Much ado has been made this season about Miley Cyrus’s all-female team on The Voice — a first in the series’ herstory. So, on Tuesday’s top 11 results show, Miley and her squad (Brooke Simpson, Ashland Craft, and Janice Freeman) joined forces for a girl-powered performance of onetime Voice mentor Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” wearing cheetah-print outfits inspired by Shania’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” music video. Meow! It was impressive indeed.
But you know what wasn’t impressive? The fact that, mere moments later, Team Miley’s best contestant, the phenomenal Janice, went home in 11th place. It was one of the most jaw-dropping upsets in Voice history. (No, not herstory. History.)
Also up for elimination Tuesday was Team Adam’s Adam Cunningham, who’d been in the bottom two last week after missing his “Against All Odds” band cue on live television. Cunningham deserved to be in the bottom two again this week … if only as a last-minute alternate candidate, because he messed up again during Team Adam’s Tuesday group performance of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” (The dude seriously needs to go his own way if he can’t keep it together onstage two weeks in a row.)
However, to see Janice — a fierce performer and a woman who somehow turned a grunge-lite Collective Soul song that Adam Levine openly hates into something current and cool — in such a position was an absolute disgrace. (Side note: I still can’t understand how Team J.Hud’s Shi’Ann has avoided the bottom two when she is consistently this season’s lowest iTunes charter. But hey, at least Shi’Ann never flubs her lines.)
So Adam C. gave it another go with a predictable country weeper, playing it safe with Lonestar’s “Amazed.” I was not amazed. Yes, he managed to soldier through it without screwing up, and it was a solid and workmanlike effort … but it was not a Janice-like effort. Janice was up next, looking like an uncaged lioness and sinking her claws into one of the most challenging and ambitious songs in the singing-show catalog, Sia’s “Chandelier.” (It’s the song that Season 9 winner Jordan Smith virally auditioned with, for instance.) Janice’s voice did sound hoarse, but she held nothing back — “leaving it all out on the stage,” according to host Carson Daly.
“I truly believe that if anybody deserves to stick around in this competition, it is you. You are a fighter. You are a role model. And more than any of that, you are The Voice. … I believe in heaven because of people like you,” said Miley, shedding tears that looked a lot more real, and a lot less cool, than those stick-on glitter tears that Chloe Kohanski wore Monday night.
This seemed like no contest. Almost immediately after the Instant Save voting window opened, #VoiceSaveJanice was trending nationwide on Twitter. I was not worried. So imagine my shock and horror when the show returned from the commercial break … and Adam C. was leading with 62 percent of the vote! This was some fuzzy math here. Fuzzier than even that confusing sliding-scale points system from the semifinals of Seasons 1 and 2. Even with rules limiting one vote per Twitter handle, and taking into account the possibility that some of the tweets that caused Janice to trend were posted after the voting window closed, you would think Janice would still have the edge — or that this would at least be a close race.
But Adam Cunningham prevailed. And more tears ensued. No one seemed happy about this outcome — not even the Adams themselves. Cunningham had a look of survivor’s guilt all over his bearded face, and Levine — who hadn’t even bothered to tweet #VoiceSaveAdam for his own contestant — hardly seemed like he was celebrating a victory. Levine, usually such a gloating and competitive coach, didn’t even applaud or crack a smile.
However, while the future isn’t looking good for Team Miley, the future is probably still female for The Voice Season 13, even if that doesn’t mean that a female coach will win. This week, it was Team Blake’s above-mentioned Chloe Kohanski and Team Adam’s much stronger player, Addison Agen — interestingly, both stolen former Team Miley contestants — who respectively held the top two spots on the iTunes chart, and they were the first two contestants called to safety by Carson on Tuesday. We’re likely to see both talented ladies in next month’s finale.
And that will impress me much.