Now that The Voice is down to 10 contestants, one might worry about filling a two-hour performance show. Not the powers that be, however, who added a third hour of recap to the performance show. Luckily, there was plenty of coach banter from Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo — not to mention a quick and awkward guest appearance from Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt in the Sprint Sky Box — to fill the void.
At this point in the season, the contestants need to worry less about avoiding elimination by mistakes, and more about doing whatever it takes to wow the voting audience. On Monday (November 18) night, they all brought the wow.
The Top 10 performers kick off the night with The Mowgli’s “Say it, Just Say It.” The crew left is mighty talented and on-point for the group performance.
Team Blake: Austin Jenckes
Hoping for a breakout performance, Austin Jenckes sings The Outfield’s “Your Love.” It’s hard not to love a rendition of that song, and Austin brings it to the next level by unleashing some mega high notes at the end. He earns a standing ovation from Blake, and rave reviews form all of the coaches.
“It was just a slow ramp up, and by the end it was like, ‘this guy is going nuts,’” says Blake.
“I loved the ending,” says Christina. “You went there and you rocked it.”
“I didn’t realize you had so much range. It was so impressive to see you hit that note,” says Cee Lo.
Team Christina: Jacquie Lee
Before performing, Jacquie Lee joins her coach for a private yoga session. Christina knew Jacquie needed to relax to really open up her lungs, and what’s more relaxing than doing yoga on a soundstage in full makeup with several cameras on you? After all of that, Jacquie puts her vulnerability on stage with a stripped down version of Zedd’s “Clarity.” Perched atop a piano, she delivers a stunning performance (though in the future, it may be helpful to note that pianos tend to be more impactful when they are used by the performer as an instrument, not a chair).
“That came together so beautifully, and I was so touched,” says a beaming Christina.
“You’re one of the best that we have,” says Cee Lo, though he notes that she could have made a half-percent improvement in the beginning (Picky, picky!).
“I heard those areas where it was like ‘what the heck,’ but then you did that Jacquie thing that we all love,” says Blake, not really saying anything.
Team Adam: Will Champlin
With his adorable toddler in the audience supporting and being cute for votes, Will Champlin performs John Newman’s “Love Me Again.” The song is still relatively unknown Stateside, which can be an advantage in terms of iTunes downloads. The upbeat tune really works for Will, and his coach is happy with how well it’s executed.
“If this guy isn’t a testament as to why you should hang in there and keep trying,” Adam says of Will’s early season team shifting.
“I really feel like you came into your own in this performance,” says Christina.
Blake laments the fact that Will is on his bromance-frenemy’s team, but praises will as an “accurate vocalist.”
Team Cee Lo: Caroline Pennell
Not only is Caroline Pennell currently on national television, but she also still has four years of college to look forward to. (Let’s hope jealousy doesn’t factor into votes.) Standing on the cusp of this change, she relates to John Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” Caroline delivers a convincing performance, although it’s nothing too different from her previous performances.
“I am pleased about letting go, and allowing you to lead yourself,” says Cee Lo.
“This was really great for me because I got to see you make a statement about a lot of things you’ve been experiencing, and your experience on the show,” says Adam.
Team Blake: Cole Vosbury
Blake sets Cole Vosbury up for success with a very smart song choice. Mr. Big’s “To Be With You” fits perfectly with the contestant’s voice, and is a feel-good number that has even Adam singing from his red chair. Although his performance is drowned out by the backup singers at times, he still earns a lot of crowd support and coach praise.
“You sang the daylights out of that song,” says Blake. “I love how it was just so acoustic, and it was just about you.”
“You broke my heart when you went to his team,” says Adam, adding, “It doesn’t matter what team you’re on, I’m going to love you regardless.”
“I want you to know that I genuinely support you,” says his former coach, Cee Lo before comparing the backup singers in the shadows to American Horror Story: Coven.
Team Adam: Tessanne Chin
Tessanne Chin takes it back to 1970 with her performance of “If I Were Your Woman,” by Gladys Knight and the Pips. She starts off slow, and builds to a vocally flawless powerhouse performance. Adam is over the moon watching her perform, as is Tessanne’s fan and countryman Usain Bolt.
“This solidified your position on this show as a major, major contender,” says Adam.
“I heard your Jamaican accent come out for the first time in the beginning, and I loved it,” says Christina, but adds, “I wanted to hear a little more dimension.”
Team Blake: Ray Boudreaux
Ray Boudreaux sings Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing,” which can only be a (successful) attempt to get the ladies in the audience to swoon. His voice is so similar to Ray LaMontagne’s to begin with, making this choice a natural fit.
“That was awesome,” says Blake. “You brought it back to what you do and who you are.”
“I was thinking out of everyone here, you’ve shown the most growth,” says Christina. “I really feel like you’ve found an identity that fits you.”
“I love your consistency, says Cee Lo. “I love the way this performance stayed in the pocket.”
Team Adam: James Wolpert
James Wolpert showcases the passion in his voice in his performance of Harry Nelson’s “Without You.” There are moments where he falls off of the beat of the background music, but it’s still a beautiful performance of the classic song. Adam practically breaks his beautiful face from smiling so hard at his team member’s triumph.
“What a desperate and incredible song,” says Adam. “You take a song and it goes through the James Wolpert blender and it becomes something that’s so intrinsically yours.”
Never one to hold back on criticism, Christina says, “Pitch doesn’t always line up but you’re super clean.”
Team Cee Lo: Kat Robichaud
Kat Robichaud sheds her crazy, but keeps her dramatic stage presence to take on Pat Benatar’s “We Belong.” With the help of choreographer Hi-Hat, Kat delivers a visually stunning performance that ends with her standing atop the piano she sat behind to start the song. She experiences a little trouble in the lower register, but overall, the performance is killer and has all the wow moments needed to win votes.
“To see what it’s become, to see it realized and completed, it’s exhilarating,” says Cee Lo, calling her, “the new next thing.”
“This was finally, in a way, the Kat we’ve been waiting to see,” says Adam.
Team Christina: Matthew Schuler
Before closing out the night, Matthew Schuler is subjected to the same staged private yoga lesson Xtina had with Jacquie Lee. He looks as uncomfortable as one would imagine, but plays along. Whether it was the influence of the yoga poses, the practice or just his natural talent, his performance of Labrinth’s “Beneath Your Beautiful,” is delivered with an incredible power that builds throughout the song. The crowd loves him -—specifically the screaming women section of the crowd.
“This room every single time you finish a performance just lights up,” says Christina. “When you perform, I don’t even write notes,” she adds.
“This was no less than amazing, which is what you always are,” says Adam.
The top 10 are cut down to 8 on Tuesday night’s show, featuring the return of Instant Save. Even more exciting than the Instant Save (as if that’s even possible): both Christina and Blake will perform alongside their teams before the results are in! Who will stay and who will go? Did anyone wow you enough to earn your vote?
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.
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