The Top 10 have a lot of pressure on them tonight because not only are they putting on nationally televised performances in hopes of winning over all of America, but they’re also singing for the nation’s first ladies, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, a slew of military service members, and their families who are being honored by the show, and, most importantly, some of their mothers.
So, which of the Top 10 will earn their stars and stripes and mama’s pride? Let’s review.
1. Daniel Passino (Team Pharrell):
“I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
After surviving the bottom two by slim margins last week, Daniel Passino has made a very, very big mistake: Going online and reading a bunch of negative internet comments about himself (*headdesk* nooooo). Daniel’s had some issues with confidence in the past, so he needs an extra layer of doubt like a bad case of laryngitis right about now.
Coach Pharrell Williams does his best to clear Daniel’s mind of last week’s rankings and whatever put-downs he’s read about himself lately — “not one of those comments can motivate you,” he promises — but Daniel’s mostly flat performance (of a song that should be almost excessively dynamic) proves that he’s definitely been affected by all the setbacks he’s experienced throughout his term on The Voice. Bummer.
2. Shalyah Fearing (Team Adam):
“My Kind of Love” by Emile Sande
Shalyah’s emerged as an early favorite for this season — Adam even thinks she’s one good performance away from earning a sure spot in the finale — but there are still some viewers who really need to see her dial down the decibel level a bit to be convinced of the skill set behind her usual intensity.
This week, she seems to want to rise to that occasion, going for a stormier, lower key tune, but is it going to be the deal-maker Adam’s hoping for? Hardly. As Blake Shelton says in the meat of his compliment sandwich, what she winds up with is “ragged and edgy [and] there was nothing smooth about it.” She’s still one of the stronger showings of the night, and Adam Levine’s already pitching her Top 9 performance number (Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama,” apparently), so we certainly don’t expect her to go anywhere. But this was a rare miss for her.
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3. Nick Hagelin (Team Christina):
“I Can’t Help It” by Michael Jackson
Nick Hagelin’s earned enough fanfare to keep pushing him through week after week, but this week he’s out to prove himself to everyone else. In both the literal and metaphorical sense, he’s ready to move outside of “the box” (as in, there’s an actual box on the stage that he sits in — with Olivia Pope’s murder chair, no less) and reveal himself as a long-time artist with skills and dreams and all the rest.
Whether you’re a Nick Hagelin enthusiast or not, he definitely gets points this week for finding a fitting tone zone with this song. Is he perfect? No. But he’s less imperfect than usual, so that’s something, right? Christina Aguilera credits voters for Nick Hagelin’s ability to return and earn tonight’s “Most Improved” ribbon, rather than the usual participation trophy.
NEXT: This singer sends haters to the left …