‘The Voice’ Top 5 Semifinals: With or Without Them
The most important episode of "The Voice" Season 5 so far — the top five semifinals, the show that'll determine which three contestants (with no help of an Instant Save) advance to next week's finale — took place Monday night. Hypothetically, it could be an all-Team Adam finale next week, if all of Adam Levine's contestants make it through. There's also a chance that one of the other coaches still represented in the mix, Christina Aguilera or three-time champ Blake Shelton, could be out of the running after the votes are tallied, leaving them sitting on the sidelines alongside poor, jilted CeeLo Green.
But enough talk about whether Adam will win, or Christina will win, or Blake will win. The stakes are obviously much higher for the actual contestants, the ones who are trying to win an actual record contract, not just bragging rights. So let's recap how they all did…and then predict which three will make the cut.
James Wolpert (Team Adam) – Going first in the "death spot," after his near-elimination last week, could have meant trouble for James. But as Blake later told him, "You needed a moment like that. Heck, you might've dug yourself out of the hole." Adam assigned James a big, big song, the U2 classic "With or Without You" — and while James lacked Bono's famously messianic charisma, and the verse started off a bit rough, once James was allowed to belt the chorus, his Brandon Flowery nerviness somehow worked with the moody ballad. It was a solid performance of a song that could've been many a contestant's undoing. "I don't even care about the competition at this point," said Adam [easy for him to say, when he has three contestants left and is therefore guaranteed representation in the finale], "I just know how incredible that performance was. That was even beyond what I thought you could do." Will this be enough to get James to the finale, which I am sure he still cares about? I'm not sure, but I do believe "The Voice" would be a little less exciting without him.
Will Champlin (Team Adam) – Adam's underdog did a cover of fun.'s "Carry On," an anthem that applied to his own show-must-go-on attitude and real-life situation (his wife is battling a brain tumor). I wanted to like this a little more — fun. are, well, fun, and they kind of rock, but here was Will looking staid and old-fashioned in a suit, minus his trademark geek-chic glasses, and he was even seated for part of the performance. Later he picked up the pace, which I appreciated, but then he once again let his passion get the better of him and he missed a few big notes. (Nate Ruess ain't easy to emulate, y'all.) However, both Adam and Will seemed immensely satisfied with this effort. "Look at that smile, man! Trust me, if Will is smiling, he knows he did well, because he's so hard on himself and such a hard worker. I'm gushing, I'm just really proud of you," said Adam. "It is really cool to see you all swaggy up there," said CeeLo. "We all enjoyed that, because you seemed to be enjoying that for a change," agreed Blake. It annoyed me that the coaches, even Will's own coach, implied that Will is usually some frowny sad-sack; I never thought that about him before. I am worried for Will now; I do think he deserves to be in the finale, based on his overall body of work, but I don't know if he'll carry on after this.