‘The Voice’ Top 8: Who is the best artist of Season 12?

On Monday’s episode of “The Voice” the remaining 10 artists coached by Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani performed. The goal for each was to make it into the top 10 on iTunes by Tuesday morning so that they could reap the benefit of a vote multiplier. Lauren Duski and Hunter Plake did just that. And there was double elimination on Tuesday’s episode, with  Levine losing both Mark Isaiah and Lilli Passero.

Who do you think was the best of the bunch on Monday? Vote in our poll at the bottom of this recap and be sure to sound off on your favorites (as well as those that you think should go) in our comments section.

Jesse Larson: “Jungle Love” (Adam Levine)
Lasrson tackled “Jungle Love,” the 1983 breakout hit for the funk band The Time. This upbeat song was a refreshing change-of-pace from Larson who has favored more introspective songs so far in the competition. The coaches endorsed his decision with Keys observing, “that was really incredible to see you just come out here” while Levine concurred, “You pulled off a song that is 100 percent reliant on attitude and sex appeal and funk.”

Aliyah Moulden: “Jealous” (Blake Shelton)
Shelton has saddled his teen talent with songs that were written long before she was born, including last week’s 1993 Reba McEntire track “Take It Back.” This week she finally got a contemporary tune: 2014’s “Jealous” by English electronic musician Labrinth. Moulden sang the song in honor of her late father and had Stefani raving, “Songs take you right to your heart, and you are living it in that moment.” Added Shelton admitted, “You got lost in the moment, and that’s all anybody can ever expect an artist to do, is to get up there and pour their heart out on the stage.”

Vanessa Ferguson: “Doo Wop (That Thing)” (Alicia Keys)
Ferguson delivered a stripped-down version of “Doo Wop (That Thing),” the 1998 debut single from Lauryn Hill that was her only No. 1 hit. She mesmerized with her soulful rendition. Levine observed, “We know Lauryn Hill is proud of you for that,” while Keys concluded, “I feel like now they know that there is no limit to you.”

Chris Blue: “24K Magic” (Alicia Keys)
Blue picked “24K Magic,” a 2016 Top 5 song by Bruno Mars. He delivered a powerful performance, full of passion and emotion. Shelton loved it and told him “I think you are going to be in the finale..” And his coach enthused, “You just showed me and all of America that you are unstoppable.”

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Lauren Duski: “Tell Me Why” (Blake Shelton)
Singing seventh as she has for the last two weeks running, Duski did herself proud with her version of Wynonna‘s’ “Tell Me Why,” a 1993 Top 5 country hit. Stefani enthused, “You just graduated to an uptempo song and you belted it out tonight.” And her coach was equally enthusiastic, dubbing her “the missing piece in country music right now.”

Hunter Plake: “Higher Love” (Gwen Stefani)
Plake delivered a low-key version of Steve Winwood‘s 1986 No. 1 hit “Higher Love” that won over the coaches, with Levine saying “that shows a lot of artistry; you are very connected to music.” And Stefani declared, “America, this is the real deal right here!”

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TSoul: “At This Moment” (Blake Shelton)
TSoul tackled “At This Moment,” a 1981 track from Billy Vera & The Beaters that became a hit five years later when it was featured on the TV show “Family Ties.” He did his best to make this song sound fresh and Keys praised his efforts: “Your voice has its own stamp on it, its own style with it. You come out here on this stage, and you give it 300,000 percent.” Shelton called this his “best performance so far” and thought it would get him into next week’s Top 8.

Brennley Brown: “Anyway” (Gwen Stefani)
Brown tackled “Anyway,” Martina McBride‘s 2006 signature song, that was the first of her hits that she co-wrote. 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 –“vocally, it was better than I ever imagined” — as did her coach who observed, “I think your voice has never shined brighter than it does today.”

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