At the end of Jordan Smith’s performance of Queen’s Somebody to Love Monday night on The Voice, coach Adam Levine came out, gave his charge a big hug, took his microphone and dropped it.
Smith, would never do that himself. But Levine wanted to make the point that he felt the Harlan County native had sealed his bid to be in the show’s Final Four.
Nine competitors went out Monday, but only four will be named Tuesday night to go on to the show’s finale next week. Smith has been a coach’s favorite and frontrunner all season, but it is up to the voters to decide who will actually move on. There were no slouches left in the field, but with the ratios at work, it was a show to separate the really good from the exceptional.
These four did just that:
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Jordan Smith: Without question, he has the best voice on this show coincidentally called The Voice. And throughout the competition, he has proven to be a well-prepared performer, drawing both on his experience growing up in church choirs and as a music major at Lee University. What his Somebody to Love demonstrated was a growing sense of showmanship. If he’s not in the Final Four, something’s wrong.
Emily Ann Roberts: Speaking of showman, or should I say, showwomanship, Emily Ann Roberts has that in spades. Her voice has nowhere near the wattage of Smith’s tenor, but she can sell a song and work a crowd. Performing 9 to 5 Monday night, the East Tennessean talked about her love for Dolly Parton. But watching Roberts, singing competition show watchers had to be reminded of Carrie Underwood.
Jeffrey Austin: He hasn’t demonstrated quite the vocal theatrics of Smith, but Austin has quietly solidified his place as one of this season’s elite performers. He proved that with his rendition of Cher’s Believe, the first real head-turner of Monday night.
Madi Davis: Far and away, the most inventive and charming performance of the season was Davis’s accordion-soaked rendition of The Four Season’s Big Girls Don’t Cry — not the Fergie song of the same name, as a number of outlets are identifying it. Davis may have grown the most in this season of The Voice, and she’s peaking at just the right time.
So those are my picks. Then again, as I tap this out, Braiden Sunshine’s rendition of Amazing Grace was leading the iTunes sales, which translate into votes. So who knows? That’s why we’ll watch Tuesday. (Morning update: Jordan is back at No.1. In fact, following Jordan and Adam’s little schtick about Adele keeping Jordan from No. 1 on iTunes, he’s now overall No. 1 on iTunes. Hello.)