Last week’s first-ever edition of the Live Cross Battle on The Voice (Mondays 8 pm.pm. ET on CTV TWO and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV) was, in a word, messy. With an unprecedented number of flawed performances, it seemed like the Live Cross Battles were an epic fail. Oh yeah, it was so bad we had to go back four years to find a term to describe it. On Monday’s episode, it appeared as though Week 2 of the Live Cross Battles had left enough time for the remaining 16 contestants to get rid of their butterflies and deliver two hours of incredible performances. Too bad for them coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton used most of their Saves and Steals last week on artists that should have gone home.
Like we said, epic fail.
Levine blew through his Save and Steal before he had time to call Shelton an idiot on national television. Clarkson and Legend both have one Save left, while Shelton has a Steal. These numbers may offer some solace to this week’s performers, but the ‘random’ picking of contestants (next season we want slips of paper with names on them read out loud, Survivor tribal council-style) resulted in some of the strongest performers going head to head, which means we’re not going to end up with the Top 24 singers. Maybe more like the Top 12 with 12 that got lucky.
Tuesday night’s elimination is going to be a brutal one, with the numbers telling us that great singers are going home. But before we shout angrily at the TV and complain about the unfairness of a reality singing competition, let’s revisit Monday night’s best performances, because dang, there were some goodies.
“NEW RULES,” KALVIN JARVIS
Team Adam’s Kalvin Jarvis was the dark horse of Monday night. A strong singer who has sat comfortably in the middle of the pack this season, Kalvin proved himself to be a front-runner with his impressive take on Dua Lipa’s “New Rules.” We haven’t heard much in terms of creativity with song interpretation this season, something that has dominated past seasons of The Voice. As Kelly said following Kalvin’s performance, this season has a lot of strong singers and they’re going to win or lose on song choice and interpretation. Kalvin isn’t the best singer this season, but he just proved that he’s someone we should be watching.
“HELLO,” JULIAN KING
Team Legend’s Julian King didn’t have his best vocal performance on Monday night, but the fact that he swung for the fences with his Spanish crossover version of Adele’s “Hello” made us sit up and take notice. No one can sing Adele as well as Adele, so Julian’s decision to completely change up “Hello” was a smart one. We are officially paying attention. Ola from the other side.
“ANY MAN OF MINE,” REBECCA HOWELL
Much like Kalvin, Rebecca Howell has been largely under the radar for us this season. That is, until she Shania’d the Twain out of “Any Man of Mine,” working the stage like a pro and smartly adding in soaring high notes while staying true to the country crossover track, a smart move that showed off her range and still let the audience at home sing along. We love a good Shania cover and Monday night included two, with Jacob Maxwell performing a surprising and beautifully simple “You’re Still The One.” Two Shania covers? The Voice is easily hitting their CanCon requirements this week.
“WAY DOWN WE GO,” CARTER LLOYD HORNE
Guys, Carter got his braces off. Now if you only look at his mouth, you forget he’s a baby. That is until he sings. I don’t know what has happened to Carter that has given him that kind of soul and grit and rawness and gut-wrenching beauty in his voice at such a young age, but it’s a big silver lining. This kid can sang.
“I PUT A SPELL ON YOU,” BETH GRIFFIN-MANLEY
Enjoying it, enjoying it, enjoying it, #holyhellthatnoteat1:40.
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.