NBC’s ‘The Voice’ review: Viktor Kiraly, Ellie Lawrence, Jeffrey Austin perform for Gwen Stefani

Gwen -Tonight, “The Voice” is kicking off the live shows in grand fashion with the Live Playoffs, and for Team Gwen Stefani, the challenge is simple: Show that you are not a bunch of underdogs in this race. We’ve heard so many times over at this point that a female coach has never won, but there is talent in this group. They just need the screen time and the caliber of performance to pull the victory off.

Take a look below for our impressions, updated live, of the performances tonight. We’ll be back at the end with a poll.

Regina Love, “Hello” – Can she put a big twist on the most popular song on the moment? There was a twist, but we’re not sure it was the right one. Rather then trying to convey more of the emotional resonance of this song, it felt more loud and at times shouty. Regina’s a tremendous singer in terms of range, but the variance just wasn’t there in this performance.

Korin Bukowski, “Adia” – Did she bring her quirky charm to this? We’d say so. We wish there was a little more of her range showcased, but we hope that Korin stays just on the strength of her tone and her uniqueness alone. It may be cliche to say, but there really is no one else in this contest like her.

Ellie Lawrence, “Ex’s and Oh’s” – Was she worth the wild card? The funny thing is that at this point in the show, she was the best on Team Gwen! It feels almost like she needed the adversity of going home for her and her blue hair to really be ignited. She rocked out here!

Jeffrey Austin, “Say You Love Me” – Is Jeffrey as soulful as ever? We think so. This was really nice, even if it didn’t drift much from the whole Sam Smith comparisons. He still looks like Smith with Ed Sheeran’s red hair. We wish Jeffrey got a little more attention than he does.

Braiden Sunshine, “Everything I Own” – Can Braiden be endearing as more than the kid of the competition? Unfortunately, this was everything that we thought it would be tonight. While Braiden is a very nice kid from what we can tell, he just didn’t connect to this song. He needed something more age-appropriate to shine in this spot.

Viktor Kiraly, “All Around the World” – Can he keep his frontrunner status? We don’t think he will be in any danger after this, though we would also say that he could have chosen to make more of a moment on his first live performance than a midtempo song.

Right now, we would vote to put Viktor, Jeffrey, and Ellie through based on tonight’s performance … but it’s painful to say this given that we are a Korin fan.

Want to see a look at Team Adam, and also some past contestant rankings? Then be sure to head over to the link here, or sign up right now to get some other TV news on everything we cover, courtesy of our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: NBC.)


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