The Voice Week 9 Recap: This "Hotline Bling" Cover Is Classy & Beautiful

Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
The top 12 contestants on The Voice gave us a night of unforgettable performances to kick off the second week of the live playoffs —with the remaining members from Teams Gwen, Adam, Pharrell and Blake all giving us their best yet.

At this point in the competition, the caliber of the performances makes it feel like any one of the singers could walk off the stage and into a record deal. And there's still an awesome variety of musical styles left, from soulful to rock 'n' roll.

But my favorite part about tonight was the song selection. There were a handful of nostalgic hits, from Jewel to Phil Collins, and it was so much fun to hear what these fresh young artists could do with those throwbacks.

The best of the evening? I'd say it was a draw between Amy Vachal's Drake cover and Madi Davis' take on "Who Will Save Your Soul." Oh, and the lovebirds kept it pretty tame tonight — save for a couple hilariously awkward moments, courtesy of Blake.


1. Braiden Sunshine — Team Gwen
Song: "Renegade" by Styx
Performance: Little Braiden really is our sunshine. The 15-year-old cutie reminded us just how beyond his years he is with his rocking performances of this '70s tune. He also showed off his new straightened hair!

2. Amy Vachal — Team Adam
Song: "Hotline Bling" by Drake
Performance: Indie darling Vachal's song choice was, dare we say, on point. Her exquisite cover of the viral hit turned it... tender?! Or, as Blake said, "I don't think there's ever been a more elegant and classy performance of a song about a booty call." Blake made things a little awkward when he added, "Gwen sang it to me on The Tonight Show," evoking huge waves of laughter from the audience and uncomfortable giggles from their fellow coaches. You guys.
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3. Mark Hood — Team Pharrell
Song: "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins
Performance: Pharrell can sleep easy: He made the right choice saving Hood. The soulful Chicago singer did a stirring rendition of the classic 1984 soft-rock power ballad. Still on of my favorites.

4. Emily Ann Roberts — Team Blake
Song: "Blame It On Your Heart " by Patti Loveless
Performance: Roberts soared to No. 2 on the iTunes country charts after last week's performance of "In the Garden." The gal proved again that she belongs with the likes of Carrie Underwood. Whether or not she wins — and I'm doubtful she will — the teenager definitely has a career in country music waiting for her.

5. Korin Bukowski — Team Gwen
Song: "Titanium" by Sia
Performance: Killer. So good. The song is something of quirky Bukowski's personal anthem, and you could tell the lyrics resonated with her. And we're not saying the blond hair Gwen told her to get has anything to do with it, but Korin seemed to have some extra oomph tonight.


6. Barrett Baber — Team Blake
Song: "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx
Performance: Baber's straight take on the 1989 rock ballad was great. The country crooner gave an unfussy, real, and honest performance. The dude's got passion and a solid voice, but I don't know if that's enough to take him all the way.

7. Madi Davis — Team Pharrell
Song: "Who Will Save Your Soul" by Jewel
Performance: Davis is a true original. Her reggae-tinged take on Jewel's 1995 hit was brilliant. The fun, dynamic, confident performance showed a brighter, more lighthearted side to Davis. And thanks for reminding us all, Pharrell, that she's only 16 years old. I think this girl could win the whole thing.
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8. Jeffery Austin — Team Gwen

Song: "Let It Go" by James Bay
Performance: Austin showed off his powerful pipes, stage presence, and vocal range with his cover of this beautiful song. I didn't realize what a strong, unique voice Austin had until tonight. And his handsome new 'do is sure to amp up his fan base. "How hot does he look right now with his hair dyed?!" Gwen asked.

9. Shelby Brown — Team Adam
Song: "In Color" by Jamey Johnson
Performance: Levine's sole country artist struggles with confidence issues, but tonight she knocked it out of the park. Just awesome.

10. Evan McKeel — Team Pharrell
Song:
"This Is It" by Michael Jackson
Performance: Evan shed the insecurity of last week's unsure performance with his fun, heartened take on MJ's high-energy hit. In Gwen's words, "There was something so free about you tonight."
11. Jordan Smith — Team Adam
Song:
"Great Is Thy Faithfulness"
Performance: Smith topped the iTunes charts last week with his insane cover of "Halo." We didn't think it was possible for him to outdo himself tonight, but the faith-driven singer's completely stripped down performance of the church hymn was angelic. The coaches thanked Smith for helping to restore their faith in the world after the tragic events in Paris this weekend.


12. Zach Seabaugh — Team Blake
Song: "My Love" by Little Texas
Performance: After last week's hip-swinging Elvis revival, Seabaugh took things down a notch with this lower-key performance. He hit the highs and the lows effortlessly, which may be his biggest draw: Making it look so easy.

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