The Voice 2012 Top 8 Chris Mann

The Voice 2012 Top 8 took to the stage Monday night to sing for their chance in the finale next week and there was an interesting development. At least as far as my thoughts go. It turned out that one person from each team slightly outshined the other.

That should mean that America’s decision added to the coaches’ scores should be pretty cut and dry tomorrow. But will it be that simple? We’ll see.

On to the recap. I’ll review each performance and assign the letter grade I think each deserved.

Tony Lucca, “How You Like Me Now.” This was definitely a different vibe for Tony, even compared to last week’s big risk with “Baby One More Time.” It was very well-done though. I wasn’t sure that song could sound like anything but some sort of commercial or advertisement anthem. But Tony turned it into something. It showed how much of a natural he is. Or at least that he’s been doing this for a long time. A+

Erin Willett, “Without You.” Erin got off to kind of a rocky start. It could have just been a sound issue, but whatever it was, it wasn’t very good at first. I don’t know the song and would have preferred her to stick to a song with some heft, but she did a good job. I’m not sure it was a big enough performance to put her through to the finale, though. B+

Chris Mann, “Ave Maria.” I didn’t actually think I’d like hearing him sing an operatic song on this show. But I kind of did. It’s what he does best. Of course he wants to branch out, but when you’re that good at something, why change it? Was that, or him as a whole, right for this contest? I don’t know. Will this performance hurt or help him? I don’t know. Was that performance good? YES. A

Jamar Rogers, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” The arrangement was unique and the vocal was spot on. And even though his humble attitude sometimes comes off a bit contrived, Jamar was the star of the stage yet again. He’s a natural on the stage. And this time he had some tender moments while keeping his performance powerful. A

Jermaine Paul, “Open Arms.” The edit was a little weird. I think it got to the chorus a bit too quickly, but it was a great performance. The vocal was flawless and the performance was powerful and emotional. Very well done. A+

Katrina Parker, “Killing Me Softly.” This was probably Katrina’s best performance to date. I think it had a couple moments where it was just-ok, but then when she got to the “oooooh” part, which is always the best part of this song, she nailed it. And even if Christina Aguilera seems to be trying her best to just sabotage Tony Lucca, she gave Katrina her vote. A

Lindsay Pavao, “Skinny Love.” This isn’t a wildly known song, so that’s probably not going to do her any favors. It was nice to see her with a guitar, but I thought the performance was just kind of boring. I think her time on the show ends Tuesday night. B-

Juliet Simms, “It’s A Man’s World.” This was one of her better ones. I was happy she kept her voice natural. She tends to do that weird, gimmicky girl voice that I’ve openly detested, so it was good to hear her just sing. I thought it was good, but not sure she’ll be able to beat Jamar. A

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