Fans of The voice sat on the edge of their seats on Tuesday to hear which of the Top 8 would go to the finale. (Pro tip: pillows on the floor. I learned that the hard way.)
You already know who I thought would make the cut – though in my heart, the singers me sought to see the Final Five reach were something else. I was ahead of Team Legend’s Joshua Vacanti over Jim and Team Ariana’s Sasha Allen and Team Blake’s Paris Winningham over teammate Lana Scott.
Did I – did any of us – get the results we hoped for? Before we found out, we were treated to performances of John Legend’s “You Deserve It All” (playing no doubt on a barrel in Santa’s workshop), Blake Shelton’s “Come Back as a Country Boy” (as smooth and polished as a brand new bowling ball, with enough pyrotechnics to qualify as a fire hazard) and Carly Pearce’s snooze-y “29” (basically comes from the Yellowstone living room).
Then, at the moment(s) of truth…
SAVED BY THE VOICE OF AMERICA (in chronological order)
Wendy Moten (Team Blake)
Girl Named Tom (Team Kelly) — the first threesome ever in a vote final, for Carson Daly
Paris Winningham (Team Blake)
Hailey Mia (Team Kelly) – damn it, not Jershika…grr! Damn damn damn!
SAVE WILDCARD INSTANTLY
Lana Scott (Team Blake), “Things a Man Should Know” — Rating: B+ | I love Lana. I would buy a well mixed album from her. And here she demonstrated how she is at her best, even without studio sweetness. Her voice was as sweet and stretchy as chewing gum. Where was this Lana when the band was on 11? Maybe she struggled when she had to fight to be heard about more bombastic songs.
Joshua Vacanti (Team Legend), “My Heart Will Go On” – Grade: B | This should have been a slam dunk for Joshua. But his Celine Dion cover started off a bit “meh”. He certainly got off to a good start, however, and eventually reminded us of what a powerful singer he is. Still, Kelly seemed eager to prepare him for a loss and encouraged him to please do musical theater. I don’t know – this felt like a seven when he had to deliver an 11.
Jim and Sasha Allen (Team Ariana), “Rich Girl” — Grade: C- | Aw, I love this father/son duo… like a father/son duo. But as a vocal act, no, sorry. Time to go. This was fun – two nice people having fun singing at best. But they didn’t even belong in the same room as someone like Jershika, let alone on the same stage. Yes, yes, I know I bet on GNT to win, but Jershika has my heart.
Jershika Maple (Team Legend), “Break Every Chain” — Grade: A+ | No pressure, Jershika, but I was counting on you to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you should never have been singing for the Instant Save. And holy shit, she did. She sang with a force that rattled my couch. This was less of a gig than a [bleeping] accusation, as if to tell viewers, “How the [bleep] did you put me on the bottom!” [Bleeping] spectacular. No wonder she was in tears, exhausted, when she finished. She left more behind on that damn stage than maybe even she knew she had.
SAVED BY THE VOICE OF AMERICA | Jershika Maple (Team Legend) – OMG! Viewers are right! OMG! OMG! OMG!
LIMITED | Jim and Sasha Allen (Team Ariana), Lana Scott (Team Blake), Joshua Vacanti (Team Legend)