‘The Voice’: Team Adam’s Damien Returns Thanks To The Wildcard, Performs Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”
Tuesday night wasn’t a typical results show for The Voice. In fact, even after all was said and done, only three out of the four finalists were announced! After giving us the three that were voted through from the semi-finals, and the nine performances from the remaining Top 12 that followed, The Voice ended on what should really be described as an historic cliffhanger…
…or at least a really annoying use of network synergy. Instead of announcing the fourth finalist on The Voice, Carson Daly announced the fourth finalist on the Today Show, forcing all of the Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton fans out there to cross over into Matt Lauer’s world.
Clever, NBC. Very clever…but don’t pull this again in the actual finals.
Unlike most other drawn out results, though, Tuesday’s were announced at the very beginning, leaving time for a full performance show.
First Three Finalists:
Team Adam: Chris Jamison and Matt McAndrew
Team Blake: Craig Wayne Boyd
Tough break for first time coaches Gwen and Pharrell, but both have a chance to come back now that the the semi finals’ bottom two (Damien and Taylor John Williams) compete with Anita Antoinette, Ryan Sill, DaNica Shirey, Luke Wade, Sugar Joans, Jessie Pitts and Reagan James.
First up in the wildcard, 16 year-old Reagan James of Team Blake sings Corrine Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On.” Although Reagan was a favorite in the Top 12, comparing her directly with the past two week’s top notch performances now dulls her luster. She’s good, but good enough to beat out everyone else? Probably not.
“That was magical,” says Pharrell. “I hope when you make your album you pick melodies like that.”
“I still am totally blown away that Reagan is 16 years-old,” says Blake. “You have such control, and so much confidence and swagger.”
Next, Team Blake’s Jessie Pitts sings The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” It’s a nice ’90s throwback, and her unique tone may win some nostalgia votes.
“You are such a little angel,” says Gwen.
“I can’t get over when Taylor Swift said to you that you’re her favorite voice in this competition,” says Blake, reminiscing about the good old days.
Team Gwen’s boyfriend Ryan Sill sings Train’s “Marry Me.” His falsetto isn’t always controlled, but his deep brown eyes look right into Gwen’s soul.
“I never completely grasped your range,” says Blake. “I just thought that was beautiful.”
“I love when you sing right to me like that. No one’s ever done that to me before,” says Gwen, wife of a lead singer. “This guy has the most gorgeous voice.”
Next up for Team Gwen, Anita Antoinette sings John Mayer’s “Waiting On The World to Change.” She busts out an impressive jazz run in the middle of the performance, which may be her best of the whole season.
“That jazz run! Holy moly! I don’t know where that came from,” says Adam. “By far your best.”
“She didn’t take this opportunity for herself,” says Gwen of Anita’s song choice. “She took it to lift, to give a message to the world because she chose this lyric.”
Team Gwen’s semi-finalist Taylor John Williams delivers a sultry performance of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.” It’s on-point, but seems like just more of the same from the solemn singer.
“I think to use the correct word to describe you which is an artist,” says Pharrell. “I cannot wait to see what you make for your album.”
“I think you’re going to do it. I really think you connect with so many people,” says Gwen, who tones back the “vote for this guy, America!” sentiment, probably still pulling for Ryan Sill.
Adam’s only Top 12 contestant not to make it in the Top 3, Damien, competes for the final spot with a performance of Bruno Mars’ “Grenade.” It’s a refreshing departure from his emotional ballads, and the typically tearful singer actually has fun with it.
“The amount of control you have is so scary,” says Pharrell. “That is real soul singing.”
“If you don’t think this guy deserves to be the fourth slot in the season finale, you are insane because that dude sings so incredibly beautifully with such passion and technicality,” Adam rambles.
All of Pharrell’s Top 12 performers are in the wildcard, starting with the sassy Sugar Joans, who sings Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” and manages to overcome an offbeat audience clap that had the potential to destroy her. That’s how good it is.
“You just made this so much harder for everybody else,” says Blake. “That’s as good as I’ve ever heard you.”
“There’s this whole world of soul that comes out, and you captivate everyone,” says Pharrell. “I can’t wait for us to work together.”
Team Pharrell’s soulful Luke Wade is more put together than he was in his last performance in the Top 8 when he sings John Hiatt’s “Have A Little Faith In Me.” It’s a little one trick pony of the guy who last sang “Stand By Me,” but strong nonetheless.
“For the first time in awhile today you dug so much deeper than you have before,” says Adam.
“He definitely found himself,” says Pharrell. “I need everybody to help me with this guy right here because he has a bright, bright future.”
Team Pharrell’s powerhouse DaNica Shirey closes it out with “Without You,” seemingly the Mariah Carey version. It has a shaky start, and she’s drowned out a bit by the musical accompaniment. Regardless, she has Pharrell’s full endorsement.
“Did you hear that sound?” asks Pharrell. “That’s the sound of America voting you back.”
Fast forward to this morning’s episode of the Today Show, annnnnnd….Damien advances. He says, “It means the world to me,” and not much else, citing that he’s “really tired.” This is the first Voice finals with a coach’s entire Top 12 squad intact, as Adam has three contestants.
The season wraps up next week with a slew of surprise performances, the emerging of a victor and a whole lot of confetti. Are you happy with the Final Four? Or did this whole wildcard twist basically overrule the past month’s results?