The Voice

Song by song grades for Team Niall on The Voice

Gina Miles performs for Team Niall during the playoffs on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Gina Miles performs for Team Niall during the playoffs on The Voice. (NBC Photo)


Gina Miles and Ryley Tate Wilson are moving on to the semifinals for Team Niall on Season 23 of The Voice.

The Voice playoffs — non-live — ended Monday night — without fan voting for the first time ever.

Instead, each coach got to pick two of their remaining five artists to advance.

Which meant fans had absolutely no say in who made the semifinals for the first time in the show’s history.

(If you’re getting the sense that I hate — absolutely, positively, undeniably hate — The Voice’s Season 23 format, I’m glad I’m coming through loud and clear.)

Niall advanced a pair of teenage singer-songwriters in what had to be one of the playoff’s toughest decisions given the quality of his team’s performances.

Here are my song by song grades for Niall’s team from Monday’s playoffs.

1. Ross Clayton, 33, McLoud, OK, “With or Without You” by U2 — This started out pretty strong. Then the song went big, Ross went to the higher part of his range. And, wow, did he ever impress. Even more impressively, that’s where he stayed for the rest of a very strong performance. Yep, it was a challenging song choice. And Ross delivered. Though perhaps he could have done something dramatic at the end to drive that point home. Niall said Ross “nailed” the song. Grade: B+

2. Gina Miles, 18, Sacramento, Calif., “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak — Well, that turned out to be a brilliant song choice. Gina’s tone, emotion and vocal control made it work. One of the youngest singers we heard from Monday night, she performed like a pro. She was rewarded with a standing ovation. Blake called it the favorite thing he’s heard in a long time. I think I fell in love with Gina’s voice. And her enthusiast reaction to the positive feedback from the judges was priceless. Grade: A

3. Tasha Jessen, 21, Colorado Springs, Colorado, “Here” by Alessia Cara — Niall labeled Tasha his risk taker and this song is a risk, hardly standard singing show fare. Tasha did a really nice job with it and had moments where her vocals soared. Unfortunately, her pitch also strayed a bit in the middle of the performance. The interaction with the background singers at the end was really nice too. Niall said her voice is incredible. Unfortunately for Tasha, she wound up in the final five on the most loaded team on the show. Grade: B

4. Michael B. (Williams), 29, Los Angeles, Calif., “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile — Niall called Michael his theatrical dark horse. Dark horse? Why? This show is called The Voice. He delivered a fabulous vocal in the knockouts. And he delivered another fabulous vocal on this song. With an emotional connection no less. I mean, that second verse was vocal magic. So was the ending. I really don’t know what else Michael could have done to prove he should have advanced. Except land on a different team. Kelly loved it so much she left her seat to hug him. Grade: A

5. Ryley Tate Wilson, 15, Montgomery, Ala., “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish — This was a wonderful song choice too. In spite of his age, Ryley delivered a great vocal with an emotional connection. And what a great tone this guy has. Giving him a playoff pass was a mistake because it robbed him of another chance to make an impression on Voice viewers in an already ridiculously shortened season. Imagine the popularity this guy could enjoy is he was singing every week on American Idol instead of once a month on The Voice. Kelly said she considers him one of the biggest threats from the other teams. Grade: A–

Ryley Tate Wilson performs for Team Niall in the playoffs on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

Ryley Tate Wilson performs for Team Niall in the playoffs on The Voice. (NBC Photo)

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