New "wild card" round on Tuesday will allow Top 12 singers to compete live for fourth finalist spot

By Andrea Billups
Updated December 09, 2014 10:30 AM
Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

Chris Jamison didn’t take the easy route to the Top 5 on The Voice, fighting his way into the semifinals last week after earning four-chair turns in the show’s blind auditions.

But the Pittsburgh pop singer claimed his space with some sexy force Monday, stepping up for Team Adam Levine with his trademark falsetto to look every inch the polished pop star. Move over, Justin Timberlake!

First, Jamison showed off heightened style and confidence as he performed his song choice, Maroon 5‘s next single, “Sugar,” alongside a groovy line of Daisy Duke-clad backup players. As Jamison strutted confidently, his cherry-lipped posse swiveled their hips with matching red electric guitars in hand – an irresistible stage wink at Robert Palmer‘s “Addicted to Love” video and his ’80s supermodel video phalanx.

The sleekly fit Jamison later closed out the show equally as strong as he started, using his pure falsetto to make Bruno Mars‘s soul ballad “When I Was Your Man” his own.

“All I can say is that I am sure anyone back in Pittsburgh who saw the show, they are still standing on their feet for you,” Pharrell Williams praised.

Added Gwen Stefani: “That was my favorite performance that you have done on the show You love singing I can see that tonight.”

As the show narrows its finalists to three on Tuesday, the remaining artists sang two songs, one their choice and one from their coaches.

Fans of Michael Jackson were likely nodding with approval as soul standout Damien broke hearts with his sweetly passionate turn on “She’s Out of My Life.”

Damien’s gospel-tinged vocal soared and trembled with emotion as he pulled back in the song’s quieter moments with proper reverence. It marked a fine tribute, but more than that, showcased his unique spirit and seemingly effortless command and range.

The coaches were caught up in the moment. “That’s one of the most perfect performances I have ever heard on this stage,” Blake Shelton said to the former TSA agent from Monroe, Louisiana. “Every time you come out here, I’m always on the edge of my seat every time.”

While U2‘s Bono is recuperating from his recent bike accident, Team Adam’s Matt McAndrew proved a credible stage understudy on the band’s signature hit, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

But the Philadelphia singer’s most powerful moment came when he showed off his blues side on a Sons of Anarchy tune, “Make It Rain.”

“That was a Grammy-worthy performance, unbelievable,” Shelton praised, as Williams quickly piled on, noting he wasn’t going to use the phrase “rock star.”

“Tonight, I’m just gonna take off the word ‘rock’ – just star.”

Levine gushed with pride, noting how “humble” McAndrew can be, but at the same time, possessing incredible versatility as an artist.

“You astound me all the time. I can’t throw anything at this guy that he can’t absolutely destroy,” Levine said. “He’s blown me away. I don’t think The Voice has ever had a guy who can do as much as effortlessly and gracefully as he has.”

Rocker Craig Wayne Boyd changed up his approach for Team Blake, singing gospel backed by an orchestra with strings on “The Old Rugged Cross” – a performance reminiscent of Elvis Presley. Boyd’s raw voice pierced the redemption hymn’s lyrics of comfort, showing off his ability to carry a powerful ballad as effectively as the rollicking honky-tonk that has become his signature.

Williams was moved, noting the Texas native Boyd had opened the doors on faith as he struggled for more than a decade in Nashville to get noticed in the music industry.

“I get it, man – to God be the glory,” Williams said after prolonged cheers. “Going through everything you’ve gone through to get yourself to this place What does it feel like to be at the top of your game and just surrender it to God in front of the whole world?”

Taylor John Williams’s ability to change up nearly any song and make it sound like his own was on full view Monday as he sang Taylor Swift‘s “Blank Space.” Levine described it as “Taylorizing.”

But the Team Gwen star shone brightest on Once‘s “Falling Slowly,” as he strummed his guitar and showed off his natural singer-songwriter side, minus his trademark hat. It was gentle and sweet and passionate. And when he finished, the crowd would not stop cheering.

“I’ve never heard that much strength and range in your voice,” Shelton said.

Williams praised the Portland, Oregon, singer’s ability to “take creative license” on every song he sings. “You transform them and make them your own. That’s a gift.”

Stefani noted that Williams is destined for a future career, no matter his rank at the end of the season. “Whether you were here on this show or not, you’re going to make a record,” she said. “We’re all fans and we all think you are very talented, and it’s exciting.”

The Voice continues Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC when the Top 3 finalists are revealed. The rest of the Season 7 top 12 artists who don’t make the finals will return to perform live, vying for a fourth finalist spot with the show’s new “wild card” round vote.