As season five of The Voice winds one week closer to the finals, the six remaining artists are striving to showcase musical diversity and connect with the audience. In this week’s riveting performances, each artist sang a coach’s pick as well as a song they chose as a special dedication. Tessanne Chin from Team Adam Levine and Jacquie Lee from Team Christina Aguilera brought an incomparable power and vulnerability to both of their performances that edged them ahead of the pack and earned them high praise from the coaches.
The Voice starring Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera airs on NBC Mondays at 8 pm ET and Tuesdays at 9 pm ET.
An Attitude of Gratitude
It was nice to see the artists choose a song to dedicate to someone special in their lives in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. After surviving a shocking near-elimination with America’s Instant Save last week, Team Christina’s Matthew Schuler dedicated One Direction’s smash hit, “The Story of My Life,” very humbly and graciously to his parents. The raw and honest performance made last week’s near miss a dim memory and reminded us what a truly incredible singer he is.
Likewise, Team Adam’s Will Champlin made a very heartfelt dedication to his wife and daughter, who have endured a lot of challenges. He notably poured his soul into R&B legend Sam Cooke’s iconic classic tune, “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Coach Adam praised the sincerity of his message to his family and the optimistic message in his song. Cee Lo Green added, “You’ve definitely got soul and more importantly, you’ve got heart.” It’s this earnest passion coupled with his overall musical prowess (in playing all sorts of instruments) that has obviously earned Will a place in America’s hearts and should hopefully keep him safe this week.
Rocking Outside of the Box
Rocker James Wolpert never fails to surprise us with the amount of vocal power and versatility he possesses. Of all the remaining artists, James is perhaps the most magnetic performer. It’s great fun to see what he’s bringing to the table each week and often fascinating to watch how he pulls off each song.
His dedication song, “Fell in Love with a Girl,” reined in his rock sensibility and the rather soft acoustics reminded us how good he is under the spotlight with his guitar. While Adam Levine’s choice of Meatloaf’s iconic ballad “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” was a perfect stylistic fit, it lacked the off-the-charts grandeur of last week’s Queen Anthem “Somebody to Love.” Cee Lo Green paid James a huge compliment saying he “embodies the rock opera.” However, his first simple, outside-of-the-box performance was his best live effort this week.
Power and Passion Brings Great Praise
It’s hard to remember how young and virtually inexperienced 16-year-old Jacquie Lee is when she opens herself up as she did with the classic song “Cry Baby.” It arguably marks her most passionate performance to date, with Christina getting up on stage to note the microphone stand Jacquie left laying down represented the heart and soul she left along with it.
However, her chill-inducing delivery of Coach Christina’s song, “The Voice Within” was easily her best effort to date. Christina was visibly touched by Jacquie’s dedication to her and once again noted how many similarities she sees between herself and this young, previously unknown girl. How much more of a compliment can anyone get?
Finally, Tessanne Chin simply slayed Adam Levine’s pick of the Bob Marley hit, “Redemption Song.” But, she topped herself with Katy Perry’s gigantic new ballad “Unconditionally” as a dedication to her parents. Her dynamic and distinctive effort earned one of the biggest compliments ever paid by a coach on the series with reigning champ Blake Shelton saying, “You are a world class vocalist and that’s what I think people should talk about. Every time you’re up there, you can sing with the best vocalists on earth and that’s what I wish people would focus more on about you.” He added, “I haven’t seen anything quite like you on the show – it’s amazing.”
Overall, these ladies were more vulnerable than they’ve ever been and this may be just what they need to survive elimination and earn a spot in the final.