Shania Twain joined The Voice tonight to help prepare the top 12 artists of season 12 alongside coaches Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani. Voting was in viewers’ hands, and one unlucky artist will go home tomorrow.
Starting the night, Team Adam’s Jesse Larson decided to sing “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele, opting to put down his guitar and do something a little more intimate. Levine noted that Larson can sing anything. It certainly was an unexpected song choice, but he gave a captivating performance. Larson’s guitar playing tends to overshadow his voice, so it was the right choice to give a really vocals-driven performance tonight. “I loved you without the guitar,” Twain said, adding that she was moved. “You’re the best pure singer in this competition,” Levine said.
Also wanting to do something on the slower side, Team Adam’s Mark Isaiah chose to sing “One Dance” by Drake. In rehearsal, Levine encouraged him to make the arrangement more simple. His performance was smooth and emotional, with Isaiah establishing himself as a really strong R&B singer. He looked the most confident he has ever been on the show. “You present yourself with dynamics. You move at the right times,” Twain said, praising his performing abilities.
Stephanie Rice from Team Alicia was up next, singing “White Flag” by Dido, which was Keys’ suggestion. Rice said since she grew up very sheltered and was only exposed to music through church, so she wasn’t actually familiar with the hit. She also said that she wanted to do a haunting, eerie rendition of the song, which she certainly delivered. It was one of the best performances of the night, and Rice sang the song as if it were her own. Keys was right to save her last week. “Your emotion was just pouring out of you,” Twain said. “I loved that side of your voice,” Stefani added, praising the tender sound of her performance. Keys made sure to point out that Rice put together that arrangement herself. “You deserve all the votes on planet Earth,” Keys said.
Team Gwen’s Troy Ramey sang “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty next. Stefani cautioned him against changing the melody too much, and Twain agreed, especially since it’s such a sing-along song. Ramey’s version was tender and lovely, but it wasn’t the most exciting song choice. “I was really captivated by your style,” Twain said. “Something about your personality came through,” Stefani said.
Aliyah Moulden from Team Blake was up next, singing “Love Is Like A Heat Wave,” which Shelton recommended for her. The vintage, soulful sound was perfect for Moulden. Twain cautioned against oversinging, giving her some technical advice. In her performance, she came to life. “You have such poise. You’re a professional,” Twain said of the 15-year-old artist. “You’re becoming a performer in front of America’s eyes,” Shelton said.
Team Alicia’s Chris Blue chose to sing “Love And Happiness” by Al Green, wanting to evoke the song’s messages. Twain appreciated his attention to the story of the song. He sounded amazing and also knew how to put on a show. It was another highlight of the night, and Blue received a well-deserved standing ovation from all four coaches and Twain. “You made it Chris Blue’s song,” Keys said.
Team Blake’s Lauren Duski sang “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good,” saying that it’s one of her brother’s favorite songs. When Duski met Twain, she told her that she played a crucial role in who she wanted to be as a young woman. “Lauren’s voice is not like anybody else’s really in country music,” Shelton said in rehearsal. She gave a warm and delicate performance, feeling the emotions of the song. “I think this song was so perfect for you,” Twain said. “It’s a song you could have written.”
Levine asked Lilli Passero to sing Twain’s own “Man I Feel Like A Woman.” Levine and Twain had to give her advice over the phone, because she was recovering from being sick this week. Despite her lack of a rehearsal session with her coach and Twain, Passero sounded great, giving an energetic, sultry performance. Twain approved of her rendition of the song.
Team Gwen’s Brennley Brown chose to sing “Long, Long Time,” saying that she envisions her first album as having a classic country sound. “Less is probably best,” Twain told Brown in rehearsal, encouraging her to keep it vocally simple. This night was full of delicate, slower performances, and Brown delivered another one, showcasing her beautiful voice and sounding particularly strong on the lower parts. “You have ended up with the right coach,” Shelton, her former coach, said. “That was perfect,” Stefani said.
Next up, Shelton gave “Always On My Mind” by Willie Nelson to TSoul to sing. Twain was impressed with his technical skills. It was a great song choice for him, and TSoul delivered another one of the night’s emotional and soft performances, really showcasing his vocal range and gorgeous tone. “You have true soul, voice and heart,” Twain said. Shelton said he was proud and happy.
Team Gwen’s Hunter Plake decided to sing Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” putting his own twists on it. He has strong artistry and instincts, which led to a unique, memorable performance. “I was at a full blown-out concert just now,” Twain said, adding that she believed him. Stefani praised his producer abilities, highlighting that he put the arrangement together himself.
Closing out the night, Vanessa Ferguson sang “A Song For You.” Twain compared her to Gladys Knight. She gave a solid soul-R&B performance and had a strong interpretation of the lyrics, leading to an emotionally present and resonant performance. It was a strong end to a night full of impressive and surprising performances. “I think you really know who you are, and that comes out in you voice,” Twain said. “If you want magic on this show, you vote for Vanessa,” Keys urged viewers.
Tomorrow on The Voice, one artist will be sent home. Who got your vote tonight?
This article originally appeared in THR.com.