The Voice top 8 review: MaKenzie Thomas, Kirk Jay, Chevel Shepherd, & more

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Tonight, the top 8 on The Voice are hitting the stage and with that, performing what are by far the most important performances of their entire lives. These are the ones that will completely define whether or not they have a chance at moving forward to the finale … or whether or not they will be so close, and yet so far.

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As per usual with reviews on The Voice, be sure to check back throughout this episode for more performance reviews.

Sarah Grace, “Sign of the Times” – Sarah kicked off the night with a cover of the Harry Styles hit — she started it off on piano before standing up and trying to conquer the powerful conclusion to the song. She needed to bring the emotion and power that she had at the end of the song early on, since that was what really sold it. This was a rough start (not gritty enough!), but she recovered with a solid ending. Grade: B.

Reagan Strange and Kennedy Holmes – This was fun. It makes sense to have two young singers perform something age-appropriate. We do think that Kennedy looked a little bit more comfortable on-stage than Reagan, but given the limitations of this song vocally they did a lot with it. We just wish there was even more fun here from start to finish. Grade: B.

MaKenzie Thomas, “Vision of Love” – We don’t know how you hate on this. While we do think that she’s not exactly showing a ton of range with her doing so many ballads, does she really need to do anything else after this? Sensational. The best vocal from her we’ve heard all season. This was so well-done, so well-sung, and completely well-orchestrated from start to finish. Grade: A.

Kirk Jay and Chevel Shepherd – This felt like Kirk overpowered Chevel at times, but we do think that the vibe and the stage presence here was on another level to what we saw earlier with even Reagan and Kennedy. Great energy, good vocals, and a song that absolutely made some sense for the two of them. Grade: B+.

Kymberli Joye, “Never Alone” – This was, effectively, Kymberli bringing everyone back to church. Yet, at the same time it was a great vocal performance in the moment. Is it going to be super-memorable and stand out from everything else that she’s done? That’s what we worry about since nothing necessarily popped throughout the rendition. Grade: B+.

Chris Kroeze, “Can’t You See” – There is a great storytelling quality to Chris’ voice, but his problem at this point is mostly just finding a way to emerge from a sea of similar artists with reasonably-similar voices. You’ve heard a lot of other people over time do things that aren’t altogether different from things that Chris does, and there is a complicated quality to that at this stage in the competition. Grade: B.

MaKenzie Thomas and Kymberli Joye – Hey, for those of you wanting to see MaKenzie go upbeat, this was it! This was really fun just to see two singers with HUGE voices on stage belting out various parts of the song — we do think that the lyrics did get a little bit lost in them hitting various nights, but there’s no doubt that this was impressive to listen to. Grade: B+.

Kennedy Holmes, “This Is Me” – Incredible. While this song is a little bit overdone these days on singing shows, this may be the best rendition of “This Is Me” that we’ve ever heard — great arrangement, impressive staging, and Kennedy had total command of the stage. This is even more impressive when you consider just how young she is. Grade: A.

Reagan Strange, “You Are the Reason” – Yes, we got the whole package in which Adam Levine convinced us that everything was good between him and DeAndre Nico. Then, we learned through subtext that he’s never really heard of Calum Scott. Shame. While we don’t think that Reagan really understood fully the depth of emotion that is within this song, we do think that she did her best at connecting and delivering some of the lyrics. Grade: B.

Chris Kroeze and Sarah Grace – The best of the duets. It may be because the two are both musicians, but we do think that they had a really nice vocal blend and actually sounded like they’ve played together for many years. While we wouldn’t call it insanely memorable, it was really the only duet you could get lost in. Grade: A-.

Chevel Shepherd, “Blue” – There was a ton to like about this LeAnn Rimes cover, from the intonation to the style to the old-school country vibe of it. This is a song that not everyone loves, but we’d be an idiot to sit here and say she did a bad job with it. Vocally, this was one of the best covers for Chevel we’ve seen through all of her time on the series. Grade: A-.

Kirk Jay, “I Swear” – Kirk closed out the show with an emotional country ballad — one of the most popular ones that is out there. What makes him so good as an artist is mostly his ability to consistently nail these powerful songs without losing his intonations. America loves country music. Kirk’s one of the best at it. Therefore, Kirk’s almost sure to move on to the next round.

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