NBC’s ‘The Voice’ review: Melanie Martinez chokes up; Amanda Brown does Adele

The Voice CoachesWe cannot help but compare “The Voice” to “The X Factor” at this point, mostly because it is amazing to see how much better NBC has the singing show figured out right now than Simon Cowell. The coaches are supportive even as critics, it feels as though the contestants are getting the right advice, and there are also so many sensational performances on here. Not one person on the night was bad, and it makes the decision for America that much harder to figure out.

Amanda Brown – Why make Amanda Brown go first? Why? The resident superstar of the show, and our current pick to win, kicked things off with a sensational cover of an Adele song in “Someone Like You.” Typically, the words “I’m performing Adele” are met with groans, but what made this work rather than flop was that the entire performance had a bit of a rock tinge to it that was different, and it did not feel as though we were just listening to someone trying to emulate the singer for the millionth time.

Cody Belew – We are still not entirely sure that Cody has the vocal chops needed to win this competition, but hats off to both him and Cee Lo Green for being completely game to try anything out on the stage. “Somebody to Love” is an impossible song to do well, and Cody came about as close as anyone (save for Freddie Mercury or Adam Lambert) could.

Terry McDermott – For the second week in a row, Blake Shelton gave one of his artists a song of his own to perform. We did like the fact that this pushed Terry out of just sounding like a 1980s tribute act, but it still was not entirely thrilling to watch. As a matter of fact, it was probably the most over-praised performance of the night.

Melanie Martinez – Melanie has been smart to drift from doing the same sort of song every week, and there is something fascinating and emotional about the songs she chooses to perform. This week, it was “Too Close,” a song currently tearing up the charts, and she did it justice. Vocally, it was probably not in the top three of the night; but despite being called “The Voice,” this is one of those artists that you really have to look at the whole package.

Dez Duron – Christina is really doing a great job with this guy, and it has to be commended. (Someone also needs to talk to the folks on “The X Factor” to show them that this is how you treat an artist.) Dez has now found himself as this sort of jazzy crooner, and what was really smart about this performance is that he took a Justin Bieber song in “U Smile,” made it fresh, and then made us smile.

Trevin Hunte – What is that … another big ballad for Trevin? After taking a week off and performing what is at best a “controversial” cover of Usher’s “Scream,” he came out and did something by Whitney Houston this weekend. We understand that this guy is a great singer and has a voice perfectly suited for ballads, but we do still have to ask the question: is this really the sort of guy we need to win this season? Is he really going to give “The Voice” its first commercial artist? We are skeptical, to say the least.

Nicholas David – The thing about Nicholas is that he does not even look on the surface to be the guy perfectly suited for the sort of songs he performs; but then once you hear him sing them, you realize that the guy is so perfectly suited for soul and R&B, he just can’t sing anything else. One of the best covers of “What’s Going On?” ever.

Cassadee Pope – After watching the former Hey Monday singer step out of her comfort zone last week for a sensational “Over You,” this felt almost like a small step back. She was a little flat at times during her “Are You Happy Now” performance, and the song choice itself (emotional connection notwithstanding) failed to tell us anything about her outside of that she fancies herself the next Avril Lavigne.

Who did you love the most during this show? We want to hear some more of your thoughts below, and be sure to also see where we ranked some of the hopefuls in our article over at the link here.

Photo: NBC

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