The Voice should really consider changing the title of its semifinals elimination to the quadruple-gut-punch episode because holy high notes, this night is brutal. Not just for the four contestants who’ve worked their tails off for months only to be let go just a week shy of the finale but for us, too, as our cuticles experience extra abuse from all the nervous gnawing going down with every cut.
Like any good news/bad news situation, we get all of the happy-making bits out of the way first. The three contestants who’ve received enough voter support and iTunes downloads to scurry on through to the finish line first are:
1. Adam Wakefield (Team Blake)
2. Alisan Porter (Team Christina)
3. Hannah Huston (Team Pharrell)
Then we get treated to some
filler clips fun Pink bloopers, a rad set of performances from season 11 coach-in-waiting Alicia Keys, as well as One Republic, and then we find out that the bottom two, who don’t even have a shot at singing for the save are Shalyah Fearing and Paxton Ingram.
Both of these singers — who, coincidentally, shared an unfortunate song selection yesterday during their duet — have had moments of actual “WOW” impact during this season, but they’ve also been known to miss a beat here and there, perhaps most critically during yesterday’s semifinal performances. Either way, those kids have shown a lot of spirit and maturity throughout this competition and should do just fine with whatever they get into next.
Also? Major feely moment alert with that coach stage-rush to group hug them goodbye. Class.
NEXT: The instant save and the perfect singer-song combo…
That leaves Mary Sarah, Bryan Bautista, and Laith Al-Saadi in contention for the instant save, and they each smartly put on their strongest suits for the show… But how do they wear ’em? Well, now, that’s a mixed bag.
Mary Sarah (Team Blake):
“Something in the Water” by Carrie Underwood
There’ve been quite a few moments throughout the season where Mary Sarah’s made people do a double-take because she sometimes sounds (and even kinda dresses) like Carrie Underwood, but tonight is not one of those times, even though she has wisely chosen one of Carrie’s own songs which would ordinarily serve her so well. It isn’t the song choice itself that throws her off — she knows this one. Heck, anyone who tuned into a country FM station for more than five minutes in 2014 knows this one. The anxiety of the moment is what must have her visibly and audibly shaken, and she loses key and focus almost instantly in her save-me show. It’s the most disconnected she’s ever been during a performance here, but Blake promises her that, no matter the results, he’s her “friend” and “biggest fan,” who’s happy to help her (pretty major) and that she’ll surely go back to Nashville to find many open doors waiting for her. No doubt.
Bryan Bautista (Team Christina):
“Adorn” by Miguel
If there’s one thing that’s really stood out about Bryan Bautista’s presence on this show, start to finish, it’s that sometimes this guy can be serious and sweet and interesting…and then other times, he can pounce on that stage and start dripping swagger all over the place. His performance tonight fits into that latter category, and not only is it technically on-point, but it’s also got that somebody-fan-me-what’s-happening-right-now thing going. That’s what made him a must-choose for Christina Aguilera when putting together her team for the Top 12, and that’s what’s gotten him this far. It’s honestly a little hard to believe Nick Hagelin was the season’s supposed heartthrob with what sizzle Bryan Bautista’s able to work up there, but whaddyaknow.
Laith Al-Saadi (Team Adam):
“All Along the Watchtower” by Bob Dylan
And then there’s Laith. Good, solid, strong-voiced, guitar-shredding Laith. Whether his big, grunty voice is your cup of tea or not, he makes his best song selection of the season tonight as his style could not be better suited for anything than this. If he had been able to save this for the finale, man, that’d give the rest a true run for it. He nails the number start to finish and puts his signature cherry on top with a couple of his sickest instrumental solo moments, and boom. Just like that, he’s owned the night. The whole thing.
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So, while Mary Sarah kind of inadvertently takes herself out of the running for the instant save thanks to a bad case of nerves and Bryan puts up one helluva a fight with a strong (and kinda sultry) showing, Laith closes it down with something absolutely unbeatable and ultimately earns the Twitter vote.
Could he… Could this dude actually pull it off and win? Alisan Porter and/or Adam Wakefield have kind of always been the ones to beat, but if he can somehow pull off whatever magic he was casting tonight in the finale, he might be the dark horse of this thing after all.
Also note: With this result, all four of the coaches now have a contestant in the finale. Didn’t see that coming. Discuss.
- Team Blake: Adam Wakefield
- Team Christina: Alisan Porter
- Team Pharrell: Hannah Huston
- Team Adam: Laith Al-Saadi