The Voice: The Playoffs – Week 2 Recap/Review

by Benji Glowinsky

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This season of The Voice has truly been one of the best ones so far, if not the best one yet. Each team has someone I want to root for, and the amount of talent in the competition right now is baffling. So, I figured that since I was enjoying the season so much, I’d try my hand at a recap for this week’s performances. Of course, much of what I say is opinionated, so feel free to banter with me in the comments section.

Caroline Pennell [Team Cee-Lo] – Wake Me Up (Avicii)
When I saw that Caroline Pennell was up first, I thought, “Good. They want to start the episode off with a bang.” Caroline has been one of my favourites this season, and has certainly been the standout act on Team Cee-Lo. With that being said, I was not entirely impressed with Caroline’s performance last night. I was hoping she would take a more acoustic and stripped-down version of “Wake Me Up,” but aside from that, purely based on her performance, I didn’t think it fit her bubbly voice. When she walked around stage, she lost her footing on the notes she was holding and she was working the stage quite a bit. It didn’t help that the studio audience’s clapping was terribly off-beat, so that may be why I didn’t like it as much as her past performances. It’s not that it was a bad performance, and I certainly don’t think she’s in any danger this week, I just thought compared to her others it was subpar.
Grade: B-

Josh Logan [Team Christina] – Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson)
One thing I’ve noticed over the course of this season is Christina’s infatuation with Josh Logan. I don’t see the need to infatuate over him. He’s definitely a talented musician, but I find myself questioning why Christina seems to like him so much. This week he silenced my doubts for the time being. He performed with emotion he rarely shows, and really listened to Christina’s advice to connect to the audience better. T’was a good week for Josh.
Grade: B

James Wolpert [Team Adam] – Mr. Brightside (The Killers)
James Wolpert, coming off of a great performance last week and finding himself in the top 10 on iTunes, gave a rocking performance of “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers. This song is paced speedily, so when singing it you need to have good breath control. Not only did James have that, but he also hit notes that were more than impressive. He is a great performer and his stage presence is felt when he performs. I have no reason to believe he won’t be safe this week.
Grade: A-

Austin Jenckes [Team Blake] – It’s A Great Day to Be Alive (Travis Tritt)
If you were to ask me who was the best act still in the competition, purely judged on their voice, I would definitely have Austin in my top 5. Austin’s vocal skills have impressed me every week since his audition, and I thought he did well this week as well. The issue with Austin is that he has been giving off the vibe of one of the performers who are kind of just there. He doesn’t necessarily do anything to make himself stand out from the pack, and that worries me. I hope people realize he is good enough to keep around, but I also hope he and his coach realize they need to do a bit more to make him become the standout contestant I believe he can be.
Grade: B

Jacquie Lee [Team Christina] – Love is Blindness [Jack White]

Ladies and Gentleman, Jacquie Lee. This girl is a serious threat to win it all, and certainly one of the best female voices in the competition. I commend a great song selection by Christina this week with “Love is Blindness,” which is a personal favourite of mine. This is probably her best performance of the season, and given how generally strong her performances have been, that’s quite a feat. Jacquie displayed the vocal range we love to hear with this performance, and should be a lock to stick around for next week.
Grade: A

Ray Boudreaux [Team Blake] – All of Me (John Legend)
I’m not quite sure about Ray. He has the talent, but week after week he gives OK performances. Not particularly good, not particularly bad, just OK. That was further supported this week when he gave an OK version of “All of Me” by John Legend. He fell off vocally a few times as Christina noted, but at the same time he had women in the audience swooning at his voice. I just don’t get him.
Grade: C+

Kat Robichaud [Team Cee-Lo] – Sail (AWOLNATION)
I’ve known the song “Sail” for quite a while. Not once have I thought it would make a good performing song, but Kat rocked her performance of the AWOLNATION song. Blake said she was “like a lion” when she performed, and that is really the perfect description, especially for Kat’s performance this week. She owned the stage with the song, sang with sheer confidence, and delivered a great performance. Her vibe is infectious. Oh, and did I mention she crowd surfed? SHE CROWD SURFED. AND SANG. She earned herself a spot on the coolest people ever list with that one.
Grade: A-

Jonny Gray [Team Cee-Lo] – Another Day in Paradise (Phil Collins)
I have a bad feeling about Jonny this week. His performance wasn’t all that great. As Adam mentioned, “the syncs were a little off and there were a few rhythmic issues.” I noticed those things as well. I don’t know how the people at home will receive him, and I don’t think he’s at all bad or untalented, but in a group of 11 other people who are all giving great performances after great performances, I don’t know if Jonny will be able to keep up. He may be the one going home this week.
Grade: C-


Tessanne Chin [Team Adam] – My Kind of Love (Emeli Sande)
When we were informed that Tessanne was going to dedicate her performance to her husband, we expected emotion, power, and all around greatness in the performance, and Tessanne didn’t disappoint. Her heartfelt performance was surely felt by everyone, and I got goosebumps hearing her sing. She has a way of commanding the room with her voice that not many people can do. My only critique is on her coach, Adam, for giving her another Emeli Sande song to perform after she has already covered one of her songs this season.
Grade: A-

Matthew Schuler [Team Christina] – Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
Matthew is the one to beat in this competition right now. He’s been on the top of his game every singe week, and this week was no exception. Like Adam said after the performance, “Hallelujah” is a song covered often, and it’s very hard to stand out when performing it, but Matthew did so exceptionally. He hit the notes he needed to hit, and his performance is currently sitting pretty in the Top 10 on iTunes, which should guarantee him a spot in Week 3 of the Playoffs. Not that there was ever any doubt.
Grade: A+

Cole Vosbury [Team Blake]  – Adorn (Miguel)
Coming off the heels of Matthew’s performance, you’d think nobody could sustain the excitement of the audience and viewers. You were wrong. Cole Vosbury is one of my favourites in the competition right now, and although that may make me a bit biased, I truly believe he gave a stellar performance last night. His rendition of “Adorn” by Miguel was akin to his rendition of “Let Her Go.” Cole has a way of taking well known songs and making them his own. Aside from being the standout performer on Team Blake, I believe Cole is having a heck of a run of great performances. He continues to show off his range of songs he’s willing to try, whether it be R&B, Alternative, Pop, Folk or Country, and that impresses me as a viewer. Should be a lock to stay this week.
Grade: A

Will Champlin [Team Adam] – Demons (Imagine Dragons)
Another brain-fart by Adam, in that Will has already performed an Imagine Dragons song this season. Twice in one night, Adam? Come on. Luckily for Will, he delivered the goods as he usually does, and the audience ate it up. He has a voice that I find very uncomparable. He goes off into these impressive riffs and holds notes with his rasp in a way I haven’t heard from a ton on artists before. “Demons” was a great choice to show off his vocal abilities, despite the issue previously mentioned.
Grade: A-

This probably won’t be a regular segment. I’m just very excited about how this season is going, and excited to see how it’ll end up playing out. This week should be very close, so make sure to comment on who you think should go home, and who you think will go home! Also leave your comments about what you thought of this week’s performances, and who your favourites are!

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