November 24, 2015 6:05pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
The Voice Courtesy of NBC
One artist was saved instantly by Twitter votes.
Season nine’s top 10 artists were announced on The Voice tonight as the show heads into the last few weeks of the competition. The bottom two artists sang live in hopes of securing the audience instant save, but only one could advance.
Brad Paisley kicked off the show with a performance of “Country Nation” before Carson Daly presented the first results of the evening. The first two artists voted through were Team Adam’s Amy Vachal and Team Gwen’s Braiden Sunshine. Vachal made it clear last night that she could be Adam Levine’s shot at winning the season. More than any other artist, she has found ways to take other people’s songs and make them her own. When the artists are limited to covers, it can be difficult to really show who they are and what kind of singer they want to be, but Vachal has figured out how to put her own twist on the songs she chooses, and Levine has done a great job of working with her on the arrangements. Sunshine, who sang “True” by Spandau Ballet last night, might be young, but he is a consistently strong performer in the competition, and it’s no surprise that he advanced to next week’s live shows.
America also voted to save Team Blake’s Zach Seabaugh and Team Adam’s Jordan Smith. Seabaugh is definitely Blake Shelton’s secret weapon this season. He has a lot of potential for crossover appeal, as he isn’t strictly a country artist like Shelton’s anchors tend to be. Smith, who gave a very moving performance of “Who You Are” by Jessie J last night, is definitely Team Adam’s strongest asset at this stage of the competition. His Blind Audition performance of Sia’s “Chandelier” is still one of his personal best moments, but he continues to bring consistently impressive performances every week.
Gwen Stefani took the stage with her remaining artists — Sunshine, Jeffery Austin and last week’s instant save, Korin Bukowski — for a group performance of “You Get What You Give.” At this point, it became very clear that Bukowski is starting to look and dress a lot like Stefani. Is Coach Gwen grooming a mini me?
In the next round of results, Daly announced that Team Pharrell’s Madi Davis and Team Blake’s Emily Ann Roberts were through to the top 10. Davis gave the best performance last night when she came to life with a rendition of “Love Is Blindness.” That was the first moment that Davis boldly declared that she’s one of the ones to beat this year. Pharrell could be looking at a win for the second season in a row. Roberts showed off her bluegrass roots last night, and America liked what it saw.
Next, Levine sang “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” with Vachal, Smith, and Shelby Brown. Then the last of the results came in. Team Gwen’s Jeffery Austin, Team Blake’s Barrett Baber and Team Adam’s Shelby Brown automatically advanced to the top 10, leaving Bukowski and Team Pharrell’s McKeel to sing for the second instant save of the season. All of the artists from Levine and Shelton’s teams were voted through this week.
McKeel, who sang “Smile” by Nat King Cole last night, went first and chose “Let’s Stay Together” as his instant save song. The song choice highlighted his throwback sound, and he kept the vocals tight even under the pressure of the situation. His runs at the end of the song were particularly impressive. “At the end of the day, Evan, the coolest part about what we get to do is to work with people like you,” Pharrell said to his artist.
For the second time this season, Bukowski had to sing for the instant save, and she chose to sing “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5. Bukowski undoubtedly has a gorgeous voice, and she sounded strong tonight, but her song choices tend to only highlight some of her strengths. Tonight’s performance was so sonically similar to the past two performances she has done — including during last week’s instant save — that it’s hard to tell if she has more to offer than just soft ballads. The song choice definitely got Levine on board with Bukowski though, and Stefani urged America to save her artist again.
The Twitter save did end up going to Bukowski once again, who got yet another chance to continue on in the competition. Next week, she’ll have to give it her all in the live show in order to stay out of the bottom again. Unfortunately, it was the end of the road for McKeel.
The Voice Adam Levine