7:23pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'The Voice': Team John Stands Out During Top 20 Performances
The Voice season 17’s Live Playoffs kicked off on Monday, packing 20 live performances into a two-hour episode on NBC. Coaches Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson each had five artists competing at this stage of the competition. Here are the top performers from each team, followed by a breakdown of the rest of the performances.
Team Blake’s top performance came from Kat Hammock, who sang “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys. She made the song her own, and her standout tone was gorgeous on this particular song. It was an understated but stellar performance.
For Team Gwen, Rose Short gave the standout performance, singing Janet Jackson's “What Have You Done for Me Lately.” She sang the throwback hit with confidence and powerful vocals, particularly in her lower register.
Max Boyle sang “Falling Slowly” and proved to be one of the most original artists on Team Kelly on this night. He sang the song as if it were his own and made interesting choices. If he doesn’t get voted through, he’ll likely be Clarkson’s pick.
Team John’s Will Breman gave the most memorable performance of the episode, singing “Style” by Taylor Swift. His runs and range were impressive, but he also showcased so much artistry and creativity. Breman has the whole package.
As for the rest of the Team Blake performances, Gracee Shriver will likely stay in the competition, since she’s the only classic country singer left on Team Blake, and she played to her base by singing “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum. Ricky Braddy sang “Roll With It,” giving a soulful and entertaining performance, but it didn’t have any standout moments. Cali Wilson deserves credit for creativity, doing a slowed-down, soft rock version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” but her runs were a little sloppy and she had some pitch issues. She could be on the chopping block for Team Blake. Ricky Duran delivered a straightforward rendition of “Small Town” by John Mellencamp. His raspy voice was a good fit for the song choice, but he didn’t do much to make it his own, making for one of his least memorable performances.
On Team Gwen, Kyndal Inskeep could be on the chopping block after her performance of “10,000 Hours,” which lacked dynamics. Her vocals were solid, and she has an original sound, but she didn’t really deliver on the emotional front. Joana Martinez also went with a downtempo choice, singing “You Can’t Stop the Girl” by Bebe Rexha, but her performance had momentum and layers, including a few standout notes that she held. Myracle Holloway gave a strong performance of “Get Here,” similarly going with a throwback song like Short. Her performance was entertaining enough to likely get her into the Top 13. Jake Haldenvang sang “Turning Tables” by Adele, which allowed him to showcase his artistry, because the song choice was outside of his wheelhouse, but he made it his own and connected with the lyrics.
The rest of Team Kelly’s performances included Shane Q’s take on “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” in which he didn’t do much to make it special but still sounded strong. Hello Sunday, Team Kelly’s duo, didn’t give as good of a performance as they did in the Knockouts and Battles, but their rendition of “Hello” by Adele still had standout moments and gorgeous harmonies. Damali could be at risk after her performance of “You Say,” during which she seemed to struggle with control. Jake Hoot landing in the top 13 is almost a guarantee, given that country singers tend to do well on this show and he is a standout on that front. He sang “You Lie” by The Band Perry in the Playoffs, and he delivered on the vocal and performance fronts.
Team John overall had the best performances on Monday night. Khalea Lynee sang “Love Like This” and gave a solid R&B performance with a lot of intricate vocals. Alex Guthrie also delivered a soulful performance with his take on “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. It was a strong song choice, and he delivered a captivating lyrical interpretation. Marybeth Byrd’s “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding also stood out, and she made interesting vocal choices. Katie Kadan also knocked it out of the park with her performance of “Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is Born. The competition is tight for Team John.
Viewers will vote through eight artists — two from each team — on Tuesday night’s results episode. The coaches will also each pick one artist to advance, and a remaining artist from each team will compete live for the last spot in the Top 13.