CeeLo, Usher & Gwen return to “The Voice”


Usher CeeLo Gwen Voice Reunion

Usher, Gwen Stefani and original coach CeeLo Green returned to ‘The Voice” and helped the coaches mentor the Top Eight. (Photos are property of NBC & United Artists Media Group)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Tonight, The Voice hosted its first reunion!

Former coaches CeeLo Green (Seasons 1-3 & 5), Usher (Seasons 4 & 6) and Gwen Stefani (Season 7) returned home to the show’s Universal Studios Hollywood-based set to assist current coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Pharrell Williams and Christina Aguilera in mentoring their remaining artists.

Which of the Top Eight benefited from the returning coaches’ advice? Who might be battling for the show’s Instant Save? Read on to find out…

Before we dive into the performances themselves, here are the teams that the returning coaches mentored:

The Season Six winning coach helped Adam mentor his final contestant left: Joshua Davis. Meanwhile, CeeLo advised Team Blake and Gwen had her hands full as she mentored both Team Christina and Team Pharrell’s remaining artists.

The action-packed Top Eight performance kicked off with the guys tackling Avicii’s “Hey Brother” and the ladies performed “Wake Me Up.”

As the Top Eight exited the stage, Hannah Kirby kicked off the night with a trip to the Thunderdome as she tackled Tina Turner’s Mad Max anthem: “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” I liked seeing Hannah interact with CeeLo—they were like two pigs-in-a-blanket. The “Forget You” singer stated that Hannah was a great storyteller and suggested that she added a children’s choir into the performance. Not only did Hannah make Tina Turner proud, but she also delivered one of her best performances of the entire season! A

Joshua Davis had to pull off an impeccable performance, because if he did not deliver…he could end up singing for the Voice Instant Save. Luckily, he had two coaches to learn from: Adam….and Usher! The Season Six winner stated that Joshua needed to relate to “Fields of Gold” and use his family for inspiration. This is one of my favorite Sting songs of all-time and he redeemed himself from last week’s atrocious performance by slaying this track! A-

Week after week, Kimberly Nichole continues to deliver astonishing performances! This week, Christina wanted Kimberly to display a softer side to her personality when she tackled Radiohead’s “Creep.” Gwen wanted her to show off her insecurities and Christina also advised her to feel the notes. Kimberly stabbed me in the heart every time she sang those heartbreaking lyrics and I got the familiar case of goose bumps with this potential show winning performance. A++

After Blake performed his latest hit, “Sangria” and Shakira sent a huge video message that praised the Top Eight and all of the coaches, his protégé and old friend, Meghan Linsey, was the next artist to meet with CeeLo. Meghan was ecstatic that CeeLo was able to be Blake’s adviser, because if she were not on Team Blake…she would be on Team CeeLo. While I enjoyed CeeLo’s suggestion of using an orchestra, this was the second week that Meghan bored me and in all honesty…Meghan needs to sing for her life! D (Side note-if you want to watch someone slay “Something,” watch Sam Bailey’s astonishing cover from “The X Factor UK”!)

India Carney tackled “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” for her Top Eight performance. During the pre-performance package, Christina wanted her to project and Gwen stated that she wanted to learn what kind of artist India wanted to be as a singer. The No Doubt front woman compared India’s voice to Anita Baker’s vocals and that India wanted to transport the audience into the colorful world of Oz. but before Matt McAndrew fans go crazy about India’s cover of the Judy Garland anthem, I am going to give you the honest truth: INDIA WAS SO MUCH BETTER THAN MATT! Her artistry really showed in this performance and she gave the most technical vocal performance of the artists that performed tonight! A+

While the remaining artists were getting ready for their performances, Team Adam alum Matt McAndrew teamed up with Maroon 5’s James Valentine to deliver his latest single: “Counting On Love.” It was strong single that I would dive into tomorrow’s New Music Releases!

Sawyer Fredericks got a little star-struck when he met Gwen Stefani! I am very glad that Pharrell asked him about how he connected with the lyrics and Gwen added that she could visualize the honest contestant on the radio. He gave an intriguing performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.” The vocals were sturdy and he caught my attention, but there was not any urgency in the performance. B

Corey Kent White has gotten on my last nerve! He is not only this season’s Sanjaya…but also other artists that were more worthy of performing on The Top Eight stage like Sarah Potenza and Brian Johnson. His cover of “When I See You Smile” was abysmal and I think it is time for this country artist to leave the show! F

Koryn Hawthorne closed out the show and like Sawyer…she got excited and starstrucked when she met Gwen Stefani! Koryn chose Team Pharrell adviser Alicia Keys’s “Girl on Fire.” Gwen wanted Koryn to slither between vulnerable and strong in her performance. I loved that Koryn stripped down the arrangement, because it showcased her outstanding vocals and I think that Alicia Keys would be so proud of this performance! A+

Tomorrow night, three artists sing for the Instant Save!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar