'The Voice' recap: Top 8 semifinalists perform -- Maelyn Jarmon and Shawn Sounds thrive as others falter, Adam Levine picks potential winner
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/14/2019
The Voice featured the Top 8 semifinalists performing on Monday night's episode for four spots in the Season 16 finale, and John Legend's team of Maelyn Jarmon and Shawn Sounds emerged as the clear frontrunners.
During the two-hour broadcast on NBC, Maelyn and Shawn were commended for their amazing talent and Adam Levine gushed about how Maelyn should win Season 16, but several artists didn't exactly rise to the occasion.
In addition to Maelyn and Shawn from "Team Legend," the remaining Top 8 semifinalists are Dexter Roberts, Gyth Rigdon, Carter Lloyd Horne, Andrew Sevener, and Kim Cherry from Blake Shelton's team, as well as Rod Stokes from Kelly Clarkson's team.
Each semifinalist was asked to perform twice for home viewers votes -- one song of their own choosing as well as a duet with a fellow contestant to a Beatles song.
Andrew kicked off the performance show with "Long Haired Country Boy" by Charlie Daniels.
The coaches gave Andrew a standing ovation. Kelly felt like she was at Andrew's concert and called him "so talented." She was so glad he chose this version of the song to sing, and John totally agreed.
John said Andrew "owned" the song and the stage and he was meant to be in the semifinals. Adam added it was Andrew's "absolute best performance" he's ever had on the show.
And Blake gushed about how Andrew had a moment on this show and it was by far his best performance to date -- and the most confident viewers have seen him. Blake reminded America how "authentic" Andrew is.
Gyth then belted out "God Bless The U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood.
Kelly felt she couldn't critique the song or else she's "going to hell."
It unfortunate wasn't her favorite vocal performance of Gyth's thus far, but she loved how the song had meaning for him and it had never been done on The Voice before.
John agreed with Kelly but felt the "energy and emotion" behind his vocals, and Blake told his team member that was "far and away [his] best vocal performance."
Blake acknowledged his fellow coaches had their "competitive jackets" on for this show, and then Blake went as far as to say, "Welcome to the finale, brother."
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Kim took the stage with "Together Again" by Janet Jackson and showed a different, emotional side to herself by playing the piano and started out the song as a ballad.
Kelly suggested Kim should try Broadway because she has such a huge voice. John pointed out she's multi-talented since she can play the piano, saxophone and rap.
And Blake argued, "Let there never be a question again about whether Kim is a great singer."
Blake gushed about how Kim sounded great, appeared to have a blast on the stage and couldn't have done a better job.
Carter chose to deliver "Take Me To Church" by Hozier for his Top 8 performance.
Kelly was so excited Carter picked this song, but she noted, "This whole vibe is very cool for you. I just think that song -- I don't know if you were hearing something differently... but it was just a little pitchy in the beginning and you couldn't kind of find the pitch of it."
But Kelly told Carter not to get down on himself because he has "a really rad tone" and he could make a great rock and roll star.
John said Carter did, in fact, have trouble finding the key but it's a challenge all artists face and he's a great singer and will be fine.
Blake commended Carter on recovering later in the song and establishing a big, loyal fanbase. Blake told Carter that he did a great job.
Rod was up next and sang "Go Rest High On That Mountain" by Vince Gill.
John called Rod's performance "lovely," but said it wasn't "technically" his best so far. John, however, could feel the song meant something to him.
Adam thought the song was a good choice and a nice change of pace. He didn't understand why Rod wasn't on his team, but Adam admitted, "I'm still learning the rules of the new show."
Rod loved how Rod was connected to the song, and he said he'd take emotion every time over perfect vocals.
Kelly said Rod has an ability to touch and move people through his performances like not many people can do. She was so happy to have Rod on her team and called it "home" for him.
Maelyn took the stage with "Stay" by Rihanna.
Adam called Maelyn's performance "amazing, amazing."
"I obviously don't have a horse in the race at this point, so I'm just going to say it -- you definitely should win The Voice," Adam insisted.
"I believe you should win The Voice, and the reason why is very simple: Look at the name of the show. You embody what this show is all about and what it has been about for all these seasons. There is no reason why you should absolutely not win this thing. It seems like you are the absolute frontrunner and the best singer we've got right now."
Blake admitted he was having a tough time coming up with new compliments for Maelyn following her performances because she's so great, but he noted she's "spot on" every time she gets on the stage and exudes such poise.
Kelly added Maelyn is "a phenomenal vocalist" and she played a couple of different characters this time and allowed herself to let go.
John agreed Maelyn is the best vocalist on the show, and he was proud of her risk-taking. He said he feels "so honored" to be working with her.
Dexter performed "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down for his semifinals performance.
Kelly thought Dexter chose a smart and clever song to sing, and Blake also praised the singer for stepping out of his comfort zone and trying something new.
"Your voice is one of my favorite country voices I've ever heard," Blake told Dexter. "When you sing a song, it's like you're attacking it with your voice. It's just so good."
And finally, Shawn decided to sing "A Song For You" by Donny Hathaway.
Adam thanked Shawn for "putting on a singing clinic" for everybody in the room that night. Adam said Shawn taught everybody how to sing and had "the craziest performance of the night."
Adam added Shawn delivered a flawless, heartfelt vocal with so much feeling.
Kelly noted that was "by far" her favorite performance of Shawn's this season, and John suggested he's very consistent and absolutely "incredible."
John felt lucky to have the two apparent frontrunners on his team. He expressed how the singers would thrive no matter the team they were on.
In addition Kim and Shawn sang "Eleanor Rigby" together, Maelyn and Rod performed a duet of "Yesterday," Dexter and Gyth sang "Hey Jude," and Andrew and Carter took the stage with "Help" together.
Only four artists will move on during Tuesday night's live results show to next week's The Voice finale, when a winner will be crowned.