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Monday’s semi-final episode of The Voice (Mondays 8 p.m. ET on CTV TWO and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV) featured coaches Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, John Legend and Adam Levine acting like it was the last week of senior year and finally saying what they really thought about each singer. It was refreshingly honest and at times harsh, but it confirmed that the coaches know that the best singer isn’t always the most popular. Maelyn Jarmon should win, have a great summer.

The eight remaining contestants each had two performances on Monday night, including a solo appearance and a duet that featured a cover of a Beatles song to promote the upcoming film Yesterday. The movie is about a man who is knocked unconscious and wakes up to discover he’s the only person in the world who knows about The Beatles. It felt like some of the contestants were auditioning to be the Beatle newbies in the film. As 20-year-old Carter Lloyd Horne said, The Beatles are like, The Beatles, you know? Yeah, we know. Does he know?

Carter struggled both through his duet with Andrew Sevener of “Help” (an apropos title for the performance) and with his cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church,” which was so pitchy that Kelly and John gave actual critiques. Blake, who at the least will have one singer in the final and at most will have all four spots, seemed angry that the coaches were ‘wearing their judging jackets’ and not simply praising all the performances. Well, Blake, sometimes America needs help when it comes to knowing who to vote for in these situations. Critique away, John and Kelly.

Kim Cherry, who we would love to grab a drink with but don’t necessarily think should win The Voice, also struggle through her solo performance of Janet Jackson’s “Together Again” but stunned during her duet of “Eleanor Rigby” with Shawn Sounds. Just when we thought we had heard every version of The Beatles, who are like, The Beatles, a cover comes along that renews our appreciation for the greatest band of all time. We appreciated Kim and Shawn’s cover.

Gyth Rigdon also had a weak performance on Monday night, but we have a very good feeling he’ll be bringing his Amish beard to the finale. Was it a tossup between deciding whether to pander to the religious vote or the patriotic vote and he decided to split the difference and wear a giant cross while singing about the home of the brave and land of the free? As Kelly said, it’s difficult to critique “God Bless The U.S.A.” without seeming unpatriotic, but it was Gyth’s worst performance. There. We said it. USA! USA!

Gyth’s duet with Dexter Roberts on “Hey Jude” was an improvement on his solo showing, but the real surprise was Dexter. As distracted as we were by the recording studio set (Was this just an ad for Song Land? How many cross-promotions can one show have?), we were still able to focus on Dexter having his best night of the season. That’s how well he sang. Even his solo performance of “Three Doors Down” almost made us forget how truly terrible that song is (don’t @ us, it’s a bummer and you know it). You go, Dexter!

Once again, the two standouts were Team Legend’s Maelyn Jarmon and Shawn Sounds. We would have loved to hear them duet together, but that would have just felt blatantly unfair. Maelyn’s performance of “Yesterday” with Rod Stokes was stunning, but we couldn’t help but feel bad for Rod who was unable to keep up with Maelyn. In all fairness, we don’t know that all the Coaches could have kept up with Maelyn.

Maelyn’s cover of Rihanna’s “Stay” was truly a thing of beauty, with the singer continuing her track record of emotional, original, and pitch-perfect performances. With no team left and an affinity for speaking his mind, Adam said point blank that Maelyn is the best singer in the competition and should win. Yup. JUST GIVE US HER ALBUM ALREADY. We need something to sing along with horribly and cry to in our cars.

Maelyn and Dexter both had their best performances on Monday night and joining them on Team This Is The Semifinals Get Your Sh*t Together was Shawn Sounds, who performed “A Song For You.” Shawn may be the most improved singer this season and he started out pretty dang good. We still think Maelyn is the best singer this year and possibly any year, but Shawn is right behind her.

 

TOP 8 FINALISTS

TEAM LEGEND

Maelyn Jarmon

Shawn Sounds

TEAM KELLY

Rod Stokes

TEAM BLAKE

Kim Cherry

Dexter Roberts

Carter Lloyd Horne

Gyth Rigdon

Andrew Sevener

 

Watch The Voice Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV TWO and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV. Catch up with new episodes online the day after broadcast.