On Tuesday night’s Top 12 elimination show of “The Voice,” it probably was no big surprise which two contestants got the least amount of America’s votes and had to sing for their lives at show’s end. But what might have been surprising, at least to some, was the powerful performance delivered by Korin Bukowski in her effort to thwart elimination and move into the Top 11…
Tuesday’s second live results show of Season 9 was completely predictable (Entertainment Weekly’s November 17 recap described it as pageant-like and boring), even if you weren’t one of millions already clued into paying close attention to the iTunes charts to see which of the finalists get that much-desired times-10 multiplier bonus for making the chart’s Top 10. Even if all you did was watch Monday night’s performances, the bottom two overall vote receivers were rather evident. (The only one that might have thrown anyone would probably have been Team Gwen (Stefani)’s Braiden Sunshine with his rendition of Styx’s “Renegade,” which, though rather well performed, was a rock tune, something that at times does not connect well with the viewing audience. However, the teen is undoubtedly a favorite of younger girls, many of which are heavily armed with cell phones and computers, so…)
The show began with host Carson Daly letting America know that the first two saved by popular voting was Jordan Smith (from Team Adam (Levine)) and Jeffery Austin (Team Gwen). Smith was no shocker, given that his song, Selah’s “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” rocketed to No. 1 on the iTunes Top 100 Songs chart, unseating Adele’s “Hello” juggernaut. Austin also made the Top 10 (No. 9).
After a commercial break, Emily Ann Roberts, who was saved by her coach (Blake Shelton) last week, was the third contestant revealed to make the Top 11. She was followed by Madi Davis of Team Pharrell (Williams).
Another commercial break and Team Blake took the stage to perform the R&B standard “Lean On Me” (Bill Withers). If Shelton and Zach Seabaugh had been the only two singing, the song would have sounded a lot better, more in tune with its smooth R&B origins. As it was, with Emily Ann’s country twang and Barrett Baber’s exaggerated nasal gymnastics, what is normally a soulful number became a karaoke farce.
Afterward, Braiden Sunshine of Team Gwen got the call. Then Amy Vachal of Team Adam heard her name. She was no shocker, though, given that she had a No. 6 hit on iTunes with her haunting rendition of Drake’s “Hotline Bling.”
Then Team Pharrell hit the stage and performed Pharrell’s own “Just a Cloud Away,” a song featured on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. A nice performance, the vocals on this song sounded far better than Team Blake’s.
Following Team Pharrell’s performance, it was only fitting that Evan McKeel (of Team Pharrell) was revealed as the sixth finalist to reach the Top 11 via America’s votes. Shelby Brown from Team Adam was next, giving Adam Levine the first full sweep of the coaches for the night. Then Carson Daly called Zach Seabaugh’s name and Team Blake remained whole for another week.
That left two people standing, one of which would be sent home following the Twitter voted Instant Save. But first the two — the aforementioned Korin Bukowski of Team Gwen and Mark Hood of Team Pharrell — had to sing for their lives.
Hood started the sing-off, performing Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” A good performance but after the quirky Bukowski sang Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” and did it as if she were channeling Corinne Bailey Rae, his future on the show was immediately in doubt. A few minutes later and it was a done deal. The Instant Save went to Korin Bukowski, keeping Gwen Stefani’s team intact for one more week.
“The Voice” airs on Mondays and Tuesdays on NBC Television.