Ali Caldwell performs on “The Voice”; Trae Patton/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — On Monday’s edition of The Voice, the top 12 artists competed for America’s vote. In addition to their coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, country superstar Garth Brooks — hot on the heels of winning his fifth Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Award a couple of weeks ago — was on hand to advise the contestants.
Here are the highlights of Monday night’s show:
Country singer Sundance Head, representing Team Blake, performed “My Church,” by Maren Morris. Brooks’ advice was not for Sundance, but the house band: he told them to stay out of Head’s way and let his voice carry the song. After the performance, Alicia said Sundance continued to raise the bar with each performance. Miley declared he was made to be on a big stage. Blake praised Head for soaking up the moment and “having a blast.”
Next up for Team Miley was 17-year-old Darby Walker who, on the advice of her coach, sang The Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday.” Cyrus explained, “There’s a line in there that says, ‘Don’t ask her why she needs to be so free, she’ll tell you it’s the only way to be,’” which according to Miley, represented the young singer perfectly. Brooks, noting Darby “stole his heart,” praised her for being in the moment and “hearing what she sings.” Following the performance, Blake said he was happy to hear Darby rely on her full voice, instead of her falsetto. Miley agreed that it was an important performance for Walker.
Christian Cuevas was next up for Team Alicia, singing Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” Brooks noted during rehearsals that Cuevas’ voice was “effortless.” Keys, speaking to the camera, said challenge for Christian was to make the song his own. Afterward, Adam complimented Cuevas for his ability to “feel” the song. Alicia agreed, noting that Christian took her on a “journey with him” and she “went all the way.”
Soul singer Sa’Rayah – also representing Alicia’s team – tackled Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer.” After hearing Sa’Rayah’s performance, Brooks, addressing the camera, exclaimed that a song “you think you know is about to get better.” Miley praised the singer for going outside of her comfort zone and called her rendition of the song “awesome.” Alicia was also pleased with her artist’s performance.
Team Adam’s Billy Gilman followed with Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” because he felt that it perfectly captured his successes and struggles. Brooks, who needed no introduction to the former country artist, joked that the only help he could offer was to show Gilman the way on and off the stage. After Billy’s performance, Levine noted that Billy epitomized what The Voice is all about.
Austin Allsup, representing Team Blake, delivered a countrified version of the Aretha Franklin classic, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.” During rehearsals, Garth compared Allsup’s vocal range to those of Kelly Clarkson and Brooks’ wife, country star Trisha Yearwood. Afterward, Miley called it her favorite performance from Austin so far, explaining that he pulled out notes she didn’t know he had. Shelton declared, “There’s a new generation of outlaw country music that’s happening, and I’ll be damned if there’s anybody in that group that can sing like you do.”
Courtney Harrell continued the performances, representing Team Blake with Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Shelton noted in the video package that preceded the performance that the song showcased Harrell’s range. Brooks noted that Courtney understands, “You sing to one person, and there’s 17 thousand one-persons in your arena.” After the performance, Shelton said the performance convinced him that he made the right choice in saving Courtney last week.
New York City soul singer Ali Caldwell, representing Team Miley, was assigned “Did I Ever Love You,” written by the late Leonard Cohen, who passed away a week ago. Cyrus chose the song because it was a challenge for Ali, but was confident Caldwell would ultimately deliver the song “to perfection.” Garth noted Ali had “a wonderful way of treating a lyric.” After a standing ovation from all four judges, Alicia called the performance “a real moment.” Miley said she was proud of Caldwell.
The Voice returns Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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