Sometime very soon, competition on The Voice will actually get suspenseful for Harlan County’s Jordan Smith.
But this was not that week.
Smith knocked another homer Monday night with his stirring rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, and Tuesday night was the second semi-finalist announced.
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On the flip side, the live rounds have always been suspenseful for Korin Bukowski, who found herself in the bottom two for a third-straight week. This time around, the stress seemed to have taken a toll on Bukowski who either forgot the lyrics or was overcome with emotion singing Colbie Caillat’s Try and had the judges falling all over themselves to tell her it was OK, and they all had done that before. But fellow Team Gwen Stefani member Braiden Sunshine did not do that in a muscular performance of Maroon 5’s Harder to Breathe. Bukowski had beaten singers who outperformed her in the Twitter Save before, but not this time, as 15-year-old Sunshine survived a close vote that was 51-to-49 percent when the votes were taken off the screen.
That leaves the Top 9 going into next week's semi-finals, where the field will reportedly be cut to four heading toward the season nine finale, Dec. 14 and 15.
And that cannot help but be suspenseful for Smith or any other competitor. While the Lee University senior is clearly the best voice and most polished performer on the stage and a coach's darling — they were literally running out of awesome things to say about Smith Monday — we have seen funky things happen before in these reality-competition shows. (Daughtry, anyone?) It would be a huge surprise if he did not make the Final 4, where again, weird things can happen. (Wisconsin, anyone?)
He will still have all of his Team Adam Levine compatriots to compete with — New Yorker Amy Vachal and Alabaman Shelby Brown — as well as strong competitors Emily Ann Roberts and Jeffrey Austin. Team Jordan supporters will have to show up in force the next two weeks to deliver a win for him.
Maybe the most suspenseful thing will be what Smith and Coach Levine choose for him to sing, because the selections all the way through have been spot on, giving Smith a chance to show different sides of his persona and voice.