The Voice

Song by song grades for the Top 12 on The Voice

Mara Justine listens to feedback from coach Niall Horan following her Top 12 performance Monday night. (NBC Photo)

Mara Justine listens to feedback from coach Niall Horan following her Top 12 performance Monday night. (NBC Photo)


The Voice will cut its very talented Top 12 to a Top 9 this week.

And for the first time in Season 24, the decisions will be in the hands of Voice fans.

Voting runs until 7 a.m. eastern time Tuesday morning, and you can vote via The Voice app or The Voice website.

You’re limited to one vote per method per email address. If you plan on using more than one email address, I’d suggest registering them ahead of time.

The results will be revealed during a 9 p.m. results show on Tuesday. And, yep, near the end of that episode, the bottom four will be vying for an instant save for the ninth spot on next week’s show.

Chance the Rapper mentors the Top 12 tonight. Though why we need another mentor for contestants to fawn over is beyond me at this point.

I’ll be posting song by song grades here after tonight’s show.

See also
Ranking the Top 12 on The Voice
Song by song playoff grades for Team Gwen
Song by song playoff grades for Team Legend
Song by song playoff grades for Team Niall
Song by song playoff grades for Team Reba

Jacquie Roar, 37, North Plains, Oregon (Team Reba), “Wildflowers and Wild Horses” by Lainey Wilson — Jacquie donned a cowgirl hat and adopted a bit more twang to open the live shows. She delivered another fun performance too, complete with a heck of an ending. But it didn’t quite live up to the playoff moment she’d created with Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.” Grade: B

Nini Iris, 27, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Team Niall), “Love Song” by The Cure — Nini just demonstrated how to make a cover song your own. There was a wonky note the first time she sang the chorus. Otherwise, she demonstrated once again why she’s one of the best singers and performers on the show. She dialed up the drama. And nailed that note the second time around. Grade: A–

Kara Tenae, 33. Riverside, Calif. (Team Gwen), “Love” by Keyshia Cole — This was a bit of a letdown after Kara’s playoff performance. But that might not be her biggest problem. Performing early in the show, you’d better do something memorable. That wasn’t a memorable performance. My guess is Kara’s gonna need saving come Tuesday. And the save’s going to have to come from a Cali fan base on East Coast time. Ouch. Grade: C

Tanner Massey, 19, Choctaw, Okla. (Team Gwen), “Thanks for the Memories” by Fall Out Boy — Tanner was doing fine until the band kicked in and the music swell. Then his vocals were swallowed up by the background music. Huntley, Mara, Nini would have had no trouble cutting through. Tanner did. And the performance sorta unraveled as the song came to a close. Grade: C–

Lila Forde, 24, Seattle, Wash. (Team Legend), “Closer to Fine” by The Indigo Girls — Mixed feelings about this performance. On a night when some of the Top 12 stumbled vocally, Lila was in fine voice. But with so many belters on the show, she had a real chance to stand out with an emotional ballad. Instead, she was trying to turn “Closer to Fine” into a semi-ballad. The result didn’t scream: “I must advance.” Grade: B

Ruby Leigh, 16, Foley, Missouri (Team Reba), “You Lie” by Reba McEntire — Ruby’s got a great voice. Just listen to that playoff performance again. This song did not fall in her sweet spot. I still suspect she has the fan base to advance, but this was her weakest vocal on the show to date. And the second half of the song sounded like she was straining to elevate a simple ballad where emotion should have carried the day. Grade: C

Huntley, 33, Fredericksburg, Va. (Team Niall), “With a Little Help from My Friends” by The Beatles — Huntley had plenty of friends on stage to help take any rough edges off this performance. And that allowed him to showcase the rasp that could very well carry him to the Season 24 finals. My guess is this will be one of Voice fans’ favorite performances from Monday’s show. Grade: A–

AZAN, 28, Austin, Texas (Team John), “Ex-Factor” by Lauryn Hill — This young woman might be the most surprising contestant on Season 24. First off, she looks like an absolute star. Second, she poured tons of soul and emotion into this performance. I’m not sure she’ll advance to the semifinals. But she should based on the last two performances we’ve seen. Grade: B

Jordan Rainer, 33 Atoka, Okla. (Team Reba), “Stranger in My House” by Ronnie Milsap — I guess everyone on Team Reba is going to wear black throughout the competition. Jordan turned in another solid performance. The only surprise was the bit of a guitar solo. The dark glasses were back. Jordan fans will love it. Not sure anything happened that would win over any new fans though. Grade: B–

Mara Justine, 21, Galloway, N.J (Team Niall), “Lose Control” by Teddy Swims — Oh, my, Mara. She brought attitude. She brought stage presence without leaving the mic stand for most of the performance. And she brought big, soulful, impassioned vocals. There are three should-be finalists on Team Niall. On this night, Mara Justine was the most impressive of the three. That was a finale level performance. Grade: A

Mac Royals, 30, Wrightsville, Ark. (Team Legend), “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt — Mac’s the best male singer on the show. He doesn’t sing in one of Voice fans’ favorite genres. How do you rectify that? You give him a spot near the end of the show and let him show off his vocals on a song that will register with fans. Great strategy, executed pretty darn well. He should make it to the semis. Grade: B+

Bias, 23, Little Rock, Ark. (Team Gwen), “God’s Gonna Cut” by Johnny Cash — Great opening by Bias, who surprisingly got to close the show. Not sure if that was a blessing or curse. Because The Voice pulled out all the pyrotechnics, the music swelled and … well, what I wrote about Tanner earlier … The same thing happened to Bias. Where Hutley, Mara and Nini would have soared, he got lost in the noise around him. Grade: B–

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  1. Linda December 5, 2023 at 5:44 pm -  Reply

    Totally disagree with most of your scores, especially Bias, Nini and Ruby Leigh. I eould give Bias an A and Nini and Ruby Leigh both a B with Ruby Leigh ranking 4th, Lila ranking 5th, and Nini ranking 6th.

    Top 3

    Ruby definitely had some off-noted, but so did Nini, and Nini screamed through the end of the song. That song is not meant to be “taken and made your own”. Ruby Leigh’s performance fits who she is as an artist. I have no idea who Nini is as an artist because her picks are all over the place.

    But we know you love Nini, so…. 😉

    I was just expecting you to be a little more objective.

    There is a clear top 6.

    My prediction of bottom 4:


    Who knows who will be saved if it is up to the people? Maybe Tanner?

  2. Janet Collins December 9, 2023 at 9:20 am -  Reply

    Stee should have made it through. Period.

  3. Diane Devine December 14, 2023 at 5:12 pm -  Reply

    I don’t think Jordan helped herself by wearing those ugly glasses and the hat. I felt like she was trying to be a female Johnny Cash. Was not impressed. She is good but really needs to get another outside of black. She needed to smile and get rid of the attitude of tough stuff.

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