is proud of him.

“Dark Horse” sung by Christina Grimmie: Ugh. Oh Jesus. I really am not a fan of Christina. And her followers are probably going to push her on. Adam says that she needs to balance between performance and her technical aspects. It’s about performance and control. I think she should have chosen a better song, but that’s just me. If you want a better cover of the song, I suggest Scott Bradlee’s revamp of it. I swear to God if Miley Cyrus’ space kitten appears behind you Christina I am changing the cover. Oh. This is so bad. Yeah. This is so bad that I am muting it. Adam is like “what the hell?” WHEN YOUR COACH HAS THE “WHAT THE HELL” FACE THEN YOU KNOW IT’S BAD! Mute button is my friend. Blake looks confused about what he just saw. He thinks it’s because all that sound came out of a tiny human being. Shakira calls her range impressive and says that she nailed it. Adam says that he feels like he has an idea of her as an original artist. He called the song Christina’s and says that it belong to her. I’m so glad that’s over.

“Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” sung by Sisaundra Lewis: Kelly Clarkson is apparently a huge fan of her. Blake and Sisaundra decide to figure out who she is as an artist together. Blake says she needs to honor the original and make it you. He doesn’t want Sisaundra to go too “opera” on them. She wants to give the audience everything. I am impressed by Sisaundra’s voice. Yet I think in all of her songs she’s done too many weird vocal affectations. This however? I got into the song. Sisaundra didn’t do too many weird vocal tricks. It was just her voice, which is a great voice. I liked it better than her “New York State of Mind” cover. Usher loved it and compared her to Patti LaBelle. Adam loved her restraint and thought it was the most beautiful part of the performance. He thought that her holding it in and seeing the control was amazing. Blake loved her control and is thrilled to see all the insane greatness from her voice. He hopes that she is enjoying her chance in the sun.

“Stay” sung by Kristen Merlin: Poor Kristen Merlin. She’s probably going to go home because she got shafted in the Battle Rounds. Shakira wants her to expose her heart. Kristen is scared about showing that much vulnerability. She wants to let people in though and show that appearance doesn’t matter. She sounds really, really good. Then her mic cuts out. OHMYGOD THAT POOR GIRL! She kept on singing though. God Bless. I feel like she gets the utter shaft! Everyone feels bad and gives her a standing ovation. Adam praises her for keep on going even with the mic cut and said that she had handled it so gracefully. He thought that she did well and he wouldn’t have handled it as well as she did. He thought that Kristen was cool and collected. Blake said that what he did hear was great and thought that it was great that she broke it down. He was impressed with the chances and the incredible things she’s done with it. Usher said that he was glad to see the different aspects to who she was and felt like they had an intimate moment. Shakira tells her that she’s wonderful, beautiful, and unbelievable. I think I’m going to vote for her because she sounded good and because I feel really bad that this shit happens to her.

“Magic Man” sung by Kat Perkins: Adam says that Kat is a true rock and roll singer. He needs her to project outwards and be more aggressive. Kat says it’s the hardest song she’s ever done and needs to go out there and kill it. She is definitely in her element here. She works the stage and barely sounds out of breath. She has a clean rock voice. She totally cuts through everything and sounds like she’s having the time of her life. I wish we could hear her softer voice then all this power. It’s a similar issue I have with other people. I need to hear her softer sides. Blake is surprised that she was a nanny originally. He tells her that she is a rock star. Usher says that the song is an outlet for aggression. Have you used that technique, Usher? You sound like you have experience. He thinks that she was amazing and has that rock clean voice. Adam says that her voice is stupid amazing and that she does the greats song just as good as the greats.

“Anymore” sung by Jake Worthington: HELL YEAH JAKE WORTHINGTON! This guy is awesome. Blake said to take what Jake loves and make it his own. Blake thinks that Jake will bring the song to a whole new audience. I think the bromance between Jake and Blake is adorable. My friend who knows more about country music then me approves of the song choice. I do too. Jake sounds great. He looks comfortable with his guitar and his cowboy hat. Oh hell yeah that big note then back down to his softer side. I like hearing his bigger voice. He’s so adorable and sounds so good. Shakira calls him endearing and thinks it’s amazing that Jake is so authentically himself. Honesty goes a long way is the lesson Jake teaches us. Jake says he got a bit choked up because he saw his mama out there. Blake said that Shakira is right and that honesty does go a long way.

“I’ll Be There For You” sung by Tess Boyer: Shakira wants to bring out Tess’ tougher side. They want to reimagine it for today’s radio. Shakira wants to see confidence and passion and toughness in Tess with the performance. She needs to punch you in the face with her awesome. Seriously. Costuming department please stop. Or don’t let them choose their own outfits. Tess does not look good. She sounds really great though. I mean great but there is a bit of static. I feel like her voice is kind of flat in some places. I think Tess needs to choose her own songs. Blake said that Tess is the artist on Team Shakira to beat. He thought that she was amazing. Usher is proud of how much she matured and how she incorporated all the lessons into her singing. He says that they as the collective celebrate you. Shakira thinks that she nailed it and how smart she is. She loves Tess and thinks she’s fantastic.

“Stay With Me” sung by Josh Kaufman: I keep hearing about Sam Smith. I have no real idea who he is. So this is going to be a learning experience. Usher chooses Sam Smith because he’s retro and current. He says that Josh is contemporary with a lot of soul. He wants to see Josh to take control of the space. He has Josh run around the stage so that he can own it. He wants Josh to give his energy to the entire room. He wants Josh to connect with people in the room. It needs to be about the presence. I need to check out the original cover of the song. I kind of like the whole “Singing in the Rain” vibe of Josh’s clothes. WOW! Josh sounds really good. He owns the space and the song. Putting him last was a perfect. He sounded great. Shakira loved him and thought he was special. Adam said that he was perfect and that he hates himself for letting Josh go. He is so glad to see Josh here. Blake declares Josh the guy to beat on Team Usher and it was perfect. Usher said that Josh was incredible and amazing. They bonded over being fathers and how incredible he was. He loved how Josh commanded the room and took the notes.

Tomorrow, we find out who will go home and who will remain.

Bec Heim