This week on The Voice, the Top 10 remaining artists performed live for a chance to continue in the singing competition. We saw the live performances on Monday night, and two artists were sent home on Tuesday. Watch both full episodes below:
"The Voice" Top 10 Live Performances Full Episode:
Monday's episode started off with a performance by English boy band, Rixton. Rixton are signed by Scooter Braun, who is responsible for some major pop acts like Carly Rae Jepson, The Wanted, and most famously, Justin Bieber. The band performed "Me and My Broken Heart," which blatantly takes the hook from Eminem's "Stan" and Dido's "Thank You."
Team Adam's Kat Perkins Performs "Landslide":
Bland boy bands aside, the first performance started off with rocker Kat Perkins from Team Adam. This week, the coaches each brought in different producers to dole out extra advice to their contestants. Shakira brought pop producer busbee, Usher recruited R&B producer Natural, Blake had country producer Scott Hendricks, and Adam brought in the legendary Graham Nash. Nash coached Kat through her performance of Stevie Nicks' "Landslide," and although she sounded great, that rocker rasp was really missed from her performance. She sounded on pitch, but her sweet spot is that loud, growly, slightly angry performance and she didn't get a chance to expose that here.
Team Shakira's Tess Boyer Performs "Ain't It Fun":
Next, Shakira's artist instantly saved from last week, Tess Boyer, did a rendition of Paramore's "Ain't It Fun." Though the judges all heap a ton of praise on Tess's voice, there isn't really a distinguishing factor in her voice that sets her apart from the other contestants. She did a great rendition of the song, but she's largely forgettable in the grand scope of things, and that's really made clear when it comes down to voting -- her singles just have not placed as high as others on the iTunes charts.
Team Blake's Audra McLaughlin Performs "You Lie":
After Tess, we got Audra McLaughlin from Team Blake, who I can confidently say had her best performance of the entire competition with her rendition of Reba McEntire's "You Lie." If you aren't already familiar with this song, you definitely will be now. Audra has this beautiful, silky, classic country voice that can seamlessly transition from head voice to chest voice, and "You Lie" was the perfect track to showcase her talent. Season 5 country artist winner Danielle Bradbury always did really sweet but strong recreations of classic country songs, but Audra has a voice that will resonate with traditional country fans. This was my favorite performance of the night, and maybe of Season 7 thus far.
Team Usher's Josh Kaufman Performs "This Is It":
Josh Kaufman from Team Usher was next, and he took a risk by doing "This Is It" from Kenny Loggins. It seems that every time a performer on The Voice hits big with a current pop smash, as Kaufman did last week with Sam Smith's "Stay With Me," audiences don't really want to see them retreat to a more classic song. Though it would've been nice to to see him tackle something more modern, Kenny Loggins unexpectedly suited his funk R&B voice quite well.
Team Adam's Christina Grimmie Performs "Hold On, We're Going Home":
Next up, we got Christina Grimmie from Adam's team, who probably gave the performance of the night, with an unexpected piano version of Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home." YouTube singers often have a tough time transitioning onto The Voice stage; a lot of the time it seems they have trouble finding their own voice and not sounding like they're singing karaoke. Christina Grimmie definitely looks the person to break the mold, and she made the right choice with "Hold On, We're Going Home." Backed by her own piano, Grimmie was able to expose both her softer side and her grittier side with the track. She sounds like her own person, and her wholehearted love of pop music and desire to make it her own is what's keeping her in the competition. Grimmie was also the only artist of this week to hit the Top 10 on iTunes, reaching up to #4 on the charts, thereby multiplying her votes by five times.
Team Blake's Jake Worthington Performs "Run":
Blake's country gentleman Jake Worthington came up next, performing "Run" by George Strait. His lower register was a little hard to hear for the duration of the song and in general seemed a little on the nasaly side. However, it seems that he's really cast a spell over The Voice team with his charismatic Southern charm, because the coaches really love him, as evidenced by their constant praise for his performances every week.
Team Usher's Bria Kelly Performs "I'm With You":
Bria Kelly from Team Usher had an unusually rough night with her take on Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You." Not only was this a bad song choice for her, she also sounded off-pitch and received a lot of uncomfortable backhanded compliments from the judges that definitely looked like they would affect her votes. Adam's positive-yet-critical comments were especially awkward, and it was squirm-worthy to watch her face fall while taking in all the negative feedback. Bria was one of the frontrunners since the season began, but this song did not do her any justice.
