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The Voice Recap: Did the Last of the Playoffs Unearth a Legend in the Making?

As The Voice completed its Season 24 Playoffs Tuesday evening, John Legend’s team members competed to remain in the contest after their coach cut his lineup in half. Did he make better selections than, say, Niall Horan (whose elimination of Alexa Wildish is sure to irritate me all the way through the finals) and Gwen Stefani (who kept BIAS and Tanner Massey instead of Stee and RUDI)? Read on and find out!

Azán, “Adorn” — Grade: A | I’m giving John’s Super Save artist an “A” for her Miguel cover even though I kinda wasn’t crazy about it. She sang beautifully. Her movements were hella cool. And she definitely seemed to be feeling the number. But the parts somehow felt greater than the whole. Maybe I just didn’t like the song itself, and I can hardly ding Azán for that, especially when she performed with such presence and range that her coach called her rendition “literally perfect.”


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Kristen Brown, “Need You Now” — Grade: B- | Stolen from Gwen in the Knockouts, Kristen started strong, singing with breathtaking vulnerability. But as she continued her take on Lady A’s ballad, she sounded less and less special. By the time she hit the big choruses and began reaching for notes that she couldn’t quite hit, I figured she was toast. “This was just another level,” her coach exclaimed. Was it, though? Was it really?

Kaylee Shimizu, “You Put a Move On My Heart” — Grade: A | At first, I wasn’t wowed by Kaylee’s efforts on Quincy Jones/Tamia’s ballad. But once she got to the belting part of the number, it was like, whoa. The kid has a voice that goes for miles, stops, turns around and asks, “Want me to go a few more miles? ’Cause I can” and then does. John was duly impressed with the warmth of her low tones and the heights she could scale with her high ones. “You’re ready to be a big star.”

Taylor Deneen, “Get Here” — Grade: A | John’s one and only Knockouts Save, Taylor was challenged by her coach to really connect with the audience on her Oleta Adams cover. Mission accomplished. Not only did it feel like Taylor’s vocals were reaching straight through the screen to tug at our heartstrings, but as John pointed out, her tone had power on top of sweetness — a winning combo if ever there was one.

Lila Forde, “Angel From Montgomery” — Grade: A+ | Let’s see. Pitch-perfect? Check. Sounded as delightful as the breeze feels on a sunny summer day? Check. Runs that were impressive without being distracting? Check. Connected to the song? Check. (Especially loved her delivery on “I had me a cowboy.”) Yup. There was nothing more that John or anyone could’ve asked of Lila’s Bonnie Raitt/John Prine cover. Exceptional!

Mac Royals, “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” — Grade: A+ | Oh, man! Mac began his take on D’Angelo’s ballad with a vocal so seductive, he might as well have been singing in the bedroom. And he was so damn casual about it, which only made it hotter. As the number went on, Mac’s singing increased in intensity, to the point where comparisons to Prince wouldn’t have been undeserved. Not just a demonstration of star quality but superstar quality. This was awesome and a half!

John’s Picks | Mac Royals, Lila Forde, Azán

Eliminated | Kristen Brown, Kaylee Shimizu, Taylor Deneen

Your thoughts on John’s live-shows team — and on Tuesday’s performances? Vote in the below poll, then hit the comments.

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