The Voice

Song by song grades for the Top 5 on The Voice

The Voice finalists -- Jacquie Roar, Lila Forde, Ruby Leigh, Mara Justine and Huntley, return to the stage Monday night. (NBC Photo)

The Voice finalists — Jacquie Roar, Lila Forde, Ruby Leigh, Mara Justine and Huntley. (NBC Photo)


The Voice Top 5 take the stage one last time tonight with votes on the line.

Each contestant will perform one ballad and one up-tempo song.

Voting will run from the end of the show until 7 a.m. eastern time Tuesday via The Voice app and website.

Tomorrow night’s results show starts at 9 p.m.

Check back for song-by-song grades for tonight’s performances.

My intent is to blog live, but I won’t be shocked if glitches with technology delay the posting of some grades.

See also …
Ranking The Voice Top 5 for Season 24
Gina Miles: No new music yet, but she hasn’t been silent
Catching up with The Voice’s other 22 winners in 2023
Song by song grades for the Top 9
Song by song grades for the Top 12


Jacquie Roar, 38, North Plains, Oregon (Team Reba): “More Than a Feeling” by Boston: Jacquie pledged to “rock this song to pieces,” and she sure tried her best. That was a heck of a glory note near the end. Unfortunately for Jacquie, The Voice band was too loud and the stage was too busy. Why did we need all those dancers and the background singers near the opening? And when a band drowns out Jacquie at points, you know your sound mix is off. An up-tempo start to the show that should have been better. And got just a little too shouty. Grade: B–

Lila Forde, 25, Seattle, Wash. (Team Legend): “The Weight” by The Band: A fun and sorta slinky sexy performance from Lila, who seemed at ease with her up-tempo song. John called it weird and beautiful. But she excels at ballads and the best news for Lila is that she’ll end the night with her ballad. Solid, but not a show-winning performance. Grade: C+

Mara Justine, 21, Galloway, N.J. (Team Niall): “Turning Tables” by Adele: I’ve written much about Huntley’s rasp. But Mara has a great little rasp when she decides to use it. And she used it to great effect on that cover. She also did a great job of building the song’s dynamics on that final verse. Clearly, the best performance of the night so far. Grade: A–

Huntley, 33, Fredericksburg, Va. (Team Niall): Huntley, “Another Love” by Tom Odell — This is sure to be another crowd-pleaser from Huntley. Like Mara ,he built the song wonderfully, waiting until near the end to go big. My only complaint were a few mumbled lyrics at the opening. But he wound up delivering fire again. Oh, and I can’t help but note that the less complicated the staging, the better this cast performs. Understand, The Voice? Stay out of this cast’s way. Grade: A–

Ruby Leigh, 16, Foley, Missouri (Team Reba): “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley: Yep, Reba was right, I was curious to see what Ruby did with this song. And I was thrilled to hear her lovely tone and that natural cry in her voice in the opening. She still went too big on several occasions — belting is not Ruby’s forte — but this was her best performance of the lives so far. When she hits that sweet spot in her voice, it’s simply lovely. Grade: B


Jacquie Roar: “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues: Wow, really nice opening by Jacquie, who’s looking like an absolute star on stage. This was a great song choice for Jacquie’s ballad. And she’s doing a wonderful job with it. Damn, Jacquie. I felt sorry for her earlier because she was going to be forced to close with a ballad when her specialty is belting. She decided to do both on this cover. And she turned in the best performance of the night so far. And perhaps her best on the show. Grade: A

Lila Forde: “Across the Universe” by The Beatles: John Legend said this felt like the perfect song for the occasion. And at the conclusion, he called it magical and said it was exactly what America needed to hear from her. I’d beg to differ. Lila has a lovely voice and showed it off again. But there was nothing about that performance that screamed: “Vote for me. I should win The Voice.” Her specialty is ballads and she wound up being outperformed in the ballad round by three other singers. She needed to pluck heartstrings with this song choicee. Grade: C+

Mara Justine: “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin: The minute Mara announced the song title, I thought, ‘Oh, yeah, that should work.’ It worked and then some. Folks, that is as good as a Voice performance gets. She had complete command of that song and that performance. No matter how many dancers The Voice put on stage and how the band performed, Mara was the star at the center of it all. That was a winning performance. I don’t know how any producer could watch The Voice rehearsals and not think, “Yeah, we just gotta close the show with that one.” Grade: A+

Ruby Leigh: “Desperado” by The Eagles: Great song choice for Ruby. Easy gal, let that lovely tone do its thing. She’s not. She’s oversinging again. This is one of my all-time favorite songs. This is not a version of it that I’ll want to hear again. She simply pushing too much and rushing in spots rather than letting her lovely tone carry the day. Grade: C

Huntley: “Higher” by Creed: The band is too loud again. Huntley’s mumbling again. But he cuts a commanding presence on stage and the eventually wills the performance to a higher place. Oh, boy, The Voice is pulling out all the stops for this. And Huntley is certainly getting into it, belting as loud as he can belt. Nice closing performance. But not quite as good as The Voice coaches are claiming. Grade: A–

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  1. TV Fan December 19, 2023 at 3:10 am -  Reply

    I know that I seldom agree with much of what you write but I will agree with you wholeheartedly on the band and the big performances ruining good performances on The Voice’s live shows, particularly the finales.

    The Lives are absolutely the worst part of every Voice season. By far.

  2. Evelyn Evelyn December 19, 2023 at 11:32 am -  Reply

    i like Jaquie Roar and Rubie leigh there the ones i would choose to win the voice.

  3. Idol Girl December 19, 2023 at 12:01 pm -  Reply

    I’ve noticed this site has been glitchy lately. It’s been loading slowly and giving me “500 Internal Server Error” messages. Refreshing my browser helps.

    • Mark Franklin December 19, 2023 at 9:04 pm -  Reply

      My apologies. Folks have really been into this season of The Voice, resulting in lots more traffic than usual.

  4. Tom December 19, 2023 at 1:40 pm -  Reply

    By no means am
    I a professional music critic, but have been an A cappella singer my whole life. I totally disagree with your reviews of Ruby Leigh. She has the most cleanest and very well controlled voice off all the performers hands down! She just sing her music and tells a great story every time. All the others try to be someone else and do a terrible job! If you are going to sing and be a performer, be your own person and NOT the person who originally sang the song. Don’t be someone you are not!

  5. Charmaine snell December 19, 2023 at 3:21 pm -  Reply

    I thought you were to kind with Lila performance last night only made out a little more than half the words she sang, it might have been easier if i had known the song but that shouldn’t matter a D from me.
    Jackie and Huntley just mostly Hollard a c for them.
    I think Ruby out sung them all.

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