As The Voice heads closer to its season finale, America’s favorite bunch of amateur singers keeps getting smaller and smaller. We’re down to six: three from Team Blake and one each from Teams Adam, Usher, and Shakira. This week’s performances offered Aretha-themed highs and Okie-themed lows. Voice recappers Adam Carlson and Samantha Highfill rank the remaining contestants heading into tonight’s elimination.
6. The Swon Brothers (Team Blake)
These brothers have a lot to be proud of: They have made us laugh, they have made us almost-cry, and they are the most successful duo The Voice has ever seen. Plus, one of them can do this. But at this point, their harmonies are just as pretty and plain as they were last week and the week before that and the week before that. These boys are good at what they do, but they are simply out of their league. Sorry fellas, but we’ll settle for meeting you by the campfire.
5. Holly Tucker (Team Blake)
Oh, Holly. Here’s the thing: She’s good. Her voice is really strong, but the audience knows exactly what to expect from her every week. We know that she can sing Martina McBride songs and Martina McBride songs. But what really hurts her chances in this competition is that Amber Carrington can sing Martina McBride songs better than she can. Never let someone beat you at your niche, Holly!
4. Sasha Allen (Team Shakira)
Remember when Sasha was so cool? Those were the days: The sad truth is that Shakira’s Broadway belter has gorgeous vocal authority – yet hasn’t been able to transform herself, beyond a select few songs, into the kind of game-changer she first seemed. Everything sounds like everything else. Worse, everything often feels like everything else.
3. Danielle Bradbery (Team Blake)
Blake’s youngest, and most loved, performer is a mystery: She’s got a clear, large voice, usually matched by preternatural control. But Danielle has little else to offer. If she isn’t seated or hidden in a group, she flounders; and how many more times can we watch her do a karaoke-friendly spin on a radio-friendly country song? (See: here, here, and here.) But as her limited skill set becomes more stark, the praise grows bigger. Danielle is the performer America wants, pointing to her youth while ignoring her lack of confidence or spirit – but she’s not the performer it deserves.
2. Michelle Chamuel (Team Usher)
After weeks of performances, Usher’s bespectacled performer has yet to establish a particular niche – which is her strength, not her weakness. Michelle does Cyndi Lauper (“True Colors”) as well as she does Pink (“Raise Your Glass”) as well as she does, yes, Taylor Swift (“I Knew You Were Trouble”). In a season of feel-good country and reach-the-rafters power, Michelle is a knowably unknown quantity: a pop pre-star who feels fun (and other emotions) when performing. Last week’s Bruno Mars misstep is getting farther and farther behind us. Hopefully ahead of us? More of her muscular voice and rhythm.
1. Amber Carrington (Team Adam)
The girl who only turned one chair around in the blind auditions quickly got our attention when she beat out powerhouse contestant Sasha Allen in the battle rounds. And now, she’s the only contestant left representing Team Adam. Between her vocal control, her always fun and always changing hair, and the way she puts just the right amount of country twang into every song, Amber’s ability to wow the audience never gets old. This is the girl who took on both Adele and Patsy Cline without breaking a sweat. Game, set, match.