Like ripping off a Band-Aid, the coaches grit their teeth tonight and let go of 12 singers at once. Results shows on The Voice are invariably painful (favorites are sent home; coaches feel guilty; Carson gets more lines), and tonight may have been the toughest in years. Since season five, just two of the singers on each team were sent home at the end of the Playoffs, allowing the coaches to keep the majority of their performers. But, because of the comeback twist, fully half of each team was eliminated this episode. Tonight was the only night in recent Voice history that each artist, statistically, had an equal chance of staying and going.
But that’s enough math for one recap. Sure, statistically Keith Semple has just as much of a shot at sticking around as Jordan Smith, but we all know who’s the more realistic pick. (Spoiler alert: Keith Semple does not stick around.) Team Gwen starts the night off with a group performance of “O-o-h Child,” originally by the Five Stairsteps. Half of the team sounds fine together, but some artists with more singular voices, like Ellie Lawrence and Regina Love, weren’t made for six-part harmonies. They stand out like sore thumbs, and the whole performance suffers as a result.
Once that’s out of the way, we’re treated to a synopsis of not just all of Team Gwen’s Playoff performances, but of the coaches’ interchangeable responses to each, as well. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say no one needed to be reminded of the songs from just two nights ago. These segments happen after each team performs, so if you didn’t watch, just imagine them at the appropriate places as this recap continues.
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
Then, it’s time to reveal who from Team Gwen America saved: it’s Jeffery Austin and Braiden Sunshine. Jeffery is a no brainer, but I had Viktor Király pegged for runner-up. Braiden is a welcome surprise, though. He’s one of the most likable singers on this show. Gwen is now forced to decide among Viktor, Ellie, Regina, and Korin Bukowski. Again, Viktor seems like the obvious choice, but Gwen says she’s going to go with her heart and pick the singer she can help the most. That’s Korin Bukowski.
Following the culling of Team Gwen, Carson has a surprise for us: Michelle Obama’s on the line, with a Veterans Day message. The message is support the veterans. (Also, go to joiningforces.gov).
We were told last night that last season’s winner, Sawyer Fredericks, would be back to debut his new single, “Take It All,” off his self-titled EP. Again, Carson remarks on how impressive it is that Sawyer already has music out. Is it that impressive, though? Sawyer won The Voice in May, more than five months ago, and he has four songs to show for it. Willie Nelson would have released, like, three albums and a box set by now. “Take It All” is quite pleasant, in a Mumford & Sons-ish way. It’s optimized to show off the texture in his voice, if not to get anyone’s heart racing. If you liked Sawyer last time you saw him on this show, you’ll probably still like him now.
NEXT: Blake pulls a fast one