It’s Monday, November 20, so “The Voice” live playoffs have finally arrived! Now that we’ve all seen the contenders perform several times during the blind auditions, battles, knockouts, and first playoff round, which artist is truly out front to win the Season 13 championship? We’re live blogging each episode of this season and have our moment-by-moment analysis for this first live program below. Give your own thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
Over the past few days, we’ve published individual spotlight articles for each of the Top 12 singers remaining on this season (click on any name for all the details):
8:00 p.m. – It is time to CAST YOUR VOTE! We have finally reached the live shows. Time to rip the power from the tightly clenched fists of those know-it-all coaches and place it back in the hands of the viewers at home. Fans can vote for their favorite performers using the official website, “The Voice” Facebook page, “The Voice” app or purchasing your favorite artist’s songs on iTunes. Tonight the top 12 will perform live and one will be eliminated on Tuesday night’s episode. Let’s get started!
8:06 p.m. – Team Miley’s North Carolina powerhouse Brooke Simpson has the honor of opening the show. She will be performing Kesha’s current hit “Praying.” Brooke is dedicating her performance to America. This is a great song choice for Brooke, it should allow her voice to soar and she’s more than capable of nailing this.
8:09 p.m. – I loved that the opening of the song showcased Brooke’s lower register. That is a weakness for a lot of singers but it was no problem for her. But she quickly escalated to those powerful belts we have come to know her for. She is pouring her heart into this performance and her passion and sincerity is palpable. Brooke has been one of the season’s most memorable artists and any concern she would falter at the live shows can officially be sqaushed. Great performance! All the coaches except Adam were on their feet.
8:10 p.m. – Jennifer and Miley both agree Brooke is what this show is all about. To quote Miley, “It’s too early to say you stole the show, but I think you might have.”
8:15 p.m. – Team Blake’s classic country singer from Nashville, Red Marlow is up next. Red will be taking on “The Church on Cumberland Road” by Shenandoah. His performance will be dedicated to his father and allow him to continue showing why he is the purest country artist of the season.
8:18 p.m. – Red is playing guitar on the stage and singing as if he’s in a jam session at the local pub. His voice is pure consistency although I’m not sure if this is a “moment” for him. It shows a fun side and he’s relaxed on stage, but this isn’t one of those epic performances viewers will remember weeks from now. I think he catered to his fan base though.
8:20 p.m. – Adam thought Red’s performance was awesome. More importantly, it was authentic and that means everything. Blake said this was the first time we’ve seen the performance side of Red and even went as far as to say that Red was “sexy.” He made a lot of country music fans out there happy.
8:27 p.m. – Team Jennifer’s 15-year old pop artist from Kentucky, Shi’Ann Jones, has the tremendous task of singing Mariah Carey’s classic hit, “Vision of Love.” She is dedicating her performance to Jennifer because she has been with her since the blinds and brought her out of her shell. I’m excited for this performance because the pressure is on. This is make or break for Shi’Ann to prove she has what it takes to be a contender.
8:30 p.m. – Right off the top I’m loving the tone of Shi’Ann’s voice. She isn’t over-doing the adlibs and looks poised on stage. She is taking her time to build the song and nailed the chorus. WOW! This is by far her best performance of the season, she even slipped in a whistle note that not even her coach can hit. And that run at the end! Shi’Ann just catapulted herself in this competition. Jennifer and Blake are on their feet. This just passed Brooke for my favorite of the night so far.
8:31 p.m. – Blake said he was super jealous Shi’Ann is not on his team and that she picked the perfect time to become the highlight of this show. Jennifer can see herself in Shi’Ann and believes in the purpose behind Shi’Ann’s voice.
8:38 p.m. – Team Adam’s Iowa soul singer, Jon Mero, will sing “Why I Love You” by Major. Jon is dedicating his performance to his home town of Des Moines and his church. I have never heard of this song before, but Adam said it’s a beast. Jon rose in the competition after the playoffs, let’s see if he can keep up the momentum!
