The first series of live playoff performances on The Voice season 10 was definitely impressive, so Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams‘ teams have a lot of ground to cover if they want to match the gamesmanship displayed by everyone on Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton’s squads.
While some miss a few marks that might just cost them a ticket to the next round, a few of these artists bring their A-game so hard we really need to invent a new grading scale to accurately award them.
Here’s the play-by-play, followed by our predictions for the Top 12!
1. Daniel Passino (comeback artist for Team Pharrell):
As Pharrell Williams rightly points out, Daniel Passino had the cards stacked unfairly high against him when he went into the knockouts round against probable finalist-in-the-making Alisan Porter. So it was a major bummer when Pharrell didn’t have a steal to save him right then and there because this guy is not only an enthusiastic performer, but his vocal skills are so solid and sophisticated. He definitely deserves to have made it through to this moment, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, he KILLS it when he gets his much-deserved second shot.
His tempered rendition of Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” is comprised mostly of his signature silk and comfort with the crowds, but then he throws in some whizzy high notes here and there and effectively shuts down any doubt that may have lingered as to whether he’s the real deal.
2. Emily Keener (Team Pharrell):
This gal might be 17 years old in reality, but in spirit/wisdom/cool points earned she’s already 129 (quick, someone call Guinness World Records). She’s completely one with the Joni Mitchell vibes during her rendition of Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years,” easily laying down (again) all the skill and honesty she’s been working with in her performances all season long with one dramatic stand-up-’cause-the-note’s-so-high moment to cap off the excellent number. Pharrell in particular is feeling her “emotional intelligence” and dubs her an “amazing unicorn” — one who clearly has the secret gift of leading a group time travel session since she basically just took everyone back to a chic ’70s coffee shop with her transcendent tones.
3. Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam):
Laith is easily the most seasoned vocalist on the show right now, with actual decades of experience going at it six days a week with zilch interruption. So, at this point, it’s not about him proving that he’s got the pipes. That’s unquestionable. Now, it’s about earning those votes, so Laith brought in a friend — his trusty electric guitar — to sprinkle in sick solos and compliment his “giant barrel voice” during his take on Joe Cocker’s rendition of “With a Little Help from My Friends.”
NEXT: A performance that actually stops the show…