It’s crunch time, guys, and while some artists are stepping up in impressive ways, others are starting to show signs of fissure in both their voices and song choices. Two artists are on the chopping block this week as we inch ever nearer to the finals, and while previous weeks’ send-offs have been a little difficult to figure out, it looks like we might be able to tell from tonight’s performances alone who’ll advance (and who will say goodbye).
Here’s what happened in the Top 10 performances on The Voice.
Billy Gilman (Team Adam)
“Anyway” by Martina McBride
What a start.
Billy Gilman has basically been a shoo-in for this level in the competition since the blinds, but now that we’re starting to reach the all-important cutthroat stage, he’s been digging deep to make his performances completely undeniable. Last week, he proved his ability to be present with an emotional number, and tonight he reminds everyone of his formidable roots in the country-music genre.
See, Billy’s always been able to hit and stretch those big notes and deliver a rhythmic and measured performance, but by throwing in that something extra — from his makes-it-look-easy flow through an entire scale and his limbered-up body action to the way he extends a note beyond even his own high bar (seriously, someone call Guinness about that last bit) — he proves he’s definitely worth the hype. He absolutely murders this performance and definitely earns his new nickname from Adam Levine: “Bulletproof Billy Gilman.”
Courtney Harrell (Team Blake)
“If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher
Sigh. Perhaps there’s a reason Blake Shelton’s team is usually only successful with country artists: He knows how to coach them. With Courtney Harrell, however, this pairing has struggled to make use of the singer’s talents. Tonight’s showcase, while chock-full of rad-itude from Courtney, fails to capitalize on any of her vocal gifts and leaves the girl pacing, grunting, and missing note after note. There are several moments when even she seems to realize she’s phoning in the repetitive lines with off-key cat scratches. As delightful as this song might be to the Cher faithful, it belongs nowhere in this competition — it’s just too busy and unflattering to do any favors for the performers. This flub might just cost Courtney big. It is…not helping her state a case for the Top 8.
NEXT: Ouch. My ears…