'The Voice' Recap: Top 11 Fight to Stand Out

Blake Shelton, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on "The Voice"
Trae Patton/NBC

The top 11 artists of season 11 performed on The Voice tonight, with coaches Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton all making sure their teams were at the top of their game for this live performance episode.

Ali Caldwell from Team Miley kicked off the night with a performance of “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton. Caldwell said she has been wanting to sing an upbeat song this season, and she did not disappoint with her energetic performance of the Parton hit. She put on an exciting performance, and she proved her versatility. Caldwell is the kind of artist who can sing any song. Shelton and Levine were both impressed by her country sound. “Some people are meant to be on stage,” Cyrus said about her presence.

Team Blake’s Sundance Head was up next with a performance of “No One” by The Voice’s own Keys. His interpretation of the song led to a powerful and emotional performance. It was his personal best of the season. Head is a strong artist, but he has had trouble leaving a genuine impression. This performance did the trick. Keys said that she wished he was on her team. “You just made me listen to my song in a whole new way,” she added. It was certainly the most confident Head has been so far this season. Shelton noted that it was a breakout moment for his artist.

Aaron Gibson from Team Miley was up next, singing “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails. Gibson expressed that he wanted to show viewers a different side of his voice, but the song choice felt like more of the same for him. Gibson connected with the lyrics of the song and delivered an emotional performance, but it didn’t quite mark a new turn for the artist, who is consistent but not surprising. Levine liked the song choice, and Cyrus was impressed with her artist. But of the rest of Team Miley, he was the least memorable.

Team Blake’s Courtney Harrell was up next, singing “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line. Shelton encouraged her to go big with the performance, and she delivered. It was an unexpected yet strong song choice, with Harrell nailing the key change and delivering a performance that was theatrical without being overwrought. Harrell’s range was particularly impressive, and she brings something different to Team Blake, which is something viewers will hopefully connect with.

Team Adam’s Josh Gallagher followed with a performance of “Drunk On Your Love” by Brett Eldredge. Gallagher put on a good performance, and Levine seemed happy to have a country-rock artist on his team, but Gallagher doesn’t make enough of an impression. Gallagher knows how to work the audience, but his artistry is not all that original. He has solid vocals but doesn’t seem impressive enough to win the whole competition.

Gallagher was followed by Team Adam’s Billy Gilman, who sang “All I Ask” by Adele. Gilman has been very pointed about his transition from country to pop, and tonight he left a big impression. He brought big vocals and powerful emotions to his performance. Adele songs are tough to sing, but Gilman nailed it while making it sound like his own. Levine noted that the performance really made him feel. It was certainly Gilman’s personal best of the season.

Team Alicia’s Christian Cuevas was up next, singing “Rosanna” by Toto. Cuevas delivered a soulful performance, coming to life during the chorus and putting a lot of power behind his singing. Cyrus loved the performance and praised his energy. Keys was proud of her artist, calling his voice “crystal.”

Austin Allsup from Team Blake sang “Turn The Page” by Bob Seger next, showing off his singer-songwriter vibe with an emotional and exciting performance. Allsup’s interpretation of the lyrics was strong, and he connected with the audience in a meaningful way. Allsup came off as a real rocker tonight, and the coaches were rightfully impressed by his energy.

Darby Walker from Team Miley followed with a performance of “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore. Walker brought her own sound and personality to the song, which made a difference. Walker is unique, but she manages to bring a different sound to The Voice without seeming over-produced. Cyrus has an ear for unique talent, and Walker delivers original performances consistently. She has a strong sense of artistry, and the coaches were impressed tonight. Keys and Cyrus in particular understood the loose vibe she was going for.

Team Adam’s Brenden Fletcher was up next, singing “The River” by Bruce Springsteen. Fletcher delivered one of his most emotionally earnest performances of the season. Fletcher proved to be the most versatile and compelling member of Team Adam tonight.

Wé McDonald from Team Alicia closed out the night with a performance of “Love On the Brain” by Rihanna. McDonald is young, but she seems so experienced every time she takes the stage. Though she was almost out of time, Keys praised the performance. “You always come with it,” she said. It was a strong end to the evening.

What did you think of tonight’s performances? After tonight’s votes, the top 10 will be announced tomorrow night. Who has your vote?

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