20 singers just sang their hearts out on 'The Voice': Now go vote



The competition has changed. Pre-taped shows are over, and what that means is more power for the people (you, viewers) and more outfit changes for the coaches. The "Live Playoffs" have begun.
This week, we are hoping one team doesn't outshine the others due to The Voice equation, where only three singers per team can advance this round, even if there are more deserving singers on one team than another. This structure ofThe Voice is what makes it different from shows like American Idol and it is just part of the game.
The first night of live performances was devoted to Adam's and Blake's teams, while the next night featured Gwen's and Pharrell's. Old versus new. One friendship versus another. All great singers, but only 12 will advance.

Let's see how the singers compared:

Team Adam

Best performers: Matt McAndrew, Damien
Better than average: Mia Pfirrman, Chris Jamison (bad song choice, great singer)
Just average: Taylor Phelan
Matt McAndrew exudes quirk. He's skinny, has adorable hair and horn-rimmed frames — not to mention, he dedicated his performance to his mother (aww). Regardless of the cute-quality, Matt is an extremely talented contender. His rendition of The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," was spot-on. It sounded true to the original and also let his style shine through. And that song always brings back good memories, like the last scene in Love Actually. So, basically, great song choice.

Damien picked Sam Smith's "I'm Not the Only One," and blew it out of the water. By far, Damien was the best singer on Adam's team to perform on night one. Let's remember that this guy is a TSA agent. Wow. Not only does he truly connects with lyrics, but he's bold enough to cover a Sam Smith song and do it well. All the coaches complimented Damien's scale and soulful tone.

Team Blake

Best performer: Craig Wayne Boyd
Better than average: Jessie Pitts, Reagan James
Just average: James David Carter, Taylor Brashears
Now, who would have thunk that the best performer from Blake's team would be a country singer? Well, probably everyone. Craig Wayne Boyd was clearly the best performer from Blake's team, singing Grand Funk Railroad's "Some Kind of Wonderful." It was fun, well executed and fresh. Craig Wayne Boyd knows how to work the crowd, too. There's something very rock n' roll about him.

Jessie Pitts is one of those unique voices you'll recognize immediately when you hear it. There's nothing too outstanding about her range or capabilities, but she's still captivating. This week she sang Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero,” and she tried to make it her own. Not sure how long her airy, Ellie Goulding-esque voice will get her in the competition, but for now she will probably remain safe.

Team Gwen

Best performer: Bryana Salaz, Taylor John Williams
Better than average: Anita Antoinette (great performance, but not enough vocal range)
Just average: Ryan Sill, Ricky Manning
Bryana Salaz sang "Amnesia" by 5 Seconds of Summer and reminded us of her vocal prowess. There's no denying this girl has talent, and she's only 16 years old. Bryana is one of the singers on the show who is growing every day, and she's someone who might prove to be a large threat to the other performers.

Taylor John Williams' performance was great not only because he's a talented singer, but because he took a risk with the song's arrangement. He proved his artistry, and that counts for something on this show. Performing a slowed down version of Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle with You," Taylor set himself apart from his competitors. Pharrell points out that he has a similar tone to that of Terence Trent D'Arby, which essentially is his way of referencing Taylor's simple yet gravelly tone. Blake also made some comment about the song reminding him of an underwear commercial, but we'll try to move past that bizarre remark.

Team Pharrell

Best performers: Elyjuh Rene, Luke Wade, Sugar Joans
Better than average: Jean Kelly
Just average: DaNica Shirey
The three frontrunners on Pharrell's team were pretty clear-cut after Tuesday's show. First was Elyjuh Rene, who — a little unexpectedly — wowed the coaches with his impeccable cover of "Latch" by Disclosure (featuring Sam Smith). This may have been the best performance of the week. Not only does Elyjuh own the stage, but he sings so freely and deeply that the audience is instantly enamored. And he can hit the high notes with ease — he's getting America's votes for sure.

Luke Wade has been a favorite of the coaches and fans from day one, and this round proved no different. He went with Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On," and he honestly didn't have to do much to add some soulful flavor to the song. His voice is naturally interesting and Luke knows how to make the most of it.

Sugar Joans is a force to be reckoned with. She threw herself into her performance of Dionne Warwick's "I Say a Little Prayer." We know Sugar is talented because she has the ability to growl while singing, yet still sound good while doing so — it's that kind of talent. There's no doubt she's a powerhouse, and the coaches seemed to enjoy her performance. Blake commented that it was the best of the night.

Time to vote

At the end of each episode Carson Daly introduced the "current standings," a real-time display of America's votes and which singers were in the lead. While this is an interesting way to integrate the live aspect of the show, it isn't necessarily giving the most genuine representation of popularity. Not everyone watches live, and not everyone votes right away. We get it, but showing these standings could impact how DVR-watching viewers vote.
Regardless, voting closes Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. EST. So go vote!




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