For the first night of the live playoffs on this season of The Voice, it will be Team Blake and Team Christina facing off. All contestants on their teams will perform. In addition they are each being allowed to bring back one “comeback artist.”
Paxton Ingram of Blake Shelton’s team is up first. He is singing “How Deep Is Your Love” and wants to get the whole audience involved. But first, he teaches his coach how to do the Nae Nae. He has some great infectious energy. Christina Aguilera says that’s what she came for – to be entertained, Pharrell Williams thinks he had his moment, and Adam Levine says it looked like his was having the time of his life. Blake doesn’t think we’ve ever seen anything like that on the show before.
Team Christina’s Ryan Quinn, whom she stole from Team Adam, is up next. He’s singing “I’m Not the Only One,” and she wants him to not be afraid to be a little vulnerable, encouraging him to feel a time he was cheated on. The advice works. After a standing O by the judges, Pharrell says it was a performance where you have to give it up. Adam is so happy because he saw what he wanted to before. Christina notes that vocally he can do anything.
Katie Basden of Team Blake is singing “Georgia Rain,” and it has her coach making comparisons to Carrie Underwood. He wants her to end on a big note because she’s the rangiest singer in the competition. She seems like she’s rushing the music a little bit. Pharrell asks if she feels she was born to do this, and she says she wants to stand up there and tell a story. It feels to Adam like she’s already a big country star. Blake notes if her voice is any indication of the future of country music, it looks really good.
Katy Hay is up next for Team Christina. She’s singing “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.” Her coach hears a Janis Joplin vibe in her. She wants to eliminate the vibrato, but it’s hard as she’s a yodeling champion. Even with the first few lines of her performance, the vibrato is still there. Pharrell says it was almost like she had a barometer reading the room. Adam compares it to an exorcism. Christina finds the way she builds up a song so amazing.
Christina’s comeback artist is Nick Hagelin who had previously been on Team Pharrell. She was the first one to turn for him in the Blinds. He’s singing “Stay.” He knows it’s his turn to earn his place here. He debuts a freshly-shaved head for his performance. Pharrell says he deserves to be on the show, and he ended up on the right team. Adam says they are all fans of his as a human being and artist. Christina believes he proved why she brought him back.
Joe Maye was originally on Team Christina, but Blake stole him for his own team. He’s singing “Long Train Runnin’.” Blake feels he can fit into that Bruno Mars space. He instructs him to hold out the notes in the chorus at least one time so people know he can do it. He’s on fire singing this song. Christina says she hadn’t seen that fire in them since their duet. Blake was thrilled to get him to begin with, and now he’s feeling like he has a shot to win this thing.
Team Blake is up again with Adam Wakefield. He’s singing “Seven Spanish Angels.” Blake wanted him to have a song that could capitalize on his sound. He wants him to stop throwing away words while he’s singing. Adam is a performer that can really draw you in. Adam Levine says he is his favorite right now in the competition. Blake can only think of three singers in country music that have that same soulful blend that he has.
Tamar Davis is next up with her coach, Christina. She’s singing “Rise Up,” and her coach thinks it plays to the type of artist she needs to become. Tamar is refusing to go home at this point. She’s a little pitchy in parts but hits some great notes. Pharrell says she had a rainbow of range. Blake tells her that it’s the best performance of hers so far. Christina calls it a super-challenging performance.
It’s back to Team Blake for a performance by Mary Sarah. She’s singing “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” and notes that it’s her grandma’s very favorite song. She wants to make some changes to it which Blake tells her is risky. The changes she has made to the song manage to update it a bit. Christina thinks there were some nice notes there towards the end. Adam thinks she came to life even more in her upper register. Blake notes that of his team she’s definitely one of the fan favorites.
Bryan Bautista of Team Christina is the next contestant to sing. He’s taking on “Pillowtalk” and struggles with it in rehearsals. Christina thinks it’s a bit too high for him. His confidence is off because he’s getting overwhelmed. He manages to pull it together for his live performance tonight. After a judges’ standing O Pharrell asks “Who knew?” Adam was completely blown away. Blake adds, “This guy’s smooth, too.” Christina says she is not surprised.
For Blake’s comeback artist, he chose Justin Whisnant who he eliminated in the Battle Rounds. He’s singing “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares),” and Blake notes it’s the first song he played electric guitar on. Justin makes the most of this second chance opportunity. Pharrell says he sang with a lot of passion and feeling. Blake feels he did the song justice and says Oklahoma is proud of him tonight.
Closing out the night is Alisan Porter of Team Christina. She’s singing “Crybaby” and says it’s the one song she did that went viral on YouTube before being on The Voice. Her coach wants her to tap into the grit she has for the song. It’s clear why they left this song for the end. It’s the best of the night. Adam is not surprised by how miraculous it was. Christina says she murdered the song.
Tune in Tuesday night for the remainder of the live playoffs with Team Adam and Team Pharrell.
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