It wasn’t business as usual on Wednesday night’s live show of The Voice (Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV). On Monday night, we saw all 24 contestants perform, with one contestant from each team voted safe during the live show. Tuesday and Wednesday featured second performances from the remaining give members of each team, with the singers getting a second chance. But when it came to voting, the move from 24 artists to 12 was more drastic and frankly, much harsher than we’re used to seeing.
Let’s break it down: In past seasons, the top 24 have taken part in the pre-recorded playoffs, where coaches chose the top three artists from their team of six to advance to the live shows. Of the six artists in the playoffs, one was an artist chosen by their coach to return to the show for a second chance. It wasn’t until the live show with the top 12 that the public could vote, with the judges frustrated this season that they not only lost power over who was moving on in their team, but had to make their choice of which singer should advance in a live setting. Whereas before the coaches chose which three of their six contestants would advance, now they can choose only one.
Coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys waited anxiously to find out the second member of their team who would be voted through to the Top 12. But when it came to choose the third safe singer on their team, the decision was up to the coaches. Some decisions we agreed with, others shocked us. But the most frustrating part of the situation was seeing contestants on Team Alicia, easily the strongest team of the season, go home when much weaker singers on weaker teams made it through to the Top 12. Life’s not fair, right? Especially in competitions.
Song choice continues to be make or break on The Voice and on Wednesday night was no exception. Some singers secured a spot in the Top 12 thanks to their song choice, while others were sent home for not picking the right track.
THE PRETTY SONG CHOICE
Kaleb Lee’s performance of “Die A Happy Man” was pretty freaking dreamy. One note near the end got away from him, but this is the The Voice, not The Perfection, so we’ll chalk it up tor Lee showing his passion. Coach Kelly says that Kaleb is this season’s best country singer and we agree. Honourable mention to Drew Cole’s “Wild Horses” performance.
THE ILL-FITTING SONG CHOICE
Alexa Capelli is a confusing one. Her voice is unique and definitely special, but she continually picks songs that don’t feel like a natural fit for her range. Rather than fit the song to her voice, she tries to fit her voice to the song and it never feels secure. With the right song choice, she could be a finalist. Her performance of “Stop and Stare” left Kelly in tears, which we usually love, but it felt…unexpected.
THE UNKNOWN SONG CHOICE
Unlike Alexa, D.R. King always picks great songs for his voice, but not great songs for a singing competition based on voting by the public. D.R. is a pro both with his voice and performance, but he picks songs that aren’t well known, making the audience work harder to connect with him. Kelly joked about not knowing all the words, but that’s a real problem when you’re competing against 24 other singers.
THE SMART SONG CHOICE
Dylan Hartigan is here to impregnate. Sorry, impress. Hartigan seems to know that he’s not the strongest singer in the competition, but what he does have going for him is his showmanship. Plus, a lot of deep V tees. Pair that with good song choices and there’s a reason Dylan has made it this far.
THE WEDDING SONG CHOICE
Tish Haynes Keys is this year’s vocalist who can sing the phone book and make it sound effortless. On Wednesday night, she started off her performance of “At Last” keeping it by the book and then thankfully amped it up with a few bluesy notes. That’s how you get people to put down their cake and hit the dance floor at the reception.
THE MIDDLE-AGED MAN SONG CHOICE
Is there a big piece of the music market being supported by dads and middle-aged men? Reid Umstattd better hope so.
THE PASSIONATE SONG CHOICE
Marren Morris’ track “Once” is kind of amazing and Jackie Verna’s performance was pretty note for note. She struggled in a few moments but had no shortage of passion.
THE SONG YOU HAVE TO WATCH
If you only have time to watch one performance from Wednesday’s episode, it should be Rayshun Lamarr putting some seriously good stank on Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Going Down.” He was a man possessed by the music and we loved it.
TOP TWELVE RESULTS
Brynn Cartelli – Already Saved
Kaleb Lee – Voted In
D.R. King – Saved By Kelly
Kyla Jade – Already Saved
Pryor Baird – Voted In
Spensha Baker – Saved By Blake
Sharane Calister – Already Saved
Rayshun Lamarr – Voted In
Jackie Verna – Saved By Blake
Britton Buchanan – Already Saved
Jackie Foster – Voted In
Christiana Danielle – Saved By Alicia