On Monday’s episode of “The Voice” the Top 8 artists coached by Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani performed solo as well as in duets. The goal for each is to make it into the top 10 on iTunes by Tuesday morning so that they can reap the benefit of a vote multiplier. Four of the artists will be eliminated this week.
Who do you think was the best of the bunch? Vote in our poll at the bottom of this recap of their solo efforts and be sure to sound off on your favorites (as well as those that you think should go) in our comments section. Read about and vote on the best of the four duets too.
Hunter Plake: “With or Without You” (Gwen Stefani)
Plake delivered a powerful version of U2‘s 1987 No. 1 hit “With or Without You” that won over the coaches, with Levine saying “that was a classic take on that song.” And Keys admitted, “I was totally swept away. That is what music is supposed to make you feel like. ”
TSoul: “Ain’t No Way” (Blake Shelton)
TSoul tackled “Ain’t No Way,” a 1968 track by Aretha Franklin that she co-wrote with her sister. He did his best to make this song sound fresh and Keys praised his efforts: “It was like an Otis Redding interpretation of Aretha. You have showmanship. You always put something more into it.”
Brennley Brown: “Suds in the Bucket” (Gwen Stefani)
Brown tackled “Suds in the Bucket,” Sara Evan‘s 2004 signature song. This 15-year-old could well find herself in the top 10 on iTunes again. She looked and sounded like a winner and Shelton praised her — “Tonight visually and personality-wise, it felt like we were watching a 15-year-old and, I think, you need to remind people of that” — as did her coach who observed, “It made me emotional when Blake said that. Brennley is so gifted. Sometimes I forget her age.”
Lauren Duski: “Ghost in This House” (Blake Shelton)
Duski did herself proud with her version of “Ghost in This House,” a 1990 tune by Shenadonah that has been covered by Alison Krauss and the Dixie Chicks. Levine enthused, “YI love this because it’s pure. I think you are amazing.” And her coach was equally enthusiastic: “What you just did was absolutely monumental. I can’t wait to see how country fans respond to that.”
Chris Blue: “Take Me to the King” (Alicia Keys)
Blue picked “Take Me to the King,” a 2012 platinum seller for gospel star Tamela Mann. He delivered a powerful performance, full of passion and emotion. Keys loved it and told him “I knew you could do it and let all the walls down and find that place in yourself that is so true. You just did that. I am so proud of you. You got out of your way.”
Vanessa Ferguson: “Superstar” (Alicia Keys)
Ferguson delivered a stripped-down version of “Superstar,” the 1969 pop hit for The Carpenters that Luther Vandross fashioned into a soul chart topper in 1983. She mesmerized with her heartfelt rendition. Keys observed, “I was losing my mind. I know what you went through to find this beautiful place. To see you completely blooming and blossoming and becoming the great woman you are, I couldn’t be more proud of you.”
Jesse Larson: “I Was Wrong” (Adam Levine)
Lasrson tackled “I Was Wrong,” a brand new track by Chris Stapleton. Larson who has favored introspective songs like this for most of in the competition. The coaches endorsed his decision with Levine observing, “My belief in Jesse is so real. I was the only one to turn around for this guy. I genuinely believe this guy is the best we’ve got. ”
Aliyah Moulden: “I Can Only Imagine” (Blake Shelton)
Shelton has saddled his teen talent with songs that were written long before she was born, including this 1990 tune by MercyMe that is the only gospel song to ever sell 2 million copies. Shelton revealed, ““I signed on to do this show as a coach in 2011, hoping that someday I would be able to meet and work with an artist like you, somebody who comes onto this show with talent and we can see a development and growth. ”
Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift card, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “The Voice” in our reality TV forum. And visit our home page for the latest in entertainment news.