After some performances that needed work last week, the top 10 remaining contestants on “The Voice” Season 7 were treated to some extra coaching from celebrity mentors during Monday's live performance episode. For the first time ever, guest mentors joined the teams helmed by celebrity judges Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams.
Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump came in to help Team Adam, while Christina Aguilera and Colbie Caillat gave a hand to Teams Gwen and Blake, respectively. As Entertainment Weekly notes, Team Pharrell lucked out the most with Diana Ross.
Additionally, acclaimed music producer Clive Davis stepped in to pepper his wisdom throughout all four team’s performers. With the wind of star power at their backs, the performers entered into Monday night’s live show with a confidence that only paid off for a few.
There’s good news and bad news for Williams. The bad news is, his team has dwindled down to just two performers. The good news is that those two performers might just have what it takes to go all the way. DaNica Shirey kicked things off for her team with a bold yet beautiful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” It’s worth noting that she performed a Houston classic in front of Davis, the man who discovered the late music star. Shirey, who is one of just three remaining female voices on the show, did her gender justice by not missing a single note, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Not to be outdone by his teammate, Luke Wade got his confidence back thanks to a little coaching from Diana Ross. Wade missed some lyrics last week, which made many believe that his head would be on the chopping block to go home. Ross explained to him that even she misses lyrics sometimes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. During Monday’s live show, Wade took to the stage again to perform Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness.” The song was good, but the performance was excellent, earning high marks from all the judges. Both performers exhibited great performances but weren’t necessarily the top dogs of the evening.
This team seems to be the front-runner among “The Voice” experts, with many believing the talent to win the competition lies here. Matt McAndrew kicked things off for Team Adam with a soulful rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You.” Stage presence seemed to be on each performer’s mind last night but none more so than McAndrew, who hugged a stranger in the crowd, spoke directly to a woman midsong and held someone else’s hand during his performance. Although it was a little awkward, he walked away with a decent performance overall.
Damien Lawson produced another great example of Team Adam’s strength with his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “You and I.” The real person to watch, however, was Chris Jamison. After coming off one of the best performances of the night last week with his rendition of Nick Jonas’ “Jealous,” all eyes were on him to pay off big, but it seems like he bit off a little more than he could chew. He performed Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ relatively new song “Uptown Funk.” Entertainment Weekly said the big production number may have overwhelmed him, but TV Line’s Michael Slezak noted that he had one of the best performances of the night yet again. So the reviews seem mixed.
What most people who watched last night’s live show can agree on is that the current contestant to beat is Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd. The country-leaning performer took on a reimagined version of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.”
“By the time the southern soulster’s voice opened up on the final chorus, it was like a shock paddle to the chest of what had been a telecast in desperate need of a pulse,” TV Line notes in its recap.
Meanwhile, Boyd’s teammate Reagan James didn’t fare as well by putting her spin on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” Although The Hollywood Reporter notes that Levine called it her best performance to date, Entertainment Weekly’s review called it the “Kidz Bop” version of an otherwise good song, with the 16-year-old singing during the song's rapping parts and editing some of the more suggestive lyrics.
Gwen’s team flew relatively low under the radar on Monday with performances ranging from ever so slightly above average and ever so slightly below. Anita Antoinette performed a reggae-flavored version of Passenger’s “Let Her Go.” It was the best performance of the evening from Team Gwen, and all the judges could tell that the singer was enjoying herself up on stage.
Taylor John Williams rubbed some funk on The Beatles’ “Come Together” that The Hollywood Reporter notes allowed him to show a bit more of himself and his vulnerability on stage. Still it ended up being the most middle-of-the-road performance of the evening.
Ranking dangerously low on the totem pole was last week’s bottom-three survivor Ryan Sill. He performed Muse’s “Starlight,” but Entertainment Weekly notes that he didn’t create a version of the song worth writing home about, and TV Line puts him in its selection for bottom three for this week.
To see who will actually be put in the bottom three or sent home, fans will have to tune in to tonight’s results show at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.