The Voice ended last season with the finalists performing from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. We’re still dealing with the crisis, but fortunately this time around, they–along with host Carson Daly and coaches Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Blake Shelton–are able to perform in the studio. Everyone has to be several feet apart, of course, but at least season 19 is feeling a lot more normal.
The Knockouts ended (sort of) last week. There was a four-way Knockout that America was able to decide on. Who’s winning and moving on to the Top 17? We’re about to find out. But speaking of which, why a Top 17? (They did it last season as well.) It seems like a really odd number with which to kick off the live shows, but hey, 2020 has been an odd year, so I guess let’s just roll with it.
Before we get into the performances for the first live show of the season, here’s the Knockout results…
Taryn Papa has advanced to the Top 17! On a related note, Ryan Gallagher, who was in that four-way Knockout, left the show since we last saw him. I guess we’ll never know if Ryan had the most votes or not. But why did he leave? Was it a personal matter? Did he break his contract? We don’t know.
We’re living in stressful times, so let’s put on some music. It’s time for the Top 17 to perform on The Voice!
Desz (“What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner / Team Kelly)
Her voice is perfect for this Tina Turner song! And she changes it up at the start of the chorus with that soft “ooh,” which I’m not expecting. It’s a really small change, but it’s a cool way to infuse herself into a song that has been sung a million times on these shows. Also, that moment where she directs the band to go quiet? Talk about a performance and top-notch stage presence!
Madeline Consoer (“What If I Never Get Over You” by Lady A / Team Kelly)
Lady A has put out some great music over the years, but I don’t think I’m familiar with this particular song. This performance isn’t perfect. Madeline is better in the first half of the song. In the back half, she strains her voice on the first big note and another moment a little bit later on. Overall, this is enjoyable, though.
Tanner Gomes (“Lovin’ on You” by Luke Combs / Team Kelly)
Time to address the elephant in the room. Kelly faced backlash online after picking Tanner over Marisa Corvo in the last round. A great way to overcome this is for Tanner to come out and absolutely slay it. While I wouldn’t say he’s a bad singer, he’s got a very generic country voice (like most male country singers) and doesn’t do anything to bring the votes his way. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s eliminated mainly due to the backlash. Even if that hadn’t happened, I still think he’s likely a goner. Weakest of the night so far.
Cami Clune (“Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS / Team Kelly)
Cami has a really nice tone in her mid to upper range. That falsetto towards the end is hauntingly beautiful. This performance has a very theatrical feel to it. I’d definitely like to see what she brings next week if she advances. Now that Team Kelly is done for the night, I’d put Cami behind Desz in the rankings, with Madeline in third and Tanner last.
Payge Turner (“It’s Gonna Be Me” by *NSYNC / Team Gwen)
When this song first starts, I don’t recognize it as *NSYNC. She’s really changed up the arrangement big-time. It’s got more of a soul and/or jazz-like feel to it, with Payge playing the electric guitar. Quite the dynamic there. I never expected “It’s Gonna Be Me” to ever sound like this. And you know what? There’s some good and some bad here. The arrangement is better than her voice, to be honest. I’m intrigued by what she’s doing, but it doesn’t fully click into place–maybe her voice just can’t handle it.
Ben Allen (“There Goes My Life” by Kenny Chesney / Team Gwen)
Ben’s voice is far better than Tanner’s. But at the end of the day, I’m still hearing a generic country voice. What Ben has in his favor is the ability to pull off the emotion of this particular song; you can feel the connection, and it’s believable. So if only one of them sticks around, I’d rather see Ben.
Joseph Soul (“How Deep is Your Love” by The Bee Gees / Team Gwen)
His last name is Soul–and he’s bringing the soul to this Bee Gees classic. I’m kinda getting into this. He’s having fun, and I’m enjoying it. I will say, though, that Gwen gushing over him is a bit much. You’d think he was on track to win the show or something.
