Blake Shelton, John Legend and Carly Pearce were a little sleepy in their solo performances, but the results themselves were absolutely explosive!
Once again, we are left stunned, flabbergasted and a little disgusted by “The Voice” results. Clearly America didn’t care about the voices, or we wouldn’t have seen some of this season’s best one by one have to sing for the Instant Save.
Of all the results this season, we knew this was going to be the toughest. But we didn’t expect for almost every artist that deserved to be in the bottom to advance automatically and almost every artist who blew us away on Monday having to fight for their lives.
Tonight, the Top 8 were whittled down to the Top 5. The four with the most votes advanced automatically. The other four all performed one more time for an Instant Save vote that would only send one of them into next week’s finale.
There are multiple reasons we were not happy with the makeup of that Bottom 4, with the biggest being that the wrong people (for the most part) were in it!
The night was also rounded out by some solo performances by Blake Shelton, John Legend and Carly Pearce, each performing their latest singles. These performances were a little bit sleepy, but there was more than enough excitement in the results themselves to make up for it.
(“Nobody,” Blake Shelton) Classic country wordplay on full display that you can see coming a mile away, Blake gave a very mellow performance that didn’t seem to have much charisma or enthusiasm. It’s a new track and a pleasant enough groove, though it doesn’t do anything particularly remarkable or memorable. We were surprised to see him not really seeming all that enthusiastic about debuting it on this big stage. Is he just burned out in general?
(“Nervous,” John Legend) There was an unexpected scratch in John’s voice from time to time that had us wondering if he had a bit of a sore throat. Beyond that, though, this was his usual suave performance with a lot of class and character. He’s an old-school crooner and a jazz singer and even a little bit R&B on this one. John has this cool demeanor on the stage, like it’s just no big deal what he’s doing. It’s been his M.O. his entire career, so don’t fix what ain’t broken. He’s still got it.
(“What He Didn’t Do,” Carly Pearce) We know the audience is trained to scream any time someone holds a long note, but Carly didn’t really need that. She’s already a big deal and this is already a Grammy-nominated hit. She gave a very confident performance, though we felt it was lacking a bit of punch considering the content of the piece. It was in those punctuation moments we were expecting a little more out of her, but we can’t deny that she sold the attitude of the piece perfectly.
A tough one this week, we were all over the place with our predictions. That’s because there are more than five artists worthy of going to next week’s finale, and two of the front-runners had off nights which could or could not impact how their fans voted.
Ultimately, we settled on the idea of Kim Cruse again having to battle to save her life, but this time against Omar Jose Cordona, bodie and Brayden Lape (or Bryce, but he did seem more polished on Monday). At that point, it almost comes down to song choice and what happened tonight, because that’s an impossible group to choose from.
But was that even the group? What did America actually do?
We also imagined a scenario where both Brayden and Bryce made it because Blake has such a huge fanbase on this show, sending Morgan Myles into the bottom after she dropped the best performance of the night. Or maybe Justin Aaron. After all, Kim killed it last week and had to sing for her life.
The first artist sent into next week’s finale managed to both keep our prediction alive, but also set us up for concern that Blake’s fans were messing with the formula. Bryce Leatherwood took the first spot with the very real possibility that Brayden’s “it” factor could see him there as well.
He was followed by a very deserving Morgan Myles, keeping Camila Cabello represented in the finale. Morgan is an incredible artist who is so ready to take the music industry by storm. She’s one of the most exciting artists to come from this show. Even though we know it’s a long shot to stardom, we hope she gets that shot!
It was then good news for bodie, despite a rough night. We really thought he’d have to battle it out in the Instant Save to advance, but it looks like his incredible creativity as an artist and the overall season he’s had was enough to carry him through. We can’t say we’re disappointed, but that was just about to happen.
With only one spot left, we were looking at the likes of Kim, Justin and Parijita as artists who’ve just blown us away this season. Omar is an incredible voice, but we’ve yet to see him emerge as a true emotive artist, and that’s all the difference for us.
The final finalist who didn’t have to sing one more time to fight for that fifth and final spot confirmed that this show is more about the Coaches than the artists at times with Brayden Lape making it three for three for Team Blake. Considering John had the strongest overall team, there’s no way Blake should have picked up three of the top four spots based solely on his artists — but here we are.
Unbelievably, after an incredible night of performances, both Kim Cruse and Justin Aaron found themselves having to fight for one final spot, and they had to do it opposite Parijita Bastola and Omar Jose Cardona.
