The Voice

Morgan Myles, Kim Cruse, Parijita Bastola sparkle on The Voice


The Top 16 took the stage on The Voice Monday night, singing for fan votes for the first time.

But it’s important to remember that they were singing under the live playoff format.

That means team members were singing against one another, and results are team based rather than at large.

In other words, sorry, folks, we can’t send most of Team Gwen home Tuesday night.

Instead, this is how it will work.

The top two finishers in the voting on each team will advance. Then each coach will pick a team member to save.

The remaining four at-risk contestants will compete for the first instant save of Season 22.

Here’s are Voice Views’ song by song grades.


Omar Cardona, 33, Orlando, Fla., “Living on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi — Omar’s clearly an experienced performer and looked completely at ease on stage. But the vocal seemed flat from the word go and he sounded strained when reaching for those big notes this song is known for. Not the four-chair performance I was expecting. Grade: C+

Kim Cruse, 30, Woodville, Texas, “I Never Loved a Man” by Aretha Franklin — One line in, Kim had me smiling wide. Now THAT’S A VOICE. Powerful, filled with character and in the possession of someone who knows how to use it. On this night at least, Kim sounded like a potential Season 22 finalist. Grade: A

Sasha Hurtado, 18, Dallas, Ga., “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John — Heading into Monday’s show, I figured Sasha faced the toughest odds of any singer on the show. She’s twice-stolen going up against three four-chair turns. What the moment needed was a bold song choice, performed boldly. Somehow, she wound up with “Tiny Dancer.” Which was just okay. I’d really, really, really love to know who made the Top 16 song choices, because the night featured some real doozies. Grade: C

Parijita Bastola, 17, Severna Park, Md., “I’ll Never Love Again” by Lady Gaga — Wow, that was a 17-year-old who just turned in that stunning performance. Parijita looked and performed like a star, delivering a stellar vocal and selling that song like the seasoned pro she isn’t. Grade: A–


Kique, 18, Miami, Fla, “As it Was” by Harry Styles — Kique deserves high marks for changing the song so dramatically. And the second half of that vocal was very strong. An interesting performance, and surely worthy of another week with the rest of Team Gwen foundering in Week 1 of the lives. Grade: B

Kevin Hawkins, 28, Dallas, Texas, “Skate” by Silk Sonic — No, no, no. That screamed cruise ship performance. I thought Kevin was a very shaky steal after his knockout round performance, and nothing about this vocal or performance changed my perception of that Gwen Stefani decision. Grade: C–

Alyssa Witrado, 19, Fresno, Calif., “Angels Like You” by Miley Cyrus — The less I write about this vocal, the kinder I’ll be. In Alyssa’s defense, she’s sounded much better, like in her battle round match with Ian Harrison. Grade: D+

Justin Aaron, 34, Junction City, Kansas, “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross — Yikes, this song choice. You mean The Voice couldn’t have come up with a gospel song Justin could have taken us to church on. He tried his best with this song, but by the end, I felt as though he was shouting at listeners. Grade: C


Morgan Myles, 35, Nashville, Tenn., “Let Him Fly” by Patti Griffin — Morgan picks up a guitar, delivers a brilliant vocal and a reminder that, yes, this is The Voice we’re watching. And what a voice, as Morgan showed off some grit, great range and a healthy dose of emotional. That, Team Gwen, is how it’s done. Grade: A

Eric Who, 22, Grovetown, Ga., “Rumor Has It” by Adele — You’ll be forgiven if you ask “who?” because Eric was montaged twice to this point. That vocal was … well … not very good. Not very good at all. Good thing Eric gets high marks for showmanship. Grade: D+

Kate Kalvach, 27, Oklahoma City, Okla., “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain — This performance was a real mixed bag. Kate was clearly having technical problems at the start, strayed off tune on occasion. But she also displayed a nice tone and pulled off a couple of really nice glory notes. Grade: C

Devix, 28, York, Pa., “Sex is on Fire” by Kings of Leon — The way Devix’s voice cut through on the opening lines, I was pretty sure he was about to deliver a Voice moment. But the great first minute of this performance never developed into anything bigger and grander, leaving me thinking it was a bit of a missed opportunity. Grade: B


Bryce Leatherwood, 22, Statesboro, Ga.. “I’m Going to Be Somebody” by Travis Tritt — Wow, this song is a ripoff of Bad Company’s “Shooting Star.” Oops, I digress. Anyway, Bryce is going to be in the Top 13 because he has the male country lane all to himself. But he’s got a great, deep country voice, and this song did not showcase that very well. Grade: B–

Rowan Grace, 16, Rapid City, S.D., “Hopelessly Devoted to You” by Olivia Newton John — You know what was hopeless? Rowan’s chances of creating a moment with this song. Seriously, I’d love to know how she wound up singing this song after auditioning with Olivia Rodrigo’s “Traitor” and putting a soulful spin on “Vienna” in the knockouts. If there’s justice in Voice-land — news flash, there isn’t — she’ll get another chance. Grade: C–

Brayden Lape, 16, Grass Lake, Mich., “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis — Witness the sweet tone Brayden displaced at the start of this song as a sign of his great potential. Witness the mumbled lyrics later in the song as a sign that the youngster still has a lot of vocal / performance growing to do. Grade: C

Bodie, 29, from Ladera Ranch, Calif., “Glimpse of Us” by Joji — Bodie, open your damn eyes to make an emotional connection with the audience. Now, that pet peeve out of the way, let me say that comparatively speaking, Bodie delivered one of the night’s standout vocals, showing off an impressive combination of range and vocal firepower, and doing it with emotion. Grade: B+

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