With two nights of live playoff performances in our rear view, “The Voice” returned to NBC for the third time this week to reveal the results of America’s first round of Season 8 voting. The top 20 turned into the top 12 finalists during tonight’s live results show.
It was a night of great music, dreams coming true and, yes, complete heartbreak as Teams Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams had to send home two of their five remaining artists. While America voted for the top two they wanted to advance from each team, it was up to the coaches to pick a favorite from the bottom three to save.
Team Blake took to the stage first. All five members sang “I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Singers. It was a worthy rendition of the song that the team members seemed to have a lot of fun with. Unfortunately, it was the last bit of fun for Sarah Potenza and Brooke Adee. America sent the show’s only country-leaning singer, Corey Kent White, as well as the incomparable Meghan Linsey forward to the top 12. The bottom three came down to Potenza, Adee and Hannah Kirby. After a show-stopping performance on Monday night, Shelton had no choice but to move Kirby forward and send the other two packing. It was heartbreaking to see these two stellar performers end their amazing run on Season 8, but that’s the way it had to go for each team.
Next it was Team Xtina’s turn to give her remaining five performers a last at bat in Season 8. Together they sang Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” It’s tough to match so many unique voices together for one song and Aguilera’s team seemed to have the most trouble. Having said that, there were no bad performances tonight. Host Carson Daly revealed Kimberly Nichole and India Carney moving forward based on America’s voting. After that, it was up to a clearly torn Aguilera to decide between Sonic, Lexi Davila and Rob Taylor, all of whom gave absolutely incredible performances during the Live Playoff rounds. In the end, after stalling for as long as NBC’s time constraints would allow, it came down to a gut feeling on the coach’s part to advance Taylor with her one remaining save. Just like that, the fearless, half-deaf Sonic and the timid church singer Davila were sent home, their time on “The Voice” a thing of the past.
Thanks to the previous judge’s indecision, Team Pharrell took to the stage without a moment to spare. Together, they sang “Say Something” by A Great Big World, a song that premiered for the first time on “The Voice” stage. It was a pretty sad song, which really fit the mood given that viewers had just seen four people get their hearts completely broken, and two more were about to go. America voted the 16-year-old Sawyer Fredericks forward first, because clearly they haven’t heard enough of this insanely creative old soul sing. After him was Mia Z, who really came alive after flying under the radar during her Live Playoff performance. This left Caitlin Caporale, Lowell Oakley and Koryn Hawthonre hoping for a save from coach Pharrell. Unfortunately, it was a night of really tough decisions for all four judges and Pharrell ultimately spent his last save on Koryn Hawthorne.
With just minutes left in an already packed show, Team Adam took to the stage to sing “Diamonds” by Rihanna. This ended up being one of the better arrangements of the night, but it was still a swan song for two out of five of the Season 8 team. America immediately sent through the man with a newborn to impress, Joshua Davis, followed closely by Deanna Johnson. With just seconds left in the show and the credits literally rolling over him, Levine had the stressful task of choosing between Nathan Hermida, Tonya Boyd-Cannon and Brian Johnson. Clearly flipping a coin in his head, Levine had to go with his “stupid, stupid gut” and send Brian Johnson forward.
Just like that, the top 20 were shaved down to a tight top 12. The performers will reunite once again on Monday for more live performances. Tune in to NBC at 8 p.m. EDT for the two-hour Final Rounds. Check out the full list of top 12 singers remaining in Season 8.
Corey Kent White