Who’s ready for the second week of live shows for The Voice season 19? (By the way, can you believe this show has been on for 19 seasons?)
Before we get into tonight’s performances, there’s a new elephant in the room that must be addressed. Last week, host Carson Daly announced that Ryan Gallagher, who was in the four-way Knockout, left the competition. At that point, we didn’t know any details. But as the week progressed, more details started coming out.
Ryan himself teased on social media that it wasn’t his choice. Then we found out he apparently broke COVID protocols that The Voice has in place, and they decided to remove him “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a statement released by NBC.
Ryan disagrees with this assessment and denies that he broke any protocols. His manager said, “As you can imagine, there is more to the story here than the show has announced and at an appropriate time and place of our choosing Ryan will respond to these damaging allegations.”
Well, that’s interesting. There’s (allegedly) more to the story? Will he actually reveal what that is? Or is it just an empty threat and he actually did break protocol but is trying to save face? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Anyway, let’s get to the reason we’re all here: the Top 9 performances!
Jim Ranger (“Without You” by Badfinger / Team Blake)
I love “Without You”! When it comes to these singing competition shows, my favorite rendition comes from none other than the Idol Queen herself, Kelly Clarkson. As for Jim, I’m not sure at first because it feels a little too understated and I’m not feeling anything. Then he really kicks things into high gear in the second half and is really trying to push his voice as far as it will go. There are some moments you can tell he’s at his limits, but I do quite enjoy the other moments because that chorus, regardless of who’s singing it, is fantastic. Also, it looks like they’ve got a bigger budget this week–he’s standing on what seems like the edge of a cliff or something. That’s quite the set piece.
Cami Clune (“The Joke” by Brandi Clune / Team Kelly)
I mentioned last week how Cami has a really nice tone in her mid to upper range. That continues tonight. It’s not absolutely perfect, like that cringe-y note right at the end when she tries to belt it out. However, the good outweighs the weaker moments like that. Again, her tone is something I want to keep listening to week after week.
Carter Rubin, Desz & Jim Ranger (“Will It Go Round in Circles” by Billy Preston)
These group performances are complete filler. And by the looks of it, tonight’s are complete product placement for Google. Sigh. Carter is the focus at the start, and he sounds great. And then the other two follow, both sounding great as well. I can’t fault any of them for anything. This is just plain fun–and I approve.
Ben Allen (“All About Tonight” by Blake Shelton / Team Gwen)
A Team Gwen artist is singing a Blake song? Major ugh. But okay, I’ll try to keep an open mind. I will give this to him: he does sound good overall and you can tell he’s having fun with this song. But the problem is I doubt I will remember this by the end of the night. I think the only thing I’ll remember is that a Team Gwen artist sang a song by Gwen’s fiance and fellow coach Blake Shelton.
John Holiday (“Fix You” by Coldplay” / Team John)
Wow, wow, wow!!! This is one of those songs where a singer can really dive into the emotion of the lyrics. And John’s voice is perfect for a song like this. The only weak spot is when he goes to stand up from the piano. But once he’s standing still at the front of the stage, he’s quickly back on track. That moment aside, he sounds absolutely beautiful.
Ben Allen, Ian Flanigan & Tamara Jade (“Tulsa Time” by Don Williams)
The second filler group performance of the night. But like the first, this one is fun to watch as well. Tamara is the star of the trio; it’s almost as if she’s the lead singer and the two guys are the backup singers who have been brought forward to help out on the song.
Desz (“Don’t Let Go (Love)” by En Vogue / Team Kelly)
Okay, I gave three wow’s to John Holiday. So this is what I’ll do for Desz: wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!!!!!! She definitely knows how to put on a show. This really is a showstopper. Her stage presence is once again off the charts. (Do you notice that she doesn’t sing when going down the stairs? She only sings when standing still. John, that’s how you maintain vocal control.) And that voice? Can anyone match that?! Can we please get an encore? I want her to do a duet with Kelly during the finale.
Bailey Rae (“Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles / Team John)
Gotta love some Ray Charles. And there are moments in which Bailey’s vocals sound good. But when you consider the performance as a whole, I’m just not getting anything from this (essentially what I said last week as well). Someone with more experience would likely be able to add some depth and soul to this classic.
Time for a break from the competition, as coach Gwen Stefani performs “Let Me Reintroduce Myself.” Why does she need to reintroduce herself? Is it because nowadays she’s most known for being a coach on The Voice instead of being known for her own music, which has been on the decline ever since joining this show? To be clear, I love her No Doubt music and the music on her first two solo albums. But it’s as if the creativity died as soon as she joined The Voice. I know it sounds like I’m being harsh, but I just gotta say it. (Yes, I am the real Simon Cowell.)
Oh, did I not mention the performance itself? Was that on purpose? Well, it is what it is. I guess the chorus is catchy. But there are some really lame rhymes in this song. Prolific songwriting, this is not.
Back to the competition…
Bailey Rae, Cami Clune & John Holiday (“Pompeii” by Bastille)
This final filler performance isn’t quite as good as the first two. John is by far the best of the three vocally–that falsetto? Beautiful. Bailey is even weaker than her solo performance. Rough.
Ian Flanigan (“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan / Team Blake)
I don’t think there’s anybody who listens to this song and doesn’t think about those commercials, am I right? That song has become a cheesy thing over the years because of that (it’s obviously a beautiful song, but c’mon), but when I try my best to strip that away and focus on Ian, Ian does well on it. His voice is really unique for the style he’s in.
Tamara Jade (“Let It Be” by The Beatles / Team John)
One of the best Beatles songs ever! And Tamara just belts it out effortlessly. EFFORTLESSLY! Exquisite! I mentioned earlier that I want to see Desz and Kelly Clarkson duet at the finale. When it comes to just the contestants, I want to see Desz and Tamara join forces on a duet. Wouldn’t that be unbelievable? I can’t wait to see what she brings to the stage next week.
Carter Rubin (“Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog / Team Gwen)
I was not expecting “Rainbow Connection.” But he sounds absolutely perfect delivering this Kermit tune. There’s one note towards the end where he belts it out, and I’m like, whoa! It’s just so pure and clear and effortless. He’ll definitely be here next week. But with so many great singers, there’s bound to be at least one shocking elimination, right?
Tuesday’s results show is another big one. This time, it’s a huge deal because we’re going to find out which five artists are advancing to the finale. Four will advance based on tonight’s votes, and then the Instant Save returns one final time in season 19 to fill the fifth spot.
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.