“The Voice” pared its line-up of eleven finalists down to the Top 10 Tuesday night. So which teams held up and which one lost a contestant? Remember: Team Pharrell (Williams) is already down a finalist from last week’s elimination, so…
Entertainment Weekly’s Ariel Kay recapped the live eliminations November 24 and noted the similarities with last week’s eliminations episode. Three finalists made the iTunes chart. Two of those three, Amy Vachal and Jordan Smith, were there last week as well. And one of the bottom two singing for the Instant Save was Korin Bukowski… again.
The show started with country superstar Brad Paisley performing his latest hit, “Country Nation.” But it was only a brief respite for the Top 11 finalists. Host Carson Daly soon took over and started revealing who America’s votes (and those all-important downloads) had saved for another week.
Right off, Amy Vachal (Team Adam Levine) heard her name, as did Team Gwen (Stefani)’s Braiden Sunshine. The former was no surprise, since Vachal’s performance song, Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” was the biggest hit of the night, topping out on the iTunes Top 200 Songs chart at No. 4. Young Braiden wasn’t a surprise, either, because you know he’s getting the teen vote.
The next two to hear that they had graduated to the Top 10 were Team Blake (Shelton)’s Zach Seabaugh and Team Adam’s Jordan Smith. Seabaugh has Patrick Swayze good looks and a great voice, so you know he’s getting the quite a bit of the female vote. As for Jordan Smith, his third straight iTunes Top 10 hit with Jessie J’s “Who Are You” made him a clincher for moving ahead.
Team Gwen performed next, singing the New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give.” As Kay pointed out, it was “unbalanced,” with all four artists doing their own thing. And Braiden Sunshine couldn’t have looked any more lost and out of place.
Madi Davis of Team Pharrell made the Top 10 next. She’s his strongest singer and might be his only shot at a spot in the Season 9 finale, but she’s not a safe bet. Davis is followed by golden-haired Emily Ann Roberts (Team Blake), who proved she had country chops Tuesday night with her rendition of The Judds “Why Not Me,” which garnered her a Top 10 spot on iTunes. Unlike Davis, if things continue along the vein they have been, Roberts will definitely be Team Blake’s representative at the finale.
Team Adam stepped up next to perform The Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” If Adam Levine hadn’t gone all nasal falsetto? If his voice hadn’t completely clashed with Amy Vachal’s? Yes, it would have been nice. Still, Amy, Jordan Smith, and Shelby Brown did well on their own.
Afterward, it was back to the roll call of the popularly saved. Then the unexpected happens. As the paring gets down to the lone team member’s, host Carson Daly simply says their names with their coach’s name and that’s that. But on Tuesday’s show, he announced that the next saved contestant was from Team Adam and paused. Since there was only one finalist left from Team Adam, you could hear the murmur in the crowd as the pause continued. But that’s when Daly realized his mistake and corrected himself, stating that the next saved finalist was from Team Gwen. The crestfallen look on Shelby Brown’s face — she had just been saved by default! No fair! — was difficult to watch.
So the next person saved was Jeffery Austin. Austin is Team Gwen’s strongest performer and there was little doubt he was getting into the Top 10. Team Blake’s Barrett Baber heard his name next, although after his butchering of Tanya Tucker’s country classic “Delta Dawn,” he should have been singing for his life. And then, finally, Shelby Brown heard her name as well.
That left Evan McKeel of Team Pharrell and Korin Bukowski of Team Gwen. McKeel kicked it off with Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” It seemed a poor song choice, considering that last week’s booted finalist, Mark Hood, had also pulled out an old R&B classic. And like last week, Korin Bukowski did a great job on her song choice, which was Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved.”
And just like last week, Korin Bukowski won the Instant Save. Team Pharrell had lost its second finalist in two consecutive weeks. In fact, he’s the only coach that’s lost a finalist thus far.
But that will all change next week. Six will get the bad news in one eliminations show, setting up the Season 9 finale the following week. But what’s worse for Pharrell, who was the winning coach in Season 8, is that he could very well be the only coach without an artist in The Finals.
“The Voice” airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC Television.