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‘The Voice’ Top 10 artists fight to advance


Monday, November 30, 2015, 10:57 PM

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Pictured: (l-r) Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Blake Shelton.

Gwen Stefani may have lost her husband to the Nanny, but she hasn’t lost her voice yet.

In an emotionally charged performance of her new hit single “Used to Love You,” Gwen was honest about the marital struggles she has been working to overcome in recent weeks.

“I don’t know why I used to love you,” she sang with raw passion. Ironically her flowing white outfit resembled a wedding dress, but unless Blake plans on moving quickly, she won’t be walking down the aisle anytime soon.

Her new country boyfriend did not hesitate to heap praises on Gwen via Twitter, though. “Wow….Gwen Stefani…Such an amazing performance. #respect,” he said,

Gwen’s only mistake was no fault of her own. She had to follow up another stirring performance by powerhouse Jordan Smith, which was no easy task for her or anyone.

Read on to see how Jordan and the rest of the Top-10 fared in their fight to advance.

Jeffery Austin – “Jealous” by Labyrinth

Though he went with a lesser-known song, Jeffery ultimately made the right choice.

Blake said it’s always an honor to hear when the right artist meets the right song, and Jeffery proved an adept example of that with this mesmerizing performance.

It was a slow number, allowing the Team Gwen frontrunner to move through it with a poise he has not shown before. A normally raucous live audience was stunned into silence by his hypnotic rhythm.

To think, at this point, that Jeffery was once just a one-chair turn remains baffling.

Emily Ann Roberts – “She’s Got You” by Patsy Cline

Blake’s country sweetheart never does anything too over the top, but every performance she gives is remarkably flawless.

It’s her charmed innocence that likely rings true with voters, but what’s most impressive about Emily Ann is actually the old soul she produces onstage.

Her coach was heeing and hawing afterwards, but this time for good reason. You have to hand it to Blake – he’s harnessing her popularity with a demographic he knows intimately, and Emily Ann continues to take advantage of it.

Braiden Sunshine – “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons

For the first time, Braiden sang something that was written in his lifetime.

There’s no denying it’s a difficult song that requires a particularly upbeat performance from start to finish, and at the same time features a host of repeated notes.

Taking on this modern hit may have been detrimental to the image young Sunshine has promoted throughout, but Adam said it “took balls” to do the song.

That led to an unsubtle dig at Blake’s manhood, and in front of his new girlfriend, no less.

If voters are still smitten by this rosy-cheeked 15-year-old, he may get one more shot.

Shelby Brown – “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill

In a poignant tribute to her late grandfather, Shelby enjoyed a breakout performance.

Because she’s the only country artist on Team Adam, her main adversary in these live shows has been Emily Ann. Shelby has up to this point been largely overshadowed by her female country counterpart, but that shouldn’t be the case anymore.

With powerful vocals that Emily Ann cannot boast, Shelby’s connection to the song showed through.

Adam rewarded her with a stuffed giraffe after last week’s performance, but really it was this number that was truly deserved of spoils. Maybe Adam has something else up his sleeve.

Korin Bukowski – “Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez

It’s been a roller coaster ride for Korin. Will she be stuck in the dungeons of the bottom two for the third straight time come tomorrow night?

Probably because she wanted to effectively push those disappointments far into her past, Korin did everything she could to conjure up a new persona. Her hair was dyed a different color and she wore a red pantsuit to match the fiery, sassy personality she brought to the stage.

She has displayed better vocals before, though, so her future depends on whether or not voters liked the new Korin. It would be tough to watch her go through the same emotional strain she has experienced the past two weeks again Tuesday night, but that scenario is not far outside the realm of possibility.

Amy Vachal – “Bye, Bye, Bye” by N’Sync

You’ve never heard your favorite boy band quite like this before.

Amy may never be inducted as the sixth member of N’Sync like she wished as a young girl, but she certainly made a case for herself Monday night.

Her musical dexterity has been a highlight for this season of “The Voice,” because it proves that covers can breed creativity – this jazzy version of “Bye, Bye, Bye” was a clear example.

The only fear for Amy is that voters may tire of the way she turns classic songs on their head, but I can’t see that happening in the very near future.

Adam should continue to let Amy unleash her ingenuity, but he may be wise to help her turn up the energy level in next week’s performance.

Jordan Smith – “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah! Jordan Smith needed to sing this song.

It was everything fans could have hoped for, as Jordan stood atop a flight of stairs and effortlessly moved through this heartwarming classic.

There’s never a moment of questioning during a Jordan Smith performance, even when he moves into unfathomable registers.

Sure, the talent on this show is widespread. But every week it gets harder to pinpoint an artist who can really compete with Jordan when it inevitably comes down to a final three.

Zach Seabaugh – “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen

For a 17-year-old, Zach sure purports to know a lot about love.

This was unquestionably an entertaining rendition, and since Zach is the only true performer left in the crop, he has wholeheartedly embraced that identity. The crowd fell in love with his gyrations and spin moves, and it would be foolish to think that voters will feel any differently.

Dancing aside, though, Zach will eventually need to revert back to his voice to carry him forward. And if his vocals aren’t strong enough, his place on the show is limited.

Madi Davis – “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

Help, Madi, you’re Pharrell’s only hope.

This 16-year-old had her coach on his feet during the entire performance, and he’ll need to be throughout the rest of the competition. But Madi defied expectations with this rendition of a normally bouncy and bubbly song. Singing with a saxophone in the background, she took Cyndi Lauper’s classic to new heights.

This was the performance of the night, and that praise does not come lightly considering what Jordan did earlier.

Barrett Baber – “I’d Just Love to Lay You Down” by Conway Twitty

We haven’t seen Barrett cut out the movement and just sit onstage with a guitar and a microphone before, but it was a good look for the country singer.

With a fake fireplace in the background, the performance was oddly reminiscent of FDR’s famous fireside chats, when the president’s soothing voice was all Americans could hear in their living rooms.

Similarly, Barrett kept things simple, but he seemed to be speaking directly to his audience. You didn’t need to see him to understand that the song was bringing him back to his roots.

This is where Barrett feels most comfortable, and there was no better time to discover that than in the Top 10.

Prediction: Braiden and Korin will end up in the bottom two tomorrow night, but Korin’s luck will have run out. She’ll be the first to exit the Top 10, and Braiden will live to see another day.

Check back tomorrow to see who’s staying and who’s going home.

gwen stefani ,
adam levine ,
pharrell williams ,
blake shelton ,
the voice

Entertainment – NY Daily News

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