The Voice Live Shows return with solid performances and technical challenges

The Voice - Season 6

‘The Voice’ Live Shows return, proving once again that song choice one of the most important for the coaches and artists’ success.


Sisaundra Lewis: “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” (Elton John) – Team Blake

Sisaundra probably has more talent than anyone in the competition at this point, but that doesn’t always mean that she’s going to win the whole thing – just ask Judith Hill. But she’s the complete package, and covering Elton John was an inspired choice. Sisaundra’s performance was spot on, wonderfully balanced without going overboard (Something discussed in the coaching session, and followed up on during the critiques).

“Does it get any better than this,” asks Usher, and I’m not sure it does, especially this early in the process.

Kristen Merlin: “Stay” (Sugarland) – Team Shakira

I’m still a little surprised that Shakira has carried a country artist this far into the competition, but I think history has proven that country voters show up. I really liked the performance, probably Kristen’s best to date.

The coach’s standing ovation for the way Kristen handled the technical difficulty was spot on. Performing on live television is hard enough, but her composure was awesome.

Kat Perkins: “Magic Man” (Heart) – Team Adam

Kat is an artist I would have never originally expected to make it this far, but each of her performances have been increasingly impressive. Song choice is such an important thing on this show, and I’m not sure we’ve had a better match this season. Kat was born to sing this song, and was phenomenal.

Blake reminds us that Kat was a nanny (Like another Voice competitor I won’t mention again), but it was Usher’s comment about her interplay with the band that stands out.

Jake Worthington: “Anymore” (Travis Tritt) – Team Blake

“Anymore” is probably the best song Tritt ever released, and is a great choice for Jake. He’s a contestant that has grown on me this season. He’s probably the person on the show that has most benefitted from the coaching. His performance wasn’t everything I wanted it to be, but was still pretty damn good.

Shakira talks about his appeal, how just being himself endears him to fans, which just gave him another chance for one of those moments, talking about how he got choked up seeing his mother.

Tess Boyer: “I’ll Be There for You” (Bon Jovi) – Team Shakira

Boyer’s tenure on the show, having saved twice (and thus not chosen by their coach twice) while she continues to improve week after week is a little baffling. Shakira might be a good match, but this was an interesting song choice, but Tess makes it work. “Making it work,” however, isn’t going to be enough.

Blake, who is taking the role of handicapping the other teams, anoints Tess as the leader of Team Shakira.

Josh Kaufman: “Stay with Me” (Sam Smith) – Team Usher

Josh gets the cleanup spot of the first Live Show, which says a lot about where the show thinks he is. Usher reminds us of his unique coaching style, having Josh run a lap during rehearsal. I’ve not mentioned staging much today, but I loved how this performance started, with the video screen and the backlighting. His performances matches that, starting off understated and building into something very good.

Adam reminds us that while the Steal has saved the middle rounds of this show, it does mean that we have to hear the coaches talking about how stupid they were; hey Adam, we’ve been saying you guys make dumb decisions in the middle rounds for years now.

The Voice Live Shows return with a couple of really good performances. No one competitor stumbled enough to make them an obvious choice to go home, but if I had to pick who might end up in the bottom two, I’d probably pick TJ and Kristen.

Updated: 12:30pm iTunes Top 200 Chart

iTunes Chart Artist Song
5 Josh Kaufman “Stay With Me”
30 Kristen Merlin “Stay”
38 Jake Worthington “Anymore”
47 Christina Grimmie “Dark Horse”
94 Kat Perkins “Magic Man”
103 Sisaundra Lewis “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”
112 Audra McLaughlin “Angel of the Morning”
124 Delvin Choice “Unchained Melody”
129 Bria Kelly “Rolling in the Deep”
176 Tess Boyer “I’ll Be There For You”
DNP Dani Moz “Just Give Me a Reason”
DNP TJ Watkins “Waiting on the World to Change”
Photo Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC

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