It was a big night for singing reality competitions last night (May 12), when American Idol held its live performance finale and The Voice picked its top four for the finals next week. While Idol was on hand to craft a shocking final pair of contestants, with favorite Jax getting the axe, The Voice's top four wound up being a much more predictable assortment.
To fill an hour of material, The Voice tapped Walk the Moon for a performance of its quickly rising hit single "Shut Up and Dance." Snoop Dogg was also on the show to promote his new album Bush alongside his producer/collaborator Pharrell. It's always funny to see the coaches pimping their own new projects on this show, but they are the real benefactors of The Voice at the end of the day, raking in millions of dollars and immeasurable exposure.
The contestants also got a spin at the wheel, while the remaining three divas in a very female-heavy season of the show, Koryn Hawthorne, India Carney and Meghan Linsey, took on Journey's "Faithfully." It was just as smoky and stunning ad you would imagine. Meanwhile, acoustic dudes Sawyer Fredericks and Joshua Davis teamed up for a fitting performance of "Drift Away," and these two proved they could be a very effective folk rock duo.
This show, thus far, seems like it's Sawyer Fredericks or Meghan Linsey's to lose. On Monday night (May 11), Sawyer went to his small New York farm town to later perform in front of 10,000 people. When you have that kind of insane support, it's no wonder that Sawyer was the first called to safety despite Carson Daly saying the picks were revealed in no particular order. Sure...
Team Pharrell's second performer, Koryn Hawthorne, had to work for her spot in the finale. Despite having the best performance on Monday night (in my humble opinion), Koryn had to battle it out with Team Christina's India. She smartly chose Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy," and while her lower register wasn't her strongest, her chorus was packed with that gospel meet R&B sensibility that Koryn does oh-so well. And it was enough to move her into the top four.
Logically, Meghan was the second singer called to safety. Blending together country and soul, Linsey continues to grow and show her flexibility on the show. On Monday night, her performances of "Tennessee Whiskey" and "I'm Not the Only One" showed her flexibility and got her the much needed country vote to secure her finalist spot.
Joshua Davis was deemed safe. Not much else to say about that.
There were points in this season when it seemed that Team Christina was the easy win this year. Between Kimberly Nichole, Rob Taylor and India Carney, she was filled with R&B powerhouses. But, one by one, they were sent home. India has spent the last two weeks in the bottom two, and even though her performances on Monday night were strong, she just hasn't held up to the standards of, say, Meghan or Sawyer or even Koryn (who joined her in the bottom two).
So, it was no real surprise when India landed in the bottom two again this week, singing for the save. As soon as her name was called as a non-safe contestant, you could tell that India had given up to some extent. Normally a pillar of strength, there were tears in her eyes and a frown on her face, holding back what seemed like bigger sobs.
Here sense of giving up in a way pulled through to her performance of Kelly Clarkson's "Dark Side." Not only is this song (also) way overdone on talent shows (a running theme for India), but she just didn't even try to sell it, slipping away in the chorus to backup singers and while she pulled out some big notes, it just didn't feel quite like enough. And it wasn't, as she was sent packing right before the big night.