The Voice

Song by song grades for the Top 8 on The Voice

The Top 8 on The Voice includes (from left) Katie Kadan, Marybeth Byrd, Will Breman, Kat Hammock, Jake Hoot, Hello Sunday, Ricky Duran and Rose Short. (NBC Photo)

The Top 8 on The Voice includes (from left) Katie Kadan, Marybeth Byrd, Will Breman, Kat Hammock, Jake Hoot, Hello Sunday, Ricky Duran and Rose Short. (NBC Photo)


Each of the Top 8 on The Voice will take the stage twice tonight, once for a solo and once for a duet.

There’s no word yet on the duet partners / pairings or what songs those duos will perform.

Personally, I’d much prefer the Top 8 each perform two solos. The Voice used to do that. And we are choosing “the voice,” not the best duet partner.

But the duets are somewhat less objectionable than in the past because they don’t appear to be linked to voting in any way.

Meanwhile, some of the songs choices tonight strike me as shockers (I’m looking at you Rose Short and Marybeth Byrd) while others are just what you’d expect (Katie Kadan).

Katie Kadan (Team Legend), “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle — So John’s strategy is to have Katie do another big song this week, then go for a finale next week in the final (my guess is Katie will be there). Predictably, Katie is slaying the song, nailing the big notes with ease. Not sure this is going to win over new fans. And, personally, I didn’t like some of her vocal choices early in the song. Plus, some of Katie’s outfits and on-stage mannerisms detract from her performances for me. But there’s no denying that voice and that performance should put her in the finals. Grade B+

Kat Hammock (Team Blake), “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane — Sounds like this song choice was all Kat’s. And it’s immediately a much better fit for her voice than the Shania Twain song she performed last week. Not sure this is the type of vocal that’s going to get Kat an automatic spot in the finals, at least not since Katie and Jake seem like locks for two of those three spots. Not a perfect vocal from Kat, but much, much better than a week ago. Grade: B–

Will Breman and Ricky Duran, “I Don’t Want to Lose You Love Tonight” by The Outfields — Okay, the pairing seemed like a good idea. So perhaps it was the song choice. But that’s the weakest vocal we’ve heard from Ricky since … well, I think it’s the weakest vocal we’ve heard from his on the show. Will didn’t seem to have a very firm grasp on singing in tune either. The best part about that was the guitar solo. Grade: C–

Marybeth Byrd (Team Legend), “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood — I’m chalking this up as a strategic blunder. John decided to pull Marybeth back closer to her country roots. But he knew Katie and Will were going up-tempo, which would have been the perfect time for Marybeth to pluck some heartstrings, because she can do that oh, so wonderfully. “Jesus Take the Wheel,” perhaps? Instead, she seemed to drop a lyric at one point and stopped singing at another just when I thought she was building to a big finish. Not Marybeth at her best. Grade: C+

Hello Sunday (Team Kelly), “Don’t You Worry About a Thing” by Stevie Wonder — The snippet of the recorded version of this sounded like a mess. So, in that respect, the live performance didn’t disappoint. The young ladies started off pretty nicely, but the song grew, they went off key and then the shouting started, as it often does when Hello Sunday performs. Here’s what it shouted loudest of all: Hello Sunday does not belong in The Voice Season 17 finals. Grade: D

Jake Hoot and Marybeth Byrd, “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes — Now that opening was Marybeth in her element. Unfortunately, the rest of this performance just didn’t jell for some reason. The reason? I’m blaming a bad song choice couple with a bad theme choice on the part of The Voice. Grade: B–

Ricky Duran (Team Blake), “Let it Be” by The Beatles — I’d been waiting all night for someone to declare: I belong in the finals with Jake and Katie and Rose. I think Ricky just did. We got an intense performance complete with a heartfelt opening and a blistering guitar solo in the middle. Yep, Ricky played both piano and guitar in the same performance. Nicely done, and likely to do well on iTunes to thanks to a smart song choice. Grade: B

Will Breman, (Team Legend) “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars — Another fun performance from Will. His problem is he set the bar so high with last week’s manic performance, that a followup was going to be difficult. He sure tried, dancing ito the crowd, interacting with fans. Unfortunately, the vocal just wasn’t up to par. The Blue Crew might find itself rallying to try to save him tomorrow night. Grade: C+

Rose Short and Katie Kadan, “Express Yourself” by Madonna — Someone better secure the rafters with these two singing together. Check that. Another crappy song choice. I mean, when you put these two together, you should surely choose a song that would allow them to shake the rafters and bring down the house, right! Not on The Voice, apparently. Rose reminded me of why her voice is my favorite among the female singers on the show. Katie oversang throughout, perhaps trying to do more with the song that was wise. Grade: B

Hello Sunday and Kat Hammock, “We Belong to the Night” by Pat Benetar — The way Kat began her part of this, I thought, wow, maybe she should have taken an up-tempo classic and flipped it for her solo performance. About 30 seconds later, I just wanted this performance to be over. What I wrote early about Hello Sunday and the finals — this confirmed it. And they might have called themselves Hello Hammock, but seriously, these three young ladies should not have been singing together. Grade: D

Rose Short (Team Gwen), “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner — So, let’s see, last week Rose performed Blake’s “God’s Country” and killed it. This week, she takes on a rock classic, and kills it. I think she just made a very, very convincing argument for belonging in the finals, and perhaps at center stage with confetti falling on her head next week. I’m not at all a fan of that song, but I thoroughly enjoyed Rose’s version. That ending was brilliant. Grade: A

Jack Hoot (Team Kelly), “Desperado” by The Eagles — Jake says the Eagles are his mom’s favorite band, helping explain this song choice. By the way, the song was already #42 on the iTunes county chart two hours before the show. And Jake just turned in his best Voice performance to date. That was an excellent song choice, very well executed and Jake is certainly finals bound. I would have preferred just a tough more ache and a touch less power, but it was still one of the night’s strongest performances. Grade: A–

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1 Comment

  1. Kim Fatica December 10, 2019 at 11:42 am -  Reply

    Trying to compare Rose and Katie, bith of whom are powerhouses in their own right. For me, Katie is a fabulous stage performer, whereas Rose is a vocalist. I love them both, but cannot imagine buying Katie’s music for a relax and listen.

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