"The Voice" live shows began on Monday, with the NBC singing competition opening up to America's vote as the Top 12 contestants took the stage to dedicate songs to the most important people in their lives. With coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Jennifer Hudson and Miley Cyrus no longer in control of the show, they were left to hope that viewers voted their artists through to the next round. Whose performances stood out? Here's what music fans need to know from Monday's Live Top 12 Performances episode:
1) Team Miley has the early exposure
Fans know that when you perform on "The Voice" can have an impact on your results, and on Monday's show both of the plum spots in the running order went to members of Miley Cyrus's team. Brooke Simpson and Janice Freeman, who started and ended the last episode respectively, also got to perform first and last during this opening live show. That gives them additional hype and exposure, as Simpson is the first artist that viewers get to hear, and Freeman is the last one they listen to before the show ends and most voting begins. Especially for Simpson, who also had her blind audition featured last in the Sept. 25 season premiere, this is a nice early advantage.
2) Team Adam's Jon Mero is the artist to watch
The joy of the live shows is that while some artists are sensations from their blind auditions, others take time to develop and come into their own at the end of the season. One such artist in "The Voice" season 13 is Team Adam's Jon Mero. He turned four chairs with his blind audition, but he's become an even better performer over the course of the show. His cover of "Why I Love You" was a highlight of Tuesday's episode. Watch it again by playing the video above. If he can string together a few more outings that good, he could be a frontrunner.
3) Some songs are always safe choices
The single biggest pitfall in "The Voice" live shows is song choice. Pick the wrong cover, no matter how much you like it or your coach thinks it's a good idea, and you can go from fan favorite to eliminated in a night. Luckily, there are some songs that have come up a few times on the show, and that's because they are relatively safe bets. One of those is the classic "Midnight Train to Georgia," which was performed by Team Blake's Keisha Renee on Tuesday. That's the third time it's been covered, after Simone Gundy last year and Regina Love in "The Voice" season 9. All three were solid performances, because all three women had the pipes to carry off a song that's made for big live performances. Expect Renee to get through easily when results are revealed on Tuesday.
"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. For more on "The Voice" season 13 coaches, including when and where you can see them live, click their names above to visit their artist pages at AXS.