On Tuesday – or as I like to call it, Opposite Day, since I so vehemently disagreed with America’s vote – The Voice aired its most brutal results episode ever, eliminating five of the remaining nine contestants in one freakin’ fell swoop. Why did the show’s producers do this? Sigh. I don’t know. Why is Gwen Stefani wearing those weird waist-length milkmaid braids all of a sudden? Why does Carson Daly always ask such dopey softball questions? Why was guest star Dolly Parton’s much-hyped mentoring stint this week reduced to about three minutes? The Voice Season 9 is full of mysteries.
(photo: Tyler Golden/NBC)
But anyway, back to the nail-biting, heartbreaking results. The top three instantly advancing to next week’s top four finale were Team Adam’s “unicorn” Jordan Smith, and Team Blake’s country contenders Emily Ann Roberts and Barrett Baber. I’d predicted Jordan and Emily’s victories, but I’d assumed that Barrett’s disadvantaged performance slot and terrible song choice on Monday would’ve been his undoing. Apparently I once again underestimated the power of fourpeat-winning coach Blake Shelton and the country voting block.
The bottom three vote-getters, automatically going home, were Team Adam’s Shelby Brown (a country powerhouse who probably would’ve had a much better chance if she’d been on Team Blake), Team Gwen’s Braiden Sunshine (the kid had a good run, but it was his time to go), and, shockingly, exquisite Team Adam songbird Amy Vachal. Amy’s lovely “To Make You Feel My Love” performance this week, in a prime penultimate spot, had gone all the way to #6 on iTunes (three notches above Barrett), but apparently that still wasn’t enough to make America feel her love.
This left my two favorites of the season, Team Gwen’s magnificent balladeer Jeffery Austin and Team Pharrell’s quirky-girl chanteuse Madi Davis (who’d respectively, impressively charted at #3 and #5), to face off in a Twitter Save showdown for the last open spot in the finale – along with Team Blake’s fledgling Zach Seabaugh. As I tried to wrap my brain around the fact that more people in America voted for Barrett than for Jeffery or Madi, and more people voted for Zach than for Amy, I wrapped my Twitter-trigger-fingers around my phone and got ready to hashtag my heart out.
Zach’s cover of the Tim McGraw weeper “Live Like You Were Dying” was pleasant enough, even if a song with a first line about being in one’s “early forties” wasn’t the most appropriate choice for a 17-year-old wannabe teen idol. Madi’s plaintive cover of the Crowded House classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over” was more effective, but lamentably, for the first time ever this season, I saw this normally poised lady crack a bit under pressure. Madi still gave a beautiful performance, but her nerves showed, and she broke into tears afterwards. I felt like crying, too. I’d always hoped to see Madi in the finale, but I think she and I both knew that probably wasn’t going to happen now.
And then came Jeffery.
Yes, Jeffery powered through a performance so dynamic, so ferocious, it almost made Jordan Smith’s “Somebody to Love” from Monday night look like Braiden singing Bread. His cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Make It Rain” rained blood, sweat, and tears all over that NBC soundstage.
Jeffrey did exactly what every contestant in a Twitter Save sing-off should do: He sang like his life depended on it.
“This is so obvious!” hollered Gwen, tugging on her Swiss Miss hair extensions for dramatic effect. “If Jeffery doesn’t get through tonight, it is a crime!” Preach, Gwen, preach.
And so, for the next five minutes, THIS was my Twitter feed:
#VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery #VoiceSaveJeffery
Luckily, America listened to Gwen (or saw my increasingly panicked, capslocked tweets). Jeffery prevailed. Perhaps Tuesday wasn’t Opposite Day after all.
That being said, my ideal final four would have been Jeffery, Madi, Amy, and Jordan. Two out of four ain’t bad, I guess. But does it really matter? Let’s face it: Barring any last-minute, career-killing TMZ scandal, Jordan Smith is so going to win. See you next week, when that happens.