We're one week away from the season finale of The Voice and there's still no clear winner. They seem to want us to think it's Tessanne Chin, but it could just as easily be Will Champlin. Either way, it's going to be a good year for coach Adam Levine, as two of his three teammates will almost certainly be among the top three in the finals.
The only member of Levine's fully intact team not in the running for first place? James Wolpert, who dragged the bottom last week but was instantly saved by America during a live Twitter vote. This week, though, there is no safety net: the bottom two will be sent home. Chances are James will be one of those two, while it'll be a photo-finish between Cole Vosbury and Jacquie Lee for who will take the third and final slot in the finals.
Just last week it appeared Cole was a shoo-in, as he's proven to be a strong performer – both onstage and on the iTunes songs chart. But this week Jacquie gave him a run for his money by performing Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" (a.k.a. that sad song from the ASPCA ads).
After weeks of melodramatic love songs that were way beyond her years, a simple song was a refreshing change of pace for Christina Aguilera's last contestant standing. Although the words were kind of garbled and the strings and choir were overpowering toward the end, the song really showcased Jacquie's voice. It's what she should have been doing all along. "You chose your timing and spots and moments to go big in the right way," Christina said. "You straight-up won tonight." (And indeed, Jacquie's tune made it into the top 10 of the iTunes chart, which means those "votes" count multiple times.)
On the flip side, Cole faltered for possibly the first time, mainly because his voice sounded extra raspy – like it has taken a beating (something Christina pointed out last week). His piano-heavy version of Garth Brooks' "Shameless" (written by Billy Joel) was decent but definitely not his best, which could hurt his chances of making the finals. His secret weapon? The fact that Blake Shelton is his coach. If he makes it through, it'll be because Blake has a solid fan base. (Not helping his cause, though: the way ousted judge Cee Lo Green keeps inserting himself as "co-coach.")
Also giving a lackluster performance was Wolpert, whose rendition of U2's "With or Without You" failed to impress. Even James himself looked bored by it. Considering he was on the chopping block last week and got the opening "death slot" this week, chances are he's a goner. Even Adam seemed to see the writing on the wall: "I don't even care about the competition at this point . . . a bunch of things are going to happen, people are going to win and lose or whatever . . . I just know how incredible that performance was."
It was only a matter of time before one of Adam's hipster dudes fell by the wayside, and the loss of James will translate to more votes for Champlin. But even Will's version of fun.'s "Carry On" left something to be desired. Sticking to the simplistic theme of the night, Will's performance was much more reserved than ones he's done in the past. And Adam's advice to him to "let go" and relinquish control made Will's attempts at looking like he was having fun and smiling seem forced. "I don't think I've ever seen this happen before – he smiled," noted Adam delightfully. "If Will is smiling, he thinks that he did well. You had fun up there and totally went with it, like I told you to." Key words: "Like I told you to." Still, Will probably did just enough to secure a spot in the finals, which might actually make him smile without being prompted.
But the only truly surefire bet of the night belongs to Chin, who will move forward based on the fact she was given "one of the most celebrated songs of all time," according to host Carson Daly, as well as the coveted "pimp spot" that never disappoints. Plus, her rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was the best performance of the night vocally. "I've never been speechless on the show before, but I was amazed," said coach Adam. He then added something odd: "Regardless of popular opinion, that was the most flawless and graceful performance on the show." What's this "popular opinion" he's referring to? Does he know that someone else is in the lead? Is Tessanne being universally trashed? Or did Adam just choose the wrong words to express what he was trying to say? So many questions.
One thing's for sure: She had the top-selling iTunes song of the night. But although Tessanne seems like lock to us, who do you think will make the top three?
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