‘The Voice’ season 23 semi-finals recap: Top 8 perform for America’s votes, but only 5 survive [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Monday night on “The Voice,” the power shifted for the first time this season from the four coaches (Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan) to the viewers at home. After each of the Top 8 artists performed live on the big stage in the semi-finals, America had the option to vote their favorites into the finale. Only the Top 5 artists survived the cut and advanced to the next round, and they were revealed by host Carson Daly at the end of the night.

Below, read our minute-by-minute “The Voice” recap of Season 23, Episode 15 to find out what happened Monday, May 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite artists on NBC’s long-running reality TV show, which coach you’re rooting for and who you think will ultimately join “The Voice” winners list for this 23rd season.

TEAM BLAKE: Grace West, Noivas

TEAM NIALL: Ryley Tate Wilson, Gina Miles

TEAM CHANCE: Sorelle, Ray Uriel

TEAM KELLY: Holly Brand, D.Smooth

SEE 16 country music stars that could replace Blake Shelton on ‘The Voice’ [PHOTOS]

Keep refreshing/reloading this “The Voice” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. – “Previously on ‘The Voice’!” In Episode 14, the Playoffs wrapped up with Team Niall losing Ross Clayton, Tasha Jessen and Michael B., and Team Kelly saying goodbye to Cait Martin, Neil Salsich and ALI. That left just eight artists still in the competition, two on each team. But enough about last week — it’s finally time for the live shows to start!

8:01 p.m. — Carson is on stage welcoming the four coaches. When he gets to Blake he says, “For only a few more nights” — aww, don’t make us cry already, Carson! He then explains how voting works. Remember, tonight you can only vote for ONE artist and the results will be revealed at the end of the episode.

8:03 p.m. — Team Niall’s Ryley Tate Wilson from Alabama is up first tonight. The 15-year-old is “so new to this,” Niall explains, adding that he feels “protective” of him because he knows what it was like being on a TV show at a young age. Niall calls him a “star in the making” during their preparation.

8:05 p.m. — “Vienna” by Billy Joel is Ryley’s song choice tonight and he’s adding an extra hurdle by playing the piano live on the big stage. I love the vibe of this rendition, it’s cool and slick while not being overly produced. Halfway through the performance, Ryley stands up from the piano and belts out the rest of the song like a pro. I can’t believe he’s only 15!

8:08 p.m. — Time for the coaches’ critiques. “Way to start the night,” smiles Kelly, adding that he’s “so talented.” Blake chimes in that he loves when Ryley was “sittin’ down at the piano.” He also jokes that he’s “haulin'” his ass to Vienna after he retires next week, but the others call him out for not having a passport. Coach Niall calls Ryley “off the charts” and urges America to get their votes in.

8:12 p.m. — Indiana soul singer Ray Uriel from Team Chance is the second person to perform. Ray reminds people that he was a “one-chair turn” back in the blind auditions, so he had to fight for his spot in the semi-finals. Chance calls his routine “fire” and urges him to direct the band when he gets to the live show. “There’s no Plan B. I’m here on faith and a dream,” notes Ray.

8:14 p.m. — “Can You Stand the Rain” by New Edition is Ray’s song choice. He starts the song in his falsetto and then begins delivering lyrics in his lower register. The weird laser lights in the background are sort of distracting, but Ray is showcasing the best parts of his voice with this performance.

8:18 p.m. — Carson calls Ray’s cover a “trip back in time” and Kelly readily notes, “I’m with you!” Blake is a “fan” because he’s a “sucker for anything 80s,” adding that Ray is a “killer.” Coach Chance is “extremely proud” of this performance, noting how his artist keeps getting more and more confident the further he goes in the competition.

8:24 p.m. — Mississippi country singer Holly Brand from Team Kelly calls being in the live shows “absolutely crazy.” She’s “nervous” this time around and feels a little more pressure to deliver the goods. “There are no male country singers left,” Kelly realizes during her mentoring session. She recommends that Holly does a “bare bones” production of her song in order to give the “best version” of herself without all the bells and whistles.

8:27 p.m. — “Rumor Has It” by Reba McEntire (aka the next “Voice” coach) is Holly’s song choice. Kelly’s advice is on point, as Holly completely dominates the big stage with an acoustic-sounding, slowed-down version of the country hit. Holly doesn’t seem like someone who’s auditioning for a reality TV show, she’s coming across as a confident superstar who’s already hit it big in the industry. Kelly jumps up to her feet when Holly belts out a high note at the end.

8:31 p.m. — Niall calls Holly’s performance “impeccable” and says he’s always been a “huge, huge fan” of hers. Chance readily admits he’s not prepared for live television, but manages to say she delivered “amazing stuff.” Kelly calls her artist “so gifted” and “such a competitor” and that Reba will be “so proud” to hear that rendition of her song.

8:36 p.m. — Texas soul/pop singer Noivas from Team Blake is the fourth contestant of the night. The artist is ready to finally take on a ballad in order to show America that he’s “ready” to win this show. Blake calls the Adele song “a challenge” and that he’s “swinging for the fence.” The coach instructs Noivas to not lose control when the song reaches its higher moments.

8:39 p.m. — Noivas has decided to perform “Skyfall” by Adele, dedicating it to his wife and kids. Right away he makes the song his own, changing some of the notes and elongating others. He’s decked out in all black tonight, complete with a black cowboy hat. Toward the end of the performance, he walks down the staircase and starts blowing the roof off of the theater, even losing his voice at one point (though he recovers quickly).

