‘The Voice’ Recap: The Pressure Doubles

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(Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

(Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Tonight the pressure doubled as the Top 6 contestants performed twice on The Voice. Each contestant chose one song to sing while their judge picked the second. With two shots to show why they should become The Voice, tomorrow the six will become four when America’s vote is tallied.

Contestant: Nicholas David

Sings: “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire

This 70s hit was handpicked by CeeLo while Train’s Pat Monahan stepped in to help advise Nicholas. “I just want you to do something that’s uncomfortable,” he said while Nicholas remained skeptical. Would he be able to step out of his comfort zone and try something new in his live performance? With a 70s feel complete with a horn section, dancers and backup singers, Nicholas put on a powerful performance but it didn’t completely show off his stage presence or vocal range. The judges seemed to agree. “One thing that was missing . . . some of that chorus, I wanted to hear you sing it. I was a little disappointed in that,” Adam said. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what Adam thinks though as America will make the final decision.

Contestant: Cassadee Pope

Song: “Stand” by Rascal Flatts

“It’s a song by Rascal Flatts and it’s about redemption and facing your fears,” Blake told Cassadee. Cassadee knew she needed to make it her own with more of a pop rock approach and she did just that. With beautiful, airy vocals at the song’s start Cassadee transformed the country hit into an anthemic rock feel. The audience reciprocated and connected with the song as she belted the chorus. While she won Xtina over, Adam still wanted something a little more adventurous. But once again, whether she stays or goes is up to America.

Contestant: Amanda Brown

Sings: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin

Growing up, a lot of Amanda’s inspiration came from the church. “Emotionally it builds, so you don’t want to start off with too much,” Adam warned Amanda. So will she pull through? She realizes in order for her to get across to the viewer she needs to convey passion and love for the song, which she accomplishes majestically. Beginning her performance with delicate vocals, Amanda slowly builds more power as she sings each note. Once the chorus kicks in her voice crescendos into a belt. It’s evident she’s having so much fun on the stage and the judges see this as well.

“I love, appreciate and adore all women. It was wonderful. There is nothing I enjoy more than to see a woman feel natural,” CeeLo remarked. Meanwhile, Adam couldn’t contain his pride.”Seeing this happen for you is so exciting. That is an awe-inspiring performance.”

Contestant: Terry McDermott

Sings: “I Want To Know What Love Is” by Foreigner

Terry selected this song and dedicated it to his wife for being there for him while he was struggling with his mother’s death. He transformed the track to a stripped down number by performing alone with piano and cello. “It’s all about bearing your soul,” he reflected during rehearsal. As his voice rose and fell it was evident Terry was doing just this, having Christina comment, “It’s so effortless how you sing.”

Contestant: Trevin Hunte

Sings: “Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina & the Waves

It’s an unexpected selection but Trevin proved once again that he can perform anything. “This song is about being care free and letting loose,” Trevin reflected before his performance. “I want to have fun.” And that he did. The upbeat track showcased Trevin’s soulful falsetto. The most energetic song selection of the night, it also demonstrated his versatility. Dancing around the stage all smiles, Trevin proved why he’s been kept around so long.

Contestant: Melanie Martinez

Sings: “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley

“It’s nerve-wracking to pick a judge’s song. I really hope CeeLo isn’t too hard on me,” the 17-year-old remarked. The youngest on the show and possibly the youngest to make it to the Top 4, Melanie knew she had to do a standout performance. “It’s like a dream and I hope it comes true!” Melanie began the song alone with her whispered and raspy vocals. Meanwhile, the track continued to showcase her signature style even if she was a little pitch-y. With approval from CeeLo, she could rest assured that she didn’t ruin his song. And even if she was slightly off key, Adam said it doesn’t matter. “People want to dress like you, sing like you and be like you and that’s an amazing thing.”

Contestant: Terry McDermott

Sings: “Stay With Me” by Rod Stewart

Inspired to give Terry a song he’s seen his wife play countless times live, Blake chose a song that would allow Terry to showcase his singing ability. “You got to keep the energy up but you also have to make sure you don’t blow out the notes. I feel really at home performing this one,” Terry said. His second track of the night, where his previous performance gave off his vulnerability, “Stay With Me” personified his rocker side. Terry kicked off the song in the middle of the audience with his mic stand as the crowd clapped and sang along. This track embodied his rock star charisma. The most consistent singer, whether he’s belting a rock number or showing his delicate side, there’s no denying that Terry’s in it to the end.

Contestant: Trevin Hunte

Sings: “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” by Jennifer Hudson

“I hope Jennifer never hears this because she’ll quit the business,” Pat Monahan said in Trevin’s rehearsal. And he wasn’t kidding. Trevin realized before he took the stage that the song could make him or break him. “This is a song that tells America I’m not going anywhere.” He did just that. Trevin’s delicate and vulnerable vocals demonstrated just why he remains one of the six contestants left. Showcasing his incredible vocal range, he received a standing ovation from CeeLo and Xtina, making Adam declare it was “one of the best performances I’ve seen on the show seriously ever.” But will that be enough to have him stay?

Contestant: Amanda Brown

Sings: “Here I go Again” by White Snake

“If this doesn’t show people how incredible she is I don’t know what will,” Adam said during rehearsal. He was right. Amanda began the track delicately and unassuming before she unleashed her inner rock goddess. Channeling Pat Benatar, her performance was electric having CeeLo exclaim, “You’re just as fierce as ever.” Adam agreed, saying she added “totally different ends of the spectrum.”

Contestant: Melanie Martinez

Singing: “The Show” by Lenka

Next up was another of Adam’s ladies. Gearing the track to her fan base, Adam advised, “You’re most connected with your fan base. It’s OK to be 17 once in a while.” The song’s lyrics discuss being young but it didn’t seem to resonate with Melanie. Neither did the movable background. In fact, it seemed to take away and distract from her performance.

Contestant: Cassadee Pope

Sings: “I’m With You” by Avril Lavigne

This one Cassadee chose and it suited her well. Whispered vocals were at the song’s start and hinted at a deeper sound for the singer. Soon after, though she transforms Avril’s track to her own. It’s easy to feel the pain within her singing style as she effortlessly switches from belts to whispers. “You can’t teach/coach somebody how to have a connection with a lyric or a song. Cassadee Pope is one of those rare individuals who has the ability to tell a story and to sing really, really good. You put that together and you have this phenomenon,” Blake gushed. While the connection was there for her two performances, would it be enough to save her from elimination? We’ll find out Tuesday!

Contestant: Nicholas David

Sings: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz

His mom’s favorite tune, Nicholas was convinced this was the track for him. “I want to do my own take on the song but it’s a classic. I want to keep that magic that’s in people’s hearts,” he said. Lucky for him he did just this. Beginning the song alone on piano with light harmonica in the background, Nicholas’ slowed and steadied singing struck a chord. Soon enough the song gets faster and jazzy, allowing him to put his own spin on the classic without ruining it. With an unexpected ending, he made his mark. “That’s one of those songs that makes everybody weep. I am genuinely a fan of your music,” Adam praised. Blake agreed. “That was magic and beautiful. Only you could do what you did up there.”

It’s a tough decision predicting who will make it through the next round. But one thing remains: after tomorrow night there will only be four contestants left on The Voice.

-Annie Reuter, CBS Local

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