The Voice 17 Live Semi-final airs Monday (Dec 9) as the Top 8 sing for your votes in front of coaches Gwen Stefani, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton for a shot at the Final. Where do the singers stand ahead of Monday’s show? I take a stab at ranking them below. How would you rate the Top 8? Tuesday’s (Dec 10) results show is the dreaded blood bath. Only FOUR artists will survive to compete in the finale.
Reminder: This week’s semifinal results air at 9 pm ET/PT.
ETA: Almost forgot! According to the NBC press release, THERE ARE DUETS. But no Twitter voting for the performances as in past seasons: “This week’s theme is “80’s Week.” The artists will perform duets of songs from the 80’s.”
8. Marybeth Byrd – Team John Legend – Marybeth had to sing for her life last time, so she’s last on the list. However, if she delivers a great performance this week, she could wind up singing for a chance in the Top Four. I’ve said this already, but Marybeth would have been better served on Blake or Kelly’s teams. Blake in particular would have kept her in the country/folk/Americana lane, where she consistently shines. Her strength is storytelling. Maybe it’s time for Marybeth to bring the house down with a gospel song.
7. Will Breman – Team John Legend – I have thoroughly enjoyed Will as a contestant, and considering all the talent ahead of him on this list, I suspect he’ll be in the bottom two this week. Still, I’m pretty happy to have one more quirky, unpredictable performance from an artist who is willing to take risks. I hope he does NOT play it safe this week. By the way, John has done a great job helping Will fine tune his performances without squelching his exuberance.
6. Kat Hammock – Team Blake Shelton –
I still don’t get Kat’s seeming popularity. My prediction is that Kat will deliver another sweet, somnolent, pitchy performance that could very well nab her a spot in the Top 4. She could be the shock result on a night when there is usually at least one surprise.
5. Hello Sunday – Team Kelly Clarkson – This tween duo is definitely not ready for prime time. Their harmonies can be rough, and the two still haven’t figured out how to control their big voices. But they are so garsh darn cute, right? And like Will, they don’t hold back–for better or worse! Still, like Kat, Hello Sunday has PEOPLE. Some of them may be quite young. Also, Kelly will probably take this act under her wing regardless if they win or not.
4. Rose Short – Team Gwen Stefani – Although Rose deserves to be one of the Top 3 contestants who advance immediately to the final, I won’t be surprised if Kat, Hello Sunday and Rose fight it out for that last spot. Rose will deserve to take it, of course. She’s the best vocalist left in the competition, Her creative, musical approach to every song that she sings makes every performance a revelation. She reminds me of American Idol 12 winner Candice Glover, or The Voice alum Koryn Hawthorne. Both singers possess sublime instruments. And look at Koryn doing her thing, racking up those Grammy nominations in Gospel music. Rose also deserves that kind of success.
3. Ricky Duran – Team Blake Shelton – Ricky has turned in consistently great performances week in and week out. The blues rock singer/musician is always prepared. He never seems nervous. The flip side, is that his performances lack urgency and are a tad predictable. It is why I wish he’d go out on a limb and take a risk. But at this point in the competition, that is probably not going to happen.
2. Katie Kadan – Team John Legend – Like Ricky and Jake, Katie is a reliable performer. But, unlike those two, Katie has grown through her The Voice journey. She came into the competition with guns blazing, but John wisely helped her show a vulnerable side, and it’s been enjoyable to watch. I don’t think she can surpass country favorite Jake Hoot, but it would be kinda cool if she did.
1. Jake Hoot – Team Kelly Clarkson – Jake has got this, I think. Carson never announced who won the streaming bonus, but I bet it was Jake. ETA: It WAS Jake, according to comments, he thanked his fans on Twitter. The burly country singer has a likeable personality, and a beautiful tone that resonates with emotion. He’s an old fashioned country storyteller with a radio ready voice. Like Ricky, you always know what to expect from Jake. But I don’t think his fans are complaining.