Emily Keener and Owen Danoff each started their Voice season 10 journeys off on solid ground.
Both of them earned four-chair turns during the blinds, sailed through the battles, and survived some of the toughest knockout rounds of the entire season (though there may have been some bargaining afoot among the coaches to ensure their competition, Shalyah Fearing and Ryan Quinn respectively, also made it through).
Somehow, mainstream appeal hasn’t followed all of that consistent coach doting — you might recall Pharrell has referred to Emily as a special “unicorn” on more than one occasion — because after being hand selected to join the Top 12 by their coaches after failing to make it into America’s top eight choices, the pair find themselves on the actual chopping block and at the mercy of an instant Twitter vote after singing for their
supper support tonight.
And while Emily’s as good as she’s ever been during her emotional cover of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson (adding another name to the list of artists she kinda sounds like: this time, Alison Krauss), and coach Pharrell Williams implores all of America to get to work for this “star right there on the stage,” it’s not enough to keep her in.
Between Owen Danoff’s gear switch to a modern song with “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran and Adam Levine begging voters to come out for his guy as a personal favor to him (yes, really), he squeaks by (during commercials, it shows that he’s got 53 percent, while Emily’s trailing just behind at 47 percent) and joins the Top 11.
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The good news is that in her parting words, she admits that she’s learned something real from this experience — namely, how to “embrace [herself] as an artist,” thanks to Pharrell’s guidance — but it’s still a true bummer to see the gal go this early in the game.
NEXT: A few quick thoughts on the rest of the Top 11 …
The first to get waved through tonight are, unsurprisingly enough, Adam Wakefield and Alisan Porter. They’re both shoo-ins for the Top 5 and possibly even the finals at this point, and their performances from this week were certainly solid enough to continue that prediction. In other words, nothing to see here.
Then come the green flags for Bryan Bautista and Daniel Passino, two of the most stylish performers of the entire show. They’ve each had a storied journey to this point — Christina Aguilera had to push B2 through to the Top 12 herself, since the votes weren’t there, and Daniel was actually brought back from home after being knocked out by Alisan Porter (a crazy tough competition for anyone, really, but he held his head high considerably well throughout) — but they’re definitely earning some fan favor right now, so it was all worth it.
Shalyah Fearing, Paxton Ingram, and Laith Al-Saadi are the next group to receive their good news. While Shalyah and Laith are each a practical given for the Top 11, Paxton’s win tonight is a little more of a wild card play by voters who hadn’t gotten him to this week before. Go figure.
Finally, Hannah Huston, Nick Hagelin, and Mary Sarah are each given America’s democratic blessing tonight — with Mary Sarah’s name called dead last before the instant save round commences. What a nail-biter. Going forward, Nick has promised to try and shift the narrative surrounding him a little bit; he knows America’s into his authenticity and emotional side but he’s interested in lightening things up a little bit from here on out and flexing some more musical muscle (a must, if he wants to remain competitive).
As for Owen, well, Adam’s half of the instant vote bargain he laid out to lure in support for his team member (with whom he claims to have “a unique relationship in this competition”) is this: “If you guys can pay that favor to me going forward, I promise you this guy isn’t going anywhere.” We’ll find out how well he holds up on that note next week, then.
- Team Pharrell: Hannah Huston and Daniel Passino
- Team Blake: Paxton Ingram, Mary Sarah, and Adam Wakefield
- Team Christina: Bryan Bautista, Alisan Porter, and Nick Hagelin
- Team Adam: Shalyah Fearing, Laith Al-Saadi, and Owen Danoff