Jennifer Hudson threw and lost a shoe before the second singer even took the stage.
We got a taste of the holidays when Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani took the stage to perform together.
And The Voice put Keisha Renee on a pedestal at about the same time in the competition as Chris Blue was standing on a pedestal last spring.
Which is another reminder to fans of Chloe Kohanski, Addison Agen, Noah Mac and Red Marlow to vote as often as possible in as many ways as possible to keep The Voice from engineering a preferred finish again in Season 13.
Here’s a recap of Monday night’s Top 10 show, complete with song by song grades.
Davon Fleming (Team Jennifer)
The song: “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera
My take: Another female diva song for Davon. That’s three straight since the lives began. Is that strategy going to get him into the finals? There’s no question Davon has great range, but this isn’t my favorite Davon vocal and I’d really love to see him go upbeat against next week. Nevertheless, Jennifer throws her shoe. Blake proclaims that Davon should be in the finals. But are folks going to rush to iTunes to download that cover? We’ll see. Grade: B–
Adam Cunningham (Team Adam)
The song: “Maybe It Was Memphis” by Pam Tillis
My take: Adam says he heard from fans who wanted him to get back to straight-up country. Hence, this song choice. Of course, it took three weeks and two trips to the bottom two for he and coach Adam to figure out that the best way to compete with Blake with a country singer is to sing county music. LOL. Anyway, Adam the singer turns in a solid performance, I especially liked the ending. But now he’s performing in what’s typically regarded as the least desirable spot in a two-hour show. My guess: We’ll get another instant-save performance from Adam tomorrow night. Grade: B
Noah Mac (Team Jennifer)
The song: “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran
My take: How can you not love the fact that Noah isn’t satisfied with the idea of doing a straight-up cover. He’s going to work out a new arrangement for this Duran Duran hit. You know what’s better, he pulled it off. Okay, the vocal might not have been perfect. But the performance reminded me again of how much I’m looking forward to the post-Voice music some of the Season 13 contestants release, especially Chloe and young Noah and Addison. Grade: B+
Shi’Ann Jones (Team Jennifer)
The song: “Diamonds” by Rihanna
My take: Shi’Ann sang third the last two weeks; she moves to number four this week. That’s still not a prime spot. She covered Beyonce, she covered Mariah. Now Rihanna. That’s a tall order. And despite trailing every other contestant on iTunes, she’s been voted through two straight weeks. She showed improvement tonight. I could understand more of what she was singing. She seemed a bit more confident on stage. But there was that ear-piercing screech near the end. Ouch. I’d still like to see her do young and fun if she makes it through to the Top 8. Grade: C+
Chloe Kohanski (Team Blake)
The song: “Call Me” by Blondie
My take: Chloe says she’s all about classic rock, was inspired by Blondie and has this song at number one on her playlist. Talk about stepping into character, Chloe even looks like Debbie Harry for this number. Chloe’s delivering another solid performance on a song in her wheelhouse. Not sure this will have the emotional impact of last week’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” but my guess is Chloe’s momentum will continue and she’ll score another iTunes hit. And the timing was right for a change of pace, as long as she pours on the emotion again in next week’s semifinals. Grade: B+
Keisha Renee (Team Blake)
The song: “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen
My take: Keisha looks up to Celine Dion, which explains this song choice, which also marks Keisha’s first foray outside country music since the lives began. Check out the train on that gown Keisha is wearing. And the platform she’s performing on. And she’s got the accompaniment from a string section. I think you call this pimp staging. As for the performance, I think it was Keisha’s best yet. The showed more restraint and more emotion for the first two minutes of the song, which meant that big, rapid-fire ending packed more of a wallop. And it was quite the way to end the performance. Grade: A–
Ashland Craft (Team Miley)
The song: “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett
My take: Love this song choice for Ashland. She showed lots of attitude and sass early in the competition and, with such a crowded country field — four of the Top 10 — that’s what will set her apart. But all that said, she didn’t cut loose on stage quite as much as I had hoped. Where was that young woman who rocked the honky tonk back in South Carolina? And you have to wonder if Ashland’s voice is tip-top at this point in the competition. It didn’t sound like it tonight. Grade: C
Brooke Simpson (Team Miley)
The song: Amazing Grace
My take: In my ranking blog, I actually suggested this might be Keisha’s song this week. Instead, I predict it will be Brooke soaring up the iTunes charts. Fortunately, Miley’s suggestion that she turn “Amazing Grace” into “Amazing Grace” as done by Coldplay didn’t see the light of day. Instead, we got an exquisite opening and ending that reminded us what a great singer Brooke is. And a middle of the song that reminded us what a powerful singer she is. That, folks, was a prime example of how you make an impression on a singer show like The Voice. Grade: A+
Red Marlow (Team Blake)
The song: “That’s What I Love About Sunday” by Craig Morgan
My take: With each passing performance I become more convinced that Red will be — and should be — the last country artist standing in Season 13. Another solid performance tonight. Has the guy hit a bum note on the show since the finals began? And how can you not root for a guy who tweets out a photo of someone backstage taking a brush to his bald head with a caption that reads: “Getting my hair done before the show. Um, I mean makeup. I think?! ” Grade B
Addison Agen (Team Adam)
The song: “Lucky” by Britney Spears
My take: To fully appreciate what Addison did tonight, you have to go back and listen to Britney’s pop version of “Lucky.” Addison stripped it down, poured on the emotion and did a better job of capturing the essence of the song. That wasn’t a cover; that was a re-creation from a young woman who was only 16 when she auditioned and younger than that when she released a debut album that was every bit as impressive. Kudos to The Voice for rewarding her creativity with the last spot on the show, and for missing up the performance order tonight. Grade: B+