Team Adam and Team Blake duel on the first Live Round of “Voice: Season Five”

The Voice Season 5 Live Shows

With Christina and CeeLo enjoying the view, Adam and Blake were in the hot seat as their contestants perform for America’s votes. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar

Welcome to the Live Rounds!

Tonight, Team Adam and Team Blake’s remaining vocalists performed for America’s votes!

Who brought their A-game? Which artists fizzled? Read on to find out…

The first artist to face America was Team Blake’s Shelbie Z.  She came back to the show as a newlywed and inserted her sassiness into Reba McEntire’s “Fancy.”  It was a strong opening to the first Live Show of the season. Xtina stated that it was a great performance and the song fit her very well.  I can see Shelbie riding into this year’s Top Eight.  A-

Team Adam’s James Wolpert was the second artist tonight to prove himself worthy of America’s votes. In my honest opinion, I thought that James was not ready for the Live Shows and someone like Donna Allen, Juhi or James Irwin could have gotten his spot.   While I thought he did an okay vocal on Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” I still would have X’ed him (if I had an AGT buzzer) because his performance bored me. While the coaches praised him, I thought it was too little…too late! D+

Nic Hawk is a character! But he is not a showstopper like Joshua Ledet or Daniel Joseph Baker. Tonight, Nic performed Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I.’s “Blurred Lines.”  Unfortunately, as much I like Nic…he would be the second person that I would X’ed. It was a train wreck…there were tons of pitch problems and it was annoying as hell.  C-

Team Blake’s resident blue-eyed soul man Ray Boudreaux was the next to perform. He chose Marc Broussard’s “Home.” Ray transported the audience back to Louisiana as he gave an impeccable vocal that showed off his raspy and gritty vocals. While Xtina stated that it was her favorite performance from him, CeeLo dubbed him: “Sugar Ray.”  A-

Austin Jenckes is one of my favorite artists on Team Blake.  The “God Gave Me You” singer gave him the Black Crowes’ “She Talks to Angels.” He was the first contestant to give me chills. I loved his vocal runs in the chorus and the way he told the song’s story. Like Christina stated in her commentary, Austin sang with so much heart and I just hope that viewers vote him in to the Top 12. A

Grey still remains a mystery to me.  I cannot connect with her as a fan and going into this, I thought she was the weakest link on Team Adam.  She has performed two Kelly Clarkson covers on the show and she has exposed herself as a clone of Clarkson.  While listening to her cover of Paramore’s “ I noticed that Grey missed a few notes and moved too much around the stage.  Adam stated that she was “a dark horse” in this competition but I think Grey outstayed her welcome.  D+

Another one of my favorite singers on Team Adam is Will Champlin.  He has grown so much on his Voice journey and he always takes songs to another level of excellence.  Tonight, his arrangement of One Republic’s” Secrets” proved why he is in the competition.  I loved how he started with the piano in the beginning and his notes were superb! I hope that America votes him in to the Top 12, because he will bring his A-game to every stage in the Live Rounds!  A

One of the show’s early frontrunners performed next. Preston Pohl tackled Bruno Mars & B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You.” This is a really tough song to sing because it combines both rap and R&B.  Preston not only showcased that he could tackle both items but he can deliver a solid old soul vocal.  It would be disappointing if he leaves the competition on Thursday.  A

Cole Vosbury tackled one of Rod Stewart’s signature songs. When Cole performed “Maggie May,” he delivered the best male vocal of the night! I hope Rod Stewart was watching this performance because he would be very proud of Cole.  While Christina was baffled that Cole was a one-chair turn, CeeLo stated that he and his former teammates would have his back in this competition.  A+

Tessanne Chin closed the show with her cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross.” She delivered an impeccable cover that featured strong vocal runs and I loved the conviction in Tessanne’s voice. I cannot imagine this season without her because she is one of the strongest female vocalists on the show.  Tessanne, you made both America and Jamaica proud tonight! A+

Tomorrow night, Team CeeLo and Team Christina try their luck as they face America’s votes!

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar