tuesday brought The voice The top 16 results for season 22 – the first live results show of the season – and for the first half of the episode, there were few surprises. In fact, if I may gloat for a moment, I predicted 10 of the top 12 candidates correctly, albeit with the slightly different voting order for John Legend’s team.
It wasn’t until it was time to fill the final spot in the top 13 – via instant, real-time, public-voted save from the four remaining contestants – that the episode became unpredictable.
So, at the start of the evening, host Carson Daly explained that the two voters from each team, based on Monday’s best 16 performances, would advance, after which each coach would save a third performer. For Team Blake, America voted for alternative singer-songwriter Bodie and country idol Brayden Lape, just as I predicted, though it was a bit of a surprise when Blake Shelton then chose of rescuing teenage pop singer Rowan Grace on “straight through the middle.” ” country crooner Bryce Leatherwood, whom Blake had been then some would make it into the top 13. But Blake revealed he strategically based that decision on “who’s already been through,” so maybe he thought Bryce and Brayden would cancel each other out in future votes. Or, maybe, just maybe, Blake was as simple as sure as (spoiler alert) Bryce could win the instant save.
For Team Legend, America rightfully voted for deserving teenage diva Parijita Bastola (as I predicted) and rock showboater Omar José Cardona (John was right about that outcome; I was wrong). John then saved ‘The Velvet Powerhouse’, Kim Cruse, of course – and since I had assumed America would vote for Kim Aretha Franklin’s cover, Team Legend’s top three line-up ended as I did. predicted anyway.
As for Team Gwen, America voted for new-school song stylist Kique (he sounded shocked, but I sure wasn’t) and old-school soul singer Justin Aaron, as I had called him. It also came as no surprise when Gwen Stefani saved her much-loved “muffin” mini-me, 19-year-old pop starlet Alyssa Witrado – even though her recently robbed competitor Kevin Hawkins, with whom she obviously shared a bond less solid, had delivered the vocally stronger performance on Monday.
And that left new coach Camila Cabello and her team. America (and I) got it right by casting country-rock badass Morgan Myles and cool cat Devix, and while I was thrilled (and not surprised) that Camila saved showman Eric Who from dynamite , aka the self-proclaimed star of Eric’s show whichmy heart went out to former favorite Kate Kalvach, whose Monday performance was derailed by technical issues that were in no way her fault, which she handled like a true pro.
But all was not yet lost for Kate – or Team Legend’s Bryce, Kevin or Sasha Hurtado – as they sang for redemption and a wildcard spot in the top 13, all doing tunes of their own choosing. I thought Bryce with “Let Me Down Easy” – the Billy Currington song, not Chris Isaak’s, which would have been much more interesting – was an odd choice for a song that saves me. It was hardly a vocal showcase, and the feeling seemed almost defeatist, as if he had expected to come home. I thought that, plus the fact that he was singing in the underprivileged first place, meant that Bryce would have go home. But (spoiler alert) I should never have underestimated the dedicated country/Blake-fan voter base of this show. “I wasn’t too stressed putting Bryce in that situation,” Blake said.
Sasha’s cover of Sia’s “Elastic Heart” was a great fight anthem, and her trainer John told her, “I loved that you picked that song about resilience! It was a tricky, very wordy song, and there were times when Sasha clearly struggled to keep up, but she really pulled it off in the end as her confidence grew. It probably wouldn’t be enough to save Sasha from elimination, but John praised her for “never being afraid of the moment – you always rise to the occasion”.
And so, it seemed like it would all come down to Kevin and Kate. This seemed this way, anyway.
Kevin’s choice to do Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” was a risk, albeit a trademark choice… but man, has he ever pulled it off! It was the most exciting performance of the night, quite an atmosphere. It was obvious that Kevin really had soughtthat win, and he got deeper and deeper into the groove working that flexible falsetto and rocking the crowd like a real star. And the crowd loved it, even the four coaches gave him a standing ovation. “Wow, the room is explodeexclaimed Gwen, who surely must have questioned her decision to save the undercooked Alyssa over the experienced Kevin. “It was so amazing. Everyone is amazed by you. I can’t even speak, it’s so loud in here right now!”
Kate went last – historically the best instant save position – and while the theme from the 2010 Miley Cyrus film “When I Look At You” may not have been the best choice of fight song, and the Kate’s performance wasn’t as bold or fiery as Kevin’s, there was no doubt that Kate had the best voice of the night. Her clean tone was gorgeous, and this time her redeeming performance went off without a hitch. “Kate, oh my God! Everyone panicked. I choked. Everybody smothered,” Camila gushed. “You have one of the best voices this whole season.” Later, Camila even said that Kate had “one of my all-time favorite voices”.
But apparently America disagreed, and voters at home went “straight in the middle” for… Bryce, of course. Bryce actually gave the weakest performance among these four competitors, but this kind of disappointing result seems to happen every season with Blake’s team; maybe this outcome wasn’t so unpredictable after all. It will be interesting to see if average country singers fare as well and get off easy once Blake is gone. The voice after season 23.
But in the meantime, the Season 22 top 13 – Bryce included – will be back next Monday to compete again. See you later.
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