The Voice 22 Top 13 night was full of life changing songs as the singers tackled quite a few big numbers. Some singers succeeded and others struggled, but overall, the was full of solid performances. (Read our Recap).
One of the better performances came from the closer of the night, Team Gwen Stefani’s 34-year-old R&B singer Justin Aaron from Junction City, Kansas. Justin is likely Gwen’s best shot at a finalist as Kique’s style may be a bit polarizing with the core audience and Alyssa Witrado’s vocals aren’t always up to par. He went the gospel route Monday night tackling what has become a gospel classic on the show. He sang Tasha Cobbs Leonard’s “Break Every Chain.”
“Break Every Chain” has become a The Voice staple
This is the fourth time The Voice artists have performed the song in the live shows (previously done by Season 10’s Paxton Ingram, Season 15’s Kymberli Joye who had a moment with the song, and last season’s Jershika Maple). Justin sang a fierce rendition, but his voice is a bit more mellow compared to Kymberli and Jershika’s. Both singers had big growls and powerhouse vocals propelling the song.
In rehearsal Gwen said that Justin had become a “star.” He chose the song because its “deeper meaning” helped him through depression. He confessed that the song “changed the trajectory of his life.” Gwen advised him to “get physical” and “cry.” She even told him to go “punk” with it and really make it bombastic.
Justin started off the performance very smooth with very clean runs. He has a few minor tuning issues on the high notes, but this is the most passionate Justin has been in any performance. The breakdown is where he truly shined, as this song is very powerful. The lines that really stood out are how he sang “chains of depression, chains of defeat.” He truly connected to that lyric and this connection probably resonated with many people at home. Overall, it was a great performance.
“You did it, you took it to the next level”
The panel gave him a standing ovation as Gwen had tears in her eyes and host Carson Daly reminded the audience that Justin was a 1 chair turn. John Legend shared a story about being at the Latin Music Awards where he met someone from his hometown and he asked, “why didn’t you turn for Justin.” Gwen said, “you did it, you took it to the next level.”
Other than Justin, the standouts of the night included Team Camila Cabello’s Morgan Myles who showed powerhouse vocals on a Beyonce hit, Team Blake Shelton’s Bodie who continues to succeed at flipping songs, and Team John’s Kim Cruse who nailed a country classic from Willie Nelson. The veteran performers are the ones who are consistently nailing their performances.