‘The Voice’ Top 12 Live Show: The Game Changes
"The Voice's" top 12 go for the gold
"The Voice's" top 12 go for the gold
But on the plus side, this lack of quotas meant that everyone had a chance of making it through. Just imagine how things could have panned out very differently for Season 2's Jamar Rogers or Lindsey Pavao, or Season 1's Nakia, Frenchie Davis, or Xenia, if such a quota-free policy had existed back then.
So this was a win-win situation, both for the contestants, who were performing on a level playing field, and for "Voice" fans, who had a better chance than ever of seeing the best overall singers make it to the finale. But which of these singers has the strongest chance of win-winning in the end? Let's recap all 12 performances and find out...
Michaela Paige - I was worried about Michaela, who was already going into the evening as an underdog, after receiving very little screentime earlier this season and then being saved by her coach Blake Shelton last week. She was singing first, which is always a disadvantage, and then she did struggle with her lower register during the verses of her song, Pink's "Blow Me One Last Kiss" (kind of a predictable song choice for her, I must say). But her performance was as feisty and fearless as ever, and the 16-year-old spitfire worked the crowd and even got all up in the coaches' faces. And it was hard not to have a smile on my own face; the girl's spunky spirit is always just so infectious and irresistible. "That performance left absolutely no doubt in my mind [that I made right choice to keep you]," declared Blake. "You weren't thrown by everything, and you really did keep your breath [as you worked the stage and crowd]," said Adam Levine. Said Christina Aguilera, "You've become one of my favorites, because you're so fun to watch. Your voice is very bright and bold, and strong and full of energy. It's not fluffy at all." Cee Lo Green stammered a lot (maybe getting so close to Michaela threw him off guard), but eventually spat out, "You really work the stage like a professional. I'm a fan of yours!" Hopefully this was enough to ensure that we won't be blowing Michaela one last kiss on Tuesday night's results show, because I like this crazy kid.
Dez Duron - Dez is not the strongest singer in this competition (he auditioned last season and didn't even get a single chair to spin around), but with a face like his, that hasn't mattered much yet; he even easily scored the popular vote last week over bigger belters like Adriana Louise and Devyn DeLoera. But now, with only a dozen singers left and no more team quotas, Dez needed to deliver a performance that could compete with powerhouses like Amanda Brown and Trevin Hunte. So, did he? Well, yes and no. The song his coach Christina chose for him, the Lauryn Hill version of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You," certainly was a better fit than his Hunter Hayes country tune last week, and he was every inch the old-school blue-eyed-soul crooner, making all the ladies swoon with his smooth stylings. But was it a fantastic vocal? Not really. The whole song and performance never totally took off. But overall, it was very pleasant, and he of course looked like a star. Cee Lo called Dez "impeccable" and "wonderful through-and-through." Said Adam, "You really found your avenue. This [song] was the most decisively you. It fit you the very best." Blake praised Dez for taking on Frankie Valli, then, when Christina corrected him and said the performance was actually Lauryn Hill-inspired, he joked, "Hey, I'm a old bastard!" Then Blake added, "Well, I agree with the girls. Squeeeeeee!" Christina cried out, rhetorically, "How can you not love this guy?" More audience squeeing ensued. I think Dez is safe for now, but I still wonder how far his pretty face can take him on this show.