By Tionah Lee
For The Baltimore Sun
11:59 AM EST, November 5, 2013
Everything happened in real-time last night as it was Night 1 of the live shows.
It was the night for three-time champion Blake Shelton and his team to face off against Adam Levine's team, as the first 10 of the Top 20 performed in hopes of advancing to the Top 12. After a performance of “How I Feel” from Flo Rida featuring Coach Christina Aguilera, the night's competition began.
Team Blake: Shelbie Z — “Fancy” by Reba McEntire
Sweet Southern belle (with an edge) Shelbie Z went first. The former pageant queen has deemed herself an outlaw-country artist, and Coach Blake decided Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” would play to Shelbie's strengths. Fresh off of her wedding, Shelbie Z channeled her inne- Reba and impressed all of the coaches. Coach Adam called her performance flawless, Christina felt that she delivered and wasn’t not surprised, and Blake felt like she woke him up out of a coma.
Team Adam: James Wolpert — “A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell
Collegedropout-turned-Apple store employee-turned-"The Voice" favorite James Wolpert took the stage to perform a stripped-down version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.” Coming off of a not-so-stellar performance last week, Coach Adam gave James a chance to redeem himself, and remind the other coaches and America that he indeed has a voice.
During the performance James wowed the coaches leaving CeeLo in awe (he was full of compliments because he was having a good day), making Coach Blake jealous and giving Adam a chance to humble-brag (or not) about his team.
Team Blake: Nic Hawk — “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I.
If you didn’t think it was possible for a single singer to perform every part of “Blurred Lines,” Nic Hawk proved you wrong. Coach Blake chose Robin Thicke’s summer hit “Blurred Lines” for his most eccentric singer on his team, and made sure he delivered. During rehearsals, Blake told Nic to go out there and deliver the singing, rapping and dancing that comes with the song, and the leader of the “Flawk” did just that. Blowing away all of the coaches, Nic landed rave reviews from everyone. Christina commended him on multi-tasking, CeeLo thought it was really great and all his coach could say was “OMG…OMG.”
Team Blake: Ray Boudreaux — “Home” by Marc Broussard
Not only is he a heartthrob, but Team Blake’s Ray Boudreaux has soul. Blake said "Home" was the perfect song to showcase Bourdreaux's Louisiana roots and “Swamp Pop” style. Not only is the song one of Coach Blake’s favorites, but it tells Ray’s story, and showcases his exact genre of music. Christina was left swooning, as was Blake. Ray’s performance was one of the night’s best.
Team Blake: Austin Jencks — “She Talks to Angels” by The Black Crowes
Who knew that Austin Jencks road mopeds and not Harleys? Coach Blake likes the fact Jencks throws everyone off, in a good way. Austin’s rough image is masked by his sensitive performance and ability to connect with the audience. CeeLo commended Austin on his flawless talent. Blake couldn’t have been happier by the result and Austin's performance.
Team Adam: Grey — “Still into You” by Paramore
Adam had one mission and one mission only with Grey: To make everyone forget that she was the sweet wedding singer, and show off her edge. Adam chose Paramore’s “Still into You” for Grey because he believed her vocals and energy would shine through. CeeLo agreed and saw the vision, while Coach Christina pointed out a few vocal flaws. Adam loved her performance.
Team Adam: Will Champlin — “Secrets” by OneRepublic
In one of the most emotional and best performances of the night, new dad Will Champlin stole the hearts of America with his performance of OneRepublic’s “Secrets.” Adam felt it was time for Will to play off of his strengths and start off on the pian, while bringing the energy at the end of his performance. It worked. Will moved Coach Christina to tears, and left Blake and CeeLo stunned and disappointed that he didn’t make it on their teams. Adam again felt he dominated the evening with that performance.
Team Adam: Preston Pohl — “Nothing on You” by B.o.B and Bruno Mars
It was the night for Preston Pohl to take the old soul in his voice and pair it with a modern hit. Pohl performed both parts of the song proved that he could step outside of his comfort zone. CeeLo felt it was “so good” and Adam couldn’t have been prouder of his team member.
Team Blake: Cole Vosbury — “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart
After losing the battle rounds to Jonny Gray, Cole Vosbury got a chance at redemption on Team Blake. Blake wanted to see Cole find a style of music that fits him. Keeping in touch with his singer/songwriter side, Cole performed “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart. All of the coaches were impressed and wanted a chance to hit their buttons to put him on their teams. CeeLo felt like a fool for letting him go, Christina is now a fan and Adam was impressed at how consistent Cole has been. He's one of the front-runners to win the show.
Team Adam: Tessanne Chin — “Many Rivers to Cross” by Jimmy Cliff
Team Adam closed out the night by saving the best for last. Jamaican powerhouse Tessanne Chin has performed pop hits since her arrival on the show, and last night Adam felt it was time to take it to her roots by performing a song that was close to her heart. Adam chose Jimmy Cliff's “Many Rivers to Cross," a song by the artist who gave Tessanne her start by singing back-up for him in Jamaica. After her performance, Tessanne was not only moved herself to tears, but left the coaches and audience in shock. Christina could relate to the performance and happy tears, CeeLo called her the best in the competition and Adam reminded her of how high she had just set the bar. It was an amazing performance.
On Tuesday night, Teams CeeLo and Christina battle each other. This season, it is up to America to vote for the first two contestants from each team that make it, while coaches chose the third.
With two more nights of "The Voice" to go this week, who do you want to see move on?
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