Carter Rubin (“Hero” by Mariah Carey / Team Gwen)
I like Carter. His age has gotten the spotlight a lot this season, which tends to happen when someone really young competes on The Voice. His last performance was really good. Tonight, he’s still good and he does what he needs to do to pull off a passable performance. Some of those notes in the second half are quite amazing. While I’m not blown away by his rendition of “Hero” because of how by-the-book it is, I think he’ll be here next week, and hopefully he really goes for it.
Jim Ranger (“Rumor” by Lee Brice / Team Blake)
There are quite a few country songs tonight–and we’re only halfway through the show. I brought up the “generic country voice” earlier. I’m not fully getting that vibe with Jim, though. What I hear is some growl and depth, which sound fantastic on this song and with his tone. So in that sense, he’s better than Tanner and Ben.
Worth the Wait (“Love is Alive” by The Judds / Team Blake)
A family band singing a song by a family band. How appropriate. As usual, their harmonies sound great. I’ve been kind of intrigued by this group ever since their audition, mainly because their mother is a part of the trio with her daughters. Contestants on this show don’t make it big, but if the girls want to have a shot in the music business, they really should ditch their mother. Either they can bring their other sister back into the fold or just be a duo. I know that’s harsh, but I’m just being honest.
Ian Flanigan (“Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan / Team Blake)
Ian’s voice is great. There’s something about his tone, and with the added rasp, that really makes you pay attention. Of the Team Blake artists so far, Ian’s the best.
Taryn Papa (“I Hope You’re Happy Now” by Lee Brice and Carly Pearce / Team Blake)
Of course Blake has an extra artist as the live shows begin. Ugh. Will the added attention on Taryn help her, since America actually voted for her already? Did last season’s four-way Knockout winner make it? I haven’t done the research to check on that, but I should so I can compare the two. Anyway, Taryn delivers a great-sounding performance. This is the kind of country performance and voice I want to hear. She’s definitely better than the generic country voices I mentioned earlier.
Sid Kingsley (“Beyond” by Leon Bridges / Team Blake)
Sid’s got some strange facial expressions going on here. And the way he’s staring straight ahead at the beginning? Creepy might be too harsh, but it’s a little off-putting, to say the least. As far as the voice is concerned, overall it’s really good. He’s got more soul and depth than a lot of the singers we’ve heard from tonight.
Tamara Jade (“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley / Team John)
I love the stripped-down beginning to this song. Throughout the performance, she adds little touches to “Crazy” that make it her own, like that breathy moment in the middle. Like with Desz, they’re small changes, but they make the performances really work. Tamara’s having a blast with this–and it’s hard not to groove along with her. Off-the-charts stage presence as well!
Chloé Hogan (“My Future” by Billie Eilish / Team John)
Billie Eilish has a very particular and unique sound, so it’s odd to hear someone who can really belt it out take on one of her songs. Obviously, Chloé sounds beautiful. This has a very lounge-y feel to it. I wonder if that understated feel and following Tamara will hurt her chances at all, or if both can advance.
Bailey Rae (“Sweet Music Man” by Kenny Rogers / Team John)
Female country singers tend to be better than male country singers. I’m not sure of Bailey, though. I’m not really feeling anything from this performance. Is it because John’s not that experienced working with country artists? Or is Bailey just not ready for primetime? Or both?
John Holiday (“Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra / Team John)
We’re going way old-school with this one. A classic. John is a very unique artist. He’s someone who stays in his falsetto most of the time. It’s worked a lot for him this season (he made it to the live shows, after all). While he’s still impressive, I find his voice tonight to be far more pitchy than usual. That’s a shame. But if he’s here next week, hopefully he can work on that.
If you’ve haven’t been following scheduling news for The Voice in recent days, here’s what happened: Tuesday’s results show was moved to Thursday because a delayed NFL game was re-scheduled for that same night. However, that NFL game has been delayed again, this time for Wednesday, which means the first live results show of the season is back on for its regular Tuesday night airing.
Speaking of the results, this week’s will be brutal. Your votes are cutting the field from 17 all the way down to just nine.
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.
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