Garth Brooks mentors “The Voice: Season 11” Top 12

Country superstar Garth Brooks is the latest superstar to advise "The Voice: Season 11" Top 12. (Photo property of NBC)

Country superstar Garth Brooks is the latest superstar to advise “The Voice: Season 11” Top 12. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

The King of Country Music is in the house!

This week, the Top 12 worked with Garth Brooks and their coaches (Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton, and Miley Cyrus) as the Live Rounds continue.

Did “The River” singer work his magic and helped the artists break from the pack? Who might be singing for tomorrow night’s Instant Save?  Read on to find out!

My reaction when I saw tonight's set list. (Graphic and photo are properties of NBC, Broadway Video & SNL Studios)

My reaction when I saw tonight’s set list. (Graphic and photo are properties of NBC, Broadway Video & SNL Studios)

Before we get to the recap, I have a request for the show’s producers and coaches: “Please stop recycling songs!” Half of the artists performed a song tonight that has been carried out on numerous talent competition shows. Because of that, the artists made it easier for me to compare their performances from other covers. Countless songs have been released over the years, and it would be so much easier for the artists to deliver their take on either a hidden track or a current chart-topping hit!  (Rant over!)

Team Blake’s Sundance Head kicked off the night with Maren Morris’ “My Church.” Garth Brooks is one of Sundance’s biggest music heroes, and it was hard for Blake to guide Sundance to share his song with them. Sundance used all the energy from losing his family home in a flood to impress his heroes. Thanks to Mr. Brooks, Sundance was able to work along with the band to create one of the night’s first breakout performances of the evening. A-

Miley’s mini-me and former Girl Meets World actress Darby Walker was shocked to see Garth Brooks standing next to Miley. Her mentor called her ageless, while Garth stated that Darby stole his heart. She tackled the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” and in the pre-performance package, Darby said that this was her most personal performance yet. While there were some bum notes at the beginning of the song and breath control problems in the first half, she recovered nicely in the chorus. While it was better than last week, Darby still has a lot to ground to cover, if she survives tomorrow night’s elimination. C

If I have, to be honest, Christian Cuevas should not have been saved by America’s votes last week. His performance of “Yesterday” was all over the place and scatterbrained at times. Christian dedicated his performance of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” to his girlfriend and Garth stated that “he sang the hell out of the song.” He made leaps and bounds from last week, and I was surprised that he was able to keep control of his massive falsetto throughout the performance. He might be this season’s Jordan Smith. B+/A-

Sa’Rayah tackled Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer. I was worried that this would be a duplicate version of Jordin Sparks’ Idol performance, but Garth stated that she took the performance to a whole new level. I got the first set of goose bumps from Sa’Rayah’s excellent cover. I hope that Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora were watching her performance because they would not be disappointed with her cover. A

I have been a fan of Billy since he sang “Ben” at Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration, but I am a little surprised that he tackled Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.” Several Reality TV alums such as Idol’s Skylar Laine and openly gay X Factor UK participant Seann Miley Moore have tackled this song in the past and made waves with their respective performances. Did the cover impress me? Sadly, I believed that both Ms. Laine and Mr. Moore sang circles around him. I also did not feel any emotion from him. Right now, Billy reminds me of AGT finalist Brian Justin Crum. Both men have been unique voices and floored their particular show’s judges. But, Brian made it to the finale and lost. Billy might be heading down this path if he does not switch his song choices up! C-

As Billy exited the stage, Austin Allsup tackled Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Man, Do Right Woman.” Garth made a huge impression on Austin, and he stated that Austin is up on par with Kelly Clarkson and his wife, Trisha Yearwood. After Billy’s under impressive performance, I am so glad that Austin shook things up and inserted southern rock into the timeless tune. I got chills and thought that I was in the synagogue! A

Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” has been sung so many times on this show that I lost count. I have to say that We McDonald surpassed both Season Seven’s Matt McAndrew and Season Eight’s India Carney with her fiery cover. I was enchanted from the first note that she sang and I was so impressed with the way that she commanded the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage. All I have to say to We is, “See you in the finals!” A+

Aaron Gibson tackled Father John Misty’s “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings.” I applaud Aaron for stepping outside of the giant comfort zone and debut a song that not a lot of viewers know. There’s no one in the competition on in the Alternative music scene that has his husky growl. Watch out, guys! Aaron could be one of this season’s dark horses. B

Courtney, Courtney, Courtney. Why did you sing Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing?” This song has been sung so many times on numerous singing competitions that I have lost count! Before Courtney sang, friends to the blog,  Jessica Sanchez and Emil & Dariel, delivered the best covers of the Oscar-nominated song. I will be honest; Courtney sang a watered down version of Jessica’s cover, and I was disappointed in her for lacking originality. Jessica, Emil & Dariel still own the song!  D+

Josh Gallagher met his idol, Garth Brooks, last week and revealed that he got married! He tackled Jason Aldean’s “Why.” Both Garth and Adam suggested that he started acoustically and then bring in the band.  I have to say that Josh did better than Billy this week! His voice pierced my heart, and he was the first artist this evening to put a smile on my face. I believe that he could be one of the last artists standing! A-

Ali Caldwell concluded Team Miley’s run tonight with the late Leonard Cohen’s “Did I Ever Love You.” Throughout the competition, Ail rocked out, and I wanted to see her vulnerable side. She did not disappoint with her spectacular cover of this tune. I got the chills I wanted to feel all evening, and I truly believe that after this performance, she will be transformed into one of this year’s front runners! A+

 Brendan Fletcher closed the night with “Whipping Post.” I am so glad that Adam selected Brendan to advance last week. It has been nearly 11 years ago since Bo Bice covered this song on Idol and I am happy that Brendan brought it back into play. If you combine his excellent voice and his impeccable artistry, then he might pull an upset and be one of Team Adam’s final singers standing! B+/A-

Tomorrow night, the Instant Save returns!

I do not own any clips that are featured in this article. They belong to the following:

*America’s Got Talent: NBC & SYCO Entertainment

*American Idol: FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment.

*The Voice USA: NBC & MGM TV

*The X Factor UK: iTV & SYCO Entertainment.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar