Eliminated top 12 artists had one more chance to prove why they should be the next big winner
That was one wild night.
The Voice threw precedent out the window Tuesday night when it brought back eliminated artists from the Top 12 to perform one last time to earn the newly created fourth wild card spot in next week’s finale.
The switch-up meant that (for once) Carson Daly wasted no time in revealing the three finalists advancing to next week: Craig Wayne Boyd of Team Blake Shelton and Matt McAndrew and Chris Jamison – who was the recipient of the Twitter instant save the previous week – of Team Adam Levine.
The reveal meant that only the show’s two veteran coaches (and well-known frenemies) would have guaranteed spots heading into the finale, while first-time coaches Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani could only hope the wild card save could keep them in the game.
Unlike previous weeks, the recipient of the wild card save would not be instantly determined by Twitter voters. Instead, viewers had until 3 a.m. ET on Wednesday to cast their votes before Daly announced the wild card winner live on the Today show later Wednesday morning.
The nine eliminated artists – including Top 5 artists Damien of Team Adam and Taylor John Williams of Team Gwen, who only found out they were eliminated earlier in the show – brought their A-game to the wild card performances, which all earned unanimous raves from the coaches.
Here’s a quick look at how they did:
The 16-year-old Texas singer consistently blew Coach Blake away with her beyond-her-years poise and willingness to take risks, and his effusive praise continued after she delivered a self-assured rendition of “Put Your Records On.”
“You have so much confidence and swagger,” Shelton said, while Williams deemed the performance “magical.”
Team Blake’s Alabama native and Nashville transplant revealed an edgier side while singing “Zombie” that had coach Blake equally enthused.
“This girl is so important to music because she’s an inventor,” he said. “I can’t get over when Taylor Swift said to you that you’re her favorite voice in the competition this year. Things like that matter. You are that different. You are that important.”
The Virginia native’s confidence under pressure shone through once again during his performance of “Marry Me” when he knelt down and mock-proposed to one lucky audience member as the song concluded.
“I’m pretty sure she will marry you if you want,” joked Levine.
Even his coach, Stefani, could help but be beguiled by his charms. “I love it when you sing right to me like that.”
The Jamaica native kept the energy high during her rendition of “Waiting on the World to Change,” improvising a skat that had the coaches jaws on the floor.
“That jazz run, holy moly, that was crazy. By far your best,” said Levine, while Stefani, her coach, praised her for being “selfless” and choosing to send a positive message to the world with her song choice.
Taylor John Williams
The Portland, Oregon, dog hotel employee only found out he was eliminated earlier in the show, but didn’t let any potential disappointment overshadow his performance of “Wicked Games,” a kind of haunting hit that’s been in his wheelhouse all season.
“I think this is an amazing opportunity to come back, and I think you’re going to do it,” predicted his coach, Stefani. “You connect with so many people.”
Like Williams before him, the former TSA agent also only found out he was eliminated earlier in the show, but demonstrated why he made it so far in the competition while delivering an emotional performance of “Grenade.”
“There’s one more spot. One more spot: and it’s Damien’s,” his coach, Levine, declared. “If you don’t think this guy deserves to be in the fourth spot in this competition, you are insane.”
Coach Williams’s three eliminated artists rounded out the wild card performances, starting with the Los Angeles native who delivered a rendition of “Back to Black” so powerful it had all four coaches on their feet.
“When your mouth opens, it’s like a whole world of soul that comes out,” said Williams. “You captivate everyone.”
Up next, the Texas native confidently sang the aptly titled “Have a Little Faith in Me,” which prompted the coaches to declare he got his groove back.
“I feel like Luke Wade found Luke Wade again,” said Levine. “You dug so much deeper and I’m so happy you found it and had another chance to show it.”
The Pennsylvania stay-at-home mom closed out the performances, boldly tackling Mariah Carey’s “Without You” to wild cheers.
“Did you hear that?” coach Williams asked just before the credits rolled. “That’s the sound of America voting you back.”
Yet in the end, only one artist could be voted back, and on Today Wednesday, Daly revealed that Damien from Team Adam won the wild card spot in the finale.
All four finalists will perform Monday during the first part of The Voice finale at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.