NBC’s ‘The Voice’ review: Billy Gilman, Ali Caldwell, Brendan Fletcher, top 12 perform

The Voice -

Tonight, “The Voice” is going live for the second week in a row, but tonight, it’s fair to say that there is a little bit more flexibility in the performances. Nobody’s going to be super-pressed for time, and everyone will have an opportunity to give you more of their personality.

We’re going to be reviewing this episode live, so be sure to refresh the site often for more impressions on all of the artists! We’re also going to have rankings of all of them at the end of the show in terms of worst to first.

12. Sa’Rayah, “Livin’ on the Prayer” – We love this song, but this arrangement and the tuning left a little bit of something to be desired. This just felt a lot like someone singing a note-for-note re-creation of the Bon Jovi hit at a popular bar; Sa’Rayah is much better than the standard bar singer, but there needed to be more artistry to this.

11. Christian Cuevas, “The Scientist” – This was a wonderful performance vocally, but a real mistake when it comes to the execution. We just don’t think “The Scientist” should be a powerful, aggressive anthem like this. There should be a few moments of power, but lyrically this is a song all about longing and intimate heartache.

10. Josh Gallagher, “Why” – Good on Adam Levine for giving Josh a song that was absolutely in his pocket, and something that he could do a lot with musically. Our problem here was merely that there wasn’t anything about this that was special beyond a competent performance of a popular Jason Aldean song.

9. Austin Allsup, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” – There was a nice infusion of Southern rock and country in here that made it feel like a unique and different performance from any we’ve heard from Austin so far. There wasn’t anything in it that necessarily made it memorable, but he should be just fine with America — it played right to his strengths.

8. Aaron Gibson, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” – We do like that Miley Cyrus isn’t just picking songs that are typical of this show for many of the artists to sing. However, at the same exact time this one isn’t one that many viewers out there are going to be familiar with, and to go along with that, there wasn’t much of a melody to it.

7. Sundance Head, “My Church” – This dude IS country. He’s authentic, he’s credible, and he does have a really strong voice. This isn’t a religious song per se, but it may still cash in with some those particular viewers of the show (which are a big voting block). Sundance started the show, and he should be safe for a while.

6. Courtney Harrell, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” – We’ll be the first person to tell you that we really don’t like this song turning up everywhere under the sun when it comes to singing shows. Yet, Courtney did something really nice with this song and, despite its cheesiness, we found ourselves enjoying this very much.

5. Billy Gilman, “The Show Must Go On” – Really tremendous power lies in Billy’s voice, and he can do a lot with it. The complication that does come with this particular song is that it’s hard to create much of an emotional connection to it given that it’s almost about pure vocal power. Still, he delivered enough here to leave us feeling very impressed by what we saw.

4. We McDonald, “Take Me to Church” – This was slightly better than Billy in terms of vocal stability and performance quality. It’s a popular song, so we see her tearing up the iTunes charts. The only issue that we have with it is somewhat similar: She didn’t really get a chance to do anything new or interesting with the song.

3. Brendan Fletcher, “Whipping Post” – We’re not going to say that this had the emotional power of our two favorite performances on the night, there was a lot of cool stuff going on here in terms of the musicality and the overall performance. It was rock in a way that we rarely see it on the show.

2. Darby Walker, “Ruby Tuesday” – Personally, we thought that this was beautiful, but the issue that Darby’s always going to run into is that her voice will be incredibly polarizing because it goes in all sorts of weird / interesting directions. Also, her aesthetic may borrow a bit too much of Miley Cyrus’ blind-audition outfit. This was surprising moving to us; we’ll probably listen again after the show.

1. Ali Caldwell, “Did I Ever Love You?” – Great night for Miley as a coach, and for her artists. To us, this wasn’t just about a really great vocal; it was that Ali tapped into something deep and personal to make us as a viewer feel like she was performing a song with meaning, and something that she’d do at her own concert rather than just at a singing show.

If you want to get some other news when it comes to “The Voice,” be sure to head over to the link here right now! We’ll be back tomorrow in the afternoon to give you a take on the results that will be coming your way in the evening. (Photo: NBC.)

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