It was only a matter of time till Blake Shelton's cozy little country family was broken up, and this week's elimination on The Voice did just that. Unlike past weeks, though, only one person was cut: Holly Tucker.
Now, the final five – Blake's Danielle Bradbery and the Swon Brothers, Adam Levine's Amber Carrington, Shakira's Sasha Allen and Usher's Michelle Chamuel – move on to the semi-finals.
Considering what unfolded Monday night, it wasn't surprising that Holly fell short of advancing to the next round. The first sign of trouble came when she was dealt the opening slot of death – not many make it out alive after being the first performer of the night, especially since it's so far removed from the end of a two-hour show. In turn, neither of her songs – Martina McBride's "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues" and Rascal Flatts' "My Wish" – did very well on the iTunes songs chart, a good indicator of who will stay and who will go. (However, if you went by this alone, Sasha should have been a goner last week, which means that laborious manual voting still counts for something.)
But Holly's real problem was her competition. She got lost in the shuffle of a country-heavy top six that featured two other blonde-haired, fair-skinned, country-twanged women. We always saw her as interchangeable with Amber. They're both 19, blonde and generic – in terms of looks and sound. The past two weeks, however, Holly started to distinguish herself by throwing more attitude into her songs. Her take on the Band Perry's "Done" last week was the perfect fit for her voice, and Blake tried to recreate that lightning in a bottle with "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues," but it was obviously too little too late.
Holly's exit doesn't do much to shake up the race. Danielle and Michelle are still the ones to beat, basically leaving the remaining three contestants to duke it out for the third-place crown.
However, a big problem with The Voice so far was highlighted by the return of Season Three winner Cassadee Pope, who sang her new song "Wasting All These Tears." Even with Cassadee under its belt, the show has yet to create a mainstream star. What ever happened to Javier Colon and Jermaine Paul? Long gone, we suspect.
By this time on American Idol, the rival show had churned out Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia Barrino. Yes, we realize a couple of those stars have faded and that J-Hud took a while to take off, but you get the point.
So, will this be the season The Voice finally finds its voice?
Previously: Taylor Swift Surprises Michelle Chamuel