The Voice recap: The Top 13 dedicate songs to loved ones, and things get emotional
It’s Dedication Week on The Voice! Our Top 13 will be performing songs selected to give thanks to someone special in their lives — including one of our coaches! — so get ready for some tears, probably. Always tears. Tomorrow, two more artists will be eliminated, so maybe more tears? Just kidding, the more cuts the better, I say! Trim! The! Fat! To the stage!
Team Gwen: Joana Martinez, “Get on Your Feet,” by Gloria Estefan
Joana, a second-generation Cuban-American, is dedicating her Top 13 performance to her hometown of Miami, and what better why to celebrate that city than by singing a song by its queen, Gloria Estefan? More than that, it’s a great way for Joana to remind us of her playful, fun side. It… sort of works? Some of Joana’s vocals take a hit from moving around the stage so much, but it does get all four of the coaches… um, on their feet. It’s a party! Gwen’s especially proud because this is the first time Joana really had to work the crowd like that. A proud mama bear!
Team Blake: Ricky Duran, “You Are the Best Thing,” by Ray LaMontagne
Aw, Blake takes his whole team on a field trip to his bar in Nashville and tells them they’ll always have a home there. We need that in the world, you guys. Kindness! Ricky’s dedicating his song to his girlfriend, who apparently had a stroke the night before his blind audition. This entire package is an emotional roller coaster. Don’t worry, we’ll all be soothed by Ricky singing Ray LaMontagne in a turtleneck. It’s a perfect song choice for him, and the performance is much more engaging than last week’s “Small Town.” Bathe me in that falsetto!
Team Kelly: Max Boyle, “Unaware,” by Allen Stone
I’d like to dedicate this song to the goosebumps i still have from Max’s performance of “Falling Slowly.” Max would like to dedicate to his cute little niece and nephew, which I guess is a little more important. Kelly calls him the “dark horse” but also advises him to go big in some spots, since the power vocalists always steal the show. It’s definitely not his best performance, and you can really see him pushing it, but he brings it home in the end and still remains one of the most interesting artists still in the competition. Kelly thinks so too, and comments on the gift that is his voice — a dynamic one full of layers. Plus his niece and nephew are in the crowd, and you’ll always win some points with cute babies. It’s the law.
Team Gwen: Myracle Holloway, “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” by Whitney Houston
Gwen’s save from last week is dedicating her song to her grandmother, who raised her. They didn’t listen to much secular music, but Whitney was always allowed. Gwen thinks this is the song to prove to America that they should be getting behind Myracle. I mean, they should get behind her for her killer outfit tonight alone. Red hat? Oh, okay. And even though I prefer my Myracle emotionally cutting to my core, she completely owns the stage, proves to us that we’ve all been breathing wrong (when did she breathe?!), and ends up getting a standing ovation from the coaches.
Team Legend: Will Breman, “I Won’t Give Up,” by Jason Mraz
Now we’re talking: Will’s getting vulnerable! After getting saved by Coach John Legend last week — John was surprised at how that went down, I think we all were? — Will’s switching it up and slowing it down as he dedicates this Jason Mraz ballad to his mom. Um, so, slowing it down does Will a lot of favors. Mainly, it reminds us that he is more than a good show — he has some real vocal chops. The big notes at the end were v. good, guys. Blake is always amazed at how connected Will is to his songs, and this performance is the best example of that. Will’s coach also felt the passion and the power. We’ll see if America felt it this time around.
Team Blake: Kat Hammock, “Danny Boy,” Traditional
Here we go with the waterworks. Kat’s dedicating her song to her grandpa, who used to sing it in Gaelic. Blake hears her rehearsal and feels confident she won’t be going home this week. The vocals don’t feel as flawless and magical as some of Kat’s previous performances — some of the notes don’t hit like they should, but what do I know? The coaches give Kat a standing ovation, and Blake calls Kat “one the most important artists” he’s ever worked with on this show. That is a bold statement, sir.
