Reality Check

'The Voice' Recap: Playoffs Continue as Artists Fight for Top 12 Spots

Christina Aguilera The Voice 2015
Greg Gayne/NBC

The Voice judge Christina Aguilera during the new season of blind auditions.

After excellent performances from Blake Shelton and Pharrell’s teams last night, the Playoffs continued on The Voice tonight, as artists from Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine’s teams took the stage to sing for America’s vote.

After a performance from Sia, Tonya Boyd-Cannon from Team Adam was the first artist up. She sang “Take Me To The Pilot” by Elton John and gave a dynamic performance. It was quite the way to start the night, with Boyd-Cannon proving all the reasons why she has made it this far in the competition.

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Also from Team Adam, Joshua Davis stepped up next to sing “Budapest” by George Ezra, which Levine thought was a perfect song choice to give him. The soft, gorgeous song indeed highlighted Davis’s strengths and allowed Davis to really stand out for the first time in the competition. Levine was smart to steal him from Shelton earlier this season.

Team Christina’s Sonic sang “I'm Going Down” by Mary J. Blige, another song choice perfectly suited for the artist. Aguilera is one of the most fun coaches to watch in the rehearsal sessions, as the little runs she spits out without any warm-up remind that she still has one of the most impressive voices in pop music (where’s the comeback album, Xtina?!). 

Brian Johnson gave a soulful performance of “At This Moment,” and all of the coaches loved it. “You’re a perfect vocalist,” Shelton said, while Aguilera appreciated the more emotional sides of the performance. Johnson has been a consistently strong vocalist in the competition, and tonight he made his performance seem particularly effortless.

Singing “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes, Kimberly Nichole took the stage next and showed impressive vocal control over the song. “Because of you, Team Christina just lapped Team Adam,” Shelton said.

Lexi Davila, who sang “All By Myself,” is also a strong asset for Team Christina. She really blossomed tonight and showed the most improvement of anyone else in the competition. It was her personal best performance of the competition and one of the best of the night. Levine regretted giving her up, but Aguilera’s steal worked out in Davila’s favor, as Aguilera has been able to unlock her full potential.

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Also emerging from his shell, Nathan Hermida sang “Chains” by Nick Jonas and showed a confidence and strong stage presence we haven’t previously seen from the young contestant. Though he showed a lot of improvement, he didn’t quite stand out when compared to a lot of tonight’s powerhouses.

Aguilera gave her own song “Hurt” to India Carney, who stepped up to the plate with a vulnerable and vocally sound performance that was up there with Davila’s as one of the night’s standouts. Carney’s place in the top 12 seems certain, so long as America is on the same page as the coaches, all four of whom gave her a standing ovation. Aguilera may have just proven she has the best team in the competition. The other coaches better watch out.

With another strong song choice, Aguilera gave Rob Taylor “Earned It” by The Weeknd. Pushed by Aguilera to not stick to the script, Taylor did a series of interesting and distinct runs in his performance. He nailed the falsetto and gave another one of the night's best performances, earning another four-coach standing ovation. Team Christina was truly on fire.

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Closing out the night, Team Adam’s Deanna Johnson tried to overcome her nerves tonight. Levine gave her a religious song hoping it would make her feel more comfortable. It wasn’t quite a showstopper like Taylor’s performance, but Johnson showed improvement and didn’t let her nerves affect her pitch.

Overall, Team Christina truly outperformed Team Adam tonight. But now it’s up for America to decide who makes it into the top 12. Who’s getting your vote?

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