It’ll be a sad Thanksgiving for Evan McKeel this week. The former Team Pharrell frontrunner, one of the stronger technical singers of The Voice Season 9, went home in 11th place this Tuesday, after surprisingly losing in a Twitter Save sing-off against Team Gwen’s underdog Korin Bukowski.
Korin landing in the bottom two was no shock, given the fact that she’d barely made the top 12 in the first place and nearly went home last week. But Evan’s low position made less sense. This was the week when he supposedly finally showed America his true artistry, crooning a vulnerable and sweet rendition of the Charlie Chaplin classic “Smile” that was refreshingly free of his usual musical theater gimmickry. But maybe America liked Evan’s corny old shtick. Perhaps he just should’ve sung another predictable Stevie Wonder song Monday night.
Anyway, Evan – undeniably a much better vocalist than the chirpy Korin – probably could have survived Tuesday’s Twitter Save showdown if he’d picked the right song. (Stevie Wonder may not have been such a bad idea.) But he went with… Al Green’s loverman jam “Let’s Stay Together.” Ugh. Sexiness is so not Evan’s thing, so this cruise-shippy performance was super, super awkward. Evan’s not-exactly-Zach-Seabaugh-like hip-swiveling moves were cringeworthy, and the entire performance was just so dated, I felt like I was watching Star Search. But hey, vocally, Evan did nail it.
Up next was Korin, ruining Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” while Adam Levine sat there grimacing politely. This started off pretty well – she seemed very comfortable and natural, and I was even about to type that this was her best performance yet – but then she got to the screechy, squeaky chorus, and I quickly stopped typing and thumped the “delete” button on my Mac keyboard. More like she WON’T be loved, amirite?
Neither performance was very impressive, but Evan at least stayed in tune and handled his power notes with ease, which is more than could be said for Korin. But apparently America disagreed. And so, for the second week in a row, a Team Pharrell contestant got the boot. Pharrell Williams, who won last season with Sawyer Fredericks, could still pull off a repeat victory with his one remaining contender, amazing indie maverick Madi Davis. But right now, the irony that one of his contestants lost doing songs with the hopeful titles “Smile” and “Let’s Stay Together” probably isn’t lost on him.
But seriously, folks, the singers that really needed to be eliminated this Tuesday were… Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine. At the start of the night, Team Gwen delivered possibly the worst group performance in Voice history, butchering the New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give” so badly that the band’s famously reclusive leader Gregg Alexander will probably go back into hiding for at least another 10 years after this.
And then Team Adam shattered Team Gwen’s worst-group-performance-ever record about 15 minutes later, with this tragic destruction of a perfectly good Beach Boys classic. Wouldn’t it be nice… if they stopped singing? This was horrific.
And on that (bum) note… happy Thanksgiving, everyone! See you next Monday for the top 10 show, when hopefully none of the performances will be real turkeys.