And then there were four.
The Voice has finally whittled its list down to the last few contestants left to compete for a shot at the season 15 title spot. As usual, the rollout of who has made it through without a fight versus those who have to sing for another shot and the rest who don’t even get to try is pretty excruciating.
Amid performances by Michael Buble (singing “Where and When”), Hailee Steinfeld (singing her Bumblee album song “Back to Life”), and Jennifer Hudson (singing “I’ll Fight” with a “Nevertheless She Persisted” shirt), we learn that the three who’ve been voted through by America are:
- Kirk Jay (Team Blake)
- Chevel Shepherd (Team Kelly)
- Chris Kroeze (Team Blake)
We also learn — through Carson Daly’s tortuously drawn-out pre-elimination elimination ritual — that only these three will get a chance to sing for the fourth spot:
- MaKenzie Thomas (Team Jennifer)
- Reagan Strange (Team Adam)
- Kennedy Holmes (Team Jennifer)
That means Kymberli Joye and Sarah Grace have been sent packing after each enjoying solid seasons, while the rest will get to vie for the instant save.
MaKenzie goes first, with her take on Patty Griffin’s “I Went Up the Mountain,” and it’s about the most MaKenzie Thomas performance she’s ever done, showcasing every breath of her strengths all at once — there’s her rich full voice, her feathery falsetto, a few power punches, and, of course, gospel runs aplenty.
Next is Reagan Strange, who sings “Wherever You Go” by The Calling. There are some good parts — the softened arrangement is quite nice, and she seems committed to the lyrics — but she’s a little bit flat in the intro and pitchy in other places. Adam can read the writing on the wall and tells her that this is “not a bad start” to such a young career and promises, “at the end of the day I am nothing but super proud of you.”
Last but certainly not least is Kennedy Holmes, who tries on LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live?” for size. It’s a little funny that Hailee Steinfeld has preceded her on this stage because, in some ways, she’s a lot like Hailee was when she first broke onto the scene — poised, mature well beyond her years, and still full of energy and excitement with the talent to back it up. Her performance tonight isn’t as delicate and dramatic as MaKenzie’s, but it is just as compelling all the same.
In the end, Kennedy has done enough to earn her way through to the Top 4, too, where it’s her versus three country singers. Those … are decent odds.
Adam Levine – N/A.
Blake Shelton – Kirk Jay, Chris Kroeze.
Kelly Clarkson – Chevel Shepherd.
Jennifer Hudson – Kennedy Holmes.