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The Voice: Season 9, Final 9, 12/7/15

December 8th, 2015 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

This season The Voice is following a different plan for eliminations. Tonight we’re hearing that five of the remaining nine singers are going to be cut, and the final four will advance to next week’s finals. Does that mean three singers will be safe, six will be below the cut line and there will be a mass six-way Twitter save to determine the one who stays, a clean cut of the bottom five without a Twitter save, or what?

The final nine performed last night and some looked more vulnerable than others. Today we see that all but one charted in the top ten on iTunes, so the vote–except for that one singer–looks close.

1.  Barrett Baber (Team Blake):  Instead of taking a country song with pop appeal, this week coach and singer take a pop-rock song and flip it to country. They put gospel and swamp overtones on “Ghost,” a goth-flavored Ella Henderson song. Blake wants all three of his singers in the finale, of course. After the performance, Adam says Barrett is one of the season’s strongest singers. “Here’s the door to the finale!  You kicked it in!” crows Blake, who adds he’s never had any singer like Baber before.

2.  Shelby Brown (Team Adam):  Shelby got voted onto Team Adam, indicating she has a fan base, but she’s mistake-prone and emotional. She complains she’s always out of time.  Adam counsels her, “I used to be so afraid to make mistakes, I’d make mistakes.” He doesn’t want to hear her thinking. She sings her favorite song, Jo Dee Mesina’s “Even God Must Get the Blues.” Afterwards even Carson Daly thinks she sounded amazing. Blake comments her timing issues didn’t exist tonight–he thinks she sang perfectly. Gwen observes she didn’t belt–she found another part of her voice. Adam thinks she’s conquered her demons. However, a report from iTunes shows she’s the one singer that didn’t break top ten.

3.  Jeffery Austin (Team Gwen): Carson Daly calls Austin, “Gwen’s passionate pop singer.” He’s the one member of Team Gwen who may make final four. He sings Cher’s “Believe.” Gwen compares his version to Elton John. I hear some resemblance to George Michael, too.

4.  Braiden Sunshine (Team Gwen):  Having been in the bottom two last week, Braiden looks to be singing his last on The Voice this season. The kid whose voice changed during the show is back to a geeky look, with glasses and a suit. He turns to a religious song, “Amazing Grace,” for his time on the season. Adam thinks he’s had the most interesting journey.

5.  Zach Seabaugh (Team Blake):  Daly introduces this season’s budding teen idol as showing “his sensitive side” with Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.” Blake advises Seabaugh to do the song like George Strait, just stand at the mike and sing, the better to stay “in the pocket.” That’s the one vocal issue Zach has trouble with. He turns in a better performance of the song than Cyrus ever did. Blake raves afterward, “That was your best performance!  Perfect timing!”

6.  Madi Davis (Team Pharrell):  The one remaining member of Team Pharrell has to jump over five people to get in the finale, and she doesn’t show the kind of range needed to move to the top of the field. She turns “Big Girls Don’t Cry” into a jazzy ballad, addressing it to another girl, and it’s simply not the performance, song or arrangement needed to push aside entire teams. It’s unlikely she’ll squeak through, even considering she’s from Texas and can pick up some of the mid-America vote.

7. Emily Ann Roberts (Team Blake):  If the country vote comes through for Blake, he could have all three singers in the finale, but Roberts’s performance makes that doubtful. She sings Dolly Parton’s “Nine to Five,” and about all she does is prove she’s no Dolly.

8.  Amy Vachal (Team Adam):  Jordan Smith is Adam’s most likely finalist after all. Vachal was a coach’s selection, indicating she doesn’t have much fan support, and she picked this performance to move away from her old-soul jazz style that’s got her this far. Her haunting, folksy performance of Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel my Love” makes the room stop, as Adam puts it, but it’s not what got her here.

9.  Jordan Smith (Team Adam):  Only one rock song is on the bill tonight–except Smith and his coach try to turn Queen’s “Somebody to Love” into a revival song, complete with a gospel choir. About all Smith does is prove he’s no Freddie Mercury. The red-state vote may be impressed, however, because the in-studio audience sure is. “The room is electrified!” Daly says.  Cheering continues until the credits are ready to roll. Adam’s the only coach that has time to comment, and he says, “I don’t need to say anything at all.”

I voted for Zach, Jeffery, Barrett, and then gave a most-improved vote to Brown. Blake’s team typically does well because they play to the Heartland’s enormous country fan base. Predictions:  finale will be two or three Team Blake, and elbowing in will be one Team Gwen (Jeffery) and/or one Team Adam (Jordan).

Tags: The Voice