Reba mentors “The Voice: Season Eight” Top 12

Reba McEntire and Pharrell Williams The Voice

Country icon Reba McEntire flashes a huge smile during a Team Pharrell rehearsal at
“The Voice” stage. (Photo property of NBC & United Artists Media Group)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

The Voice: Season Eight contestants have been incredibly lucky this year with their guest mentors!

Tonight, legendary country music icon (and the first Team Blake adviser) Reba McEntire mentored all 12 of the remaining hopefuls.

Which artists soared? Who might be duking it out for The Voice Insta-Save? Read on to find out…

Up first was Team Blake rocker Hannah Kirby, who was literally ecstatic at the sight of Reba! The four-time Voice winner assigned Hannah-Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen.” Reba compared Hannah to Dolly because the country legend gives it every single performance. I have seen Stevie Nicks three times in my life and she would be extremely proud of Hannah’s interpretation. Her vocals took us to rock nirvana and it was an excellent way to start the evening! A

Brian Johnson tackled Sting’s “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You.” One of my all-time favorite covers of this hit was Lady Gaga’s tour-de-force performance at last year’s Kennedy Center Honors. Not only did Gaga made Sting cry, but she hands down delivered the best solo of that night. It was very hard for me to listen to Brian’s cover and not compare it with Mother Monster’s omnipotent version. In all honesty, there were some sour notes and he butchered the song! D+

I was a little hesitant with India’s song choice for the evening: Hozier’s “Take Me To Church.” This song was Team Adam’s Matt McAndrew breakout moment last season. After her rehearsal, Reba stated that India caught her “hook, line and sinker” with her cover. Like what she did with “Big White Room,” every word that India sang stabbed me in the stomach! I also got chills and I strongly believe that she earned her right to advance to the Top Six tonight! A+

Mia Z was the first Team Pharrell singer to take the stage! The “Happy” singer gave Mia…the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.” During her rehearsal with Reba & Pharrell, she under annunciated her words. However, Pharrell suggested using her whistle tone somewhere in the song…that turned out to be very deadly for my ears and this is the first time that Mia bored me! C

Team Adam’s Deanna Johnson was excited to meet her hero, Reba, who claimed to be the “Fancy” singer’s biggest fan. Deanna was hesitant with singing another Christian music track (“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”) and Reba advised that she needed to be jubilant with her performance. Deanna has a sturdy lower register, but at the beginning of the track…I thought that she lost it vocally. It was not her best performance and she might have to sing for the save tomorrow night. C-

Sawyer Fredericks tackled Reality TV history tonight…he sang a track that David Archuleta-– a household name! That track: John Lennon’s signature solo song: “Imagine.” While Reba praised Sawyer’s powerful voice, I heard some (brief) slight off notes, but he was able to recover and deliver a superb cover. However, in the war between Sawyer and David…the latter wins every time! B

When I read that Rob Taylor was going to sing “I Put A Spell On You.” I thought that he needed to do something in order for him to separate his cover from Jacquie Lee’s astonishing performance and Rising Star winner Jesse Kinch’s world-shaking interpretation. From the word, “Go!” Rob slayed that iconic track with his unbelievable falsetto and gorgeous tone! A

Corey Kent White completed a Oklahoma country trifecta at rehearsal. Blake chose Jason Aldean’s “Why” for Corey to sing! While it was a solid vocal, but after everything I saw tonight…it was honestly subpar. C+

Pharrell’s final artist of the night was Koryn Hawthorne! She had the honor of singing Reba’s daughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.” Reba was flabbergasted with her vocals and stated that Kelly would love Koryn’s version of her hit. Koryn did a brilliant rearrangement of the track and her powerful goose bump-educing vocals made her a dark horse in the competition! A-

Team Adam’s final singer was Joshua Davis. He tackled Simon & Garfunkel’s “America.” For this performance, Adam wanted Joshua to set his guitar aside and deliver a great vocal. The Maroon 5 front man’s suggestion paid off as Joshua delivered one of his best performances on the show! A-

Meghan Linsey returned to her country roots with a cover of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush.” While she performed both Blake and Reba’s favorite current country song, it was not a performance that I am going to remember when we get to the finale. C

Team Christina’s Kimberly Nichole closed the show! I was very shocked to learn that Kimberly would be covering the song that helped Haley Reinhart conquer American Idol. Kimberly’s vocal on “House of the Rising Sun” had shades of both Grace Jones and Tina Turner. The way that Kimberly commanded the stage just blew me away! If Kimberly does not go to the finale, there is no justice! A+

Tomorrow night, three artists will duke it out for “The Voice” Insta-Save!

I do not own the clips that are sprinkled throughout the article; they belong to the respective TV shows!

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar