Song by song grades for the Top 12 on The Voice

Twenty-five hours from now, the 12 will become 10 on The Voice.

And, for the first time this season, team affiliation and coaches’ opinions won’t matter much in determining who stays and goes.

The lowest two vote-getters after tonight’s performances will head home this week, regardless of which team they belong to.

While the coaches will weigh in on each performance, they won’t have a save to reverse a favorite contestant’s fate.

If you missed by rankings on where I think the Top 12 will finish, head here.

Michaela Paige: She’s the youngest singer remaining in the competition at age 16. We weren’t shown her blind audition. In the battle round, she and teen country singer Kelly Crapa were asked to rock out to “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” The knockout round found her matched against the more experienced 24-year-old Collin McLoughlin, but Michaela prevailed with a version of “Love is a Battlefield.” She needed Blake’s save in the live playoff after a fun performance of “Everybody Talks.”

Tonight: Talk about current, Michaela has decided to sing Pink’s “Blow Me One Last Kiss,” which fits right into what she wants to do musically, but is a pretty tough challenge. Michaela is always fun to watch, but not sure I would have done away with the mohawk. It was sorta her trademark. If I were Michaela, I’m also not sure I would have picked to sing a song by Pink. Her vocals got a bit lost in the background music at the start of that performance, and there were a couple of times when it sounded a little like she was shouting. Grade. C.

Dez Duron: He got three judges to turn around for his version of “Sara Smile” in the blind audition, then defeated teen pop singer Paulina in the battle round. Their duet was “Just the Way You Are.” He was paired with another teen in the knockout round, defeating Alessandra Guercio with a version of “Stuck on You.” He was voted into the finals after singing “Wanted,” a country song chosen by Christina Aguilera to show off his versatility.

Tonight: No country music tonight. Dez sees himself as a soulful pop artist and he’s singing “Can’t Talk My Eyes Off of You.” Known more for his looks than his voice, Dez will surprise you with his vocals. Not sure he ranks among the show’s absolute best singers, but he’s not out of his league in these finals either. He pulled off a very nice note at the end of the song, and it was a perfectly fine performance that plays to his fan base — the young ladies watching at home. Grade: B-

Adriana Louise: After getting all four coaches to turn around for “Domino” in the blind audition, she was pitted against another young, attractive pop star in the battle round and defeated Jordan Pruitt during their duet of “Hot and Cold.” She sang Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone” in the knockout round and was declared the winner over teenager Celica Westbrook. She needed a save from Christina to make the top 12 after singing Katy Perry’s “Firework” in the live playoffs.

Tonight: Speaking of going country, here goes Adriana singing Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl.” She was the surprise save from last week, somehow advancing over De’Borah, who had been pretty flawless in the live playoffs. Adriana seems to have conquered her nerves tonight. She’s turning in a sassy performance. But she’s struggling a bit on the parts where Carrie belts so effortlessly. And as soon as I typed that, Adriana unleashed a couple of big, pitch perfect notes. That was my favorite Adriana performance in weeks. Not perfect, but a big improvement over last week. Grade: B-

Cody Belew: He went a little wild after Cee Lo Green turned around at the last second for his version of “Hard to Handle.” Then, in the battles, he was pitted against the dancing dynamo named Domo, but prevailed on their version of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” He’s been more subdued since, singing “Jolene” to advance from a knockout round match against early favorite Avery Wilson. He got a save from Cee Lo after performing “One More Try” in the live playoffs.

Tonight: After two weeks of slowing it down, Cody will sing “The Best” by Tina Turner. Looks like bam-bam Cody is back. I was a little worried when I heard that song choice, but Cody is a heck of a singer. That was pretty much flawless vocally from beginning to end. And Cody certainly looks comfortable on stage, doesn’t he. He worked that stage effortlessly and it didn’t detract one bit from his vocal. The best performance of the four we’ve seen so far. Grade: B+

Amanda Brown: Another background singer making a strong run at the title, she auditioned with “Valerie” and got Cee Lo to spin his chair. In the battle round, she drew a tough match-up with Trevin Hunte. He was declared Cee Lo’s winner after they performed “Vision of Love,” but she was saved by Adam Levine. She won another tough match with Michelle Brooks-Thompson in the knockout round by performing “Paris Ooh La La.” Then she turned in the best performance in the live playoff round with her rendition of “Dream On” and was voted into the Top 12 by fans.

Tonight: Ms. Versatility to date, she’s chosen “Spectrum.” It’s going to be very difficult to top that “Dream On” performance. And I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to do it. For one thing, Amanda’s voice is getting lost in the backing track every time she sings softly. And while her voice soared from time to time, it did sound like she was straining occasionally. Probably my least favorite Amanda performance to date, though she’s got undeniable vocal talent. Grade: C+

Bryan Keith: The son of a Grammy winner, Bryan performed Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain” in the blind audition and got all four judges to spin their chairs. Next up: a battle round match with Collin McLoughlin during which they were asked to sing Sublime’s “Santeria.” In the knockout round, Bryan was pitted against pop singer Joe Kirkland and prevailed with a version of “Everything I Do, I’ll Do It for You.” He was voted into the finals after singing “Iris” in the live playoffs.

Tonight: Bryan will sing Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” I’m not into the Sinatra vibe. It brings flashbacks to those horrid Rat Pack episodes of American Idol. That said, he’s doing a fine job with this and, Cody aside, might be the best male singer on the show. What he needs to separate him from the pack is a show-stopping surprise performance like Amanda Brown pulled off with “Dream On.” Grade: B

Cassadee Pope: The former lead singer of Hey Monday got all four judges to turn around for her blind audition rendition of “Torn.” We didn’t get to see her battle round victory over Ryan Jirovec. But in the knockout round, she was matched against one of Team Blake’s other talented singer-songwriters and won with her rendition of “Payphone.” Fans picked her as one of the two Team Blake members to advance after she sang “My Happy Ending” in the live playoffs.

Tonight: She’s going to sing “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” And Cassadee shows up on stage with her guitar for the first time. Well, that performance brought Blake Shelton to his feet and got the crowd screaming. She hit … and held forever … an absolutely incredible note in the middle of that song. Then she promptly stopped playing guitar and started working the crowd and made me forget many of the so-so performances tonight in the process. That’s what happens when a singer connects with a song. Grade: A-

Trevin Hunte: This 18-year-old closed the opening show of the season, auditioned with “Listen” and got three judges to turn around. He and Amanda Brown then closed the first battle round show, singing “Vision of Love.” He advanced for Team Cee Lo; she was stolen by Adam. In the knockout round, Trevin defeated another soul singer, Terisa Griffin, with a performance of “Against All Odds.” On night two of the live playoffs, he sang “How am I Supposed to Live Without You” and advanced to the Top 12 on fan votes.

Tonight: He’ll sing “When a Man Loves a Woman.” The song choices need to get more imaginative for Trevin. You can almost predict the type of song he’s going to sing each week. That ending was classic Trevin. He went absolutely crazy brilliant on it. But prior to that, he seemed to be straining vocally for the first time in this competition. I’m just hoping he comes out on stage next week and sings something that’s a surprise. He’s getting rave reviews from the coaches, though. Grade: B+

Melanie Martinez: Another three-chair turn-around performer from the blind auditions, Melanie wowed the judges that night by performing two instruments and singing “Toxic.” She was matched with another unique vocalist in the battle round, but defeated Caitlin Michele when they performed Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” In the knockout round, she sang “Bulletproof” to defeat Sam James. But she needed Adam’s save after her version of “Hit the Road Jack” in the live playoffs.

Tonight: The gal with the unique look and sound is going to perform “Cough Syrup.” Love this song choice. Wow, when Melanie sings soft and tender, she is absolutely special. Problem is, her voice isn’t as big as lots on the show. And she was forced to belt on half of that song, and that’s when it wasn’t quite as special. Still, that’s a solid enough performance that Melanie should dodge elimination. Oh, and at long last, we learned the inspiration for the hairstyle — Cruella de Vil from “101 Dalmatians.” Not that her mom approved, Melanie admits. Grade: B.

Nicholas David: Only Cee Lo spun his chair for Nicholas’ blind audition performance of “Stand by Me,” but Cee Lo has been standing by Nicholas ever since. He was paired against another veteran musician in the battle round and bested Todd Kessler when they performed “She’s Gone.” For the knockout round, Cee Lo picked him over Mycle Wastman after Nicholas performed “Put Your Records On.” And the pubic rallied around Nicholas in the live playoffs, sending him to the Top 12 after he performed “My Everything.”

Tonight: He’ll sing “Power of Love.” And he’s making more of an attempt to connect with the audience, actually kneeling at the edge of the stage to greet a few of them. Unfortunately, he’s still got a country mile to go to match the stage presence of the other more seasoned performers on this show. And, tonight, the vocal didn’t quite click for me. Not one of the night’s best. Grade: C.

Sylvia Yacoub: Three judges turned around for her blind audition performance of Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World.” She then defeated talented young Joselyn Rivera in the battle round when they performed “Best Thing I Never Had.” Joselyn wound up being stolen by Adam. Sylvia sang Christina’s “Fighter” to defeated Aquile in the knockoff round. Last week, she was voted into the finals after sitting behind the piano and performing “The One That Got Away.” It was the top-ranked song on iTunes among the night two performances in the live playoffs.

Tonight: Oh, no, she’s going to sing “My Heart Will Go On.” Another of those songs we hear too often. But she was great last week, so let’s see what she can pull off. After a slight problem at the start, Sylvia quickly found her groove. Wow, where did this Sylvia come from? The last two weeks, she has been great. She delivered at the end every bit as well as Trevin did earlier tonight. And that might be the most difficult song anyone has selected tonight. Grade: A-

Terry McDermott: The singer from Scotland got all three male judges to turn around for his blind audition of “Teenage Wasteland.” On the first night of the battle rounds, he beat Casey Muessigmann when they performed “Carry on My Wayward Son.” He was pitted against fellow rocker Rudy Parris in the knockout round and won with “Baby, I’m Amazed.” During the live playoffs, he sang “Don’t Stop Believing.” Fans voted him into the Top 12.

Tonight: Terry has chosen what he considers his biggest challenge to date, “More Than a Feeling.” We’re closing the show with another classic rocker, but this is not going to be another “Dream On.” For one thing, there’s no element of surprise. For another, Terry is straining for notes he can’t hit. Nice final note, but until then that was honestly one of the weakest vocals of the night. He seemed to be straining throughout.Grade: C-


22 Responses to “Song by song grades for the Top 12 on The Voice”

  1. D says:

    Amada Brown, should focus on her singing and not her looks. This is called the voice!! I am sorry, we just dont think she has it! And please stop with all the hand movement! Sorry Amanda, u just dnt have the voice to win this. It’s very obvious u already know this that’s why u are so consumed by your looks, which is all you have at this point in the competition…

  2. D says:

    Nicholas David, Melanie Martinez, Terry McDermott, u have the voices to win this competition! I hope ppl truly vote based on what this competition is all about and not based on looks, because you three have what it takes to win this!! We are truly blown away with your singing!! If one of these threedont win this then this show should no longer be called “The Voice” and should be called ” The Look”

  3. Debbi says:

    I guess we will agree to disagree. I have to say The voice has really changed it’s format. There is no guarantee that each coach will have a performer in the finals.
    I thought Michaela gave another strong performance, but your right she should have kept the mohawk. I was surprised when Dez was picked as one of the finalist for team Christina. He has a distinct nasal sound that I don’t like. However, he is cute and I’m sure teenage girls are voting for him.
    I thought the audience would have picked Adriana as Christina’s two. Another good performance, I hope she stays to the next round.
    I loved Cody’s “Jolene” performance, but not in love with his live performances. I think he will be cut in the next round.
    Amanda has been such a good competitor, but when the coaches ripped her performance, it’s a bad sign. I hope her fans save her.
    Good song choice and good performance by Brian. I like Cassadee but she doesn’t have a voice that stands out. Still she has a strong fan base.
    Triven would be the obvious choice as the winner of the voice. I can’t imagine him giving a bad performance. I like Melanie and I hope she stays for a while.
    Love Nicholas David- another good performance.
    Hate Sylvia’s song. Couldn’t really hear Terry but the judges raved about it.

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