Jacob Elyachar Staff WriterThe Voice: Season Seven top 10 are extremely lucky for three reasons! First, they are on one of the best singing competitions of all time. Second, they made it past the thousands of artists that auditioned for a chance to be mentored by Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, and Pharrell Williams. Finally, in addition to being mentored by their coaches…several music legends (and superstars) popped by to pass on a few words of wisdom to the contestants!! The Voice’s first lady, Christina Aguilera, returned to the competition and advised Team Gwen. Adam brought in Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump to help his team, while Blake recruited Colbie Caillat! Finally, The one and only Ms. Diana Ross advised Team Pharrell! Along with all of these huge superstars, Pharrell introduced the entire Top 10 to music industry heavyweight Clive Davis! Mr. Davis guided the careers of Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana, and the late Whitney Houston. How did the Top 10 implement their coaches, guest advisors, and Clive Davis’s advice? Read on to find out… Before we got to the performances, the Top 10 performed a medley of Rascal Flatts’ greatest hits: “Bless the Broken Road” and “Stand.” I felt like it was like watching an abysmal group number on American Idol and X Factor. I hope that Carson, Mark, and the rest of the Voice production team do that again. It was so out-of-tune! Pop rocker Matt McAndrew kicked off the night with a Coldplay cover! During his meeting with Adam and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, Matt needed to show more confidence when he performed and also pulled a page out of Team Usher’s playbook. Every time, I listen to “Fix You,” I am reminded about Travis Wall’s piece in Season Seven…it had emotion and moved me to tears! This performance did not move me to tears and he was shouting all throughout the chorus! This was a bloody mess! D+ Team Gwen’s Anita Antoinette reunited with Xtina and was impressed with her growth! Gwen chose Passenger’s “Let Her Go” for Anita to sing. While it was very heard to get Cole Vosbury’s version out of my head, Anita brought confidence and soul into her reggae-fied cover of the track. I got chills and had a smile on my face throughout the entire performance! A- Adam chose Stevie Wonder’s “You & I” for Damien to sing! This was one of the largest songs of the night and Damien pulled it off. He was the second artist of the night to give me goose bumps and the first time in the Live Shows that I have given anyone a standing ovation! His velvet tone would make the 25-time Grammy winner proud. That was his moment, which could take him to the Final Three! A+ Reagan James put her own spin on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” This was a huge risk…but I was impressed with Reagan’s arrangement with the song. She can rap (and with more work…she could take on Iggy and Nicki), but this is a singing competition and I did not get to hear a lot of singing, and she had some breath control issues. She could be in danger tomorrow night. C- Luke Wade tried to keep cool when Diana Ross was in the room! However, there was no time to be star-struck, as Pharrell assigned him Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness.” While it was a good vocal, it did not connect with me! If you want to watch a great cover of this song, watch X Factor UK’s Paul Akister bring down the house with his interpretation! C Craig Wayne Boyd is the last country singer remaining in the competition! His three-time winning coach chose Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” for Craig to sing. This was his most emotional performance to date on the Voice stage and I strongly believe that he is going to be in this season’s finale! When the show is over and he is making his album, Craig needs to record this song once again! A+ The biggest challenge for Ryan Sill is that he vocally out of his league! Both Craig and Damien delivered A+ performances tonight and he brutally destroyed Muse’s “Starlight.” This is the third week of the Live Shows and in all honesty, three strikes…you are out! F Last year, Tessanne Chin won The Voice with her astonishing cover of the late Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” In addition, the singer would also be compared to Jennifer Hudson and the late R&B singer. When she sang a couple of bars of the song, Clive Davis praised her performance and told the rest of the Top 10 that they have tough competition! This was the third best performance of the night and I believe that DaNica will join both Damian and Craig in this year’s finale! A+ I was extremely frustrated with the fact that Taylor John Williams covered another Idol staple on The Voice. Taylor seems to be a cool guy and has a nice voice, but he needs to pick songs that are more from the 90s/2000s. C+ As for Chris Jamison, who closed the night…he needs to perform songs that have not been released this month! He needs to cover “Titanium,” “Scream & Shout,” “We Can’t Stop,” “Moves Like Jagger” and more! If Adam continues to take on Chris on this path, he will leave this show! D+
Tomorrow night, Taylor Swift will perform and the Top Eight will be revealed!
Before I end this recap, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to the community of Ferguson, Missouri. May you find peace this holiday season!
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