After many weeks of pre-recorded shows, “The Voice” finally offers up its first live show of 2018 on Monday. The Emmy-winning NBC reality TV program now has the Top 24 artists ready to compete for the championship. All of this season’s coaches — Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys and Adam Levine — have narrowed down their teams to six singers apiece. A whopping 12 singers will be eliminated by the end of this Wednesday’s show (three from each team) based on your votes at home.
Contributors John Benutty and Denton Davidson joined Gold Derby managing editor Chris Beachum recently to discuss all four teams, predicting which singers will advance to the Top 12 on April 23 and which ones will be eliminated on the three episodes this week. Watch our slugfests about Team Kelly, Team Adam, Team Alicia and Team Blake.
Enjoy our live updating blog below as every single artist performs on the episode for Monday, April 16:
8:00 p.m. – So the way it’s going down this week is unlike anything we’ve seen in previous seasons–tonight all 24 will perform and after a live vote the top performer from each of the four teams will advance to next week’s top 12. Then tomorrow in round 2, the remaining 20 artists will perform again for another chance to enter the next round. You can vote through the official app or via Twitter. First up tonight is Team Kelly!
8:04 p.m. – First up is Alexa Cappelli with “It Hurts So Bad.” She sounds great and is working the mic stand and the crowd like she’s singing in a small dark club. I’m loving the emotion coming through in her voice, but I’m not really getting as many big notes as I think she needs to come out on top on a night like tonight.
8:06 p.m. – With “You Don’t Even Know Who I Am” is Kaleb Lee right after Alexa finishes. Tonight he’s brought out the black cowboy hat and the guitar, going full-tilt country. Smart move! Definitely a solid vocal that hits the sentimental side and includes a couple big moments that could bring in the votes. That being said, maybe still a little too quiet.
8:09 p.m. – And the third performance of the night is Tish Haynes Keys with “Nothing Left for You.” Immediately you get the sense that Tish’s performance is on a whole other level than Kaleb and Alexa’s. She starts it off really quiet with her voice taking center stage, reserving the big notes for later in the song so that she can slowly build up to the money notes. There is raw emotion, raw passion and raw talent oozing out of every note. Incredible.
8:16 p.m. – Fourth up is Brynn Cartelli with “Unstoppable.” Brynn begins her performance on the keyboard, showing her artistry and maturity for being the youngest in the competition. This is an excellent song choice for her because it has a ton of huge notes and lets the depth of her voice really shine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her top the team tonight!
8:18 p.m. – Next is Dylan Hartigan with “Come Pick Me Up.” Whoa whoa whoa–I don’t think neither Denton nor I predicted Dylan to be one of the three to advance, but seconds into his performance I’m already convinced we underestimated him. He slowed it down this week and is doing something heartfelt and vulnerable while maintaining his natural sex appeal. He both looks and sounds great. If he doesn’t get through tonight I’m changing my predictions to expect him to make it through by the end of the week. I’m shocked!
8:20 p.m. – And last but certainly not least for Team Kelly is D.R. King with “Home.” D.R.’s song choice has the energy and soul that we should expect from him, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to resonate with the audience in tonight’s live vote situation. It never really broke out into an iconic moment that I was expecting from him.
8:22 p.m. – If I had to guess which Team Kelly artist will go through I’d put my support behind Dylan with Brynn as the runner-up.
8:26 p.m. – Now switching over to Team Adam. First to sing from this group is Drew Cole with “Man in the Mirror.” This is… one of my favorite songs of all time. I’m stunned that he not only chose to sing it, but that he stripped it down and kept it cool by starting the performance from behind the mic stand. Though I think he got lost in the song in the choruses he sounded really good during the verses. Not enough to win tonight, but definitely a step in an interesting direction.
8:32 p.m. – Next up is Mia Boostrom with “Baby I Love You,” a big soul song that matches her vocal ability. It’s clear that Mia wanted to do something fun tonight that leaned in the rock-soul direction and she knocked it out of the park in that regard. Her vocal is on point and the energy is there, but not sure the song is going to grab people and pull them in to vote for her over her teammates.
8:34 p.m. – Compare Mia’s song choice to Jackie Verna who goes with Taylor Swift‘s “Tim McGraw,” a much more popular choice that her country audience will know and love. Jackie gives a solid performance of one of Taylor’s bigger ballads, but overall it reads a little too twee for my taste. She’s a lovely singer and could very well challenge for tonight’s win based on song choice alone.
8:40 p.m. – Rayshun Lamarr chose “Overjoyed” to sing tonight. I love that he picked a classic song and especially one that allowed the higher register of his voice to come out. But that being said it kind of felt like a karaoke performance rather than anything that shows what kind of artist he’s going to be for himself.
8:43 p.m. – And fifth up is Sharane Calister with “Never Enough.” Sharane made a really smart choice to go full ballad and give a gorgeous performance standing in the same spot the entire time and letting her voice soar through the room. It was a little shaky at times, but that doesn’t matter when you deliver a powerhouse vocal that gets all the coaches on their feet!
8:45 p.m. – Closing it out for Team Adam with “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” is Reid Umstattd. And this is how you choose a song for a live vote performance! You don’t even have to be a U2 fan to recognize the song and you certainly don’t have to be one to like listening to people sing it. It’s a huge rock song that conveys a vibe while also allowing Reid to show off his vocal chops. I think he might have pulled off the win tonight with that performance.
