Welcome to the Tuesday recap of The Voice, which is like waiting for the election results-but with hardly the real-world implications. At any rate, two of the remaining twelve artists will leave the competition for good. But there will be a bottom three, and those three will get one last chance to sing-after which America will vote to keep one of them in with the “Instant Save.” Got it! Let’s go!
After Gwen and her team do a group performance of Blondie’s “The Tide Is High” (with Gwen channeling her inner Debbie Harry, no less), we jump right into the eliminations. Well, technically, we jump into the saves-no one gets eliminated until the very end of the show. America’s first two saves go to Matt McAndrew from Adam Levine’s team and Anita Antoinette from Gwen Stefani’s team. Alliteration appears to be the order of the day with these. No real surprises with either of them. Matt’s Monday performance of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” was one of the highlights of the night, and Anita Antoinette continued her path of staying in her reggae lane. Like I said before, I wonder when they will make her do something outside her comfort zone. There’s no chance to show her range if all she does is reggae and reggae-influenced arranged songs.
After a break, we’re back for more saves. The next two saves go to DaNica Shirey from Pharell Williams’ team and Craig Wayne Boyd from Blake Shelton’s team. Another pair of no-brainers. DaNica has a very good voice and while I was nervous about her Radiohead cover, she has way too much talent to be let go yet. Craig was one of the best performances of the night, so he was absolutely going through. He surprised me by taking a straight country song, and doing it superbly. I thought his lane was more southern-rock or blues-rock. If Blake wins this year, it will be without a straight up country singer, because he doesn’t have one now.
After another sponsor appeasing break, we get two more saves. America appears to be getting it right so far. And the next two saves continue America’s hot streak-Damien from Team Adam and Reagan James from Team Blake. Damien is another obvious pick. He has been at or near the top throughout the competition. Reagan should have gotten through this week, but as I have admitted, I don’t have the same enthusiasm for her as America and the coaches do. When they critiques always begin with “I can’t believe you are only 16 years old,” I have a problem with that. It should be about the voice, or the performance. Nevertheless, she deserved at least one more week.
At this point, Blake and his team do a group performance of Elton John’s “Sad Songs Say So Much.” Blake does fine on the lead, and Craig is solid as always, but Jessie and Reagan are struggling. Thankfully they put the song to bed without hurting anyone. Besides…the viewers want to see more saves! And more saves are coming-three more to be exact. The final three saves before we find out the final three are: Taylor John Williams from Team Gwen, Chris Jamison from Team Adam and Luke Wade from Team Pharrell. Taylor was a given-he’s been very good throughout. Chris apparently got those votes from the screaming girls for his performance of Nick Jonas’ “Jealous” Monday night. As for Luke, there was some concern that his mistake might cost him, but I think he had built up enough goodwill from earlier performances to get through.
Now that the dust has settled, the remaining three are Jessie Pitts from Team Blake, Sugar Joans from Team Pharrell and Ryan Sill from Team Gwen. These three performed first on Monday and were arguably the weakest performances on the night, so I would say that the bottom three is spot on. Though if I had to choose, I would go with Jessie as being the least of the worst, but by a slim margin.
So, they each had one performance to save themselves. Jessie Pitts went with “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. I don’t know the song very well, but Jessie’s performance seemed a bit off. Sugar Joans was next, and performed “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. Usually, performing any Whitney Houston song is a kiss of death. Sugar sounded about like she has throughout the competition…like a contestant that didn’t belong. Ryan Sill chose “More Than Words” by Extreme. Of the three, his song fit him the best. And he did very well with it…until the very end, when he hit a note that was very off-key. I thought it might bury him….but it turns out it did not. Ryan was saved via the Instant Save, which sent Sugar and Jessie to elimination land.
Back next week to discuss the final, talented ten. After weeks of seeing good singers go, now America has to separate the merely good from the very good. Or not…because it could end up being a popularity contest. Either way, I’ll be watching.