As “The Voice” finally reached the point where the audience decides who stays and goes, the coaches began their strategizing of how to get votes for their team.
Basically, they used the two strategies all pop music artists use: Do something great or do something you think a lot of people will like. Doing something great doesn’t always guarantee success. But trying to do something because you think people will like it and then coming up short? You're in a whole lot of trouble..
Toward the end of the show, Carson Daly revealed another twist -- “The Instant Save” -- that will apparently be in play Tuesday night and involves voting somehow. Not sure how anything can be “instant” when the whole country doesn’t watch the show at the same time, but we’ll find out. Theoretically, two singers will be cut tonight.
This is how last night shook out:
CAROLINE PENNELL, “Wake Me Up”: Her breathy, sweet version of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” was adorable as usual. The judges and her coach Cee Lo praised her choice of something up-tempo, but it actually showed that there is a limit to how far cuteness can carry you.
JOSH LOGAN, “Man in the Mirror”: He lost the rhythm on his way to the chorus, but Logan was far more likable this week than he was last week. His delivery was straightforward, which let him “showcase soul, showcase heart,” according to coach Christina.
JAMES WOLPERT, “Mr. Brightside”: Coach Adam did him no favors giving him The Killers song, though Levine said the song let him become “a rock star before our eyes.” He was a little too actor-like in his performance, but was still likable.
AUSTIN JENCKES, “It’s a Great Day To Be Alive”: Coach Blake is pushing him toward country, which should be a good move to get, as Shelton put it, “a whole lot of votes.” However, it was so blatant a move so early in the competition that it may actually turn a lot of people off. He did a good job with the Travis Tritt song, but was clunky in places. When Shelton said people say they want to have a beer with Austin, Cee Lo tactfully asked, “Is that entirely true?” People at home were probably asking the same thing. Shelton may have put one of his singers in danger.
JACQUI LEE, “Love Is Blindness”: Oh, she’s a player now! Jacqui sang the heck out of the U2 song, howling and stunting incredibly well to convey a pain that the young Jersey girl hopefully hasn’t felt yet. Cee Lo said he wanted to download this version to play “the next time I go horseback riding.”
RAY BOUDREAUX, “All of Me”: The way Boudreaux handled the John Legend song was a major improvement over last week, as he showed off his softer side and pulled out vocals that will “ruin women’s lives.” However, Christina called him out for some pitchiness and missed notes.
KAT ROBICHAUD, “Sail”: She may be the most improved for the week. Rocking out over AWOLNation’s hit, she stomped around, filled with what Cee Lo calls “Kattitude.” In other words, she did well by being herself.
JONNY GRAY, “Another Day in Paradise”: He struggled a bit with the Phil Collins song. Yeah, let’s let that sink in. Even though he’s likable and a veteran performing on Veterans Day, he’s going to have a tough time sticking around.
TESSANNE CHIN, “My Kind of Love”: Adam Levine says she has a “Grammy-winning kind of voice,” and she certainly proved it with her take on the Emeli Sande song. She was “emotional and flawless,” as Levine said, which captures what she does best.
MATTHEW SCHULER, “Hallelujah”: It was kind of funny to hear how Matthew planned to tone it down with “Hallelujah,” but he actually did. It was a beautiful rendition of the Leonard Cohen classic, as Schuler held back nicely until the very end. It was the best of a night of good performances.
COLE VOSBURY, “Adorn”: This was a brilliant choice by Coach Blake, letting Cole shine on a stripped-down version of the Miguel smash. His version landed a standing ovation from the coaches, as he brought a ‘70s groove to a very modern R&B track.
WILL CHAMPLIN, “Demons”: He did a good job with the Imagine Dragons song, which is tough to sing. However, what makes the original great is the pain Dan Reynolds conveys (He has DEMONS!) and Champlin didn’t quite convey enough of that possession in his performance.
THE POWER RANKINGS
1. Matthew Schuler
2. Jacqui Lee
3. Cole Vosbury
4. Tessanne Chin
5. James Wolpert
6. Will Champlin
7. Caroline Pennell
8. Kat Robichaud
9. Ray Boudreaux
10. Austin Jenckes
11. Josh Logan
12. Jonny Gray
SHOULD BE CUT: Jonny, Josh
WILL BE CUT: Jonny, Josh
ACTUALLY CUT: Jonny, Josh (Kat was saved by the audience)