For the first time ever, NBC’s The Voice jumped into uncharted waters on Monday by forging ahead with the live shows. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic making it impossible for the finalists to traditionally perform before a stage audience, they instead sang for America’s vote from their home.
Judges Nick Jonas, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton — along with host Carson Daly live from the soundstage — were beamed in from their respective homes to kick off the first ever live rounds without a live audience.
In addition, Mega Mentor James Taylor also joined in the fun by singing his “Shower the People” in tribute to those working the front line in the face of COVID-19. The top 17 joined him partway through the song.
However, just like American Idol, The Voice was able to seamlessly carry on using state-of-the art technology to make sure each performance was captured in high quality, complete with special effects when called for.
As for the series’ first ever four way knockout between Samantha Howell, Todd Michael, Nelson Cade III and Michael Williams — it was a win for Team Nick as it was revealed that America saved Williams, allowing him to progress into the live rounds as part of the top 17.
Without a live audience to impress, some competitors enjoyed performing in the comfort of their own home. For example, Team Blake’s Joanna Serenko hit it out of the park by singing “Rich Girl” by Daryl Hall & John Oates. After she finished her smokey rendition of the classic, Blake praised “You killed it!”
Other standout performances came from Toneisha Harris — also of Team Blake — charming the four judges with a cover of Kelly’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” Team Legend’s CammWess on guitar creating goosebumps when he belted out “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, and Team Nick’s Thunderstorm Artis also picking up the guitar for an ultra powerful performance of Ella Fitzgerald‘s “Summertime.”
As each competitor performed, the audience at home enjoyed seeing the judge’s reactions as they were superimposed into the numbers Zoom-call style.
America will have to vote for their favorite, as the top 17 will be cut down to the top nine during Tuesday’s results show, which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.
Each coach will pick one artist from their respective team to move ahead before selecting one more competitor — via a four-way consensus — to next week. Then… it’s up to the audience where the eight competitors with the least amount of votes will be sent packing.
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.