The finish line is so close the contestants on “The Voice” can see it. The top eight geared up for their last performances in the live playoffs before the season 10 finalists are chosen. Thanks to a special guest mentor, the remaining artists were ready Monday to battle it out for supremacy before America cast its harshest votes yet.
Tuesday, the number of competitors on the show will be trimmed to four before a winner is finally crowned.
To help ensure the contestants were prepared for the most important live showcase to date, the efforts of coaches Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Pharrell Williams were complemented by those of the singer Pink. In addition to duets with each other, the artists took to the stage solo once again to perform.
Below is a rundown of each singer’s solo act Monday night.
Shalyah Fearing, Team Adam
‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ by Jennifer Hudson
Fearing has been flying under the radar as a middle-of-the-pack performer, even though she has the talent to be the winner of Season 10. With so much riding on these performances to bring the artists into the finals this week, she sang a song that allowed her to flex her best muscles perfectly. It was not only a good showing of the young artist’s voice but also a massively upbeat number to kick off the night. Without a doubt, she made some of her competitors’ slower numbers seem wanting by energizing the crowd at the outset. Both musically and strategically, Fearing proved herself a force to be reckoned with at the beginning of the show.
Paxton Ingram, Team Blake
‘I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)’ by Meat Loaf
After narrowly escaping elimination last week by less than 100 tweets, Ingram knew he needed to challenge himself and expand his fan base so he could avoid having his head on the chopping block once again. With everything riding on this one performance, he chose to take on a really difficult ballad that many would assume isn’t in his wheelhouse. Thanks to some help from Pink, however, Ingram created an upbeat cover providing his very own spin on the song. Additionally, he proved to be one of the more entertaining acts of the night, appearing to cover every inch of the stage and getting the entire audience on his side. It’s unclear whether it was enough to keep him around for the finals, but if it wasn’t, it was certainly a high note to go out on.
Laith Al-Saadi, Team Adam
‘One And Only’ by Adele
Al-Saadi has been thrust into prominence in a way that classic rock artists don’t frequently see on “The Voice,” which tends to lean heavily on country and pop artists. However, Al-Saadi took a bold step by turning an Adele song into a number that only he could create. Still armed with a guitar and superior noodling skills, this singer found the blues elements of the song and toyed with them perfectly. His incredible musical prowess and his utter lack of ego just makes him somebody you want to root for. There’s no question he’s the best at what he does on the show: The only question is whether there are enough voters in America who are willing to cast their ballots for a classic rocker in 2016.
Alisan Porter, Team Xtina
‘Desperado’ by the Eagles
The artist was given an initial shot of confidence when Pink recognized her as the star of the film “Curly Sue,” and the performer delivered one of the most impressive songs of the night. Porter's ability week after week to connect emotionally with her music is truly her gift. She decided to present a slower-paced song on a night when most people opted for faster tempos, but it didn’t inhibit her a bit as her voice proved again it can carry her through any song with ease. It’s very hard to imagine a world where this singer isn’t in the finals after her soulful cover. It gets harder and harder to talk about this young mother each week as her reviews are always stellar.
Adam Wakefield, Team Blake
‘I’m Sorry’ by Blake Shelton
It’s always weird when an artist picks one of his coach’s songs, but it appeared to work for Wakefield. He was one of the few willing to acknowledge that this could very well be his last performance on “The Voice” stage, so he took a song he believed would served as a good send-off for him. As he has in the past, he sat behind a piano and gave a soulful and emotional performance that walked the line between country and rock ’n’ roll beautifully. Given the similarities between Al-Saadi and himself, it’s possible Wakefield may attract some of the votes that would otherwise go to his classic rock counterpart.
Bryan Bautista, Team Xtina
‘Hurt’ by Christina Aguilera
Yet another artist taking on the coach’s music, Bautista claimed he had a personal connection to the song, as he hasn’t heard from his father since his success on “The Voice” stage. It took him throwing everything he had into the performance, but he was finally able to step away from coasting on sex appeal and found a way to actually give an honest performance. Nonetheless, it felt like too little too late for this artist, who struggled to find his footing throughout the competition only to peak with a somewhat adequate showing in his potential finale on “The Voice” stage.
Mary Sarah, Team Blake
‘I Told You So’ by Randy Travis
Week after week, Sarah has benefited from being the only remaining female country artist in the competition. She chose to not take any chances with her possible spot in the finals by picking a Randy Travis song. Thanks to an expert arrangement by her coaches, she gave one of her best performances yet. The best contestants on “The Voice” are those who manage to adapt to the increasingly larger stakes of the competition. Sarah not only came into the show with some significant potential but also has proven during the competition that she can be a formidable performer when she has the right people giving her advice. As a result, she may have the best post-show potential of any artist remaining in Season 10.
Hannah Huston, Team Pharrell
‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ by Percy Sledge
Given that she represents Williams’ last chance to win the competition before he departs the show in Season 11, there’s a lot riding on Huston. She took a number she believed she could connect with and force her feelings to rise to the occasion of the song. And it wasn’t bad at all. Team Pharrell previously has been eliminated early in the competition at times, and it looked like Season 10 would be consistent with that trend. However, Huston’s latest performance forced her into prominence on the show, meaning that her coach may be down, but certainly not out of the contest this year.