8:40 p.m. – Jon is beginning softly and really showing off his falsetto. It’s pretty, but I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen. I don’t like that he isn’t showing any power, he’s singing all the high notes in falsetto. In fact, I think this is his worst performance to date. That, combined with the fact that this song is unknown to so many viewers will definitely hurt him. Miley and Adam are both on their feet, but I thought that was a mess.
8:42 p.m. – Miley said Jon stepped up the game and chose the perfect song. Jennifer was prepared to throw a shoe. Adam said Jon is not just technically amazing, but he modernizes classics. Wow! I can’t believe how much I disagree with the coaches on this performance. Are they right? Or am I? Did we watch the same performance?
8:49 p.m. – Team Miley’s South Carolina singer, Ashland Craft, is up next. Her and Miley struggled to choose the right song, but settled on “Delta Dawn” by Tanya Tucker. She is dedicating her performance to the most supportive people in her life, her parents.
8:51 p.m. – Ashland’s gritty voice sits nicely with this song and she isn’t even a bit shy on stage. She began strumming the guitar before putting it down and working the audience. For me this performance is just okay. It wasn’t bad by any means, but I’ll probably completely forget about it in about 5 minutes.
8:52 p.m. – Jennifer is proud of Ashland for finding her confidence and owning the stage. Miley said she showed star power. I think Ashland should make sure she’s ready to compete for tomorrow night’s Twitter save.
8:57 p.m. – Team Adam’s Nashville country singer, Adam Cunningham, will be singing a surprising song “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins. That’s a cool choice, but if I were Cunningham, I would be seriously concerned that his coach is alienating his country fan base that he needs to win the show. This is the second week in a row that he is singing a pop/rock song. He won’t win if this continues. Nonetheless he is dedicating this performance to his family.
9:00 p.m. – Something about the beginning of this performance seemed off. Adam looked uncomfortable and I’m not sure if he couldn’t hear the music or was having some other issue. He eventually settled in and his voice sounds great as usual, but I don’t think he’s comfortable with this song. He’s a pro and he delivered the goods, but I don’t think this will inspire any country fans to vote for him. So who is he aiming to please? He’s not going to come out on top if he tries to compete with the season’s best balladeers.
9:02 p.m. – Blake pointed out the issues at the beginning of the performance, but applauded him for recovering. Adam said “he got ’em” regardless of the early falter.
9:04 p.m. – Blake’s indie pop star, Chloe Kohanski, will be singing “Thank You” by Dido for her live performance and dedicating it to her boyfriend. These sad, depressing songs are right in her wheelhouse and I mean that as a compliment. Her performance of “Landslide” was the highest charting Knockout performance on iTunes in the history of “The Voice.” Can she keep it up?
9:06 p.m. – Chloe sounds so similar to Miley to me that it’s distracting. I think this performance is totally boring and I’m starting to wonder if “Landslide” was just an enigma. She has the presence of a star, but her voice isn’t going anywhere. All of the judges are on their feet, but I didn’t get it.
9:08 p.m. – Blake said he has been sitting in his seat for 13 seasons and he has never heard a more well-rounded voice than hers. What is he talking about? I think that’s the most ridiculous thing Blake has ever said. This performance from Chloe wouldn’t even rank among the top 50 performances I’ve heard on this series.
9:14 p.m. – Team Jennifer’s Baltimore soul singer, Davon Fleming, is next taking on “Love on Top” by Beyonce’. He has dedicated the performance to the city of Baltimore. I’m concerned about this song choice because I don’t want him to become known as the diva impersonator of Season 13. There will be a segment of viewers who love that approach, but putting himself in that box will not get him to the end.
9:17 p.m. – Davon’s voice is so smooth. The jazzy intro was sweet and I think he may have the richest voice in the competition. He’s having fun, but I just don’t see a star on stage. As the song moves forward I feel like he is becoming lost and his voice is all over the map. All the coaches but Blake jumped to their feet. I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone because the coaches are loving tonight way more than I am. I thought that was totally sub-par for Davon.
