Three hours is a lot of time. In this span you could have watched Titanic, gotten a head start on roasting a mutant-sized Thanksgiving turkey, scored a 10th place slot on the Cronut line, or you could have watched Monday night’s episode of The Voice.
The reason for the show’s special marathon length escapes me, as the first hour of the show was devoted to replaying standout performances from last week’s lives, in addition to showing Carson seemingly teleport from one control room to another. Once the live show started, we were treated to an entire Top 10 group performance of “Say It, Just Say It” by The Mowgli’s, which I have to admit was really cute! It was followed by performances of the Top 10 with some special attention to the coaches’ strategies for making their students stand out. Coach Christina had Matthew Schuler and Jacquie Lee participate in yoga sessions before singing. Cee Lo gave Kat an elaborately choreographed dance routine to ensure she makes an impression on America. And Will had fire shooting from the stage during his song, because why not?
Random celebrity appearance: Sprinter Usain Bolt in the Skybox, who was rooting for a certain diva. “Tessanne is from Jamaica so that’s why I’m here,” he told Carson. “Just looking forward to giving her support.”
And the performances…
TEAM BLAKE: Austin Jenckes
The song: “Your Love” by The Outfield
The performance: Coach Blake wants this song to “show America that he has the pipes.” But don’t we already know that Austin can can outlast and out-emote his male compatriots? What I’d like to see is a softer, more melodic Austin instead of amp-turned-to-11-Austin. Tonight we got a taste of his gentler side, and a slight Tom Petty tinge, but overall, it was more of the same.
The feedback: Blake applauds his “slow build” of the song and ability to use his vocal power sparingly. Adam is in awe of his range and Christina loves how he ends the song — on a full-belting, tonsil-baring, big note.
TEAM CHRISTINA: Jacquie Lee
The song: “Clarity” by Zedd
The performance: Throughout the season, Christina has urged Jacquie to improve on her stage blocking and physical performance. Christina took matters into her own hands by making Jacquie do yoga with her. She tells Jacquie it will help her be “centered in your body” and cleanse some energies. Is this yoga routine responsible for Christina’s own Zen-like makeover? Onstage, I don’t think the stretching did much to help Jackie’s case. Her voice still sounds so young to me, and her high notes came up a bit screechy. Not her best outing and not Christina’s best song choice either. Also, it’s the night’s first appearance of the weird shadow army of background singers!
The feedback: Coach Christina was pleased with Jackie’s display of feeling — “it was so emotional and so gorgeous.” Blake said. “It’s still different to hear a broken down version of you.” He said he missed her usual powerhouse ballads, much like the judges had missed Kat’s usual kraziness when she toned herself down.
TEAM ADAM: Will Champlin
The song: “Love Me Again” by John Newman
The performance: In the green room, Will is joined by his wife Roseanne and adorable baby Harper. Adam advises him, “You just need to go for it and have a good time.” Adam’s goal is to showcase Will’s range with his song choice. Lately Will has been churning out some fantastically clutch performances, but this one was pretty average for him — nothing really stood out for me, except for his stage production. At first it was just heart monitor lines on a background before a flurry of flashy pyrotechnics.
The feedback: Adam says, “You’re an amazing story on this show because you have been passed around a lot.” Christina had some particularly spectrum-spanning commentary, first saying “you’re a good person,” calling him the full package. And then later, “I thought he was Satan for a second,” regarding his red velvet suit. Blake said, “You’re such an accurate vocalist, that’s what continues to blow me away.”
NEXT: One singer ditches tradition and chooses her own song