Live Top 12 Performances
An opportunity as fragile and fleeting as a songbird's song. Days, months and years of preparation at stake. A dozen musical lives on the line. The three remaining artists from CeeLo, Xtina, Blake and Adam's teams all face the same fate tonight: knock 'em dead or die trying. The red light goes on, and in the blink of an eye, Carson Daly is calling the first artist to the stage.
Young Caroline Pennell knows that going first means setting a high bar. She's chosen Avicii's "Wake Me Up" to get it done. Her delicate vocals belie a powerful vocal instrument that she brings to the fore as the song requires it. It'll be a tough act to top.
Josh Logan steps up next. In last week's Top 20, he survived only by the grace of Xtina - he didn't have the vote count to secure a spot on his own. Now he's got no choice but to pull out the stops. His music pick, Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," taxes his vocal range. But his command and pitch are on target, and no matter where it goes from here, Josh has got a performance to be proud of.
Adam Levine's geeky-looking protege James Wolpert answers the call next. Surrounded by a bright white diamond-shaped set of stage lights, James channels his inner arena rocker once again, cranking out The Killers' "Mr. Brightside." It's high octane rock, and the crowd is on its feet.
Austin Jenckes finds his way to the stage. With a standout performance last week, Austin was a lock for the Top 12, but tonight, no one's safe. He leans into his strength: country music. His take on Travis Tritt's "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" comes from the heart, as have his other performances. Austin's unfailing ability to convey the emotion in any song sets him apart from his competitors.
Jacquie Lee follows Austin. The little high school girl with the larger-than-life voice pulls off a surprise: a cover of Jack White's "Love Is Blindness." The song is actually a tailor-made opportunity for her, and once again, Jacquie delivers the goods.
Ray Boudreaux knows he has a tough act to follow. Standing before a bank of LED stagelights and a pair of iron gates, Ray dives into John Legend's "All of Me." The handsome singer interprets the song, offering his own phrasing and a smooth delivery. The crowd swoons.
Next to the stage is Kat Robichaud. She knows she's only in the spotlight tonight because CeeLo granted her a reprieve last week. Now she's determined to win America over. She delivers a solid take on "Sail" by AWOLNATION.
Jonny Gray has the next slot. He's proven his worth with classic rock songs in the past, and tonight, he sticks to what he knows: Phil Collins' "Another Day in Paradise." It's a rock solid performance, and Jonny seems confident he'll be back on the stage next week in the Top 10.
We visit with Carson Daly in the Sprint Skybox before heading back to the stage and crowd favorite Tessanne Chin. The Jamaican chanteuse is out to wow her coach, Adam Levine, and the entire world with her take on Emeli Sande's "My Kind of Love." And impress she does, delivering a shimmering, pitch-perfect performance that has everyone on their feet.
Matthew Schuler follows Tessanne with the knowledge that he'll need to go above and beyond to keep his momentum going. He picks a song that would challenge the most confident of singers: Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The counter-culture hymn has been interpreted by dozens of artists since it was first recorded in 1984. Matthew finds his own throughline, riding the song's redemptive message to new heights as he showcases his soaring vocal style.
Blake's Cole Vosbury steps up next. He too made it through unscathed in the Top 12 voting, but that was then. Tonight, he knows he'll have to bring his A-game as he sings "Adorn" by Miguel. Cole's shown versatility in the past, and tonight, the pop number shows his voice off at its best. The crowd and the coaches are all impressed.
And finally we arrive at Will Champlin, the last artist to perform. Saved from elimination by his coach Adam Levine last Thursday, Will's intent on showing the world that he's among the elite of the remaining artists. Appearing in the finale spot is an awesome opportunity, but it's not without its dangers. But the quirky son of Chicago's Bill Champlin is as cool as can be as he cues Paul Mirkovich at the keyboard and launches into "Demons" by Imagine Dragons. The song is a veritable anthem, and Will uses its progressive chord structure to raise the roof. He showcases a new side of his vocals, sending the song into a towering crescendo, much to the delight of the coaches and the audience.
Carson reviews the voting methods, reminding everyone they have just a few hours to vote. The artists gather backstage, spent and nervous over what's to come. Soon they'll be in their hotel rooms, lighting up their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts along with every other social tool at their disposal, trying to mobilize their legions of fans. In just 24 hours, they'll return to Stage 12, hoping to hear the magic words that they've made it to the Top 10.