Team Legend: Katie Kadan, “I’m Going Down,” by Mary J. Blige
This one’s for the single ladies, you guys! It’s a song about heartache, which gets Coach John Legend excited because Katie will be able to show off both her power (always the hottest of fire) and her vulnerability (great, we need more of it). The two produce the hell out of this song, and I am here for this growing friendship. Then Katie gets to the stage and, not to be dramatic, but she actually murders this song so hard right in front of all of us. The power is the Katie you know and love, but the emotion she infuses into it brings it to another level. This is Katie at her best. In fact, according to John Legend, this is The Voice at its best. He tells her it’s the best performance of the season.
Team Blake: Cali Wilson, “Butterflies,” by Kacey Musgraves
Well, this is a 180 from that Britney Spears debacle last week and brings us back to Cali in her “Wicked Game” heyday. She’s dedicated this song to her girlfriend, whom she met at her first show in Nashville. It helps that Cali is so emotionally connected to this song — the Kacey Musgraves vibe suits her well. Blake is also into it — he doesn’t say to stay away from Britney Spears, but you know that’s what he means when he tells her this lane is where she shines. Stay here, girl! It’s nice over here, I promise!
Team Kelly: Shane Q, “My Wish,” by Rascal Flatts
Coach Kelly Clarkson is with all of us: She tells Shane that his vocals are outstanding, but he’s not connecting, he’s too in his head when he’s performing. She hopes that dedicating a song to his mom will help him get over that hurdle. It’s definitely an improvement from previous performances, but still not fully there. That song can bring down the house, but there’s still something missing. But then they cut to his mom and she is bawling and that’s all that matters, right? Well, I guess votes and performance value matter since this is a competition. But for now, mama crying is all that matters!
Team Kelly: Hello Sunday, “Mama Knows Best,” by Jessie J
Hello Sunday not making it through on America’s votes was one of the biggest surprises to come out of last week, and it seems like it shocked them a little, too. Shocked them into being the best version of their duos they can be. They’re tackling a huge Jessie J song and dedicating it to their parents, who have also formed a group called Goodbye Tuesday, which is honestly adorable. I wouldn’t exactly call this performance adorable, but I would call it fierce, powerful, and full of choreography, which I am here for. It’s the best Hello Sunday’s sounded all competition.
Marybeth Byrd, “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” by Vince Gill
Okay, now we’re all crying. Marybeth was introduced to music by her grandpa, who died recently, and she’s singing a song they used to sing together. She can’t even get through rehearsals without breaking down. John tells her to embrace the grief because it helps tell the story. The grief is certainly palpable during her performance, and by the end she’s so choked up she can barely finish. It’s a powerful moment only enhanced by how clear and strong her voice sounds throughout the rest of it. John and Kelly are both crying by the end of it, but, like, what’s new? Coach John Legend is happy America just got to see such a big part of who Marybeth is.
Team Kelly: Jake Hoot, “Danny’s Song,” by Loggins and Messina
Coach Kelly Clarkson is obsessed with ’90s country voices, and that description fits Mr. Hoot perfectly. This week, Jake Hoot is applying that big, booming voice to a song dedicated to his little daughter — who is at the show! — and once again, turns in a solid performance. There are moments of some real emotion — those growls Gwen Stefani talks about, yes, yes please — that make the performance extra-special. In some obvious news: Jake’s daughter is adorable and Kelly’s crying again. She’s crying, sir!
Team Gwen: Rose Short, “I Turn to You,” by Christina Aguilera
Rose has never felt so much herself as she does here on The Voice, and she contributes all that confidence to her coach, who has believed in her more than anyone. Yes, Rose is dedicating this big ol’ Christina song to Gwen Stefani. She knows it’s cheesy. We all do. That doesn’t matter when Rose is nailing the huge notes at the end of this song — those babies get all four of the coaches up on their feet. It’s not as emotional as some of the other big moments we’ve seen tonight, but I will be sleeping soundly thinking of the gorgeous runs Rose annihilates to close out the show.
Well, kids, who did enough this week to make the Top 11? Who are your picks for likely elimination? Should someone check on Kelly Clarkson?