The Voice

Song by song grades for Team Legend on The Voice

The members of Team Legend, Nathan Chester, Bryan Olesen, Mafe, Kamalei Kawa'a and Zoe Levert -- await the results Monday night. (NBC Photo)

The members of Team Legend, Nathan Chester, Bryan Olesen, Mafe, Kamalei Kawa’a and Zoe Levert — await the results Monday night. (NBC Photo)


The Voice playoffs began Monday night with performances by Team Legend and Team Dan + Shay.

And after everyone performed, John Legend had to choose three singers from his team to advance.

Two of those picks were obvious because Nathan Chester and Bryan Olesen have been so impressive on the show.

The third went to Zoe Levert, undoubtedly one of the most improved performers on Season 25.

That meant the eliminated of Mafe and Kamalei Kawa’a. Mafe had turned four chairs in the blinds.

Here are song by song grades for Team Legend.

Nathan Chester, 27, of Chicago, “Oh, Darling”: During rehearsals, John urged Nathan to pick up the tempo. Nathan does a classic R&B show on cruise ships, so this is right up his alley. Check out those moves, a split no less, mid-song. And Nathan delivers a professional level vocal. He showed off his range with an amazing glory note. He ab libbed tastefully. That was just outstanding. Reba calls it the “best performance ever.” Chance said Nathan belongs in the lives. John called it his best performance yet. Grade: A

Kamalei Kawa’a, 26, from Hawaii, “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley: Kamalei was John’s steal during the knockouts, a distinction he earned by nail John’s hit song “All of Me.” Kamalei delivers an earnest cover of the song, then flips to a reggae flavor midway through. That’s when the performance comes alive. And he nailed a big note at the end. Solid. Dan calls his voice comforting. Chance and Reba agree he belongs in the lives. Grade: B

Bryan Olesen, 49, Lincoln, Neb., “Africa” by Toto: It’s been a month since we’ve heard/seen a performance from Bryan, which is what happens when you come up with a gimmick like the playoff pass that sidelines your top singers for a round. Just a reminder, The Voice, that it’s a silly, silly gimmick. It takes about 10 seconds for Bryan to remind us why he’s a Season 25 front-runner. Fabulous opening. He’s a great performer too. The ending seemed just a tad disjointed, particularly whent he background singers kicked it and Bryan went silent for a couple of lines. Dan said it’s like he’s already a superstar. Chance calls him a rock star. Grade: A–

Mafe, 22, Miami, “Someone Like You” by Adele: Great tone from Mafe. The intro to the chorus sounded a bit mumbled. And her voice didn’t explode quite as impressively as I’ve heard others do on this song. But Mafe kept coming back to that very pretty tone of hers and sang with lots of emotion. Chance and Reba both said she could go to the lives. John called her fantastic. Grade: B

Zoe Levert, 20, of New Orleans, “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls: Nice emotional performance from Zoe. And she’s showing off more vocal power in this performance than I thought she had. She’s also avoiding the pitch issues that plagued her in her early voice performances. That was a very, very solid performance and is going to make the upcoming decision very difficult for John. That was easily Zoe’s best performance. Chance called it captivating. Dan called it “unbelievable.” Grade: B+

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