The Voice

Song by song grades for the Top 17 on The Voice


The Top 17 on The Voice will compete for a spot in the Season 18 semifinals tonight.

Nine singers will advance, but only four of those spots will be determined by tonight’s overnight vote.

The top vote-getter from each team will advance on tomorrow’s results show. Then each coach will select a singer to advance. Then the top remaining vote-getter for each team will compete for an instant save.

For longtime Voice fans …

Yes, this three-week sprint to the finish is the quickest the show has ever gone from playoffs to a winner.

And, yes, this marks the first time in the show’s history that all of the semifinalists aren’t being selected by fans.

Still, support your favorites. They deserve it. And they didn’t pick the format.

You can vote via The Voice app and on The Voice website. iTunes versions of the artists’ performances are yet another victim of the pandemic, so they won’t be available this season.

Oh, and I reserve the right to alter grades at the end once more performances are in for comparison.


Thunderstorm Artis, “Summertime:” Thunderstorm serves up a soulful and pitch perfect version of the song, slowing it down considerably. He hit a really nice high note, but this is a little sleepy considering the circumstances. And he spent way too much time whistling. Before going high again at the end. Grade: B

Allegra Miles, “New York State of Mind:” Immediately, Allegra’s unique vocals cut through. And she selected a song that always her to do some vocal gymnastics. This young lady could very well win the show. Or at least, could deserve to win. Who knows what will happen with just three weeks of voting. Really nice ending too. Grade: A

Arei Moon, “Finesse:” Like the fact that Arei is going upbeat in spite of performing at home. I’ve been impressed by Arei every time she’s performed. She lights up a stage. Unfortunately, there’s no stage to light up tonight. And Arei’s vocals wavered a bit as that performance went on. Grade: C+

Roderick Chambers, “Lost Without You:” Roderick picked a song that allows him to show off his incredible range. And he’s delivering a joyful performance. Solid vocal, but not an especially memorable effort. Though Nick predicts Twitter will exploded over Roderick’s performance. Grade: B–

Michael Williams, “Sign of the Times:” No fancy backdrop for Michael. But he’s delivering another really nice vocal, displaying his range too. I think Michael and Allegra has stumbled upon the key to these at-home performances. You need to pick a song with some built-in dynamics, or the ability to deliver them. Wow, and remember, Michael was a one-chair turn. he’s doing really well. Grade: B+


Zan Fiskum, “Blowing in the Wind:” Love Zan’s song choice. Love the fact that she’s performing from the trailer on her family’s property. Love the fact that she’s making the song her own, and adding a bit of dramatics. Because, again, that’s going to be the key to making these at-home performances work. Zan just made a statement about why she belongs in the Top 9. Grade: A–

Mandi Castillo, “Corre” — Bold song choice. Like in her audition, Mandi opted to sing the entire song in Spanish. She delivered a heartfelt, flawless vocal, but not sure how wise that was given that this is the first voting episode. Blake pressed the point home. That said, I think she belongs in the Top 9. Grade: B+

Mike Jerel, “All My Life” — This song fits the sweet spot in Mike’s voice nicely. He’s showing off a lovely tone on it. But for the second half of the performance, the tempo seemed a little rushed. Anyway, I wound up liking the beginning and the tender ending much better than the middle part of that cover. John praising his for giving the song his own arrangement and making it his own. Grade: B–

CammWess, “Ain’t No Sunshine” — Camm’s got this down, too. He grabbed my attention with the first strum of that guitar. Really nice, subdued performance, delivered with lots of soul. He showed off great range too. That was my favorite performance so far from a male contestant. Kelly’s compliments him for making the song his own. John loves his tone. Grade: A–


Megan Danielle, “Anyone:” Megan’s performance is airing in black and white. She benefits from being the only country artist left in the competition. She also benefits from tne natural cry and rasp in her voice, and she’s picks a song that shows that off nicely. A little more eye contact would be nice. But she’s delivering a passionate vocal. Really nice ending. Grade: A–

Mandi Thomas, “I Hope You Dance:” Bet Mandi recorded this at the Memphis music studio where she teaches. Interesting that she’s going country again after auditioning with a classical song. Not sure she executed the big notes early in the performance as well as she would have liked. And this song is a bit overdone on singing shows. Grade: C+

Micah Iverson, “Your Song” — Check out all the candles. Nice staging, Micah. And, right now, I can tell you this is going to be one of my favorite Micah performances. That opening was a nice wrinkle. He’s adding some vocal dynamics to make the song his own. Nicely done. Fans are going to have a hard time sorting this out. Kelly calls him one of the best vocalists in the competition. Grade: B

Cedrice, “everything i wanted” — Cedrice scores major points for staging. She starts the song singing from her back on a lounger of some sort. She’s needed saves to survive the last two rounds when I think she’s one of the best singers/performers on the show. She also has one of the most distinct styles. The vocal went a bit sharp a couple of times, but I’d love to see her get more chances to show off her talent. Grade: B


Toneisha Harris: Liked the upbeat song choice. Liked Toneisha’s attitude. But that was probably a performance that would have worked better on a big stage where Toneisha really could have rocked it out. Given her vocal prowess, I expected Toneisha to go even a little bigger on the song’s ending. Blake calls it the best vocal of the night so far. Grade: B

Joei Fulco, “Runaway” — Joei’s rasp and vocal firepower are in fine form, but she’s one of the performers — given her performance experience — who would probably benefit from a bigger stage. She’s left to rock out all alone in this format. But that sure should satisfy the lover’s of country rock. Grade B–

Joanna Serenko, “Rich Girl” — Nice tone from Joanna from the word go. If I didn’t know the lyrics, I would have had trouble understanding part of that second verse. Overall, a solid performance, though I’m not sure it delivered the type of “moment” Joanna needed to advance to the Top 7. Kelly likes her “captivating spirit.” Grade: B

Todd Tilghman, “Glory of Love” — Todd actually seemed a little nervous at the opening of this performance. He wound up delivering a passionate performance, but the vocal wasn’t his best. Blake, however, says he deserves to go “all the way” to the winner’s circle. Grade: C

Producers, coaches, judges and hosts on American Idol and The Voice will pretend they are hosting a legitimate singing competition over the next few weeks. Having blogged about singing shows for more than a decade, I can assure you they are not.

You cannot go from a Top 20 to a winner in four weeks (American Idol) or a Top 17 to a winner in three weeks (The Voice) and call it a fair and legitimate singing competition.

So have fun watching. Vote if you want. Put very little stock in the results because they will mean virtually nothing.

Most of all, support the singers when their time on the show ends. They deserved a better showcase for their talent.

Related Posts

1 Comment

  1. TiredofTripe May 6, 2020 at 5:58 am -  Reply

    You might want to remind your readers that the three week finals format was determined well before the pandemic.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *