Last night, Team’s Blake and Christina had their shot at the spotlight. Tonight on The Voice, it’s time for Team Adam and Team Pharrell to step up. And after tonight, it will be time to cut the field in half. So let’s get into the second night of The Voice‘s Live Playoffs:
The night starts with Pharrell’s comeback artist, Daniel Passino, who thrived for Christina over the last few weeks. Pharrell says he picked Dan because he went for it even when facing frontrunner Alisan Porter. Daniel chooses Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” and even has an arrangement in mind. He nails the emotion, the high notes and a killer ending falsetto. Simply put, Daniel made the most of his second chance. Adam says he’s so impressed and adds that he was fantastic. Blake says Daniel put himself right back in the mix. Christina says it was beautiful and his tenderness brought it home. Pharrell says his energy and passion showed through and even invoked a “Damn Daniel.”
We stick with Team Pharrell for the next performance as teen Emily Keener takes on a song beyond her years — Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years.” Emily is not only singing, but performing on keyboards as well. She shows a little different side, with this bluesy performance and the quieter moments hit as well as her end song power notes. Adam says Emily got him with that song and he felt incredible listening to it. Christina says it was beautiful and felt she sang clearly and gorgeous. Pharrell feels as if he time traveled and calls her “an amazing unicorn of a singer.”
After a bit of stumble last week with Peter Gabriel, Team Adam’s Laith Al-Saadi gets back in the classic rock wheelhouse, choosing the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” as performed by Joe Cocker for his Playoffs pick. It’s a big sounding song and Adam offers a few suggestions to help out with the performance. During the set, Adam can be seen standing, cheering on Laith through the power moments of his vocals and guitar playing. Blake says he was incredible. Christina calls it exciting and loved watching him embellish and let loose. Pharrell says classic rock fans have to vote for Laith after hearing that performance. Adam says the room was just electric with that performance.
Team Pharrell’s Moushumi is next up, stating that she wants to lean more indie-alternative, but for this performance she takes on Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.” Pharrell says she needs to use her full voice more even though the airy nature has worked for her. Pharrell tweaks the arrangement to give her more places to shine. However, there’s not much variation in the song, leading to a performance that is solid but with minimal dynamics. Adam says he was wanting to hear more of her voice minus the production. Christina argues the opposite, saying she loved the arrangement additions. Pharrell says this is clearly something Moushumi should be doing.
Team Pharrell continues to dominate The Voice‘s first hour, this time with Lacy Mandigo stepping up to the mic. The rocker girl picks a song that should be right in her wheelhouse, Pat Benatar’s “Love Is a Battlefield.” Pharrell challenges Lacy to not worry about appearance and to embrace the energy of the song. When it comes to the performance, her vocals are powerful, but she could still use a little more letting loose onstage. Blake says the monster comes out when she sings. Christina says she rocked it and loved the extended note at the end. Pharrell says she was never meant to go home.
It’s back to Team Adam as folky rocker Owen Danoff takes the stage. After dabbling in older tunes through most of the show, he takes on Family of the Year’s indie infused favorite “Hero.” He feels the switch-up will help and will assist him in telling his story. Adam says he thinks Owen has more confidence as a performer, and he gets a chance to show that during his take on the song. As he strums along onstage, there is a definite connect with the crowd. Blake says Owen made it seem like it was his song. Pharrell says it felt magical and Adam says he felt that there’s no one on the show as good as him when it comes to making the audience feel as though he’s speaking to them.
Keeping things rolling, Shalyah Fearing steps up for Team Adam. She picks the gospel-leaning Beyonce song “Listen,” and Adam coaches her to build the performance rather than going full blast all through. Just like the last few weeks, Shalyah upped her game and the strength of her vocal just kills it at the end. She’s greeted with standing ovations from Adam, Pharrell, Blake and Christina. “My goodness,” states Carson Daly as the cheers don’t stop. Blake says Shalyah has turned into a frontrunner. Christina says she has such authority and presence. Pharrell says he’s been honored to be part of her journey. Adam says he’s so proud of her and that people feel the message she’s trying to convey.
It’s time for Adam’s comeback artist, and he welcomes back his own Nate Butler, feeling he got a raw deal after a great performance in the Knockout Rounds. Nate picks Hall & Oates’ “Sara Smile,” one of Adam’s favorites. He tells Nate to lay back a bit and not rush the song. However, the performance starts a little shaky before Nate finds his groove. Blake says he loves the runs, the falsettos and Nate’s creative choices. Adam says the subtleties and nuances of his performance were great.
Team Pharrell’s Caity Peters really came to the forefront with her last performance and she’s hoping to keep the momentum going with her take on Adele’s “I’ll Be Waiting.” Pharrell feels the uptempo nature is worth the risk. He also tells her to not be afraid of her vibrato. As for the performance, her lower register parts shine as expected, and the upbeat nature was a solid choice. Christina says she was happy to see the energy. Pharrell says he was happy to see her set herself free and just let it go.
After being “montaged” last week, Caroline Burns get her chance to show if she’s ready to move into the upper echelon of performers. She chooses the Kodaline song “All I Want” for this playoff performance, and feels the song is a little more intense. Adam thinks it will be good to challenge herself and that confidence will play a big role for her moving forward. It’s a good song choice, as Caroline just gets stronger throughout the performance. Blake says he loves it seeing a little girl singing something that just blows your face off. Pharrell says it’s been fun to watch her journey and he feels that this was a new level. Adam says she was fantastic and he thinks that this is just another step in her journey.
Team Adam’s Brian Nhira continues his inspirational path on the show, and the Sia song “Alive” gives him a chance to connect with some big notes. The performance allows him to start softer and build, showcasing his smoothness in the verses, the knocking everyone out with his power in the chorus. Christina says Brian has crazy range to try and tackle a Sia song. Pharrell congratulates him is wowed by how he stays in key on the high notes. Adam too is amazed at a male being able to hit some of his notes and calls him “game time” because he knows he never has to worry about Brian’s performances.
Closing out the night is Team Pharrell’s Hannah Huston, taking on the Aretha Franklin song “Ain’t No Way.” During the rehearsal, Hannah and Pharrell both get a little emotional over the feel of the track. During the live show, it’s an equally powerful performance that has Pharrell standing at the end. Blake says it’s easy to get caught up in her performances. Pharrell says it was amazing how she steals everyone’s hearts.
Going into the live playoffs, Hannah Huston was easily the frontrunner for Team Pharrell, with not much separation between the remaining artists on Pharrell’s team. However, Hannah may have some competition on Team Pharrell with Daniel Passino’s “comeback” performance that should earn him a permanent return to the show. The biggest question after tonight’s performances is whether Emily Keener or Lacy Mandigo will take the remaining spot on Team Pharrell. With the overall body of work so far, Emily likely earns the nod.
Team Pharrell Vote Advances: Hannah Huston, Daniel Passino
Team Pharrell Saves: Emily Keener
As for Team Adam, wise steals of Shalyah Fearing and Brian Nhira from other teams increased the coach’s chances of advancing in the competition. But after a strong showing in the live playoffs, Shalyah established herself as a clear frontrunner on the team, while Owen rebounded with his best performance to date. And that leaves one spot left. Brian Nhira killed it again, but never underestimate Caroline Burns who had one of her strongest performances yet, and the stellar Laith Al-Saadi. The save is not going to be an easy choice for Adam.
Team Adam Vote Advances: Shalyah Fearing, Owen Danoff
Team Adam Saves: Brian Nhira
Come back Wednesday night at 8PM ET/PT on NBC for The Voice results show and see which artists will get a chance to continue.