The Voice recap: Gwen Stefani returns and the top 8 semifinalists are revealed
Tonight's performances on The Voice were all about pushing boundaries, taking risks, and… performing in double arm casts.
While season 21's top 10 had a pretty decent performance night across the board, two artists will be headed home, falling short just ahead of the semifinals. It's called Challenge Week, ever heard of it? It's supposed to be challenging! As usual, the seven artists with the highest votes will automatically move forward, leaving the bottom three to each perform one last time for that coveted Instant Save spot.
The evening isn't all business though — the semifinalist announcements are mixed in with two guest performances. In the first, Mae Muller takes the stage to sing her current single, "Better Days." And former coach Gwen Stefani pops by to say hello to her husband, Blake Shelton, and also, I guess, to introduce her season 19 winner, Carter Rubin, who performs his new song "Horoscope." He won just last year but looks as if he's aged at least five. Agh, kids grow up so fast!
So who from this season's crop of artists will join Carter on the list of The Voice winners? Here are seven possibilities. The seven artists automatically moving into the semifinals are:
- Paris Winningham
- Jim and Sasha Allen
- Girl Named Tom
- Wendy Moten
- Joshua Vacanti
- Lana Scott
- Hailey Mia
Instant Save Round
Team Kelly: Jeremy Rosado, "What Hurts the Most," by Rascal Flatts
Jeremy's going back to ballads — and a country one at that — for his Instant Save performance. It feels like a safe bet. It allows Jeremy to do what he does best and hit those power notes while getting all kinds of emotional. It's not the cleanest vocal, but there are some great, big moments. Kelly Clarkson agrees that this was a smart, smart choice for this moment. She thinks it not only "showcases" his voice but "proves how dynamic" of a performer he can be.
Team Ariana: Holly Forbes, "Because of You," by Kelly Clarkson
Dang! Disco really did Holly Forbes in, huh? This is another smart song choice for this round. Holly's really shined brightest doing super-emotional songs where she can infuse both her power and soul, and this Clarkson song allows her to do all that and more. Some of her riffs and runs are great here. Ariana Grande is shocked to see Holly in the bottom three, telling her that she's been "a vocal titan" since the moment she stepped on this stage in the blinds.
Team Legend: Jershika Maple, "What Is Love," by Veronika Bozeman
Come on guys, get it together! Jershika Maple in the bottom three is truly demoralizing. She really proves that statement true with this song choice. She completely demolishes this song. John Legend is, not surprisingly, "stunned" to see her here, but lets her know that this performance right now was easily her best. He calls it "soulful" and "powerful" and perhaps most flattering of all, "technically perfect."
Only one of these three can move forward into the semifinals and any which way you cut it, we're going to be saying goodbye to someone too good to be going home at this point. In the end, the Instant Save and eighth semi-final spot goes to… Jershika Maple!
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A rotating chair-full of judges search for the next great superstar singer on this NBC reality show.