The Voice recap: An audience vote, a coach's save, and a wildcard sing-off, oh my!
Friends, we ingested so much music during our first night of The Voice season 20 live performances. Seventeen singers stood up on stage to plead their case via song as to why they deserve one of nine spots available for the next round. Who will actually win those spots? We're about to find out. As a quick reminder: The artist with the most audience votes on each team will automatically move forward. Then each coach can save one of the three remaining singers on their teams — that makes a Top 8. For that ninth and final spot, the remaining person with the next highest number of audience votes on each team will compete in a Wildcard Instant Save round, and the winner will be revealed at the end of the show. Whew! That's a lot of rules to get through. How about we get to the results?
Audience Vote: Cam Anthony
Coach Save: Jordan Matthew Young
In the Wildcard Round: Pete Mroz
Eliminated: Anna Grace
Audience Vote: Rachel Mac
Coach Save: Dana Monique
In the Wildcard Round: Jose Figueroa Jr.
Eliminated: Devan Blake Jones, Andrew Marshall
Audience Vote: Victor Solomon
Coach Save: Pia Renee
In the Wildcard Round: Ryleigh Modig
Eliminated: Zania Alaké
Audience Vote: Kenzie Wheeler
Coach Save: Gihanna Zoë
In the Wildcard Round: Corey Ward
Eliminated: Zae Romeo
THE WILDCARD INSTANT SAVE ROUND
Team Blake: Pete Mroz, "Speechless," by Dan + Shay
This song choice feels like a nice mix of old-school Pete and the more modern-sounding Pete he's been trying to show us later in the competition. It's not his best vocal, and it doesn't feel as emotionally connected as some of his previous outings. Still, he seems so comfortable and confident on stage, per usual. It's actually our host Carson Daly who alludes to this song choice not having much "urgency," and that lack of energy in the song was noticeable in the performance.
Team Nick: Jose Figueroa, Jr., "Superstition," by Stevie Wonder
I love that Jose is getting another chance to show everyone what he's got, and this is a great song choice to really do that. Stevie songs are notoriously difficult to navigate, but Jose does a great job; his runs are clean and seem to have intention behind them. He also knows how to own that stage. Coach Nick calls the performance "electrifying" and applauds Jose's dedication to his craft and willingness to take risks.
Team Kelly: Corey Ward, "Lose You to Love Me," by Selena Gomez
Corey knows exactly what kind of songs work well for his voice, and this Selena Gomez heartbreaker is no different. The first half is a little rough around the edges, but once he settles into it, wow wow wow guys, it's one of his best. Coach Kelly is on her feet by the end, so proud of her guy. "I am floored," she says. She didn't get to hear him rehearse that song and she is blown away by the "pain" in his voice and can't get enough of that tone.
Team Legend: Ryleigh Modig, "It Will Rain," by Bruno Mars
Bruno is a cool choice for Ryleigh, but she excels more on the intimate side of things rather than powerful, big notes, and this song doesn't give her enough of those vulnerable moments. Her head voice, however, sounds really strong here. John Legend loves Ryleigh's passion and is eager to keep working with her. He calls Ryleigh's voice — especially her vibrato — "magical."
And just like that the voting for the Instant Save is over (it is aptly titled, after all), and the winner of the Wildcard spot is… Corey Ward!