8:42 p.m. — Noivas earns “the first standing ovation of the night,” notices Carson. The applause lasts so long that Blake is the only coach who has time to speak. “Whatever he feels in that moment, happens in that moment,” Blake notes. “It’s always incredible. That’s why everybody loves you, dude.”

8:48 p.m. — Illinois pop vocalist Gina Miles is the fifth contestant of the night. The Team Niall artist “never thought” she would make it all the way to the semi-finals. Niall calls her his “buddy” and is so proud of her. “I’ve never seen a transition in such a short period of time,” he concedes. Niall “really hopes” Gina makes it through to the finals, pleading with America to vote for her.

8:51 p.m. — “All I Want” by Kodaline is Gina’s song choice tonight. Her tone is easily her most recognizable component, and all of the flowers on stage (and on her dress) create a light-hearted, folksy atmosphere for the performance. Importantly, Gina never loses her breath, even when she’s belting out all of those high notes in rapid succession.

8:54 p.m. — Chance calls Gina’s rendition “breathtaking” and “awesome,” adding that he’s “blown away.” Niall raves that she’s “strolling around that stage tonight like you own the place.” He then teases that if they make it to the final, they have “something incredible” planned for Gina’s last performance. Smart move to get people voting, Niall!

9:01 p.m. — Team Chance’s Sorelle, the sister pop trio from Ohio, is the sixth contestant(s) to take the stage. They call the experience of making it to the semi-finals “surreal” and reflect on their blind audition moment where they improvised “The Wiz.” The sisters are “down” to start out the performance by singing a capella, with Chance saying they are “an unbeatable force.”

9:04 p.m. — “Fallin'” by Alicia Keys is Sorelle’s song tonight. True to their word, each sister croons a bit of the song a capella, and then the band starts up later. The visual layout of this moment is striking, as each sister stands on a different position of a back-and-forth staircase. As the song continues, they begin making their way down the staircase, until they’re all standing side by side on the stage.

9:07 p.m. — “That was incredible!” Kelly tells Sorelle, and she also gives a shout-out to the background dancers on the staircase, comparing it all to a Las Vegas show. Chance is “blown away” by their “crazy” performance. He also highlights Sorelle’s pitch and choreography. “America, vote for these girls,” the coach declares.

9:12 p.m. — Carson introduces Reba and says “it’s official” that she will be sitting in Blake’s chair beginning in Season 24. “To be able to come in and form my team, I’m so looking forward to it,” she smiles. Blake asks her to get out of his chair because he still has a week left, and she jokingly fires back, “No!”

9:14 p.m. — Alabama artist D.Smooth from Team Kelly is the penultimate artist of the night. The coach raves that he’s “magical” in the way he chooses his songs and connects to them. “I don’t know how you do it,” she tells him. D.Smooth is hoping for a “down-to-earth” vibe to start out the song, complete with bongos. He is “absolutely ready” to win this show, he proclaims.

9:17 p.m. — “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran is D.Smooth’s song choice. Sure enough, the band gives us some bongos at the start of the performance as the artist sings from a seated position at the center of the stage. When he hits the chorus, D.Smooth stands up and starts singing to the live audience. This whole scene feels fully authentic, as if it’s something you’d see go viral at an awards show.

9:19 p.m. — And there you have it — another standing ovation from all four coaches. Blake urges viewers to “vote that guy into the finale,” even though he’s on a rival team. Big words indeed! Kelly still can’t believe that D.Smooth picked her as his coach all those months ago. “Everybody vote for D.Smooth!” she shouts at the end of her comments.

9:25 p.m. — The last artist to perform in the Top 8 is Grace West for Team Blake. “It’s weird to say” she’s in the semi-finals, Grace reveals. She then reflects on her blind audition when Blake’s advice made her come out of her shell. Grace calls this a “monumental moment” in her life and she wants to make Blake “proud” since she’s his final country artist ever.

9:29 p.m. — Tonight, Grace is singing “‘Til I Can Make It on My Own” by Tammy Wynette. She’s dressed head to toe in blue and stands atop a platform overlooking all of her white-wardrobed musicians. This song is a first for “The Voice” and Grace is doing it proper justice, making it look completely effortless. Seriously, how is she not famous already? The fact that producers saved Grace for last is surely good news for her chances later in the night, right?

9:33 p.m. — “This girl needs to be in the final,” Niall notes, adding that he’s been a fan of hers ever since the blind auditions. Blake says Grace gave her a gift by singing “‘Til I Can Make It on My Own” just like she did “in rehearsal.” He will be “stunned” if she is voted out later tonight, Blake notes. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

9:34 p.m. — Heads up: voting is open right now! Get a closer look at how to vote by clicking here.

9:38 p.m. — While people are busy voting at home, it’s time for some coaches’ live performances. Niall Horan is up first with his solo original song “Meltdown.” Next in line is Chance the Rapper performing “Same Drugs” alongside his former teammates, Jamar Langley, Manasseh Samone and Kala Banham.

9:51 p.m. — Real-time voting is over, so Carson brings out the Top 8 to announce the results. Note that they will be read out in “no particular order,” as usual.

9:53 p.m. — Our first finalist is … Grace West from Team Blake!

9:54 p.m. — The second finalist is … D.Smooth from Team Kelly!

9:55 p.m. — America’s third finalist is … Gina Miles from Team Niall!

9:58 p.m. — The fourth finalist is … Sorelle from Team Chance!

9:59 p.m. — And our fifth finalist is … Noivas from Team Blake!

10:00 p.m. — That means we officially say goodbye to Ryley Tate Wilson, Ray Uriel and Holly Brand. That’s a wrap for tonight! See you next week.

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