‘The Voice’: The Top Eight Singers Take the Stage

Dez Duron on "The Voice" -- (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

With eight contestants left on “The Voice,” the two-hour broadcast is coming dangerously close to not having enough material to fill the time. Tonight, the show added two four-person group performances, plus a performance by 50 Cent, featuring Adam Levine of course. There also seemed to be lots more chatter with Christina Milian in the “skybox” or whatever that Sprint-sponsored quarantine area is called, including some good moments with in-house comedian Nicholas David and a make-out session between Terry McDermott and his hot wife.

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Performances were pretty solid all around, with most contestants solidifying their new identities that have been unveiled in the past couple of weeks. Cody Belew, for instance, has gone from rodeo cowboy to completely unhindered Vegas showman, tonight trying to channel Freddie Mercury in “Somebody to Love.” With the transformation complete, Cody got a lot of love from the coaches.

Cassadee Pope broke out last week with an unexpected move into country. Tonight she went back to pop, singing Michelle Branch’s “Are You Happy Now,” but didn’t forsake just a slight country twang.

Nicholas David, who last week did Bill Withers’s “Lean on Me,” got coached tonight from Withers himself, who guided him through his interpretation of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” which was just as soulful and solid as last week.

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And Trevin Hunte, who last week tried but failed to break out of the ballady mold he’s been ushered into by coach Cee Lo Green, went right back to ballads with Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.”

Tonight, these people were being who they are going to be for the rest of the competition, and probably for the rest of their career, if they are lucky enough to have one.

Who should go home this week? I’m still thinking Cody Belew is out of his league. And Trevin Hunte, now that he knows he’s only good at ballads, is just going to go down the boring-spiral if he continues.

Best: Surprisingly, Dez Duron, doing a jazzy version of Justin Bieber’s “U Smile.” He’s Christina Aguilera’s only artist left, and she definitely spared nothing in her coaching this week. It was smooth, it was awesome. And Melanie Martinez, who played a foot tambourine and had a great coffeehouse backup band thing going on, with a great song choice yet again, Alex Clare’s “Too Close.” It seemed like the song was her own, and she seemed so mature delivering it. It was about a breakup, and Carson Daly and Adam Levine both told her the guy she is breaking up with should watch that performance—but that just made poor Melanie look like she was going to throw up.

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Worst: Blake Shelton, for his shameless self-promotion striking yet again, having another of his mentees sing one of his own songs. Last week it was Cassadee, tonight he had Terry McDermott do “Over.” And how many times has he had his country girls sing songs from his wife, Miranda Lambert? It’s getting gross.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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