‘The Voice’ Recap: The Playoffs Begin with Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton’s Teams

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'The Voice' Recap: The Playoffs Begin with Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton's Teams

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The playoffs begin a three-night event, as the remaining performers compete for a spot in The Voice season 13 live shows. Coaches Jennifer Hudson and Blake Shelton reveal their Comeback Artists, and all the teams are cut in half as the coaches have to make the hardest and most brutal decisions of the season. Each coach has to pare their team from six to three to round out their final rosters with the Top 12 artists that will move on to the final phase of the competition.

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Jennifer’s Team

Davon Fleming (“I Am Changing”)

Davon chooses one of the most challenging selections imaginable, picking the song Jennifer made famous in Dreamgirls. It’s a lot to take on, but he sings to the rafters as all four coaches jump to their feet. Miley Cyrus throws her shoe, and host Carson Daly is shouting into his mic. Davon’s rendition might be just as Oscar-worthy as Jennifer’s.



Hannah Mrozak (“Learn to Let It Go”)

Hannah was a steal for Jennifer’s team, but landing on Jennifer’s team feels like it might be a fated match-up. She too lost someone close to her, like Jennifer, and they bond over the loss. Her performance of the Kesha song is a good fit, and she offers a soul-filled and emotional interpretation when she takes to the stage.

Lucas Holliday (“The Beautiful Ones”) — Jennifer’s Comeback Artist

Nobody can say Lucas doesn’t have ambition, and his version of this Prince classic shows his spunk. Jennifer initially sent him home but chose him as her Comeback Artist before he was out of the door. He has a rocky start with this Prince song but finishes stronger than any other performer I’ve seen on this show. The audience is in his pocket the whole time, but he completely commits to it and totally delivers.


Shi’Ann Jones (“Tattooed Heart”)

Shi’Ann impresses the coaches with the Ariana Grande cover, and Blake is downright tongue-tied. Jennifer says she needs to evolve in her craft, and Miley even says that Shi’Ann seems like a younger version of Jennifer herself. Her performance is breathy and misty, and she pushes out a sound unlike any of the other artists. She might be young, but there is enough potential to make her a real contender.

Chris Weaver (“California Soul”)

As one of the coaches’ faves, Chris has talent to spare. He sounds amazing no matter what he sings. But when he’s given the upbeat, rich songs with all the heart of this one, he really shines. Well, to quote the coaches after his performance, he really “stanks.”


Noah Mac (“In the Air Tonight”)

This kid is nothing like this competition has ever seen, and he even brings his own arrangement to present to the band. His voice is so deep and smooth that you would never imagine it coming from this blond-haired young man. When he belts out this famous song, folks aren’t even thinking about Phil Collins. He’s amazing, and I tend to agree with Blake when he calls him the “frontrunner.”


Results: Jennifer keeps Davon Fleming, Noah Mac and Shi’Ann Gibson.

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Blake’s Team

Red Marlow (“Chiseled in Stone”)

Red’s voice is a total throwback that symbolizes a different time in country music. Adam Levine connects with it as well, identifying its honesty. He has a real stage presence, and more than one coach says they can’t wait to come to his concert. Count me in that number because he sounds like what country music should.


Chloe Kohanski (“Time After Time”)

Chloe wowed us with her performance of “Landslide,” but her take on the Cyndi Lauper hit is unbelievable. Blake stole her from Miley, and he admits there is something about her voice that draws him to her. She knows exactly what kind of music she wants to sing, and this song gives her a chance to showcase the storytelling ability in her voice.

Natalie Stovall (“Callin’ Baton Rouge”) — Blake’s Comeback Artist

I’m definitely a little biased, since this is one of my all-time favorite country songs, but Natalie matches the energy of the pick, note for note. Even Miley remarks on how fun it is to watch, as she switches back and forth between the mic and the fiddle. She’s full of spunk and enthusiasm, and she’s got my vote all day.
Esera Tuaolo (“How Do I Live”)

This might seem like a strange choice for the ex-NFL player, but he handles it pretty well. He wobbles a little in the beginning and in the highest of the notes, but he brings it home in the end. It has special meaning for his life, and his performance illustrates exactly how personal it is for him, even when nerves are trying to get the best of him.


Mitchell Lee (“Heaven”)

Mitchell’s choice of a Bryan Adams song is significant because he has the potential to be that kind of multi-genre artist. Blake offers him some advice about road maps, wet ends and the roundness of his voice during rehearsals, but she falters a little during the performance. He’s a quality performer, so he recovers nicely, and the coaches have some mixed opinions.


Keisha Renee (“Love Can Build a Bridge”)

This is possibly one of the most iconic country songs for women, and Keisha has a real heart for it. It’s also one of Blake’s favorite, so he has a lot invested in this performance. Keisha’s take on the classic sounds wholly different from the Judds’ original, but it’s just as beautiful and heartfelt. Blake is a total fan of Keisha’s, and there is no doubt what he sees in her.


Results: Blake keeps Keisha Renee, Red Marlow and Chloe Kohanski.

Didn’t you just love the coaches’ fun moment singing “‘Bust a Move”? Would you like to see more performances, informal or formal, from them, separately and together? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Voice season 13 airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c (and Wednesday, November 15 at 9/8c) on NBC. Want more news? Like our Voice Facebook page.


(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)

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