9:18 p.m. – J-Hud threw her shoe at Davon and it got lost in the orchestra pit. That’s what she gets for being dead wrong about this performance. She needs to hold onto her shoes until someone really blows her away. Adam was overly impressed by the performance as well. I expect more from Davon and that was a terrible song choice from his coach.
9:25 p.m. – Team Adam’s high school indie artist, Addison Agen, will be dedicating her next performance of “She Used to Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles to her mother. The singer-songwriter vibe is the perfect direction for her so I can’t complain about the song choice.
9:27 p.m. – Addison’s voice is so recognizable that as soon as she opened her mouth I finally felt like I was seeing a star tonight. She looks mature with her hair slicked back and wearing a red pants suit. The heartache in her voice is something that can’t be taught. She is SELLING this! Finally another performance worth applauding. I think Adam was the only one who stood up because the coaches are all out of their minds tonight.
9:29 p.m. – Miley praised Addison’s ability to remain so calm and confident at such a young age. Adam said she is a pillar of class, dignity and soulfulness that every young person can aspire to. He added that she is one of the most special singers in the world. Ok, don’t oversell it Adam. But I agree that she was great tonight.
9:36 p.m. – Team Blake’s L.A. country singer, Keisha Renee, is singing Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Yes! I am ready for this. This is a soul song she can give a country vibe with some fiddles and banjos. Keisha is one of the standouts this season and I’m ready for her to nail this.
9:38 p.m. – This song lends itself beautifully to country music with this new arrangement. Keisha is keeping it simple with just a pair of guitar players behind her. I love her voice and she pours soul into a song without even trying. She’s a natural star and nothing is forced or contrived. Blake is all smiles in the audience and Jennifer looks like she’s about to hyperventilate. Keisha finished off by pulling the mic off the stand and tearing into the song and inspiring all four coaches to jump to their feet. I think I have a new favorite.
9:40 p.m. – Jennifer said Keisha can’t sing a wrong note and her voice is like silk. Blake said it was one of the best performances he’s ever seen on that stage and he is so excited to be on this journey with her. Way to go Keisha!
9:46 p.m. – Team Jennifer’s Noah Mac is next with his rendition of “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay. After rising to the top of the competition in the Playoffs, can Noah continue his ascension? He arranged and produced the background track and that is one of the things I appreciate most about him. He continuously tries to a different side of himself and he’s dedicating his performance to every aspiring singer trying to make it.
9:49 p.m. – Noah sounds great and he’s really coming into his own as a performer. He’s playing the guitar and singing with confidence while showing different textures of his voice. His naturally low timbre and falsetto each on display. He is a star and there’s something magnetic about him and it doesn’t matter that he’s not the season’s top vocalist. He knows his lane and excels within it.
9:50 p.m. – Adam said Noah looks like someone from the 1950’s that was transported into the future and he loves it. Jennifer said Noah is a star. He is so unique and coach J-Hud is having premonitions of him at every awards show in the future.
9:56 p.m. – Closing out the show is Team Miley’s Janice Freeman. I expect her to throw down because the producers know to strategically place the best potential performance at the end of the show. She’s singing “The Story” by Brandi Carlile. I’m excited to see her venture back into the rock edge she began the series with. She’s dedicating the performance to her husband, who taught her what love really is.
9:58 p.m. – Janice’s voice is so big and rich even when she sings softly. The shaved head, hoop earrings and dress are all on point! When she got to the chorus of the song she unleashed a passionate scream that instantly gave me goosebumps. This woman is a force of nature! I don’t know if everyone gave this woman a chance after her blind audition, but she has proven to be one of the brightest lights of the season. Best performance of the night! All coaches on their feet.
9:59 p.m. – Blake threw his cowboy boot lol. J-Hud really started a trend this season. Miley is shaken and in tears and is so proud of Janice. It was Miley’s favorite performance of the night and I concur.
10:00 p.m. – What a night! I think my favorites were 1. Janice; 2. Keisha; 3. Shi’Ann; 4. Brooke; 5. Noah. It was ladies night on “The Voice!”
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