The Voice 20 Top 9: Kenzie Wheeler is Kelly Clarkson’s Favorite Country Singer
On Monday’s The Voice Top 9 Semi-finals performance show, Kenzie Wheeler sang the country classic, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones. He kept pretty true to the original in this performance. Interestingly enough, he kept the talking parts which many contestants would most likely either sing, or omit entirely in order to showcase vocal ability. Some viewers could consider “talking” to be filler or the easy way out. When the Team Kelly Clarkson singer went for some of the high notes, his voice sounded a bit thinner than usual. His belts did end strong in the last chorus, leaving it all on the stage even if overall, the performance seemed rather boring.
Nick Jonas is happy that Blake Shelton is so jealous that Kenzie isn’t on his team after Kelly blocked him in the Blind auditions. In the mentor session, Kelly said that even though Kenzie hasn’t released an album, he is one of her favorite country artists ever. This is high praise coming from Kelly even considering that she is his coach. Kelly repeated the praise during her after-performance critique. It is tough to know if a coach really means what they are saying, or if they are trying to convince voters to vote for a contestant. But when a coach praises someone like this twice, it makes me think that Kelly really does genuinely mean it.
Frontrunner status is established early in the competition
Several of the vocalists sounded slightly tired tonight including Kenzie, and that can be typical as the season progresses. But would some of these contestants have been able to keep up with the old schedule, which was quite the grind? It seems like frontrunner status early on matters a lot in this format. Once a contestant appears to be a frontrunner, they continue to carry that title even if they deliver a so-so performance. With Kenzie, this is true. He will be sailing through to the finale and could possibly be this season’s winner.
I will be straight up and say Kenzie is not even close to my favorite this season. From a technical standpoint, he is usually not perfect, but he has been consistently solid. He has yet to have a messy performance pitch wise, but that doesn’t mean that what he’s done should solidify front runner status. However, he’s got the country voting bloc wrapped around his finger. When the finale comes around next week, I will be shocked if Kenzie is not in the Top 2. He has been considered a front runner for a long time now.