The Voice Top 8 Review: Nick's Knack

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Everyone and their brother, including yours truly, was touting last week's The Voice as its best episode ever. But this installment may have featured even better performances.

Sure, there was way too much filler, as the show managed to spread eight solo performances out over two hours, but not a single contestant made me want to throw something at my TV. That's not something that could have been said last Monday.

If you don't come for the singing, you could always come for Carson Daly's quips, like "I was watching Terry and his wife make out. That's good TV." It's hard to imagine that I thought he was a terrible host in season one. Carson is a joy to watch.

Now for the actual reason that we all tune in every week: The Voice's Top 8 were on display Monday night, and a large number of them performed extremely well. Let's recap the night...  

Nicholas David Top 8

Amanda Brown - Team Adam - "Someone Like You"
This is why you don't build things up huge before the performance. During their practice session, Adam and Amanda had me thinking this was going to be some earth shattering rendition, but it just wasn't. It was a great vocal, and she changed the sound of the track by adding the rock sound, but the arrangement was identical.  She made it her own, but I don't get why Adam said she made it into a power ballad. That's exactly what the original is. It was certainly still very good.
Grade: B+

Cody Belew - Team Cee Lo - "Somebody to Love"
Although it isn't saying much, this was definitely Cody's best performance over the last few weeks. His presence on stage was masterful, and the little moment at the end when he was able to showcase his voice in the falsetto and no accompaniment from the choir was awesome. There wasn't enough of that throughout though. Either the background singers overpowered him a bit, or he just wasn't as comfortable with the first couple of verses.
Grade: B

Cassadee, Dez, Melanie, and Terry did a group performance in order to extend the show to its full two hours, and I got bored with it early on. There's something about them singing together that makes it seem less important. At this point we were 44 minutes in and only two contestants had performed.

Terry McDermott - Team Blake - "Over"
There's no winning with me, is there? I trash Terry for singing classic rock anthems week after week, and then when he steps out of the box with a Blake Shelton song, I trash him again. By all means, this should have been a great performance, but the end result didn't equal the sum of the parts. It was different, it was pitch perfect, and he showed who he is, but I was a bit bored by it.
Grade: B-

Melanie Martinez - Team Adam - "Too Close"
Maybe it's just because Melanie is so obscure, but it seemed like THAT is how you make something your own. Amanda and Terry both did things that almost got there, but Melanie went the extra mile and it worked so well. Her vibe, the little changes in the phrasing, and the emotion that she poured out on stage all added up to one of her best performances ever.
Grade: A-

Dez Duron - Team Xtina - "You Smile"
The man can carry a tune and he has the face of an angel. Do you really need anything else in this business? Heck, if I were a 14-year-old girl I would buy a ticket to his concert in a heartbeat. This wasn't his best performance by any means, but he didn't fall on his face, and he let his voice do the talking. It was easy to listen to, which is more than I can say for a lot of people this competition has seen.
Grade: B

Trevin Hunte Top 8

Trevin Hunte - Team Cee Lo - "The Greatest Love of All"
Welcome back big boy! Adam was completely wrong in his analysis; Trevin can't sing whatever he wants. He can sing songs like this, and knock them out of the park like he did.  Last week's performance was not good, and I'm glad he came back to what he's great at in this emotional ballad. His voice is immaculate, and it certainly showed through here.
Grade: A

After a quick break for Nicholas, Trevin, Cody, and Amanda to rock it out on some pipes, it was time for the bearded wonder to take the stage... 

Nicholas David - Team Cee Lo - "What's Goin' On"
Not many people could take such an iconic song like this and make me feel like I was hearing it for the first time. Nicholas did that and more with this performance. It was soulful, it was original, it was intriguing, and I was on the edge of my seat throughout. Heck, Nick should move on just for the way his jaw dropped when Bill Withers walked into his rehearsal.
Grade: A+

Cassadee Pope - Team Blake - "Are You Happy Now"
It was going to be difficult to match her unbelievable vocal from last week, but Cassadee just gives off such a great star quality that it's hard not to say that she was every bit as great here than ever before. The rock star vibe just oozes out of her, and that was never more evident than during these few minutes when she stood up there belting her heart out with the axe at her side.
Grade: A

Weekly Rankings
1. Nicholas David
2. Trevin Hunte
3. Cassadee Pope
4. Melanie Martinez
5. Amanda Brown
6. Dez Duron
7. Cody Belew
8. Terry McDermott

What did you all think of the Top 8 on The Voice? Was it better than last week? Who do you think will be going home on Tuesday? Finally, vote in the poll below with who your favorite performer of the night was...


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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