Team Adam's Delvin Choice Performs "Bright Lights":
From Team Adam, Delvin Choice's rendition of "Bright Lights" by Gary Clark, Jr. was centered on the phrase "you're gonna know my name," even though "Delvin Choice" is already a pretty peculiar name to begin with. But even if you still don't remember his name, you will remember Delvin's awkwardly one-second-too-long pause in the middle of the song (which prompted Carson to accidentally interrupt him mid-performance), that Adam claimed was the most electric ending ever. Whether or not it was effective, Delvin did sound strong throughout and the massive volume of his voice really can't be denied.
Team Shakira's Kristen Merlin Performs "Let Her Go":
Shakira's Kristen Merlin performed Passenger's hit "Let Her Go" next. Kristen may never escape mention of last week's mic-malfunction, but there's no denying she's got a strong voice that really oddly but sweetly matches her coach Shakira's. They both have a bit of yodel when they sing, and it served her well to do a scaled back version of that in the folky "Let Her Go." In addition, she shared a sweet tidbit about how she was developing more of a relationship with her parents due to the show and how she's never felt more love from them. Usually The Voice loves to milk these little facts into huge sob stories, but Kristen has a really sweet genuine sincerity to her that doesn't need to be exploited to be felt.
Team Blake's Sisaundra Lewis Performs "Oh Sherrie":
Closing out the night was Team Blake's Sisaundra Lewis, who performed Steve Perry's "Oh Sherrie." The Voice usually loves to constantly point out their oldest and youngest competitors, but they haven't really mentioned Sisaundra's "older" age as much because that is the least interesting thing about her. She has a really spectacular, seasoned range in her voice and since she's already shown us her R&B side time and again on the show, Blake really did her well by giving her a rock song that she excelled at. She sounded like a bonafide rock star on "Oh Sherrie."
"The Voice" Top 10 Live Eliminations Full Episode:
Tuesday night was not only about eliminations, but also about new beginnings. Weeks after news outlets caught wind of the new coaches, The Voice finally confirmed on-air that Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani have been selected as the replacements for CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera for Season 7. Christina is expected to return for Season 8, but CeeLo confirmed to Ellen DeGeneres on her show a few months back that he would not be returning to the show. The Voice has a history of picking excellent replacement coaches; Usher and Shakira were great names to begin with and ended up being really supportive and engaging on the show, and we can only expect the same from the effortlessly cool Gwen Stefani, and Pharrell, who is currently riding high as America's Sweetheart. Next season should be really exciting, and we'll get a sneak peek into the new coaches' dynamic with Voice staples Blake and Adam when they arrive on the show next week for a live performance.
As for the rest of the episode, before the final eliminations, we got to see Usher and Shakira perform with their teams. Usher and his team kicked things off with an electrifying rendition of Lenny Kravitz's "Always On The Run," with Josh Kaufman sounding pitch perfect as usual, and Bria Kelly much improved from her performance on Monday. Shakira also performed with her team, and they did "The One Thing" off her album, SHAKIRA. It was difficult to judge the performance since it was obviously better suited to Shakira's voice, and Tess and Kristen's mics seemed to not pick up their voices as clearly. But the three of them meshed well together on-stage and could probably start a convincing girl group.
The end of the night revealed that Usher's Bria Kelly, Shakira's Tess Boyer, and Adam's Kat Perkins were the bottom 3 for this week. They each gave a last-chance performance to try and be instantly saved by Twitter vote. Bria did "Crazy On You" by Heart, which she should've performed on Monday night instead because she sounded incredible and like the Bria Kelly who earned a four-chair turn in the blind audition. Tess did Pink's "Who Knew," and she did well but didn't surpass Bria's performance. Unfortunately, both their chances of staying on the show were obliterated when Kat Perkins stepped up to do her last-chance performance of Grace Potter And The Nocturnals "Paris (Ooh La La La)." The song was perfect for her and she sounded in her element, making it was clear that she'd be the one who was saved. It even prompted Adam to declare that she would break the streak of the "saved" contestant going home the next week. At the end of the night, Kat Perkins did end up receiving the majority vote from Twitter, so we'll find out next week if that claim rings true.
It looks like Adam and Blake still have their entire teams together since the live shows started, with Shakira and Usher down to one contestant each. Tune in next week for our recap of the Top 8 Performances and Eliminations!