With lots of talented singers left to do battle, all eyes will be on Usher tonight on The Voice.
That’s because he’s the only coach with a save left to use.
Which isn’t a bad place to be in considering that four singers who turned every coaches chair with their blind auditions have yet to perform.
That group includes country singer Cary Laine, Las Vegas performer Ryan Whyte Maloney, former classical musician Kaleigh Glanton and YouTube sensation Christina Grimmie.
Ryan and Kaleigh sing for Blake Shelton. I have a hunch they’ll be paired up with Noah Lis and Cali Tucker, respectively.
Cary and Christina sing for Adam Levine, where Sam Behmyer and Joshua Howard also have yet to do battle.
As for the saves, if you’ve lost track, here’s who the coaches have picked up.
Team Usher: Music Box
Cary Laine vs. Sam Behymer: Cary Laine, 28, of Citronelle, Ala., is the mom and aspiring singer who finds gigs tough to find in Wyoming, where her husband moved because of his job. She sang “Better Dig Two” for her audition, turning four chairs. She wound up making her choice of coach from one of those big red chairs. Sam Behymer, 25, of Morgan Mill, Texas, is the singing nanny who has considered becoming a librarian, at least before she turned two chairs with her blind audition performance of “Royals.”
He’s matching up two very different singers. Sam’s a singer-songwriter indie type; Cary’s a country singer. He has them singing Ed Sheeran’s “Give Me Love.” Sam says she’s worried about Cary’s big voice and she has to counter that with emotion. Adam’s looking for Cary to break out of her country shell. And Aloe Blacc is looking for more emotion from her. Right off the bat, we hear Sam’s unique tone. Cary is surprising me with her tone, but I’m having lots of trouble making out what she’s singing. But that got better as the song progressed. When they were dueling mid-stage both sounded good. All in all, I’m not sure that song showcased either one at their best. My pick: I actually like Sam’s tone, so I’d probably select her to advance. Adam’s decision: And Adam picks Sam.
The steal? Cary does not get stolen.
Noah Lis vs. Kaleigh Glanton: Kaleigh Glanton, 20, of Wichita, Kansas, is the young woman who performed without her dad by her side for the first time at her Voice audition. She sang “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and turned four chairs. Noah Lis, 22, of Palmer, Mass., is the young fan of old jazz and pop standards. He sang “Me and Mrs. Jones” for his audition, prompting two chairs to turn.
Blake has given them Michael Buble’s “Everything,” knowing that it’s in Noah’s wheelhouse. That might be to his advantage, Noah says. But he’s impressed by the little embellishments Kaleigh is adding to her performance and looking for a spot to add in his own. Though Kaleigh turned more chairs, Blake says it looks like a dead tie heading into their battle match. Noah has a nice voice, and he’s certainly invested in the performance. If you like crooning, I’m sure you appreciated his performance. But some of his moves on stage didn’t quite come off. Kaleigh has the more distinct tone and brought more vocal frills to the performance. My pick: Kaleigh, partly because the song wasn’t in her wheelhouse, yet her vocals had my attention as much as Noah’s. Blake’s decision: He proclaims Kaleigh the winner.
The steal? Noah does not get stolen.
Now, snippets of three performances we won’t get to see …
Emily B. vs. Cierra Mickens: Cierra Mickens, 23, of Eagle River, Alaska, is the young woman trying to decide whether to pursue music or law school. Three coaches turned their chairs for her rendition of “Crazy.” Emily B., 33, of American Falls, Idaho, is the session singer who underwent two brain surgeries after a doctor found an abnormal growth on her right retina. She turned three chairs with her version of “Wicked Games.”
Shakira says she matched them up because both have amazing range and soulful voices. She has them singing Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.” During the rehearsals, both show big powerful voices. But there are some problems with pitch and over-singing. Unfortunately for viewers, the suspense has been ruined. The person who doesn’t advance is going to be saved. At the start, the background music is overpowering Emily a bit. No such problem with Cierra. Dang, she can sing. But give Emily this: She was over-singing badly in the rehearsal clips we saw. She’s showing much more control of her voice in this performance. But, wow, Cierra just hit one heck of a glory note. And the ladies end with a flourish. Very nice job, ladies. My pick: Cierra. Talk about a powerful voice. Shakira’s decision: She picks Emily, praising her determination and attitude.
The steal? Yep. As I said, not much suspense. Usher saves Cierra. He says he loves having a second chance to have Cierra on his team, praising her star quality.