Well, friends, I hate to tell you but next week is The Voice finale. Next week! It doesn't seem like nearly enough time to know who deserves the season 18 title, but times are weird and here we are. To get into the finale, however, our Top 9 have to survive Fan Week (five artists, one from each team and a wildcard, will move forward). Each artist will be dedicating their song to one of their biggest fans. But first, let the Top 9 and coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Nick Jonas, and Blake Shelton ease your worries with a performance of "Everyday People" dedicated to healthcare workers. Don't you feel better, even for like two minutes? If that doesn't do it for you, James Taylor, Kane Brown, and Doja Cat will be popping in for performances. And if all else fails, let John Legend's gorgeous pink suit bring you bliss. It is perfect.
Now, let's get down to business. Which one of these performances is Top 5 worthy?
Team Blake: Joanna Serenko // “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers
Joanna, our big winner of last week’s Instant Save Wildcard, is dedicating her song to her older half-sister who she, well, leans on. Get it? It’s actually very cute. In “rehearsals” Blake tells Joanna that her performance seems to “lose energy” whenever she goes into her head voice. In her performance, she mostly avoids it. It’s still not the most energized performance, and I missed some of the texture in her voice, but overall her vocals are on-point. John loves how “authentic” Joanna always sounds and her coach Blake “loves [her] artistry.” He’s proud.
Team Kelly: Micah Iverson // “I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie
Micah dedicates his Fan Week song to ... Kelly Clarkson because sure, why not? You know what? Kelly really saved his ass in that Knockout round, so he should be dedicating everything to her. This song and this arrangement are perfect for Micah. He’s better and better each week and he's more than earned a spot in the Top 5. Nick tells Micah that the caliber of his performance is something you’d “see on an award show,” which is to say, very high. Micah's coach Kelly is beaming after the performance and it’s not just because of his spot-on vocals, but because of the way he executes a song: He’s an artist, baby!
Team Blake: Todd Tilghman // “Love, Me” by Collin Raye
No surprise here: Todd’s dedicating his song to his eight (!!) kids, who are always there as a built-in support system. During rehearsal, Blake wants to make sure Todd gets some big show-stopper notes in this arrangement and it’s a good move. In his performance, surrounded by all of his kids in their playroom (his one daughter just adorably passed out), he imbues every lyric with so much emotion and his rasp sounds extra-powerful on those big notes — just like Blake wanted. When they cut back to Todd after the performance he is weeping. Guys! He is moved. So are we, thanks to (as Kelly points out) Todd’s “storytelling voice.”
Team Legend: Zan Fiskum // “Never Be The Same” by Camila Cabello
This week, Zan is taking on a more contemporary pop song to show her versatility. She and John work on some of the arrangements to make sure Zan really nails her chest voice and gives the song a little edge. Her head voice is great, but the emotion is so palpable in her chest voice. That last note, in particular, is something else. Coach John makes sure everyone knows that Zan is an artist through and through and that she makes jumping between her head voice and chest voice look easy. “Very few singers can do what she does,” he says, calling Zan’s take on Camila Cabello’s hit a “masterclass.”
Team Nick: Thunderstorm Artis // “Home” by Michael Bublé
Thunderstorm is a newlywed and he and his wife are the most beautiful couple and I hate them (I love them). Obviously, he’s dedicating his song to his wife and for his performance, he’s surrounded by twinkle lights and candles and empty frames (that’s cool now, guys), and it is gorgeous. Stripped down with just him and his guitar, Thunderstorm completely makes this song feel like his own. Anyway, I’m going to go listen to it and cry in the dark later. The coaches are fans: Blake loved the arrangement and what Thunderstorm was doing on the guitar, and Thunderstorm’s coach Nick Jonas tells his artist that he has “a clear shot to the finale.” Uh, no duh.
Team Kelly: Megan Danielle // “What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flatts
Megan Danielle was Kelly’s pick for her save last week and it’s easy to see why: The two have a lot in common, from struggles in their childhood, all the way to musical genre preference. In rehearsal, Kelly tells Megan to lean more into the ache in her voice and they add some bluesy runs to help make this iconic country song sound more like Megan’s. Last week, Megan tried out a Demi Lovato pop hit, but her voice sounds so good in the country lane, why does she ever leave? Afterward, Kelly can’t get over how “beautifully broken” Megan’s voice sounds. She's a fan and it's Fan Week and it all works out so nicely that way.
Team Nick: Allegra Miles // “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonders
Choosing a Stevie Wonder song in a singing competition is pretty much a “go big or go home” move. That’s what Allegra has decided to do to try to grab a spot in the finale. In rehearsal, Nick reminds her to have fun with this one and create a “safe, happy place” for everyone. It’s a sweet performance, but it doesn’t really pick up steam until the second half. John Legend is super impressed, telling Allegra that the way she was able to move around within that song “showed so much maturity.” Coach Nick calls it “one of [her] best performances” to-date. Those are some rave reviews!
Team Blake: Toneisha Harris // “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
Toneisha Harris taking on the Celine Dion? How lucky are we? There’s no doubt that she’ll be able to crush this song that she dedicates to her husband of 24 years. During any performance of this song, you are always waiting to see what happens with that insane high note toward the end and it’s no surprise that Toneisha blows the roof off with it. She’s so good, in fact, that she gets a job offer: Kelly Clarkson wants Toneisha to perform that song on stage at her Vegas show in 2021. Kelly is blown away by the amount of power in Toneisha’s voice. Blake sums up how everyone’s feeling when he tells his artist: “My God, you deserve to be in the finale.”
Team Legend: Cammwess // “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves
Even before we get started, I am preparing myself for a weep-fest. This song, plus Cammwess’s gorgeous voice, plus his dedication to his little cousin who is sick? There is no hope for us to survive this, emotionally-speaking. John Legend has Cammwess change the key after hearing it because he wants Camm to be able to push his vocals a little more. Whatever he did, it works. The arrangement is beautiful and, as John says, Camm takes us on a journey. That journey ends in tears. “America, you know what you need to do. Vote for this man!” John exclaims after praising his artist for his “stunning” and “emotional” performance.
The results show, with just one person from each team going through on America’s votes and one wildcard spot available, will be, as they say, a real doozy.
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