7:07pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Top 12 Sing for America's Vote
Season 10’s teams were cut in half last week on The Voice, and the remaining 12 artists sang live again for America’s vote tonight. Coaches Christina Aguilera, Pharrell, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton no longer have any steals or saves, but they continued to prepare their artists in rehearsals leading up to the performances.
The night kicked off with the only remaining female country artist left in the competition. Team Blake’s Mary Sarah decided to sing “So Small” by Carrie Underwood. “Every week, you just gotta pull out all the stops,” Shelton advised Sarah in her rehearsal, pushing her to really showcase the fullness of her voice. Singing something a little more contemporary was the right choice for Sarah, and she handled the Underwood hit well. She hit the big notes and infused the performance with some personality and emotion. “With a contemporary song now behind you, it’s cool how you do your own thing with it,” Levine said, praising her song choice. “I completely got wrapped up in the lyrics of that song,” Shelton said. He said she sounded contemporary and traditional at the same time.
Laith Al-Saadi from Team Adam followed with a performance of “Born Under a Bad Sign” by Albert King. A strong blues song was definitely the right direction for him. Levine encouraged him to really build momentum with his singing, which Al-Saadi took to heart in his final performance, escalating the energy and complexity of the vocals. It was a powerful performance that showcased his impressive musicality. “America, you got to vote this guy through. This is different,” Pharrell said. “I’m so proud to have you on my team,” Levine added. “You do blues in such an authentic way,” he said. He also noted that Al-Saadi keeps getting better, which is definitely true.
Pharrell’s comeback artist Daniel Passino was up next, singing “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson. It was another strong song choice of the night. “I knew that he would do it his own way,” Pharrell said. Passino had strong creative instincts when putting together the performance. It was a standout performance of the night, and Passino really seemed to have his finger on the audience’s pulse. “It’s so amazing what confidence does for a person,” Levine said, suggesting Passino has become a different person now that he has become more sure of himself. Aguilera gave Pharrell props for helping Passino come out of his shell, but Pharrell acknowledged that it was really Passino that did the work to better himself.
After Shelton revealed the artwork for his upcoming album If I’m Honest, Team Pharrell’s Emily Keener took the stage for a performance of “Lilac Wine” by Jeff Buckley. Keener was the artist Pharrell saved during the eliminations last week. She noted that she chose the song because she appreciates emotional songwriting that can tap into a deeper level of human experience. She gave a very captivating and haunting performance, tapping into a whole range of emotions in an organic way. As Pharrell has said before, she has the unique ability to transport people back in time. It was one of the best performances of the night, so hopefully viewers will be moved by her this time around. She received standing ovations from all four coaches. “That’s what I was waiting for from you, Emily, all this time,” Aguilera said. “That was magical.” Keener’s coach Pharrell called her a “beautiful vocalist” and reminded viewers that she’s only 17 years old.
Team Christina’s comeback artist Nick Hagelin was up next, singing “Mine Would Be You” by Shelton and accompanying himself on the piano. The song choice allowed him to really showcase his range and smooth, beautiful tone. Hagelin also made a strong choice by not sitting at the piano the whole time. “I see you on the charts with that song,” Pharrell said, pointing out that Shelton should write more songs for Hagelin. “You have such a great charisma,” Aguilera said.
Team Blake’s Adam Wakefield performed next, singing “Soulshine” by the Allman Brothers Band. The song fit him as an artist well, and Wakefield brought his own musicality to it, proving himself to be a very seasoned musician. He had a bright energy throughout, accompanying himself on an electric organ. He received standing ovations from Shelton, Levine and Pharrell. “You are just so far beyond the real deal,” Levine said. “You’re a star, man,” Shelton added.
Bryan Bautista, whom Aguilera saved during eliminations last week, chose to sing “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal. It was a strong song choice. Bautista has been consistently adept at making songs sound like his own, and tonight was no exception. His vocals were on fire, and Bautista managed to make the hit exciting and fresh. “You surprise me all the time,” his coach Aguilera said.
Owen Danoff from Team Adam was up next, opting for a recent popular hit by singing “7 Years” by Lukas Graham. Danoff wanted to play bass, but Levine advised against it, asking him to really channel all of his energy into singing the song. Danoff really tapped into the emotions of the song and showcased his storytelling abilities. His version even seemed to dig deeper than the original recording. “I felt like that performance packed such a mean punch,” Pharrell said. Levine said that Danoff busted out of his shell during the performance. “It warms my heart just to see you do that,” Levine said. “You came alive tonight.”
Team Christina’s Alisan Porter chose to sing “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato, and it was another highlight of the night. Porter has been so consistently strong all season, and she seems capable of singing just about everything. She was absolutely magnetic in her performance tonight, backing her stellar vocals up with power and emotion. She sang the song as if it were her own, connecting with the lyrics in a way that took the performance to the next level. Porter really has what it takes to win it all. All four coaches gave her a standing ovation. “I’m not even sure what to say,” Levine said, rendered speechless. He said she epitomizes everything that The Voice is about. “Aren’t you bored with being so great?” Shelton asked, jokingly. “I cannot wait for the Alisan album,” Aguilera said. “You helped me grow so much this week,” Porter said back to her coach.
Paxton Ingram, whom Shelton saved last week, was up next, singing “Hands to Myself” by Selena Gomez. Even though he was doing a ballad this time around, Shelton wanted him to still bring his signature intensity to the song. He put his own spin on the song, and he successfully achieved what Shelton wanted from him — infusing the ballad with a force and dynamism that kept the energy flowing. Hopefully, viewers will see something in Ingram this time around and vote him through, because he really proved himself as a singer with a strong sense of artistry. Ingram hit his high notes with ease and put on a great show. “You’re going to be around for a while. I do believe that,” his coach Shelton said.
Team Pharrell’s Hannah Huston decided to sing “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” by Etta James, because James has been an important artist to her. Huston had so much control over her vocals, nailing her runs and affecting her voice at just the right times. The beginning of the performance was particularly striking, but she maintained that energy and power throughout. “It’s hard to not get wrapped up in your performances,” Shelton said. He pointed out that she always looks like she’s having so much fun while she’s busting out the huge vocals. “You have mountain ranges of notes,” Pharrell said. “It’s amazing what you’re doing right now.”
Team Adam’s Shalyah Fearing, who had the best performance of last week, closed out the night with “Up to the Mountain.” “I think that Shalyah could win,” Levine said of his artist. Yet again, Fearing put on a phenomenal performance that really set her apart from everyone else in the competition. Fearing is the youngest artist left, but she has a raw and undeniable talent that makes her a frontrunner. “I feel your heart when you sing,” Aguilera said. “I’d also like to thank Christina for starting this,” Levine said, reminding viewers that Aguilera was the only coach who pushed her button for Fearing during the Blind Auditions. Fearing has come so far.
Carson Daly also announced tonight that the finale this season will feature original songs from the finalists. What did you think of tonight’s performances? One artist will be sent home tomorrow.