NBC’s ‘The Voice’ review: Ryan Quinn, Paxton Ingram, Alisan Porter, more kick off Live Playoffs

The Voice -

Tonight, “The Voice” is kicking off its Live Playoffs with (of course) singing … and plenty of it! There are also going to be a few surprises mixed in here, given that the coaches each have a wildcard act who is getting thrown onto the stage after being previously eliminated from the competition.

Tonight, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton’s teams are going to be performing, and (as always) we’ll update this article as some more information is released!

Paxton Ingram, “How Deep Is Your Love” (Team Blake) – This was really good! Early on in the show is a precarious place to be since audiences tend to forget about you, but if the other artists are going to match his performance quality and charisma, they’ll have to work hard.

Ryan Quinn, “I’m Not the Only One” (Team Christina) – Given that he was stolen in the Knockouts and was new to Team Christina, we weren’t sure what to make of this performance. Still, Ryan hit the notes and connected really well. We’re not sure it was a perfect vocal, but an emotional one and it helped us forget that we’re getting tired of Sam Smith on singing shows.

Katie Basden, “Georgia Rain” (Team Blake) – It’s a little bit of a weird thought that Katie, who has such a fantastic voice, could be in danger of actually going home. Yet, for some reason we’re still worried about her future. Why is that? We attribute this in part to her inability to really connect with the audience and show her personality.

Kata Hay, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” (Team Christina) – By one token, we really admire Kata for her commitment and her passion to doing the sort of stuff vocally that she really likes; with that being said, at the same time there need to be more limitations on her. She went a little too big with her vocals in this song, and there were moments that were frankly unpleasant.

Nick Hagelin, “Stay” (Team Christina) – He’s back! He is one of the Coach Comeback artists, and all this does is really add to the overall beastliness of this team. He was really good here, though we do wonder superficially if people will remember him sans hair.

Joe Maye, “Long Time Running” (Team Blake) – We think that Joe’s got a ton of talent, but there’s still something more that he probably needs in his performance. It’s hard to define. Is it polish? Maybe. Sometimes he’s like a wind-up toy on stage.

Adam Wakefield, “Seven Spanish Angels” (Team Blake) – What a stellar song choice. Also, what a great performance! We’re not really a country person, but there’s something about his growl and his tone that appeals to everyone. He may be Blake’s ace-in-the-hole this season.

Tamar Davis, “Rise Up” (Team Christina) – We certainly felt of two minds after hearing this. While Tamar was of course amazing vocally, she also tried a little too hard to be amazing. By that, we simply mean that she tried too many vocal runs and threw almost everything and the kitchen sink into this. That distracted from the melody.

Mary Sarah, “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” (Team Blake) – Mad props to Mary for the risk here. The execution of it just didn’t work, and it felt a little wonky. She really has to hope for viewers to connect to her story more so than the performance, since she could be in danger.

Bryan Bautista, “Pillowtalk” (Team Christina) – This is a super-risky song choice, but we’re feeling pretty darn confident now that he nailed this. Maybe there were a few moves that were a bit planned, but with the key slightly lowered, he just poured out confidence all over the stage.

Justin Whisnant, “Here’s a Quarter” (Team Blake) – This was a strange choice for Blake to bring back someone who was eliminated in that battle rounds, but hey, it’s his team. This was a solid vocal of a Travis Tritt classic, but did this really do anything to break the mold? We’re not sure.

Alisan Porter, “Cry Baby” (Team Christina) – Alisan was amazing, and she’s been amazing the entire competition. She may deserve to win, even. If there’s one criticism we have, it’s with the show for failing to even try to create parity. Much like Jordan Smith last season, we called that Alisan would get to perform last before the show even started. (Jordan performed in the second half of every live show, which is prime real estate, all season.)

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