“The Voice” joined “American Idol” Monday with a special “remote” version of its show as the top 17 performed from their residences.
It was pre-taped so they could post-edit the performances. Host Carson Daly worked out of a largely empty “Voice” studio while the coaches were scattered around the country.
The show, which generates stronger ratings than “Idol,” still gets a results show when the top nine will be named Tuesday night. The top voter from each of the four teams will move forward. The judges pick a second from their team. That totals eight. The highest vote getters from each team compete for the ninth and final spot.
The performances, compared to “Idol,” were more polished with superior lighting and better editing. Family members did not suddenly show up to hug the singers after they finished as happened on “Idol.”
The four metro Atlanta singers on “The Voice” top 17 are Arei Moon, Micah Iverson, Toneisha Harris and Megan Danielle. (A fifth, Mike Jerel, is from Columbus, Georgia).
Of the coaches,Nick Jonas has the strongest set of singers. All five of his team members did a great job. It's going to be brutal that at least two of them are going home Tuesday.
Here is a quick roundup of the 17 in order of my favorites:
1. Thunderstorm Artis "Summertime" Ella Fitzgerald (Team Nick): He brings a cool soulful vibe with just a speck of pathos that makes it special. Flawless and yes, the whistling works, too. Bring me some sweet tea and a fan!
2. Allegra Miles "New York State of Mind" Billy Joel (Team Nick): She is one of my favorites in the competition with a graceful, lovely voice that I would like to package and bring home. And she connects far better with this song than Julia Gargano did on "American Idol" Sunday night.
3. Cammwess "Ain't No Sunshine" Bill Withers (Team Legend) He really has an exceptional voice for this type of sad, soulful song. And he managed to take this in a different direction from the original while maintaining its message.
4. Roderick Chambers "Lost Without U" Robin Thicke (Team Nick) He sings with such effortless beauty. His voice, from chest voice to his falsetto, is pure baby-making charm.
5. Cedrice "Everything I Wanted" Billie Eilish (Team Kelly) Unlike the rather ill-fated Eilish cover last week on "Idol" by Olivia Ximines, this one works. She is so mesmerizing. Her artistry is stunning.
6. Joey Fulco "Runaway" Del Shannon (Team Blake) I adore the tone of her voice, a classic country singer with a smidgen of rock edge. A tour de force performance.
7. Micah Iverson "Your Song" Elton John (Team Kelly) This song has been overdone to death. But Micah somehow brings power and the range without a bead of sweat.
8. Arei Moon "Finesse" Bruno Mars (Team Nick): This is the type of song that could use a live audience, but she does an amazing job with the limitations of singing out of her living room. She sells it really well.
9. Michael Williams "Sign of the Times" Harry Styles (winner of four-way knockout from Team Nick) This kid has warmth and ably channels the One Direction singer. It doesn't hurt that he could pass for a Jonas brother.
10. Mandi Castillo "¡Corre!" Jesse and Joy (Team Legend) She goes full-on Spanish, and I have no idea what she's saying, but she brings out the emotion with smooth elegance. I'm a fan.
11. Toneisha Harris "Stronger" Kelly Clarkson (Team Blake) I'm not sure if this was the best song to showcase her incredible voice, but she has proven she can sing a range of songs from different genres, even pure pop in this case.
12. Joanna Serenko "Rich Girl" Hall & Oates (Team Blake) She gives this pop classic a jazzy feel and makes it compelling despite my initial feeling that this was a bad song choice.
13. Mike Jerel "All My Life" K-Ci and JoJo (Team Legend) He worked this one with all sorts of runs and vocal gymnastics and changed it up in a way that wasn't offensive. He took a lot of risks and most of them worked.
14. Zan Feskin "Blowing in the Wind" Bob Dylan (Team Legend) She super stylizes this Dylan classic, and I'm not sure I loved it, but she was all in and brought every part of her voice to the table. So mad respect there.
15. Todd Tilghman "Glory of Love" Peter Cetera (Team Blake) He starts slow, and for awhile it feels karaoke, but he amps it up midway through. It's OK, but he's up against some strong Team Blake competitors.
16. Megan Danielle "Anyone" Demi Lovato (Team Kelly) That strand of hair over her face is oddly distracting. And this song feels a bit formless to me and makes me wonder if she'll be able to generate many votes. She does sing it with conviction, even if she hits a few off notes.
17. Mandi Thomas "I Hope You Dance" Lee Ann Womack (Team Kelly) I hate this song. She sings it just fine but ugh. It's all schmaltz, and she couldn't shake that.
About the Author
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years.