With one week left until The Voice’s season 13 winner is crowned, the Top 8 pulled out all the stops during the semi-final performances on Monday night — including pyrotechnics, circus performers and sky-high notes from the always-soulful Brooke Simpson.
Simpson, who is the last contestant left on Team Miley Cyrus, said her epic performance of Journey’s “Faithfully” was inspired by her real-life relationship with her husband, Ray.
“The lyrics are talking about one person [who is] out on the road following their dreams, doing music, and the other person that they’re in love with is being faithful and supportive at home,” Simpson, 26, told reporters after the live show. “It’s actually what me and my husband are going through. Every week when my family’s in the crowd, I can’t spot them. But this week I was actually able to see him in the crowd so I just sang to him the whole time, and it was so special.”
After her show-stopping performance of “Amazing Grace” last week, which earned her the No. 2 spot on the iTunes chart just below Beyoncé, Simpson said she felt like it was the perfect time to perform “Faithfully” as it has been a song choice she and Cyrus have talked about since September.
“Every week I kind of had an idea of what direction I wanted to go in, but this week I didn’t know and [Cyrus] was like, ‘I think it’s time for ‘Faithfully,'” Simpson said. “I was like, ‘All right, I trust you. Let’s do it.’ I was nervous it wasn’t going to be as big as ‘Amazing Grace,’ but it was even bigger and I’m so proud of it.”
Clearly, her coach was also proud. After Simpson’s performance, Cyrus said, “If you are not in the finale I don’t know what this show is. If this show is about ‘the voice,’ if it’s about finding that kind of vocal talent, your winner is standing right here. You need to be in that finale.”
The North Carolina native, who currently lives in Florida, is a full-blooded Native American from the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. She grew up on tribal grounds with 4,000 Native Americans.
Having a platform like The Voice is important to Simpson so that she can put a spotlight on her people.
“For us to have gone through so much and then to not exist is a big deal,” Simpson said. “Just the fact that I’m able to shed light not just on my tribe, but on tribes all across the U.S., it’s heavy but it’s awesome.”
Kohanski’s performance of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” earned her the title of “the most iconic voice we have ever had on this show” from her coach, Blake Shelton. Agen’s performance of Joni Mitchell‘s “Both Sides Now” made her coach, Adam Levine, completely change the way he looked at the competition.
“I want to set you up right now as best I can for the best possible career you could ever have,” Levine told Agen after the show. “This girl — this girl is ‘the voice.’ And she’s even beyond that. I think you should win this competition, but even if you don’t — I don’t care because I think that you are one of the most special gifts that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and I love you, I really do.”
The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.