Sign in / Join

The Voice season 12 episode 18 recap and performances

NBC’s "The Voice" completed its first week of Season 12 live playoffs on Tuesday, narrowing down what began as the Top 48 to the Top 12. Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani watched as America made its second set of cuts, selecting the contenders from Team Gwen and Team Adam following Monday’s cuts from Team Alicia and Team Blake. What’s left now that audiences are through the first playoff performances and the last coaches’ saves? Here’s what was of note on Tuesday’s live show:

1) The "Coach Comeback" doesn’t need to come back

Tuesday night’s show reaffirmed one of our takeaways from Monday night’s episode: the "Coach Comeback" is a nice idea but just not meaningful in execution. Tuesday’s night’s comeback artists, Johnny Hayes and Johnny Gates, were both eliminated within the episode. They follow on the heels of Jack Cassidy and Felicia Temple, who had the same fate in Monday’s episode. That means all four of the "Coach Comeback" artists didn’t last beyond the same night they were brought back. Especially with all the other second chances built into the competition, perhaps this is a gimmick that "The Voice" can get rid of for Season 13.

2) Youth is not being served

One of the talking points throughout Season 12 has been "The Voice" dropping its age limit to 13 and if that would yield any significant difference in the competition. It’s not looking encouraging. One of the younger artists, Quizz Swanigan, was also eliminated on Tuesday. That means the only artist brought into Season 12 under the new role is Brennley Brown. There’s no reason she can’t be a contender – she did get America’s vote, and she’s on the team of Gwen Stefani, who likes working with younger singers – but one hopeful doesn’t demonstrate a major improvement in the talent pool.

3) You don’t have to sing a current song to succeed

Song choice is key on "The Voice" and that usually leads to most artists choosing a song that the audience currently knows and loves. But several artists who performed on Monday mixed it up. Jesse Larson sang the classic "Sir Duke" while Lilli Passero went for the enduring breakup song "It’s Too Late," which you can listen to by using the media player included with this article. Not to take away from modern hits, but it’s great to see a wider variety of choices in the first week of live shows, especially since the emphasis on present favorites often leads to the same songs we’ve heard covered before. Will the trend of reaching further back continue in the Top 12 round? Fans will have to watch next Monday and find out.

"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.