The Voice

Song by song grades for the Top 12 on The Voice


Addison Agen turns in the vocal of the night on The Voice Top 12 show. (NBC Photo)

Addison Agen turns in the vocal of the night on The Voice Top 12 show. (NBC Photo)

The Voice Top 12 take the stage tonight, with one singer going home tomorrow night.

And for the first time in Season 13, fans get to vote for their favorite.

But, please, take note of the new voting rules if you want to maximize your impact on the outcome.

For instance, in addition to downloading your favorite artist’s song, you can now cast up to 10 votes by streaming that song on Apple Music.

But you have to stream the song between 8 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday eastern time. Downloads count as votes up until noon eastern time.

All of this, of course, depends on The Voice allowing fans to determine the winner. If producers have already picked one — oh, well, you’ve waste your time and money.

Lots of people felt that way when Season 12 ended.

Here’s what the Top 12 will be singing tonight. I’ll be back at 8 p.m to update this blog with song by song grades. At present, singers are listed in no particular order.

See also
Ranking the Top 12
Social media leaders among the Top 12
To The Voice: Please play fair
Time for The Voice to take pride in its own

Brooke Simpson
Song: Praying (pop) by Kesha
My take: Brooke says she isn’t entirely pop and she isn’t entirely soul; she falls somewhere in between. Which makes this Kesha song a pretty good fit. I like it because it’s more current. But Brooke stumbles in the opening. Not sure what went wrong, but something did. She recovers nicely by the chorus, delivers a huge glory note. But all in all, that was not as smooth a vocal as we’ve come to expect from Brooke. Grade: C+

Red Marlow
Song: The Church on Cumberland Road (country) by Shenandoah
My take: Another nice song choice. Another song performance from Red. And Blake’s critique was right on the mark — Red showed off some pretty nice stage presence too on that up-beat tune. And you gotta love his response: “Just because I’m old don’t mean I can’t move.” I’m pretty sure Red has nothing to fear tomorrow night. Grade: B

Shi’Ann Jones
Song: Vision of Love (R&B/soul) by Mariah Carey
My take: Jennifer says she hears Mariah when Shi’Ann sings, so she gave her this song. Shi’Ann looks like a young star, but I’m not sure she’s quite off to pulling off Mariah. I would have suggested a younger, more upbeat song to play up Shi’Ann’s young, fun side. This is a little screechy in spots and the ending showed off Shi’Ann’s potential, but didn’t come off quite as smoothly as Jennifer likely hoped. Grade: C–

Jon Mero
Song: Why I Love You (R&B/soul) by Major
My take: Upbeat numbers with lots of dancing seemed to be Jon’s forte early in the competition. Tonight will mark his second straight ballad. Hey, the last 15 seconds of that performance was really special. And you have to be impressed with Jon’s falsetto. But I felt like everything led up to that final 15 seconds. Grade: B–

Ashland Craft
Song: Delta Dawn (country) by Tanya Tucker
My take: Not crazy about this song choice. If Miley wanted to show off Ashland’s fiery side, there had to be a better song out there. Delta Dawn isn’t that fiery. Well, Ashland managed to inject more fire into it. In doing that,she lost control of her vocals a couple of times, but that was an overall strong performance. Especially liked the last part, from the time she sang to her guitarist onward. Grade: B–

Adam Cunningham
Song: Against All Odds (country) by Phil Collins
My take: Adam’s first instinct about this song choice might have been correct. When Adam wonders why he doesn’t get country singers — well, this says it all. That opening just did not work, and this isn’t working as a country song, regardless of how much Adam tries to channel Chris Stapleton. And Adam’s attempts to pump energy into the tune aren’t working. That was a classic example of a misfire. Grade: D

Chloe Kohanski
Song: Thank You (alternative) by Dido
My take: Chloe’s singing this song for her boyfriend. This set and background is distracting as hell. The iTunes version of this sounds really good. And Chloe starts strong, but at a couple of points, the band is drowning out her voice. Interesting. That was a bit subdued for a singing show performance, but Chloe has a distinct vocal style that fans are embracing, so we’ll see. Blake thinks he’s never heard a voice as well rounded as Chloe’s. Wow, high praise from a guy whose won the show more than anyone else. Grade: C+

Davon Fleming
Song: Love on Top (R&B/soul) by Beyonce
My take: Not thrilled with this song choice, but Davon is impressive nonetheless. He’s working the stage like a polished performer, showing off incredible range and remaining pitch perfect throughout. That’s impressive. Davon’s experience as a worship leader shows. Grade: B+

Addison Agen
Song: She Used to Be Mine (pop) by Sara Bareilles
My take: Wow, this opening is special. Forget the opening, this vocal is special. Like the simple opening, putting the focus on Addison’s vocals. She has a really distinct tone. And she sang that with an incredible amount of emotion for a 16-year-old. That, folks, was easily the best so far tonight. Wow. Grade: A

Keisha Renee
Song: Midnight Train to George (country) by Gladys Knight
My take: The iTunes version of this sounds like a bit of a mess. I’ll be interesting to see if Keisha can pull it off live. Keisha’s got a big powerful voice, but this arrangement of the song is jarring more than anything. Another misfire, perhaps not of the “Against All Odds” variety, but a misfire anyway. Keisha is belting, and it just work with the acoustic guitars, the background singers or anything else. Grade: C–

Noah Mac
Song: Speed of Sound (alternative) by Coldplay
My take: Noah has reworked this Coldplay song. Again, the near a cappella opening works very nicely. This isn’t a perfect vocal, But I’m betting this winds up very close to the top of the iTunes ranking among The Voice Top 12 tomorrow. Noah has an undeniable charisma and giving a fresh version of the song is a smart decision. Grade: B

Well, that didn’t take long. One show into the lives and The Voice is already playing favorites. Janice got to close the show during the live playoffs. Now she gets the pimp spot again. Hey, folks, spend money downloading music from this show at your own risk. There’s no guarantee your votes will make any difference.

Janice Freeman
Song: The Story (pop) by Brandi Carlisle
My take: Janice explains this song choice by saying she wants to become an alternative soul singer. She’s dedicating this performance to her husband. That opening was rough. Hey, Janice is a powerful singer. But everything about the lead-in made me think we were in for an emotional performance. Then she belted the majority of the song at us. Which detracted from any emotion. Grade: C

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1 Comment

  1. bobsaccamanna November 21, 2017 at 11:00 am -  Reply

    Someone over on TV Line just directed my over to this site and I am so glad they did. I don’t think I have ever agreed with someone post show analysis more, in my opinion every single grade you handed out was spot on. Addison was clearly the best of the night and I don’t really think there was a close second. Her emotional connection to everything she has performed so far is so captivating, the fact that she is 16 and displays that much control is just remarkable. I think you and I are the only ones who weren’t all that impressed with Janice’s cover of Brandi Carlile(and I love that song). If you’re going to do Brandi then you need to realize that all the emotional weight you will need to make an impression on a show like the is right there in the melody as it was written , it doesn’t need to be embellished or over sung. Great post, I will be a returning customer

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