The Voice Week 10 Recap: This "Blank Space" Cover Is Way Better Than Ryan Adams'

Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Tonight's episode of The Voice determines who will make the Top 10. The stakes are getting real, people!

This week, the contestants' families were in town to join them in rehearsals, offer support, and tell really embarrassing childhood stories in front of the coaches. (You can practically picture the younger contestants begging: "Mom, please don't humiliate me in front of Gwen Stefani. Please.")

I think having their loved ones around lifted all the contestants' spirits, though, because everyone outperformed themselves this evening. The enhanced production value (fancy colored lights, wind machines), as well as the live instrumentals and backup singers also polished the performances nicely. And I loved all the creative pop covers: Gaga, Mandy Moore, T-Swift, Jessie J, and Robyn.

The top performers tonight? It's a tie between Amy Vachal and Madi Davis. And Jordan Smith. Also, Jeffery Austin.

Isn't this stern, decisive judgment totally helpful? We'll just have to wait for America to make the hard call during the live eliminations tomorrow tonight!

1. Shelby Brown — Team Adam

Song: "Yoü and I" by Lady Gaga
Performance: Girlfriend absolutely killed it. 17-year-old girlfriend absolutely killed it. The song choice from Gaga's Born This Way (2011) was perfect: A country song from a pop artist. Just like the tune itself, Shelby was sassy and powerful, tender and emotive.
2. Evan McKeel — Team Pharrell
Song: "Smile" by Nat King Cole
Performance: McKeel is a fantastic singer, no doubt about it. But with his gentle voice, the corny lyrics (sorry, Nat) made it seem like an average soft-rock ditty. Plus, that silhouette dancer in the background was so distracting! The coaches seemed to love it though, so what do I know?
3. Barrett Baber — Team Blake
Song: "Delta Dawn" by Tanya Tucker
Performance: Baber took the 1972 country classic and turned it on its head. He commanded the stage like a veteran showman and proved his badass star power. "You just took us all to church," Blake said.
4. Korin Bukowski — Team Gwen
"Only Hope" by Mandy Moore
Performance: The contestant America instantly saved last week gave a beautiful performance. It felt like Korin shed her nerves and felt super comfortable being herself. And OMG I forgot how amazing this song is!
5. Amy Vachal — Team Adam
"Blank Space" by Taylor Swift
Performance: The beloved pop hit took on a new tenderness in Vachal's hands. The folksy arrangement was unexpected and playful. Seriously, so good. Still the most unusual voice in the competition, in my mind. "Great singin', sis!" like Blake said.
6. Zach Seabaugh — Team Blake
Song: "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not" by Thompson Square
Performance: Gwen said, "I feel like that was cheating for you to do that song." We kind of agree. Apparently Team Blake knows just how to mobilize Seabaugh's rabid, hashtag-happy teenage fanbase.
7. Madi Davis — Team Pharrell
Song: "Love Is Blind" by U2
Performance: Phenomenal. The sight of her father's face said it all. Davis' sultry, sad performance was so rich in passion and tone. Carson skipped Gwen's critique because she was crying, and then they never even showed her reaction on camera! Must've been a real ugly cry. Nice work, Madi!

8. Braiden Sunshine — Team Gwen
Song: "True" by Spandau Ballet
Performance: The resident cutie-pie yet again owned the stage like a man twice his 15 years. The 1983 synth pop/blue-eyed soul song choice was odd, but Braiden made it work. Fun, but not my favorite.
9. Jordan Smith — Team Adam
Song: "Who You Are" by Jessie J
Performance: Okay, I might've been the ugly crier this time. Smith has the most magnificent voice, so full of heart and soul. Pharrell pointed out that beyond Smith's incredible voice, he performs with such a palpable intention. And it starts with his song choice — he spread a much-needed message of love with this power ballad.
10. Emily Ann Roberts — Team Blake
Song: "Why Not Me" by The Judds
Performance: They blue-grassed up the production of this 1984 country ditty, and it worked. I have to say, the 17-year-old with an old musical soul is turning me on to country more and more. At the end of the day, though, as talented as Emily Ann is, I don't know that her voice is special enough to take it home.
11. Jeffery Austin — Team Gwen
Song: "Dancing On My Own" by Robyn
Performance: Austin took the melancholy undertones of this dance floor hit and blew them out into a bittersweet power ballad that blew the roof off the place and moved Gwen to tears. He has something magical, and tonight it really shined — it was the first time I thought to myself, "Hey, he could really win this thing!"


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