With there only being eight contestants left on “The Voice” this season, there is really just one thing that we could possibly hope for: Some of the contestants really trying to step into their own and delivering some consistently great performances. Luckily, we feel like the top 8 mostly managed to do that. It wasn’t the same boring show that we had last week, and at least some of the misses on the night were still entertaining ones.
This show may have also been important for changing the order of our rankings from this weekend, since a few favorites struggled, while some others who need a big performance delivered with one. Plus, there was Jay Leno! We’re not really sure that you wanted that, but you’re getting it anyway.
As per the past few weeks, we’re going to rank the contestants from worst to first.
8. Caroline Pennell, “Dog Days Our Over” – We get what Cee Lo Green was trying to do with this performance. “Dog Days Are Over” is a song that was mastered by Vicci Martinez on the show’s first season, and the feeling here was probably that someone else could come on the show and also master it for him. Caroline just doesn’t have that same sort of oomph to her voice that Florence Welch does. The song overwhelmed her, and this could signal her end in the competition.
7. Matthew Schuler, “It’s Time” – Hopefully Matthew’s history on the show will carry him through in the same way Jacquie Lee was supported last week. This was the worst performance he’s had all season. His vocal was wobbly, and the whole military theme took away what we feel like is the best part of the entire song: That sweet guitar introduction.
6. Ray Boudreaux, “Give Me Some Lovin'” – We love that Ray did something upbeat, and wasn’t afraid by the constant reality TV theme of “must sing a ridiculous ballad every single week”. There were a couple of moments where our mind started to wander, but Ray is starting to figure out some of his advantages and also his shortcomings. He’s not the strongest singer, but he easily makes up for it with his stage presence.
5. James Wolpert, “Somebody to Love” – Here is the rub with James: He’s not the best singer in the competition. His pitch is all over the place. But, at the same time, he brings out this weird sort of energy and geek-charisma that makes him captivating to watch. Plus, he also had the guts to actually take on a song like this Queen classic, and that deserves commendation. One of his better performances of the season, but we wouldn’t say that it was his best.
4. Tessanne Chin, “Underneath It All” – This was the closest thing to that breakout moment that we’ve been hoping for with Tessanne, and the real reason for that was that it was something different. We know that she can sing her face off, but this had fun, swagger, and style. We connected to it! There had just been something also intangible missing from most of her live-show performances, but whatever that missing element was here in spades.
3. Will Champlin, “At Last” – This is a heck of a tough song for anyone to sing, let alone do in a way that every note in it really works. We don’t know if Will nailed every part of the song, he did a great job. This was one of the better vocals that he’s had on the show all season, and there’s just an earnestness in the way he performs. As for his coach, Adam Levine can dial it back. We get it; the guy works hard.
2. Jacquie Lee, “Who’s Loving You” – We didn’t necessarily feel the same sort of connection in this song as we did with our #1, but there’s no doubt that Jacquie had the night’s #1 vocal. She can SING, and she’s going to have some great career opportunities regardless of how she does on this show. There are not very many opportunities we can really say that when it comes to a contestant on this show, since mainstream appeal isn’t always one of the goals.
1. Cole Vosbury, “I Still Believe In You” – People who hate Blake Shelton winning every year are going to be furious that he’s starting to have another frontrunner here in Cole. But these two have something magical here. What was great about the song choice was that even though this is a country song from Vince Gill, it didn’t feel country. It instead just felt like Cole singing a beautiful, tender song that could easily be on his album. This guy is just nailing song after song.
Episode Grade: A-. Who was your favorite tonight? As always, be sure to sound off in the poll below! We’ll be back in the morning with our take on the latest iTunes sales.