Well, if there’s one comfort I can take from the Top 6 results show, it’s that three former Voice contestants who didn’t win their seasons (Vicci Martinez, Avery Wilson, and Jacquie Lee, plus last season’s winner, Craig Wayne Boyd) were brought around for performances tonight, talking of new albums, record deals, and—I think I heard this right from Mr. Clive Davis—being the next Whitney Houston. So even if one of the most unique performers of the past eight seasons went the way of Amanda Brown and Juliet Simms before her by the end of tonight’s Instant Save, in a few years’ time, Kimberly Nichole could be sashaying back onto The Voice stage with an album, a superstar record producer behind her, and an intricate labyrinth pattern shaved into her head.
It usually feels a little odd when shows like these bring back former contestants who didn’t win, as if to point out that the end game we’re working toward with all these votes and Instant Saves is mostly futile—this show is all about the platform and the impact you make with the time you’re given. But in the case of losing a contestant that many thought could take the whole thing, the presence of a few successful non-winners is comforting, and maybe that’s how the show intends these little homecomings.
Still, none of the former contestants brought back tonight are huge stars (yet… Mr. Davis tells me we’re watching history unfold with Avery Wilson); with the larger than average talent pool, I’ve felt at times that this just might be the season to put out a Voice winner who could make an album that has some real, tangible effect on the music industry. But after this week’s odd string or performances, unpredictable iTunes charting, and resulting Bottom 2 and elimination, I’m feeling a little less certain…
America Saved (in increasingly obvious iTunes order):
TEAM PHARRELL: Sawyer Fredericks
TEAM BLAKE: Meghan Linsey
TEAM PHARRELL: Koryn Hawthorne
TEAM ADAM: Joshua Davis
Bottom 2 Perform:
TEAM CHRISTINA: India Carney, “F—in’ Perfect” by Pink
I’m surprised that it’s taken India this long to take on a Pink song, but as is her way, she started off nicely while firmly in her relaxed lower register, and then kind of went off the rails with the emotion of the song. I don’t see wanting to buy the album that India would make if she won this—because I don’t really understand what that album would be—but I do see her as an engaging performer when her heart is in it.
TEAM CHRISTINA: Kimberly Nichole, “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes
But Kimberly, I see as an artist I would actually pay money to watch live, to see the energy she brings to the stage, and the innovative ways she chooses to rock out, to use her body and the stage to sell the story of the song. This wasn’t hands-down Kimberly’s best performance, but it spoke to the artist that Kimberly is and wants to be, and I wish it had been rewarded.
INSTANT SAVE: India Carney
Kimberly had one off week—one off week—and it put her in the Bottom Two. Ironically, India had a week that Adam deemed her ticket to the Semi-Finals, when in fact, it was an all-important hashtag that has landed her there. Did Christina’s chances of winning the season just decrease dramatically when her team was once considered the frontrunner to produce a champion? What do you think of the five remaining artists? Can anyone overcome Sawyer’s ability to sell music… and should they? Ultimately, isn’t selling music what we’re shooting for here?