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Training wheels come off for the top 10 on Monday's 'The Voice'

Season 7 | Episode 17 | “Live Top 10 Performances” | Aired Nov 24, 2014

Well, friends, you’ve done it. You’ve arrived safely at week 2 of live rounds here on The Voice. Some special advisers joining the coaches this week are: Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump (Team Adam), Christina Aguilera (Team Gwen), Colbie Caillat (Team Blake), and Diana Ross (Team Pharrell). Hmm, one of these things is not like the other (hello, Ms. Ross!).

We open the night with a group performance by our top 10. I call this Rascal Flatts medley “The Danica Show,” because Danica dominates the performance. Note: This is the moment when I realize how few women are left on this show. See below for evidence.

The Voice Top 10 Group Performance

Now let’s talk about tonight’s performances (in order of appearance):

Matt McAndrew (Team Adam)
First up is Matt’s “Fix You” (in the dreaded #1 slot). Let me note that I have to turn the station every time this song comes on, because it makes me think of the fantastic Young@Heart, and I start bawling like an idiot. However, I’ll try to hold it together tonight. For the children.

Matt starts the song wonderfully with just organ and piano, and it’s spot-on (not an easy feat considering Chris Martin’s seamless range, which can be hard to imitate). And I love Matt’s enthusiasm as he walks around, randomly hugging and greeting people. It’s more church picnic than singing competition, but it’s eminently sweet and a great way to start the night.

Anita Antionette (Team Gwen)
Gwen assigns Anita a reggae version of “Let Her Go.” I love the idea of this song arrangement and enjoy Anita’s performance, but it seems to be missing some of her usual sparkle. Despite a good vocal, it’s lacking a sense of engagement with the song that can’t be fully overcome by Anita’s charm (a first!). Also, those stairs are INSANE.

Damien (Team Adam)
Next up is Damien’s “You and I.” He starts the song at a piano that no one is playing (decorative or ghost piano player? Your call!). It’s a touch pitchy in his lower range, and seems to be suffering until he hits the bridge. Then all hell breaks loose as he nails the power notes from there out. It’s totally triumphant, and it’s impossible not to root for Damien as you watch him turn the song around. It’s like seeing a struggling runner cross the finish line first, and that’s gratifying for viewers at home.

Reagan James (Team Blake)
In tonight’s most interesting song choice, Reagan decides to take on “Fancy,” a song well built for her swaggering aesthetic. It’s a difficult song that has her basically working double shifts, covering two people’s jobs (rapper and singer). Reagan makes the most of the opportunity, using her vocal quirks to squeeze every bit of personality out of the song. She’s out of breath at points but does an admirable job of keeping up and still infusing the song with her own Reagan-esque sensibility.

Luke Wade (Team Pharrell)
After last week’s technical difficulties, it’s gratifying to see Luke excel this week. His “Try a Little Tenderness” is electric (thanks in part to Pharrell’s imaginative arrangement). Luke opens with a very controlled vocal, milking every pause for all it’s worth, but quickly accelerates into “speaking in tongues” mode. He runs around the stage, sings, grabs hands, howls, yelps, shouts, and sings some more. It’s wild and unexpected and definitely qualifies as my favorite performance of the night (so far).

Craig Wayne Boyd (Team Blake)
I was nervous when Craig presented his re-arrangement of “I Walk the Line.” Johnny Cash is sacred, and I didn’t look forward to seeing it repackaged as a sentimental, nu-country ballad. However, it’s quite pretty and ultimately works because there is something truly honest and appealing about Craig. He struggles a bit in the quieter moments but succeeds on the bigger notes, giving a performance that would be right at home on country radio (including a lung-busting note at the end that should have sent him into a dead faint).

Ryan Sill (Team Gwen)
Muse and Ryan Sill: these are two names that should never be uttered together. Despite that, Gwen decides “Starlight” is the best option for Ryan (trying to build on last week’s dip into the alternative genre). Ryan sounds perfectly fine throughout, but I have several issues with this song choice. First, he is wearing his alternative training wheels, and you don’t give someone with training wheels a Ferrari for their second solo run. Second, you don’t just “try on” being an alternative star. It’s not quite that simple. A sparkly sweater can’t hide the fact that this sounds like a boy-band member covering Muse. It’s serviceable, but it’s a shoe that doesn’t fit. Stop trying to make this happen, Gwen! Let Ryan be Ryan, and let the lady voters do the rest.

Danica Shirey (Team Pharrell)
Danica’s “I Have Nothing” is flawless, the most impressive vocal feat of the evening. No matter how our mom’s favorite song has been done to death in every talent show and singing competition, hearing someone do it with such ease, precision, and technique is intense. It reminds us of why we loved the song to begin with, and I felt that tonight with Danica. While she may not be the most unique contestant, I’m gonna call it and say I think she has the best voice on this show.

Taylor John Williams (Team Gwen)
Our second-to-last contestant tonight is Taylor with “Come Together.” Christina and Gwen both encourage him to let his wild side come out, and boy does he. Taylor dances and prances all over the stage, giving us a sprinkle of Mick Jagger, a cup of badassery, and a spoonful of Napoleon Dynamite. It’s fantastic.

P.S.: I like what Taylor is selling here with his Karate Kid headwear, but no one rocks a headband quite like this kid.
Baby Clapping in audience of The Voice

 

 

 

 

 

 
Chris Jamison (Team Adam)
Adam assigns Chris the recent Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson collaboration “Uptown Funk.” Thanks to some very specific performance notes, Chris commands the stage in his most confident showing to date. While the song is so wordy, you sometimes hear his effort a little too clearly, Chris gives a rousing performance that ends the show on a satisfying note.

Who got your votes this week? Who did NOT get your votes? Leave your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll see you back here after next Monday’s episode of The Voice.

The Voice
airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7C on NBC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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