No one wants to be the wild card of the group—except on The Voice, that is. On The Voice, everyone wants to be the Wild Card, as nine contestants proved when they were invited back to the stage to make the brand-new Wild Card spot in the Top Four. That means for a night, we got to see some much-needed estrogen back onto the season 7 stage.
Free from the wrath of America’s votes were Team Adam’s Chris Jamison and Matt McAndrew and Team Blake’s Craig Wayne Boyd, who were ushered into the top three straight away. There was no surprise with McAndrew and Boyd—both are indestructible frontrunners, and if they keep doing what they’ve been doing, they’re likely to be the last two standing. I was slightly surprised that America picked Jamison over Damien—especially considering Jamison barely squeaked by last week—but really, the choice best among Damien, Jamison, and fellow top five contestant Taylor John Williams is an arbitrary one.
It was great seeing some old faces, but it also became clear Tuesday night just how much of a gap there is between the upper and lower rungs of the top 12. Least likely to be Wild Card-ed? Team Blake’s 16-year-old prodigy Reagan James, who gave a breathy but altogether solid performance of “Put Your Records On,” and Jesse Pitts—who made my 15-year-old self cry tears of angsty joy by bringing back the Cranberries’ “Zombie” from the dead—even if it wasn’t a stellar performance.
Luke Wade had an almost-too-appropriate choice of song with John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith in Me.” It was undoubtedly stronger than his last few performances—in Adam’s words, “Luke Wade found Luke Wade again”—but to me, he’s best when he’s showing you why you’ve missed him, not begging for you back.
Ryan Sill seemed to know exactly what he was doing—and exactly who’s voting for him—with his saccharine performance of Train’s “Marry Me,” as he even got down on bended knee and sang to one of the girls in the audience. If the tween girls at home are vigilant enough, Sill might just have a chance at that Wild Card.
Giving a better-late-than-never “your best performance all season” was Team Gwen’s Anita Antoinette, who took an relatively tranquil song—John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change”—and made it yell, with a shouty, rap-style bit added for extra oomph.
It kills me to put DaNica Shirey in the middle of the pack. Her performance of Mariah Carey’s “Without You” wasn’t middle-of-the pack, but it also wasn’t her best—and there was another underdog who might have showed her up…
Taylor John Williams and Damien have the biggest shots at being welcomed back to the top four for two equally obvious reasons: Statistics—America tends to stick with their favorites to the end—and the fact that both gave beautiful performances Tuesday night, Damien with a pitch-perfect “Grenade” and Taylor John Williams with a chilling rendition of “Wicked Game.”
One underdog I’m rooting for—my Wild Card wild card, if you will—is Sugar Joans. I’ve been pulling for Team Pharrell‘s soul and R&B powerhouse since the beginning and was rather shocked when she was sent home after this. She made it clear Tuesday night that America made a serious mistake with “Back to Black,” an absolute perfect song choice that showed off her soul and vocal range. It’s a long shot, but hey, it’s called a Wild Card for a reason.
The Wild Card will be announced Wednesday morning on Today. Who do you think it will be?