‘The Voice’ Top 8 Performances Recap: Covering Classics, Coaches’ Songs and Justin Bieber

With NBC’s The Voice down to its Top 8 contenders, the competition is stiffer than ever this season. But the remaining contestants deserve a chance to celebrate their accomplishments and just how far they’ve come nonetheless. Monday’s Top 8 Live Performances episode gave them a chance to do just that.

Though the remaining players from Teams Adam, Blake, Cee Lo, and Christina had to feel a lot pressure topping last week’s record-setting numbers (Cassadee Pope climbed to No. 1 on iTunes!), they could also sit back and take stock in a special first-time performance by Adam Levine and 50 Cent of their new single, “My Life,” off 50’s new album.

Did this brief moment out of competition mode distract anyone too much?

With the Top 8, all four coaches still have at least one team member in the running to take home the third season title, but will that stay true after “Top 8 Live Performances” results come back?

Celebuzz was on hand at The Voice live taping in Los Angeles, Calif. for all the highlights and numbers.

Starting the show was Amanda Brown with a rock rendition of “Someone Like You,” making the Adeleclassic a new Brown classic. Her coach Levine said Brown “knocked it out of the park” and admitted that the coaches have been extra hard on her throughout the competition because she has proven she has one of the strongest voices.

“This didn’t resemble the original version in any way, and I think what’s really special about it is you said, ‘I’m going to make this mine.’ It really does just lend itself to this massively huge power ballad that I’ve always wanted this song to be, selfishly, I guess,” Levine said.

Cody Belew followed Brown with his spin on Freddy Mercury’s “Somebody to Love,” and with a backing choir behind him, Glee-lite it was not! His coach CeeLo Green noted that Belew brought out confidence in him and would be doing so all across America.

“What a wonderful, wonderful job. I’m just so very proud of you, man, your growth at such an accelerated rate!” Green said. “I think the magic is making it look as easy as it does. You are strutting through here with so much poise and confidence, and there are millions of people living vicariously through you… I love our partnership. I love what we’re accomplishing. We are making some quantum leaps. And most importantly, I found a really good friend in you. Thank you.”

Terry McDermott’s “Over” was a sweet cover of coach Blake Shelton’s own song, continuing with the strategy of hitting the voters’ emotions with deeply personal performances. After McDermott was done, Shelton was in awe.

“You just performed that song the way I always wish I could,” he said. “You did all of the things that vocally I can’t do, and it was amazing to hear it that way — the way it was meant to be… You just became the real deal.”

Melanie Martinez, too, took on one of her coach’s numbers with “Too Close” by Maroon 5. After Martinez got emotional drawing upon a recent breakup for the performance, Levine comforted her by telling her he loves her.

“Whenever it is you’re going through, the dramatic things in life that make you go into a ball and die… you want to make the person you’re having this trouble with feel dumb, and you did that really successfully tonight,” Levine said. “The way that you do things is so well thought out, and I love how you present yourself in a way that separates you from everyone else in this competition. There’s so much currency in that.”

As Christina Aguilera’s last man standing, Dez Duron was given a Justin Bieber number to keep the girls screaming (and voting) and to put his crooner vibe on a bubblegum pop song. Aguilera was confident she would be kept in the competition, saying “You killed it, killed it, killed it, killed it… You revamped that song tonight and made it something so special, and honestly, out of everybody in the competition, they can’t do what you do on stage.”

Trevin Hunte went back to ballads with Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love Of All,” about which Green said he was “very proud” and “was certain Miss Whitney would be,” too.

“I am truly indebted. The sweetest [thing] is not only your voice, but also the humility you practice. You really could be not so cool to be around, if you just took yourself too seriously, you know what I mean?” Green said.

Nicholas David stayed behind the piano for Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” about which Green turned somber for a moment: “It’s very serious times we’re living in, and what would life be without good music that can also be a healing property? We could use more of that healing, and America, vote for this man; we need him!”

Cassadee Pope closed the show with “Are You Happy Now?” from Michelle Branch, a number she called “totally something [she’d] release as a solo artist.” Her “crazy uncle” coach Shelton said, “You’re seeing something important, America: last week was about Cassadee coming out here and laying her heart out on the stage, and it was a vulnerable moment, and it connected. This week, you’re showing America you’re every bit as good a singer as anyone in the competition. We’re talking about singing. You just sang the crap out of that song!”

Sprinkled in for good measure were a few randomly paired group numbers, too, but you can’t download those, so do they even count??

The Voice airs on Monday and Tuesday nights at 8 PM on NBC.

What was your favorite performance of the night? Let us know your thoughts on The Voice’s Top 8 in the comments below!

Danielle Turchiano

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