Well, here we are. The Voice‘s Top 8 face another cutthroat elimination round this week ahead of the finals. Only four will make it through to next week’s big showdown, and while there are some singers who seem like shoo-ins for the big show, it’s still unclear who’ll get America’s vote to vie for the win.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s performances and see if we can’t figure out who’ll earn those coveted finale spots.
“Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles
Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel again this week, Sarah Grace is going with a simpler number that more obviously matches her tones, and yes, it works. Her soft growl-slash-wail effect is well served by this number — although her emotion does sound a little put on in some parts of the song. Coach Kelly Clarkson is especially impressed by her reaching into the headspace a little to mix it up because, yep, it’s nice to hear a little something new from Sarah, even if her default tones are so reliable and strong.
Reagan Strange and Kennedy Holmes
“Happy” by Pharrell Williams and “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae
After last week’s drama, Reagan Strange is obviously just trying to enjoy her bonus time here on The Voice, while Kennedy Holmes is enjoying her continued status as one to beat on this show. As far as duets go, this is about as pleasant as they come, as both ladies merrily float through their lyrics and seem to be having a lot of fun with trading off. Their vocals are mostly strong, too, with Kennedy handling the lower register that Reagan loathes so well, while Reagan sticks to the higher notes.
“Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey
MaKenzie Thomas sees no need to break away from the diva dynamic, and why should she? It’s kept her here without obstacle so far, and these are obviously the kinds of songs she’s been hoping to play with after so many years in the church scene. There is a little too much fawning happening by the coaches, though, because although it is nice — good even! — this is not a perfect delivery. Her instinct for those “gospel” runs is legitimate, as is the boundlessness of her ambition for impossible songs. But there are several points here tonight where she hits the roof of her range, and she gets a bit pitchy trying to break through. She’s still one of the most solid competitors left in this thing, but to say this was the best performance ever on this show is a bit of a stretch.
Kirk Jay and Chevel Shepherd
“She’s Country” by Jason Aldean and “Country Must Be Country Wide” by Brantley Gilbert
Another duet, another chance for these guys to kick back and have a little fun. Yes, these things do count towards the competition element of this show, but they’re also made to fill in the gaps on time, so why not let loose a little? In Kirk and Chevel’s case, they just seem to be enjoying each other’s company as the resident honky tonk aficionados of the group, and while she does ease into this brisker pace a little more nimbly than her company here, this is fine for both.
“Never Alone” by Tori Kelly
Kymberli Joye’s voice soars again tonight as she continues to thrive in her space in gospel music, but the first minute or so of her performance is definitely more interesting than the rest. In the opening, she explores some new elements of her tone that are sharper, impressively lower, and even more spirited than we’ve seen before … but then she blasts into that never-ending scream-singing routine and isn’t able to come back down from it, and it’s a lot of the same from that point on.
A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.