'The Voice' Recap: The Live Playoffs, Night 1 (Team Adam/Team Blake)
Next to bat is Team Adam's Bryan Keith. He's performing The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris," and his coach wants "a serious delivery of everything you got." The song is a wonderful match for Bryan, who does it justice as he sounds a little bit like John Rzeznik, with the same grit and emotion.
Blake has a hard time giving feedback over the sound of screaming girls, but eventually compares Bryan's lower register to that of Neil Diamond. Christina declares that Bryan "really owned it" and "that was the most passion I've ever seen you perform with." Adam confides that he "had to do very little" coaching of Bryan on this particular song, and he's proud of his team member: "This crowd loved you so much [and] I love you."
The show moves on to Team Blake's Michaela Paige with Neon Trees' "Everybody Talks," which her coach calls "back to just being who you are." He assures her that her age doesn't matter. As Michaela leaves the rehearsal room, Blake quips, "Don't hit your hair on the door." Ladies and gentlemen, Blake Shelton, the dispenser of both wisdom and wit.
Michaela definitely has stage presence, and a very interesting outfit to go with it. I'm not familiar enough with the song to comment on the quality of her rendition, but the crowd loves it. So, too, does Cee Lo, who calls it "the best performance of tonight" and "a flawless vocal performance." Adam says that Michaela "really surprised me today" and likes the song choice: "hopefully it wasn't [Blake's] because I hate giving him compliments." That puts a grin on Blake's face as he comments that Michaela is making him look smart and that her hair just might rival Cee Lo's.
Her colleague Julio Cesar Castillo follows after her, getting to go "back to his roots" with the mariachi song "El Rey." Blake says he needs Julio to "dramatize this song" since most folks who watch The Voice won't be familiar with it. Given that Julio gets the audience chanting his name, Blake had nothing to worry about. Christina tells him that "you made all the Latino people out there so proud." Blake admits that "I don't know what you're saying," but points toward the crowd's reaction as proof that his team member made the right choice.
Team Adam's Loren Allred is next, bringing Lisa Stansfield's pop hit "All Around The World," which she hopes will be a "breakout" choice for her. She's certainly got the sassy part down, and like Bryan, the song works for her because she's not that far removed from the sound of the original artist. Loren has clearly found her wheelhouse if she hadn't before. The track doesn't have a huge standout moment in it, though, so whether or not it will be enough for her to move forward is much less clear than her vocals.
Cee Lo tells Loren this is one of his favorite songs and that he's "not really surprised" at how well she did with it. Carson then passes Christina and Blake, going right to Adam, who is happy with her performance and wants to hear more of that should she continue on.
It's Team Adam's Amanda Brown who gets to close out the night, and she does it with Aerosmith's "Dream On." As Adam points out during rehearsal, this is not a song you would expect her to perform - but perform it she does, with plenty of attitude and some wicked notes that are jaw-dropping. It's dumbfounding to think that if there wasn't a steal this season, she would've gone home and America would've never heard that performance, which cements Amanda's status as a frontrunner this season.
Carson rushes the coaches through final comments, with Christina saying that Amanda did a great job and Adam once again remarking on how he stole Amanda from Cee Lo before telling everyone that "this, by far, was the actual best performance of the night." The crowd clearly agrees with him, as they half drown him out while he's talking. While they're still cheering on Amanda, the first live show of Season 3 comes to a close.
The Voice is preempted tomorrow due to Election Day coverage, but returns on the special nights of Wednesday and Thursday, starting at 8 PM ET/PT, to finish out its three-night first round of live playoffs. Tune in then for more - and be sure to vote for your favorite artists from Teams Adam and Blake at NBC.com/The-Voice, via phone, text, Facebook and by buying their songs on iTunes.
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.