The Voice: The Live Playoffs

Due to Election Day, The Voice had to change its format for this week. In seasons past, the show would schedule the live playoffs over two nights, with a third night set for an elimination show. But with all networks doing election coverage tonight, the show crammed twenty performances (that’s every singer in the competition) into a two-hour window. In addition, rather than have a separate show to announce the results, viewers would be voting on the performers in real time. So in one show, you had elements of what in the past were three shows. Because of the breakneck pace, it was difficult to take notes on what happened. So this recap may not be as detailed as in years past.

For this recap, I will list the singers for each team and the song they performed on the show. Rather than include the videos in this post, I will link to them in the list. At the end of each group, I will then list the ones that made it through to next week’s round of 12.

Team #1: Alicia Keys

America’s choices: Christian Cuevas, Wé McDonald; Alicia’s choice: Sa’Rayah

No real surprises here, except maybe Josh Halverson could have made it through. While I thought his “Cupid” was an interesting song choice, I thought he might have made it through to the next round, but Alicia is a big fan of Sa’Rayah, so she stuck with her for another round. Kylie Rothfield’s Rolling Stones cover was too messy to get her through.

Team #2: Blake Shelton

America’s choices: Sundance Head, Austin Allsup; Blake’s choice: Courtney Harrell

Again, no true surprises. This group most definitely suffered in song choices. Both Dana and Jason chose songs that I felt didn’t really showcase their voices. While I love both “Maneater” and “One Dance,” I don’t think either of them would be songs I would choose for a singing competition. Blake had the easiest choice of the night, in my opinion.

Team #3: Miley Cyrus

America’s choices: Aaron Gibson, Ali Caldwell; Miley’s choice: Darby Walker

Some more “interesting” song choices here also, but in most cases they worked for the people who sang them. Ali and Aaron were the best two of this group without question. Miley’s unabashed love for Darby was going to keep her around, no matter how well or awful she performed (for my ears, she wasn’t great). I would have gone with Sophia, because I think her Rod Stewart cover fit her better than Darby’s song did for her. Belle’s “Runaway,” while interesting, just wasn’t up to par with the others.

Team #4: Adam Levine

America’s choices: Billy Gilman, Josh Gallagher; Adam’s choice: Brendan Fletcher

Adam did not have it easy. Many in my Facebook group thought that Adam had a deep, talented team and they did not disappoint. I think the votes were right, though you could make cases for both Simone and Riley. I also thought it a bit unfair that Adam had to make his choice in 30 seconds, as the credits were rolling. If Carson Daly hadn’t asked Adam to speak to his team, he would have had plenty of time to make his choice. While I think he chose correctly, I would have liked for him to have the amount of time his fellow coaches were given.

While it was great to cut down on the fluff and filler of the usual format for the live playoffs, this was a very difficult show to follow for a recap. I wonder if the show’s producers will try this format again in future seasons, or if this was a one-off because of the election. I usually don’t give predictions on who looks to be the winner, but you have to look at Billy Gilman and Wé McDonald. Gilman was the best singer show last night, and while McDonald wasn’t at her best, she has banked a few great performances that keep her near the top. I’d be nervous for Darby Walker going forward, but Miley loves her. But she can’t keep her around forever, especially if the voting breaks the way it did in this show. I’m looking forward to next week and seeing the final twelve perform.

photo from Creative Commons via Eva Rinaldi (available for reuse).

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