8:48 p.m. – Team Kelly comes back out on to the stage to find out the results of their live vote! But first Kelly tells her team that she’s excited about how different they all are and is proud of each of them. The artist that polled the highest in the live vote is… Brynn Cartelli!
8:54 p.m. – Switching gears, it’s now time for Team Blake as voting closes for Team Adam. We begin with Austin Giorgio singing “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head.” Austin’s biggest asset is that he’s the only singer in the entire competition that does anything like he does. And what he does, tonight included, is perfect. He has incredible on stage charisma like all jazz singers should and he has the voice to back it up. If there’s one thing I can say about this performance though is that it lacks the joy that I would want to see from him on a song like this.
8:59 p.m. – Following Austin is Pryor Baird with “I Was Wrong.” Very smart choice here–an emotionally-drive Chris Stapleton song that provides Pryor the chance to be on stage with his guitar is such a perfect choice. That’s a winning performance from start to finish.
9:06 p.m. – Third up is Kyla Jade with “How Great Thou Art.” Stunning. I really have no words! I’m not sure how many votes a pure gospel song like this can bring in, but if you judges by vocal talent alone then Kyla is at the top of your list. She also got pretty emotional which is really great to see from any artist on any track.
9:08 p.m. – With “Finesse” is Gary Edwards. This is the most contemporary song we’ve heard so far tonight so that could bring in a lot of votes just based on recognition alone. It’s also a good choice because it shows what kind of artist we can expect him to be after the show. But (there’s always a but!) tonight really is going to come down to the big vocal performances and something this up beat just won’t compel enough people to vote for him.
9:14 p.m. – Spensha Baker is up next with “I Still Believe in You.” This is a mature and delicate performance and because it’s a pure country song I think it’ll really resonate with a wide audience. It also has the big moment that I keep saying it takes to win an instant vote. Poor Kyla, Spensha just surpassed her!
9:17 p.m. – And last for Team Adam is Wilkes with “Brother.” Like Reid for Team Adam, this is a big rock song with a chorus that allows the voice to soar, but unlike Reid’s choice this is much less known so he’s relying on his vocal alone with no assist from song recognition. But Wilkes is delivering a passionate and intense performance that could earn him a lot of good will for the next two nights.
9:26 p.m. – The final team to perform is Team Alicia, beginning with Johnny Bliss singing “America America.” An interesting choice for Johnny to sing this kind of classic Spanish-language film–it’s certainly a personal choice that means a ton to him, but I’m not sure it’s going to resonate with the audience he needs to convince to vote for him tonight.
9:31 p.m. – Next is Kelsea Johnson with “You Know I’m No Good,” the Amy Winehouse hit. Kelsea has a big voice, as does Amy, so this is an example of great song selection. I get total Kali Uchis vibes from Kelsea right now so I’m loving it. She definitely made a familiar song her own so that could work in her favor.
9:37 p.m. – Next is “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore” by Terrence Cunningham. This is a Prince song, but Alicia also sang it on her debut album and it’s one of my faves! Once again Terrence is on the keys and delivering a soulful and magical performance that shows off his super high register. There is no one in the competition with the raw, uninhibited talent of Terrence. Denton and I both think he’s one of the frontrunners to win and with this performance, I’m not sure anyone on Alicia’s strong team can beat him tonight for the most votes.
9:40 p.m. – And now, with “Never Tear Us Apart” is Jackie Foster. From the very first, deep and rich note Jackie comes out swinging! What a song choice… just wow. Was I selling Jackie short all this time?! This is sultry, soulful and immaculately sung. She is really digging deep with this performance! It’s a shame that I think Terrence is an undeniable frontrunner on this team because otherwise I think we just saw one of the best performances of the entire night!
9:47 p.m. – Christiana Danielle is next with “Hey Ya!” by OutKast. Whoa. Wait. This. Is. Iconic. She has slowed down a huge, upbeat hit song and has completely made it her own. Who would have ever imagined this could be performed like this? If any voters wanted something completely out of left field then this is their jam! Does Terrence actually have some competition? Can we just send Alicia’s entire team through to the top 12 right now? Wow.
9:49 p.m. – Closing out the show with “Some Kind of Wonderful” is Britton Buchanan. Just like Brynn, Britton is really young, but performs well beyond his years. Tonight is no different from the high level of performance we’ve come to expect from him. I like him with the guitar and with the edge he has on display here. I honestly don’t even know what is going to happen with Team Alicia anymore. They had four extraordinary performances!
9:52 p.m. – The results for Team Blake are in and Blake tells them he’s surprised how well they performed tonight, exceeding his already high expectations. Out of the six, the artist advancing to the top 12 is… Kyla Jade! I was wrong! Her big vocal gave her the lead. Way to go, Kyla!
9:58 p.m. – And now the results for Team Alicia just as voting closes following their performances. Alicia calls her team spectacular and special, but adds that they all have a beauty that comes from inside. The fourth artist joining the top 12 is… Britton Buchanan!
10:00 p.m. – That means Britton is the only guy in the top 12 so far, joining Kyle, Sharane and Brynn from the other three teams. Tomorrow the remaining 20 will perform again in round 2 for another chance to break through to next week’s top 12.
Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs on NBC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and a $100 Amazon gift card. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.