We’re not going to go out of our way to read anything into these results, but we are going to note that half of the semi-finalists were white and half of them were non-white and you can see which half advanced automatically and which half found themselves in this position.
So there will be one person of color in this season’s finale and first they had to knock out all of the other POCs. On top of that, all four of these artists are vocal powerhouses who have blown us away at one time or another. Yes, even Omar. He doesn’t connect with us on an emotional level, but we’re not going to deny his ability.
That’s also another way to say this is a pretty evenly matched Instant-Save battle between four huge voices who can shake the rafters and blow the walls off the building. We talked about how it could well come down to song choice, and we have to say that again heading into this round.
Kim won this Instant Save last week, but she wasn’t up against this level of talent. Plus, despite her own outsized talent, she just isn’t connecting with voters based on the fact she found herself here once again. With this group, even before any of them started singing, we had a feeling Parijita might pull it out — unless she really botched this moment.
(“Make You Feel My Love,” Adele) This was the kind of song that perfectly suits Parijita’s full voice. She has such a mature quality to her tone that’s unexpected in a teen. She knows who she is and when she’s on, she’s incredibly resonant. This wasn’t her strongest performance of the season, but it was definitely one filled with confidence. We didn’t quite get the connection we’ve had with her in the past, but we can also imagine how terrifyingly nervous she was. We’re not sure, though, that it was enough against such strong competition — but again, as we’ve seen, it’s not just about the voice on this show called “The Voice.”
Omar Jose Cardona [Team Legend]
(“You and I,” Lady Gaga) An unexpected surprise in song choice, and even the opening arrangement was just begging us to feel that emotional connection we’ve been wanting from Omar … and it still didn’t happen. He just seems a little too aware of how incredibly gifted he is as a singer, and so he always takes these opportunities to show off that talent rather than dig into the story and lyric. This was another stunning, soaring, stratospheric vocal that reminds us of Journey — and leaves us flat. Maybe it’s us.
Justin Aaron [Team Gwen]
(“Made A Way,” Travis Greene) Equal parts grit and soaring high notes, Justin poured everything he had into this performance, which may well be his most impassioned one of the entire season. He continues to grow as a performer and a vocalist, finding more confidence each and every time he hits the stage. It was clear this gospel anthem resonated with him and he projected that flawlessly through the screen to everyone at home. It was enough to prove his worth.
Kim Cruse [Team Legend]
(“All By Myself,” Eric Carmen) Her gentler tone was mesmerizing in the opening bars as it seems we don’t hear this often from her. She nailed that big high note we were all breathlessly waiting for and continues to just be an incredible singer every single time she hits the stage. It doesn’t seem to matter how incredible she is, America is just not getting it and we do not get that. She did everything she needed to do here.
Honestly, there is no wrong answer this week. John made the plea that if this is “The Voice” and we vote for people because of their voice, Omar is the voice. But we can look back throughout the night and question why so many of Blake’s singers advanced and these four voices were ever in this position.
For us, this one came down to Kim and Justin — primarily because we just don’t ever feel any kind of connection with Omar when he sees. We’re impressed by him, but in a way that feels disconnected. That said, he probably did have the biggest voice performance if you strip away everything else. His instrument is second to none.
If you shift focus to heart and passion, Justin beat everyone on that front. If you combine the two to create the most mature, connected overall performance, we’d give that to Kim. Poor Parijita just didn’t bring what we’ve seen from her before to this round — or this week entirely.
And yet, in the final choice of the night, America reverted back to the premise of the show. Maybe John’s plea about the name of the show and what it’s supposed to be about resonated with them, as Omar Jose Cardona took that last spot.
He was our lowest-ranked artist of the week, which just means that America isn’t as concerned about that connection as we are. They’re in awe and basking in the sheer power of his voice, which admittedly is incredible. Certainly there are professional artists who can soar just the way he does, so we get it.
We are crushed that Kim and Justin can come out here and deliver two show-stopping performances two nights in a row and still come up short. But that’s more about the fact that they should have never been put in this position in the first place.
With this, Gwen becomes the only Coach to lose all of her artists ahead of the season finale. Blake goes into it with a whopping three, but they’ll have to face off against voices much, much, much more powerful than theirs.
It’s the visionary artistry of bodie versus the power and conviction of Morgan versus the stratospheric strength of Omar versus the charming sweetness of Brayden versus the classic charm of Bryce. One will win it all, four will not. But it can change all their lives if they’re willing to put in the work!
“The Voice” wraps up Season 22 with a two-night finale next Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.