'The Voice' live blog: The Top 8 take the stage
Up first is Team Adam's James Wolpert, who's taken on Queen's "Somebody To Love." It was the singer's choice, but his coach was instantly on board, saying James hadn't had a big, operatic moment yet. The opening is a really cool look: a group a tuxedoed men surrounding James, until he breaks out of the pack. He sounds incredible on the vocal. There's no other way to really describe it beyond incredible. It's the perfect number to kick off the performances that matter. (Sorry, Robin Thicke.)
Adam tells James that he could go out and sing with Queen tomorrow based on how impressively he owned Freddie Mercury's song. Blake comments that it's maybe the best he's heard him sing, while Christina tells him he should be proud. She also makes some weird comment about cloning babies. Someone's in a good mood.
Taking the stage next is Team Adam's Tessanne Chin, who's taking on No Doubt's "Underneath It All," seemingly because Christina commented last week about wanting to see more the singer's Jamaican roots shine through in her performances. During rehearsals, Adam tells Tessanne that, week after week, his mom proclaims she's the best. Aww.
Tessanne's performance is a whole lot of fun. She sounds great on the vocal, and then she pulls off the rap with astonishing ease. Did anyone see that coming? What a cool surprise. The crowd eats it up. Adam says it was the most well-rounded thing she could've possibly sung on the show. CeeLo and Christina both praise the artist and her coach for taking the notes from last week and implementing them. Also, Christina tells her to look at one of her old performances because it was similar. Oh Xtina, always a pro at bringing it back to yourself.
Moving away from Team Adam for a bit, Team CeeLo's Caroline Pennell is up next. Her coach is having her take on Florence + The Machine's "Dog Days Are Over," looking to surprise the voters who put her in the bottom three last week. Caroline's not entirely sold on the song. Her nerves during rehearsal are distressing.
The song may not be among those immediately thought as a "Caroline Pennell song," but she takes to it quite well. Week after week, there's been a growing power in Caroline's sweet, tender voice. Whether voters will be turned off by not returning to what they've come to expect from her remains to be seen. CeeLo kicks off the comments by reading a strangely sweet poem for his last remaining artist, though he seemed to have trouble reading his own handwriting. Adam says the performance was the best thing she could've possibly done in the moment, praising her for continually pushing herself.
Time for a little group action. Tessanne, Ray Boudreaux, Will Champlin and Cole Vosbury take the stage (after some idle chatter between Carson Daly and Robin Thicke in that darned Spring Skybox) to sing Matisyahu's "One Day." It sounds lovely, but it's a bit boring. Oh well.
The next solo performance comes from Team Blake's Cole Vosbury. Wanting to tap into his country roots, Blake hands him Vince Gill's "I Still Believe In You." It's a rather touching performance, made all the better by Blake's suggestion to strip it down to just guitar and strings. His vocal shines and that little smile at the end shows he knows it.
After giving his artist a standing ovation, Blake gushes that Cole left his heart and soul on the stage. Christina praises the quiet moment Cole brought to the stage, saying it provided some clarity and revealed something deeper in his voice. It's a good night for Cole.
Up next is Team Christina's birthday boy, Matthew Schuler. He's taking on Imagine Dragons' "It's Time," which he says really speaks to how he's feeling in the moment. Christina brings in he choreographer Jeri for a powerful, militant feel. The choreography comes off a little cheesy in the moment. Ultimately, it's just window dressing. Matt's voice is the star here, and the song is right in his wheelhouse. He rocks, once again reaffirming his front-runner status.
Christina praises Matthew for the song choice and somehow relates it to Thanksgiving which makes no sense, but whatever. CeeLo related to what Matt was feeling with this performance, while no one else got to speak. Guess they spent too much time with Robin Thicke in that Skybox.
Time for another group performance. Caroline, Matthew, James and Jacquie Lee take on Ed Sheeran's "Lego House" because apparently no group performance can be upbeat tonight. No one sound particular great in the first verse, but they all manage to recover. There's some cute interplay between the four, but in the end, it's just four people sitting on some stools. Ho hum.
Up next is Team Adam's Will Champlin, whose team gushes for his dedication, revealing that he's always rehearsing. For his performance, he's taking a big risk, singing Etta James' "At Last." Adam's excited about the song choice since no other male artist has ever done it on the show, but wants Will to put aside his tendency to overthink things and just feel the song. It's a rather stunning, revelatory performance. This may be the moment Will needed in this competition. There's a power and a connection to the material here that was so very necessary. And that note at the end? Wow.
Adam gushes over the performance, nearly overcome with his pride. Christina relates her own knowledge of the track to comment on how impressive Will's performance was, while celebrating how successfully he set aside his overthinking nature and just fell into the song.
Taking the stage next is Team Blake's Ray Boudreaux. After some more footage of him and Cole talking with Jay Leno (because, sure, why not), we learn that Ray will be taking on The Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'." On stage, he seems at home with the big bang, soul feel of the performance, but some of the words end up swallowed -- particularly the "lovin'" in the choruses. It's a more playful performance than we've seen from him in the past, however. Seems he took Christina's request from last week to see him entertain more to heart. It's easily his most fun performance of the season.
Blake praises Ray's swag during the performance, while celebrating the time he took to let his vocal shine, as well. Christina, surprised that Blake knows what "swag" means, says that she was happy to see him do something upbeat, while CeeLo complements Blake on his great song choice.
Closing the evening, it's time for Team Christina's Jacquie Lee. Christina gives her young artist The Jackson 5's "Who's Loving You," wanting to tap back into her roots, while still having an opportunity to get vulnerable. The coach calls in her choreographer to coach Jacquie on how to let go and just lose herself in the song. Jacquie's vocal is just unreal. That a capella opening is a stunner. Her voice sounds so powerful throughout and the coaching on losing herself in the song seems to have done the trick. It's another standout moment for the young singer.
Christina gushes over the way Jacquie just got up there and was able to "sing and sing and sing." Adam expresses his continued shock over her ability to convey the emotion she does, considering her youth, which CeeLo echoes, saying it's like she "swallowed an old lady."
And that's our show. Who do you think proved their worth tonight? And who's performance will likely have them in danger? Sound off in the comments below.