Coach Pharrell Williams showcased his full team on the second live show of “The Voice” ninth season on Tuesday. When allowed to bring back one eliminated contestant, Williams chose Celeste Betton to compete. Now it is up to the public to vote two of his six team members into next week’s show, and Williams will then choose one more to remain. That means three of his six artists will be eliminated on Wednesday night’s results show.
Who was best for Team Pharrell on Tuesday evening? Here are my rankings of his six contenders.
1. Mark Hood, “What Do You Mean?”
A natural performer, Hood could barely contain his energy on stage. He started out the song playing piano before moving into his comfort zone, working the crowd. His vocals definitely leave something to be desired, but that’s the case with many music stars, and he more than makes up for it with charisma and charm. The audience reaction was enough to prove he was among the favorites of the night, and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t advance.
2. Madi Davis, “Songbird”
Each season there is a contestant who goes relatively unnoticed in early rounds and then explodes when they get to the live performances. This season that is Davis, who breezed through a beautiful rendition of a Fleetwood Mac classic, showing unique artistry and great ability to tell a story through song.
3. Darius Scott, “Love Lockdown”
Taking a risky approach, Scott delivered an original take on a Kanye West track he arranged himself, and it paid off. Although his voice isn’t the strongest in the competition, his musical intelligence is unparalleled in how he is able to rearrange a song and choose unexpected notes that make each performance unique.
4. Celeste Betton, “Something in the Water”
Betton was chosen to return after a devastating elimination that followed what many considered the best battle of the season. She came back fighting, delivering huge vocals and inflecting gospel flares into an inspirational country tune. The big power notes weren’t enough to distract me from the fact that her voice was uneven and out of key at various other times. But with a brilliant song choice and emotional comeback, she may just be here to stay.
5. Evan McKeel, “Overjoyed”
McKeel impressed with an impromptu performance of this song in the blind auditions, but the magic wasn’t quite there this time. It started a little shaky, but he was able to bring it home with strong vocals at the end. Although likable, his stage presence is somewhat awkward, and he may be vulnerable in the public vote.
6. Riley Biederer, “Should’ve Been Us”
With a fun, modern performance, Biederer threw in as many vocal tricks as she could to prove she deserved to be in the competition after getting through on two steals. She did not disappoint, coming across as a confident singer ready to advance. That being said, it was not the smartest song choice. Picking a current song and singing the same arrangement can backfire, especially if your vocals aren’t superior to the original artist, as was the case here.
Click one of these gold links for our analysis on Monday for coaches Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine. In the meantime, what are your thoughts about our rankings for Team Pharrell? Who tops your own list? Comment below or sound off on “The Voice” every week in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.
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Photo courtesy of NBC.